Yasith Weerasuriya – Things to Beware of When Organizing a Dinner Party

A good friend of mine Yasith Weerasuriya was one of the first people to have ever told me about celiac disease, what it is and how many people suffered from it. This conversation came up because I was organizing a dinner party and one of the potential guests actually had celiac disease. This of course forced me to change the menu somewhat and it is another one of those key considerations to make when you are organizing a dinner party. There are lots of little details which we have to consider about our guests of course, and these are the key factors to keep in mind.

Food Preferences

Naturally the food which they are going to eat is the most important aspect here, and this is why you need to know as much about your guests as you possibly can. For example it may be that they have illness like celiacs, or perhaps they have peanut allergies or an allergy to seafood. The most important thing when finding out about people’s dietary requirements is that you are not preparing anything with will cause them an issue medically. Of course you also want to prepare food which people are actually going to enjoy, but the medical side is the most important. To ensure you have food that people like, the best course of action is to offer up a couple of options.

Friends and Enemies

When it comes to seating people close to each other this is something else we have to think about, especially if they already know each other. I have in fact made the mistake before of inviting people to a dinner party and sitting them next two each other, because I knew that they used to work together. What I failed to realize however is that whilst they did used to work together, they left things on very bad terms indeed. This of course meant that there was a certain mood at dinner which no host wants to have, and I have made sure to always do a little research on people before I set out the seating plan.

Your Time

Another mistake which I have made before is preparing a meal which required far too much attention from me in the kitchen. Whilst the food went down very well indeed, the problem was that I couldn’t really host very well at all because I was in the kitchen the whole time. This is something that I have certainly learned from and I now make sure that I prepare as much as I can ahead of time, and also that I make dishes which can are cooked very quickly indeed. The balance between hosting and preparing food is a tough one to make, but it is possible if you plan well and if you make the right choices.

These are some very important watch outs if you want to have the perfect dinner party, without any hitches.

Continue Reading

Adam Seger – What Makes Tapas The Perfect Dinner Party Food

I have always loved hosting dinner parties and no mater what the reason is behind it, getting things together and then hosting is just something that I enjoy. What I particularly enjoy is trying out new meals and new ways of eating for each dinner party that I have. For this reason I have been avidly reading the brilliant book from TV chef Adam Seger, which breaks down a range of options which you can create if you are hosting your own dinner party. So far the best meal option that I have found has been tapas, which has gone down a storm at just about every party that I have thrown. Here is exactly why this makes for the perfect dinner party option.

Something For Everyone

We live in a world whereby everyone wants something different and there are more dietary requirements that people have, than ever before. This of course will pose a challenge to most dinner parties, but not if you are creating tapas. The reason of course is that tapas is a collection of many dishes and that means that you can create something for everyone. No matter whether you have meat eaters, vegetarians or any other kind of eater in your midst, you will be able to create something delicious for them which they are going to love.

Little and Often

The problem which I have with a formal dinner party is that there is very rarely time to have a proper conversation. Everyone is sat down and waiting on courses to be served, the host or hostess is going back and forth from kitchen to table and the whole affair is frustrating. When it comes to tapas however the party simply rolls on all evening and everyone will pick and eat as and when they choose. This rips away all of the formality of the event and it means that people are just so much more relaxed. Not only this however, people are also more inclined to have lengthy conversations throughout the night.

Ahead of Time

From a hosting point of view something else that I really love about tapas is the fact that you can prepare so much of it ahead of time. This means that it takes the pressure off you having to cook everything fresh once the guests arrive and it also means that you will have plenty of time to get ready, greet the guests and actually host rather than just cook. There are some meals which will need to be cooked fresh, but in the main you can prepare these and then quickly fry them off before you serve them up. The key to hosting a dinner party is making things as easy as possible and this is exactly what you will find when you create tapas.

If you have a dinner party coming up, this is the perfect option for the food, tapas really is the way forward.

Continue Reading

Robert Testagrossa – Reasons to Love a Nature Photography Trip

I first decided to start taking photographs of nature after following the brilliant Robert Testagrossa on his social media pages. At that stage I was looking for a particular genre of photography to get involved with, and this called to me more than the others. Since I have been snapping shots of nature there has been so many amazing moments for me, and as I became more serious I started to take trips into nature to try and capture the most amazing components of the natural world. This for me is one of the best ways of investing my time as a photographer, and here is why I think everyone who loves to snap, will love a trip.

Pure Focus

Going camping is certainly one of the best ways to enjoy nature and setting yourself in the heart of a place removed from the modern world is wonderful. If however you take a trip with your camera, then you get more into the scenery the more that you spend time there. This is of course because of the fact that you are quite literally staring into nature all of the time, waiting for slight changes and inspiration. If you truly want to become one with nature, this is absolutely the way go about doing so.

Real Challenge

When you only have an hour or so to try and get a shot you tend to spread yourself out a bit and take as many shots as you can. This often is as much as you can do in fact. When however you have a great deal of time to spend in nature, such as during a trip, there is much more of a challenge to get the right shot, and not just any old shot. I have spent an entire day before in a certain setting, trying to capture its majesty in the best way that I could with the talent that I have. I have certainly felt more of a challenge to get the right shot when I am in this kind of trip, then when I only have a short time in nature.

Those Little Surprises

One of the reasons why I loved the genre of nature photography so much is that animals and wildlife always throw up these little surprises that give you the chance to capture something truly special. It stands to reason therefore that the more time that you spend in the natural world, the more open you are to these little surprises taking place. This could be anything from a family of geese walking by to a fish diving into a river to catch its prey. If you are ready with your camera then it just may be that you are able to capture one of these surprises as they happen, giving you an amazing photograph to take home.

This is why I love going on trips into nature, armed with nothing more than a tent and a camera.

Continue Reading

A First-Time Parent’s Guide to Planning a Kid’s First Birthday Party

As first-time parents, we tend to celebrate all our child’s achievements, from their first word to their first steps, so it’s only expected that their first birthday is given the importance it deserves.

If you have experienced planning a birthday party before, this should be no different, but if you haven’t, there’s no need to worry. This article is here to help. We’ve created a timetable to make the whole process easier for you.

3 to 2 months before the party

  • Set a date. The birthday party doesn’t necessarily have to be on the date itself, especially if it lands on a weekday. Most parties are held on weekends to accommodate parents and other guests who have school or work.
  • Decide on a theme. While this isn’t required, it may help guide you to decorate the venue and make the whole party seem more cohesive. If your child expresses a preference for certain cartoon characters or colours, you can pick them to be the central theme of the party.
  • Decide on the guest list. Early on, you must decide how many people you’ll invite, as it could limit which venues can accommodate you. 
  • Book a venue. If you’ll be holding the party in a restaurant, resort, or other such locations, it’s a good idea to call in early to ensure you get your desired date. Popular locations tend to be fully booked months ahead, so it’s prudent to start planning early. 
  • Invite the guests. Once you have the venue secured, you should contact the guests as soon as possible to confirm their attendance. Include the time start and end time, venue, and other pertinent details.

2 to 1 month before the party

  • Shop for party favours. Party favours are a great way to thank guests for coming. A candy bag would be a budget-friendly choice for a mostly-kid guest list.
  • Order the cake. Before contacting the bakery, decide what you want the cake to look like. Send them photos of what you want the cake to look like instead of describing your vision through text.
  • Think of games or activities. Some venues have a party host included in the package. If not, you’ll have to think up ways to entertain the guests. You can hire a clown or a magician or plan a scavenger hunt.

4 to 2 weeks before the party

  • Shop for gifts. A birthday party requires a birthday gift, and your child deserves the best. Get them a trendy toy like a Playmobil Ambulance or a big doll house.
  • Ensure everything is finalised. Talk to the venue staff and the cake shop so you’re sure everything is ready.

There’s plenty that must be considered when planning a children’s birthday party, but by breaking down the larger tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks, you won’t get overwhelmed and you can plan things out more smoothly. Ask for help if you need it, and stay organised so you don’t lose track of any important tasks.

Continue Reading

Find Ways to Save on Entertainment Options

How much entertainment do you often get to enjoy in life?

For some people, life is always entertaining in one manner or another. For others, they wish they had more entertainment to go with their lives.

So, is it time you did more to get the entertainment you want?

Do what it Takes to Get More Entertainment

In your quest to bring more entertainment your way, here are some pointers to help:

1. Find stuff close to home – It stands to reason you will be more apt to go find fun when it is not far from where you live. For starters, look around the town or city you live in. Are there are a fair number of entertainment options within reach? If so, try and take advantage of as many of them as possible. Doing so means you do not have to travel all that far to be entertained. This can be everything from sports to history to music and more. If you have young children at home, you want to find stuff for them to get of the home and be entertained.

2. Use the web to guide you – Going online when looking to fulfill entertainment needs is never a bad idea. That said do you have an interest in theme park attractions? If you said yes, would Disney be at or near the top of your list? If it would be, you can use the Internet to help you find deals. Go online to discover how much are Disney World tickets. In doing this, you can find out ahead of time what it will cost you to visit this iconic theme park. If you have young children, taking them to Disney or anything similar would put a smile on their face. Along with pricing and other details about Disney or another venue, also get feedback. That is feedback from travel and entertainment experts who’ve visited such venues. Their two cents can help you when it comes to deciding on the time of the year to visit, what to do once there and much more. Having as much detail as possible can make your visit even more enjoyable as opposed to winging it.

3. Outside family or friends – It is also good when you get the two cents of people you know with a love of entertainment. So, talk to some outside family and friends. That would be those who’ve visited entertainment venues or found fun ways to entertain at home. Odds are you will get some tips that will improve your entertainment options as time goes by. For example, do you have an outside family member or friend who loves to visit theme parks? If the answer is yes, they can be a good go-to source of information. Lean on them to help you with where to visit, when to go, pricing and more. No matter what the subject matter is, let others you know help you and do the same for them.

In finding ways to save on entertainment, do all you can to keep more of your money and get the entertainment you desire.

Continue Reading

Things I love to do when I’m Home alone

I’ve always been one to embrace the idea of solo dining. It’s just one of those things that I find utterly calming. The last restaurant I ate alone was a local burger joint. I brought a book with me (naturally) and ordered a turkey burger. 

And when I needed a break from reading, I had a conversation about wine with the server, before proceeding to order a few glasses for myself. For me, eating out alone is by far the best way to dedicate some time to just myself. 

It might seem strange and even lonely to some people but sitting alone at a restaurant quiets the noise and forces me to explore my true feelings so that I can deal with them head-on instead of pushing them to the sidelines.

Not many people know this, but I have similar sentiments when it comes to being home alone. I am an introvert by nature; a solitary hermit that thrives in the absence of others. It’s just how I’ve always been. I’ve never been more content than when I’ve talked my husband and kids into running some errands outside the house so that I can have a long stretch of solitude.

Don’t get me wrong, my family is the most important thing to me. However, a girl needs her freedom now and again. You know, some time alone to eat a tub of ice-cream, let her hair down, binge on some reality shows in a judgment-free zone. Now does that sound like heaven or what?

Read a book

Even when you love being alone, sudden bursts of loneliness can wash over you unexpectedly. For instance, even though it certainly a treat for me to have the house to myself, I do find myself missing my husband and child, as well as the commotion that having a full house brings.

During such instances, I like to whip out a book to cure these abrupt bursts. It doesn’t matter what genre of book I have on hand- it could be a book that’s based on lonely characters or one that’s centered on a big adventure, it will make you forget being lonely. 

It may even help to make any challenges that you may have seem that much easier to tackle. If you are looking for recommendations on what you should read, CoolThingsChicago has a lovely list of reads that can occupy your time and mind.

Play a fun game with your spouse

Sometimes our parents offer to babysit, which leaves us with the house to ourselves. During such moments, the husband and I like to find activities that we can take part in together. Not only does this allow us to bond and catch up on each other’s lives, but it also rekindles our relationship and makes us feel like we are dating again.

Whenever we don’t want to leave the house or when we are watching our spending, one thing that we like to do is play a competitive game of ping pong. When we don’t feel like sweating, we also like to play adult games– anything that can get us laughing and acting silly with each other is a welcome distraction.

Get some sleep

As a mum, I often find myself sucked into the ‘’I need to get everything done before the kids get up mentality’’ like so many other mums out there. This often causes me to skimp on sleep, which we all know has adverse effects on one’s health.

As such, whenever I find myself alone, I like to take long uninterrupted naps before I proceed to do anything else with my time. This will ensure that I am nice and rested before everyone comes back, which will also give me plenty of energy to keep things moving.

Get moving

If you don’t often find time to go to the gym or fit in a workout because of your busy schedule, then you should consider fitting in a workout or a physical activity the next time you find yourself alone at home. There are plenty of ways to get up and get moving from the comfort of your home.

Like practicing yoga for instance? There are plenty of yoga apps that can get you started. Better still, there are plenty of great workouts available free on Youtube so that you can participate and feel like part of a community or tribe.

Try learning a new language

You’re never too old to learn a new language. The good news is that there are plenty of language learning apps that allow you to learn a second language right in the comfort of your home

Granted, you probably won’t be able to hold a proper conversation right away, but the process will boost your cognitive abilities and you might even pick up a few words here and there that will allow you to impress and dazzle at the dinner table. Or if you would rather not use an app, you can alternatively take interactive online classes, some of which are even taught by some of your favorite celebrities.

Final Thoughts

Some people cannot stand being home alone- I’m not one of those people. There are so many benefits of being alone and yet people don’t take advantage of them. Now, we’re not encouraging you to go all Tom Hanks in Cast Away here, but taking some nights to be alone at home can do wonders for your overall wellbeing.

Often, when we are surrounded by too many people, it forces us to expend energy that we sometimes don’t have. Trying to keep those around you happy can be mentally draining and it can take a toll, which is why it is so important to set time aside to just be by yourself.

When you spend time alone, it teaches you to trust your instincts as you are often forced to make decisions without any third-party validation. Plus, you can sing as loudly and as terribly as you want when you are alone in a judgment-free zone, which is a win is almost every book.

Continue Reading

Gambling Can be a Great Way to Earn Money if You Follow These Rules

Gambling many centuries ago burst into human life. One of the first ways to gamble was a game of dice, which is defined in an ancient Indian tale. Additionally according to other tales, an unrevealed Indian prince would wager frequently with his wife.

In old times, there were states where gambling was forbidden. One of these was in Rome. In others, for example, in Greece, betting was virtually admired, they even played kings.

Amongst the ancient individuals, the Germans showed a special love for gambling. Casino paid taxes and also there was wagering till the XIX century.

Later on, maps appeared, which were spread by a traders across cities throughout Europe. In The  1300s the nobility exercised the capability to play cards well. At the exact same time, amongst the nobles, many types of gambling games were in style.

Gambling, which as soon as seemed impossible, goes into the lives of many individuals. After all, it gives individuals a big variety of feelings: from favorable to exceptionally unfavorable.

Gambling Now

Today, gambling lovers are people of different financial status and include all genders. They play for differnet reasons but usually for fun and also economic gain. For lots of gaming is not even a method to make money, but an initial one.

When evaluating the possibility of making money form gambling online, one website that gives high returns is the best online slots Canada. Remember however gambling is unpredictable and can cause you to lose money.

A large advantage for many online gamblers is that gaming can be played at a convenient time, from any location, and even if you have a tiny quantity of money. All online gambling calls for financial investment, yet it is feasible to play for only a little cash. Several websites provide unique promotional benefits that motivate you to proceed playing even after an initial loss.

Betting and psychological health

There are numerous reasons individuals appreciate gambling:

  1. Release of endorpins which make you happy
  2. Competitive aspect
  3. A sense of danger
  4. Way to resolve monetary issues
  5. Relaxation

There is an assumption that gaming is habit forming. This is true but everything depends on the player.

You should never bet large amounts of cash, particularly on games in which you have little expertise. It’s far better to limit the amount you’re willing to invest. Besides, you don’t have to spend most of your time on gambling, it’s a really bad idea. The ability to stop at any time is also  additionally a crucial element. This will stop you from losing the amount you’ve already won.

Gaming has a large effect on good mental health. You can escape from problems and relax for a bit. At the biological level, dopamine is released, which makes you feel uplifted and happy. Also you do have the chance to win some money which can improve your financial situation. 

Continue Reading

Best Bike Types for Seniors

Seniors can ride any type of bike, but some styles are made with the preferences of older riders in mind. From a standard bike with a step-through frame to a lower bicycle for short adults, there are design options and features that can make cycling more comfortable and safe. Discover the best bikes for seniors and riding solutions for your lifestyle and level of mobility.

Comfort Bikes

Comfort bikes are versatile designs. A hybrid comfort bike combines features of road and mountain bikes to provide a smooth ride across many types of terrain, from paved streets to trails. You can cover considerable distances on these bikes. A simple, single-speed comfort bike is suitable for riding on flat terrain. Models with more gears facilitate uphill riding and maximize pedaling power.

Bike frames that are made with comfort in mind tend to feature upright seating. This positions reduces joint strain while exercising muscles throughout the body. If you are concerned about keeping your balance, look for a frame with a seat that is low enough for you to put your feet flat on the ground while stopped and pedals that are positioned to enable you to fully extend your legs while on the go.

Cruiser Bikes

Cruiser bikes are stylish designs for casual riding. This type of bike typically has upright seating and handlebars and is intended for shorter rides on mostly level terrain. These bike frames may be made of lightweight material such as aluminum or heavier steel. Compare these options to select the best bikes for heavy people or a maneuverable solution for your height and mobility needs.

Cruisers may be single speed, three-speed or seven-speed, but these bikes generally have less gearing than hybrid bikes or more specialized road or mountain bikes. Wide tires and cushioned seats provide superior shock absorption for a smooth ride. Look for a cruiser bike with a step-through frame for the easiest ride from mounting to dismounting.

Adult Tricycles

If you have balance issues or have never ridden a bike, you may prefer the stability of a tricycle. This type of bike is equipped with three tires, one in front and two in the back. This design allows for superior stability and shock absorption. Tricycles are primarily intended for riding on flat terrain and often feature a built-in cargo solution in the back, such as a basket. This type of a bike may pose less of a risk of injury than any two-wheeled style.

Select the right bike by considering the distance and terrain you plan to ride. Comfort bikes are designed for longer rides on varied surfaces. Cruisers are better for shorter, more casual rides. Tricycles provide superior stability for riding on flat terrain. Any of these bikes may be available with a step-through frame and the option of an electric motor. Motorized bikes offer senior riders the option of pedal assistance or full-electric power at a range of speeds and distances. Most of these styles are also available with standard 26-inch or lower 24-inch wheels for riders of any height.

Continue Reading

Tiffany Ashurian – Marathon Box Sets to Get Your Teeth Into

Being stuck at home, at any time I may add not just during this current pandemic, is always a positive thing and whether you are ill, having to wait in for something or indeed you are on lockdown, we live in an age where there is more to do than ever before. My roomie Tiffany Ashurian and myself have been on lockdown now for just over 6 weeks and after working from home all day we love to unwind at night with a little glass of vino and a great box set. 

If you think you’ve run out of things to watch on TV, I’d urge you to check these out if you haven’t already. 

Blacklist 

Blacklist does eventually become a touch formulaic but that takes nothing away from this brilliant TV show. A wanted criminal hands himself in to the FBI and helps them to capture a number of people on his very own Blackllist, criminals who work in the underbelly of global crime and who keep the main man himself out of prison. The twist here is that he ropes in an inexperienced FBI agent who he turns out to have a lengthy connection with, although she has no clue. Six seasons of brilliance and some outstanding script writing. 

La Casa de Paper (Money Heist)

Now into its 4th season this Spanish TV show features a genius called the Professor who takes a team of handpicked criminals and trains them up to steal from the Royal Mint of Spain. Every eventuality is accounted for and the show is shaped in such a way that you cannot wait for these guys to get away with it all. Once one heist closes, another opens in this brilliant show which will have you on the edge of your seat thinking every 10 minutes that they are going to get caught. 

Suits

Smooth and suave ‘closer’ Harvey Spector is working at one of the best law firms in the city when he knowingly hires a new lawyer who has not only not been to Harvard University as is required, but he hasn’t even been to law school. This young recruit however does have a photographic memory and a passion for law, so you get the feeling he’ll be just fine. Gabriel Macht is brilliant as Harvey Specter in this show of family, money, corporate law and a touch of backstabbing. 

After Life

The final one in this list is an easy watch, clocking in at just 30 minutes per episode. It tells the story of a man who lost his wife and who has now turned into something of a misery. Watch this brilliant performance from Ricky Gervais as he makes you love him, hate him and then love him again, all in the space of an episode. This is a 10/10 show which has just released its second season. 

Next time you are at a loose end, give one of these shows a try.

Continue Reading

Reasons to Hire a Limousine Bus

Hiring a Limousine Bus is something that you might want to do when travelling or partying with a larger group of friends. There are many reasons why you want to hire a Limousine Bus, such as a hen or stag party, a birthday celebration, prom night or basically just any excuse to want to get together with your friends. 

When you want to do something a little bit different to make your evening extra special then there is no better way to do this than to enjoy an evening in the Limousine Bus. You will be able to decorate the bus for whatever occasion it is that you wish to celebrate, adding banners, balloons or any other items that will add to creating an amazing party atmosphere. As soon as your group of friends’ step foot on the Limousine Bus they will be ready to feel the party vibes.

 Using the Limousine Bus will mean that you will get to party in luxury, enjoy the music playing with plenty of space for every member of the party. You will be able to arrange for pick up and drop off points for each of your guests or collectively if you wish to be picked up from the same address. You just provide the details and you can be sure that your driver will do the rest and will leave your night hassle free so that you too can get fully involved in the party. Your driver will be very familiar with the roads and routes to any destination so you will arrive safely with a well planned out journey. When organizing a night out or celebration you can guarantee that one of your friends will always turn up late but by hiring a Limousine Bus there are no excuses to be late because the driver will be at your desired destination with plenty of time to spare and your whole group of friends will be together on the bus partying the night away.

Hiring a Limousine Bus for your party evening will always be made a night to remember, so much so that once you have experienced it you will probably want to organize more events just to have a reason to hire the Limousine Bus again. It is a great way of celebrating in style but sitting back and letting someone else do the work. All you would have to do is arrange the decorations and leave the rest to the driver. You may want to arrange a playlist for the party as the limousine bus comes with surround sound and flashing lights. A playlist with all your favorite songs, bringing back memories of your youth or growing up with your friends, all the songs that make you want to dance the night away. You would want to make the most of your experience by using the facilities that come with the Limousine Bus, it is an experience you will not forget in a hurry. 

Continue Reading