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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

The Muon Network – Empowering Blockchain you never thought was possible…

An overview of what is possible on the blockchain with Muon

1. Seamless scalability

Break through previous limitations

Muon is a decentralised node-network, with limitless scalability. As it is not a chain and does not permanently store data it is free from the restrictions of ‘preservation of state’. 

With Muon, any web3 application can make use of external data, with confidence in its validity, security and near-instantaneous response times.

2.   Decentralized Computation

Take care of business

Muon’s decentralized autonomous nodes operate like a VPS (virtual private server) and can therefore run anything that could run on a Linux server.

With Muon, any Web3 app can run high-level, tamper-proof computations (Python, Java, C, C++, Rust, etc…) within its own Muon app container. Nodes running the same Application can gossip and even work together, forming a decentralized super-computer.

This structure opens up Muon dApps to a much broader range of functions, bridging different blockchains, oracles, and off-chain data, rather than being limited to a single chain.

3.   Go anywhere

Think outside of the box

Think outside of the box

Muon creates bridges between all blockchains. Think of Muon-bridges as a cross-chain data application – and not just limited to tokens. Any type of data can be bridged cross-chain with Muon.

Muon is like the Amazon Web Services (AWS) of the decentralized universe. Securely computing, verifying, and sending data between blockchain protocols & dApps.

Muon in 2022…

The Muon Network is co-founded by Lafayette Tabor. An very experienced & knowledgeable sort in the blockchain & programming world. Below is what Lafayette expects the Muon Network to accomplish in the near future in 2022.

What can we expect in 2022?

Development of the core Muon network (token launch, testnet & mainnet) is happening alongside building application solutions with partners (such as DEXes, oracles & gaming projects). The network has hundreds of parts currently in development, with many releases to look forward to this year.

Lafa: “Most people don’t realise how big Muon is, with a core team of around 50 developers. Muon itself is already a huge project… and at least 10 projects will be built on top of Muon early this year.”

Muon and Developers

Getting the attention of developers is key for Muon, and something which we have a lot of plans for moving ahead. In the future we expect that aspiring developers will need to not only know blockchain, but Muon itself, and so being able to educate and teach is crucial to our plans.

Lafa: “We will have our offices in Berlin. Berlin is a major hub for blockchain/web3; Gnosis, Ethereum, Polkadot, everyone is in Berlin. As soon as COVID is over, there will be events planned for Muon, hackathons and other exciting things.”

How will Muon scale?

Muon is built to be highly scalable, not only in and of itself but also the applications built on it. However, like any technology, it still will always face some form of physical limit. For Muon this is mainly tied to node hardware, bandwidth and the network size. However, given we expect the transaction count to exceed that of any blockchain, scaling is a key part of our process. We are already able to handle 200–300 TPS even in our early phases, with sharding a key element to enabling smooth throughput even with high traffic.

Lafa: “It’s [network scaling] not like what you know with Ethereum. The best comparison is something similar to ICP (Internet Computer), who are doing sharded applications. But with Muon we go even deeper, with every transaction being sharded, meaning every request is basically sharded.”

What are the scaling advantages of Muon compared to blockchain-only?

Muon is completely different from blockchains such as Polygon (because Muon is not actually a blockchain). As Muon is a node-network, it doesn’t require the network state to be shared globally across all nodes (unlike blockchains) and for this reason it provides a far more effective scaling solution.

Lafa: “Blockchains will never scale. Never. No matter how fast or good they are. Blockchains are not scaling solutions, nor are sidechains, nothing that is sharing a state across the world can ever be a scaling solution.”

$MUON token launch & community

Along with the token whitelist we are in the process of finalizing our community incentive program, where everyone will be given the chance to join a group and be able to participate in many kinds of community building activities (such as creating or sharing content). Based on your participation in this program you will be able to earn a $MUON pre-sale allocation.

How is Muon secured from application attack vectors?

Application attack vectors can be a genuine security issue, if not addressed and managed correctly. Fortunately we already have processes in place to eliminate these risks, even for when the number of builders on Muon greatly expands. In the future, anyone will be able to deploy whitelisted functions from our Github library in a permissionless manner. However, highly customized functions will have to go through a Muon DAO committee before hitting mainnet, to ensure there is no security threat present or any malicious intentions.

Lafa: “In our current version, all applications are developed with direct support of the Muon engineering team… in the future there will be many functions (similar to erc-20) that can be deployed by permissionless means. However, if you have customized apps, there will always be a DAO committee that checks applications before they can be deployed.”

How will Muon connect all blockchains? How far can it scale?

Muon will be able to connect to virtually all public chains. Not only does this mean we can connect blockchain native projects, but we can also bring in projects & applications from outside the blockchain space entirely. It is a truly global connective solution, which makes it bigger than any single blockchain. However, we do not compete with blockchains, instead working closely alongside them to achieve better outcomes for all parties.

Lafa: “Considering the fact that Muon combines all these blockchains, it also brings all their users together. So if you have people who are pro-Solana and anti-Ethereum (and vice versa), under Muon they will all come together as each chain will be able to display its advantages, while still being connected to other networks… Muon is there to connect all the chains together.”

Muon launch services & the MRC-20 token standard

Set to debut early this year with FEAR, Muon’s launchpad services will make use of our unique MRC-20 token standard, enabling native cross-chain token launches that are decentralized, fair and secure.

The MRC-20 token standard is fully compatible with the ERC-20 standard, the tokens will be handled the same on-chain, yet it adds a few advantages that can be leveraged in cross-chain environments.

Lafa: “The MRC-20 token standard means you can perform transactions cross-chain. It’s like a token standard that has its own bridge built-in to the token. The launchpad basically facilitates building applications on top of that.”

Find out more about Muon here – https://muon.net/

Join the Muon Community on Twitter, Telegram, Medium, and Discord.

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What To Write In A Mother’s Day Card

By Posted on 4 m read

Regardless of culture or race, almost everyone has at least one mother figure in their life. Because one way or another, your personality got influenced by her somehow, especially if you have a close relationship with her. And one way to express your feelings for her is by giving her a gift. Fortunately, there’s one day of the year where you can go just that.

However, while some would think it’s easy to get a gift for someone you’re so close with, many might think otherwise. After all, gift-giving could simply be a polite gesture where you only get someone a generic gift because of social cues. But Mother’s Day is one of those days when there’s no room for being generic. Therefore, you might want to up your gift ideas for moms.

Still, if you’re a little lost on what to give that special woman in your life, why not try out a Mother’s Day card? You might not have any clue where to begin. After all, not everyone’s good with words, which is why they turn to other means of gift-giving. But because of this, writing a letter is much more meaningful for both parties since you’re laying down your thoughts that way.

Since one’s feelings tend to be challenging to sift through, different intentions can go into writing a Mother’s Day card:

1. Declaration Of Love

Unless you have allergies, no one can deny the appeal of a bouquet of fresh Mother’s Day roses. Not only do they look gorgeous, but they also embody meanings that can go over anyone’s head without doing any research. However, while showing pink carnations to your mother figure is a subtle approach for your feelings, writing a letter would be much more straightforward.

Expressing your love is one of the many reasons you’re doing this for your mom. Being there for you at your lowest points, celebrating your successes—these are some events in your life that you’re glad to share with someone else, regardless of how good or bad they are. And these experiences served as the groundwork for whatever relationship you both have now.

Of course, you can show your love and appreciation by treating her to a family holiday or a trip somewhere. But affirming these feelings through words on paper and handing it to your loved one almost seems like you’re gifting them your heart. It’s the most down-to-earth gesture, yet the intent behind it could leave a strong impact on your relationship.

2. Personal Art

Now, if you’re truly not confident with your literary skills, don’t worry. There are still ways you can express your love without resorting to grocery shop Mother’s Day cards. Since you want your feelings to remain authentic, why not give art a try?

Art is a broad topic. If anything, you can even consider writing as a form of art. Because regardless of your medium, art always has one intention in mind: to be so genuine, whoever’s looking at it will feel the emotion you poured into it. But since you’ve decided on sticking with a card, you might not reveal your hidden Picasso this time.

Still, despite limiting yourself to paper or any medium in the same vein, there are many ways you can let out your artsy side. Sketch out that one place you hold close to your heart because of the memories you made together in it. Or if you’re confident with drawing people, you can even sketch her. Perhaps make a collage of photos you took together for a trip down memory lane. You could even turn it into a makeshift scrapbook if you had a burst of creativity.

In the end, you don’t need to go to extreme lengths just to treat your special lady on Mother’s Day. Whatever you make with paper and some art materials paired with a sweet letter below is a unique way to express your feelings.

3. Well Wishes

Although it’s not as deep as writing down your love, wishing the recipient good fortune is still a thoughtful gesture, especially if you know they’re going through a tough time in their life. However, compared to before, this one is ideal for a broader spectrum, ranging from expecting mothers you have close ties with to estranged biological mothers. So, depending on who you’re giving this letter to, you could be a little impersonal.

4. Funny Jokes

This might be better if you have a close, yet light-hearted relationship with the recipient. Comedy can’t make a perfect landing if its audience didn’t get it, after all. So, the worst-case scenario would lead to them assuming you think Mother’s Day is a joke. Therefore, you need to be familiar with the recipient before doing this. And you have to admit, despite how cringy they are, puns are bound to get a chuckle out of anyone. Or you could write some witty one-liners to poke fun at each other.

What’s The Point Of A Mother’s Day Card?

Although there’s only one day designated for every special woman in your life, you probably have a long list of everything they’ve done to you for the rest of the year. Now, while you can show your feelings for them anytime, Mother’s Day is one of those days when they have the spotlight, except for their birthday. And giving them a Mother’s Day card is one of many ways you could pour your heart into it.

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8 Practical Lessons Every Restaurateur Must Know

As a restaurateur, you face new challenges repeatedly. Some of these challenges are always the same, while others vary based upon changing market conditions and evolving customer tastes.

The reality is that even more than most business owners, restaurateurs must learn from experience to improve their operations continually. While some aspects of running a restaurant are unique to the industry, there are also many important lessons that all restaurateurs must learn to be successful.

The following are eight practical lessons every restaurateur should be aware of:

1. Business Planning Is Imperative

Running a restaurant is not easy, and it takes more than great food, good service, and an inviting atmosphere to make it a thriving business. The restaurant industry is one of the most competitive businesses today, and you need to have an effective business plan if you want to succeed in this venture.

There are many different business plan elements, but perhaps none is more important than pricing strategy. If you don’t set prices effectively, it doesn’t matter how good your food is or how much repeat business you get.

Another key element is location. Your restaurant needs to be in an area with access to a solid customer base. When planning your business, be sure to take demographics into account.

2. Be Ready To Adapt All The Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are restaurants with great reputations. Your restaurant will not be perfect on your first day of operation or even after six months. Restaurants must constantly evolve to stay at the top of their game and ahead of their competitors.

Restaurateurs need to be prepared and willing to adapt fast in this industry. If you do not, your restaurant will fall by the wayside as newer and more innovative eateries take their place.

Take, for example, your menu. You need to be willing to experiment with new dishes even if the ones you already offer are still selling well. If you don’t, your competitors will, and they may come up with something you would never have thought of on your own. 

In addition to the food you serve, complete packaging and inspection services like TDI Packsys can help you to package and distribute your food more effectively. You need to make sure that the way you deliver your products is as good as the food you serve.

3. There Is Never A Perfect Operation

Even the best restaurants have their problems and flaws. You may have a fantastic chef, but if your waiters aren’t polite or you don’t have enough of them to accommodate the large crowds during peak hours, even a world-class menu can’t save you from high customer turnover.

Don’t be afraid to recognize that you and your operation are not perfect. When admitting that there is room for improvement, you show strength in your business because you can see where other operations excel and try to emulate them rather than pretending that problems don’t exist.

4. Customer Retention Is Essential

One of the most significant failings of many restaurant owners is that they are somewhat one-dimensional in their approach to growing the business. Restaurant owners sometimes focus on acquiring new customers rather than keeping them. It results in too high a staff turnover and can also cause customer service problems.

Some restaurateurs believe that their success is based solely on marketing and new customer acquisition, but this isn’t true. The reality is that retention of existing customers is even more important than acquisition. After all, you can always get new customers if you lose existing ones—just ask any SBA lender for small business loans. It means that you should always focus on customer retention and getting your current customers to return again and again.

To do this, you need to be able to:

5. Create A Great Customer Experience

One of the most important lessons that all restaurateurs should learn is that customers need to have an incredible experience to become loyal customers. It might seem like common sense, but many restaurant owners fail to provide an experience that matches their marketing campaigns and the expectations of their customers.

The client’s interaction with your staff is critical to having a great customer experience. Still, numerous other factors contribute to this, such as ambiance, menu options, table positioning, music volume, etc. If you want your restaurant to succeed over the long term, your staff, menu, and décor need to be focused on providing exceptional customer service.

6. Staff Retention Is A Major Priority

Another big mistake that restaurateurs make is underestimating the role of employee retention in both short and long-term success. Restaurants are extremely personnel dependent, and the hard truth is that any owner who doesn’t treat their staff very well will find it extremely difficult to get employees to meet customer needs.

The bigger your restaurant gets, the more staff you need to meet demands. If you don’t have enough people working for you, your service quality dramatically decreases, hurting customer retention. As a restaurateur, you should always strive to provide a good working environment and focus on staff development.

7. Establishing A Brand Can Help In Long-Term Success

In today’s highly competitive restaurant industry, establishing a brand can be one of the best ways for any business owner to ensure long-term success. It means that you shouldn’t simply focus on making the food at your restaurant great; instead, you need to come up with a brand name and marketing campaign that will help set you apart from the competition. If you don’t do this, it doesn’t matter how good your food is or how much attention to detail your staff demonstrates—your restaurant is still going to struggle.

If you are unsure how to establish a brand, many different tactics can be used, including menu branding, creating an ambiance or theme for the restaurant, focusing on specific customer segments, etc. The bottom line is that building an effective brand will help your business stand out from competitors in your area, and it will also make it easier to promote your restaurant.

8. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Marketing

Lastly, every restaurateur needs to understand the importance of marketing in growing their business. If you don’t plan to increase your customer base and brand awareness, there’s a good chance you won’t succeed over the long term. The restaurant industry is a highly competitive world, and if you don’t put a reasonable marketing budget and implement a solid advertising program, your business won’t grow and generate revenue.

A reasonable marketing budget is usually around 10% of total sales and should be allocated to both traditional advertising (TV ads, newspaper ads, radio spots, etc.) and online marketing (social media programs, email campaigns, website content creation, search engine optimization or SEO, etc.). Restaurants that don’t invest in marketing usually fail to generate new customers, which is one of the biggest reasons many restaurants struggle in today’s market.

Conclusion

Even if you start from scratch about running a business, it’s evident that the above eight lessons are essential if you want to have success with your eatery. If you can follow these steps and take them seriously, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of creating both an enjoyable dining atmosphere and turning a profit with your restaurant.

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7 Things To Do In London This Holiday Season

By Posted on 4 m read

London is a very beautiful city, especially during the holidays. This city is one of the most festive cities in the world. It’s also one of the best cities to spend Christmas in. Holidays here are the best. It’s just so lively and decorations are all over the city. People are festive and everyone is just into the Christmas spirit.

Many local and international tourists visit London during the holidays. It’s a great place for families and friends to bond because you can never run out of things to do. Fun is in every corner, and everyone can feel the Christmas warmth in the atmosphere. 

Here are seven things to do in London this holiday season:

1. Explore Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is the annual Christmas fair that happens in Hyde Park. It features rides such as its signature Ferris wheel. Gift shops, game booths, and snack booths are also all over the park.

Since 2007, it has been a Christmas tradition for Londoners to go to this wonderful place. People from other parts of the UK also visit Winter Wonderland. You could go to London via bus, plane, train, or car. If you’re from Liverpool, you may want to book coach tickets from London to Liverpool.

2. Go Ice Skating


Ice Skating has also been a Christmas tradition in London. People here love to skate during Winter, so there are many places where you could go skate your heart out. The Somerset House has an open-air rink where you can skate while enjoying some hot chocolate. There are also shops along the rink so you can squeeze in some shopping after.

If you want to skate with a historical castle in the background, then you can go to Hampton Court Palace. This palace was the former residence of King Henry VIII, but it’s now mainly a tourist attraction. At night, the castle lights up in festive colours to brighten up the mood. 

The Natural History Museum in South Kensington has also an open ice-skating rink. Thus, you can have a historical trip and go skating after. That’s like hitting two birds with one stone.

3. Christmas Shopping

Holiday-themed shops are all over London during this time of the year. Novelty shops that sell Christmas figurines and memorabilia are located along the alleys of London.

You can also indulge in Christmas gift shopping in London’s famous malls like Harrod’s. Many stores also offer season sales which you can enjoy.

4. Attend Christmas Shows

London is famous for producing world-class plays and entertainment. Shows with Christmas themes such as The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and Frozen are available for you to watch. West End also has special Christmas productions that you and your family can enjoy. 

There are also free Christmas carols you can enjoy while you stroll around. Children and adult choirs are there to entertain people with music while they walk around the city. Walking with a live band playing just adds magic to your experience. 

5. Join The Christmas Lights Bus Tour

The city offers a bus tour wherein you can visit famous landmarks. This tour is called the Christmas Lights London by Night Bus. The bus departs from the London Eye. It then takes you to famous landmarks such as Regents Street, Trafalgar Square, Marble Arch, Picadilly Circus, Houses of Parliament, and Tower Bridge.

This is a great way to enjoy the city night scene and relax with your loved ones. This tour is also guided so you won’t have to worry about your itinerary.

6. Eat Christmas Delicacies

English Christmas delicacies are a must-try when you’re in London. Most cafes are open 24/7 so you can have treats whenever you want. You can sit in your favourite café and enjoy a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Christmas cookies, chocolates, waffles, and smores are also staples when you visit this city.

7. Enjoy The Views

London has a magnificent view all year round, but it even becomes more special during holidays. While you’re here, you can visit spots where you can appreciate London’s panoramic view. 

You can visit the Shard for some breath-taking views of the city. This 800-feet tower has an observation deck that’ll surely keep you in awe the whole time.

The Emirates Air Line cable car also offers a slide along River Thames. This is a great way for you to see London from the air while admiring the historical river.

Lastly, you can go for the classic London Eye. This is one of the most popular attractions in London. You can take a ride with your loved ones and admire the Christmas views from the world-famous Ferris Wheel.

A London Holiday

London is one of the most popular cities to go to during the holiday season. The Christmas spirit is just seen all over the place. There are also countless things to do while in the city.

You can explore theme parks or go ice skating. You can also get yourself entertained by enjoying Christmas plays and performances. Lastly, you can also walk around while sightseeing and shopping. Thus, spending time in London is a must if you want to enjoy the holidays.

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6 Dreamy Decor Ideas For A Winter Wedding

By Posted on 4 m read

It’s not surprising why couples want a winter wedding. There is something magical to the season. At the same time, it also offers practicalities as more people can attend. A winter wedding also means using elements that one can find during this season. 

The trick is to make décor work for the lovely ambiance you’re looking for. Here are some top-notch winter wedding décors ideas you’d want for your own:  

  1. Go For Natural 

When you want something that you’ll never forget, why not use the weather in all its natural glory? The snow itself speaks of ‘Winter Wonderland.’ So, instead of having to sweep off the snow, leave it alone at the arc where you’ll be saying, ‘I do.’  

You can also take advantage of the snowy backdrop. Snow-capped mountains, pine trees covered in fine powder, add pine cones to the table settings – there’s a world of options you can use. All you need is good imagination to make everything work. Have wedding floral packages that look great with the white snow. Pick ones that will go with a theme that looks great with snow.   

  1. Use Glittering Lights 

You may have used fairy lights to decorate your room before. If you’re missing out now, you can surely use them to decorate your wedding venue. Fairy lights use dainty light bulbs that offer a fantasy feel in any space. If it looks great in your sleeping area, there’s no reason why it won’t look great at a wedding.   

You can use them indoors or outdoors to set the tone. If you’re having a wedding ceremony at night, cascading fairy lights will look fantastic overhead. You can even get creative and decorate seasonal wedding flowers with them. Your tablescape would look like a fantasy dining area with the lights running along its length.   

  1. Green Garlands Anywhere 

Garlands make great décor as well. You’ll find them running along with ceilings, stairwells, and more when Christmas. But why not use them at your wedding as well. Traditionally, you can use various kinds of winter greenery for your wedding. They can be hung overhead with fairy lights with wrapped columns or poles. Long reception tables also make good areas for them as centerpieces. A separate room that the wedding caterer has arranged the menu is also a good place if they won’t get in the guest’s way. Choose blue spruce, seeded eucalyptus, pine, and more.  

  1. Color Pop With Flowers 

White flowers may be the staple for weddings, but because it’s likely to be snowy, you might want to try any colors of flowers that would pop against the white backdrop. Pinks and red flowers are popular, and large flowers with pink and earthy tones look stunning. The wedding arc would be just as lovely whether you’re using white or colored flowers.   

Check your local florist if they can recommend florals that are season and look great in a winter wedding. These flowers are great as bouquets and must bold colors to string along with the coordination of the wedding. Boutonnieres, table settings, and basically, the venues don’t have to stay white all the time.

  1. Warm Up With Faux Furs

Winter weather is a good reason to snuggle up and get cozy. If your home is as comfortable as it gets during the cold months, you can add that charm to your wedding day. Your venue might be heated, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t place fur throw blankets at the benches or chairs where the guests can relax.   

Fur throws with rich brown colors offer a rustic feel that they will appreciate. It’s incredibly charming around wood furniture and other hard surfaces. If your guests are families, they can share the large throws and bond over a glass of wine.   

  1. Use Barn Wedding Elements 

Chic and rustic barn weddings are popular for all seasons, and people like them because of their informality. Large barn venues also tend to have long dining tables where guests can sit together and ‘break bread.’ Barns also remind a couple of nature, and others relish the historic feel. The warm feeling it brings soothes the soul during the cold winter, and the inspired barn wedding decorations are not so bad either.  

Use wooden pallets as backdrops or as extra tables for cocktails. Gather some vintage furniture to add a bit of ancestral feel to the venue. Add some lanterns to the table setting, hang them around as lighting, or place them along the aisle. And if you can find barrels in different sizes, you’d want to put flowers on them.   

In Conclusion  

A magical winter wedding is not hard to achieve. With a few design ideas and spot-on creativity, you can create an event that inspires others. Winter doesn’t have to be cold, even as you choose to hold your wedding this season. Your decorations will make them feel warm and welcomed.   

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Sealions Launches Accessible Vitamin Range

By Posted on 2 m read

New UK health and wellness pure-play ecommerce brand, Sealions, part of SUPREME PLC, is launching with a brand-new line of vitamin range and wellness supplements for all ages and stages of life. Sealions is focused on providing a top-quality range of wellness products that won’t break the bank, offering a year’s supply of vitamins for £5 across a selected range. At nearly 70% cheaper than some of the leading wellness brands, Sealions offers affordable, low prices across all its products; only available at www.sealions.com.

Sealions is leading the way for an environmentally conscious future, with a mission to look after the planet, all packaging is completely plastic free. The first-class supplement brand is revolutionising the way customers can now buy vitamins in bulk, spearheading a sustainable movement in the health and wellness sector and not adding to the single use plastic waste issue from monthly tubs.

New to market, Sealions has invested £500k marketing spend into above the line media – focusing on TV and radio. Sealions new TV commercial will be broadcast from Monday 19th July.

“At Sealions we’re committed to offering an accessible vitamin brand for customers, where they can invest in their health and wellbeing at affordable prices. We’re the most sustainable brand in the market that’s offering vitamins at incredible prices but produced and delivered completely plastic free. We want to make quality vitamins accessible for everyone,” said SUPREME PLC Managing Director Sandy Chadha.

At a time when the health of the nation has never been so vital, Sealions has created a strong, expert-quality range of vitamin and wellness supplements.

A boost of life for every day, Sealions’ core range includes; Vitamin D3 (1000iu), which is essential to help strengthen bones and muscles, boost immunity and increase mood; Vitamin C (200mg), supports immunity, protects cells, boosts collagen and keeps bones, tissue and organs healthy; Multivitamin + Iron, with a hectic lifestyle it’s not always possible to get everything you need from our daily food – making Sealions’ Multivitamin + Iron a one-stop shop for essential vitamins; Omega-3 Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil – both rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contributing to normal brain and eye development.

Sealions provides for the family, from toddlers to teenagers and adults of all ages – with dedicated vitamin ranges for women, men and children, including a Pregnancy Multivitamin, Multivitamin for Men and a Multivitamin for Kids that’s tropical tasting and chewable. All cleverly packaged into plastic-free pouches, with daily single servings and available in various pack sizes from £5. Sealions provide exceptional quality products, guaranteeing first-rate ingredients that are safe for all the family.

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NIO Cocktails Launches Limited-Edition Rebel Bourbon Whiskey Cocktail Collection for Father’s Day

By Posted on 2 m read

The UK’s leading cocktail letterbox delivery company, NIO Cocktails, has launched a new limited-edition bourbon whiskey cocktail box, in collaboration with Rebel Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, just in time for Father’s Day, 20th June 2021. Available exclusively from niococktails.co.uk.

The box includes four expertly crafted whiskey cocktails inspired by the rebellious spirit of Rebel Bourbon, who, in 1849, pioneered the wheat-based bourbon recipe defying the preferred rye mash bill process, popular in Kentucky at the time. The perfect gift for brazenly bold, adventurous dad’s this Father’s Day:

  • Espression 100ml, 28.8%: A play on words of the well-loved Espresso Martini, Espression is a decadent pairing of Rebel Bourbon, smoked almond liqueur, coffee, and bittersweet vermouth – perfect for slow digestif sipping.
  • Tenacious 100ml, 27.4%: If your dad is a sake fan, he’ll love this unique pairing of smooth Rebel Bourbon mixed with spicy Rebel Straight Rye and hearty Oloroso sherry, perfectly blended with dry Umeshu (a Japanese plum wine) and banana liqueur – an unforgettable flavour explosion inspired by East Asian cuisine.
  • Explorer 100ml, 28.4%: A fruity infusion of fig and cherry, combined with smooth Rebel Bourbon, botanical rich Rosso vermouth and a dash of balsamic vinegar for a slightly bitter finish.
  • Pioneer 100ml, 32.3%: A true adventure in flavour, pioneer is a compendium of tastes from across the globe, with notes of crimson saffron, cumin seeds and pink pepper, rounded out with vermouth Bianco. Pair it with an Italian antipasto board of cured meats and cheeses for a taste of la bella vita.

“We’re delighted to be working with Rebel Bourbon and their award-winning original whiskey on this collection. We wanted to celebrate the rebel attitude of bravery, freedom of expression, and a pioneering spirit by telling a story through flavour innovation. Each of the four cocktails has a unique yet balanced profile, taking you on an exploration of flavours from across the world, creating new cocktail experiences. These cocktails embody creativity and are perfect for anyone brave and bold enough to try something new, with a cocktail to suit every palate,” said NIO Cocktails master mixologist Patrick Pistolesi.

To enjoy your cocktails at home, simply fill a glass with ice, shake the cocktail pouch, tear the corner, pour and enjoy!

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8 Clever Ways To Use Leftover Wine

By Posted on 5 m read

Wine oxidizes immediately after opening, leading to a drink with faded color and diminished potency. The shelf life varies depending mainly on the kind of wine you’re using. It’s also dependent on its dryness or sweetness. Red wine generally holds up longer than white wine, and older varieties outlast young ones, so it’s best to consume your wines following such orders. Younger wines last approximately a week, while older wines last up to weeks. However, there are exceptions. Dessert wines and port wine can last even a year after opening. 

An occasion is most often than not, incomplete without wine. People also love having chilled wine on summer days to cool off. Yet no matter how popular the drink is at parties, there’s still a good chance you’ll have some leftovers once your guests leave. And if you don’t want to drink these leftovers right away, there are some other ways to save them for other uses. 

There are a few ways to use leftover wine that doesn’t involve pouring it directly into the sink. 

Use Red Wine To Make Tie-Dye Shirts

Tie-dye shirts are making a comeback, and these are incredibly colorful and cozy shirts and hoodies dyed effortlessly to perfection. Did you know that you can use wine to dye fabrics? You can follow the steps below for fashionable wine-dyed apparel: 

  • Use rubber bands to hold a white cotton garment into place by twisting and tying it. 
  • Once the leftover wine has been poured into a huge pot, heat it to a boil and turn it off right after. 
  • Take some pieces of clothing (shirt or any plain-colored apparel will do) and put them in the wine slowly. Stir the mixture once in a while and let it sit for about four hours in total. Note that when you steep them longer, the colors become darker.  
  • Put the clothes on a clean baking sheet after removing and wringing them out. 
  • Check on your clothes every 10 minutes and place them in an oven with a temperature of 170°F. Keep them there for about 30 minutes to dry off. 
  • Once the clothes have dried completely, wash them in warm water to eliminate dye residue.

Use Wine To Tenderize Meat

Cooking red meat in red wine is commonplace. There’s nothing like an excellent pan-seared steak that’s moist and juicy. However, wine is not just for beef and red meat. You can also pour light red or white wine, crushed garlic, and other spices and herbs into your chicken dish for two hours to marinate and flavor it. Grill or pan-fry the meat with the marinade and salt to taste – you’ll be surprised at how flavorful your new dish will be! 

Pour Some White Wine In Reheating Pasta 

When heating pasta in the microwave, you may notice that one side is overcooked and the other is not heated thoroughly. The next time you make leftover pasta, do not use the microwave. Use a pan and a glass of white wine instead. You can get more information here on the kind of white wine best used for each dish. 

When reheating pasta, lift the lid to cook off the alcohol and steam the pasta. This will ensure that the pasta is heated evenly. But be aware that wine is acidic, so changing salt levels might be required before serving. Sprinkle some herbs and spices to make your pasta more flavorful.

8 Clever Ways To Use Leftover Wine

Create A Variety Of Sauces 

You can enhance your homemade tomato sauce by adding red wine for flavor complexity. The recipe calls for pouring and combining a few canned tomatoes into a pan, shreds of bay leaves or basil, garlic, fresh onions, some olive oil, and a drop of red wine. After simmering the ingredients, you are left with a delicious sauce for various meals. 

A homemade vinaigrette can also be enhanced by pouring in red or white wine. Drizzle the vinaigrette on a tasty side salad by mixing wine, olive oil, herbs, and seasonings. 

Sweet sauce may also be made from boiled leftover red wine with sugar and a cinnamon stick. You’ll be amazed at the fruity and syrupy sauce afterward. You may use this to complement scoops of ice cream, plain cheesecake, summer berries, fresh fruit slices, and even plain whipped cream.

Prepare Homemade Red Wine Vinegar 

Every kitchen should have a good-tasting vinegar to be used for hearty meals and dishes for the family. A lot of things taste better when they are homemade, especially red wine vinegar. To make wine vinegar, fill three parts of a mason jar with red wine, and one part should comprise plain vinegar. Close the jar tight and leave it for about a month to age and ferment. You can use the end product for salad dressing or marinades so that your wine doesn’t go to waste. 

Turn Wine Into Ice Cubes 

Wine is not always difficult to purchase and use as an ingredient for cooking, especially when bought online. However, sometimes, you’d only need a small amount, which means you’ll be left with plenty of leftovers. It is, therefore, the best idea to freeze wine ice cubes. 

Due to the summer heat, the ice cubes in your drink will easily melt, resulting in a diluted, stale beverage. Keep leftover wine (or wine cocktails) cold and flavorful by freezing it in the form of cubes. Place one or two tablespoons of wine into each part of the ice cube tray. Once the cubes are frozen, put them inside a sealable plastic bag. You can store them for up to three months in the freezer. 

Make Red Wine Jelly  

Did you know that you can create gelatins with your leftover wine? This unique summer dessert transforms ripe blackberries and full-bodied red wine into a sensational experience in your mouth. You can even add in other ingredients like mint leaves or berries. 

Add White Wine In Seafood Dishes 

Finally, if you’re hosting a seafood night, steamed mussels and shrimp scampi are made even more delicious with white wine due to its high acidity. Usually, either a Sauvignon Blanc or white Bordeaux will give your seafood dish justice, but using a Pinot Grigio will also work wonders.

Conclusion 

These are some of the many clever ways you can do to save your leftover wine. Not only does it save you money, but it also lets you enhance the flavors of your recipes, concoct unique sauces and marinades, and even create stunning clothes using the tie-dye process. You can do a lot of things with leftover wine and these are just some of them. Feel free to explore the wonders of wine in your kitchen.

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How to Get Into the Spring Mood

By Posted on 2 m read

The warm weather and daffodils in spring can boost your mood. However, a healthy balanced diet, regular exercise and clean home are also essential in achieving your spring aura. 

Spring cleaning can drastically reduce your stress levels. 40% of us think spring cleaning makes us look forward to the season ahead. Start decluttering and eating healthy now so you are prepared for a brilliant spring season. 

Here are a few tips on how to get started. 

Recharge your body

Try going outside for a walk or run to boost your endorphin levels. A brisk walk in the fresh air can make you feel more awake and productive. Remember to stop and smell the daffodils. 

If you lack the motivation to stay active, take your dog or chat with a friend while walking. Stay entertained and squeeze in some social time before your working day begins.

A sedentary lifestyle is quite common in the winter months. However, this can result in stagnant liver energy, irritability, frustration, depression, headaches and worsened menstrual cramps. No, thank you! Doing some light exercise can significantly improve your mental and physical health.

Prepare your home and body

Spring cleaning can make you excited about your wardrobe again. Take all of your clothes out, dust your drawers, and remove any items you don’t wear anymore. Donate your old clothes to the charity shop, sell them on eBay or other app for this purpose, or recycle them in a clothing bin. Once you have decluttered, consider refreshing your wardrobe with new women’s tops and light jackets. Colourful clothing might add a little pep in your step! 

Foods to boost your mood

Eat your way to happiness this spring with a healthy balanced diet. It’s all about maximising vitamins and endorphins this season.

Add strawberries and oranges to your breakfast bowl for a slice of vitamin C. The antioxidants in berries can decrease symptoms of depression.

If you fancy a slightly sweeter treat, opt for dark chocolate covered almonds. Nuts are high in omega 3, and they decrease your dopamine levels to make you feel calm and balanced. 

Eat asparagus for a hit of tryptophan and serotonin. Serotonin can improve your mood, digestion and sleep – what’s not to love? 

However, make sure you don’t go too crazy on the cold raw foods. Slowly shift the balance throughout the warmer months to maintain stable digestion. Sauteed greens and warm ginger root is the perfect transition dish.

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Virginia’s Most-Awarded Whisky Announces UK Launch

By Posted on 2 m read

Catoctin Creek Distilling Company has announced January 2021 as the UK launch for Roundstone Rye; Virginia’s most-awarded whisky receiving over one hundred awards and accolades.

In Loudoun County, in the north of Virginia, lush plains and meandering rivers work their way down rolling hills from snow-peaked mountains to Purcellville where Catoctin Creek Distilling Company sits on Main Street. This is the home to Virginia’s most-awarded whisky that embodies the very essence of the birthplace of American whisky of 1607.

The craft distillery made a name for itself as the first legal distillery in Loudoun County to open since Prohibition and respects their incredible history by using pre-Prohibition methods to create their award winning whisky. This small-scale pre-Prohibition distillation method of using home-sized pot stills, local grain and family recipes, has benefited from the incorporation of modern knowledge and technology resulting in over one hundred awards and accolades for their Roundstone Rye.

UK consumers will be able to purchase Roundstone Rye in the three editions of 80 Proof, Distiller’s Edition 92 Proof and Cask Proof from ten retailers including Masters of Malt, The Whisky Exchange and Native Spirits priced from £37 (rrp).

Roundstone Rye has a delicious woody taste, with notes of caramel, rich butter toffee, with a hint of lemon in the nose. Ageing in new charred white oak casks gives the whisky the smooth woody note and a true grain character of a traditional American rye whisky. It is superb in Manhattans or your favourite rye whisky cocktails as well as superb for sipping.

Catoctin Creek Distilling Company is inviting those not taking part in Dry January to join them to celebrate the inaugural Rye January to mark the UK launch and their strong links to Prohibition. From January consumers are invited to a virtual Virginia via the Catoctin Creek website through specially filmed guided tastings, a potted history of Virginia, Rye, and the Prohibition, a virtual tour of the distillery or enjoying a sip while listening to a curated #RyeJanuary Spotify playlist.

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