Uncategorized

Take some sunshine, add refreshing drinks, stir with friends and you have a winning mix for summer. The days are long and the nights are light, so to celebrate, why not raise a glass filled with a delicious cocktail, organic wine or fruity cider? The following suggestions are easy to make and even easier to make and even easier to enjoy.

cocktail

Mouth-watering Mixes

For starters, let’s begin with mixing an aforementioned cocktail. Grenadine and orange juice blended with icy cool scoops of sherbet is known as a June Bug. The colour is coral, the taste is terrific and it is a welcome addition at any barbecue or garden gathering. For adults, add some white rum or vodka to this thirst quenching drink that really packs a fruity punch.

Fancy something a bit different? Mix bourbon with sparkling lemonade, drop in two tablespoons of lemon juice, two teaspoons of blackberry rosemary syrup, toss in a handful of blackberries and you’ve created a delightful blackberry bourbon lemonade. Or get experimental with dark spirits, light spirits, fruit juice and lemonade to create an original summer drink of your own.

A Splash of Wine

If you like white wine, why not make a cool cucumber sangria? Simply slice a melon and put in a pitcher with slices of lime, cucumber and twelve mint leaves. Add a drizzle of honey and splash of lime juice, a bottle of semi dry white wine and chill for two hours. Top up with a litre of carbonated water and you’re good to go.

Go Organic

Summer is the time to put those rich bottles of red to one side and splash out on a crisp and welcoming white or refreshing rose. In recent years, organic wines have increased in popularity and come down in price.

It is often reported that a daily glass of wine can be good for you, and organic wines are free of sulphates, chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides. Many wine connoisseurs also comment that there is a notable difference in the quality and taste, not to mention having less of an effect the next day!

There’s no need to splash out either, with many websites showing you how to make your own. Freezing fruit, working out water to sugar ratios and foraging, are all part of the fermenting fun, it's good for the environment, and it’s a lot more economical too.

Fruity Ciders

Finally, ciders have evolved almost beyond recognition in recent years. Now they come in a range of strengths and flavours, not just made from traditional apples. Pear, mixed berries, you name it, there’ll be a cider out there for you made from your favourite fruit.

So when it comes to summer, simply decide if you want to drink fruit punch, cocktails, wine or cider, with or without alcohol, bought or made and then select who you want to clink your glass with!

Image by Shreveport-Bossier, under the Creative Comms licence.

Suzanne Wright is a big foodie and travel addict. She especially enjoys Thai cuisine and adventure travel, her favorite activity being canyoning.

I’m a huge believer of the internet and think that everything should be doable on the web. We humans do not use the power of technology to the best of it’s capability, and while we are taking steps every day to work toward doing just that, we will always be behind on a few things.

One such thing is payment methods.

Credit and debit cards have been around for decades. They weren’t as widely used before, but they were around, and other than the addition of some data chips, they use the same technology.

That technology is quickly becoming out-dated and irrelevant.

I remember saying to my friend, “I wish we could just scan our phones to pay for things”, as I dug for my credit card in my wallet. I have thought that often when I have forgotten my card at home, or the time my wallet was stolen.

Soon we will likely be able to use our phones as virtual wallets. Making payments with a phone isn't something that is unlikely; in fact, some credit card companies are trying to transition into electronic payment methods, like American Express credit cards.

mobile payments
via http://mashable.com

There will be some pros and cons of a mobile payment structure, such as the following:

Pros of Mobile Payments

Convenience

It will inevitably be super convenient to pay for goods and services with your phone. You won't have to carry a whole bunch of cards around and, I don't know about you, but my phone is always nearby. I have lost several debit cards over the past decade of having them, but never a phone.

Safety and Security

Many people may disagree, but I would say that having a mobile payment system instead of an actual plastic card would be far more secure. You can protect your phone with a password, and make it erase it's memory after 10 failed attempts at guessing the password; while many cards do require a pin to use them, not all of them do, and online payments don't. This leaves you vulnerable to fraud.

Cons of Mobile Payments

Smart Phones

It's safe to say that the vast majority of the population of the developed world under the age of 60 has a smart phone, but there are still plenty of people who don't have them, and they can be quite expensive. If you need a smart phone for mobile payments, it can deter those people that don't have one.

Smart phones are expensive so it can increase the cost of consumerism substantially.

Battery Power

The most frustrating thing is when your phone dies in the middle of the day. I've been there. I imagine it would be far more frustrating if your phone died and your methods of payment died with it. I could just see myself stuck at the grocery store with a dead phone and no way of paying for groceries.

 

There are other big considerations when analyzing the feasibility and benefits of mobile payments, but I think it would be a step in the right direction for the credit card world.

Money, of course, has extensive history; we have had some sort of currency or trading system for eons. We started with the trading and bartering system and it has since evolved to the system we have today. I have often wondered what a world without money would be like, and just like a world without government, it wold undoubtedly become messy and disordered, and most of all, complicated. Even if we didn't have the formal currency system we currently have, humans would find a way to replace that with another system.

Money is fairly simple. Bartering and trading is simple, and so is the other systems that have come after that to acquire things. It's modern civilization that have made money complicated, through excessive spending, insane amounts of debt and a consumerism culture.

This blog has an interesting infographic about money, it's origins, and it's value (and why we value it). I've included it here below so you can check it out.
money infographic