Tiny Horse

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


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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


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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!


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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May Mani & More! 

  I’m starting May off with a deep orchid color from H&M and alternated the sparklies from Wet&Wild on every other nail. Both bottles are minis and I love that I can actually use them up one day!  The weather this past weekend was a scorcher! In my solarium, the climate was tropical–nearing mid-90s! My dear friend flew all the way from Madison to spend a great few days together catching up, gossiping, exploring Pittsburgh and enjoying the house! Here is just a snapshot of how merry we were! I felt so flirty and summery in my new floral bodycon dress :).

  For our big dinner on Saturday night, we scarfed down 2 appetizers and an entree each at Squirrel Hill’s Ramen Bar. It cannot light a candle to other Ramen places I’ve been to but it was great as a regular restaurant. It took credit cards, at least. This picture shows “octopus balls.” Yep, there were pieces of octopus rolled into a doughy mixture and deep fried. It was topped with pork flakes and a Sriracha mayo. Delish.

 I ordered the Ajo Ramen, which was some pork strips sauteed with a bunch of garlic. It was not even pork belly, like what I’m used to in real ramen. The soup base was a simple shoyu, and tonkotsu was not even an option. What gives? No seaweed pieces and no braised egg. Seriously, is this even ramen or just a $11 bowl of instant noodles?