Tiny Horse

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


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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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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 :(.


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Beachy Mani

I used an old Essie favorite: Turquoise & Caicos (Turks and Caicos being a destination I eventually want to venture to) and a marshmallow color from China Glaze on the accent nail. I added a metallic dragonfly nail sticker too; this time with a clear topcoat to seal the deal!

My hand is posing on top of the current book I’m reading called Dream of Ding Village. I admit I picked it up because of my namesake being in the title but when I read that it’s based off the real life story of the blood bank scandal in Henan province back in the ’90s, I thirsted to learn more about this event. Unhygienic equipment was used on many blood donors and hundreds of people were infected with AIDS as a result.

This was the feast laid out during the long weekend of July 4th where I spent it with my family in Cleveland. A new ramen bar just opened and we took my fam out to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Look at those milky bowls of tonkotsu broth! My dad was the only one to opt out of the ramen and try the seafood tom yum bowl. He was disappointed and definitely ordering ramen next time! I got to satisfy my pork belly cravings! My picky eater mom loved her chashao (aka char siu) pork bowl. Here’s my full review on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/otani-noodle-cleveland-3.

Another round of blossoms bloomed on my grounds and I made another bouquet. These wildflowers actually made it this year! How gorgeous is that fuchsia flower?!


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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?


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Birthday Fun 2013

I turned 26 on November 13th! I already feel like I’m a functioning, logical adult so my older age confirms this. But whatever age you turn, getting pampered never gets old 🙂

 

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Exhibit A: my coworker at the office bought me a huge chocolate cake complete with candles, matches and even a sweet card! So wonderful!

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A Madison-chain bar/restaurant celebrates my birthday with a free mug, birthday cocktail, burger, bracelet and sundae. Boy, do I feel special.

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The hubby took me out to a hip Asian Ramen & Dumpling bar downtown that I’ve wanted to go to since Valentine’s Day. We pigged out with these succulent pork belly mantou buns for the appetizer and sipped the warmed sake. I have to say that for me, sake > wine. I attribute that to the natural Asian-ness in my genes but the taste and aftertaste of sake is just so much smoother and pleasant than any type of wine.

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Main course time! These huge bowls of ramen were da bomb. I got the tonkotsu flavor–rich pork broth with fresh ramen noodles topped with flavor infused egg, braised pork, marinated bamboo shoots, nori and a generous sprinkling of scallions. Warmed me right up during this 30-degree weather day…

I was so shocked when I came to the US to learn that ramen noodles were considered a poor college kid’s dinner. It is totally not so. That rich broth itself takes like 2 days to perfect, if you’re serious about it. In China, poaching an egg in a bowl of noodles is no big deal; I thought it was pretty standard. I guess that’s why all my college roommates were so impressed by my “real” instant noodle meals. I chopped vegetables, sauteed meats, sprinkled scallions and poached an egg into every bowl of instant noodles from the Asian grocery store. Why skimp on the good stuff?

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Birthday dessert = heaven. Mango mochi ice cream atop drizzled chocolate sauce. Oh, my!