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Muscat

Lifestyle

Braids Again!!!

Hmmm! This year seems to be in a hurry …I can’t believe we are already wrapping up the first week in March.

I would like to start this post by making reference to my previous post on braiding and fixing salon, and the innumerable emails I have received with respect to it. I’m glad a reasonable number of people benefitted from that post, but sadly the lady that braids there is no longer in Muscat, she is now based in Salalah (as at the last time we communicated).

Since she left, I resorted back to traveling to Dubai to make my hair (sad, I know) … I was just recently introduced to another lady that makes hair (but this time not in a salon), she has weaved my hair once and it was really nice.

Anyway when hubby suggested a getaway weekend in Dubai, I jumped at it because I was already considering making box braids. I like making braids in salons that have more than one braiding stylist (as found in most places including Dubai) because it takes lesser time when you have 4 or 5 people pulling your hair at the same time (Ouch! I can guess your imagination right now).

When listing the reasons I love visiting Dubai, hair braiding is definitely one of them …I made box braid yesterday. Although my scalp still hurts, I’m already loving it, and can’t wait to style it the way I want.

braids post

Despite the fact that braiding takes a longer time to make when compared to other hairstyles like weave, I still look forward to braiding my hair because;

  1. It is a protective hairstyle;

  2. It is easy to maintain;

  3. It can be rocked in different styles;

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Photo credit: natural belle

 

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Photo credit: Bella Naija

 

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Photo credit: Headquarters for hair

 

xx,

Stella.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

“Without Fireworks”

This post is coming a bit late because I have been taking more time trying to understand my new site. Moving from Blogspot to Wordpres is ‘kind of’ different for me (but I’m loving wordpress already).

Despite the fact that New Years Eve seemed slightly different without fireworks, I still had fun. It was nice having a taste of nightlife again with dear hubby (with a toddler and a baby, nightlife is a luxury)  … and yes, without the kids.

We celebrated the New Year at Shangri-La Resort, Muscat and their New Year’s Eve programme was lovely. It started with a buffet dinner and unlimited bubbly/beverage, then we proceeded to the Turtle Beach for the countdown party. There was live music at the party and also unlimited booze (drinks) and finger foods. We sang and danced until mid-night and then lit the floating lantern. Watching several other lanterns was magical to me, and also reminded me of our Thailand trip.

There was also an after party at the Shangri-La Ballroom. Instead of walking to the ballroom for the after party, I found myself heading to the room. I was already missing my little angels, and wanted to be sure they were coping fine with the nanny (she did a great job).

Below are some highlights;

 

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xx,

Stella.

Lifestyle

Mum about to lose it

I’m a Mum that is about to lose it …Hey Hey! I mean those extra pounds.
I have been yo-yo dieting, and my weight kept going up and down, but I guess it’s time for a healthy lifestyle (I know that it’s not going to be easy). I have now set up my own rules (from lessons learnt with my previous experiences) to lead a healthy lifestyle my own way.

My rules are;
1. Be Real; I am going to set realistic goals. It didn’t take me one month to gain all these, so why do I expect to lose them in a month? All I need to see is progress, and no matter how small, I will appreciate it.

2. Stop my Gym membership and have fun: Hahaha! Yes you read the lines right, don’t re-read it thinking I omitted a word. Since We moved to Muscat, I got a gym membership and never forgot to renew it every year(you would have expected to see some “Halle Berry” abs right?). If I didn’t write this now, you wouldn’t have known because my body has nothing to show for it … Hahaha!
Anyway I realize when I go to the gym for two weeks, it becomes more of an obligation which I don’t enjoy doing, so I end up stopping it, and when it’s a new year I rush back to renew thinking it would be different.

But now I’m going to have fun, I’ll do things I enjoy doing like taking a walk, dancing and would still use my little gym set up in my house. So now I don’t feel compelled to go to the gym based on membership but I choose to burn those calories based on the mood I find myself. Isn’t it fun?

3. Keep the scale away: I have noticed that whenever I start a weight loss journey, I get my eyes fixed on my scale and the numbers, if the numbers don’t go away as I expect I get angry and demoralized. Thereafter go back to where I started feeling the efforts I had made aren’t working. This time, I’m going to measure my progress with my cloth size. I Would bring a cloth from the immediate size below my present size and check if I can fit into it fortnightly, until I finally fit into it.

I started practicing these rules over a month ago, and below is Top of mine I managed to squeeze myself into;

I still have a long way to go, but at least this is a progress I’m happy to share.

4. Eat “Everything”: Apart from the fact that I’m still breastfeeding, and my baby still needs healthy nutrients from me, I have also noticed that restricting myself to a particular kind of meal is not a healthy long term weight loss goal. The moment you start eating other stuff not in the diet plan, the weight piles on again (yeah this my personal experience).
So this time around I’ll eat everything but “portion control” and “calorie count” would be my watch word.

5. I’m Not a Hollywood Mum: Yeah, this is what I’ll constantly remind myself. Hollywood Mums lose their baby weight in a month or two after delivery, but I have to remind myself that I’m not them. I don’t have the paparazzi around me, I don’t have millions of followers on social media, I don’t have a weight loss company putting pressure on me to be their brand ambassador, I don’t have the media discussing how long it has taken me to shed it …I’m just a regular mum, so why the pressure?

I’ll keep you all updated with posts on my progress or failures popping up from to time …lol

Stella.

Food

360° Oman

It’s been almost a year now since 360° restaurant launched in Muscat. I have heard and read reviews about this restaurant, but I haven’t visited the restaurant until the last Eid Holiday (unlike me …I know).

Hubby and I wanted a fine dinning experience and we felt like exploring instead of going to our regular restaurants. 360° came to our mind and we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant is located at the Penthouse of Al Nahda Towers 2, Ghala (Opposite Zubair Automobile). There are two similar towers, go to the one that has the Vaccha Hypermart.
On getting to the ground floor there is the restaurant hostess by the lift to welcome you. Since we didn’t make a booking (because we decided on the restaurant on our drive to the restaurant …lol), the hostess at the ground floor informed us of the dinning options, and we chose the live Teppanyaki.

By the lift at the Penthouse (which is where the restaurant is located), A waitress was already waiting for us, she also gave us a warm welcome and assisted us to the seat she had set for us (we were lucky that some seats were available at the live Teppanyaki section, because there are limited seats in that section, and customers usually make early bookings).

The restaurant has a fantastic view, with a huge space for groups or couples who would like to have some privacy. They also have a luxury shisha lounge (for those that love shisha) and outside seating area.

 This is part of the restaurant’s view

The waitress had good knowledge of the Menu, and was always there to make sure everything was fine

 …The Chef was entertaining (I wish I made a video …sad face)

I enjoyed all I ate there (The meal was great), here are pictures of my meal

 Delicious Sushi

I had already started eating before I remembered I needed to get a picture of this …lol

I enjoyed the dessert

  I will definitely visit again.

Stella.

Lifestyle

Nigerian Day in Muscat

The Nigerian day is being celebrated by Nigerians living in Oman every year.
Officially, October 1st is Nigeria’s National day, but here in Muscat different events are usually organized around this period to celebrate this day.

This year was no difference. There were various events like family day, sports day, symposium and the gala nite. For some reasons, most of the events didn’t fit into my schedule but I promised myself that I won’t miss the Gala Night which took place on the 11th of October, 2013.

This is a night that reminds you of the Nigerian culture especially with the different Nigerian cultural attire, Variety of Nigerians dishes, Green and White (colour of the Nigerian flag) decorations etc.

Below are some of the pictures;

There were lots to eat and drink

There was a section for kids entertainment

Some traditional artifacts

Beautiful Nigerian attire

…And then dance! dance!! dance!!!

It was really a fun-filled night and even these lovely cuties had fun socializing …xx

Stella.

Food, Lifestyle

The Mexican Restaurant

I can’t believe another weekend is almost over.
Whew!!! (am really stretching) …last week was a very busy week that I couldn’t notice the days passing by. I had to rest the whole of today(while preparing for the new week) and hardly stepped out.

OK, back to our Mexican gist … Last weekend, we (my hubby and I) felt like exploring meals, and while trying to decide, we agreed on a Mexican Restaurant in MQ.

Apart from the restaurants’ sign post, you may find it difficult to locate the restaurant because its main entrance is a thick door (which you can’t see through). We actually had to open the door to confirm they were not closed for the day.

Anyway, openning the main entrance door, you would notice two other entrances, one leads to the restaurant and the other to their bar.

What caught my attention was the display of cultural arts which really made the restaurant unique.

Their meals were lovely

…Although we were not used to their kind of beans (which is one good thing about exploring other cultures …you always learn something new)

 Oh! How can I be in a Mexican restaurant without margarita! …winks

The most interesting part was their dessert (The Mexican style apple pie), I really enjoyed it

…And this exploration also made me discover that the restaurant has some activities(as seen on the table mat) scheduled for some days.

I will definitely come back for the Karaoke Night …winks

Stella.

Travel

Back to Muscat …Highlights from Thailand Trip

I will have to start this post with these three words ‘I am sorry’. I feel bad because I promised to keep you updated on what I was up to in Thailand, but I couldn’t. There were lots of fun activities going on around me, and whenever I’m about to write, I get distracted by activities (Yeah! fun activities …and I just can’t say ‘No’ …lol).

This has left me with a lot to write about, that I don’t know where to start … Anyway, I’ll try to give you some of the highlights of our trip.

Thailand is beautiful and is a popular tourist destination in South-East Asia. We visited some of its cities and Islands, and all I can say is ‘Wow!!!’

Bangkok:
While in Bangkok, we visited the Grand Palace, which is made up of numerous buildings in open gardens and courtyards. It has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782.

What caught my attention, was this particular building which our tour guide said was made of gold …wow! (yeah! I screamed ‘wow’ again)

There are also some art designs that caught my attention, but to be honest, I can’t remember what our tour guide said they represent

Based on their restrictions on dress code, I was made to tie a piece of cloth around my waist (I noticed most females had that around because tights and other body clinging clothes are not allowed) … I ended up liking it.

Lovers of art works would really love this place.

We also visited one of the Buddhist temples which is also a known tourist attraction, Wat Pho (Temple of the reclining Buddha). It is directly adjacent to the Grand Palace, so there was no need going back and forth (we visited both places same day).

I was surprised at the number of tourist you see at every site (even on days that are not weekends).

We also visited Siam Ocean World, which is said to be the biggest Aquarium in South East Asia

It was a place for the whole family, considering the fact that they also have kids play area

Safari World is also another beautiful place we visited

We enjoyed the bird show

Fed the swans

Got to see some of the animals

 …etc. There are lots of pictures of other animals, fun activities and shows (which would be too much to upload) …I was impressed.

Phuket

Phuket is an island known for  its lovely beaches and resorts. Our stay in Phuket was very relaxing, I really liked our Hotel/Resort (although when it comes to hospitality, Mandarin Oriental, our Bangkok location still remains my Thailand best Hotel), the view of the hotel from our balcony was lovely

I also liked the fact that the hotel has kids club (with Nanny)

It gave us time to enjoy the couple massage at the Hotel’s Spa without worrying about Zita (our little princess)

The pool and beach was our regular spot

We also attended the Phuket Fantasea show which I would say is a “must see” if you visit Phuket. It is Las Vegas style of  entertainment. Devices with cameras are not allowed into the theater itself (Oh! …I would have uploaded the video …lol), but here are other pictures taken outside the theater

Another aspect of the Phuket stay that really thrilled me was the surprise romantic dinner by the beach from my hubby

Sorry, the pictures aren’t clear, this is best I could get

The lighting of the lantern was amazing, I watched it disappear

Phi Phi Island

 The cruise to Phi Phi Island was fun

We stopped briefly at Maya Bay and Phi Phi Ley (the location for the movie; “The Beach”, that starred Leonardo DiCaprio)

Also stopped at the Viking Cave

And spent a good time at Phi Phi Don Island

I enjoyed our stay in Thailand …it was lovely.

Our trip back to Muscat was in the evening, and I slept almost all through the journey

Kob Khun Ka (it means ‘Thank You’ in Thai)

Stella.

Lifestyle

Nightlife during Ramadan

During Ramadan, timings for almost everything tends to change (Which is understandable because during this period, the Muslims fast from food, water, smoking etc., and so would need time to rest and stay away from the heat). Therefore, you have to re-confirm opening hours for most stores and activities during this period.

The good part about these changes to timings is that stores tends to close later than usual, and this also gives more life to most activities at night. I love nightlife activities (even though motherhood now tends to limit it) because that is the time you get to see the beauty of a city.winks

The night activities usually starts after 7pm (after the Iftar meal), but doesn’t get busy until around 9pm and up till early hours of the morning. Since the kids are on holiday during this period, they don’t have to go to bed early (so don’t be surprised when you see them still having fun around 11pm).

Most of the pictures were taken between 11pm and Midnight, yet you would see that the city is still lively. This was taken at the Jawharat Al Shatti;

At Al Shatti Plaza

At the Qurum Beach

At Al Masa Mall

At the Park (Qurum Park)

While I enjoy nightlife during this period, I won’t forget to say RAMADAN KAREEM!!! to the Muslims.

Stella.

Food, Reviews/Giveaways

Dinner at the Noodle House

After some family shopping at the Seeb City Center last night, we were hungry (moreover it was dinner time) and we decided to have dinner at the City center (Mall). We needed a place that would be a bit more relaxing and quiet (after a busy day activities and night shopping with a toddler, one would need some minutes to relax) …enough of blah! blah! …we finally decided on ‘The Noodle House’ based on our previous experiences with them.

The calmness of the environment was what we needed (at that moment, we weren’t in the mood for the busy food court).

Their Menu list was exciting, with mouth watering Asian delicacies

We (My hubby and I, and of course our lil princess who made sure she had a taste of everything) had Sticky chilli beef ribs, crispy salt and pepper calamari, Chinese prawn crakers (side) for Appetizers

When the Main Course arrived, I didn’t know where to start from (I actually didn’t know my thoughts reflected on my face and my hubby was quick to capture it …winks)

Our Main Course consisted of Thai style chilli prawns with basil (usually served with steamed rice);

Nasi goreng with chicken satay and fried egg;

And Singapore noodles with chicken and prawns (which is usually our attraction to the noodle house);

For beverage menu, My hubby had the fresh iced tea, our lil princess had apple juice while I had a mocktail (can’t remember the name …’shame’). I enjoyed my choice of mocktail (tried this particular option for the first time)  …it had some sprinkle of mint leaves that gave it a kind of flavour I enjoyed.

The meals were great, just that we wanted most of our meals to be very spicy (more chilli), but we didn’t get a taste of the spice (maybe it’s as a result of our Naija tastebuds …lol). The price of the entire meal (including the drinks we had) was 31 Omani Rials (about 13,000 Naira or 81 USD), which is Ok compared to what we had and the standard of living in Oman.

 At the end, we definitely had a good night and I couldn’t wait to run to my bed.