Tiny Horse

Fashion, beauty, food, art…pleasing to the senses


Leave a comment

Final Countdown

My latest mani is a creation of Orly’s deep metallic magenta and Sinful Color’s silvery blush. Not my most creative pairing but I was so tired of that Eastery chalky pink!

I’m modeling on top of Uprooted by Naomi Novik, a trying-to-hard to be unconventional fairy tale. It’s supposed to be dark but it hasn’t been very convincing yet. The characters are one-dimensional, especially the heroine, and the villainous being/spirit is not explained very well. I’m 1/4 of the way in and still have no idea what the villagers are afraid of, what this thing does, what it does and why it does these evil things…I’m not holding my breath for a high rating here at the end. I have to get better at choosing what to read this summer!

Mmmm…got my ramen fix at this place I’ve wanted to visit ever since learning the name: Love Yogurt. It’s an Asian eatery that serves fro-yo, ramen, bubble tea and made to order desserts like crepes and puddings! You order the ramen off of a laminated customization sheet and literally everything is an upcharge. The noodles are good and chewy but totally not enough. The broth was good but not as thick as a truly authentic tonkatsu broth. I will say this is the best ramen I’ve had in Pittsburgh so that’s something to cheer about! Hubby and I played a trivia game and the furniture pieces are all puzzle-shaped. Cute, definitely. 

Three weeks ago, my friend who lives in CT visited me on a double date with her BF and we had high tea at the Frick! We dined on mini savory sandwiches, warm scones and an assortment of mini desserts. I had apricot tea and used a lot of their clotted cream. Yum! The inside was super cramped but the surrounding Frick grounds were so fun and varied! We checked out the greenhouse, carriage museum, art museum and gift shop–all free! The weather cooperated that day by being a gorgeous 76 and sunny. I’m definitely making a trip back here. There was even a dedicated parking lot!

I HAVE to give a shout-out to the Frick’s celebrity here–Luke the cat! I guess his owner lives nearby and does not mind him prowling the grounds but my, is Luke the social butterfly! This lovable Maine Coon photobombed our pictures, nuzzled against us and let us pet his big paws! Ladykiller over here!

And by final countdown, I’m counting the days until my due date and hoping my difficult baby will turn out of her frank breech position and drop into the acceptable labor position by then. I”m still driving to work everyday, huffing and puffing up/down stairs, painfully getting in and out of bed, constantly having shortness of breath, walking weird because my feet are 4x the width of my normal feet and a whole host of other unpleasant, downright painful symptoms. 37 weeks now! 

My front yard lilies usually have no trouble blooming but they are so scarce this year. I saw perhaps 3-4 of these pretty deep coral lilies out of the possible 30 that would bloom across the yard…oh well, at least the early purple ones did well! This August heat is for real, you guys. My elevated body temperature is giving me grief these days :(.

Advertisements


1 Comment

I’m on a Boat! 

This is my 6-month preggers mani! It’s an opaque pinkish orchid color from Ulta and my attempts at jazzing it up. You can’t really tell in this picture but my accent finger has this halfassed yellow butterfly on there as a result of my stamping fiasco. I tried 3 different polishes and countless times but either my polish was drying too quickly or it wasn’t thick enough to transfer. Grrrr…I gave up after the 5th try and pasted a nail sticker right on my index finger. My last mani lasted for 2 whole weeks without chipping with a topcoat and I left it on for another 2 weeks so I’m hoping this one will last through my trip next week!

I’m modeling on top of the current book I’m reading: The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. It’s an awkward title because I want to say A Beautiful Girl but the A is missing. Anyways, I’m predisposed to dislike it based on the fact that it’s not purely fiction and not based on anything that ever happened. I’m skeptical about books designed to make you feel extreme pity for certain characters or to tug at your heartstrings. Little Bee lost me this way because it simply wasn’t based on facts or biography. The author can try to exaggerate the plight and throw in some sob background story but really, the characterization HAS to be convincing and enlightening enough for me to feel like I learned something or discovered something. I mean, I’ll read this book but I’m going into it with a healthy dose of high expectations.

Last Thursday and Friday, I attended the Heart of Agile Conference aboard the Pittsburgh Gateway Clipper fleet on behalf of my company! It was such a unique setting and I got to learn some useful lean principles and network with coworkers that I otherwise would not have met. The boats were stationary but the smaller ones still got shaky when there were waves. Pastries and lunch were served on both days and it was really nice to take in sights of the 3 rivers of Pittsburgh. I’m so lucky to work where I work and to have a boss who is so supportive of these extracurricular events.

It’s fun to remember that just last year, I was in this exact river on the Ducky Tours going under the Liberty Bridge. Pittsburgh is a pretty unique city with plenty of places I have yet to explore. If only its roads weren’t like roller coasters and its drivers weren’t always so pissed off.

Pangur Ban being a little brat ;). Because a cushion-less armchair is so much more comfortable…#catlogic


2 Comments

Mani in the City

Two weekends ago, I took my family on a Pittsburgh Just Ducky Tour! I have been to another Ducky tour in the Wisconsin Dells over 3 years ago and much enjoyed the experience. The Pittsburgh one was a whole different flavor! The land part had us easing along with the downtown traffic and having all the landmarks and skyscrapers pointed out to us. Even after living in this city for close to 3 years, I got learn and appreciate a few things! Glad that there was a major clean-up project after the whole steel manufacturing heyday was over. Traffic is horrible but at least all the buildings (new and old) look spic and span!

The water portion was great too! Seeing Point State Park from the water and going under the Liberty bridge was a neat feeling!

Being around Station Square that whole day also FINALLY gave me the chance to visit some Pokestops in a row. Even with such a huge line of shops and restaurants as well as massive throngs of people, Pittsburgh in general is just lacking in Pokemon Go hot spots. Wasting 25 balls and NOT even catching that Squirtle was the low point of the day. Getting my very first egg was the high point :).

My Pangur Ban managed to squeeze herself into the same seat I was in. Look how utterly relaxed she is.

The women in my family!

Definitely my favorite sister.

I must elaborate on this mani! I used Ulta’s warm hued lilac and it is great quality! So smooth and opaque! The accent nails have Julep’s neutral buff color and VS’s chunky gold glitter topcoat. My fine nails are posing on top of the current tome I’m reading–I Know This Much is True. It’s a massive 900-pager but it’s terrifyingly real. The details and the horrific circumstances in this book knock me out with its grittiness, absurdity and fundamentally humanistic characteristics. Finishing this novel will be rewarding as well as enlightening. I recommend it to all because I am so sick of young people taking the easy road and tossing back Hunger Games, Twilight, 50 Shades like they are actual pieces of literature. There is so much talent in the world of writing and so much to discover that people need to take a advantage of it all! I want to spread the word of good literature and promote a love of reading to everyone!


Leave a comment

Happy Lunar Year! 

First off, happy year of the monkey to everyone! Here are some fun facts:

People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterized as lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous!

Years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

  My luck swerved this month and I won a little giveaway from a Facebook group! The Julep nail polish was sent to me completely free of charge via a very nice lady hosting the giveaway. It is the prettiest purple I have ever seen. It’s from their Bombshell line and this one’s called Paula (which does not do this color justice in my opinion! I would’ve renamed it Zazzi or Pizzazz!) The purple is so rich and so opaque that it’s leaning more towards a cornflower blue. The luster of gold in here wins for me.
  The hubs and I went to Squirrel Hill on Saturday to catch the Chinese New Year performance held at the Jewish Community Center. Ribbon and fan dancing, martial arts and even a Chinese yo yo show! It’s tough to participate in anything culturally Asian in Pittsburgh as it’s a predominantly white, Catholic, blue-collar city, so it’s such a treat to be able to attend something like this! We dined at Chengdu Gourmet and got our spicy on! Then a must-go trip to the Pink Box bakery to pick up Chinese style cheesecake, taro cake and mocha cake! Mmmm…Finished all within 5 minutes between the two of us.   And…a picture of Pangur Ban in her customary resting spot when the hubs isn’t in town to use his sink! She does this mainly when I’m brushing my teeth, or putting on makeup. I think Mimiboo likes to pretend to use the “his” sink when I’m using the “hers” sink :).

I really want to take advantage of this promo period going on for this awesome app Poshmark. I’ve cleared out so much of my closet and made $$ while also getting to buy some hard to find beauty items in others’ closets! I highly recommend it! Here’s the dealio: download the app, sign up with my referral code PTJPS to get a whole $10 credit from the app! You can search for literally anything and I’m sure someone’s selling it! For example, just search “headband” or “mascara” and there will be tons of listings! If you happen to find something for $5, shipping is $5 and then your order becomes absolutely FREE. After you place your first order (even if it’s free!), I get $10 in my account and there’s no limit to the referral! Please ask any questions you may have. It’s really that simple. Usually, the referral promo is only $5 but for a limited time, it’s $10, so I would like to generate some referrals! If you don’t want the app after your first order, just delete it! No big d.


6 Comments

January Blues

Hello fellow bloggers! Ah, what a difference in my emotions I was feeling this time last week…let me tell y’all a story.

I was ready ready ready for my Lasik eye procedure last Thursday at Insight Lasik in Pittsburgh. I had done all my research, had 2 pre-ops and took testimonials of all my friends and coworkers who got this simple procedure done. I wanted to ditch my pesky glasses forever. As fate would have it, this dream of mine ends tragically. On the day of surgery, the suction tool does not fit on my eye and no matter how the surgeon pressed or refitted, the tool would not lock onto my eyeball. Enter intense stress, pain and fear on my part as I was completely lucid during all of this. The surgeon halted surgery and declared that my eyeballs were not round and that I could never get Lasik surgery in my life. My right eye was bruised, the area around my eye thoroughly beat up and top of it all, I was in shock. Apparently, the doc had never encountered this (or even thought to warn me there would be difficulties due to my eyeshape) in all his 20,000 surgeries.

Here’s what I found online after shaking off my initial shock and disbelief: apparently, smaller eyes and a high cheekbone combination is deadly for Lasik. This was not mentioned once at either of the 2 “renowned” Lasik centers I went to. I don’t have high cheekbones but I do have a classic almond shape and smaller opening common amongst Asian people. It comes down to experience and I guess Pittsburgh just does not have enough Chinese people willing to undergo Lasik so no data is collected. I don’t know what my alternate route would be but this article did help in erasing some of the uncertainty and fear I had about what went wrong: http://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/refractive-surgery/news/print/ocular-surgery-news/%7Bb1a47ec2-9bf8-40ce-b1b9-a8daa70e5c19%7D/with-proper-technique-you-can-overcome-the-challenge-of-lasik-in-asian-patients.


There was a big snow storm on Saturday and Sunday so here is my lovely Pangur Ban’s reaction to feeling snow for the first time!    I used VS metallic alternating with the gel effect polish from Ipsy. The top coat on the dark purple is Essie’s luxe effects in blue glitter. I was feeling a dark, sparkly mani to cheer me up.

Another therapeutic activity I did this weekend was coloring in my adult coloring book! It’s super trendy and a fun way to spend time during a snowstorm. I used a crazy amount of gel pens but I see others using color pencils.


5 Comments

Nail Stickers! 

  The polishes I’ve used are both from my Ipsy bags. The dark purple is a gel formula and the pretty lavender is from Trust Fund Beauty. I can’t really tell the difference between this gel formula and non-gel. It feels glossy going on but doesn’t dry any thicker or glossier than a regular polish. Guess I will judge after a few days if it chips or not. Check out the cute yellow flowers on my third finger! I bought a set of nail stickers last week and they are a success! Looking forward to easily decorate my nails without any free-handing!
  Mmmm…look at those yummy bowls of noodles! On our most recent date night, the hubs and I went to Noodlehead, a hip, cash-only Asian-fusion place in Shadyside. I got the Street Noodle tempura shrimp with the Hong Kong style thin egg noodles. Hubs got the Chang Mai Curry which was flat noodles in a thick coconut milk spicy sauce topped with sliced chicken and a nest of crispy egg noodles! We finished every drop. It’s not a lot of food for the price but it was definitely tasty. Look for Kathy D’s review on Yelp! http://www.yelp.com/biz/noodlehead-pittsburgh

 I like to end on a fluffy note! My cute little Pangur Ban loves enclosed spaces.


2 Comments

Kitten Dreams 

The most important event that happened to me since my last post was that I am officially a pet owner! I adopted this sweet, tiny little kitten! My husband and I decided long ago that if we were ever to get a cat, its name would be Pangur Ban. We were inspired after watching the animated feature The Secret of Kells. There was a clever ghost cat named Pangur Ban her own theme song. My mom keeps pronouncing it wrong and calling her “Pikachu” or “Peter Pan.” Her Chinese nickname is also acceptable–Xiao Mimi.

Pangur Ban’s mother is a feral cat and I saw a picture of her; she is a gorgeous long-haired sweetie pie with a glossy heather gray coat. Pangur Ban has the potential to be a beauty queen when she grows out of her kitten scruffiness! She is the newest love in my life, and both the hubs and I adore the crap out of her!


  
  I’m starting July off right with a sophisticated mani. This is an e.l.f shade called Nude and the ring finger has a topcoat from H&M that goes spectacularly with a blush background. I wish every glitter shade I own could look like this bottle. It’s also easier to remove than those obstinate chunks of crazy glitter.

 The hubs and I attended another round of high tea (because I am obsessed with everything tea!). This time, our location was Flowers in the Attic.

Pros:

-Victorian house setting was perfect and beautiful

-Shops, galleries and gardens all around and inside the house were fun to peruse

-Size and taste of sandwiches were great. High teas tend to lean heavy on the sweet side so it was nice to be able to call this a brunch

-Iced tea was an option and came with its own small carafe for a refill

-Our server was great and attentive

Cons:

-Even with my Groupon that I already paid for, there was still an additional $15 charge for tiny amounts of food. Guess I’m paying to be in the house?! The same Groupon for the fancy Omni William Penn was only $25 for 2 people with ZERO extra charges.

-No credit card option. I at least thought I could pay the extra charges with plastic but that wasn’t an option. *sigh* I seriously will avoid small businesses if they don’t let me pay with credit card. I will even pay in bitcoin before counting out coins and crap.

-Desserts here were lacking. No fruit on the side, no devonshire cream, and the scones were as big as my finger. Uh…this is not worth $24 a person. Yeesh.

-Mandatory included gratuity of 20%. I felt better about tipping at the Omni because it was up to me. Forcing a fixed amount to the customer is in bad taste especially since everything else was so overpriced. Pay your servers a living wage so the burden of their paycheck doesn’t fall to me.

Bottom line: will I recommend this place or visit in the future? Nope. Cute experience, but not even another Groupon can lead me back here.