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Indulge. Splurge. relax.

i s s u e 2 • M AY 2 0 1 4

Finally !


Summer inSpireD

has its firs t re magazine al lifestyle that cove rs your favo urite content

Colourful hues for your home

Hello HeaT Stay ready for summer

exeCuTive SeDan The infinity Q50, reimagining luxury

Secret deStinationS Discover Thailand’s isolated escapes

editor’s note

Yin dee ton rab A Thai welcome to our second issue of Excite. We often hear about popular destinations in Thailand like Phuket and Ko Samui. This issue, we feature two untouched, secluded locations that will leave you refreshed and satisfied. Read about Pai and Ayuthaya, and visit a side of the Kingdom you wont find anywhere else. As an extension of our travel issue, we look at the wonders of South America that set the stage for a unforgettable holiday, offbeat honeymoon destinations like Turkey, Spain and Indonesia for the just married rookies, and an escape to Wadi Shab, before it gets hotter. Titled ‘Timeless Homes,’ our first edition of Oman’s true lifestyle magazine, has received great response and enticed many readers. We thank you all for the support. Keeping in mind the feedback we received, we

Produced by

Deenar Press and Publishing LLC PO Box 139, PC 102, Al Qurm, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24696868, Fax: +968 24693569 E-mail: Send your feedbacks to

May 2014

have added interesting segments to the May issue. This month, we give you tips to surviving summer, show you how to give yourself a manicure and get inspired by the fashion week runways. Sushi might seem like a culinary art hard to master, but we swear that it’s easier that you imagined. Gentlemen, we show you how to turn yourself into a bench press champion, stay calm, showcase the all-new Infinity Q50 and reveal ways to feel fulfilled at your job.


Hatim Al Taie

Managing Director

Abdullah Al Taie

General Manager

Rathish Ramachandran

Head of Design

Shyniben Koyakkil

Content Head

Deepali Kumar

An Al Roya presentation

Printed at Ruwi Modern Printers, Muscat

For advertising details: Call 95041146 Email

2014 © All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. While every care has been taken in the preparation of the magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of any content in this magazine. The publishers accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the writers or advertisers.



Girl power

These gorgeous women are talented, and they are doing it all right

Top airlines The business-class experience also now extends beyond flying time. We explore the best




Amazing Shab

Rhythmic success

Wadi Shab is arguably one of the most beautiful destinations in Oman. We recommend you visit before it gets too hot

The Coldplay frontman never ceases to surprise us

REGULARS News....................................6


Recipes............................ 58

Food for thought....... 62


Horoscope..................... 63

Celeb scoop .................................. 8

At-home spa ................................32

Split ups, deportations, babies and more, from the world of showbiz

Use these blissful do-it-yourself tricks to trear your tired skin and achy muscles

Best rested ................................... 12

Bench press champ ..............34

10 highly successful people who prioritise a good night’s sleep

When someone asks you how many reps you can pull, you’ll have an answer

Memory facts ............................. 29

Drop a line .................................... 36

Our memory collects minute details of our life, yet we forget where we left our keys

Eyeliners have always had universal appeal. We list out the best this season

Fresh tips ...................................... 30

Spring list ...................................... 38

A fresh, beautifully done manicure helps you look neat and put together

Runways looks aren’t always entirely wearable, but worth musing over

Shampoo right ........................... 31

Tabletop succulents ..............44

Five Shampoo mistakes you have no idea you have been making

Add character to your balcony or patio. If you love planting, you’ll love this DIY

On The Cover

Secret destinations 40

Seasonal drama Transform your home instantly with these easy yet helpful tips



Sushi at home It’s a lovely culinary art to master, and it’s easier than you think

A better man ................................45


Fall in love with the Kingdom of Thailand’s spectacular destinations. We reveal our two favourite places to visit

Summer inspired


It’s time to stop with the boring white. Since summer is here to stay, we list the six best paint colours that work

Hello heat


The onset of Oman’s summer is hard on everone. These are some things you must do before it gets hotter

Handle stress as well as a woman with our three easy tips

Cool off ........................................... 48 Make the most of the sultry season by creating quick and delicious smoothies

Fulfilling career ..........................54 Are you feeling unfulfilled at your job? Here’s how to fix that right now

Exceptional mechanics ...... 57 Greubel Forsey watches share a common design DNA

Pay to play .................................... 59 Seems the way forward is to give brands more exposure only if they pay

Executive sedan Reimagine luxury as the Infiniti Q50 has been officially launched in the Sultanate of Oman



From runway to walls

trends while being equally relevant to the local culture. The collection 2014 is developed through insights gained from the Europe, South East Asia and Middle East markets, making it a truly global collection that fits consumers leading different lifestyles. Inspirations have been drawn from the hottest trends seen in the renowned fashion brands on the catwalks during fashion weeks, as well as the design industry.

Straight from fashion catwalks in New York, London, Paris and Milan, Jotun’s Spring and Summer Collection 2014 has arrived in the region. Featuring seasonal shades that coordinate and blend with the return of the luscious season, the collection is designed to add a touch of glamour from the runways to walls.

Handpicked and developed by Jotun colour experts, the Spring and Summer Collection is influenced by colour trends in the fashion and design industries, in addition to key elements of the season picture dark branches loaded with rose petals or the cherry blossoms in spring. Each colour reflects global styles and

Lisbeth Larsen, Jotun’s Global Colour Manager, said: “Jotun not only offers a wide range of colours, but also insights and colour collections that meet the needs and desires of each individual. We are committed to bringing our consumers the most outstanding on-trend colours in the market. As such, our latest collection perfectly embodies and represents the essence of spring and summer across the globe. Reflecting joy, energy and playfulness, the Spring and Summer Collection 2014 is designed to inspire and revitalise.” The pink and coral colours offer energy and signify life at its fullest. The green and blue shades provide peacefulness and are important trends globally this season.

Sayarti launches parts brand Magneti Marelli Sayarti, the fastest growing automotive service network in Oman, has officially signed an agreement to distribute the world renowned automotive brand ‘Magneti Marelli’ in the Sultanate, it was revealed at a press conference held at the City Season’s Hotel, Muscat. Present at the event were Ed Cummins, Head of Service and Parts at Mopar, Serdar Toktamis, the Group General Manager of the Zubair Automotive Group, and Arun Kumar, the General Manager of Sayarti, along with other MOPAR and Magneti Marelli Representatives. The Magneti Marelli mission, like that of Sayarti, is to make its key technologies available to its final customers at an affordable price, by matching high quality 6

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and a competitive offer, technology and flexibility. They will join top brands like Glasurit Automotive Refinish, Cooper Tires,

Mickey Thompson Tyres, Sonax Car Care Products, HBC Smart Repair Products, Llumar window tint and PPF, and Kenwood.

Ferrari 458 Speciale makes its debut

Facebook to launch Audience Net Facebook announced the move at the start of its F8 developers conference, which is being held in San Francisco. The decision to launch the Audience Network has the potential to disrupt the ad sector thanks to the depth of knowledge the firm has about its users.

Alfardan Motors, the official importer of Ferrari vehicles in Oman, on 23 April, launched the Ferrari 458 Speciale – the most powerful and technologically advanced naturally aspirated V8 Berlinetta in the illustrious marque’s history. The 458 Speciale was launched at an exclusive ceremony organised by Alfardan Motors at the Ferrari Showroom in Al Azaiba.

uncompromising, streamlined sports car concept. Flanked in the Maranello marque’s range by the multi-awardwinning 458 Italia and 458 Spider, the new mid-rear-engine V8 berlinetta was designed to boost both performance and driving emotion to unprecedented levels, yet simultaneously guarantee smooth, effortless control in all kinds of situations.

Ferrari’s core ethos is to deliver extreme technological innovation and performance based on leading edge research, and with the latest 458 Speciale, the new model has yielded powertrain, aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics advances that transform an already exceptional 458 Italia into a car genuinely worthy of the “Speciale” moniker. The result is a completely new,

Having lavished meticulous attention on the power unit that was named “Best Performance Engine” at the International Engine of the Year Awards for two consecutive years, Ferrari has now built its most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever (605 cv) with an extraordinary specific power output of 135 cv/l , the highest ever achieved by a road-going naturally aspirated engine.

UNESCO warns Aussies about Great Barrier Reef Unesco has threatened to list the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage in Danger site, amid controversy over a plan to dump dredged sediment. Reef authorities granted permission for the dumping in January as part of a project to create one of the world’s biggest coal ports.

But scientists have warned that the sediment could smother or poison coral. UNESCO said given “significant threats” to the reef, it should be considered for inclusion on the danger list. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral structure, rich in marine life.

But one company watcher said the social network would need to be wary of privacy concerns. “Facebook will have to make sure from the outset that it sets some stringent guidelines as to exactly the type of data that it shares with advertisers,” Lara O’Reilly, senior reporter at MarketingWeek magazine. Facebook suggested it would deliver better click-through rates than its rivals as it had a better chance of delivering “relevant and interesting” material to the public.

Fibre helps heart patients If you have had a heart attack, eat plenty of fibre because it may improve your long-term chances of recovery, say US researchers. Heart-attack survivors were more likely to be alive nine years later if they followed a high-fibre diet, a study in the British Medical Journal found. Every 10g-per-day increase in fibre intake was linked with a 15% drop in death risk during the study. Dietary fibre may improve blood pressure and cholesterol, experts say. Fruit, such as bananas and apples, root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, wholemeal bread, cereals and bran are all good sources of dietary fibre. E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4



Celeb scoop Split ups, deportations, babies and more from the world of showbiz Will they deport Beiber?

Drew welcomes a baby girl

Coachella sightings

Drew Barrymore is now a proud mother of two! The Blended actress and her art consultant husband, Will Kopelman, welcomed their second child together Tuesday, another baby girl, the actress’ rep confirms to E! News.

In January, Justin Bieber’s DUI arrest inspired a petition to kick the Canadian singer out of the country. It received 273,968 signatures—nearly triple the 100,000 needed to guarantee an official response. The Baby singer, who was raised in Stratford, Ontario, has not publicly commented on the petition. “Sorry to disappoint, but we won’t be commenting on this one,” the White House’s statement read. On Sunday, Bieber promised his Twitter followers that he’s a changed person. “This is my time off but my mind is alway running. Learned a lot this past year thru trial & error but that is life. Excited for what’s next,” he wrote. He later tweeted, “Always push yourself to be better than the day before.”


E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4

“Happy to announce that today we are the proud parents of our second daughter, Frankie Barrymore Kopelman,” the couple said in a statement. “Olive has a new little sister, and everyone is healthy and happy!”

Well, apparently the dim sum brunch did the trick. Barrymore posted photos from Sunday of her happily chowing down on a variety of dishes. She and Kopelman wed in an intimate ceremony at the actress’ Montecito, California, home in June 2012. The bride, who was six months pregnant with her first child, wore a Chanel gown as she walked down the aisle in front of celebrity guests.

Though most festivalgoers consumed themselves with the ‘street’ style in Indio, we shouldn’t forget whom we actually dashed to the desert to see. Pharrell’s hat, Lorde’s take on normcore, and André 3000′s on-trend beauty embrace were just a few of the style statements we saw at Coachella. Here, some of the most notable sartorial choices from the Coachella music festival.

Nicki Minaj gets a make’under’

‘‘ Say what? This section features bizarre, weird and amusing things celebrities said Cameron Dias, last month

Budding romance Forget Nights in Rodante – Richard Gere can spend his non-working hours with Padma Lakshmi in New York. Yes, the 64-year-old actor and 43-year-old Top Chef host are dating, E! News confirms, but the romance is still “very new and recent,” a source tells New York Post’s Page Six

Uma-Arpad call it off. Again. A wedding is once again no longer in the cards for Uma Thurman and Arpad Busson. The actress and the French financier, who have a 21-month-old daughter together, have ended their engagement, according to multiple reports. This isn’t the first time that Thurman and Busson have called it quits, either. They previously uncoupled in 2009 after a year-and-ahalf-long engagement. But the two, who first started dating in 2007, obviously reconciled, welcoming a baby girl with a much-talked-about name—Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson (or Luna, for short)—in July 2012.

(which was first to report the news). And although the silver fox has been “quietly spending some time” with Lakshmi while he’s filming the movie Time Out of Mind in New York, he’s still in the midst of some divorce drama.

Minaj discussed her new look and upcoming album The Pink Print in an interview on Monday. The 31-year-old singer wore makeup in natural tones and a simple black dress for her appearance on MTV News. Once known for her outlandish demeanor, costumes and hair, Minaj has introduced a decidedly toneddown attitude and appearance in recent months.

“I don’t believe in antiperspirant, it’s really bad for you. I haven’t used it for almost 20 years.” Chris Brown, 2012

“Can I get your number? I promise I won’t beat you!” Ashton Kutcher, 2012

“The number of lines in your forehead tells how many lives you’ve lived.” Paris Hilton, 2011

“No, no, I didn’t go to England, I went to London” Christina Aguilera, 2006

“So, where’s the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?” Samuel Goldwyn, 1976

“I don’t think anybody should write his autobiography until after he’s dead.” E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4


Out & about

Amazing Shab Wadi Shab is arguably one of the most beautiful destinations in Oman. We recommend you visit before it gets too hot

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outh of the Bimmah Sinkhole lies the dramatic Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi, a pair of spectacularly narrow mountain ravines, hemmed in by vertiginous sandstone walls with a verdant ribbon of date plantations and banana palms threading the base of the cliffs. Driving south, Wadi Shab is the first of the two you’ll encounter, and perhaps the most rewarding. There’s no road into the wadi (unlike Wadi Tiwi) – which is a significant part of its charm – even if the entrance has now been disfigured by the concrete flyover carrying the coastal highway. In a 4WD you can negotiate the first kilometre or so over deep, loose gravel, but after this progress is on foot only, as the gorge narrows, with a small footpath running along a small rock ledge just above the wadi floor, choked with huge boulders. It’s possible to walk for another 45 minutes to one hour up the wadi before the track becomes difficult, passing the ruins of old villages, further plantations, and deep rock pools en route – those around the end of the trail are a refreshing place for a swim, although the wadi’s popularity with local and foreign tourists means that you’re unlikely to have the place to yourself.

Flashback: Redbull Cliff Diving World Series Final 2012

For its grand finale, the 2012 World Series made its touch down on Arabian sands for the very first time. The Sultanate of Oman hosted the season showdown in Wadi Shab, with the canyon-like valley providing a spectacular backdrop for the crowning of the 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Champion.

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Role models

Best rested

Ten highly successful people who prioritise a good night’s sleep


inish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two.” American transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson shared these words of wisdom long before modern science proved the many reasons why a good night’s sleep is so critical to our health. During sleep, the brain’s waste removal system is ten times more active than during wakefulness, literally restoring the mind for the day ahead. While it’s taking out the trash, so to speak, the body works to repair brain cells, reinforce new memories, and even learn new motor skills. Logging enough hours between the sheets each night also does wonders for helping our bodies relieve stress, fight inflammation, maintain healthy body fat levels and ultimately live longer.

Sheryle Sandberg

Jennifer Lopez

Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg spent years thinking that the best way to cross more things of her to-do list was to simply add more hours to the day by sleeping less. However, becoming a mother helped her realise that sleep is far more valuable .

Jlo who knows how to work a crowd with her fierce dances moves and energetic stage performance, insists that eight hours of sleep is her secret weapon. Even after giving birth to twins in 2008, she didn’t have to wait very long for her kids to settled.

Jeff Bezos

Ellen Degeneres

The importance of sleep is not lost on the founder of In fact, he was logging eight hours a night 15 years ago, long before the current conversations about sleep deprivation and burnout began. We often work to failure and catharsis should be avoided to calm the mind.

The comedian and television host, who has recommended Arianna Huffington’s latest book Thrive to everyone she knows, makes sure to prioritise the well-being component of the Third Metric of success in her life by focusing on getting enough sleep each night.

Despite the irrefutable evidence of why we should all be getting more shuteye, many get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. When life gets busy, sleep tends to fall to the bottom of our priority lists, leaving our minds and bodies stressed, sick and burned-out. But that’s starting to change: more and more successful people are acknowledging that pretty much any goal is easier to accomplish after a good night’s rest. Here are 10 highly successful (and busy) people who make sure to prioritise sleep. 1 2 E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4

The Dalai Lama

Jessica Alba

Cameron Diaz

His Holiness famously said, “Sleep is the best meditation,” and he certainly lives by it. In a 2012 interview, the Dalai Lama said he sleeps soundly for eight, sometimes nine hours each night so he can feel completely rested. He insists sleep is necessary for maintaining a calm, relaxed mind during the day.

After becoming a mom, actress and author Jessica Alba began focusing on what it meant to lead a healthy, sustainable and natural life. Reducing stress was at the top of her list, and sleeping around eight hours each night played an important role in making that possible.

In her new health book, The Body Book, Diaz makes one thing clear: She wants everyone to get better sleep. She designed a bedtime ritual of her own to make sure she wakes up feeling well-rested and refreshed each morning, and if she can do it, she thinks others can, too.

Matthew McConaughey

Bill Gates

Warren Buffett

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McCounaughey not only believes in the science of gratitude, but also in the power of full night’s rest. He told People that he needs eight and a half hours of sleep each night to perform at his best the next day. Matthew has been named the Sexiest Man Alive numerous times. We guess now you know why.

While the former chief executive of Microsoft used to work through the night in his office, he realised that he couldn’t enjoy a high quality of life when he relied only on midday naps for rest. He says, “I envy people who thrive on three or four hours of sleep a night. They have so much more time to work, learn, and play.”

He may be the most successful investor of the 20th century, but Warren Buffett tells those around him to choose sleep over extra profits. When he arrived at Salomon Brothers in the 90s as an advisor, Buffett told every worker in the New York City office, “Why don’t you go home and get a good night’s rest and we’ll meet again tomorrow.”

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GiRL power

These gorgeous women are talented, and they are doing it all right


ctress and television star Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983. At the age of 7 she immigrated with her family to Los Angeles, where she began taking acting lessons. After appearing in several television commercials, Kunis landed a co-starring role in the Fox sitcom That ‘70s Show in 1998. She also did voice work for the cartoon series Family Guy. Kunis has since branched out into films. She’s co-starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Black Swan (2010), Friends with Benefits (2011) and Ted (2012). Mila Kunis was born Milena Kunis in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi on August 14, 1983. At the age of sevn, Kunis immigrated to the United States with her parents, Mark and Elvira, as well as her older brother, Michael, and eventually settled in Los Angeles.

In 1998, Kunis caught her first big break when, at 14, she landed the role of Jackie Burkhart in the new Fox sitcom That ‘70s Show 1 4 E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4

In an effort to help their young daughter meet other kids, Mark and Elvira Kunis enrolled Milena in a children’s acting program at the Beverly Hills Studio. There, she met Susan Curtis, a talent manager, who took the reins of Kunis’s career and soon landed the young actress in a number of high-profile TV commercials. In 1998, Kunis caught her first big break when, at 14, she landed the role of Jackie Burkhart in the new Fox sitcom That ‘70s Show. She was cast as a whiny, self-absorbed rich girl, allowing her to perfect and showcase her comic timing. Her work on the program soon led her to Fox’s Family Guy cartoon, where she supplied the voice for the character Meg Griffin.

Mila Kunis, The Ukrainian beauty

Following the end of That ‘70s Show in 2006, Kunis started taking on more film work. In 2008 she landed a breakout role as a hotel concierge named Rachel in the comedy hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which also starred Jason Segel and Russell Brand. Audiences and critics raved about her performance. More critical acclaim came her way for the 2010 thriller Black Swan, in which she co-starred with Natalie Portman. Despite all of her success, Kunis, who didn’t know a word of English when she first arrived in the United States, says she hasn’t forgotten her roots. She lives in Los Angeles, not far from her parents, and when she visits, often speaks Russian with them.


orn in Spain in 1974, actress Penelope Cruz studied classical ballet at a young age and later moved to Hollywood, California, to pursue acting. She soon landed roles opposite the likes of Matt Damon and Tom Cruise. She won an Academy Award—becoming the first Spanish actress to do so—for her performance in the film Vicky Christina Barcelona. Cruz married her co-star, Spanish actor Javier Bardem, in 2010. Penelope Cruz, The Spanish bombshell

When she was 15 years old, Cruz found her true vocation after beating out 300 other girls at a talent agency competition. Following this early success, she landed several roles as a dancer for music videos, as well as a gig hosting Spanish TV’s La Quinta Marcha. Additionally, Cruz explored her more sensual side in the French TV series Serie Rose. Penelope Cruz made her film debut in 1992, in the dark film Jamón Jamón. The film’s director, who had been unable to cast Cruz as the lead in another film because of her young age, waited until she was old enough for his next film. Her performance earned her nominations for both the Spanish

In command and on top of her career, she played the role of a control freak and successful chef in Woman on Top, 2000

Actors Union Newcomer Award and the Goya Award (Spain’s Academy Award) for best lead actress. A year later, Cruz played Luz in The Age of Beauty (1992). The film won an Oscar (best foreign language film), virtually swept the Goya Awards and earned Cruz the Spanish Actors Union Award for best supporting performance. With an impressive apprenticeship to the craft, Cruz earned her place in Spanish cinema as a leading lady. Cruz garnered further critical recognition for her performance in the film. Two years later, in 1999, Cruz landed a role in another film directed by Almodóvar, Todo Sobre

Mi Madre, which went on to win Oscar and a BAFTA (best foreign language film) awards. With a series of well-respected movies under her belt, by this time, Cruz was in demand on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.At the age of 25, Cruz made the bold decision to move to Hollywood, California. Fully in command and on top of her career, she took on the role of a control freak and successful chef in Woman on Top (2000). That same year, she played the romantic lead in Billy Bob Thornton’s Western All the Pretty Horses. Both films garnered critical success.

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Lady Gaga’s debut single, ‘Just Dance,’ was released to radio in early 2008, and received both popular and commercial acclaim on her songwriting skills. She later withdrew from school to find creative inspiration

Lady Gaga, The glam rock star


ady Gaga was born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986 in Yonkers, New York. She attended New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts but left to find creative expression. She wrote songs for other artists until being discovered by R&B singer Akon. Her debut album, The Fame, was a huge success, and the single ‘Poker Face’ topped charts in almost every category, in almost every country.

Queen song ‘Radio Ga-Ga’), went on to become an international pop star. Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of 4. At the age of 11, she was accepted to the Juilliard School in Manhattan, but instead attended a private Catholic school in the city. She continued studying music and performing, writing her first piano ballad at the age of 13, and she held her first performance in a New York nightclub at the age of 14.

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986 in Yonkers, New York, to Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta. Germanotta, now known as Lady Gaga (she has attributed the inspiration for her name to the

A few years later, Gaga was granted early admission to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts—she was one of only 20 students in the world to receive the honor of early acceptance. While there, she studied music and worked

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In 2005, Lady Gaga was briefly signed by Def Jam Records, but was dropped just months later. Being dropped by the label propelled the singer to perform on her own in clubs and venues on New York City’s Lower East Side. There, she collaborated with several rock bands, and began her experimentation with fashion. In 2007, at the age of 20, Gaga began work at Interscope Records as a songwriter for other artists. R&B singer Akon discovered Gaga while she was performing a burlesque show that she created, called ‘Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue.’ Impressed, Akon signed the performer to his label under the Interscope umbrella, Kon Live. Lady Gaga’s debut single, ‘Just Dance,’ was released to radio in early 2008, and received both popular and commercial acclaim. The song was then nominated for a Grammy Award (for best dance recording) in 2008. The song lost to Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,’ but this didn’t keep Gaga from reaching No. 1 on the charts.


Rhythmic success The Coldplay frontman never ceases to surprise us. He also riles up critics

Bio Chris Martin (born Christopher Anthony John Martin in Exeter, Devon, England on March 2, 1977) is the lead vocalist in the band Coldplay. In 1996, while at University College London, he met Jonny Buckland and wanted to form a band with him, Guy Berryman and Will Champion. The main influence of the band is Travis. It took four years but they released their first album Parachutes in 2000. Today, Coldplay has released six studio albums, two video albums, three live albums and ten extended plays.

Personal Life Date of Birth: March 2, 1977 Height: 6’2” Hometown: Exete, Devon, England Best Known For Chris Martin is best known for being the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, pianist for Coldplay. Best Quotes “If a few companies were less greedy, the people at the bottom would have a lot more.” “I don’t mind not being cool.”

Chris Martin met Gwyneth Paltrow in 2002 while on tour with Coldplay, and they began dating. She announced that she was accepting her first baby shortly after and they tied the knot on December 5, 2004. In May, they had their first daughter, Apple Blythe Alison Martin and two years later, they had a son, Moses Bruce Anthony Martin. However, on March 25, 2014 the couple announced they were separating in a post on her website. The post was titled “Conscious Uncoupling.”

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Cover story

Pristine kingdom

Fall in love with the Kingdom of Thailand’s spectacular destinations. We reveal our two favourite secret places to visit

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Pai Spend enough time in northern Thailand and eventually you’ll hear rumours that Pai is the Ko Samui of northern Thailand. Although this is definitely a stretch, in recent years the small town has started to resemble a Thai island getaway – without the beaches. Guest houses appear to outnumber private residences in the ‘downtown’ area, the internet is never more than a few steps away and the nights buzz with the sound of live music and partying. However, unlike the islands, Pai (pronounced more like the English ‘bye’) is just as popular among Thais as foreigners. During the peak of the cool season (December and January), thousands of Thais from Bangkok crowd the town, making parts of it feel more like Chatuchak Weekend market than a remote valley town in Mae Hong Son. Traffic jams aren’t unusual during this time of year, and accommodation becomes so scarce that many are forced to rough it in tents. Despite all this, the town’s popularity has yet to impact on its setting in a nearly picture-perfect mountain valley. There’s heaps of quiet accommodation outside the main drag, a host of natural, lazy activities to keep visitors entertained, a vibrant art and music scene, and the town’s Shan roots can still be seen in its temples, quiet back streets and fun afternoon market.

Ayuthaya The sacred city, the sacked city, Ayuthaya is complexly intertwined with Thai nationalism and religion. As the former royal capital, Ayuthaya earned the emerging Thai nation a place among the great empires of Southeast Asia, and placement on the map used by the international merchants sailing between India and China during the era of the trade winds. As a city that was destroyed by an invading army, Ayuthaya is eulogised like a slain hero. But what is recounted in history and legend is not easily recognisable today. The ancient monuments retain little of their bygone majesty, with only a handful in recognisable forms. The modern city that grew among the rubble is busy and provincial, adding a distracting element of chaos to the meditative mood of crumbled kingdoms.

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Still, the city is a necessary stop on the culture trail, because of its position in the historical hierarchy and because its story as a kingdom is more approachable and better recorded than Thailand’s other ancient capital, Sukhothai. Ayuthaya’s proximity to Bangkok also makes it an alternative base for recent arrivals who find the modern capital just plain crummy. If you are from Oman then you can apply for a Thailand visa at the embassy. The details and telephone numbers of the Thai embassy in Oman are listed below. Royal Thai Embassy, Villa No. 1339, Way No. 3017, Shati Al Qurum, Off Hours: 08.00 - 15.00 Saturday–Wednesday Tel: (968) 24602684-5, VOIP: 522401, 522402, Email: Website:

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The escapist This getaway not only make you feel small, it will revive your senses

Rub’ al-Khali, Oman If the Inuit really have a blizzard of words for snow, the Bedu of Arabia must have likewise for sand, so utterly is their world consumed and ruled by it. Smothering a fifth of the Arabian peninsula, the Rub’ al-Khali (‘quarter of emptiness’) is the largest sand sea in the world. Its ripples – tinged red-orange by abundant feldspar – carpet more than 580,000 sq km of Oman, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Stand atop a dune, with nowt but the most perfect of deserts visible in every direction, and you’ll feel as microscopic as one of those many grains of sand. One of the easiest ways to access the Empty Quarter is by guided expedition from Salalah, Southern Oman.

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Iguaçu Falls, Paraná

The falls are divided between Brazil and Argentina. The best time to visit is between August and November.

Big adventures The wonders of South America set the stage for an incredible holiday


rom the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the undulating waterways of the Amazon, South America spreads a dazzling array of natural wonders. This is a continent of lush rainforests, towering volcanoes, misty cloud forests, bone-dry deserts, red-rock canyons, ice-blue glaciers and sun-kissed beaches. As landscapes go, there aren’t many other places on earth that offer so much range – or so many opportunities for adventure. You can hike past ancient temples first laid down by the Incas, contemplate the awe-inspiring power of Iguazú Falls or spend the day watching wildlife from a dugout canoe on one of the Amazon’s countless igarapés (narrow waterways). You can barrel down Andean roads by mountain bike, go white-water rafting on class-five rivers and surf amazing breaks off both coasts. And once you think you’ve experienced it all, head to the dramatic landscapes in Tierra del Fuego, go eye-toeye with extraordinary creatures in the Galápagos, and scramble up tableland 2 2 E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4

Machu Picchu, Peru

For many visitors to Peru and even South America, a visit to the Inca city of Machu Picchu is the longanticipated highpoint of their trip.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil A mountain view of the goegeous and bustling city

mountains in the Gran Sabana for a panorama that seems straight out of the Mesozoic era.

Cultural treasures South America’s great diversity doesn’t end with geography. Across the continent you’ll find magnificent colonial towns where cobblestone streets lead past gilded churches and stately plazas – a scene little changed since the 18th century. Elsewhere, you can haggle over colorful textiles at indigenous markets, share meals with traditional dwellers of the rainforest and follow the pounding rhythms laid down by Afro-Brazilian drums corps. South America is home to an astounding variety of living and ancient cultures, and experiencing it all first-hand is as easy as showing up.

La Vida Musical Welcome to one of the world’s great music destinations. Colombian salsa, Brazilian samba, Argentine tango and Andean folk music all receive airtime across the globe, but nothing quite compares to hearing those rhythms in the place where they were born. Sultry milongas (tango clubs) in Buenos Aires, simmering garrafeiras (dance halls) in Rio, salsotecas (salsa clubs) in Quito – all great places to chase the heart of Saturday night. Yet this is only the beginning of a great musical odyssey.

Cordiliera Huayhuash, Peru Trek through the mountains. A view of the landscape in Cordiliera Huayhuash, Peru, South America.

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Honeymoon destinations This is the time to shoot for the moon: travel and bring home a lifetime’s worth of memories Cappadocia, Turkey The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are spectacularly peculiar, a sight that needs to be shared. The region offers plenty of opportunities to explore on foot or by car, but the best way is to wake up before dawn for a balloon ride over the jagged landscape and fantastic dwellings. Post-afternoon-nap, climb the stairs up to Uchisar Castle to watch the sunset from the top of the area’s tallest fairy chimney, where Cappadocia mingles with the clouds and everything from Mt Erciyes to the Pigeon Valley is in view. Stay at Argos in Cappadocia, a former monastery that’s been turned into the sweetest and chicest cave hotel in the area.

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Andalucía, Spain Few things are dreamier than an alfresco lunch under the sunny skies at the olive orchards of southern Spain. Think jamón ibérico, olives, manchego cheese and local Jerez sherry on a hand-woven blanket, followed by a languorous siesta. The wild mountains outside Seville provide the perfect setting for idyllic, isolated feasts.

Bali, Indonesia Juicy mangoes, technicolor sunsets, night-blooming jasmine: Bali is quite possibly the most seductive island on earth. This is a culture where days begin with offerings of flowers to Hindu deities at roadside temples and where every visitor is greeted with a smile, but sensual undercurrents flow. It’s also the place for indulgent spa treatments, like floral baths and spice body scrubs, and of course couples’ massages. Hotel Tugu (in Canggu) is filled with art and antiques that bring back to life forgotten tales of the romance of Bali and Java.

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Business class

Top airlines The business-class experience also now extends beyond flying time. We explore the best


requent travelers weigh lounge options and add up additional perks such as chauffeur service to and from the airport. In compiling this list we established certain baseline criteria, like fully flat beds, something each of the airlines on the list offers. Many also have ample space between seats and easy access to the aisle configurations that certain airlines, like Swiss and Singapore, have mastered. Here are 10 of the top airlines:

Singapore Airlines This much-awarded airline tops the list in many crucial areas, not least its impressive seats, which, according to SeatGuru, are the world’s widest, a generous 34 inches

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on its Airbus A380-800, which flies from Singapore to London and Los Angeles, among other destinations. The cabin also features ample room between each seat, and, thanks to the 1-2-1 layout, gives every passenger direct access to the aisle. The culinary offerings are similarly stellar. There’s Givenchy tableware and a special ‘Book the Cook’ option that enables passengers to preorder their main course from a lengthy online menu. Then there are the famously delightful flight attendants known for their thoughtful and intuitive service. Hotel Insider’s Philippe Kjellgren is a fan: “Singapore’s business class is better than first class on most

other airlines,” he notes. “You get an almost queen-size bed, turndown service and proper linens. If they can do it, why can’t everyone else?”

Oman Air Flagship airlines out of the Middle East, showcasing increasingly luxurious cabins and services to keep pace with their deeppocketed clientele - have been giving traditional players across the globe a run for their money in recent years. This relative newcomer, established in 1981, has quietly been working its way up the ranks, coming in third for Best Business Class Airline Seat (length 77.5 inches, pitch 82 inches) and nabbing the No. 2 slot for business

class overall in the 2013 World Airline Awards survey. The service is exemplary as well: A warm welcome with Arabic dates and coffee greets business passengers (you’ll have to upgrade to first for caviar service); a solid Champagne and wine selection follows when country law allows or once passengers are in flight. Another highlight: Oman Air offers door-todoor service with complimentary chauffeur-driven airport transfers in select destinations such as Paris, London, Muscat, Oman, and Mumbai, India.

with business travelers thanks to features like its Elemis amenity kits and an onboard ‘Club Kitchen,’ where fliers can graze between meals. Its lie-flat seats also have a distinctive ‘Z’ position that extends to 6 feet, 6 inches and is ideal for watching movies.

Etihad Airways This precocious youngster, launched in 2003 as the flagship carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has been busy winning the hearts of well-heeled travelers, not to mention several awards, including top-10 ranks for food, lounge and business class overall, according to Skytrax. The

Qatar Airways Established in 1993, the national carrier of this tiny, prosperous Arab

state is already one of the world’s most lauded, winning Skytrax’s Best Business Class Overall award in 2013 and ranking second in Best Business Class Lounge for its luxe facility in Doha, Qatar. The business-class service has also racked up a number of firsts: Its B787s have the world’s first dual-screen interfaces, which enable passengers to play games on handheld devices while waiting for movies to load. The airline was also the first to offer different red beverage selections going East and West out of Doha, Qatar, so that frequent fliers enjoy different selections on each leg; and it’s the only airline to offer rosé Champagne in business, Billecart and Salmon, no less. Having star chef Nobu Matsuhisa oversee the in-flight menu hasn’t hurt either.

British Airways This veteran airline is still going strong, consistently polling well

The carrier’s lounges also garner top marks, the Heathrow Club World Lounge nabbed the third slot in the 2012 World Airline Awards Best Business Class Lounge category, with special mention going to the Galleries Arrivals lounge, which features an Elemis Travel Spa, 94 shower rooms, cabanas with infinity bathrooms and a garment-pressing service.

In compiling this list we established certain baseline criteria, like fully flat beds, something each of the airlines on the list offers

Pearl business-class cabin features 6-foot-1-inch flat beds with privacy shells and direct aisle access from every seat; food and beverage managers for each passenger; and thoughtful touches like mood lighting to help ease jet lag. On the ground, meanwhile, expect to be pampered in the business lounge’s Six Senses Spa. There’s also a library stocked with papers and magazines and speedy services—ironing and shoe polishing—you can cue up while you shower.

Swiss International Air Lines Attention to detail is what sets this airline’s business cabin apart: Expect out-of-the-box touches like all-veggie menus from Zurich’s Haus Hiltl, the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. The new angled seats and seating configuration (1-2-1/2-2-1, offering better access to the aisle) are also innovative, and the airline keeps the

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middle seat in three-seat rows empty on all European flights. “The seating configuration is one of our favorite options right now,” writes Robeel Haq on the well-regarded travel blog The Aviation Writer, “providing privacy when you need it and the ability to travel and talk with a partner if you desire, plus it solves the dreaded ‘step-over-a-sleeping-stranger’ maneuver for the usual 2x2x2 seating configuration.”

Virgin Atlantic Business travelers love this perennially popular carrier for all the reasons you’d imagine - modern planes, an upbeat staff and loads of perks in the cheekily named “Upper Class” like 22-inch-wide beds that convert to 33 inches when it’s time to sleep. Night owls can also head to the onboard galley bar to throw

back a cocktail and mingle with fellow passengers. It’s back on earth where this airline really shines, though, largely thanks to its flagship London Heathrow Clubhouse. Here you can sip a cocktail at the buzzy, futuristic-looking glowing bar, have a facial or a close shave at the Cowshed Spa, tuck into a full English breakfast or catch a movie in The Den’s state-of-the-art screening rooms.

Cathay Pacific This beloved airline no longer has the skies to itself when it comes to luxe service (it last won the Skytrax Airline of the Year award in 2005), but the Hong Kong carrier still stands tall when it comes to providing passenger comfort, with one of the world’s widest business-

class seats at 32 inches and a side storage compartment that doubles as extra knee space for those who prefer sleeping on their side. Cathay’s highly regarded food and beverage program and legendary service also top the charts: In 2013, the airline came in No.1 in Skytrax’s poll for World’s Best Cabin Staff.

Qantas Given that its transpacific flights are some of the longest in the world, we’re thankful that Australia’s pride and joy has committed to a superior flying experience in business class. Passengers recline in award-winning Mark Newson-designed Sky Beds with massage options, and airline staff members do a turndown service with a mattress and duvet on request. Amenities are courtesy of Kate Spade and Jack Spade, while dishes are conceived by Sydney’s star chef Neil Perry and are served on Marc Newson-designed tableware. (There’s even a “Select on Q-Eat” service that lets business fliers choose their preferred meal online 72 to 24 hours prior to departure.) The airline is also known for its red beverages: Qantas won Best Business Class Sparkling and Best Overall Cellar in the 2013 Cellars in the Sky Awards. Finally, the recent introduction of Chauffeur Drive gives business travelers on eligible international flights luxury car transfers both ways.


World’s favourite Singapore’s Changi Airport has been crowned the best in the world for the fourth time in 14 years at the prestigious World Airport Awards in Geneva. The Southeast Asian hub beat off competition from Incheon Airport in South Korea and Amsterdam Schiphol in the Netherlands, which came in second and third respectively.

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The award was based on surveys conducted by international travel research and consultancy group Skytrax, who polled 12.1 million passengers over a nine-month period. A total of 39 services and products including checkin, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration were examined at 395 airports across the world.

One of the first Middle Eastern airlines with a cult following, this Dubai-based player continues to shine. Travel + Leisure readers ranked it No. 2 in the world in the magazine’s 2013 survey, thanks to lie-flat seats (on all A380 aircraft) and restaurant-quality meals that start with Arabian mezze platters and end with gourmet cheeses, all served on Royal Doulton fine bone china with exclusive Robert Welch cutlery. The fact that Emirates also has one of the youngest fleets in the sky doesn’t hurt its reputation as one of the luxury airlines to beat.

did you know

Memory facts Memory can be a playful thing. It collects minute details from childhood events, yet leaves us wondering where we left our keys


here are several types of memories, and the brain has a unique way of forgetting each kind. Psychologists have classified various ways by which we forget, and biologists have studied forgetting mechanisms at the cellular level. They’ve found that forgetting is normal, and actually vital to how the brain works. Here is a look at the strange facts about how people forget things.

How doorways destroy memory In one common but mysterious short-term memory failure, people find themselves in a room, without remembering why they ended up there. Researchers say, in these circumstances, the doorway may be to blame. The very act of walking through a doorway may hint to the brain that a new scene has started and it should store prior memories away, thereby causing strange memory lapses. But still, mental eventboundaries are useful, because they help us organise our mental timelines and remember not just where, but when a particular event happened.

But it’s not clear how this happens, and brain scans of patients who have had this type of amnesia show no signs of damage to the brain, or signs of stroke.

Memories can live on, even if we can’t access them Could forgotten songs continue to live on inside our heads, without us knowing? In a 2013 report of a strange case in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, researchers described a woman who had musical hallucinations of song that she didn’t recognise, but others did. The scientists said the woman had likely known the song at some point, but forgot it. The case raises the question of what happens to forgotten memories, they said, and suggests that memories can be stored in some form in the brain that renders them accessible, and yet unrecognisable. It is possible that the woman had fragmented preservation of musical memories, with key portions of those memories lost. As a result, she couldn’t recognise those memories, the researchers said.

Brains may be programmed to forget infancy Our earliest childhood memories fade, and there’s likely a reason for that, researchers

say. Most often, people don’t recall any memories from their earliest years of life, usually before age three or four. This is called infantile amnesia. Scientists previously thought that early memories were there, but children just didn’t have the language skills to verbalize them. However, recent research shows that children do make memories during their early years, but then forget through deliberate mechanisms. One possible explanation for this is that the developing brain, while growing exponentially and generating cells, wipes out stored memories. Brain injuries may cause forgetting It is possible to lose memories before they even have a chance to become stored, due to injuries in the brain’s structures that are specifically involved in handling memory formation, maintenance and recall. Damage to these areas can result in curious forms of amnesia. In one of the most-studied cases of such amnesia, Patient H.M. lost the ability to form any new memories after a part of his brain was removed during a surgery to treat his epilepsy. Another famous case records the Patient E.P., who had a similar fate after he had inflammation of the brain caused by a virus.

Mind-erasing activities Although rare, certain activities can result in a temporary memory loss and brain fog, called transient global amnesia. People with transient global amnesia suffer no serious side effects, and the memory problems usually disappear in a few hours.

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Fresh tips

A fresh, beautifully done manicure helps you look neat and put together. Also, you save a lot of money

1. File your nails Make sure they are completely dry (filing wet nails can cause splitting). Rounded nails (mirroring the shape of your cuticle) that extend just over the edge of the fingertip always look elegant.

2. Soak your nails Apply a rich hand cream. Then, soak your nails in warm, soapy water for five minutes to soften the cuticles. (One hand at a time if you want to flip through a magazine or play with your iPad.)

3. Push back your cuticles Push back your cuticles with a wet nail stone. If you have a hangnail, trim it; otherwise, don’t clip cuticles (they protect nails from infection).

4. Apply a basecoat It helps the colour go on smoothly and

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last longer. Try OPI Natural Nail Base Coat. Or, if your nails have ridges, Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat.

5. Brush on two coats of colour Brush on two thin coats of colour, waiting a couple of minutes after each hand. Use three strokes on each nail— on either side of the nail, then a swipe of colour across the tip to prevent chips.

6. Apply a top coat Singleton likes CND Air Dry, which helps cut drying time. Don’t forget to swipe the top coat across the top of each nail as well, as you did with the colour.

7. Clean up any smudges Clean up any colour outside the edges of your nails with an orange stick wrapped in a thin layer of cotton and dipped in polish remover.

Quick nail tips Don’t shake the nail polish bottle, instead roll it between your palms. This mixes the polish without causing air bubbles. Before polishing clean nails, soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and swipe across nails. This will remove any excess oils or soap than can cause peeling once polish is applied.

Shampoo right Five shampoo mistakes you have no idea you have been making

You’re not completely wetting your hair preshampoo Without enough water, shampoo doesn’t lather— and you may be inclined to compensate by using more product (stripping your hair and your wallet). Stand under the shower spray for an extra minute before sudsing up.

shampoos occasionally to prevent buildup of certain ingredients (like silicones). Every couple of months, replace your current shampoo with another formulated for your hair type, says cosmetic chemist Mort Westman. You can also use a clarifying shampoo once a month, says celebrity hairstylist Kimberly Kimble.

You use the same shampoo seven days a week, 365 days a year

You begin by applying your shampoo to the same spot

Not only are you shampooing too frequently—every other day is usually enough, says hairstylist Mario Russo— but you should also switch

You might notice that the top of your scalp is dry or flaky. Try alternating your routine by starting your shampoo at the nape of your neck and distributing the

lather onto your hair before moving toward the top of your head, says Russo.

You’re creating too much friction To avoid damaging hair, massage your scalp with your fingertips rather than your fingernails or palms.

You’re rinsing with hot water Piping hot water dries your scalp and hair. Use lukewarm instead (which helps to preserve colour).

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At-home spa

Treat your achy muscles and stressed-out skin at home with these blissful do-it-yourself tricks

Go from dry to dewy in a spritz. Floral and herbal waters hydrate skin and keep it glowing. Try a premade version or make your own: Add 1/6 cup dried lavender Find ‘mist’ and 1/2 teaspoon opportunities dried sage to one cup boiling water. Remove from heat, add 25 rose petals (one large flower), and steep for two hours. Drain the mixture through a coffee filter, then refrigerate in a spray bottle.

Taking a bath before hitting the sack can help you snooze better, notes a study in the journal Sleep. Add a few drops of bath oil or a moisturising fizzy ball. For a more organic feel, toss in flower heads, such as Float away those from roses and stress dahlias, and lime slices (as many as you like) while the tub is filling. The oils of the buds moisturise skin, and the vitamin C-rich fruit acts as an astringent.

A face massage not only feels fab, but it also relaxes muscle tension, smoothing away lines and increases luminosity. To do, apply a thin layer of lotion to your face, place your palms against your cheeks, and Rub off rub in fast up-and-down wrinkles motions. Repeat along your forehead. Next, use your index and middle fingers to make small circular motions against the sides of your nose and around your mouth. Finally, press down on the area just under your brows and above the bridge of your nose for three seconds.

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Get your eight glasses a day the spa way by adding five mint leaves and 10 thin cucumber slices to a pitcher of water, suggests Pam Ouellet, spa director of the Willow Stream Spa at the Sip super Fairmont Banff Springs in water Alberta, Canada. Mint oil helps flush away complexiondulling toxins, and vitamins A and C in cukes keep skin healthy.

Use an artist›s fan brush, not your fingers, to apply a face mask. The bristles lightly exfoliate, helping the mask›s ingredients penetrate deeper. Mash half a banana and combine it with one tablespoon each orange juice and honey. Apply and rinse after 15 minutes.

Paint one on

Fill a basin halfway with warm water, then add a few river rocks. Press your soles down on them, or use one to knead away pain caused by running. Afterward, paint your toes a deep blue, green, or lavender. These spa colors project feelings of calm.

Treat your feet

Smooth it

Body scrubs are a popular spa treatment, over leaving skin silky. Achieve similar effects in the shower by wearing buffing mitts. Rub skin in circular motions, starting at the bottoms of your legs and moving up to your waist, then repeat from your wrists to your shoulders. Make clockwise circles around your tummy, and brush upward from your chest to your neck.

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b e nc h p r e s s


When someone asks you how many reps you can pull, you’ll have an answer


ench pressing is one of the workouts that requires no contemplation when it comes to how many Olympic weight plates you can stack - right before someone courteously volunteers to spot you in case your hands started to shake on that first rep. Let’s face it, it’s the machismo workout for men. You can tour the gym for an entire hour through all the machines but you’ll inevitably have to face your ultimate challenge with the barbell. The beauty of bench pressing is not only does it work the whole upper body but it also stimulates growth of different muscle groups. One of which are the deltoid muscles (shoulders) which are segmented into three parts – the front muscles (Anterior), middle muscles (Lateral) and rear muscles (Posterior). Aside from increasing the strength and mass of the shoulders, bench pressing will also concentrate on your triceps, lats and of course the entire chest region. The magnitude of how much growth is involved will of course depend on your training regime and consistency.

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Here are five tips to keep in mind that can help increase your bench pressing technique.

Get the blood flowing What’s the first rule before any work out? Warm up, right? There’s a reason for that - whether it’s a ten minute cardio session or a quick jog on the treadmill you’ll need to keep your circulation flowing for leaner muscle tissues. If you don’t warm up, you’ll be more susceptible to getting injuries. Another reason to warm up is to ease your arteries into carrying a lot of oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body, hence boosting cell functionalities and your overall responsiveness during your workout.

Mix your sets Start off with two to three sets and 20 per cent more weights that you usually take. If you’re new to dumbbells and barbells we suggest sticking with doing Myofibrillar Hypertrophies. The next round would have three sets and gradually increasing the weights to 45 per cent of what you did in the last session. Change to dumbell flys for two days then switch back again. The main criterion is perfecting those compound movments then concentrating on isolated movement like the flys. Remember that the only way to grow is by keeping your body under constant tension.

Take resting seriously Another important factor to help stimulate muscle growth is the ability to give ‘rehab time’ for your body. So flourish it with nutrients, supplements and most importantly, rest. You need to give your body time off when you’re training.

Tag a workout buddy Many studies show that if you hit the gym with a friend your motivation and commitment level will be higher contrary to just plugging some earphones and going at it by yourself. Which better way to tap into those extra reserves of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) than to shimmy in with a fitness partner who shares the same enthusiastic energy as you.

Alternate grips The closer your hands are to the center of the barbell the more stress is induced on your triceps, the further the more you’re going to work the shoulders and pecs. Correct posture is important as you don’t want to be getting a tennis elbow early in the week, so take your time in this. If in doubt, use a Smith machine.

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Drop a line

From a classic black cat eye to playing with colour, eyeliners have always had universal appeal. We list out the best


ecause of the varying textureliquid, marker, gel, khol and pencil-as well as hues, the possibilities on how you want the result are endless. Whether you want over-the-top definition, a subtle line or a slash of pigment, we showcase a few eyeliners that guarantee your desired result. Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Liner in Sappire, USD24

Votre Vu Smudge & Set

Soft Eyeliner in Chocolat, USD16

Jane Iredale Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner in Black and Brown, USD28 Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil in Violet, USD24

Chantecaille 24 Hour Waterproof Eyeliner in Ebony, USD26

Revlon Colorstay Skinny Liquid, USD8

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L’Oreal Paris Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner in Black, USD9

Beauty secrets from celebrities

Sea deep Researchers are diving deep into the skinsoftening, wrinkleplumping, and hair-thickening benefits derived from various jewels of the ocean


Seen on: Kate Bosworth

Seen on: Rita Ora

How-to: For colour that doesn’t budge with a hint of shine, daub a stain on your lips and blend outwards. Allow it to dry and apply another coat for a vibrant pout that will last all night.

How-to: Create a perfectly polished brow like Ora by first filling in the brows with a slightly dark pencil (on shade deeper than your natural hair colour). Start in the center, working outward in both directions to avoid a stark line.

Our pick: Topshop Gloss Ink in Smitten, USD16

Our pick: Dolce & Gabbana Shaping Eyebrow Pencil, USD45

eafoam green and ocean blue are not just storming the runways, they’re also the colors du jour in the world of beauty. A tidal wave of marine ingredients—from algae to kelp, caviar to seawater—is cropping up in serums, hair conditioners, supplements, and spa treatments. “Algae have been around for billions of years,” says Mike Rohlfsen, director of business development for Heliae, an Arizona company that harvests the organism. “Because they’ve had to adapt to survive, they are packed with minerals, proteins, peptides, and anti-aging oils,” he explains, adding that they have incredible cell-renewal, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory properties. The technology for harvesting algae on a massive scale didn’t exist until quite recently. New advances have made it easier to collect and extract the desired ingredients. Plastic surgeon Dimitry Rabkin, director of Minimally Invasive Facial Rejuvenation at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, shares Rohlfsen’s convictions that algae help cells function better. He believes the possibilities are endless.

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Spring list Runways looks aren’t always entirely wearable, but they certainly are inspirational Spring 2014 New York Fashion Week (and the fabulous street style of its attendees) inspired us to start planning our outfits for next spring. Here are the few most inspirational fashion trends to try.

Ego-boosting embellishments

Future florals Team your neon florals and botanical blooms with edgy attitude and offbeat accessories, like metallic glam rock accessories, sky high sandals or chilledout trainers. The two tribes within this trend are polar extremes - it’s either the lady-like treatment or sassy urbanite styling.

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Are you listening, Fashionistas? Reach for all that glitters for spring/ summer 2014, with the majority of fashion houses lavishing lashings of shimmer, sparkle and costume-jewellery fancies across tops, dresses, collars and spare inches of fabric. How decadent!

Lace The LLD – little lace dress – for SS14 looks more like a night dress, rather than a high-octane, vintage frock and is best styled with voluminous hair and a slick of black eyeliner.

Pink ladies Fashion’s fickle eye hasn’t quite moved on from pink. There’s still plenty of style mileage left in the hue that makes boys wink. Best worn as one heropiece, such as a coat or jacket, or be shameless and wear pink head-totoe. You go, girls.

Look-at-me dresses This trend is simple. Take one ahhhhhmazing dress and wear it with full throttle confidence, heels and a bouncy strut. Done.

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homes & interior

Seasonal drama Transform your home instantly with these easy yet helpful tips


o embrace the blissful, mellow season of summer, one must sweep through their home, gather up winter›s rich, intricate layers and replacing them with light and breezy accents that let the rooms breathe. Giving your home a summer makeover can be as simple as weaving in a few key pieces of seasonal decor. Here are some ideas:

Live plants lend energy We love what live houseplants do for the home in the summer. They refresh each room, bringing in new energy. All you need to do when decorating with houseplants is to add them to an existing display or create a simple summer arrangement that combines a plant with a few summer accents. You›ll be amazed by how poking in a plant will amp up the impact of a display. Consider adding a few pots of ivy to take a tables cape to the next level. It›s extremely easy to create.

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For example, you may place a silver candelabra in the center of a miniature concrete birdbath and rest a wire globe over it. With the structure of the centerpiece in place, fill in the perimeter with pots of ivy. With its winding and twisting vines reaching out in all directions, the ivy centerpiece looks more exotic.

Maidenhair ferns work great when decorating for summer. We’re smitten by their lacy, romantic fronds, a great contrast to the sleek, modern styling of the white pottery used in lots of summer displays. Start with a base, like a light, bright mirrored tray. Bring in dramatic height using a few taller pieces, like inexpensive but fetching pottery. Tuck a potted plant in the middle ground. Then, finish with a few interesting details, like a stack of books, plates and beverage service. In the summer, you can tuck plants into likely and unlikely spots throughout my home. You must always have something live on your windowsills, like a line of three small African violets in cute cachepots. Place palms on the center table in my living room and on a pedestal next to the stairway entry. In addition to putting a Boston fern on the marble-top table in your dining room, feature potted

succulents at the center of your dining table. All these plants will look amazing and fresh and fun -- until you forget to water them.

Pretty pillows perk up upholstered furnishings It’s important to have as many accent pillows in different sizes.I actually have fewer than it appears. Here›s a secret to getting twice the mileage from your pillows: Keep two sets of pillow covers made -- one for the warm months, one for the cold months. When the seasons change, unzip the pillow covers and replace them with the other set. Presto! Your living room will look as if it›s redecorated for the season just by changing out the accent pillows. You won›t believe what a difference just swapping out your pillows will make. You can bring it to life with accent pillows. Mix up pillows covered in

tangerine, lemon yellow, apple green and hot pink. Mix up patterns that weave in these perennial favorites, like blue ticking trimmed in a red flange. Others like to float away on a summer dream, picking washed linens and the softest cottons in a delicate bouquet of creamy pastels.

Wicker, bamboo bring in beauty of nature

When you’re reworking the decor for summer, replace your formal serving pieces, like silver trays, with informal pieces made from natural materials, like wicker and bamboo. We like how the irregular, organic textures and lines bring the unpredictable beauty of nature into a home. For a quick summer remake, lighten up an existing display by tucking in something that celebrates nature. Maybe it›s setting your table with wicker chargers. When decorating your mantel for summer, weave in a few natural pieces.

Add interesting touches with new summer accents Rustic metal trays add a charming country feel to summer displays. You could use them to showcase pots of fern, a cluster of vases filled with hydrangeas or a hurricane displaying seashells.

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homes & interior

Happy hues It’s time to stop with the boring white. We list the five best paint colours that work

Blue is a crowd-pleaser, the go-to choice when someone wants to try real colour. This soft blue has slight hints of gray, which lends sophisticated appeal. It especially works for small spaces.

Try it in

and Bedrooms s ha llway

it in

Tr y and d Be rooms rooms d ining

Sage green hues are perennially popular because they work like a neutral while still adding a little color to a space. They also come across as soothing. This particular shade has a touch more green without going muddy. 4 2 E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4

Tr y it in

l A sma l M bathroo

If you’ve lived with white walls for a bit too long, yet kind of panic when presented with paint colour choices, we know that you’re not suddenly going to go for dramatic black walls. That’s why we’ve rounded up some no-fail paint colours that can fit in any home no matter what style. These hues may be on the safe side, but they’re a great step towards more colourful living. It’s almost off-white, not grey or cold, neither boring beige. It’s a great colour for someone who is scared of real colour.

A golden apricot flatters every skin tone. It instantly brightens the mood of the room. The key trick is to add this burst of colour to tiny areas of the house. For example, it illuminates the bottom of a staircase or one wall of a small bathroom.

Gray is timeless, but can often skew too cold. This version has warmer undertones, which create a cozier feeling. It also makes for a great backdrop for art or framed photographs.

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rooms Living d an ces offi home

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Do it yourself

Tabletop succulents

Add character to your balcony or patio. If you love planting, this is the perfect mini DIY for you You will need Wide-neck clay pot Small rocks Cactus soil

Small shovel Watering can Small brush Sunny spot

Succulents Decorative rocks (optional)


tart with a wide-necked clay pot, a glass vase will do too. Succulents don’t have deep roots so they do just fine in shallow pots (if you were planting in the ground or a deep pot you need to be more careful with your watering since the roots will only reach down a few inches). Fill the bottom 1-2 inches of your container with rocks. Preferably lava rocks because they are light weight, but really any small rocks or pebbles will do. Next, add another few inches of soil. You can easily make your own cactus soil by mixing equal parts regular potting soil with Perlite. Using a shovel, fill the pot with soil till you reach an inch under the brim. With the plants still in their pots, move them around to figure out where you want to place them. Then, gently remove the plastic pots and place the plants in their new home. Fill in the empty spaces between your plants with more soil. Once our plants are potted, you can brush out extra soil and add rocks or pebbles around the plants. You may even use colourful aquarium pebbles to

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give your succulent garden and burst of colour. Water your newly minted garden regularly and keep it where you have lots of sun light. Editor’s tip: You may use a big glass vase that is available in most home accessories stores. Layer soil and colourful aquarium rocks to give your patio or garden tabletop some colour.

self help

A better

man S

cientists in Austria found that “Stress Makes Women Nicer and Men Meaner.” Neuroscience researchers placed men and women through a series of stressful situations like public speaking and mental arithmetic and measured their ability to recognize other people’s emotions and understand their perspectives. And in each of the drills the male participants performed poorly while their female counterparts aced them. So what is the takeaway? In rough situations men become more egocentric, self-focused, and unable to empathise. While women experience the exact opposite, becoming more “prosocial” and clued in to what others around them are feeling.

Handle stress as well as a Woman in three easy tips

the balance between two hormones: testosterone and oxytocin. Men tend to have more of the former and release less of the latter in those stressful moments we encounter every day. Women’s bodies produce less testosterone in general and more oxytocin when under the gun.

boosting your oxytocin levels so you can keep cool, carry on, and be a little merrier:

Turns out oxytocin has a rep as both a “love” and “moral” hormone, and has been researched in all manner of potential uses – from treating social anxiety to promoting economic stimulus – and can be found in some over-the-counter nasal sprays. We suggest a few straightforward tips to

3. Work it out. Exercise helps stimulate oxy production and has even been researched as a way to explain/promote positive interactions between athletes and team building.

1. Hug it out. Docs say oxytocin levels are pumped up by sharing a bro-hug or high-five or other friendly physical contact.

4. Chill it out. It’s worth remembering she is constantly pumping oxy, and if she can keep cool, so can you. Take a walk, or do any of the above. There is absolutely no need to be a bad person.

What makes men mean? The scientific working answer to that question has to do with our wiring and

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at home

It’s a lovely culinary art to master, and it’s easier than you think


hey love the precision, but sushi isn’t too tricky to make at home if you have a few essential tools and ingredients. We will be making ura hosomaki, small sushi rolled ‘inside out’, concealing the black seaweed (nori) within a rice exterior. It combines marinated mackerel with shiso (a Japanese leaf that looks like a nettle, tastes like mint and grows easily indoors). It is an easy introduction to homemade sushi. Get yourself a starter kit. Bamboo mats are available in supermarkets and you won’t need any equipment you don’t have already, just a saucepan, baking tray, clingfilm and a sharp knife. Plus a bowl of water to dip your fingers into – to stop rice sticking to your hands. Japanese brands such as Clearspring are available in supermarkets and make sushi rice, wasabi, rice vinegar and nori (seaweed) squares. Let’s get started.

For Shime saba and shiso ura hosomaki A small inside-out roll with mackerel, shiso leaves and white sesame seeds Makes 4-6 rolls (24-36 pieces)

You will need For the sushi rolls A sushi mat (if using a bamboo mat, cover it tightly with clingfilm to stop the rice sticking in the grooves)

For the marinated mackerel Mackerel fillets 2 x 100g fillets

A bowl of cold water to stop rice sticking to your hands

Rice vinegar or brown rice vinegar 400-500ml (or sufficient to cover the fillets)

Marinated mackerel 2x100g fillets Nori (Sea weed) 2-3 sheets Sushi rice 4-6 handfuls (roughly 320-480g) White sesame seeds 4-6 tsp Shiso leaves or coriander leaves 6-9 cut in half lengthways

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Sea salt 2 big handfuls (60g)

For the sushi rice Japanese rice 3 cups Water 3 cups Rice vinegar or brown rice vinegar 120ml Sugar 3 tbsp Sea salt 1 tbsp

Step one

Marinade, soak and slice To marinate the mackerel, place fillets on a flat plate, sprinkle salt on both sides and rub in gently. Leave for one hour and then rinse under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Put fillets into a deeper dish, cover with the rice vinegar and leave for 45 minutes. Remove mackerel and pat dry. Run your finger along the fillet and remove any bones with tweezers. Then slice the mackerel into pieces as long as a nori sheet and 1cm wide.

Step two

Wash and cook the rice. Plug in hairdryer To cook your sushi rice, first wash it several times in a sieve until the water runs clear. Drain the rice then soak in cold water for at least half an hour (one to two hours gives the perfect result). Put rice into a pan with an equal volume of water and bring to the boil, put the lid on and reduce the heat then simmer on the lowest heat for eight to

ten minutes (set a timer). All the water should be absorbed. Next, put the rice into a flat-based bowl, carefully add the rice vinegar, sugar and salt and cool down the rice with a hairdryer on a cool setting.

Step three Work the mat

Take your bamboo mat and cover it tightly with clingfilm to stop the rice sticking to the grooves of the mat. Take a nori sheet and, following the central line running across it, cut it in half before laying half a sheet along the bottom half of the bamboo mat.

over on the mat, so that the rice is facing down. Place three shiso leaves over the area without rice, and top this with a line of mackerel.

Step four

Ready to roll To roll your hosomaki, hold the mackerel and shiso leaves with your index fingers and start rolling with the mat from the bottom edge, little by little. Keep rolling three or four times, each time opening the mat to make sure it is tightly rolled. There should be no gaps between the rice and the filling.

Step five

Dip your fingers into the bowl of water and scoop up a half handful of rice. Put a thin layer of rice all over the nori sheet, leaving the bottom one centimetre of the sheet clear. Make sure you distribute the rice evenly, pressing down gently.

Slice and wipe

Sprinkle one teaspoon of white sesame seeds over the rice - these will end up on the outside of the roll. Hold the left side of the nori with both hands and flip

Step six

Remove the sushi from the mat and place it on a clean, dry chopping board. Cut into six pieces with a sharp, wet knife, quickly and smoothly. Wipe the knife clean with every cut.


Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.

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Cool off

Prep: 20 minutes Chill: 1 hour Stand: 30 minutes

Make the most of the sultry season by creating quick and delicious smoothies

Sparkling peach punch

Prep: 20 minutes Freeze: Overnight Stand: 1 hour Ingredients

Peach nectar puree Cup Ginger ale Crushed ice Stir up a batch of this kidfriendly, bubbly drink for your next gathering. Sweet peach nectar puree becomes irresistibly slushy when frozen overnight, and a splash of ginger ale brings the sparkle. Editor’s tip: This drink is a make-ahead dream: The puree mixture can be frozen for up to three months.

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Berry delicious

Frozen mixed berries Strawberry flavored yogurt Banana, sliced Milk White sugar (optional) Blend a refreshing jug of Berry Delicious when your friends and family arrive from a hot picnic in the sun. In the container of a blender, combine the mixed berries, strawberry yogurt, banana, milk and sugar. Cover, and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve. Editor’s tip: Freeze cubes of milk before putting them into the blender. The smoothie will be thick and not water down.

King Julian

Prep: 15 minutes Chill: 1 hour Stand: 10 minutes Ingredients

Chopped ripe mango Low-fat milk Ice Low-fat yogurt Honey Place the mango, milk, ice, yogurt, and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. If you’re avoiding dairy, use almond milk in place of the cow’s milk. Almond milk is easier for some people to digest, and you get the added benefit of magnesium and vitamin E. Editor’s tip: If you are a weight-watcher, Greek yogurt is a lighter subtitute for regular yogurt.

Pineapple crush Prep: 10 minutes Stand: Serve immediately Ingredients

Pineapple juice (unsweetened) Buttermilk (1%) Ice cubes Crushed pineapple (unsweetened) Sugar This cool quick beverage reminds me of our visits to the Hawaiian Islands. It’s a not-too-sweet smoothie that’s sure to refresh any time of day. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Pour into glasses; serve immediately. Editor’s tip: You may substitute buttermilk with Lactaid milk with you are lactose intolerant.

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Scrumptious meal Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guests. Cook these quick dishes for lunch Preparation time: 5m Cooking time: 10m Serves: 2 Per-serving calories/fat: 320kcal/20g

Salmon and Spinach with Tartare Cream INGREDIENTS


Sunflower or vegetable oil 7ml


Skinless salmon fillets 2


Spinach 250g Reduced-fat crème fraîche 28g Lemon juice 15ml


Drained caper 7g 4

Flat-leaf chopped parsley 28g Lemon wedges 5 0 E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4

Heat the oil in a pan.


Spoon the spinach onto plates and top it with the salmon.


Gently heat the crème fraîche in a pan, with a squeeze of the lemon juice, the capers and parsley and season it to taste. Be careful not to let it boil.


Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve with lemon wedges.

Season the salmon on both sides and then fry for four minutes on each side until it turns golden in colour and the flesh flakes easily. Leave it to rest on a plate while you cook the spinach. Add the spinach leaves to the hot pan, season well, cover and then leave to wilt for one minute, stirring once or twice.

Preparation time: 30m Cooking time: 10m Serves: 6 Per-serving calories/fat: 298kcal/10g

Lemon Meringue Pie INGREDIENTS White sugar 200g


All-purpose flour 15g Corn starch 25g


Salt 2g

Preheat oven to 175 C. Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together one cup of sugar, flour, corn starch and salt.


Stir in the water, lemon juice and lemon zest.


Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Butter 30g


Stir in the butter.

Beaten egg yolks 4


Gradually whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl with half a cup of hot sugar mixture.

Water 355ml Juiced lemons 2 Lemon zest 2

Egg whites 4 White sugar 75g


Baked nine inch pie crust 1 8

Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining sugar mixture. Bring it to a boil and continue

to cook while stirring constantly, until it thickens. 9


Remove from heat and pour the filling into the baked pastry shell. Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites until they become foamy.


Add the sugar gradually and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.


Spread the meringue over the pie, sealing the edges at the crust.


Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the meringue turns golden brown.


Serve hot or cold according to preference.

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To do list

Summerscape Some things you must do now that summer is here 3


Get a haircut and practice new hairsyles When heat and humidity strike, the last thing you want to do is spend an eternity styling your hair, only for it to end in the F word: frizz. But that doesn’t mean you need to settle for a ho-hum hair day. Invest in some good quality hair products like serums or light conditioners. Avoid bangs as they get messy and difficult to handle in the heat. You can try braiding your hair to the side and add some character with flower clips.



Plan a pool party Set the scene for your summer pool party by draping a garland of brightly colored accordion lanterns above the drinks counter. Invite friends and family over for summer fun with these tropical-themed printable invitations. Add floral flair to your cocktails with pretty paper straws. Oversize paper lanterns add a bright burst of colour to your outdoor space. Hang them at different heights to create visual contrast.

Put all your winter clothes away Clean all outfits thoroughly before packing. Particles left on items can stain and set into your clothes after several months of storage. Cleaning the clothes also means that insects will be less likely to take up residence in your sweaters. Most clothing just needs to be washed normally or dry cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructons. Thorougly wash laundry before you pack it.

Organise, de-clutter and clean your home Freshen up your homes and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. Do a thorough cleaning of your house, throw what’s unnecessary and replace your linen with something light, airy and colourful. If you need a little help in your cleaning endeavors, try to get your family involved. Even the most unwilling helper can make a big difference in the workload.

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Buy products with SPF in them Summer equals sunscreen. If you live in Oman and sunscreen is a 365-day-a-year ritual, you should revisit the idea to buy new products. Immediately. Clothes, hats, scarves, and sunglasses are great barriers to the sun’s harmful rays, but your skin needs protection all the time.





Invest in good sunglasses If you buy cheap sunglasses without good UV protection, however, your iris will open up in order to let more light in, but not filter out the UV rays. Wearing cheap sunglasses can thus be more dangerous than not wearing any at all, so make sure your sunglasses have a label that says they offer UV 400 or 100 per cent UV protection.


Service Your Air Conditioner for Summer Comfort

Take your pets to the vet and trim them if necessary

The service check should include cleaning the condensing unit coils, checking the amp draw of the compressor, oiling the fan motors, checking that belts are well adjusted, and checking the system operating pressures and temperatures against the manufacturers specifications.

The summer months can be uncomfortable – even dangerous – for pets. It’s difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, but things really get tough in areas that are hit with the double blow of intense heat and storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results. Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water.

Stay well hydrated Buy bigger water bottles for your kids and order an extra gallon jar from your water distributer. Drink enough water to prevent thirst. Monitor fluid loss by checking the colour of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow, too smelly or cloudy. For short-duration (less than 60 minutes), low-to-moderateintensity activity, water is a good choice to drink before, during and after exercise.

Stock up your freezer with ice-cream and frozen yogurt Dip your spoon into a bowl of creamy ice cream, an old-fashioned summertime treat that never loses its charm. Nothing is ever going to beat the soft-serve cone with rainbow sprinkles you got when you were a kid from that ice cream place in your hometown, but you can stock up on popsicles, ice cream buckets or whip up your own frozen yogurt recipes.


Get UV/Infrared protection for your car Have your windows professionally tinted, whether you use a dark non metallic, or a light ceramic material depending on your preference, either way you can reduce the amount of heat coming in by 60 per cent, and lower the interior temperature by 30 or more degrees. Install a sunshade on the front windshield. We recommend a sunshade that covers the entire windshield. These devices will decrease the amount of heat coming in your front window by almost 80 percent.

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Career Are you feeling unfulfilled at your job? Here’s how to fix that right now


he idea of fulfilling work – a job that reflects our passions, talents and values – is a modern invention. Open Dr. Johnson’s celebrated Dictionary, published in 1755, and the word ‘fulfilment’ doesn’t even appear. But today, our expectations are higher, which helps explain why job satisfaction has declined to a record low. Instead of thinking then acting, we should act first and reflect later by trying out jobs in the real world. If you count yourself among those who are unhappy in their job, or at least have that occasional nagging feeling that your work and self are out of alignment, how are you supposed to go about finding a meaningful career? What does it take to overcome the fear of change and negotiate

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the labyrinth of choices, especially in tough economic times? Here are six pieces of essential wisdom drawn from some of the best brains in the field.

Confusion is perfectly normal

Ask yourself this: What would being a wide achiever encompass for me?

First, a consoling thought: being confused about career choice is perfectly normal and utterly understandable. In the preindustrial period, there were around thirty standard trades — you might decide to be a blacksmith or a barrel-maker — but today, career websites list over 12,000 different jobs. The result? We can become so anxious about making the wrong choice that we end up making no choice at all, staying in jobs that we have long grown out of. Psychologist Barry Schwartz calls this the “paradox of choice:” Too many options can lead to decision paralysis, and we are like rabbits caught in the headlights. Human beings tend to exaggerate everything that could possibly go wrong or, as Nobel

Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman says, “we hate losing twice as much as we love winning,” whether at the casino table or when making career choices. So our brains are not well calibrated for daring to change professions. We need to recognise that confusion is natural and get ready to move beyond it.

Beware of personality tests Many people are enticed by personality tests, which claim to be able to assess your character and then match you with a career. It’s a reassuring idea, but the evidence for their usefulness is flimsy. Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the world’s most popular psychometric test, which places you in one of sixteen personality types. Despite its ubiquity, the Myers-Briggs has been widely criticised by professional psychologists for over three decades, partly due to its lack of reliability. If you retake the test after five weeks, there is around a 50 percent chance that you will be placed into a different personality category than you were the first time. Moreover, according to Marshall University psychologist David Pittenger, there is “no evidence to show a positive relation between [a person’s MyersBriggs] type and success within an occupation... nor is there any data to suggest that specific types are more satisfied within specific occupations than are other types.” He advises “extreme caution in its application as a counselling tool.” So don’t let any anyone tell you what you can and can’t be on the basis of a personality pigeon-hole they want to put you in.

Aim to be a wide achiever, not a high achiever For over a century, Western culture has been telling us that the best way to use our talents and be successful is to specialise and become a high achiever — an expert in a narrow field, such as a corporate tax accountant or an anesthetist.

But an increasing number of people feel that this approach fails to cultivate the many facets of who they are. For them, it makes more sense to embrace the idea of being a “wide achiever” rather than a high achiever. Take inspiration from Renaissance generalists like Leonardo da Vinci, who would paint one day, then do some mechanical engineering, followed by a few anatomy experiments on the weekend.

Challenge yourself: What is your first branching project going to be? And what is the very first step you can take towards making it happen?

Today this is called being a “portfolio worker,” doing several jobs simultaneously, often freelance. Management thinker Charles Handy says this is not just a good way of spreading risk in an insecure job market, but is an extraordinary opportunity made possible by the rise of opportunities for flexible work: “For the first time in the human experience, we have a chance to shape our work to suit the way we live instead of our lives to fit our work. We would be mad to miss the chance.” Find where your values and talents meet The wisest single piece of career advice was proffered 2,500 years ago when Aristotle declared, “Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.” And he would surely endorse contemporary research findings showing that those pursuing money and status are unlikely to feel fulfilled: The Mercer Global Engagement Scale places “base pay” as only number seven out of 12 factors predicting job satisfaction. E X C I T E • m ay 2 0 1 4 5 5

The best alternative, says Harvard’s Howard Gardner, is to find an ethical career, focused on values and issues that matter to you, which also allows you to do what you’re really good at. That might sound like a luxury when there are long lines at job centers. But consider that in the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, the social enterprise sector (in which organisations strive not only to make profits but to also improve social and environmental conditions) is growing 250 percent faster than the rest of the economy. So imagine yourself in three parallel universes, in each of which you can spend next year trying a job where your talents meet the needs of the world. What three jobs would you be excited to try?

problem: it typically doesn’t work. You might find a new job, but despite your expectations, it is unlikely to be fulfilling.

experiments can give you the courage to make big – and well-informed – changes.

What we need to do is turn this model on its head. Instead of thinking then acting, we should act first and reflect later by trying out jobs in the real world by shadowing, interning or volunteering, thereby testing out careers through experiential learning. Laura van Bouchout gave herself the thirtieth birthday present of spending a whole year trying thirty different jobs—a kind of “radical sabbatical.” She was manager of a cat hotel, then shadowed a Member of the European Parliament. She eventually found that working in advertising was unexpectedly exhilarating.

Changing careers is a frightening prospect: Of those who want to leave their jobs, around half are too afraid to take the plunge. But ultimately, there is no avoiding the fact that it is a risk. Ask successful career changers how to overcome the fear and most say the same thing: in the end, you have to stop thinking and just do it. That may be why nearly all cultures have recognised that to live a meaningful and vibrant existence, we need to take some chances — or else we might end up looking back on our lives with regret.

Act first, reflect later

But don’t think that you have to resign on Monday morning to try this. Rather, you can pursue “branching projects” – what organisational behaviour expert Herminia Ibarra calls “temporary assignments” – on the side of your existing job. Disenchanted with banking? Then try teaching yoga or doing freelance web design on the weekends. Such small

The biggest mistake people make when changing careers is following the traditional “plan then implement” model. You draw up lists of personal strengths, weaknesses and ambitions, then match your profile to particular professions; at that point you start sending out applications. But there’s a

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Discover a little madness

“Carpe diem,” advised the Roman poet Horace: Seize the day before it is too late. “If not now, when?” said the rabbinical sage Hillel the Elder. Personally, I like the way Zorba the Greek puts it: “A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares to cut the rope and be free.” It is only by treating our working lives as an ongoing experiment that we will be able to find a job that is big enough for our spirits.


Exceptional mechanics While Greubel Forsey watches are all unique to one another, they share a common design DNA


uch of this can be seen in the various ways that complications are built and utilised in a watch. For many of the models, this uniqueness transmits itself all the way out to the case, which often has uncommon curves and bulges added, both to accommodate the mechanics, as well as draw the eye in. Their latest, the Platinum GMT, is no exception to that rule. Now, for this watch, we actually have three different GMT displays - two of which are conventional, with the third being pure artistry. Before we get to the icing on the cake, however, we’ll start with the foundation of things. To the left of the main time display you have the first (and most traditional) GMT display - a secondary dial that appears at the 10 o’clock position on the main dial, giving us a second time zone. Where’s the second ‘standard’ readout? Well, for that, you actually need to flip the watch over. Visible through the

Greubel Forsey Platinum GMT caseback you have a 24-hour disc, with one representative city for each of the time zones around the world. While the dial-side time will give you only a single pre-selected time zone, this disc on the back will give you at-a-glance timing for wherever in the world you may want to see. They have even included a summer time indication via the smaller disc at the inset, which is a nice touch. Let’s turn the watch back over, however, and get to what is for me the most compelling component of the whole watch - that globe down at 8 o’clock. This gives you, quite literally, a picture of how time moves as the earth rotates. Sure, the miniature globe with its titanium continents may not be the most practical way of telling time, but it certainly is a very beautiful and tactile way to do so. Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey are true visionaries taking High Horology to a new level. With the GMT they have created an absolutely exquisite timepiece.

• Platinum with black and silver dial elements

• 43.5mm asymmetrical case

• 25-degree tourbillon and the titanium worldtime globe

• Black dial and plate finishing

• Highly polished bevels and frosted surfaces

• Silver registers and indicators


A New era The all-new Infiniti Q50 has been officially launched here


ahead and of the one travelling in front of that, giving early warning of a potential accident. ‘Active Lane Control’ helps Infiniti Q50 remain in the middle of the lane.

Infiniti Q50 brings more world-firsts. The ‘Predictive Forward Collision Warning’ system alerts the driver to risks that lie beyond their field of view, sensing the speed and distance of the vehicle directly

Inside Infiniti Q50, two touch screen control panels greet occupants. These offer intuitive access to an array of features that tailor their driving experience and Infiniti InTouch puts communication with the outside world within easy reach. The Infiniti Q50 range introduces the brand’s first hybrid powertrain also alongside the refined 326-horsepower 3.7-litre V6 engine.

ncapsulating Infiniti’s vision of future premium sport sedans, the Infiniti Q50 marks a new era for its model range. Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA), the importers and distributors of Infiniti vehicles in Oman officially launched the Infiniti Q50 amidst media guests, officials and car aficionados at InterContinental Muscat.

Infiniti Q50 Hybrid mates a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid System delivering net 350 horsepower and 536Nm of combined torque with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control, making it capable of reaching 100km/h from a standing start in 5.1 seconds. All models come equipped with a refined 7-speed automatic transmission with available solid magnesium paddle shifters. The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector with Eco, Standard, Sport and Custom settings is also standard on all models, part of the advanced customisable digital environment system that allows drivers to create unique settings for engine, transmission, handling and steering controls. The all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50 is available in Premium and Sport grades, the latter featuring sport styling, brakes and suspension tuning. Infiniti Q50’s advanced range of safety features are available as part of the ‘Technology Pack’ available across all derivatives.

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Pay to Play

Organic reach for business pages are on the decline


here are endless predictions being made about the future of the web. Many of them are simply predictions with no real grounds to stand on. But other predictions are the real deal. One of them: You will have to pay to play in 2014.

What does this mean exactly? At the end of last year, Facebook finally admitted that organic, non-paid reach for business pages had been on the decline, something that many brand managers weren’t surprised by. With so much content being shared on Facebook, it’s becoming more difficult for a business to break through the noise by sharing content organically. The solution: Give brands more exposure if they pay. This is called pay to play.

It’s nothing new Pay to play isn’t a new concept in marketing; it’s just one that hasn’t been fully grasped by marketers because many are caught up in the idea that social media is free (even though this isn’t exactly accurate). Still, a brand could set up a Facebook page, connect with an audience, build a strong follower base and market their image without paying a dime. Social media is really just another set of tools, though, and some brands have been paying all along to make their presence stand out. Now, with all the content being shared on social media, more brands are going to have to follow suit if they want their content to be discovered. This is just advertising in its simplest form: If you want to be heard, you must pay the price. Brands must understand that as time goes by, pay to play won’t be the only way to get noticed on social media. They will also require a well-planned strategy that directs content to a specific audience. In the meantime, don’t let the pay to play concept get you down. Leave room in your advertising budget to effectively market content on social media, and you’ll have a much happier profile.

Sourced from

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After the success of the 2011 animated feature film, the Rio franchise makes you laugh and wins your hearts with a colourful and hilarious sequel

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io 2’ is not what we would call Amazon prime, but it’s got enough silly songs and daffy critters to keep the little ones happy. Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), a rare blue macaw from Minnesota, reckons, “I’m not the birdliest bird in the flock.” He wears a fanny pack and so he needs a GPS to find his way from his urban home in Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon rain forest, where he and his mate Jewel (Anne Hathaway) decide to visit their old human pals, naturalists who have discovered more members of the exotic species. ‘Rio 2,’ a sequel to the hugely successful 2011 animated feature, piles up the conflicts without making any of them especially scary (or interesting). There’s a pompous cockatoo, Nigel (Jemaine Clement) who is bent on revenge after his plot to kidnap Blu failed in the first film; evil loggers who want to clear-cut the refuge of the blue macaws, ruffled feathers between Blu and a new character, Jewel’s disapproving dad (Andy Garcia); and, in a development that seems to have come straight from the marketing department, a soccer game in which Blu finds himself playing a star role. (Brazil is hosting the World Cup this year,

Director: Carlos Saldanha Producers: Bruce Anderson, John C. Donkin Screenplay: Don Rhymer, Carlos Kotkin, Jenny Bicks, Yoni Brenner Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Jemaine Clement, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Music: John Powell Distributor: 20th Century Fox Running time: 101 minutes

and the film is already playing there.) Still, you will smile when a referee pulls out a canary to use as a yellow card. The movie isn’t in any particular hurry to get where it’s going, which is fine because Blu and Jewel are likable enough, even if they’re upstaged by the nutty romance between the stuffed shirt thespian Nigel and a poison tree frog (Kristin Chenoweth) who can’t touch him lest she kill him. Dazzling colours and lushly imagined scenery give it a chirpy energy.



Game of Thrones: Season four

We are only four episodes deep into the forth season of GOT, and a lot of shocking things are already going down


rom top to bottom, opening sequence to end credits, season three of Game of Thrones has coaxed from 10 episodes a story arc that successfully demonstrated how much the idea of ‘the realm’ means to the series’ overall narrative and how so many of show’s characters, whether they know it or not, are driven by similar concepts. In case you’ve forgotten, season three’s end left the show with a nearly clean slate. Much of House Stark was murdered at the Red Wedding, Khaleesi’s army grew and her dragons matured, Arya joined up with the Hound and poor little Theon Greyjoy was, you know. Understandably so, you’ve probably spent the past few months debating among friends what would happen in season four. Your debates probably included:

Will Theon become the next Varys? Will Khaleesi get it on with Fabio’s little brother, aka Daario Naharis? And will Arya finally get her revenge over Joffrey? Few to none of these questions were answered during the premiere of season four, except the question regarding the Fabio look-alike. We still don’t know if he’s going to get it in with the mother of dragons, but we do know he’s been replaced with some generic-looking guy who used some corny line to woo the khaleesi. Stand in line, new Daario Naharis! In other khaleesi news, the mother of dragons is losing control over her babies because they’re teenagers now and won’t stop throwing their food or snapping at mom. Season four has a lot to look forward to. We hope that your obsession does not end with all the spoilers around the Internet.

books that you ought to read before it's a movie

A tumor-shrinking medical miracle bought Hazel a few years of time, but she’s a terminal time bomb, suffering from stage IV cancer. At a support group for her illness, she meets fellow cancer survivor Augustus Waters, a boy who pretends to smoke cigarettes and has a prosthetic leg. With a shared obsession for the novel An Imperial Affliction and a similar sense of sarcasm, the two fall in love, despite their inevitable fate. John Green’s story is honest and hilarious, exposing the fear, anger, and sadness that accompanies a terminal illness. It’s an emotional read, and it’s bound to be a heartrending two hours at the movie theater. Movie release date: June 6, 2014 Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort

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Food for thought







You ought to know


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Despite the optical illusion, the Gateway Arch is exactly as wide (630 feet) as it is tall.


Michael Jackson wanted to do a Harry Potter musical. J.K. Rowling said no.

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The human bone most often broken is the clavicle (collar bone).

Syd Barrett got the name Pink Floyd from two American blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

Horoscope Read our star previsions for your love, social life, well-being, finance and mood



Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 19) This month sees a major planetary development, as Sun is in your sign, Aries. With all the planets in waiting this period is going to bring major changes in your life. Dramatic events worldwide can be mirrored in your own life. You are up for action, and can be more impulsive.

Pisces (Feb 19 – Mar 20) If balancing the books is becoming more and more tedious you can get a real burst of determination from this month to better your lot. This extra planetary power is going to be on-going for the next four weeks. A big transformation is possible in your life for this time period.

Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18) You are a natural born communicator, so why is it, that sometimes you are so reluctant to do precisely that in your life, Aquarius. Well, part of it is your penchant for independence. Despite your natural friendliness, there are times when you prefer to be alone.

Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19) The desire to have an influence on your immediate surroundings can be huge in this month, Capricorn. You want to get things done. Theorizing is unlikely to please you and you could be quite defensive - even grumpy if someone close tries to block you. But you need to be patient.

Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21) We live in serious times, but it is important, wherever possible, to reengage with the things that make us happy. You have an amazing chance to do this now, and your drive to get out and have fun and take part, can be clear. Your love life is set to go through a dramatic phase.

Scorpio (Oct 24 – Nov 21) The planetary positions for this month will give you an extraordinary appetite for hard work and applying yourself over the next one month period. If that get-fit campaign has stalled, this can soon get you back on track. It is also possible not a lot will come your way.

Libra (Sep 23 – Oct 23) If you feel that people have been telling you what they think you want to hear, rather than what they think, your exasperation can ramp up in this month. How you respond, is down to you, but the chances are you will react in a feistier way than they expect.

Virgo (Aug 23 – Sep 22) You may not see yourself as a pugnacious person, but you may find yourself being more to the point, even blunt in the next one month period. This can be a good thing, because it can give you the power potential to get things done. Give everyone some breathing space.

Leo (Jul 23 – Aug 22) So much extra energy and verve is being pumped into your situation, why might you find yourself tense, or even procrastinating for this month, Leo. Well, perhaps it is because you are set to do something really momentous, a life changing event in this month.

Cancer (Jun 22 – Jul 22) What you put in motion now, can come into being as the month moves on . But that does not mean you should not see this as an important time, for everything has to have a beginning, and a gestation before it comes a reality. You must get in touch with old friends.

Gemini (May 21 – Jun 21) However much you have been weighing up your hopes, from now you have a wonderful chance to make at least some of them tangible as the month moves on. There would be certain delays and hindrances in your life for this month but you would be able to overcome them.

Taurus (Apr 20 – May 20) The focus is now so firmly on your spiritual side, it is inevitable that you will find yourself connecting to your past, or to the more psychological side of your nature during the course of this month. Unfortunately, someone you thought was sincere and genuine may be revealed.

George Clooney May 6, 1961 – Kentucky, USA Actor, director, activist, and producer who became the first person to be nominated for Academy Awards in six different categories. He played Dr. Doug Ross in ER from 1994 to 1999, and starred in O, Brother Where Art Thou, The Perfect Storm, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. In middle school, he became afflicted with Bell’s palsy, which partially paralysed his face. He later tried out for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. He is Rosemary Clooney’s nephew and starred in the remake of the Rat Pack. He was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993. His aunt is Rosemary Clooney and his father is Nick Clooney. He worked on the Not On Our Watch Project with Brad Pitt.

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ALL-NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT The Empty Quarter. 650,000 km² of hostile, unforgiving terrain. Yet on the 3rd November 2013, with speeds in excess of 200 km/h, one vehicle set the fastest ever recorded crossing in a blistering 10 hours 22 minutes. The all-new Range Rover Sport, performance driven to another level.

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Secret Destinations

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Secret Destinations