Tiny Horse

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


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Hot August Days

I used Formula X nail polish in this shimmery beige silk shade that acted as a great backdrop for my pink flower decal on the accent nail. I’m modeling on top of the book I just recently finished–La Casa de los Espiritus by Isabel Allende. It uses magical realism (as many Latin American novels are wont to do) and the stories are interesting but the female characters were weak and oppressed for the most part. The other characters are pretty frustrating and they don’t really develop or change. Still, a solid summer read.

I did a gradient look with 5 shades of purple. I probably have the most of purples because there were at least 5 others I could have incorporated if I had more fingers. They were a mix of OPI, Essie, Trust Fund Beauty and Pretty Woman NYC. Three of them were full size bottles from Ipsy bags!

The book I’m currently reading is How Are You Going to Save Yourself by JM Holmes. It’s a fictional (I hope) memoir of 4 young black friends on the East Coast growing up. I am about 3/4 of the way finished and while I don’t particularly mind the style or the quality of writing, the subject matter and events are deeply disturbing. I can’t relate to any of the characters or see the logic behind any of their actions and I find them despicable, immature and extremely selfish. Maybe the author will wrap up nicely with some morals or SOME type of positive message to go off of.

My daffodil turned one last month! I did the minimal amount of decorating for a small party and made her wear her birthday outfit (that’s it! She’s never going to fit this for her 2nd birthday…What a short shelf life!). I took her bow off halfway through her party but at least some pics!

I’m usually so good at recording and remembering every single gift Daphne has ever received but drew a complete blank as to who gave me her tutu birthday outfit!

The fanciest cake we’ve ever bought–swiss chocolate truffle ganache cake. It was heavenly.

Daphne is sporting one of her birthday gifts and accessorizing with a bright Kate Spade bag!

I wanted to give a shout out to @Spiritbearbath for sending me this lovely and pampering self care package as part of her giveaway on Instagram! She packed me 4 XL bath bombs, 2 essential oil rollerballs and 4 shower steamers. The aromas filled my hallway as soon as I opened the box! They all smell so soothing and relaxing! This was my first time using shower steamers and they are fun! You place one at the back of your tub and the hot water and steam will release all the essential oils throughout your whole shower! her products are all natural and high quality! Check out her shop on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/spiritbearbath#.

 

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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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Sustainable Me!

Essie ladylike nail polish paired with Estee Lauder’s bold glittery plum! I’m liking this tame mani for this frigid spring. The book I was reading at the time was The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I would describe it as the Gone with the Wind of Australian sheep country, lol. This thick tome is a sweeping multi-generation family saga. WWII even happens in the middle of it! The writing is superb and the story is gripping. It’s everything I love in a historical fiction drama, so kudos to McCullough!

Wow. You have no idea how lucky I consider myself to qualify for this voxbox from Influenster! I’ve been a member for a few years but rarely have the chance to receive any beauty goodies to review. Saturday Skin is actually a Korean beauty brand that is pretty much only selling via Sephora right now. These are full size products if you can believe it! Here is the breakdown:

-foam cleanser

-featherweight moisturizer

-hydrating sheet mask

-rub a dub dub peel gel

I tried every product and here’s my ranking:

  1. moisturizer – packaging is brilliantly hygienic! You have to push down and the perfect amount of product comes out in a flower shape. It’s so lightweight as the name suggests and it absorbs on my skin so well! This is great for day and night, all seasons!
  2. peel gel – I don’t normally like peel gels but this one wasn’t like ones I’ve used in the past. The consistency is opaque and not quite a gel, which I like! The microbeads disappear as you rub around and it really did feel like a gentle exfoliator!
  3. cleanser – lathered pretty well, easy to wash off but didn’t quite remove all my makeup residue (which I shouldn’t expect…but the claims!). Need to mention now that the scent of all these products are just juicy heavenliness. It was faint but each smelled like a fancy fruit like lychee mixed with green apple mixed with papaya.
  4. sheet mask – a bit tricky to use this right, haha! There were TWO pieces of mesh that you are supposed to remove. It was a slippery, kind of thick, chunky sheet mask. I also don’t like sheet masks very much (this is starting to change as I’m making myself try them more!) but I will have to say that my face felt really nice afterwards. I rubbed in the remaining essence and my skin felt plump and nourished.

Mmmmm…I still remember this meal so well. I made my own spice rub and dipping sauce for this majestic slab of pork spare ribs. Then we have my springy lemon butter garlic asparagus and honey drizzled jumbo buttermilk biscuits! Sparkling pink lemonade completes this filling meal! My dad was visiting that weekend so I had to show him a good time :).

I had my boss and her daughter over for dinner so I busted out some unique serverware pieces! Check out the tiny swords for spearing my sesame meatballs! Hubby baked lemon bars and that was a success! The main dish was my Thai peanut noodles using Chinese mung bean cellophane noodles! I love entertaining!

Had to share how cool Daphne looked in her “babyators.”

Oh, my sweet ray of sunshine! My little Daffodil is having fun in the solarium!

Color coordinating with her new mermaid doll. No big D, just have an innately fashion-conscious baby ;).

 

I want to document how 2018 is my year of sustainability! It didn’t start out as a definite resolution or anything but it’s turning into a great lifestyle choice! I’ve always been against waste and trying to cut down on the huge number of disposable products my household is dependent upon. Dish towels, hand towels and rags will always be my go-to for kitchen cleaning, for example. I’ll list out some of my green achievements for this year!

-buying my hubby a set of cotton men’s handkerchieves

He has constant allergies and is cold all the time so there’s a box of tissues in every room and he goes through them monstrously. With this set of 6 nice-looking hankies, I’m hoping to cut down on the massive number of tissues in our house! They are a light turquoise shade and very large in size!

-buying a set of 6 wool dryer balls

With a baby in the household, our loads of laundry have increased tenfold. With every dryer load, we use a dryer sheet and they really add up! After consulting with my crafty friends and reading tons of reviews, I bought a set of wool dryer balls to replace dryer sheets. They bounce all around merrily and knock out some wrinkles! I’ve also dripped a few drops of fragrant oils on them to help disperse the pleasant scent! So far I love them and I have not run into issues with increased static.

-using a menstrual cup

I bought this a few years ago but was too chicken to try it before. After womanning up, I did a trial run on my entire cycle last month and am convinced that this is the way to get rid of tampons for good! It is tricky to put in, even trickier to take out and a bit messy when emptying BUT…you can leave this in here much longer than you can with tampons and after the initial purchase price of this contraption, I can end my dependence on those pesky, TSS causing, expensive period sticks!


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Date Night

This nail polish lasted all of 1.5 days, haha. I used Korean beauty brand SEP’s liquid nail sticker in this beautiful creamy orchid shade. It really is a sticker! The brush was good and thick, the application was smooth but once it dried completely, you could lift up the entire thing! I think the point is to try different shades all the time without having to use polish remover but…wish the flaps would not come up so quickly.

This book took me a really long time to finish. I hate that I didn’t fully enjoy this autobiographical account of a woman’s literary teaching experience in oppressive Iran but it wasn’t my fault! The author was too self-important and focused on her own analysis of literary books to appreciate the actual interesting events that were unfolding around her.

So sad about the closing of Teavana forever…but happy to be able to finally afford their perfectea makers! I also ordered 2 Japanese matte tea cups out of this Honolulu boutique! This is sweetened mango black tea brewing in there :). So good. Currently obsessed with Adagio teas and Harney and Sons as well.

Last night, the hubs and I ventured out on our own for a real date night–the first time since little daffodil was born! We saw this avant garde German-based opera and then hopped downtown to the Milkshake Factory! What a cute cute place! Prices were high and portions were small but the taste was excellent! Decor was very on point and the whole place was so clean! Loving it.

Behold my Stroopwaffle deluxe sundae with bananas, chocolate dipped stroopwaffle pieces, vanilla ice cream, gobs of caramel, whipped cream…mmm…

This is their regular raspberry milkshake and it is CREAMY and rich, you guys. The raspberry even tasted like the real fruit instead of the syrup.

My Chinese New Year outfit! We got major flooding this past week so hence my red slickers!

Daph Daph has been crazy with her constant flipping! She is even starting to push backwards. Coming soon–crawling! Oh, my sunshine biddy boo. Turning 6 months and growing up so fast!

Ending with my other baby boo, Pangur Ban, as she is featured her oh so majestically. The weather has been unexpectedly warm so she’s been enjoying the great outdoors this week! Photo credit to my sis, who is great at capturing the many moods of the regal Pangur beast.


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The Start of 2018

Happy end of 2017! Gosh, I have such intensely conflicting feelings about 2017. For most of the year, I was in constant pain, discomfort and a state of anxiety. Pregnancy and delivery near broke my body. But after everything was said and done, I did welcome the most precious little bundle of joy who promptly stole my heart and changed the way I view life forever. Pain, nausea, swelling, acid reflux, massive weight gain, clumsiness…you name it, I got it! Throw in getting T-boned by a 79-yr old while 8 months along and you got yourself 2017 in a nutshell. I have to recognize that this was also Pangur Ban’s worst year, lol. She was confined to our house for the duration of my pregnancy and then demoted to 2nd place in our hearts and household after Daphne was born. It is a lot to take in for an adorable glamour puss. She surprisingly has been very friendly to the baby, even if she does like to hog the changing table at times. I can’t wait for little Daphne to be old enough to interact with Pangur Ban!

I’m sporting Revlon’s parfumerie line in Moonlit Woods with fruit water decals and loving it. This gray violet shade is metallic, opaque and smells like a sweet bouquet after drying! I want this entire nail polish line but it’s from several years ago. The scent lasts for about 2 days and you only need 2 coats for this thick, creamy consistency!

The mani is modeled on top of the first book I read in 2018–The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski. If you’ve read his other masterpiece House of Leaves, you’ll know this is an experimental horror book. The story was okay and it took about 1.5 hrs to finish the whole thing! There were many words misspelled on purpose but I’m not sure I liked that. I cringed every time I read these atrocities…

My MIL and SIL had fun putting Daphne in this old Radio Flyer wagon. She is the perfect size for this contraption! #cheeksfordays

Lucca the bordercollie was a lot better behaved this time around. We spent Christmas break on Long Island and I have to award Daphne with the best traveling baby award. She only cried for fewer than 10 minutes during the worst traffic between the George Washington bridge and LIE. Many adults have cried for longer. It took 9.5 hrs with 4 stops on the way there and 8.5 hrs with 2 stops on the way back.

Dog + Babby pic. Santa’s helper baby!

The week before our big Christmas trip, we took a smaller trip to Columbus, OH to celebrate my sister’s undergraduate graduation from Ohio State! Daphne slept the whole 3.5 hrs of that trip, the little angel. Here she is, posing sweetly at our scarlet and gray decked out hotel!

Oh, hi, Brutus! O-H to you too! The Schott was as big and chaotic as I remembered it.

With so many dog pics, I had to sneak in this cat pic too. This is Molly, my hubby’s friend’s gorgeous, long haired midnight beauty!

And to end this post with my little Daffodil in her lamby outfit :). To a less painful but more exciting year! Cheers!


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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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Baby Shower + Craziness 

This is the craziness part of my post. Two weeks ago, I had just gotten off work, pulled out of the parking lot and was going straight in my own lane when a Subaru Forester T-boned me all because he didn’t look left when he was making his right turn. There was no way I could have even stopped to let him in because he turned the exact moment I drove past–what a winner. Just look at the damage he did to my poor lil Civic! This guy’s wife hopped out of the car and had the gall to tell me off for driving too fast. Lady, the speed limit is 35 on this road and since I had JUST pulled out of my work parking lot before being rammed by your husband, the max I could have been going was realistically around 18 mph. A bystander had to point out the fact that I was pregnant because it didn’t even dawn on the actual driver. That lady was like, “Oh my, gosh, she’s pregnant!” Yep, hit by an 80-year old man while 8 months pregnant and being yelled at by his ignorant wife. What a Thursday. The policeman called an ambulance and I took a quick trip to the ER where the NP used the doppler to hear my baby’s heartbeat.

What I’ve learned from this incident that there are ZERO consequences for an at-fault accident in the state of PA. Basically, this terrible driver does not have to pay his own deductible for his vehicle’s repairs, his rate for his insurance will not rise for next year and he does not even get a ticket from the police for not yielding when turning onto a main road. WOW.

Can’t do any work with my Pangur Ban all cute like this. She is decidedly less cute in the mornings when she repeatedly bites me for no reason though.

This is the mint brownie milkshake from Red Robin. It was good but in hindsight, soggy brownie pieces at the bottom of a chocolate shake was not the best idea. I think I preferred the Oreo pieces for a bit of a crunchy texture but oh, well. Can’t complain too much about a milkshake.

Behold the perfect cake pop set amongst my gorgeous hydrangeas. My baby shower went well and it was super fun. I should mention super tiring for me as well since my out of town guests stayed several days. I was excited for this event but also relieved that it’s over :). My sister did a great job with the decorations and desserts. I got to see so many of my Ohio State friends and even rounded up a bridesmaids reunion! Now I am a little more prepared for my baby girl with all the onesies, diapers and accessories I received!

I’m not a fan of my current mani, funnily enough. The color in the bottle looked lilac fo sho but on my nails, it looks like the same exact pastel pink I chose for last month! Grrr…China Glaze, you shady! I tried this Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte shade on my accent nail and topped it off with a micro glitter coat but it’s still not doing much for me. I think it’s too muddy and dark of a brown and the contrast with this chalky pink color is not great at all. I’ll probably only wait 1 more week to change this one up. No more pinks!

I’m reading The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel Wilson right now and it’s pretty interesting. The narrative goes back and forth between time periods and 2 sets of main characters. I have an advanced reading copy from Goodreads but have not seen any typos so far–always a great sign!