Tiny Horse

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


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Summer Tastings

I’m loving my fresh summer mani! I’m rocking Peachside Babe from Essie and this deliciously creamy baby blue from Adesse. Two coats each achieve this opaque look!

The book I’m reading right now is one I had my eye on for years, actually. The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis is a bit heavier than I was expecting but it’s better that way. She writes of the Armenian conflict, which I previously knew nothing about. I can’t get past this annoyingly consistent typo of “no one” being spelled like “noone” though. The first time I caught this, I thought it was just a sloppy typo. However, this book spells it this way every.single.time. Like, what? There were other spelling mistakes (not just typos) and for this being a published book (as opposed to ARCs which I’m more forgiving about), it’s just not acceptable. Mistakes aside, I am enjoying the story so far.

Yum, this very Instagrammable drink from Aldis made me feel oh-so fancy! I added some ice cubes and fresh mint leaves for the ultimate summer drink. It’s sweet and floral and reminds of all the sparkling elderflower drinks I had in Vienna. The value is crap though–you get this tinyass bottle for about $3.

Hubs made French toast from scratch topped with this fresh berry mix and real maple syrup. Yum!

Hubs also made this from-scratch quiche with red onion, spinach, bacon and cheddar cheese on top. I mixed us some OJ + pineapple wine +San Pellegrino mineral water. Yum.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I visited my parents and we had an amazing dim sum brunch in downtown Cleveland at our old standby Bao Loong. I took this picture even before all the dishes came but just couldn’t wait to dig in!

I love that soooo many packets of desiccant came in this toddler snack’s packaging, enabling me to complete my makeup brush holder filler. These little balls serve as the perfect material to absorb any moisture from my brushes! This particular gray, clay type isn’t pretty like the transparent ones but it does the same thing!

Just utilizing my iced tea maker with this very tarte raspberry nectar! The color is gorgeous but the drink needed some honey to counter that blast of sour.

I received a voxbox this year! Success! These 3 skincare products from Bio Clarity simplifies a clear skin routine for oily, acne-prone skin!

This past weekend we went to a coworker’s party and someone brought this scrumptious spectacle of a cake! I’m told that it’s a turtle mocha cake from Oakmont Bakery. Wow. Daphne loved this!

As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing Republicans have done so far since 2016 was to get Cleveland to put up this sign and spruce up that area when they hosted the RNC. It was really fun hanging around the lakeside area!

This is the newest park we discovered–Mellon park! It was bigger than I expected and had a walled garden area. Loved it!


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Thoughts Here and There

Due to this book, I am behind on my reading goal for the first time ever on Goodreads. This substantial almost 900-pager is worth it though. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is griping, well-written, dramatic and so hard to put down. The main character is undeniably a whiny, uninteresting sad sack of a person but the events that happen TO him and the supporting cast are too fascinating.

I’m modeling my ombre green look from poison green to Tiffany blue to a seafoam green. I used this cute Pokemon nail polish in the shade Oddish, Essie and Nail Medic.

I’ve been running down my supply of bath bombs already this year and this one from Marshall’s was wholly unsatisfying. The scent close up was great–white tea and bergamot. But fizzled up in the bath? You hardly smell anything. I’m usually all about no dyes in food but in bath bombs, bring it on! So this white color totally did not do it for me. With bath bombs/fizzes, you really do have to go with quality brands.

I hosted a dinner + games party with my coworkers last weekend and someone brought this gorgeous lemon trifle cake! She made it and brought a small dish of blueberries and strawberries to top it off! Apparently the marigold on top is edible but to be safe just threw it away.

Wow. My mom’s spare ribs are better than any restaurant’s! She’s trying this Northern Chinese recipe that calls for a dash of brown sugar and honey. Oh my glob…

Our pond might be covered up, but with this powder sugar dusting of snow in the winter, it looks fairly picturesque ;).

When Daphne was being difficult one day, my hubby knocked down a framed picture from the wall and the glass broke. I wanted to save the glassless frame by spray painting the wooden frame gold and then painting a piece of cardboard with 2-3 layers of chalkboard paint. I then finished it up by taping all edges with this festive roll of washi tape from the brand Meri Meri.

Homemade French onion soup with a piece of provolone cheese on top and a sprinkling of parsley. Mmmmm! Cold weather comfort food goodness!

I bought this fruit tart bed for Pangur Ban but she shows no interest in it. Daphne will grab some of the fruit pieces from time to time to play. This is targeted Facebook ads working on me, lol.


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Voting!

The only window of opportunity I had to vote was after work and after picking up Daphne from daycare so she accompanied me :). My voting area did not hand out stickers but I did get a receipt! I was looking forward to Nov. 6th more than my own birthday next Tuesday, hahaha. I stayed up late last night to watch the live election results and while it was better than the 2016 disastrous results, some key races were still disappointing. But having a record midterm voter turnout is a still a win!

I haven’t had a manicure for a while so this autumn look is a big deal. The dark green shade is Formula X called Huntress (fitting). The light gray is from Essence with a confetti-like topcoat from Sally Hansen.

I’m modeling my mani on top of this weird, weird book called The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken. This was translated from Norwegian and I’m sure some things were probably lost in translation…I wouldn’t recommend it because I don’t even know what I read. There’s no plot and no payoff for character investment.

Yep, it’s about time for another Mimiboo picture! She’s been hanging out on Daphne’s changing table again, lol. Look at how fluffy she is!

I haven’t shared any pictures yet from my Central Euro trip back in September so here are just a couple from my last full day in Budapest. Hubby and I spent nearly all day at the Gellert Baths, which had and indoor swimming pool, outdoor wave pool (pictured) and a few thermal baths inside with varying temperatures. Ahhhhh, so needed after trekking all over Prague and Vienna!

This particular bath was 38 degrees Celsius. Check out those mineral deposits on that fountain! It ain’t no blue lagoon but I always appreciate a natural geothermal spring!

This was right in the lobby of the Gellert hotel. The spa was underground. Overall, I think I preferred the Szcheny baths because of the huge selection of different indoor baths as well as the giant outdoor ones with jets!


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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.