The Duncan Adventures
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Water you doing to help? I-Care's 14th Success



Every single day thousands of manual workers across this city work tirelessly in the blazing sun without adequate hydration. Sadly for them, this is a very harsh reality.

In stark contrast, most of us in a more privileged life wouldn't even think twice about reaching into the fridge for a cool, refreshing bottle of water. I cannot imagine a life where water is not easily accessible and not to mention working in the intense heat. 

Last week I took part in iCare's 14th water distribution in Muscat. The aim was simple - to distribute 10,000 bottles of cool water to manual laborers before lunch time.

For the full story please check out this week's Y Magazine.

The wonderful Shorooq, founder of iCare


It is amazing how something so simple as a bottle of water can bring such happiness to others. 




During the event I met three amazing young women who were also volunteering their time. They are in the middle of important exams and should probably have been at home studying but chose to head out and do a good deed instead.

Big shout to Natasha, Alina and Dale - great work girls!


This young guy was so happy that he was beaming from ear to ear, in the picture he is trying so hard not to crack a smile. It really was a pleasure to meet him and his infectious smile!



Throughout October every unselfish "Selfie" uploaded to Instagram or Twitter the Radisson Blu will donate one Euro to the World Childhood Foundation. Just remember to hashtag #UnSelfieRadissonBlu.
What a great idea!


Being a part of this event was a very humbling experience to see people with so little be thankful for something that I take for granted.

If only we were all just a small bit more thoughtful in life think of what we could accomplish together.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My September Favorites


This is the first edition of my new "favorites" section where I shall post my 5 favorite things from the month gone by.

My faves could be anything; it might be the TV show I have been loving, maybe the book I am currently engrossed in or perhaps even a must-have beauty product. It could even be a favorite memory or photograph from that month.

Whatever the items may be these are what I genuinely love and want to share with you.

Get the jist? Lets crack on with September then;



Event - Omaniversary 

It has been a whole two years since my toes touched down in this sandy land and I can honestly say it has been the craziest, strangest but most amazing 2 years of my life. I am so thankful to be living in such a wonderful place and I hope for many more happy years like these.

We celebrated our second Omaniversary with a beautiful sunset, dinner with friends and perhaps a little too much celebratory Rum for me.






Book - 'The Night Circus'

Beautiful and enchanting this book caught me from the first page, don't you just love it when you can get totally lost in a book?

Breathtaking illusion, fierce competition, drama all set in a magical circus world this book keeps you gripped at every turn. This is the first book by the talented author, Erin Morgenstein. 

With only a few final pages remaining I have slowed down my reading because I just don't want the magic to end!

This book is the perfect escapism after a long day. I love to take some to sit and read with a cup of tea and sneaky couple of cookies and get lost in the story.






Adventure - 'Snake Canyon'

Since being pregnant and then having a baby 8 months ago there haven't been many opportunity's for crazy adventures; well asides from being in a Redbull Extreme Sailing competition, Parasailing, Camping in Jebel Shams and Lunching with a Michelin star chef y'know, the usual stuff. This is my quiet life with a baby.

Recently a sudden urge for excitement took hold of me and I booked a trip to the infamous Snake Canyon to get the adrenalin pumping again. It's been a very long time since I threw my baby making body from great heights and contorted into small caves but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Since then I have raved about this trip to anyone who will listen. You can read my blog post on it by clicking here so I can rave to you too.

In the below picture that is me sliding down that huge rock into a murky pool of leeches and toads. It is surprisingly more fun than it looks!






Beauty Product - Chanel

Ladies, Chanel Coco Rouge Shine lipstick is amazing! This is my favorite beauty product of the moth by a long shot so I feel I should share the secret to my beautiful female readers. 

This was a bit of a splurge to spend so much money on a single lipstick but I don't regret it at all. As soon as you glide it across your lips it is so luxurious and creamy and makes you feel more glamorous in an instant.

I bought the shade number 89 called 'Satisfaction'. The shade is subtle to wear enough to wear in the day that it is not over powering and keeps your lips moisturized, understated and classy.

It's nice to have a little treat now and again, just don't tell my husband how much it costs..






Person - Besties

This month my friend, Kay, came to visit us all the way from Scotland. This was our first visitor from the UK that isn't a family member so it was fabulous to have her here and show her our life in Oman. 

Of course we did all the nice tourist things from the Grand Mosque to Muttrah Sook, hiked, ate lots of food and still managed to fit in some beach and pool time also. 

For someone to travel so far, spend so much on air fares and use up their vacation time just to come and spend time in our mad house was so sweet and I thoroughly appreciated it. I also loved the delivery of goodies from home.

I'm still doing my Arrow Words Kay :-)





And there you have it, my top 5 things in September. I tried to keep them varied so they aren't all too Oman based or girly.

I would love to hear what you think! :-)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Box Appeal 2014


With just a little over two weeks left to contribute to the Box Appeal 2014 I wanted to bring it to your attention if you didn't know about it already. I don't want you to miss out of course.

You can read all about the charities info on their FB page, click here.

I don't jump on every charity event in town but this one caught my attention- it is easy to contribute and I can do most of it whilst I do my weekly grocery shop. Perfect for us Mum's on the go.


How to take part;


  • Pick up a Box Appeal box from one of the participating locations,
  • Go shopping for the items on the list,
  • Return your box full of goodies to the collection points by 15th October 2014,
  • Be pretty happy that your efforts will make someone smile :-)





Shopping list;
  • T-Shirt
  • Cap
  • Disposable razor
  • Shaving Cream
  • Deodrant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste,
  • Small hand towels
  • Comb
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Talcum Powder



My box is almost complete! 



In total it has cost me around 11 rials to fill...but...I have made sure to include some nice luxury products in there. It is possible to do it cheaper if you wanted, budget yourself around 10 rials.

In Muscat you can pick up a box from The Radisson Blu in Al Khuwair, The Merge 104.8 & Y Magaine offices in Seeb and The Flower Shop in Sabco Centre Qurum.

Easy peasy! What are you waiting for?! Pick up a box and get shopping :)



PS- If you want to go the extra mile upload a picture of you and your box to Instagram make sure to hashtag #UnSelfieRadissonBlu - they will donate 1 Euro for every picture tagged to the World Childhood Foundation.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Delicious Gluten Free Pizza



Who doesn't love pizza?! I certainly do! Actually, I love it so much that the local pizza delivery guy notices when I'm on holiday **Cringe**

A couple of months back I switched to a gluten free (GF) diet due to a few health niggles. Although my health has drastically improved I have craved a decent pizza every weekend since then. 

Health foods can be hard to come by - and expensive - here in Oman so when I found a kg of GF flour for 1.8 rials (£2.80) I snapped it up. This as in C4 supermarket for anyone interested. From here gluten free pizza night began!

I had tried out a few homemade GF pizza recipes and so far this one has been the best that I have tried, it's only fair that I share it with y'all.

I'm so happy that I can have my pizza without the health consequences and it is so much cheaper to make at home than ordering in. 

Winner, Winner, Pizza dinner!





You don't need to be a professional dough flinger upper or have any fancy utensils to try this recipe - This is a super simple pizza with only 7 ingredients required to make the dough.

Lets get started!

This recipe makes a large pizza for 2-3 people.

Dough Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of gluten free flour
  • 1 (tea spoon) salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (tbsp) yeast
  • 3 tabelspoon (tbsp) sugar
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup of warm water
Topping Ingredients:
  • Jar of tomato pizza sauce, or home made
  • The cheese of your desires
  • Any toppings you love


**In the pictures below I halved the recipe to make a smaller pizza for just me**


Before I start, Babies and pizza masterpieces are not a good mix so my not-so-helpful-helper was banished to his Jumperoo.


Method:

1- Preheat oven to 160 degrees

2 - In a small bowl combine the yeast and 3/4 cup of warm water, not too hot or you will kill the yeast. Leave it to sit for 5 mins to activate. After a couple of mins sprinkle in 1 Tbsp of sugar.

3 - In a separate large bowl combine the gluten free flour, salt, baking powder and the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar. Mix it all together with a spoon.




4 - In the big bowl, Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, pour in the yeast mixture. Add the olive oil and remaining 1/2 cup of warm water before stirring.

Mix it all together with a large spoon to form the dough.

If it is a little too wet for a good dough sprinkle in more flour, if it is a little too dry add in a little more warm water.



5 - Use a spray oil or parchment paper on your pizza/baking tray and place your dough onto the tray. Spread the dough evenly on the tray depending on whether you want a thin or thick base.

I used a canola oil spray and a 33cm pizza crisping tray from Lakeland.




6 - Spread your pizza sauce generously across the dough base


7 - Grate your favorite cheese. I used some extra strong Cheddar because I love it!
At this point feel free to nibble a bit of cheddar as you work, I do.



In my world you can never have too much cheese so I grated a bit extra on top.


8 - Add the toppings of your choice. I chose tomato, red pepper, onion and chili flakes.


Once my pizza was prepped I popped it in the fridge for a couple of hours whilst I got on with some more work. Cue crying baby and a Persian kitten trying to eat the chili..


9- Place your pizza in the preheated oven for around 15-20 minutes to cook, maybe longer if you chose a thick base. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.


Slice and devour whilst piping hot!



Even my little helper enjoyed his first ever slice of pizza, minus the chili flakes of course.



Let me know if you try this recipe! 



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Acting the Goat...


Perhaps it is their long matted fur, Maybe it is the oddly rectangular shaped pupils or possibly it's just because you can often find them quite happy up in a tree. Either way, I find the mountain goats of Oman hilarious. 

I saw these two cheeky chaps on top of a car in Khiran this weekend and it really made me chuckle.

I caption it "Kids these days".



Sadly for my little goat friends the Eid festivities are coming, the market places are bustling and they will soon be on their way to becoming a delicious tangine or schuwa.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Competition - Win with the Grand Hyatt Muscat!


Do you like dining under the stars? Succulent steak? Great drinks? Rooftop views? And not paying a single coin for all of this? If that is a big fat YES then you need to keep reading!

If you aren't already on my Facebook page 'The Duncan Adventures' then where the heck have you been?! Come and find me and say helloooo.



The VERY generous people at the Grand Hyatt Muscat have offered a fab prize exclusive to 'The Duncan Adventures' Facebook followers - An all inclusive dinner for two people at the Safari Rooftop Grill House.

Head over to the Facebook page for your chance to win.

Competition ends at 6pm on Sunday 21st September 2014 and winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries.



Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I-CARE Initiative, Register Now



Kind people of Muscat, this is your chance to get involved and spread a little love to the people who work tirelessly to make this city such an a beautiful place to live. 

To join in visit www.icareoman.org to register today.


All you have to bring is yourself, a cool box and a positive attitude. All water & ice will be provided.

I will be there, will you?