Tiny Horse

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


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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!