Tuesday, December 29, 2015

STYLISH SISTERS: Rumaitha Al Busaidi--- Radio Presenter, Adventurer, Writer, Blogger

I've always been reading along with her blog [Rummy's Scribblings ]. since I moved to Oman, however, I never put two and two together about who she actually was until, like, last year;). Because I'm smart. ....But I remember when I heard there was an Omani woman on the Antarctica team of Freezing Omanis I totally cheered inside, and was like, hell yes, thank you!  ...Not that I would ever really want to go to Antarctica myself, having grown up in Canada;p. Cold sucks to me. But I'm glad she did it, for all the women who dream to go somewhere and do something, but it might not be the most "appropriate dream" within their family or tribe or culture. Being a female adventurer is something rare in Oman, and it would make me think Rumaitha a super stylish sister indeed, even if she like, wore parkas all the time, or a paper bag. (RANDOM: "Paper Bag Princess" by Robert Munsch is one of the most awesome little girl's books ever).
Still, not to be overly repetative, I feel like Rumaitha (to me she'll always be Rummy, like to some people, I'll always, sadly, be 'Pixie' or that other OPNO girl;) is an example of someone being brave enough to live their dreams and live their own life. I think that is unique in the Gulf for a lot of women. (I know, it's Oman, women are free, but really, the bravery of doing your own thing is still refreshing here, and unique, and I admire that a lot).
And of course, I recently discovered Rumaitha's instagram account [ Rumaitha Al Busaidi (@rummoya) • Instagram photos and ... ], and she so does not run around in Arctic parkas all the time. She has some pretty fly shoes;) and some awesome green scarves;).

Rumaitha has that cute mix-and-match style that admire in Omani women in general. I love her coffee+ a quote shots. Shoes+coffee+scarf style+words of wisdom? Climbing mountains? Travel? Adventure? Food? What's not to like?

Monday, December 28, 2015

RESTAURANTS IN OMAN: Sakura, Asian Food in North Al Hail

Picture from Y magazine's review of Sakura
So I didn't take any pictures. My camera, I lost the wire that lets me download to the computer, so until I replace that, no pictures of my own for these posts. That said, I recently have gone to Sakura restaurant in North  Al Hail 3 times in this last week alone, so I think I can manage a review;).

I love Asian Food. My Western-Canadian family travels to Thailand and Vietnam regularly. I've eaten Chinese food in China. I love most Asian cuisine (I'm not big on Japanese but my Omani husband is so he can tell me what he thinks about that).

First off, the Sakura staff didn't know I am a blogger. Service timing was irregular (items arrived randomly) but otherwise service was good. However, it wasn't that busy any of the times I have gone in. Staff were friendly, knowledgeable about the menu, kitchen was clean (my kids love to go into the kitchen to check it out so I use that as my excuse---catching them) and I never struggled to catch anyone's attention.

Our table was downstairs. The three times I have been, it wasn't that busy. I guess when it isn't that busy doesn't warrant having the upstairs section open... I love the tables upstairs. The décor upstairs I love. Downstairs is okay-ish. But downstairs baby chair was comfy, easy and safe.

But honestly, when it comes to Asian, it's all about the food for me.

So here is what we've ordered so far:

The lemongrass drink (2 omr). Heavy gingery and lemongrass drink. Not too sweet (maybe they changed the recipe since the Y magazine review?). I liked it especially with something more oily like anything cooked in peanut oil, I paired it with a Beef Udon dish, and I loved that pairing. My kids also (weirdly) seem to love it. I think 2 omr for a drink is a bit expensive, but weirdly, I haven't been craving coffee (Sakura has) and I've never personally been big on Japanese tea (Sakura has), so this drink has been doing it for me when it comes to meal accompaniment. It's worth it I guess is what I am saying.

My husband ordered the Miso soup. He liked it. My kids liked it. I don't like Miso so I didn't try it. Smallish serving.

My daughter ordered the Cream Corn with Chicken soup. It was edible,  but not something I'll try myself. I didn't really like it. Large, large serving.

My husband also (on another night) ordered the Tom Yum soup. It smelled delicious. He loved it. I don't eat seafood so not for me of course, but even that said, it smelled really really good. Larger serving.

My kids always order plain rice. The staff are super nice and give them extra Thai chilli paste and soya sauce on the side to mix as they please.

The first dish I ordered was the Beef Udon, a noodle dish. I liked the flavors, but the noodles were a bit oily. I'm okay with that, especially sipping a Lemongrass drink, but know not everyone would be. And the meat wasn't melt in your mouth. It was tender and well flavored but not superior in cut, I could tell. Decent but almost too oily dish. I liked it, but maybe you won't? My husband wouldn't like it.

He also tried a noodle dish, with prawns I think, and he didn't end up eating it due to it being too oily for him. Our daughter however took over eating it and loved it, so it was probably decent.

Not liking his noodle dish my husband ordered a smaller sushi dish. That he DID love. So of course, next two times we came back he ordered the biggest mixed sushi platters they had. He liked them. I wouldn't know anything about sushi. He said it is good value for the portions. Sushi loving friends claim it isn't authentic enough for their tastes.

Since, I've also ordered the Chicken Teriyaki and the Beef Teriyaki. I really like the sauce. Again, complaint is... the meat on the chicken and beef isn't either that melt in your mouth (beef) or the moist (of perfectly cook chicken). Nonetheless, I liked them enough I'd eat them again. Again, decent. Served with sticky rice and boiled vegetables. Both pretty plain sides, but the sauce is almost salty so I guess that evens it out.

I also ordered a vegetarian dish of wok fried long beans. Very garlic-ey but me and my son ate them all. Daugher complained we stank afterwards;) so maybe not a date dish.

So... possibly not my favourite Asian restaurant, but due to its location, parking, prices -beyond-drinks, (I hate going to Al Mouj and Avenues mall) I'll probably end up here a lot, even though it was the higher end of decent, rather than in the freakin' awesome range as far as Asian food in Muscat goes. But that said, I haven't tried the pad thai or the chow mein and egg rolls, so after I've done that, I can be sure about my critique;). But I will probably go again (I am biased). I like Asian food even if it isn't perfect. To me, anything to avoid Arabic chicken cooked in a sauce with rice... or like, Turkish or lebanese all the time.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Did you know?: actress Isla Fisher was born in Muscat

I remember this coming up in a conversation with some UN peeps, talking about "the Wedding Crashers" movie, and how their boss knew Isla Fisher's parents. I guess it must have been true, since apparently the "Shopaholic" and "Wedding Crashers" actress was born in Muscat. Her Dad was from Scotland, and was some kind of banker for the UN;). I always thought Isla was such a cutie.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Is there anything Jiu-jitsu or MMA-related in Muscat for Women-Only with Accredited Female Instructors?

Hey I was totally wondering (and I know I could search Muscat Where Can I Find) but I was wondering if any of my readers knew of a women-only (with a female instructor) jui-jit-su class? I don't really want to do online classes, and I can't go to Dubai/UAE just for fun.

I'm not really a  traditional gym kind of girl.

...Or anything MMA related I suppose for women only with female instructers?: although I assume I'll forever suck at anything related to kicking, or boxing, since I am a clutz, with no serrious muscle power.

I know there were a lot of great hijabi Canadian and Iranian fighters (Muslim girls with hijab) back in Canada or who travelled there whose matches I got to see so.... I've always had this interest.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Moving to Oman as a Muslim Woman

When people think of moving to a Muslim country from the West, they think of maybe Saudi Arabia (if they're super new to Islam that is), or Kuwait (salary is good), or UAE these days. Some people think about scholarship, so maybe Jordan (for Arabic), or Turkey (for history). People tend to skip over Oman. I know I would have, if my family hadn't already been here before. It wasn't first on my list when I sought a halal job wearing hijab as a Muslim woman, looking to be safe while being able to do that. Like, live a normal life you know. Just...be a person, not a threat, not a walking dictionary on Islamic values, and history, and act at peacekeeping. Not be less intelligent, less part of society, somehow a person other people feel they have to "save" "liberate" or "lecture" or "take rights from to give rights to".

Going to another country, as a Muslim, means being less a part of society. Muslim countries aren't "Islamic" countries. They don't award passports based on "Muslim-ness" the way, like, Israel does, if you're Jewish. It's a big sacrifice to consider. Islam has many freedoms that are sometimes better protected in the U.K., in Canada, in America, in South Africa... for example. Safety might be less there, but hypocrisy is obvious. It doesn't use religion as an excuse, or as a blanket to cover any shameful flaws at the governmental level. Anyways...

My mother, kind of lied to me, to get me to spend a summer in Oman, the first time I came here. Like, London, was way more awesome to me, or Africa, because I needed to go there for something. Oman was... I actually thought I was going to Amman. Not Oman. I was like, "I'll come if you take me to see the Temple in Petra". My mother was like, "sure...."

So like, they took me to Nizwa instead. ....So not the same thing.

I ended up in Oman because UAE didn't work out, Saudi would probably turn me into a political rebel or extremist (or a suidicdal housewife) and it was just convenient.

...I have this theory, that the planes of the places we have been decide us. The colour of the dust of the earth, sticks to heart, making it thick. The richness of other places in this world decide us, the same as the desolation in the spanses of others, stretch us, make us see futher, make us harder.

I grew up in a soft place, with rich, black earth... The scent of trees, the bounds only of the sea around me. Richness makes me introverted, selfish maybe? But also free.

So even though my heart is in another land, all that I love in grey waves and mists, and in the scent of curcled ferns and cedar smoke, I left.

I still bear scars from that beautiful place, scars in the mind, of the freedom that was one day considered not mine anymore, though I still considered myself free. And while I could fight for freedom and against oppression, from within my little fraction of Islam, and from outside it, it didn't matter I wan't "free enough" because "I wan't what people wanted me to choose to be". I could choose, but my choice was the wrong one apparently. I didn't know freedom was defined by wrong choices. I thought it was defined by the availability of them, or the lack thereof? Silly me.

 I didn't lose my morals, or my mind, with a headscarf, or by praying five times a day. I don't know why people think that all people are alike, when in a group of three hundred, there's probably only two to three who are evil, and that's for all fractions and sects of mankind, not merely religions. Like highschool;).

So from my home country I have? what? Scars from words. Scars from the ignorance of people who do not travel, do not look beyond the beauty of their own little world and what builds it... I guess you could say...in the capitalism, with some socialism thrown in, not enough to be for all, but not a misery for all either.

And about Oman...

I don't know if you could build a perfect shariah system either. I basically doubt it. I argue with my husband over this. Perhaps that makes me a heretic?;). Good thing Oman is kind to its heretics, if they are only of a religious bent;p.

Oman is a country with shariah law in base and it should be fairer in a sense for Muslims with Muslims than a Western country, but a shariah system puts such faith in the people enforcing the laws, that they'll support them, and in the parties testifying to them, that it loses much of its credibility under a practical application.

I'd love to have a society that perfect, but come on? The laws are there, I believe, to give us something to aspire to in ourselves, and towards others, but uniformally, society reaching that level of awareness, knowledge, and "goodness" is something out of a sci-fi movie to me, in the theory of having a credible application not turn out into something like, ugh, scary, like Iran, Afghanistan, and KSA.

Love to see it, doubt it possible, however, for myself to master myself, let alone, society, within a country to do so, without a guiding Prophet or the hand of God/Allah directly upon them 24/7 with explainations.

Maybe that's just me? The Salafi/Wahabi heretic?;).

But Muslim country will never equal well read in history, law, and religion... that's just my experience.

So what touch has Oman had upon me? Canada is beauty, freedom, wealth, hate, ignorance, and scars.... So what is Oman?

Oman is madness at times. It is a country that doesn't make sense. The majority of the ethnic makeup of the country do not agree with its government's actions but they love their government anyways and generally support it. They are tribal. Feircely loyal (idiotically loyal) at times. Loyalty pulls my heartstrings. I don't give allegience to things or people or places easily but when I do it is forever. So I love this about Omanis--can't see Oman without this in them. ...Although I don't like loyalty from blindness or habit however. I think it should have a deeper purpose than that. I see that for some citizens, thankfully.

They are a kind people, but sometimes cruel, although generally not through the intention to be cruel or oppressive, out of fear, out of ignorance, or greed (the usual suspects). They are generous, but for a point or a purpose 80% of the time, not out of the freedom of pure generousity that I value more than the habit or "good manners" of generousity often engendered here. They are welcoming, not in law, but in character, and out of habit. Out of goodness would be more admirable but who cares I guess? Makes it easier to make local friends than in any of the other Gulf States.

Mostly what Oman imprints upon me is peace. These are not a people who like to fight, and if they do, they like to win without the most fuss, and without constant remebrance of the victory, as if... fighting itself, even for something considered the right thing, is not the bravest or the best way, but was perhaps the only way at the time. I am not like this naturally myself. I am the "I told you so" kind of person, who can never shut up in an argument without firing off the last retort, and if I threw the winning punch, I'll look you in the eye to remind you exactly where my last shot landed if you pick a fight with me. So naturally I admire this. I hope it rubs off on me, a little.  .

..I know this is the place where loyalty comes into conflict for Omanis... tribal fights happen. Families infight. If this peace aspect were stronger, who knows what Oman could become? For example:

...There is no fear among the religious sects here. No laws dividing us or outlawing us from the other's knowledge. Sunni, Shia, Ibadhi, I can enter any Masjid, read any book, be friends with anyone, and no one teaches us to hate eachother. If we debate eachother, it is for knowledge, to assure ourselves our knowledge is still the strongest, or to learn the weaknesses in our histories and hadiths and scholarship. It is not to look down one another or put down another, but rather to teach or to share. To lift eachother other up. Beyond history, upon closer inspection, our differences our major in one inspection, from one perspective, but from the perspective of all three, small. We barely imprint upon one another. ...Except to realize fear of one another does not control us here.

I know in Canada (I'm Sunni) a lot of Sunnis were always afraid, that Shia think it is okay to kill us, and want to take over leading us, and Shia think that everyone wants to kill them... and in Oman that just does not exist. It's like, they all got past it. They still think the other side is wrong etc.. but we aren't overcome or forced to accept any one side's opinions. Or to talk about them, or to fight for no reason, stupidly, over what we'll never agree on.

That to me is how Islam came to me. I wasn't beat over the head with it by some one, or anything. I didn't even see it properly exampled by a living breathing person. That wasn't required for the "peace" of it to be imparted. It was instilled in me already, I just, like, remembered it from somwhere, it was already there. The peace of truth, the peace of right, the peace of all the others things that compse those two larger things... Compassion, bravery, kindness, forgiveness, humility, equality... all that.

Oman's a lot like that to me. I can tell you about it.

...Warn you its not a Muslim country despite having some Muslims.

...That no Islamic countries truly exist except for those we carry within the landscape of our own souls.

(If you are thinking to fight for or run to or find or build anything worth defending or sustaining on the planes of this earth, through "hijrah" or "jihad", build that place first, fight your own self, to build that first.)

We must build within ourselves, not over and around others. 

...Oman was a safe enough place, for me to rest my wounds, and be a normal girl, while realizing that I could indeed begin to work on a blue print for such a metaphorical "land" on my soul's landscape.

Maybe I could say a million other things  about Oman (I am a wordy person who talks far too much to ever be intelligent just to warn you----I don't listen nearly enough), but none but the above sentance could describe it better. Oman is this for me.

...And yeah, the planes of the places of this the earth that I have been decide me, but I only found here what I already carried with me, and had eyes to see or the will to seek out. That goes for any place. Maybe I only had bad experiences in Canada because I had the courage to seek out the bad people? Or I wanted to know the truth about how much my own soul could handle? I don't know. But I'm here now, and I'm safe, and relatively happy, and moving on, spiritually, so I guess that's all that matters in the end. {Ends post}

Saturday, December 12, 2015

In the meantime...

Yeah, so none of us is blogging...maybe you want to read a wedding blog set in the desert? Well, UAE-based actually? Lace in the Desert {Lace In The Desert} pretty decent blog and unique in this area of the world (considering how popular bridal blogs are everywhere in the Western world). Not a Muslim blog (our requirements vary traditionally), but gorgeous eye-candy. Check it out, since, like, we are posting nothing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Memories from Oman

I wasn't born a Muslim but I spent a few Christmas seasons in the middle east. The sight of all the gorgeous options for decorating for the holiday now in Muscat 2015 bring back jealous pangs from childhood. Let me tell you about Christmas in Oman way back when:
Oh but first, let me tell you about the other day.
Recently shopping in Carrefour the other day, I saw the Christmas section. In grand mall, my daughter fell in love with the Pink tree at the home store there (I forget its name). She told me she wants one for her bedroom. I am like, do we really need a pink Christmas tree considering we don't even celebrate Christmas? She's like, "we can have an Eid tree".
Knowing the origins of Yule and the Winter Solstice (Pagan thing) behind Christmas trees, that idea is sketchy even for me (and I have a penchant for purchasing Christmas lights and glass bulbs and stars and stuff meant for Christmas but to use for Eids). So we probably won't buy a pink Christmas tree, although I've always wanted to decorate a white coloured fake Christmas tree;).

...So I told her if she wants a pink tree bad enough she can save her money and buy it for herself. She said she will. We'll see next year won't we?
WHEN I WAS A KID IN OMAN there were no pink Christmas trees...Not even very good looking fake green ones either. We had a fake tree that looked like something from Charlie Brown (tv Christmas special in case you don't get the reference).
We used to buy ornaments as gifts, and bring them to Oman because what they had here were all red and white plastic things, and those horrible garlands that are bright mettalic colours and look like fluffy bottle cleaners? ...Although my mother would sometimes buy Diwali decorations when that Hindu holiday was, and re-make them to hang on a Christmas tree. I remember buying abaya crystals and using that gun meant to stick them on abaya sleeves to stick crystals on ugly ornaments.
Usually we'd try to make popcorn garlands but would get bored of that. We made wreaths out of twigs, and then glue-gunned some rocks we'd painted red to look like berries to them. We were pretty crafty I guess. Those things were pretty ugly nonetheless.

My mother sewed and then hand embroidered stockings for us. We couldn't find any stockings, and my step-father, American that he was, didn't like our French ideas of Christmas shoes set out, and opening presents the night before. Open-toe shoes also kind of suck for that tradition.
What we could find were Camels. Lots and lots of camels. So we had camel candy-dishes, camels galore in a nativity scene, giant camels at the door like other people would have like giant nutcrackers or snowmen. We were in the middle east so we tried to go with the whole Christian end take on Christmas, birth of Issa alayhi wa salaam (aka better known to white people as Jesus) and all. My mother would be like, let's go buy gold and frankincense (luban) and myrhh!!!

And we could, because, Oman is like, the perfume center of world when it comes to buying odd ingredients that go into perfumes. And Mutrah had a pretty impressive gold souq. I haven't gone there since I was a non-Muslim expat kid;).

The thing I remember most about Christmas in Oman was the lights. The lights induced a lot of swearing and fighting and arguing, and general running away from home incidents.
The lights were those one strand things, that when one light burns out, all the lights go dead.

Yeah so my mother likes to have a fake tree up a whole month before Christmas. So every time a light burnt out she'd freak out and have to UNDECORATE THE WHOLE TREE and then sort the string out, find the problem bulb, and then re-decorate the tree. I swear, she was probably the only other expat in PDO who did this crazy stuff. Our neighbors usually only had lights on their tree the first two days they plugged it in and then they'd logically (reasonably) give up, and said if we bought more wine and made cocktails nobody would notice our tree had no lights. Whereas, my mother would freak and out and be saying F*%% you!!!!!! to the Christmas tree at least once a week for a whole month. But she took their advice about the wine. So we drunkenly decorated the Christmas tree several times a month before Christmas.

If, by chance, my stepfather happened to mention that this was indeed the actions of a total lunatic, he and my mother would fight so bad he'd have to leave the house, and we usually decided to go with him, because who wants to hang out with a crazy person fighting a tree?

Thus as a result I got to see some pretty cool places in Oman because of bad-quality christmas lights. Old forts and castles (before restoration some of them---some of the places now are only dust or have been replaced by resorts and hotels), desert, mountains, abandoned beaches....
That's pretty cool for a kid. I mean, it wasn't like Christmas in London, or San Fransisco, or even Texas, and certainly not like a French family Christmas in Canada, but it was something unique from Oman. That, and swearing at Christmas trees.

We'd also host a Christmas dinner where my mother would invite everybody from PDO she thought was a Christian (which half of them were Budhist and the other half were Hindu). Thus Christmas consisted of a group of truly confused people who were half scared to death of us, and as kids, my sister and I, we loved to scare them more so we'd love to tell people about Santa Claus "who sees you when you're sleeping" and the Snowman that becomes real when he puts on a magic hat. Scary stuff to people whose English isn't that great. They thought Christmas as a holiday was pretty nuts, I am sure, despite my mother's Christian intentions to feed all the labourers and sweepers and cat-catchers employed by PDO.

Somehow we'd have a Turkey dinner, and my mother would set out all the silverware, and cloth napkins, and silver napkin rings, and then our guests would be all confused because they usually ate with their hands, and in the end I got to eat a formal dinner with my hands which (rebel that I am) I always thought was pretty awesome.

That is how I remember Christmas in Oman. Now with pink Christmas trees and all that available, is Christmas still as crazy and weird for expats living over here? Or was my family just a bunch of total weirdos;)?
Happy December Sun-Worhsipping Winter Solstice (because a Roman Census in Jesus' time period would not have taken place during this month all historians know)---to quote Sheldon Cooper from the 'Big Bang Theory' ---to all our blog's readers. May it be more stress free than the Christmas days of yore.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Update on the House, and my DIY list....

Gotta prime, paint, then handpaint, this electric fireplace for the new house, and then get it installed at same time as gyps+painting

So life in my life (forgive the banally boring diary-type-esque post this will evolve into) lately... The kitchen is being tiled. It looks... beautiful. Hope it stays that way. Seeing how much of the tiles broke (I was being a total cheapo like usual) during the cutting process, I fear for my living room and bedrooms flooring which I am sure we did not buy enough of in China... but oh well. I'll get to that when the time comes.
We ordered the railing for the terrace and balconies and some stones for the different villas, outside facade, and inside for villa #1's TV wall. I also need to pick up some other tiles I have left in mabaila... and wow the price for ceiling tile is way cheaper in Barka than it is in Al Khoud;).

Life beyond tiles, took us on a tour of the world of custom draperies and upholsteries... I found a man who makes couches in Souq al seeb whose work I like and who has a not-too-greedy price for them...Most of the Souq Seeb shops were like, this velvet for your curtain is 55 rials. I am like, are your serrious, for a simply-no-valance-no-sheers drape? For like, velvet that is 3 omr a meter?  So for curtains we ventured as far as Rustaq where like in the middle of nowhere in a wadi there was an upholstery shop that could produce my velvet curtains for 18 omr, and the super fancy ones with valances and pulls and sheers for 55-75 omr. Much more honest, since I know the ammount of work and the cost of fabrics... just too lazy to sew for myself... Though I will do it if I run out of our budget somehow.

The stair railings for villa arrived. Curse of all Chinese curses, of course, they didn't understand our instructions and painted the MAHOGANY RAILING white. Now I have to buy a bloody sander (32 omr are you serrious Black & Decker?!) and re-finish it. I am going to try out Jotun's wood stains and varnishes for the first time ever. I can review them I guess. Villa #2 's railing were supposed to be black iron and now they're gold. Whatever, after doing the mahogany project I'll be too tired to work on my own, so for now, they'll stay gold (do I look like a gold stair-railing kind of person?).

On the wood re-finishing front I also need to re-finish my old home center rubberwood table to look like it is oak, and aged, so that, when the new kitchen goes in, its old tile top can be covered with the granite we chose for the kitchen counters, and it can become our new island. The horrible (but made of good wood) shaker-style chairs that came with it, will be another set of DIY projects, eventually. My husband will use their legs (hopefully to barley-twist them because I love a good barley twist) for another furniture project (and then he'll give them to me to re-stain them). But the seats are destined to become the brackets for my kitchen floating shelves... and then that will be become a painting project. I just need a table saw, a jig-aw, some cheese-cloth, and a sander. Indians look at me really weird when I go into construction materials stores alone and ask for discounts on saws, really, in an abaya.

The gyps decor dude has to do all the tanzeel for villa #1. Villa #2 construction will cut the cement and re-plaster to spare me the expense of doing tanzeel (which they were gonna have to pay for) so yes!. Just need to get the crown mouldings and ceiling medallions estimated up so I can decide where we can splurge and where to reign it in.

Gotta estimate the cost of window fixing (I wanted outer opposed to inner fixed windows which is rare in Oman and our construction doesn't know how to do it).

I also recently went to a used-store and picked up a bedroom set for my little Omani princess daughter/bint/Princess Elsa of Arandell/Muscat (whoever she decides she is on any particular given day). It needs some re-finishing. But I mean, c'mon, 230 omr for a 6 door wadrobe with a mirror, a queen-size bed, and a dressing table? That's pretty AWESOME for Oman. Where like, a cupboard with 6 doors new is 300 at least.
I recently framed a bunch of 1890s fashion plates for her bedroom using frames I picked up for under 8 omr (8 frames!) from Emirates Gift Market. I might need to age the frames to make them go with her antique pink colour scheme choice (she changes back to Elsa blue every other day) but we'll see. After the curtains are ordered, then there's no going back for the frames finish. I have some other antique books (bad condition---my father would probably chuck 'em) I have plans for as well.

I also discovered I can ship modge podge to Oman. Watch out ugly Lulu wardrobe cupboards, I am coming for you soon!

On top of all this is work, which is, 60% of my spare time, with husband being another 20%, and then kids another 10% (husband and 1 year old want me to die from dishes, and sweeping floors I swear, and washing stupid laundry and hanging it after its dry). Plus the 1 year old bites my legs every time I walk by him on the phone with work. The 4 year old has learned (but doesn't like) to pick up after her toys and to carry her dirty dishes to the kitchen so I think she deserves a princess bedroom.
I finished painting all but one side of a tea box that I made for my husband (who loves blue and white porcelains, which is kind of a chick thing for Canadian men but for Omani men I guess not?). I am working on some other paintings... a still life for my living room, a portrait of my little sister...
a scene of ireland... (tree bark is hard!)
I am just posting them so if you don't see them hung in the final reveal... well. Obviously I didn't finish them... like Cleopatra who still scours at me;).