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Blogosphere, Expat Life, Other Stuff

Oman’s Blogging Scene

March 5, 2015

The blogging scene in Oman is alive and kicking.

There are plenty of us doing our thaaaang and thankfully there is more than enough room for all of us. We are a diverse group of keyboard addicts, gossipers and photographers who all like to tell a different story and find our niche. That is what makes it so interesting.

Many of the previously well known (and also controversial) bloggers have faded away and as we now hear so often “the blogging scene just isn’t what it used to be”, yeah that is because we are trying to stay out of jail, thanks! We keep it clean. Mostly.

So here we are, the best/most interesting/popular/diverse/fun blogs that Oman has to offer at the moment.

(These are in no particular order)

The Duncan Adventures

Muscat Mutterings

How to live like an Omani Princess

Badermania

Oman Collective Intelligence

Fat Su

Aish elaqtta

Life outside the M25

Jo in Oman

Sew Chic and Unique

Salim Al-Harthy photography

Scottie Hack

Oman Coast

Rummy’s Scriblings

Omani Cusine

Foodishly In Love

Dhofari Gucci

Terence Pereira

Najia Expat Wife

My passion for cooking

Adopt a pet in Oman

Shots and Socks

Thank you to everyone who takes the time and effort to write these blogs to keep us updated and in the loop with what is happening in Oman.

If you spot that I have missed anyone then please drop me a line and I’ll add them in!

Family Life, Other Stuff, Pregnancy & Baby

Monster Mash Bash

February 1, 2015

Your babies first birthday is a big deal and what better way to mark the event than with a huge party surrounded by family and friends?!

This weekend we celebrated with a fun filled, colourful monster themed bash. Why a monster theme? Well, because he really is a little monster! (You could also use the words terror, hooligan or rascal)

The party planning started weeks in advance with HOURS of crafting and creating homemade monsters.

The invites were sent out calling all fellow monsters to join us.
(Invites designed by the very talented Terence Pereira)

Party Invite

As the birthday boy awoke a whole year older he opened his sleepy eyes quite confused, I had filled his bed full of coloured balloons. When the initial confusion was passed he wriggled out of his sleep sack and loved jumping on the balloons and throwing them.

01 Birthday baloon boy

As the main party event drew closer the whole house was transformed into a monster theme with decorations filling every nook and cranny.

01 Welcome monster

01 Hanging Monsters

Colin couldn’t help but be a kill joy for the event….

01 Colin killjoy

As the guests arrived lots of homemade tasty party food was served, including some party favourites – marshmallow top hats!

01 Party top hats

What party is complete without a fruit vomiting monster?!

01 Birthday fruit monster

Sadly I do not have a single photo from the actual party as we were too busy having a great time but the event was a great success and everyone themselves.

Birthday family photo

Our little monster was totally spoilt with love and generous gifts from all the partygoers. Thank you to everyone who could make it and for the wonderful gifts!

Once the kidlets were exhausted and headed to their beds it was then time for the adults party…. There were a few sore heads the next day.

Lets hope Spencer doesn’t want another party until his 21st!!

Family Life, Other Stuff

2015 Coming Soon

December 31, 2014

Well 2014 has been one hell of a ride! I don’t even know how to summerise it to you.

Through the year there were extreme highs, some pretty horrible lows and a lot of random stuff in between. Even with the lows this has still been my best year yet.

I can’t wait to see what 2015 has to throw at us.

Thank you for staying with me through 2014 and I hope you will still be with me in the New Year.

Now go get your glad rags on, it’s time to party!!

Heather x

Blogosphere, Other Stuff

Featured in Y Magazine

December 30, 2014

This morning I am having a quick cuppa and catching up on this weeks Y Magazine.

To be included in their feature of “notable” people in Oman is very flattering. Little old me is in there next to some very impressive people. Thank you for all your support!

If you can’t get your hands on a hard copy then you can read it online here.

Now I’m going to try and write some New Years resolutions.. Lets see how long these last hee hee.

Blogosphere, Other Stuff

Subscribe To Email Alerts

December 22, 2014

Keeping up to date with all the new blog posts and juicy gossip has never been easier. By subscribing to email notifications you will be alerted as soon as there is some sparkly new content online.

Signing up is super simple. So c’mon slow coach, What are you waiting for? 🙂

On the right hand side of the page (under my picture) go to “subscribe”, then pop in your email address and follow the instructions.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Subscribe

You can also keep upto date on Facebook and Instagram.

Heather x

Food & Entertainment, Other Stuff

Festive Shortbread Biscuits

December 17, 2014

Christmas is coming and the Blogger is getting fat, or maybe it’s the goose. Maybe it’s both of us?

Today I was whipped up some deliciously easy and very festive shortbread biscuits.

I wanted to share this easy peasy recipe with you so you can impress your family and friends over the Christmas period.

Here’s a few things you will need:

2 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of icing sugar
2 Tbsp Caster sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Sift Flour and salt together and set aside.

In separate bowl sift icing sugar, add the butter and cream together until smooth.

01 Pastry

Gradually mix in the flour and salt and mix until incorporated. Don’t over do it.

Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to rest for 40 – 60 mins,

Roll dough out until 1cm thick. If your dough is too crumbly to roll add a small bit more butter or a tiny splash of milk.

01 Raw Stars

01 Raw Stars2

Use your cutter to cut the dough to shape. This small star shape from Lakeland (1 omr), it is cheap but the Christmas effect is perfect.

Transfer dough cut outs to the baking tray. Sprinkle a generous amount of caster sugar onto the raw biscuits. It is Christmas after all.

Pop in the oven for around 15 mins or until the tops are starting to turn golden and the underside is firm.

01 Cooked Biscuits

Once cooled, sift icing sugar on top for a Christmas snowfall effect.

Now is the most important step – kick back with a cuppa and enjoy your spoils.

01 Tea and Biscuits

I may or may not have eaten 4 whilst I took the pictures… The Blogger is definitely getting fat.

Expat Life, Other Stuff

Time to unwind at The Chedi Spa

December 12, 2014

Having kids can really take it’s toll on your mind and body. You can spend your time catering to their every whim and sometimes forget to take care of yourself.

It’s been a tedious week in the Duncan house with the husband away on a trip and the bambino picking up a sickness bug so I was in desperate need for a little “me” time.  I booked myself into the Spa at The Chedi Muscat. Doing something purely for me felt naughty, like a sneaky little secret.

Arriving at The Spa is an experience in itself as I hopped into a golf buggy that was to deliver me to the Spa door. We scooted our through the manicured gardens, past the bubbling water fountain and pulled up along side the famous Chedi Long Pool.

04 Chedi

Stepping into the tranquil Spa greeted by warm inviting smiles I met Wenti who would be taking care of me. She ushered me off into one of the 13 spa suites where I changed into the robe and slippers. Don’t you love that part about a Spa or a hotel?

As my feet were soaked and treated to a sea salt scrub I sipped on a refreshing drink of hibiscus and cinnamon before it was time for a massage.

01 Chedi

 

My massage of choice for the day was the Ila Tibetan Ku Nye

“This body treatment honours and resects the ancient Tibetan traditions of healing, restoring, harmonising and strengthening the body’s natural flow of energy. A blend of wild-grown essential oils combined with traditional techniques of cupping, acupressure, kneading, rocking, hot stones and pultices to purify the five elements of the body, stimulate the lymphatic system and energise the subtle body and meridian system”

 

03 Chedi

As I settled on the heated massage bed and allowed Wenti to begin immediately I felt all stresses melt away from my body. My body slipped into ultimate relaxation. My limbs felt fluid as my body was kneaded from head to toe. Pure bliss!

After 90 minutes of beautiful massage we then moved on to a 30 minute facial. Living in such a dusty, humid environment can take it’s toll on your skin. A facial is always great way to rejuvenate your skin to get rid of toxins.

Using lots of beautiful smelling lotions and potions my face felt purified and naturally glowing after some much needed TLC.

06 Chedi

Like all good things in life they must come to an end, slipping back into the real world was a struggle! I wanted to stay at the spa longer.

Before I got changed I clicked the obligatory robe selfie..

Robe selfie

Once dressed I headed along to the Spa Lounge to slowly wake up again overlooking stunning views of the ocean.  Sipping camomile tea and enjoying the view I felt brand new, a million miles from what I felt just a couple of hours earlier.

07 Chedi

Leaving feeling calm and serene I meandered my way back through the gardens again to head home to the mad house.

This was by far the best spa experience I have ever had in my life!

10 Chedi

You can find out more about The Chedi spa here.

Now I know what I will be asking Santa for this Christmas!

Monthly Favourites, Other Stuff

November Favourites

December 3, 2014

As November has packed up and sauntered off for another year I wanted to recap my top 5 favourite things from the month gone by before we get all festive for December.

You maybe noticed that I did a favourite post for September but then skipped October, life got a little too busy and combined with atrocious internet (Omantel, you suck!) I just gave up trying.. But here I am back for November and ready to try again so lets dive straight in;

 

1- New Website

 

Blog cover

At the start of November I launched the brand spanking new Duncan Adventures website. We are now officially a dot com!

The web design and complicated bits were all done by the fantastic Terence Pereira. You can check out his page here..

I would love to hear what you think of the new site!

 

2- ‘Gone Girl’ book

01 Gone Girl book

After a long day with an active baby I love to take some time to relax and get lost in a good book. ‘Gone Girl’ written by Gillian Flynn was the perfect book to throw myself into. With mystery and suspense I couldn’t put it down, I was desperate to know how it ended. Especially after THAT twist in the story, I didn’t see that coming!

The movie, starring Ben Affleck, was released just as I was finishing the final few pages so I raced to the end of the book before I could watch it on the big screen. The movie was great but the book still trumps it, usually they always do.

 

3- Winter Weather

6 Penny shake

It was an incredibly long and hot summer here in Muscat so with the winter weather well and truly here we are planning to make the most of it. No longer are we confined to the house running the air conditioning all day, every day. We can step outside without our eyeballs burning and sweating like a running tap. Night thought, eh?

For the next few months at least we can play in the garden, take walks with the pram, BBQ outside and visit the beach. Ok, so it’s still about 30 degrees mid day but I’ll take that over 50 degrees any day!

Hurray for winter weather!

 

4- ‘Wood Winked’ MAC eye shadow

01 MAC eyeshaddow

This month my make up treat was a beautiful little eye shadow pot from MAC. Lets be honest, You can’t really go wrong with MAC.

This little gem in the shade “Wood Winked” is a perfect blend of copper, brown and bronze together which is especially flattering on blue and brown eyes. This shadow can be used lightly for a subtle day time look or can be incorporated into an evening Smokey eye look.

Wood Winked really helps my blue eyes to “pop” – I have worn it every single day for two weeks now!

 

5- National Day

National Day 1

On the 18th November Oman celebrated it’s 44th National Day. The whole country joined together to celebrate the occassion by decorating their cars, houses, attending events and dancing in the streets. It is a really beautiful thing to see how much the Omani people love and respect their Sultan.

I dressed Spencer in an Omani shirt by Razza Fashion (You can find these at TOTEM) and the owner Dr Sami uploaded the picture to both of his Instagram accounts where Spencer got over 3,000 likes. Very impressive!

National Day is a great occasion for both locals and Expats to join together and celebrate His Majesty and the wonderful country we live in.

 

 

 

So that is the round up of November, December is upon us which means my birthday this week and getting all festive in preparation for Spencer’s first Christmas – I cannot wait!!! 🙂

Family Life, Other Stuff, Pregnancy & Baby

Banana and Oat baby cookies

November 25, 2014

Babies like to use their tactile little fingers and slobbery mouths to explore with food and textures, it’s all part of learning. So is throwing most of it on the floor.

Fed up of spending so much money on expensive baby biscuits and cookies that are probably wasted, or in the stomach of the dog, I decided to make my own baby cookies. And what d’ya know, it turns out that the little fella loves them way more than the packaged cookies!

This recipe is super simple to follow, tasty and healthy and cheap to make – The chances are you probably have at least a couple of the 4 ingredients at home already. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Lets get started then!

10 ingreds

My recipe made 14 baby sized cookies, If you want more than that try doubling the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Just like making banana bread, it is better to have ripe bananas for taste and to mash easily. If, like me, you only have the unripe green ones I will let you in on a little life hack right now.. This may just blow your socks off;

Pop your unpeeled green bananas on a baking tray and place into your pre heated oven.

03 Green Banana

Leave them in the oven for around 15 minutes and when you remove them they should look a bit like below… Inside they will be soft and tasty like a ripe banana.

04 Black banana

Let them cool down before peeling and mashing.

Add all 4 ingredients into a big bowl and stir around until well mixed together.

**I used a jar of apple sauce that I had in the cupboard, you can also use babies apple puree. If I am making the cookies for myself I will scrap the apple and just use an egg instead, Spencer loves the apple taste though**

Spoon out a little mixture at a time and divide into bite size cookie balls. If your mix is a little too dry to stick together well then try adding a little milk – whether it is from a cow, breast or formula I’ll leave that upto you.

05 Raw Bites

Leave a little space between each one on the baking tray.

Pop them into the oven for around 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown and smelling delicious.

07 Cooked Bites

Voila! Look at that, cooked and scrummy looking.

If you want to make them a little naughier next time try some chocolate chips or raisins inside. I will store these in an air tight container for around 3 days.

Napping is hard work so when the Prince awakes he is ready to tuck into a tasty and healthy snack…

08 Eating

09 Happy Eater

I would love to know if you gave this recipe a try!

Heather x

– The inspiration for these tasty treats came from a great Blogger that I follow called Hannah Maggs. Click to check out her page.

Expat Life, Other Stuff

10 Best Blogs in Oman

November 5, 2014

A little competition is healthy, it keeps us motivated.

When I spotted a new list of top blogs in Oman I was eager to read on and find out if I was included in the top 10.

The list reflected the top 10 current/active blogs in Oman according to their popularity. It was posted by Oman Collective Intelligence, you can read his post here.

There is a huge and talented blogging scene here in Oman so I was delighted to make it onto the list. My site ranked at number 9. Next year I will do better Insha’Allah.

    Here are the links;

1- Muscat Mutterings

2- Dhofari Gucci

3- Omani Cuisine

4- Sew Chic and Unique

5- How to live like an Omani Princess

6- Y not Oman

7- Oman in Monochrome

8- Oman Coast

9- The Duncan Adventures

10- Arwa’s blog

While they aren’t the controversial and antagonistic bloggers that people used to love, it is refreshing to see that everyone on the list has their own niche and no two are doing the same thing.

Some other new and exciting blogs on the scene to check out are Aishelaqtta and Hey Fat Su