Beneficial Products for the Great Outdoors

Looking for some products that will make your next outdoor excursion a little easier or better? Check these out.
environmentally friendly sunscreen
Price: $5.99 +
When adventuring outside, number one thing is to have sunscreen on. Rubber Ducky, whose motto is “just like water off of a duck’s back” has been cruelty-free since 1984 and chemical-free since 2013. The sunscreen, which is formulated and made in the USA, is eight hours water resistant—you can actually see the water bead up and not soak in. However, please be careful, as some of it is tinted- I have never used a tinted sunblock, I don’t use makeup, and I didn’t know there was any such thing. The one that says “for faces” is tinted, and is REALLY tinted. It will turn your face, neck, hands, and anything else you touch a bizarre pinkish-brownish color, and it gets all over anything you touch for the rest of the day. Your clothes, bra, bathing suit, car seats- it’s a literal hot mess if you aren’t expecting it. Which I wasn’t. We all went to put it on our faces- and we then spent the rest of the day trying to get it off ourselves. The clothes did come clean after several treatments and washes in the machine, so at least there is that! I am going to read the labels much more carefully from now on- I always look for SPF, sustainability, reef safety, and to make sure it hasn’t been tested on animals- now I will add to read to make sure it ISN’T tinted, LOL. That’s a mistake I hope to only make once! If you like tinted sunblock, there you go. If you don’t, learn from my stupidity, haha- what a disaster.
pirani cup
Price: $24.95
Nothing beats kicking back in the sunshine and enjoying your favorite beverage and Pirani’s insulated reusable tumblers are the perfect vessel to drink out of.  The only reusable cup you’ll need, Pirani is perfect for hot or cold drinks, Pirani is:
Easily Stackable – perfect for storing or packing on the go
Skinny Walled Triple Insulation – Keeps your drinks at a perfect temperature without a sweaty mess!
Leak-proof and indestructible lid (no sand in your drink), premium quality 18/8 stainless steel, powder-coated finish and lifetime warranty
Dishwasher safe and unbreakable. The “dishwasher safe” part is really great- so many of these types of reusable cups can’t go into the dishwasher, which is pretty inconvenient. Small problems overall, but they keep the item from being used as much as you might otherwise because it’s just not as easy as the rest.
Pirani Life strives to maintain this momentum of sustainability moving forward and pledges to design products that will help reduce single-use plastic. Reducing single use anything is so important.
pre packaged vegan food
Price: $3.99 per pouch
Cooking outdoors? Make it easy with BeanVIVO’s ready-to-eat organic beans in convenient pouches. Pre-cooked, you can heat them up on the campfire stove (or if you’re glamping, microwave) and in no time you can have scrumptious black beans, coconut curry chickpeas, three bean vegan chili, or refried pinto beans. High in protein, these beans are rich in healthy macro and micronutrients. They are chock full of fiber, which helps you feel satisfied while you are on-the-go. My husband really loves these- we all liked them, but he loved them and ordered more already.

Balkan Babba with YEBIGA RAKIJA for an Amazing Cocktail

Yebiga Rakija is a traditional Serbian plum brandy. They have recently come out with new signature cocktails in time to celebrate National Cocktail Day- or any day you’d like to have a fun and interesting new drink to show off with friends.

baba yaga drink

Yebiga Instant Sarma

If you haven’t heard of rakija before – it’s reminiscent of the rise of mezcal. This is a spirit that is generally unknown in the US and hails from the Balkans, but may just be the next big thing because it’s so very special and unique. It is also delicious, and true to its roots & tradition. Yebiga is always made from hyper-local ingredients from its native country, Serbia.

Yebiga partnered with acclaimed mixologist Naren Young to curate these signature cocktails that feature Yebiga’s two rakijas – PRVA and BELA. While Yebiga is traditionally served neat, the brand wanted to bring the drink to the US consumer, to really understand the spirit, and discover how special it really is. You know Americans- we like to get creative with things, haha. These signature Yebiga cocktails feature the rakija beautifully, showcasing what the product is all about and how it can be approachably mixed by any at-home imbiber. Not only that, but Rakija does have a different taste profile than many spirits out there, and mixing it in cocktails adds a unique signature to any drink.

According to one fan, “It’s bold, versatile and it’s a true discovery and adventure in a glass”.

When you take a look, you may also notice the unusual names of each Yebiga cocktail –and some gorgeous and fun filled cocktail photography incorporating chickens. Both are a nod to the infamous dark Balkan humor used throughout the brand’s entire identity. For example, the ‘We Need To Berry Baba’ alludes to the fact that in the Balkans, rakija can be found at any wedding…or funeral…and that no doubt, Yebiga would be an appropriate way to send off Baba.

Here’s a little more about Yebiga in general…

Yebiga Rakija is a premium, yet traditional Serbian fruit brandy crafted with centuries of Balkan distilling prowess at heart, honoring passed-down knowledge, the bounty of the land, the plum juice from the harvest and the culture of the Serbian people. It is the first quality rakija brought to the United States by founder and importer Bill Gould, who on his many tours in the Balkans, fell in love with the spirit and realized rakija was overwhelmingly unknown in the U.S. market. This special spirit arrived stateside in 2019 as one of the first, old-world, premium handcrafted rakija brands to ever be exported out of the Balkans.

Yebiga is one of those spirits that not many people know about but that has shaped the culture of a whole part of the world for the past 800 years. The brand’s philosophy as a company is to honor and respect the old-world tradition of producing the iconic, traditional fruit brandy of the region and its labels retain Serbian-Croatian names, a sense of humor and a stalwart refusal to compromise on quality and ingredients. Yebiga has brought the real taste of the Balkans to the U.S. with two rakijas on the market – PRVA & BELA:

  • PRVA (SRP $38.99) – Yebiga’s first expression to come stateside is a style that favors the Serbian methods of starting with fresh, ripe plums domestic to the region, hand-plucked and barrel aged for 18 months.

  • BELA ($29.99) – Yebiga’s youngest expression. This rakija is lighter, free of color and finished in stainless steel. BELA is smooth, delicious, and rustic, perfect for everyday occasions and cocktail experimentation.

The next time you are looking to try something new, why not give Yebiga Rakija a try? A little different, a little culture- who knows, maybe a new favorite drink.

Glendalough Craft Irish Spirits

irish whiskey

Founded in 2011, Glendalough Distillery (pronounced glen-da-lock) began distilling the traditional Irish spirit Poitín and has since used the inspirational backdrop of the Wicklow mountains to become a purveyor of fine whiskey and gin. 

Glendalough gins are freshly distilled from hand-foraged, wild botanicals in the Wicklow mountains, while Glendalough whiskeys are the result of a relentless search for the finest, most flavorful species of oak in the world. 

Glendalough was named New York International Spirits Competition “Ireland’s Gin Distillery of the Year 2021” and awarded Icons of Whisky Ireland “Sustainable Distillery of the Year 2021.”

Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

A rainy day in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. One of our better days traveling- even if the rain came at you from every single direction, LOL.


Glendalough craft Irish spirits are perfect for mixing into autumnal cocktails, as well as for gifting this holiday season. Samples and recipes are available upon request:

Glendalough Distillery is the first Irish whiskey brand to use the rare and exotic Mizunara oak, where the woods of Wicklow meet the island of Hokkaido in the form of a rare, exquisite whiskey. Unlock Glendalough 7-Year-Old Single Malt Mizunara Finish – the key to your best, most elevated dinner yet.


Mizunara’s rarity makes sourcing a great undertaking, but Glendalough was ready for the challenge of being the first Irish whiskey to utilize this oak. The trunks of these uniquely beautiful trees are prone to growing twisted, and they must grow to be twice the age of most oak trees before they can be felled. It then takes three years to dry, and even then, is notoriously difficult to cooper due to its porousness. However, therein lies its saving grace: whiskey can seep deeper into the wood, resulting in an alluring, exotic flavor.

Nose: Vibrant, fruity and floral

Palate: A luxuriously smooth mouthfeel with notes of dark chocolate orange, sandalwood and cinnamon synonymous with Mizunara whiskeys

Finish: The spirit benefits from an exceptionally long finish of toasted oak and subtle layers of complex, woody spices, with the dark chocolate lingering even longer

Purchase: Mizunara is rolling out now in limited quantities at select retailers nationwide at SRP $99.99 for 750ml. This March, your readers can find a bottle near them here:

The future of the IPA – Firestone Walker unveils Hopnosis

Firestone Walker today released Hopnosis IPA—the culmination of the brewery’s 15-year quest to master the West Coast IPA style. Brewed with Mosaic Cryo Hops®, Hopnosis is a seamless, aromatic and explosively tropical IPA.
beer hops
“Hopnosis represents everything we’ve learned about hopping techniques over the years, all rolled into one beer,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “This is our ultimate new-school expression of the West Coast IPA.”
Hopnosis is now rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets in 6-pack and 12-pack (12-ounce) cans; 19.2-ounce cans; and on draft.
Cryo Hops® Magic
The Firestone Walker brewing team has developed an arsenal of favorite new-age hops for IPA—all of which are featured in Hopnosis. These include hops from New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on Mosaic Cryo Hops® as well as Idaho 7 and Nelson.
Cryo Hops® are made by collecting the concentrated lupulin from whole-leaf hops, which contains the pure resins for bitterness and aromatic oils. “Mosaic Cryo Hops® are the centerpiece of Hopnosis,” Brynildson said. “They provide intense hop aroma and flavor with incredible integration, enabling us to make a hop-forward beer that is low in bitterness, super smooth and delicious.”
Hopnosis is extravagantly double dry hopped, with nearly five pounds of hops used for every barrel brewed. The resulting beer is loaded with hop-derived flavors of mango, passionfruit, white grape and lychee. The ABV of Hopnosis is 6.7 percent, providing an excellent balance of flavor and texture.
West Coast Wonder
The origins of Hopnosis date back to Firestone Walker’s original West Coast IPA—Union Jack, which was introduced in 2007. Hopnosis also reflects concepts learned while developing the Luponic Distortion revolving IPA series and the Mind Haze family of IPAs. Finally, it draws inspiration from numerous brewing collaborations here and abroad.
These experiences have yielded a variety of hop integration techniques that Brynildson and his team brought to bear in creating Hopnosis.
“This is where the West Coast style is headed,” Brynildson said. “Aromatic hops and new hopping techniques are driving the future. On top of that, Cryo Hops® are opening up fresh possibilities. Now you can get all of the ‘oomph’ of hop saturation that you want from a West Coast IPA, but with less of that classic bitterness, more of these new-age hop flavors, and a whole new level of balance and drinkability.”

Raise a Glass to National Beer Day with Firestone Walker

green beer
Firestone Walker and Brewmaster Matt Brynildson have curated a wide array beers that everyone can enjoy including:
  • Hopnosis: Launched last month, Hopnosis is an innovative IPA brewed with coveted Cryo Hops® pellets and an explosion of tropical fruit flavors.
  • Mind Haze: Juicy, fruity and creamy, with pronounced tropical tastes – this beer gives a true hazy-style mouthfeel that will keep you refreshed through your Beer Day festivities.
The Paso Robles-based brewery pays homage to the central coast of California with its easy drinking 805 Beer collection:
  • 805 Original: A light, refreshing ale originally created for the laid-back California lifestyle.
  • 805 Cerveza: Cerveza is a premium lager with a touch of lime. Crisp, clean, dry, and approachable – a beer anyone can enjoy.
Brewed in their R&D Propagator in Venice, CA, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is excited to announce the third rendition of their Wookey Jack IPA – only available for a limited time!
The beautifully decorated 16 oz can features Firestone Walker’s signature lion and bear logo amongst a hard-to-miss purple color scheme. Wookey Jack IPA was brewed with a mixture of pale and de-bittered black malts with spicy rye, citra and amarillo hops. This flavor combination provides a concentrated finish that will satisfy those who prefer a darker beer.
Firestone Walker
Firestone Walker Brewing Company also recently launched Hopnosis in all Firestone Walker markets. Hopnosis is a culmination of the brewery’s – and Brewmaster Matt Brynildson’s – 15-year quest to master the West Coast IPA style. Brewed with Mosaic Cryo Hops®, Hopnosis is a seamless, aromatic and explosively tropical IPA.
Check out Firestone Walker’s full line-up of beers here:  To find a Firestone Walker Beer near you visit their Beer Finder here.

Looking to Spice Up Your Cooking?

Looking to shake things up in the kitchen? Check out these spices, rubs, and foodie finds.

steak rub

Rainier Foods

Price: $3.99 – $44.99

chicken rub

Rainier Foods is the maker of delicious premium spice blends. From vegetables to chicken, pork, beef, seafood, and snacks, they have the right seasoning for any recipe. Bulk rubs are also available. A family-owned business located in the shadow of Mt. Rainier in Washington, they source the finest ingredients, with all products made locally to ensure the best quality from the Pacific Northwest. The brand proudly donates 1% of sales to the Washington National Park Fund. Also available on Amazon.

Stemple Creek Ranch knows the importance of family time and brings folks together for a quality meal no matter the occasion. Add it to the menu for your next family meal. The family-owned brand is leading the way in regenerative agriculture while offering premium meats that are often served in Michelin star restaurants. Families nationwide can enjoy these delicious offerings delivered right to their doorsteps for them to easily prepare on their own. They are strong believers that grass-fed and grass-finished animals make the best selections for their customers. Making it the perfect meat to grill up with friends and family.
farm to table
Price: 16oz – $5.99 | 3lb – $14.99
Lefty’s legendary Fish N’ Chicken Mix fry batter adds some Southern flair to any meal. The ultimate spicy addition to your Super Bowl feast. The bold flavors marry perfectly with poultry, pork, seafood, and vegetables. Set out to make flavorful food made with quality ingredients, and once you try their fry mix you will be left wanting to indulge. Also available on Amazon and select Sam’s Club, Kroger, Publix, and Safeway retailers in the DMV region.
hot sauce rub marinade
Price: Varies
When Veteran Dennis Butterworth set out to compete in a BBQ competition just for fun, little did he know it would eventually lead to a brand that offers premium products with a touch of goodwill. Meet WarPig BBQ. Their BBQ sauces will leave you feeling good all-around. Be sure to add them to your favorite meat. A portion of proceeds from their BBQ sauces and rubs are donated to Veterans organizations.

WIN Gourmet Steeped Coffee BAGS -No machines Needed


steeped coffee

  • Eco-Friendly Single-Serve Gourmet Coffee Bags
  • Completely Compostable
  • Mild, Medium, Dark roast and Decaf
  • Delivered by Amazon (Free on Prime)
  • Monthly Gift Subscriptions Available
  • Voted Best ‘Instant” Coffee by Good Housekeeping
  • Contactless Coffee Delivery

bagged coffee

Wouldn’t it be nice to make the coffee loving mom happy (SO happy!) and introduce them to the newest trend in specialty coffee at the same time?

For thoughtful gift ideas that check all the boxes, look no further than Steeped Coffee ( The innovative startup is committed to premium coffee, convenience, and environmental stewardship in equal measure. So when you introduce the coffee lovers in your life to Steeped, it’s a win-win for them and the planet.

What sets Steeped Coffee apart is its a proprietary brewing method that does not require machines or brewing equipment, made much like tea. The coffee comes in single-serve bags that are nitro-sealed to ensure absolute freshness. It’s a uniquely “unplugged” coffee experience, from the award-winning packaging made using compostable and renewable materials to the non-GMO filters. All it takes to brew a perfect cup is hot water and a few minutes, and at the end of the day, there are no wasteful plastic pods accumulating in waterways or landfills.

Best of all, each Steeped Pack contains hand-roasted, ethically-sourced, Direct Trade coffee that’s precision ground to showcase the distinctive flavor profile of every crafted blend. Whether you’re looking for light, medium, dark, French roast, or even decaf, there’s something for you.

So instead of racking your brain for the perfect gift, visit the Steeped website and make someone’s day while also being eco-conscious! With plenty of one-of-a-kind items, it’s the simplest way to give friends, family, and coworkers the gift of Coffee Without Compromise this holiday season.

The Mug and More

Start with a vessel they’ll love and fill it with packs of Steeped Coffee. Selections include the ceramic Steeped Diner Mug (perfect for homebodies) or the Steeped Miir Insulated Camp Mug (for the adventurous type).

The Steeped Lineup Sampler

A great way for newcomers to discover the roast that suits them best, the Steeped Lineup includes five alluring blends ranging from Light, Medium, Dark, and French Roasts to the Swiss Water Processed Decaf.

The Steeped Coffee Subscription

What could be more convenient? They can choose their favorite roast and have it delivered straight to their doorstep as often as they like with the ultimate flexibility to switch roasts or pause their subscription at any time.

Steeped Home Kits

This indulgent gift has everything they need to make the perfect cup: a “smart” electric kettle or elegant stove-top kettle, a Steeped Coffee Subscription, and two high-end mugs.

Steeped Camping Kit

For the intrepid explorer on your list, this kit includes everything needed to easily brew the perfect cup in even the most remote and extreme locations: a rugged and compact Jetboil Zip Cooking System, Steeped Coffee, and two Steeped Camping mugs.

The Get-Together

Why not host a holiday coffee party? Fill their stockings with invitations to a cozy respite from the December frenzy. Welcome them with some home-baked treats and let them explore farm-to-cup coffee that’s Barista-endorsed and coffee snob-approved. You can also whip up some warm, comforting coffee drinks like the Hot White Russian cocktail for adult guests (recipe below).

Build Your Own

Check out “The Perfect Iced Coffee With Steeped” on the Steeped Blog for inspiration. Start with a tall, decorative glass or cocktail shaker and add accouterments like a liqueur or flavored syrup, a fancy stirrer, reusable straws, and of course, some Steeped Coffee. Don’t forget to include recipes that you’ve copied from the blog (iced latte, iced mocha, Thai iced coffee, etc.) onto decorative recipe cards.

Enter to Win

One of you can enter to win some STEEPED COFFEE -Gourmet Steeped Coffee BAGS to try, just use the RC code below to enter to win. Good luck! Ends March 14, 2022

a Rafflecopter giveaway

National Mezcal Day- and a recipe #honestoliveoil #capatriti  #oliveoil  

Did you know that October 21 is National Mezcal Day? That’s right, every year. Little did we know!  This is a great recipe using OLIVE OIL of all things! @capatritioliveoil is a EVOO with a full body and amazing taste, and the mezcal is an artisanal brand created by renowned Mexican actor and producer Luis Gerardo Méndez. Amazing together.

mezcal drink recipe

1.5 oz Mezcal Ojo de Tigre
8-10 Mint Leaves
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Lemon Bitters
3 Drops Olive Oil
Method: Place all ingredients except olive oil in a shaker with plenty of ice and give it a good shake. Serve in a cold coupe glass and use a fine strainer to catch stray pieces of leaves. Finish with 3 drops of olive oil on top and decorate with a mint leaf.