Jebel Shams (Arabic for “Sun Mountain”) is Oman’s highest mountain and has an elevation of around 3,009 meters. Situated in the heart of the Western Hajar Mountain chain, it’s one of the must-see attractions for any visitor to the country. It has spectacular views of the Al Nakhr Canyon, affectionately known as the Middle East’s Grand Canyon!

Once you get to Jebel Shams, you will be afforded plenty of photographic opportunities. It’s also the perfect place to sit down, relax and have a picnic! If you’re planning to hike the Jebel Shams soon, there are a few things that you need to know and prepare for before you do so.

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Getting there

Jebel Shams is accessible from Nizwa and even Muscat, although the latter can be a long drive at just over three hours! It’s possible to visit Jebel Shams and return to Nizwa or Muscat in one day, but it’s highly recommended to consider camping overnight or making use of locally-available accommodation.

Choice of hiking routes

When you head over to Jebel Shams, you can follow one of several hiking trails. The most popular ones are as follows:

  1. The Al Nakhur Rim hike is perhaps the most commonly selected one for those seeking an “easy” hike. It starts from the village of Al Khitayam, located right at the edge of the canyon, through the Al Nakhr Rim and to the Jebel Shams plateau;
  2. The Al Khitayam to Wadi Nakhr hike takes you along the western flank of the Wadi Nakhr from Al Khitayam village and is also known as the Balcony Hike.

Camping by Jebel Shams

To truly appreciate the splendor and magnificence of Jebel Shams, you should consider spending an evening camping there. Sure, there are plenty of places to stay in the area such as the Jebel Shams Resort. But, an overnight camping stay is a must for the seasoned traveler!

You will need the usual camping gear for your overnight stay (tent, sleeping bag, portable stove). You may also wish to set up a hammock if you’d prefer to relax under the stars before you sleep. Just make sure you know how to tie hammock straps or you could end up with an unfortunate fall!

The carpet sellers

One of the curious things about any trip to Jebel Shams is the array of local carpet merchants in the area! You might not know it, but weaving is a popular and profitable local industry around Jebel Shams. So, if you have a need for some striped goat-hair rugs, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

The main summit

If you have plans to hike your way up to the summit, you should be aware that it’s not possible to do so. The main summit is home to a military radar and observation station, and, as such, is closed to the public.

Still, don’t let that put you off visit Jebel Shams as there’s plenty to explore and take in while you’re there! And don’t forget you can still visit the southern summit, known as Qarn al Ghamaydah.
Good luck!

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When the mercury rises and the sun shines, most of us don’t want to feel like our skin is caked in makeup. In spring/summer, natural looks tend to be much more popular, but if you’re used to wearing a lot of makeup, it can be daunting to go au naturel. If you’re feeling brave, and you’d like to give the minimalist look a go, here are some tips to make baring all easy.

Clinique ‘Dramatically Different’ Moisturizing Lotion+

Start with moisturizer

When you’ve cleansed your skin, apply moisturizer to nourish and hydrate your skin. If your skin is dry or flaky, your makeup won’t absorb properly, and you won’t get a smooth finish. Wait until your moisturizer has absorbed completely until you apply any other products.

Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer

Use primer

Most makeup experts extol the virtues of primer, so if you don’t already use one, now is the time to start. Primer gives you an even base on which to apply concealer and foundation, and it can also help your makeup to stay in place for longer. Choose a primer that suits your skin type. You can buy products for dry, normal, sensitive, and oily skin, and you’ll find some recommendations here http://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/10-best-primers-clinique-benefit-porefessional-smashbox.

NYX Professional Makeup High Definition Foundation

Choose your foundation carefully

There’s nothing more important than choosing the right shade and type of foundation when it comes to achieving a flawless natural look. If you’ve got a color that’s too light or dark, you’ll be able to tell that you’re wearing makeup straight away. The color of your foundation should blend with your natural complexion. Always test shades before you buy, and make sure you try the product out in natural light. Go for a shade that complements your skin tone. If you have cool skin, don’t buy a golden shade. Instead, go for something with pink or peach undertones. If you need advice on shopping for your skin type or tone, take a look at websites like beautyambition.com or ask a skincare expert or a beauty assistant for advice. Most people end up trying a whole host of products before you find their ideal match. In the summer months, when you tend to have a bit more color in your cheeks, it’s wise to go for a slightly darker shade than you would use in the winter. Layer the product, rather than applying a large amount in one go, as this makes it easier to blend.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Highlighting Palette

Adding blush or bronze

Once you’ve finished applying your foundation, you can define your cheekbones and inject a little color by adding a sweep of bronzer or a flush of blush. Use a brush to apply bronzer to the areas that the sun would hit, for example, the end of the nose, the forehead, and the cheeks or add blush to the apples of the cheeks. Go for subtle shades rather than bold contouring.

Summer will be here before we know it, so are you ready to be daring and bare all with minimalist makeup? If you’re keen to give the natural look a go, hopefully, this guide will give you confidence, and help you recreate the look with minimal effort.

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Happy Friday! Our CFO is retiring next week so I’ll be busy all afternoon helping to set up his Margaritaville sendoff. Tomorrow, Sarah and I are shooting (Yay! Outfit posts coming!) then heading to Chaplin’s. Sunday, Kendall and I are going to church where we would like to be married and then to Baltimore we go for Simple Plan! I love going to concerts with my (now) fiance! PLUS we have some great news- we settled on a reception venue so things are really getting rolling for our wedding next year!

Engaged bride-to-be gift box

This video from Upworthy actually gave me chills- totally made me rethink the phrase “special needs.”

I am so proud of Kaylin Yost! She was a year below my sister in elementary school and her brother Alex was in my class. She’s overcome great obstacles to be a fantastic pro golfer!

Speaking of incredible female athletes, Allure‘s video of Alicia Napoleon takes a hard look at beauty standards for women and women in sports.

I am such a DC girl, but if I was a state who walked into a bar, I’d be a Maryland through and through. via The Federalist Papers

I love lavender + lemonade. I also have anxiety. This lavender lemonade sounds like it might be perfect for me!

I’m tardy to the party sharing this because I didn’t do a TGIF last week but how stunning are Dani + Jen in the new line from Blake Porter Studio?

Have a great weekend!


There is a very silly video that has made its way around the interwebz a few times- for girls who wear activewear, to do not-active things. I, admittedly, can be one of those girls. For the past two weekends, I’ve slid into yoga pants and a fun tank, covered up with a cardi, and ran all my errands that way. Yes, I actually made it to the gym (eventually), but I also didn’t mind being out and about in leggings with Uggs.

In my opinion, yoga pants are never for work (unless you work at a gym, yoga studio, etc.) but for weekends, it’s all good. Activewear also tends to run a little steep, so I’ve taken to checking out sites like Zaful. However, you do get what you pay for, and the pants don’t stay up as well, for example. Great for an easy Vinyasa flow, but maybe not for a sculpt class or anything with a lot of cardio or jumping.

1.Women’s Ivy Park Logo Sleeve Hoodie||2.Women’s Ivy Park Broken Logo Ankle Leggings||3.Women’s Ivy Park Logo Tank

4.Onzie Cutout Capri Sport Leggings W/Mesh Insets, Khaki Combo||5.Women’s Ivy Park Floral Mesh Three-Quarter Leggings||6.Women’s Topshop Mesh Ponte Leggings

7.Women’s Private Party Graphic Muscle Tank||8.Bcbgeneration Slay All Day Muscle Tank Top

9.P.E Nation – Interchange Cutout Stretch-jersey Sports Bra – Black||10.Adidas by Stella McCartney – Printed Paneled Mesh And Climalite Stretch Sports Bra – Black||11.Nike – Pro Classic Metallic Stretch-jersey Sports Bra – Bronze

12.Splendid Camo Sweatpants||13.Wildfox Football Star Burnout Fleece Sweats||14.SUNDRY Hearts All Over Sweatpants


It may sound silly, but sometimes there’s nothing like that perfect pair of jeans that really emphasize my butt to give me a little confidence boost. We all spend ages searching through clothes racks to find that one item of clothing that shows off our best feature and makes us feel like we could strut down the street without a care in the world.

Whether you’re a jeans and t shirt type of girl, or you like to rock the summer dresses, we all have the one outfit that helps us roar. I know there is all sorts of advice out there for body types, but I think it’s important to focus on what makes you feel good.

Free People La Brea V Neck Sweater

Some girls like to draw attention to their cleavage, so v-neck, scoop neck or sweetheart neckline shirts and dresses are definitely the best way to emphasize these features. Wrap dresses work really well for this because they tie in at the waist and they make the breasts stand out. No matter what you’re wearing, the key to highlighting the chest is using bold colors. They will draw attention to your chest, while horizontal stripes will make them look bigger. You can also use accessories to attract attention to your neckline and, by association, your cleavage.

Women’s Halogen Scalloped Lace Pencil Skirt

Other women might not feel so great about drawing attention to their rear, but there are many ways to naturally enhance this area, including, but not limited to, butt enhancement cream. Sometimes the best way to make your butt look bigger is to emphasize your waist with a slim-fitting dress, but high-waisted or stretch-fabric jeans are your best friends. They stretch over your bum, lifting and shaping it, instead of just falling over it and making it look flat. Same thing with skirts; a straight or A-line silhouette skirt will sculpt itself to your butt’s natural shape and make it pop. You don’t have to wear really short skirts to emphasize your butt if doesn’t make you comfortable. You can achieve the same effect with long trousers or a knee-length pencil skirt.

Women’s Socialite Ruffle Sleeve T-Shirt Dress

Legs are another feature that get a lot of attention, and whether yours are long or average there is always a time to show them off. This is another situation where high-waist clothes are your friend, making your legs look like they start high on your body, no matter how long they actually are. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with jeans, skirts and shorts before you decide what makes you feel comfortable and fabulous. Summer, in particular, is when your legs will be out on display. This year, you could also try wearing cute t shirt dresses or A-line frocks as well as shorts. Combined with a pair of sandal wedges, this look will have you and your legs turning a lot of heads.

Finally, no matter your body shape, you must never forget to emphasize your smile. Your confidence is reflected in your big smile.

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