12 hours in the life of Alisa…Part 1 & 2

Leave a comment

I’ve been wanting to document Alisa’s daily routine for a while now. Somehow the routine always gets in the way of me doing so. I am thrilled I finally found the time to do this…I am obsessed with remembering every single detail and each moment that takes my breath away. This is what her schedule is like now at 4 months old.

Enjoy her story…

It’s time to wake up! I heard the birds are up! What’s that mommy? It’s a weekend? You would like to sleep a little longer? But mommy the birds are up!!!

I’ve been tricked into getting more sleep! How could I resist when I got to snooze next to daddy??? My sock however wondered off…

Fancy a snack? I like to have something in between all the milk mommy makes me drink, I call this my “vegetable patch”! Butternut squash…yum….my favourite!

Now that I’ve eaten its time to play with my favourite toy “The Monkey”. I’ve grown very attached to her mostly because we have the same ginger hair color and also because of her huge smile…which I love to copy! And look mommy found my sock!!!

Nap time is rolling around so mommy makes me a bottle of yummy milk. I’ve developed a habbit of eating in my sleep…Sleep tight now!

Changed, fed and down for my afternoon nap. Whenever I have my hand in a fist mommy knows I am sleepy…

Well that was a quick nap! My cat nap! Before they even knew it I was up and ready to play! Dress me in a pretty dress and take me out for lunch somewhere fancy!

Here I am sitting in my car seat, looking around, mommy is having a Ceasar salad and daddy is eating a hamburger but all I got was my milk again! One of these days I will definetly sneak a taste! I bet it will taste good!

Looking at everyone around me enjoying their lunch completely tired me out, mommy rocked my pushchair back and forth and some fifteen minutes later I started to snooze. Might as well take a little nap, it doesn’t seem like we are going home anytime soon!

My evening snacks, I like to have a little something light right before I have my evening formula! Today I enjoyed a mango and banana blend and washed it down with some camomile tea! I am a big fan of eating healthy! In just an hour I will be taking my bath and then its bedtime!

Eat, Sleep, Play repeat…

We don’t have a baby. It’s pretty obvious that the baby has us!

These days…

Leave a comment

Happiness is…

The “accidental” perfect finishing touch to the shelf arrangement

Our maternity pictures

1 Comment

A  few weeks ago we strolled into Qurum Park fiercely equipped with outfits, pink helium balloons, a pair of baby shoes and bags of curiosity. We were ready for our maternity photoshoot. Our photographer Aseya took the lead and quickly showed us the spot where we would start shooting. It was about 3pm, a cool breeze swept through the trees and the warm November sun was just right. There wasn’t a single moment of hesitation or awkwardness, we went straight into it. It’s amazing how simple movements like getting up off the grass can take on a whole new level of difficulty when you are almost 8 months pregnant. Nevertheless it was all good fun and Aseya found a lot of locations that exerted greenery, freshness and raw nature. She advised us on the poses to take and clearly had a vision of where it was all going. We wrapped the session in just under two hours and here are the results:

We are now very proud owners of 26 images that perfectly documented this special time in our lives and captured the moment that sees us transitioning from becoming a couple to become parents to a little girl. We are thrilled.

If you are planning to document your pregnancy with the help of a professional photographer here in Muscat then I would highly recommend Anastaseya Photography. 

When going in for your session make sure you:

  • Plan your outfits in advance. Matching? Sexy? In harmony with the landscape? Think about this in advance.
  • Bring props (baby items, flowers, balloons, ultrasound scans, soft toys…etc)
  • Don’t forget to accessorize (hats, glasses, necklaces, scarves…)
  • Bring a snack and beverages (my snickers bar literally saved my life)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want (but trust your photographer’s advice too…)
  • Don’t be fussy (it will show in pictures…)
  • Try not to have your session too late (I didn’t want mine during the 9th month to avoid looking bloated and tired)
  • Engage your partner and your kids in the pictures (it’s as much of a big deal for them as it is for you!)

Good luck and hope you enjoyed the photos!

Maternity pictures

6 Comments

I am a big (amateur) photography junkie so when I had the chance to document this amazing time in our lives through the lense- believe you me I did not pass on that opportunity! In one of my previous posts here I introduced you to Anastaseya Photography- a woman, a mother and a photographer who specializes in maternity, new-born, lifestyle and family photo sessions here in Muscat. I am incredibly lucky to know her personally and even more so to have been able to book a photo session for her for this Thursday!!!

Over the last few months I was collecting pins into my little board of inspirations over at Pinterest hoping to achieve similar results with our maternity photo shoot or to at least get ideas for locations, props and poses.

Below are some of my favorite moments “capturing” this amazing experience of being pregnant:

 As you can see I chose images that featured both the parents and I think that’s very important. I don’t want 45 pictures of me and my “belly” looking left and right and center and holding flowers and what-not. This isn’t about me. This is about us as a couple, as parents bringing a child into this world. She is ours. I want the pictures to show how involved her daddy was every step of the way and how obsessed he is with her already. I want her to see the bond. whether she is 3, 15 or 67 I want her to look back at these pictures and see how much we enjoyed become her parents and how important she was to us.

 Having said that you probably won’t see me publishing any pictures that look like this: (bummer…right?)

I don’t personally have anything against nude maternity photography it’s just not for me. The female body is beautiful during pregnancy absolutely, but if mine is to be captured on film I want it to be fully clothed!!! (I must admit the picture above disturbs me a little…)

In terms of the location, I would love to have an outdoors photo shoot. I initially had a very “alternative” idea that involved Boashar Sand Dune, Quad Bikes, Pink Baloons and some rough riding. Until my husband reminded me that I am pregnant… My idea was for the pictures to show the feminine aspect of pregnancy, all the tenderness and fragility of it combined with a rough exterior (that is my husband) represented in the sand bashing and quad-bike riding. This way the baby will know what she’s really made of…but then we settled for a park 🙂 The pictures will hopefully turn out to be very refreshing with heaps of greenery around us, cozy lawns and flower beds. Oh. But I am still bringing the pink balloons and maybe a few other props like baby items, ultrasound scans of the baby and maybe a black board with a “Coming Soon” message. I just can’t resist.

So look out for these next week…I am so  CRAZY excited!

(But that just might be all the sugar that I just ate talking…)

Capturing the moment

5 Comments

I have the immense pleasure to introduce to you the work of a wonderful photographer (and a friend) who specializes in family sessions, maternity shoots and capturing little bundles of joy on camera! If you fit into any of the above scenarios do not hesitate to contact her and book your session immediately!

To familiarize yourself with her talent please visit the following Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/AnanastaseyaPhotography

With any questions or requests you can email her at: anastaseya@hotmail.com

And now…here is a gigantic dose of cuteness for you:

Photography Competition “The Omani City”

2 Comments

In March Muscat Mutterings posted about a competition held by Muriya Tourism in partnership with the Oman Photography Club. I must admit that I participated because photography has become somewhat of a hobby and I am always looking for new challenges. The subject of the competition was the Jabel Sifa project, located some 45 minz away from Muscat on the Sifa Beach. Participants were requested to provide 5 of their best images featuring the natural beauty of Sifa and the villas that Muriya is currently building there. The winners will be announced this Saturday, 14 May at The Oman Society of Fine Arts at 7:30pm.

Competition Awards:

Theme 1:
First prize: 1,000 OMR
Second prize: 750 OMR
Third prize: 500 OMR
Two appreciation prizes value of each prize is 100 OMR

Theme 2:
First prize: 1,000 OMR
Second prize: 750 OMR
Third prize: 500 OMR
Two appreciation prizes value of each prize is 100 OMR

So please keep your fingers crossed for me! Although I didn’t participate to win I cannot deny that the prizes look very tempting! I will in turn let you know how it goes on Saturday and will repost the images I submitted.

And Oman Photography Club must be on a roll this year because they have recently announced yet another competition:

The Sixth Contest of Photography on the occasion of Renaissance Day.

This year’s competition theme is “The Omani City”, which was chosen to focus on the aesthetics of the modern Omani cities, including the content of buildings, roads, gardens, illuminations, and the role of human life and movement in the city and other topics that highlight the city of Oman.
The General Conditions of the Competition:

1. The competition is open to all photographers residing in the Sultanate.
2. Submitted images must be printed in a size between (8 inches) minimum for the shortest side in the picture and size (16 inches) maximum for the longest side in the picture.
3. Photographs submitted to the competition must be new and never participated in competitions and exhibitions.
4. Each participant can submit a maximum of four photos for the contest accompanied with a CD that contains the photos and a personal photograph for the purposes of official use.
5. Each participant should complete the participation form and write his name and full address and telephone number on a paper behind each image.
6. Copyrights of the winning photos will revert to the Omani Society of Fine Arts.
7. Results of the competition will be announced during the opening ceremony of the exhibition that will be held during the month of July 2011.
8. Photographs should be submitted according to the conditions mentioned to the supervisor of the Photography Club in Azaiba or branches of the Omani Society for Fine Arts in the Governorate of Dhofar and Governorate of Al Buraimi not later than Wednesday, 1st June 2011 and will not accept any submissions after this date.

Competition Awards:
First Place: R.O 700
Second Place: R.O 500
Third Place R.O 300
5 Honorable Mention Awards of R.O 100 for the award each

For more information call one of the following:
Photography Club: (968) 24497662
The Omani Society for Fine Arts in the Governorate of Dhofar: (968) 23299691
The Omani Society for Fine Arts in the Governorate of Al Buraimi: (968) 25641444

Best of luck if you decide to participate!

Dear Citizens of Pleasantville

Leave a comment

Today after work I suggest you abandon plans to head home and flop in front of the entertainment box and hurry instead to an art exhibition that showcases young local talants:

And whilst you are feeling uppity and inspirited also check out this funky photography exhibition…

The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? ~Pablo Picasso

Solving life’s mysteries one Snake Gorge at a time

4 Comments

Rocks so hot they burn your hands
Water so cold it makes your teeth chatter
Scenery so epic it takes your breath away

The Snake Gorge in Wadi Bani Awf – ideal for professional rock climbers, tough men and life-long tomboys, adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies. That doesn’t sound like you? It doesn’t sound like me either. Yet, I spent the entire Friday climbing/walking/crawling over the rocks at The Snake Gorge wondering if it was named so after the giant anacondas that dwelled in the caves. (Ok, so there are no anacondas and there are no caves).
The extravagant trip began at Tourist Village in Rustaq, a jewel we have discovered during one of our previous road trips. The campsite is located about 2 hours away from Muscat, en route to Rustaq and is impossible to miss thanks to a very worn-looking signboard alongside the main road. This lush, green resort comprises of a few huts, a swimming pool and a dining area that’s fantastic for a barbeque dinner. The rates are accessible at 25OMR per hut which is based on double occupancy. The owner of “the second home” Mr. Mohammed is a jolly old man who is pleased with his property and is very welcoming of visitors. The stay was very civilized; we had a table to eat at, a pool to swim in and comfortable beds to rest. Best not to forget that we were in the middle absolutely nowhere so yes there were mosquitoes, frogs, bugs and the whole whoo-ha. I was constantly picking leafs out of my wine and hair and ducking from wasps.
I made sure everyone came well prepared (you know how I love lists!) and for the rest of the evening I was referred to as “The Mom” because I just seemed to have the answers to everyone’s problems: nail files, salt, band aids, Strepsils, nasal spray…well you get the drift. The dinner the guys grilled up was delicious complete with snacks and a ridiculous amount of alcohol. We then spend the rest of the afternoon eating, swimming and chatting until the early hours of the morning.
If you consider a weekend getaway into the interiors, I strongly advise you to check this place out. It even comes with its own guard dog- Max 🙂

Do: bring your own music, mosquito repellent, food and drinks
Don’t: assume you are in a hotel, pick up your own litter and make your own bed!
The next morning we rose early to the annoying tweeting, no not of a bird- of my best friend’s boyfriend. You see…he is a morning person. But don’t worry he already regrets it. By 8 am he had already cleaned up the campsite, packed all our gear and would have even made the beds if we weren’t sleeping in them. Fighting epic hangovers, we scattered around organizing breakfast, hunted for coffee and finally left for Wadi Bani Awf.

To reach Snake Gorge all you have to do is turn right when leaving the Tourist Camp and keep going straight until you pretty much come to holt because there are two gigantic mountains in front of you. Ok, so I will try to get better directions…but for now, this is all I have 🙂

Luckily no one told me that the Snake Gorge Trek is about 2 hours long- one way!!! Knowing me, I would have probably not embarked on this treacherous journey if I knew that I had to climb over rocks as big as a Pathfinder. I am glad that we went though, because I have not seen scenery this beautiful anywhere else in Oman. The entire time we made our way in between two steep mountains, amidst fallen rocks and mossy creeks. We would occasionally stop for everyone to catch up, wash our faces in the running rivers as other trekkers walked past us.
I was very eager to find out what mysteries the end of the route held and I was also determined to push myself just a little more each time. Alex kept on telling me that he is very proud of me for walking all the way up, something I have always chickened out of previously! This trek is virtually impossible to do on your own, the entire time I was relying on helping hands to support me up a steep rock or secure me when I was jumping over a cavern. I must admit I was looking out for snakes the entire time but all I found was beetles, frogs, tadpoles and dragonflies (thankfully!).

As pictures are worth a thousand words, I will let you enjoy the rest of the Snake Gorge through these:

Lo and behold at the end of the Snake Gorge there is a pool of freezing cold water that is both murky and inviting. It is a deep pool, one you can even dive into so don’t assume you can walk through.
If you want to embark on this route:
Do: wear comfortable sandals/sneakers, bring your swim suite and sun screen, bring a camera and plenty of drinking water.
Don’t: bring a heavy bag, leave litter behind
Happy trekking!!!

Picture this…

7 Comments

The Nikon has been lying on the dresser for close to two weeks now, gathering dust and snickering. “Pick me up and go…just go, I know you want to”. Its heavy presence nudged at my subconscious every single time I passed it by. Eventually I caved in hoping that it will help to fill the dark hollows. Somewhere deep down something was nudging and scratching with sharp little claws, insisting to be let out. Was that a muse? Have the events of this preposterous month left me drained and in dire need of inspiration? Of course they have and I am a hopeless inspiration junky.
An SOS message went out to the soul sister urging to organize a photo session. “You will lose me to the corporate world FOR-EVA” I said. I needed an outlet. Save me.
She has done so much more than simply let me take yet another profile picture for her. “We are going on a photography trip on Friday, come with us” she cheerfully exclaimed. Sometimes I just have to accept that she knows what is best for me. That is how we ended up in Rustaq, amidst the crowded touristic hot-spots and the peaceful silence the landmarks of that magnitude always seem to carry. I was feeding off all the details; the broken vases, the untamed flowers and even the cracks in the walls. A typical Omani fort, so alike the many others I have already seen, saved me that day.
I don’t think of myself as a photographer and I wouldn’t say I am particularly good at it. But I know that when I take those pictures I ease up. With every click of the camera and every captured image- I feel lighter. It feels like I was holding my breath for a while and I can finally breathe out. Breath. So what if we drove for 2 hours to take pictures of yet another fort. And it doesn’t matter that I almost slipped on a river bank and almost fell head first on a concrete corner. Please also disregard the weight of the camera and the hot day. The outcome is tremendously rewarding.

I will let you be the judge: