Tiny Horse

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


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Quarantine Time!

This mani has been lasting me a while and I’m kind of proud of it even though it looks pretty rough. I chose a faint lilac from Essie and a creamy lavender from Adesse. No topcoat yet I’m going on the second week with only a few chips. 

The book I’m modeling on top of is Eat a Peach, by David Chang. It’s a really interesting, colloquially written memoir that is fascinating for fans of Momofuku, the various Netflix series he’s in or just for fans of Chang himself. See my full review on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3228153296?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Both Daphne and I are in love with this 6-pack of bath bombs! I got them from Amazon and they are literally da bomb. I’ve already ordered MANY boxes/sets of bath bombs/fizzies with surprise toys inside and while the element of surprise is exhilarating, my luck has been terrible and I keep getting repeats within the same package. Two unicorns, two whales, two penguins…enough already! Give me some variety! These aren’t cheap at all! So this particular set already had each toy showing in the packaging, which is great for people who want to see the goods! No repeats this way! The size of the bath bomb is large, the scent was nice and fruity and the coloring was STRONG. Just look at the hue of the water! No staining in the tub either afterwards! It did get quite slippery because of the essential oils. Here is the link I used:

 

Hahaha, this was such a random beauty product I bought in a bundle via Mercari back in February. You break apart the “spoon” like tool to mix the “yolk” part with the “white” to create this hydrating sleep mask. The scent was so nice and beautiful! This lasted me a week and half and while it did feel a bit thick upon application, you woke up with supple, smooth skin! Plus, it gets points for being super adorable.

Is this not the most perfect buttered brown toast you’ve ever seen? It’s French brioche toast that I browned on the skillet with a pat of butter and then topped it with my new obsession–clotted cream and an artisan blueberry champagne jam. Heaven!

I whipped my own cream with a pinch of sugar and it frothed beautifully when I put in fresh cut strawberries. Yummy dessert!

I baked drumsticks with a nice rub/glaze of: hoisin sauce, honey, cajun seasoning, black pepper, crushed mint, garlic salt, paprika. The broccoli was tossed in a similar spice mix albeit with drizzled garlic infused olive oil and parsley. The potatoes got a little more honey and olive oil. Yum. 

I got sent a box of Lola ulta thin condoms for review and I loved the look of them! I was only aware of Lola’s feminine care products like tampons, wipes so was pleasantly surprised to see them come out with condoms. The little box was discreet, cute and totally can be mistaken for a box of mints or paper clips placed on your nightstand, ha! So yes, they were ultra thin but the verdict was that they are a bit too tight. 

Amazon makes my wishes come true! I searched for tons of wax sealing kits and settled on this set with a hefty brass stamp. I am obsessed! I bought another set with pre-cut hexagonal wax pieces so that I could mix colors and go all out on this new hobby of mine! 

Here is everything in action! I’m melting 2 differently colored wax pieces in the tiny spoon heated by a tealight candle. This is really going to amp up my stationery game! 

April weather got me like…wuh? I’ve been enjoying our solarium a lot more and trying to catch some much-needed sun in there admist all the torrential rainstorms, freezing temperatures, snow or fierce winds! 

This is a pretty accurate Hogwarts House test I took last week via Facebook. I self identify as Slytherin but usually get placed in Gryffindor. I do believe I’m way more Ravenclaw than Hufflepuff though…

I filled up all the plastic eggs we had with fruit snacks and cheddar penguin crackers (off brand Goldfish) and hid them all over the house on Easter. Daphne found 85% of them the first day! Then over the next two days, found the rest. My hubby ended up finding the very last one in her toy watering can almost a week later though. Ha!

Quarantine times has probably got a lot of going stir crazy but I want to explain my nerves and feelings because they’re not quite like those of my friends, family or coworkers.

Things I’m tired of hearing:

-If she’s hungry she’ll eat (a big NOPE! So my 2-yr old has sworn off food and hubby and I have tried the gamut of tricks. Pediatrician is worried, we had an appointment with a nutritionist. So she’s fallen completely off the growth chart but the issue isn’t physical. It’s 100% behavorial and it’s driving all 3 of us nuts. Meal times are WAR TIMES in our household)

-The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. She’s tiny because you’re tiny. There’s no other reason (wow, okay, completely disregard my husband’s very normal height and weight and taller genes from his family. Explain why literally every single child I know who has two short parents have crazily exceeded their height and weight?! No, Daphne is not tiny because I’m tiny. I’m tiny because I didn’t eat real food until the age of 12 and starved myself and didn’t sleep. Sounds familiar but it might have been a physical ailment for me because I just didn’t like the taste of anything edible until turning 12. It was like something finally clicked. Unfortunately, I missed my growth spurt and only ever grew horizontally after that. I always have to explain that genetically speaking, my future height was projected at a healthy 5’4″ by multiple doctors that my parents visited when I was a child)

-I’m so bored while quarantined or I don’t know what to do with all the free time I have now that I’m stuck at home (okay, I will trade with that person’s life in a heartbeat no matter where they are living because all I want everyday is to have a few moments of free time. Being under quarantine has drained away my energy, my sanity, my freaking time and my life force. The closure of daycare centers and the essential nature of my work has caused all hell to break loose in my household. Both my husband and I are expected to care for our crazily difficult toddler while working full time jobs at home and maintain whatever routine and health and wellness we have left. She doesn’t eat, which I have already stated but she also skips naps and goes to bed late everyday, giving us no moment of rest. She is a full time job and even with our eyes on her, she manages to get various scrapes, cuts, bruises, bumps from EVERYWHERE. Her screams and tirades fill the house and I don’t remember the last time I was able to go to the bathroom without her following me. It might have been in 2018 when she didn’t walk yet. However, even with all these difficulties, I’m not one of the people complaining about social distancing. I’ll do whatever it takes so that more people don’t have to die from this pandemic. Turn your boredom to hobbies or even online browsing and shopping. I just want a minute to look at my goddamn phone!)


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The Ritual of Ayurveda

My Fall mani–featuring a classic vampy red from VS, Essie chrome and blue glitter topper.

Tryazon and Rituals sent me the Rituals of Ayurveda medium gift set to review! Look at this ultra-fem, ultra giftable box and arrangement! I’ve tried Sakura and Dao before but was slightly afraid of Ayruveda because it might be too spicy or strong. I was pleasantly surprised by the Indian rose and sweet oil scent because it was not too cloying or overwhelming. I found it very feminine and lush. Thankfully, there wasn’t any incense-like smell and it was not headache inducing at all. The scent lingers and feels very mature. I would definitely recommend it for an older female demographic like your mom, older sister, MIL, aunt, etc.

First time trying a Rituals hand liquid hand soap. It does not disappoint! This gave a rich lather and the boxy shape makes it seem really high end. My hands didn’t feel tight or dry afterwards.

The body scrub with pink Himalayan salt is wonderful. The scrub wasn’t too abrasive and the oils in it help with the application.

The foaming shower wash is an innovative way to lose the loofah! I’ve had issues in the past with the deluxe sized version because the nozzle dispensed too much at once but the full sized version seemed to be okay. The foam gave a rich lather and it felt like washing with clouds.

Lastly, the body cream was bomb! In every one of these gift sets, this one is my favorite because of how perfect the texture is. This cream is rich, thick, fast absorbing but not greasy! It is a joy to put on!

I bought a set of 12 bath bombs from Amazon that came beautifully packaged. Daphne picked out the first one we used–the coconut lavender! Fizzing action was medium and the color payoff was A+! Scent was almost non-existent but that’s not the worst thing when you’re bathing a 2-yr old.


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Sunny Days, Sunny Times!

I had luck with the whole chunky glitter at the bottom with an opaque color look so I thought I’d try this out again. I used a K-Beauty nail polish Pokemon edition (Oddish) and a H&M mermaid blush glitter top coat on the bottom half of my nails.

I’m modeling on top of the current book that is taking me quite some time to read but is well worth it–Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. I first heard of this book from the Seth Rogen/Barbara Streisand comedy Road Trip, and have since seen or heard allusions of it here and there. If you also thought this book would be about a charming (perhaps haunted) English village called Middlesex…you would be dead wrong! It’s about the life and times of a Greek hermaphrodite and her/his generational saga. Glad I picked it up at the library book sale; it really is interesting and educational.

I tested Christian Siriano’s new fragrance In Bloom recently and it is marvelous! I would best describe it as a tidy, sweet floral scent. It’s definitely feminine and while ephemeral, is still pleasant to reapply often. It sits well close to the skin because it’s not sharp or overwhelming. It’s no unique Jo Malone signature, but it’s a comfortable and young summer/spring fragrance!

I also just tried Aveeno’s new oat mask with pumpkin seed extract and enjoyed using it. I applied with a brush and it was thick, creamy and layered very well. It smelled like leftover cereal and had Pangur Ban sniffing me like no other. Not revolutionary but a nice, relaxing mask at night!

I call this picture “Ladies in Yellow.” Totally accidental that my sister, my mom and I are all wearing sunny shades while touring the lovely Frick grounds.

I hosted a bomb dinner party last week and cooked:

-seared Kielbasa with sweet organic green beans from my mom’s garden! Topped with some sesame seeds and Asian seasoning.

-sauteed edamame with sliced garlic, sea salt and olive oil. This was my personal favorite.

-mango curry with onion, sweet corn and chives over tri-colored rotini

-Not Pictured: blood orange Forte iced tea sweetened with Teavana’s rock sugar

Our microwave broke, leading to many meals of fancy salami bites, mozzarella balls, tomato, chives all heavily drizzled in olive oil and spices!

I attended the a wedding in the heart of downtown Chicago and checked off another “first.” First time attending a wedding in an art museum! The ceremony was held in the sleek and well-air conditioned modern art wing of the Art Institute. The reception was upstairs with a gorgeous view of the city and very clean hardwood floors.

The night of the wedding, we stayed at the Blackstone hotel, quite a swanky upper-crust Marriott line. Service was very meh, but at least I got to see the floor where they host weddings.

We also attended the after wedding dim sum brunch in Chinatown! I got to show off one of these outfits I never thought I’d pull off before that day!

My sis and I toured Pittsburgh’s Trundle Manor, by appointment only. What a hodgepodge of grotesqueness and oddities! I was hoping the place was an actual manor, but alas, it’s just a cramped old house with taxidermy, lol.

Blackstone corner room with a view!

Lovely cake that had a passionfruit creme layer. Yum.

Crossing off a bucket list item: seeing Hamilton!!! Every bit as wonderful as it is/was hyped. We splurged to get relatively okay seats. Over $200 though…how do people see more than one show a year? Yikes!

You might not be able to tell in this picture but it was the hottest day in the hottest city of the year. It was TORTURE walking outside. We had to duck into air conditioned stores on the way to the theater multiple times.

Hubby’s meager soft shell crab salad from Sunda.

My way superior Cantonese style noodles with seared pork belly, shrimp, chinese sausage, Chinese vegetables.

What a bourgie hotpot looks like in a trendy Chicago restaurant ;). Delicious, but it was for two people.

Enjoy this picture of Daphne with her ride at the Car and Carriage museum.


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The Ritual of Dao

Feast your eyes on the best presented bath and body gift of 2018! Thanks so much to @ritualsusa and #tryazon for this review opportunity. You’ve made one stressed out girl very happy!

Is that gold-embossed textured cardboard boxing with satin ribbon and gift tag? Yup. That’s how fancy #ritualsusa is with each of its gift set lines. I received the Rituals of Dao calming treat. It contains 4 items:

-foaming shower gel

-body cream

-shower oil

-bath scrub

This scent is supposed to have white lotus and yi yi ren (a Chinese herb with medicinal properties good for digestion). For me, as with other Rituals fragrances, the scent comes out too heavy and mature. It’s luxurious and expensive smelling, no doubt, but not quite calming or lingering. The product themselves are all high quality and great for everyday use (except the scrub. I would only use that about 2-3x a week). The tagline is well deserved as using these products definitely increase your fancy level and helps to #shareyourslowdown. the best description for the Dao scent would be an expensive forest, haha. It is a green, leafy scent mixed with an earthy incense flavor.

Rituals of Dao set + rose candle = calming treat for Kathy!

I am in my super soft hooded robe (from Ulta 2017!) and enjoying a few minutes of me-time without the baby, hubby or even kitty! It’s been a tough few weeks with sickness in the family and overwhelming work so even a trip alone to the bathroom, 30 min of reading before bed or a few minutes spent ogling this gift set has been a treat!

I’ll end with Pangur Ban trying out this gorgeous mooncake box!


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Save the Day Seasonings!

Mmmm! I got to host a @SavetheDaySeasonings party courtesy of #tryazon and #savethedayseasonings this past weekend! My family was visiting so it was the perfect time to try out many of these spice blends and attempt to impress my mom, who is a reigning chef ;).

For the filling of these magnificent wontons, I sprinkled some of the Chinese blend. It’s a nice, mild savory blend with sesame seeds. My mom also added soy sauce, sesame oil and chives. In the soup, I put out some hot chili oil (our fave) for an additional zing!

There is a braised pork dish, stir fried lotus root with scallions, mixed vegetables and Kielbasa (air-fried with the Philips Airfryer!), egg fried rice and pickled radishes. We used the Thai, Alvi’s Incredible, Strong ARM and Super Strong ARM packets with great results! Alvi’s Incredible won the popular vote by way of versatility! It’s perfect for being not too salty but still flavorful!

Even Daphne enjoyed a few bites!

That same day at work, my coworkers joined me in trying out a smaller potluck-style tasting event and were thrilled to go home with some of the blends! I used the Mexican blend and Alvi’s Incredible for the summer squash chicken stir fry and my go-to classic, cucumber salad.


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Healthy Baby Home Party!

I lucky enough to be chosen to host a healthy baby home party courtesy of Seventh Generation! As a host I was provided with a whole slew of incredible baby safe products from Seventh Generation as well as many other reputable brands. You can see the stash below!

I organized like a madwoman and had a lot of fun putting together the guest gift bags stuffed with goodies! Daphne is a tiny peanut so she even fit the little Zarbee’s onesie! Hurray!

We had a good spread for everyone who attended. I opted for buffet-style so everyone could serve themselves while keeping conversations still going.

Proof that Daphne was simply enamored with the chocolate flavored kids protein shake! She didn’t handle the straw well but liked the taste after I gave her some in a different container!

At the main party, we had moms, grandmas and babbies represented! The trivia game was a big hit! It was also surprising because we had all thought our scores would be higher before taking the quiz! I had all the hubbies participate too and it was nice to share some of the facts. We talked about the lack of regulation for feminine products and I was able to provide awareness (as well as samples!) of how most tampons and pads on the market do not even contain cotton. This particular group was quite crafty and we talked about upcycling and recycling many things like containers, wrapping paper, tissue paper to make other of other products!

For many who could not attend the main party, I hosted another much smaller version at work and got some dad representation! Gourmet cupcakes were provided :). There were more but we ate the other box too quickly!

The conversations were very different and we focused on different styles of childcare and techniques that worked or didn’t work for us. No one had heard of this brand before and it’s fun introducing Seventh Generation to others because I can say with confidence that it’s safe for babies to use and even household products are included in that!

The disinfectant turned out to be a popular prize because everyone had really active kids (mostly boys from this group) who played outside a lot of the time.

Overall, both groups had a great time convening, chatting, sharing and learning! Thanks so much, Seventh Generation!


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Codenames Marvel!

Here we go! This past weekend, I hosted several rounds of #Codenames @Marvel edition! Thanks to @usaopoly and @tryazon! The funny thing is, I had never played any version of Codenames before. Everyone in the group had played at least the base game before so I turned out to be the n00b! I was under the impression that you had to be a pretty good Marvel fan in order to play but nope! The barrier to entry to this game is really low and it’s versatile for all ages! Nate’s daughter ended up beating my team on the 2nd round! You just have to be good at giving and getting visual clues. The alternate way to play is just with the words on the back of the cards. I think I prefer the pictures because it’s fun to look at the art but it’s nice to change things up too!

I played as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. on all the rounds while hubby played as Hydra :).

These guys got competitive during the later rounds! They didn’t want to be pictured at first but I got them in the end, hehe.

Daphne is modeling the prize pack! She helped in the game by grabbing cards off the table, removing the already placed markers and smushing the bags. I would say she added a certain random element ;).

Overall, everyone had a blast and this is definitely getting added to my arsenal of social icebreaker games for future game nights! I will keep on playing and keep on hosting!

@usaopoly, @czechgames, @Marvel #codenames, #usaopoly and #tryazon

Oh, and my post won’t be complete without showing off my mani of the week and the book I’ve been reading for a while. Here is my take on summery ice cream names! Sorbet frenzy or gelato soiree! I used Essie for 2 of the colors and Pretty Woman NYC for the rest.

This book The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks definitely has the potential to be a thrilling historical fiction set in Elizabethian times, but it is way longer than it needs to be and it’s cringeworthily obvious at times about setting up the love interests. I’m just halfway through and it’s been almost 3 weeks so I’ve started reading 2 other books on the side simultaneously. *Sigh, it’s not cheating if you eventually go back to the main book, right?


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Rituals Review

I was recently selected to participate in this unique and lovely sampling opportunity from @RitualsUSA via @Tryazon. I received an exquisitely – packaged 4-piece luxury bath set.

Rituals has an assortment of different scents of products and it’s unique that each scent is its own line! I received the Ritual of Sakura foaming shower gel, body cream, shower oil and body scrub in their travel deluxe sizes all in a gorgeous keepsake box. This set retails for $28 at Ulta, Macy’s and Amazon.

First of all, the scent…It’s feminine, sweet and flowery. All the products give you a really strong burst of the scent as soon as you open the bottle and also as you are using them. However, it does soften after the application but unfortunately, does not linger quite as long as I expected. So for me, it’s too heady to begin with but does not have nearly enough staying power. It is different from the Bath & Body Works version of all their cherry blossom varieties.

The body cream was the most effective product! It had the perfect texture of a thick, substantial body butter without the tackiness or greasiness. This absorbed like a dream and was so easy and smooth to apply. If you go for any of the products in full size, I’d recommend this one! It really does scream high quality and luxury. I put on my summer silk robe and felt like a pampered lady indeed when I used this product!

This foaming shower gel was the most innovative of the set! You shake this baby and pump out this milky, translucent looking gel that instantly transforms to a thick foam and gives you an amazing lather in the shower! The only drawback of this product is that you end up using too much at a time. A little goes a long way but that pump makes it hard to control the amount that comes out so I’ll be running out of this real soon!

The scrub had very fine granules so the exfoliating feeling is quite gentle! All my body scrubs are pretty abrasive and contain big sugar chunks so this was a pampering alternative!

The bath oil really seemed like the most luxurious simply because of the feeling you get of being enveloped in a fragrant oil. I literally closed my eyes during the application in the shower, haha!

If anything, these products together formed a pleasant routine or ritual, I should say ;). Ah, see what I did there? As a working mother of a young babby, it felt like stolen moments when I could actually take time for myself and indulge in a seemingly mundane act of cleansing oneself. These 4 products made that mundane task seem like a luxurious slow-mo moment. Everything they claim comes through! Probably the only suggestion I would make to this company is to consider a crisper/fresher scent formulation. I love the products and their textures but the Sakura scent was too much even for a scent-crazed being like myself. To go along with the Asian theme, I would pick osmanthus (my favorite scent in the world) or lychee instead.

To wrap up this post, I of course have to show off my mani (Essie + Sephora) and the book I was reading at the time. The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go by Amy E. Reichert was a fast read that was enjoyable but lacked depth in describing relationships. I gave it a solid 3 stars out of 5.


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Feelin’ Purple

Continuing January with a purple vibe, y’all! This is straight from my Ipsy bag; a nice full size nail polish from Emma with the shade Mia is my BFF. Someone needs to tell Ipsy they have sent every possible shade of purple already to me. I’m so ready to move onto a new color. Green? How about green?! I’m much lacking in the green department besides mint. My accent color is a petal French manicure shade from Sally Hansen. It’s all old and sticky and from my college days. Out it goes! Finally, I have come close to using up a bottle of nail polish!

I’m modeling my mani on top of the book I just finished: The Piano Teacher. It had an interesting narrative with good depictions of characters but the mystery was served a bit on the heavy side. I read the whole darn thing and still don’t know what happened to key characters and what exactly their crimes were.

I tried my hand at home-making ramen and here’s what I came up with:

-Chinese egg noodles (they come frozen)

-duck broth

-onions

-sweet Chinese sausage (I love this! So tasty)

-scallions

-egg

-red chili oil

-sesame seeds sprinkled on

-sesame oil

It was a great cold weather meal and the rendered duck fat in the broth added some umami!

I got to test out this dry shampoo from Unilever’s new brand, Love Beauty and Planet recently and it was bomb! Another Crowdtap opportunity! The scent is citrus peel and it is so refreshing for a dry shampoo! Usually, it smells like powder or that plasticky hairspray scent so a fruity fresh smell was the right choice! This didn’t weigh down my limp and fine hair so I highly recommend it! The size is also great for tossing into your purse or luggage.

I haven’t showcased my Mimiboo for a while so here she is! She wanted to nose in on my bath time :). Look at her ladylike little paws!


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Mani & Pedi! 

My bestie visiting from Columbus stayed with me this past weekend and we packed it with activities! We woke up at the butt crack of dawn (phrase she loves to use) on a Saturday to adhere Megan’s Loft’s hours. I went for a feminine spring lady look. The pink color is Suzie Pedal Faster and the accent nail is this soft purple with a metallic sheen that I forgot the name of. I asked for square shaped nails but I’m afraid she cut them too short :(.

Behold! My magnificently hued little toes! My first pedicure at a salon was quite nice. This is a new OPI color in a gorgeous shimmery periwinkle. The hot bubbly water, scrub and massage chair was definitely pampering! I can see how addicting it all is! This is perfect timing too because I’m counting on these colors lasting me ’til I hit the beach in San Diego!

Leanna and I chatted candidly…maybe a little too candidly in front of our nail tech ladies. We got more than few raised eyebrows and laughs. But hey, what’s spoken at salons never leave salons so I shall say no more. This also just naturally happens between besties who know each other too well. It has been a year since I last saw my girl, so we were throwing entirely too much shade and gossip!

Right after our nail appointment, we left for my coworker’s baby shower/belated wedding reception. Interesting combo, right? It was at a gorgeously upscale winery and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. These white chocolate party favors were the best! SO CUTE.

Look at that shimmery pink frosting! Hey hey! The topper is a plastic ring that fit on my middle finger perfectly :). My Mimiboo has claimed this as her new favorite toy already.

What a pretty ethnic rainbow we make!

And here is Mimiboo sleeping like a zombie. Her cuteness is just off the charts cray. 

This is the hand cream I currently use at my desk at work. I’m obsessed with it. It’s Tonymoly’s banana hand milk in a squeezable tube that smells like banana candy! It’s pleasant but I would say the smell goes away too quickly. I reapply often so it’s depleting at a pretty fast pace. I call it my nanner.

Hey hey, I got new kicks! Ordered these from China and they are just like the picture! Who doesn’t love a pair of platform oxfords?! They are a size 4.5 though so my feet are shuffling around in them :(. TOO BIG. Even in China, I am Thumbalina-sized.