Planning a Spectacular Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner

If you will be hosting your friends and family for a Christmas Eve dinner, you may find your thoughts racing. The issue may not be that you cannot come up with any ideas for a Christmas Eve dinner. The problem may be you seem to have a terribly long mental list of possibilities for a dinner at your home.

With this in mind, you may be feeling an elevation of stress levels. This may stem from the fact that many of the Christmas Eve dinner options you have contemplated all seem rather complicated. Preparing a sit down meal for this important holiday can be challenging.

One easier course you can take in hosting a magnificent Christmas Eve dinner is serving a buffet. When it comes to planning a spectacular Christmas Eve buffet dinner, there are a number of tips to bear in mind.

 

Creating a Perfect Buffet Tablescape

 

You may have already figured out how you will tablescape the table or tables at which your guests will actually dine. However, you may have yet to contemplate what you will do to tablescape the buffet table itself.

Time and again, a person hosting a Christmas Eve buffet dinner gives no thought to a tablescape for the buffet table. You actually can add even more festivity to your dinner by taking the time to tablescape the buffet table itself.

When considering what to do with the buffet table, you will want to take the initial step of creating a food service map. You really do want to figure out what food items will be placed where. From that map, you can build tablescape around the particular items that well be served. This process ties in well with preparing as much of the food beforehand as possible.

The tablescape itself can reflect other decorating themes that have used in (and even outside) your residence this holiday season. For example, if you are emphasizing silver, carry that through to the items you utilize in tablescaping the buffet table. For example, you might want to include silver ornaments or silver bells about the buffet table.

 

A Varied and Yet Simple Menu is Perfect

 

Speaking of the menu, you can present the perfect table by sticking with a varied, and yet simple menu. You do not need to present over the top dishes, items that your guests have never heard of. Certainly, if you are like most people, you want to impress your dinner guests. In the final analysis, you will most impress them by serving a varied selection of delectable items that are familiar to them as opposed to things that are unrecognizable.

 

Open Your House for Dining

 

Many homes in this day and age are constructed, or have been remodeled, to include great rooms. If you have a home designed in this manner, you already likely have a flow from a dining area into a space used for multiple purposes. This sets up well to allow for multiple niches in which your guests can dine. This becomes necessary when the number of dinner guests outpaces the seating that can be managed at the dining table.

If your house is not structured in this manner, think outside the box when it comes to arranging seating for your dinner guests. Short of seating your guests in bed or bath rooms, you really can make any room in your house work as a dining space for a well attended Christmas Eve buffet dinner.

 

Set a Separate Spread for Desserts

 

A way you can add an element of suspense to your Christmas Eve buffet dinner is holding off presenting the dessert plates until after the main meal has finished. While you may not want to clear off the main buffet table because folks like to keep nibbling at holiday meals, consider a separate space where you can efficiently set up the dessert selections at the proper point in time.

As an aside, even if you are intent on preparing the meal yourself and do not want to go the potluck route, consider something different for desserts. Let your guests know that they are welcome (or encouraged) to bring a selection of their own Christmas treats to show off and share with your dinner guests.

 

Music Matters

 

The sounds of Christmas are as important as the sights and tastes of this special holiday. Therefore, when it comes to planning a marvelous Christmas Eve buffet, don’t overlook the music.

In the digital age, when it comes to the sounds of the season, your options for Christmas music is endless. Indeed, you can create your own customized soundtrack that can automatically run throughout your buffet.

 


Jessica Kane is a writer for Silver Superstore, home of the internet’s silver Christmas ornaments.

 

How Exercise Can Greatly Improve Your Eye Health

Failing eyesight and poor vision is something that will come to us all one day and it is important that you are doing all that you can to preserve the health of your eyes. There are many ways in which you can care for your eyesight and one of the most beneficial ways of doing so is through regular exercise.

Exercise is of course recommended by medical professionals because of the benefits that it can have on your physical health, and that includes your eyes and vision. Eye care specialists Vision Direct have been extolling the virtues recently of the impacts which exercise can have on your eye health and here are just some of the ways that they explain the benefits which exercise gives you.

General Benefits

When you exercise you greatly increase your organ functions, blood flow and strength throughout the body, and this has a direct impact on the health of your eyes. One of the biggest issues which our eyes can have is that blood pressure can build up in and around the eyes which can lead to poor vision and a whole range of other issues. The benefits which exercise can have on the body are the same benefits which it will have on your eyes.

Diseases

Online medical resource WebMd states that those who exercise regularly are up to 70% less likely to contract macular degeneration of their eyesight, an age-related issues, as those who don’t exercise. Equally, the risk of diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes, illnesses which can have a hugely negative impact on your eye health, are far higher in those people who don’t exercise. Many illness and degeneration of vision comes from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which can be easily remedied with a regular exercise routine.

The Exercise

When we talk about the exercise which you need to do in order to maintain the health of your eyes, we are not talking about training for triathlons or anything even close to that level of exertion. In fact, just a swift walk each day, climbing stairs, going for a jog or speeding 30 minutes in the gym each day will be enough for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and most importantly, ensure that you ate doing all that you can to preserve your vision and stave off diseases and conditions which impact the eyes.

There is a swathe of information online for you to get your hands on, especially from companies like Vision Direct, that can really help you understand what you should be doing to best care for your eyes. Click here to find out even more details about how you can live a better life and reap the benefits of it through crystal clear vision.

Nocturnal Sleep Eating Disorder: What Is It and What Causes It?

Sleep disorders are relatively rare, but their effects are varied. And, while they are clearly unpleasant for sufferers, they are fascinating from a psychological perspective. Sleepwalking is perhaps the best known of the common sleeping disorders and it is believed to affect between 1% and 15% of the general population.

While most of us have heard of sleepwalking, and probably even know someone who has experienced it at some point in their lives, there is much less awareness of the more complex and, thankfully, rarer forms of the condition. Among these is nocturnal sleeping disorder.

What Is Nocturnal Sleep Eating Disorder?

Nocturnal sleep eating disorder, also known as sleep eating, and somnambulistic eating, consists of two components; first is somnambulism, more commonly known as sleepwalking. The second is the eating disorder component where the sufferer consumes excessive amounts of food while they are in this state.

One of the more fascinating aspects of this condition is that, while the basic features of the somnambulistic episodes remain the same, there are often subtle differences in certain aspects of its presentation and generally no two cases will present in precisely the same way. In most cases the episodes occur within two or three hours of the patient falling asleep and tend to resolve relatively quickly although the exact timescales often vary.

In many cases the combinations of food that sufferers eat during an episode are bizarre and completely unlike the kinds of food that they would eat normally. What separates nocturnal sleeping disorder from other similar disorders is that sufferers of nocturnal sleeping disorder are more likely to create mess and to potentially harm themselves, making it one of the more scary sleep disorders. This is in contrast to the much more common night eating syndrome, in which the sufferers are able to prepare food in the same manner they would while fully conscious.

Treatment

As with other sleeping disorders the treatments for nocturnal eating disorder revolve around psychological therapies and counselling. Doctors have been working hard to devise a treatment strategy which can be used on all patients but so far have been unsuccessful. In addition to the usual cognitive behavioural therapies and other psychological treatments, there are a growing number of medications which have shown promise.

What Causes It?

Interestingly enough, doctors have noted a higher than usual incidence (27%) of sufferers of nocturnal sleep eating disorder suffering from co-morbid restless leg syndrome. Medications such as L-Dopa, clonazepam, and some opioids have been shown to be effective at treating the condition in many people. This suggests that there may be some kind of overlap in the physiological causes of both conditions although doctors have still been unable to definitively establish the root causes.

The first case of nocturnal sleep eating disorder was recorded in the mid 1950’s, however there were only half a dozen cases recorded in the medical literature over the course of the proceeding 36 years. As awareness of the condition has grown there have been more diagnoses and it is believed that, owing to the similarity of nocturnal sleep eating disorder to a number of other sleep disorders, it has meant that incidents of the condition have been under-reported.

The Most Interesting Cities To Visit In The World

The world is full of many amazing cities to visit and you could endlessly travel in search of the perfect one. There is nothing wrong with searching for the right one, but you would really need to visit all of them to truly decide. To do this, you need a starting point and I made this guide to show you some very interesting places that you could potentially visit. I hope you enjoy reading about some places that I find to be fascinating./

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is world famous as the capital of Iceland and it is naturally one of the most interesting cities on earth.There is a budding art scene there, a whole host of natural wonders at every turn and a cool bar scene to explore too. The city itself is also very beautiful with the traditional houses that have been painted in all sorts of colours, like blues, greens, red and yellows. If you are visiting Reykjavik you definitely need to experience something that every Icelander loves to do and that is enjoying time swimming in the hot springs that are dotted throughout the city.

Rishikesh, India

This fascinating place was made famous by the Beatles after they took a trip to India in order to discover spirituality. Many people have since made the pilgrimage here and followed in the Beatles’ footsteps and the tourism in the area has now become totally receptive and welcome to visitors. You can enjoy yoga, meditation and much more in the area and it is truly a magical place. There are a number of cheap hotel options in Rishikesh, as well as more expensive retreat style options, so there be something for everyone here, from the backpacker to the middle aged corporate looking for inner peace!

 

Rocky Point, Mexico

Rocky Point is also known as Puerto Peñasco. This gorgeous area is closest to the states, only about an hour away from the border. What makes it so interesting is that even though it’s so close to the US, it’s a less popular vacation spot than Cancun or Cabo, which has preserved it. It holds on to a lot of authentic culture, and is complemented by gorgeous, tranquil beaches that are hardly ever overcrowded. This is a must-visit vacation spot!

Berlin, Germany

Germany’s capital is one of the most interesting and hip cities that you could ever visit. There are a large number of people from many different countries living here, all are attracted by the art and culture scene that is unrivalled in Germany. There is also abundant nightlife that makes it the party capital of the world. The bars stay open late and the clubs even later (many don’t actually close at point on the weekends). The food is great too with the large migrant Turkish and Vietnamese peoples living there, so you can be sure to have something great to eat too. Berlin is truly a city like no other that everyone should visit!

Seoul, South Korea

South Korea is home to one of the coolest cities going around: Seoul. Soul has hip cafes and Korean craft beer, something you probably wouldn’t expect. There are also many hidden bars and restaurants, which makes for an interesting adventure trying to find them! Korean food is naturally amazing and the Koreans love to experiment and take things to the extreme, whether it’s very spicy or super sweet, there is always something interesting to eat. Like Japan, Korea also has a number of cultural icons and movements, in particular in Gangnam (the home of the ultra cool in Seoul). Seoul is definitely one of my favourite cities in Asia that I would love to go back to as soon as I get the chance.

Sarajevo, Bosnia

Sarajevo doesn’t have the most beautiful buildings and isn’t the most pretty city that you will ever visit, but it certainly has soul and is one of the most unique places that you could ever visit. It will always be remembered as the place where the First World War started, after Franz Ferdinand (the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire) was assassinated in the middle of the city. The city’s history also continued in an interesting fashion as the host of the 1984 Winter Olympics and furthermore experienced a long civil war during the 90s. The city under siege from all sides for 3 years. The city has a very interesting culture and you can learn more about it in the various museums and sites of interest. I would highly recommend heading to Sarajevo if you get the chance.

Melbourne, Australia

There is nothing better than a multicultural city and Melbourne is one of my favourite, it has a beautiful mix of old and new architecture that makes it one of the most unique cities on the earth. It really is like the New York of Australia and I really enjoy the cafe culture there and all are in fierce competition to be the best, which can only mean great coffee for everyone. The food is also amazing, with a true melting pot of cuisines, such as Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Greek and so much more. The large migrant population is to thank for this and makes Melbourne the city that it is today.

Yurts Aren’t Only in Mongolia – Glamping in the States

Have you ever thought about staying in a yurt for your holiday? Well, in the past you’d probably have head all the way to Mongolia to get a unique yurt experience. Now it’s much easier, in fact yurt camping in the U.S.A. is all the rage these days. Just have a look at the Glamping Hub to see what’s on offer.

If you’re searching for something special to do this summer then living in a yurt will give you the most perfect glamping adventure. You might be used to camping but yurts will really raise the bar for camping enthusiasts.

If you think of experiencing nature in luxury, your mind will instantly think of a cabin or cottage. A yurt will give you a rustic experience, but not compromise on comfort or luxury.

Here’s why you should try this unique experience for your next summer holiday:

It’s affordable

More often than not, staying in a yurt is a lot cheaper than a cabin or hotel. You can find deals out there right now for as little as $100 per night – that’s not per person but for as many as 6 people! That will get you everything you need to have a great experience in a comfortable yurt.

Connect with nature

Sleeping outside under the stars is a nice experience, but there are certainly times when you need to have a roof over your head. Yurts offer the best way to combine open air camping and cabin living. You’ll have a solid roof to keep you dry, but you’ll still be able to hear the wildlife outside. Some will even have a skylight to let the sun shine in and see the stars at night.

Experience a glamping holiday

Glamping is camping but with an upgrade. Yurts will have beautiful hardwood floors, large beds, fridges, plenty of space and also a BBA area. You get all the comforts of home and still get the real experience of living in nature.

Brings everyone together

If you stay in a hotel or a cabin your group will be separated most of the time. In a large yurt a family can stay together, as one, very comfortably. When you all live in the same room you can play games, chat and have quality time together – this is something often lacking in our lives today. With your own BBQ area it’s also very easy for you to sit around creating special memories.

Explore with ease

When you’re in a new place, surrounded by nature you will always want to head out and explore. The yurt resorts will have lots of activities for you to try out and great recommendations for family hikes. It’s a great way for the family to bond before heading back to the campfire to chat about the adventure you all had.

Great Black Female Bloggers to Follow

The blogging world has really taken off in the last few years. I’d go as far as saying that there are so many bloggers out there that it’s tricky working out who to follow. So where is the best place to find blogs that are run by great black female bloggers?

I’ve complied a list of my top 5. This is by no means the only 5 great black female bloggers that you should follow, but they should certainly be on your radar.

Oneika Raymond – Travel Blogger

Onieka Raymond produces some of the most captivating travel stories you will ever come across. Her blog is called Onika The Traveller, there she shares her brilliant travel stories whilst she travels around the globe. Oneika has visited over 90 countries and she’s not done yet!

Abiola Abrams – Motivational Blogger

Abiola is a very well known author, motivational speaker and also a tv host. Her blog is called Abiola Sacred Bombshell, it has everything you need to love yourself, wellness and spiritual well being. There’s so much empowerment on there for black women. It’s the blog to visit if you truly want to love yourself and be all you can be.

Erika Nicole Kendall – Fitness Blogger

This blog was started initially to please her mum but it turned into a complete life changer for Erika. She originally planned to start losing weight in order to make her mum happy. Her blog is called Black Girls Guide To Weight Loss. On the blog she gives you an in depth account of her own weight loss journey and what she has learned. Not only a blogger but also a successful personal trainer, this is one fitness blogger to follow. 

Brittany Minor – Beauty Blogger

Brittany is the creator of the blog Clumps of Mascara, it is the place to go if you want to find out everything and anything about makeup. She has the best advice and product reviews on the Internet for black women, whether they are a pro or just a beginner. As you can tell from the name of her blog, she has reviewed hundreds of types of Mascara, your go to girl!

Luvvie Ajayi – Comedy Blogger

Everyone needs to laugh, it’s healthy! You only need to spend a few minutes reading Luvvie’s blog to start chuckling. Check out Awesome Luvvie if you need a daily dose of laughter to lift your spirits.