NEW Launch: Base Blue Cosmetics Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar

NEW Launch: Base Blue Cosmetics Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar

Is it too early to start thinking about Summer? Thanks to Base Blue Cosmetics’ Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar, we’re skipping ahead to Hanami, the season when the blooming of Japanese cherry blossoms is celebrated. For those unaware, cherry blossoms are the main attraction of Kyoto. It’s the best place to fully enjoy the pink-hued blooms and they even host many special events at some of the temples and shrines for you to enjoy the festivities. The Base Blue Cosmetics Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar celebrates the celebration and the subtle and delicate scent of cherry blossoms.

NEW Launch: Base Blue Cosmetics Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar

This cruelty-free perfume soap bar is infused with the scents of Kyoto and gently yet effectively purifies all skin types. Those with sensitive skin will absolutely love it. Its delicate fragrance recreates sweetness, the very human touch of this romantic city with layers of scents. The first layer is cherry and then comes with fruity lemonade. If you’re a fan of scents like rose and gardenia, then you’ll love the distinct fragrance of this soap.

NEW Launch: Base Blue Cosmetics Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar

The Base Blue Cosmetics Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar not only smells lovely, it is wonderfully moisturizing; plus you must admit that it’s also so pretty. We love the cherry blossom soap carving inside of the transparent pink soap bar. This decorative flower soap is a feast for both the eyes and the nose.

Since we can’t really travel, we have to enjoy staycations that give the vibe of being transported to exotic locals. Indulging in a warm shower that envelopes you in the relaxing scent of the Japanese cherry blossoms is the next best thing to a trip to Kyoto. The Base Blue Cosmetics Summer in Kyoto Perfume Soap Bar is a must for relaxing self-care moments. At $8.00 a bar, you can score a bar or to for yourself on


Rémy Martin Rang in Lunar New Year With a Sugar Masterpiece

Rémy Martin Rang in Lunar New Year With a Sugar Masterpiece

While Western cultures observe the start of a new year on January 1, many east Asian cultures celebrate Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendar, which is traditional in countries such as Korea, China, and Vietnam and regulated by the cycles of the moon and sun. This means the Lunar New Year typically falls sometime between January 21 and February 20.

Rémy Martin Rang in Lunar New Year With a Sugar Masterpiece

This year, Lunar New Year was on February 12. In addition to being the most popular holiday in Asia, it is also celebrated by over 16 million Asian Americans each year. This year was no different, despite much of the United States still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there weren’t any large gatherings and festivals that typically mark Lunar New Year, people still found their own ways to incorporate art, craftsmanship, and food into this annual holiday.

Rémy Martin Rang in Lunar New Year With a Sugar Masterpiece

Rémy Martin has long been inspired by Lunar New Year traditions and this year, the cognac producer unveiled a sugar masterpiece. Developed with FRED & FARID New York, an independent boutique agency that is a mix of French, Chinese, and American influences, Rémy Martin used the concept of “sweet art” to create a confectionary triumph and wish the world a sweet Year of the Ox. “Sweet art” is an original art technique that gets its inspiration from sugar painting, a traditional form of art that is made out of caramelized sugar.

Rémy Martin Rang in Lunar New Year With a Sugar Masterpiece

With such an artistic feat in mind, Rémy Martin partnered with a couple of notable artists. Yajun Sui, a traditional Chinese sugar painting Master, and Multimedia Artist Elisabeth Hodes helped Rémy Martin create the sugar masterpiece. Together, they created 65 detailed pieces that made up the work of art, spent over 100 hours on it, and used over 20 pounds of sugar. This is quite the feat, especially when you consider that a human lifting a 20-pound box will put nearly 400 pounds of force on their spine.

Rémy Martin Rang in Lunar New Year With a Sugar Masterpiece

The end result of all of this work and sugar is a celebration of the melding of tea culture and cognac culture, as well as the craft that goes into both of them. The grand piece of artwork, rendered in tones of gold and red, features swirling clouds, cavorting oxen, celebratory humans, a half-full teapot, and a bottle of cognac. Just looking at the sweet masterpiece will make you want to go brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes, although you probably wouldn’t want to take your eyes away even for your dental health. The enchanting work of art gives the world a touch of sweetness after a uniquely challenging year, which was exactly the intention of its creators.

Jam Cocktails: Spring Libations with Crofter's Organic Fruit Spreads

Jam Cocktails: Spring Libations with Crofter’s Organic Fruit Spreads

Did you know you can use jams, fruit spreads, and preserves to make your cocktails? Yeah, neither did we but boy are we glad we discovered this. Apparently, the practice of jam cocktails has been around since the 1900s (who knew). Cocktails were created using jams, jellies, preserves, and marmalades as a sweetening agent. So if you’re ever in the mood for a cocktail and are out of simple syrup, reach into your pantry for that jar of fruit spread; it’s the fastest way to add sweetness to cocktails. Today, we’ll be sharing several delicious jam cocktails, all perfect for spring, using Crofter’s Organic fruit spreads.

Jam Cocktails: Spring Libations with Crofter's Organic Fruit Spreads

We’ve previously highlighted the absolutely flavorful organic fruit spreads from Crofter’s Organic; first, when we were introduced to them in 2014 and once again last year when they added more fruit and less sugar to their fruit spreads. This time around, we’re happy to share the versatility of these organic fruit spreads and show you another way you can enjoy them. Let’s get to know some of these Crofter’s Organic jam cocktails.

Peach Bellini

Jam Cocktails: Spring Libations with Crofter's Organic Fruit Spreads

1 ½ Tbsp Crofter’s Organic Premium Peach Fruit Spread
¾ oz Vodka
Ice Cubes (Crushed)
Fresh Mint
Begin by adding Crofter’s Organic Premium Peach Fruit Spread to a cocktail shaker along with ¾ oz vodka and some crushed ice. About 2-3 ice cubes. Shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into a glass and then top with prosecco. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint. Enjoy!

Mango Radler

Jam Cocktails: Spring Libations with Crofter's Organic Fruit Spreads

¾ Cup Crofter’s Organic Premium Mango Fruit Spread
6 Oz Water
12 Oz Sparkling Water
Fresh Lemon Juice (Half a Lemon)
Fresh Lime Juice (Half a Lime)
4 Cans Beer of Choice (473ml each – We used a local Pale Ale)
In a small saucepot over low heat, combine the Crofter’s Organic Premium Mango Fruit Spread with 6oz of water to thin it out slightly. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and strain out any chunks of mango that may be too big. Let cool. In a large beverage, pitcher add in the sparkling water, fresh lemon, and lime juice. Next, add in the mango syrup (once it has cooled slightly). Whisk to combine. Next, slowly pour in the beer to avoid making a lot of foam. We recommend tilting the pitcher for a smoother pour. Give the pitcher one last gentle stir. Now for the taste test! If the mixture is too citrusy add in more sparkling water. If not citrusy enough add in more fresh lemon and lime juice. Keep cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Blueberry or Strawberry Mint Lemonade

Blueberry or Strawberry Mint Lemonade Cocktail

1 Cup Crofter’s Premium Wild Blueberry Fruit Spread or 1 Cup Crofter’s Premium Strawberry Fruit Spread
¾ Cup Lemon Juice (2-3 Lemons)
1 Cup Cold Water
⅓ Cup Raw Organic Honey
2-3 Mint Leaves
In a blender, combine Crofter’s Organic® fruit spread, lemon juice, cold water, and raw organic honey. Blend until all components are mixed well and frothy. Strain the lemonade from the blender using a cheesecloth to remove the bubbly froth from the top and any clumps that may have missed being blended. Pour the lemonade over ice and garnish with 2-3 mint leaves. Enjoy!

My Easy Little Rum Away

My Easy Little Rum Away Cocktail

1 Tbsp. Crofter’s Seville Orange Just Fruit Spread
2 oz White Rum
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
½ oz Orgeat Syrup
¼ oz Simple Syrup
2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnishes: Lemon Wheel, Lime Wheel, and Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Combine Crofter’s Seville Orange Just Fruit Spread, rum, juices, orgeat syrup, and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass over ice. Top with bitters and garnish.

Simple Black Currant Mojito

Spring cocktail: Simple Black Currant Mojito

1 Tbsp Crofter’s Organic Just Fruit Back Currant Fruit Spread
4 Fresh Mint Leaves
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Rum of Choice
1 Tsp Caster Sugar
Club Soda or Tonic Water
Crushed Ice
Lime Wedge (Garnish)
Sprig of Mint (Garnish)
Combine Crofter’s Organic Just Fruit Black Currant Fruit Spread, mint leaves, lime juice, and caster sugar in a small bowl. Muddle lightly (just enough to break down the mint leaves to release their flavor). Remove the leaves and place the Black Currant mixture in the bottom of a Collins glass. Fill the glass halfway with crushed ice and then pour your rum of choice on top. Top it off with club soda or tonic water. Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Enjoy!

Raspberry Bramble

Spring cocktail: Raspberry Bramble

4oz Gin
1oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2oz Crofter’s Raspberry Simple Syrup*
1oz Crème de Cassis
Garnishes: Lemon Peel and Fresh Raspberries
First, make the Crofter’s raspberry simple syrup. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the Crofter’s raspberry simple syrup to remove any chunks or debris. This will result in a nice smooth syrup. Let’s make the cocktail! Simply combine all of the bramble ingredients into a shaker and shake to combine. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice and pour the Raspberry Bramble over the ice. Garnish with a fresh lemon peel and some fresh raspberries. Enjoy!

*Crofter’s Raspberry Simple Syrup
½ Cup Crofter’s Organic Premium Seedless Raspberry Fruit Spread
½ Cup Water
In a small-to-medium-sized saucepot, combine the Crofter’s Organic Premium Seedless Raspberry Fruit Spread and water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes or so until the sauce begins to thicken up slightly. Remove from heat.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these Crofter’s Organic jam cocktails. We’d love to hear your thoughts on jam cocktails.

What's New in Specialty Food From the Republic of Costa Rica

What’s New in Specialty Food From the Republic of Costa Rica

Thanks to the pandemic, one of the many events we miss attending in 2020 was the Specialty Food Show where food and drink manufacturers from around the globe, presented their newest products. The way 2021 is going, we may not get to attend it this year as well. Thankfully we can get to know these new launches virtually. Today we’re excited to begin our food journey in Costa Rica, known for tropical fruits and vegetables being high on the list of cuisine. Staples include rice and black beans and of course, fresh ingredients. But today, we’re highlighting offerings from Essential Costa Rica and Procomer Costa Rico Exports.

What's New in Specialty Food From the Republic of Costa Rica

Let’s get to know some of these wonderful international Costa Rican food options we’ll hopefully be seeing on supermarket shelves very soon. We’re sure you will love these delicious specialty food options. Today, we’re highlighting specialty foods from El Gusto Foods, Todo Naturale, Natural Sins Ltda., Sweetwell Zona Franca Ltda., Newvana Cocktail Mixes, Roma Prince, Chocofrutas, and Nahua Cacao & Chocolates.


What's New in Specialty Food From the Republic of Costa Rica

EL GUSTO FOODS is the finest roasted coffee beans and cocoa powder harvested and processed in Costa Rica. They have a passion for high quality, support eco-friendly policy and create social impact in their producer communities.​ They make Drip coffee and healthy cocoa products that are keto-friendly, sugar-free, and vegan.


Todo Natural Dehydrated Pineapple Chunks

TODO NATURALE offers 100% natural fruit snacks. Their dried pineapple is 100% natural, preservative-free, SO2-free, free of fat and gluten, with no added sugar, and 1 single ingredient – the fruit!​ Made with fresh pineapple of the best quality, which goes through a process of dehydration by hot air, which allows it to maintain its sweet flavor that everyone loves. Their pineapple rings and chunks have a 15-month shelf life​.


Natural Sins Crispy Chips

NATURAL SINS LTDA. is a privately owned company dedicated to the dehydration of fresh fruits and vegetables in the form of chips or powders. They are the only company capable of preserving the full shape, color, smell, and taste of the fresh fruit or vegetable, resulting in a full sensory experience. Perfect as a snack or meal side dish, we got to indulge in the delicious Coconut. A yummy snack that’s high in dietary fiber, low in calories, 0% fat, it naturally contains iron, calcium, and potassium.


What's New in Specialty Food From the Republic of Costa Rica

SWEETWELL ZONA FRANCA LTDA. is a Costa Rican and Belgian company with over 10 years of experience leading the low-carb/sugar-free/gluten-free snack foods industry in Costa Rica and Mexico. Their delicious treats are highly indulgent without compromising your health. We got to try their Peanut Butter Cookies and devoured the entire bag. They were so flavorful and boasts the taste of creamy, organic peanuts and peanut butter. They are sugar-free, starch-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and made with wholesome ingredients. Sweetwell is committed to creating a variety of keto-friendly snacks that the whole family can enjoy!


What's New in Specialty Food From the Republic of Costa Rica

Experience the Pura Vida Costa Rican lifestyle with every sip of the NEWVANA COCKTAIL MIXERS. The mixers are made with 100% natural ingredients, are gluten-free, Non-GMO, and housed in eco-friendly, disposable packaging. Enjoy flavorful cocktails with two ingredients – Newvana and your alcohol of choice. We’ve been joying their Sweet and Sour Cocktail Mixer, a blend of sweet lemons mixed with sour green limes for the perfect cocktail of your choice.



During the last 10 years, Roma Prince has implemented the best technology in the world in pasta production. Their pasta retains the essential features of high nutritional value thanks to the fortification of the product with vitamins and minerals. Today, their pasta offerings, which include Spaghetti, Ziti, Shells, Penne, Elbows, and more. They’ve now extended their range to include pasta sauces and salsa, and olive oil.


CHOCOFRUTAS Chocolate-Covered Fruits

CHOCOFRUTAS is delicious freeze-dried fruit covered in chocolate. The freeze-drying process consists of the fruit being dried by means of cold; this helps to maintain all the original and natural properties of the fruit, color, flavor, and nutritional value. The coating is made with 100% Costa Rican cocoa chocolate. Freeze-dried fruit, like blueberries, is covered in a sweet and dark chocolate coating.



NAHUA CACAO is Costa Rica’s leading fine flavor cacao producer with a social mission; they supply leading chocolatiers and cacao buyers around the world. Nahua is passionate about fine cacao and outstanding chocolate. They acquire fresh cacao beans from farmers in the Upala region of Costa Rica. They work with small farmers to promote small-scale farmer livelihoods producing artisan, hand-crafted chocolates. Nahua offers several varieties, from antioxidant-rich dark chocolate to specialty flavors like coffee, lemongrass, mint, and so much more.

Huel Hot & Savory World’s First Nutritionally Complete/Instant Curry Meals

Huel Hot & Savory: World’s First Nutritionally Complete/Instant Curry Meals

Sometimes it can get quite challenging to eat a well-balanced and nutritional meal. The supplement industry is booming for that very reason. We rely on vitamins and supplements to fill in the nutrition we’re missing from our meals. While it helps, it’s much better, to begin with already nutritionally complete meals. This is where Huel’s Hot & Savory range comes in. Huel is the best-selling complete nutrition brand in the world and is famous for its on-the-go powder food. We’re sure they’re astronaut-approved. In September 2020, Huel launched the industry-first complete hot & savory instant meals. They recently added America’s favorite take-out foods options bringing their vegan, hot, and savory complete food offerings to six.

Huel Hot & Savory World’s First Nutritionally CompleteInstant Curry Meals

Imagine a quick and healthier spin on some of your favorite takeout meals right at home. You can with the latest additions to the Huel Hot & Savory instant-meal line-up. They are nutritionally complete vegan meals packed with rice, quinoa, vegetables, herbs, and spices. These innovative instant-meals offer the world’s first nutritionally complete curry in two delicious flavors and a healthy take on a Chinese classic. The three new flavors join Huel’s Mexican Chili, Tomato & Herb, and Thai Green Curry.

What we love about them. You can enjoy the wonderful flavors of Yellow Coconut Curry, Spicy Indian Curry, and Sweet and Sour in under five minutes. All of Huel’s plant-based, instant meals have the right amount of carbs, fats, protein, fiber, and all 27 essential vitamins & minerals you need. They contain no lactose or any animal products, no soy, and no GMO.

Yellow Coconut Curry

Huel Yellow Coconut Curry Instant Meal

This irresistible blend boats creamy coconut, delicate spices, sweet sultanas, and cooling cilantro. If you love curry flavors but not a big spicy food fan, then you will love the Yellow Coconut Curry.

Spicy Indian Curry

Huel Hot & Savory World’s First Nutritionally Complete/Instant Curry Meals

If you love spicy food, then the Huel Spicy Indian Curry is a must. It is Huel’s hottest flavor yet and is packed with tomato, sweet potato, and a scorching spice blend.

Sweet and Sour

Huel Sweet and Sour Instant Meal

A mouthwatering mix of sweet pineapple, zesty peppers, spices, and zingy scallions you will thoroughly enjoy.

Two of our favorite things about these meals, first, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. In fact, we’ve been alternating between adding shrimp, beef, chicken, or no animal protein at all to our lunches and dinners; second, they are perfect if you’re sick of cooking. After a year of cooking and cleaning up, we welcomed the quick prep time and getting to our meal faster. The amount of cooking time we have saved is incredible; not to mention the money we’re saving on groceries and takeout.

If you have cooking fatigue, you will welcome Huel’s advantage of spending less time in the kitchen.

Gut Health and Surviving Covid-19: Is There a Connection?

Gut Health and Surviving Covid-19: Is There a Connection?

A few days ago, we came across several articles on the connection to gut health and Covid-19 from Reuters, American Society for Microbiology, Yahoo News, etc, essentially saying the number of good bacteria living in your gut may help the severity of Covid-19 symptoms and recovery. Basically, good bacteria benefits our immune system, which as we all know, a strong immune system is key to battling deadly viruses. The reports also state that poor gut health is increasing the severity of Covid-19. Because of this, we started looking into gut detoxification, probiotics, GI Tract support, and of course, more ways to boost our immune system and make sure our gut has good bacteria. Luckily, there are multiple probiotic health and wellness products, supplements, and foods that aid in exactly what we’re looking for – building up our gut health.

Gut Health and Surviving Covid-19: Is There a Connection?

In case you didn’t know, the word probiotic literally means “for life.” As in, it is necessary for life. We’re going beyond the typical yogurts and kefirs; we’re highlighting supplements and other foods that provide the probiotics our bodies need to help win the battle against this deadly pandemic. Thanks to these probiotic-rich products from Tokyo-based brand SHINYALab, Routine, YouTheory, Shrewd Food, and Fond, we’re making sure our gut health is at the optimum level.

SHINYALab Intestinal Youth and Vital Enzymes Supplements

SHINYALab Intestinal Youth and Vital Enzymes Supplements

Intestinal Youth, $39.99, is a Saisei Blend of “sticky” ingredients (seaweed, lotus root, and okra) that brings the best of Nippon Wisdom to your body. Developed by SHINYALab’s in-house Ph.D., these “sticky ingredients” help support rejuvenation and graceful aging of the GI tract. They contain large amounts of mucopolysaccharides, a biologically active substance that supports wound healing, tissue regeneration, and provides a protective barrier over an inflamed digestive tract.

Vital Enzymes, $49.99 is a unique supplement that includes fermented ancient Japanese grains, seeds, and flora manufactured using low-temperature technology. It contains Koji, an abundant beta-glucan that stimulates immunity through macrophages and glycosylceramide. It has improving effects on the skin and intestinal microbial flora.

We’ve added the above Japanese supplements to our daily vitamin and supplements intake. It’s just over a week and we look forward to the wonderful health benefits and results.

Routine Probiotics for Her

Gut Health and Surviving Covid-19: Is There a Connection?

Routine Probiotics for Her, $39.95, is a complete prebiotic-probiotic supplement. It boasts 24 billion CFU per capsule, curated with 5 premium strains, and delivers with minimal eco-impact. Motivated to design a simpler, streamlined, scientifically-backed supplement, Routine is rooted in 5 core principles—science, ingredients with integrity, transparency, community, and sustainability. It’s about building a foundation for whole-body health—living better, feeling better, and nourishing a healthier, more vibrant you. Adding Routine to your every day is one of the easiest, fastest ways to nourish your body. The daily women’s probiotic was carefully curated with 5 USA-sourced strains that have been scientifically proven to improve gut health, boost immunity, balance vaginal health, promote healthy weight, and relieve stress and anxiety.

YouTheory Spore Probiotic Capsules

Gut Health and Surviving Covid-19: Is There a Connection?

Youtheory Spore Probiotic capsules, $27.99, are uniquely designed to survive and thrive. The word “spore” means seed. Like a seed, each spore probiotic is covered by a naturally protective shell that safeguards it until it reaches the intestinal tract. Spore technology is simply a better way to replenish the body’s microflora – offering multiple advantages over traditional probiotic preparations. Unlike other probiotic strains, spore probiotics do not require big doses to stimulate a large biological response in the body. Unlike milk and lactose-based probiotics, they also do not require refrigeration, resist stomach acid breakdown, effectively colonize the human GI tract, and secretes L-lactic acid, which is favorable for health.

Shrewd Food Protein Cookies

Gut Health and Surviving Covid-19: Is There a Connection?

We know what you’re thinking, can cookies benefit gut health? Yes, these do! Made with 7 different fruits and vegetables, the Shrewd Food Protein Cookies, $14.99/variety pk, are delicious AND good for you. Each serving contains 8g of protein, probiotics (1 Billion CFU), prebiotics for digestive health, and of course, those tasty fruits and veggies mentioned earlier. Each bag of cookies contains only 200 calories; this allows you to treat yourself to the protein snacks you love without spoiling your diet. They are peanut and tree-nut-free, have no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Available in Oat & Chip and Oat & Berry, Shrewd Food is honestly the smartest way to snack your way to good gut health.

FOND Bone Broth

FOND Bone Broth

Although we haven’t tried it yet, FOND Bone Broth, $8.99/14oz jar, is another excellent foodie option to add probiotics to your day. You won’t find any preservatives in this broth, just all-natural goodness. It’s brewed like beer and infused similar to tea, creating a flavorful tonic while banning blandness in the process. Its unique flavor combinations make it unlike any other broth on the market. More importantly, it boasts a long list of health benefits. This includes gut health, anti-inflammatory properties, skincare restoration, weight maintenance, and more.

We want to know, are you doing anything to assure the health of your gut? Will you look into how good bacteria and gut health can help you beat Covid-19? Let us know in the comments.

Outdoor Winter Dining: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Outdoor Winter Dining: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

It’s clear that Americans have had to make incredible sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, we’ve had to adjust to working from home, seeing our friends through a screen, and even canceling major life events. Weddings and graduations have been postponed, while nine out of 10 funeral services held today have loved ones who are unable to attend.

That said, the pandemic has forced us to get creative. Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention — and despite the risks, many are determined to soldier on (albeit in new ways). That’s especially true for the restaurant industry, which was arguably one of the hardest-hit sectors during this health crisis. Things may not be back to normal yet, but we’ve found plenty of ways to support our favorite eateries — and experience something slightly resembling normalcy, in some cases.

Outdoor Winter Dining: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

igloo dining @nyc via  Instagram

Is Winter Outdoor Dining Safe?

One of the main questions being asked is whether winter outdoor dining is actually safe. Not only are the temperatures rather frigid in many parts of the country, but temporary structures are being erected by many restaurants in order to accommodate customers. The problem is that many of these structures don’t seem much safer than indoor dining when it comes right down to it.

There’s a lot of variation when it comes to outdoor dining structures. Some restaurants are using igloos or yurts, while others have enclosed areas on two or three sides. It’s a bit of a mystery as to whether or not any of these structures have proper airflow, which could be a problem if you’re dining with someone outside your immediate household. It’s also up to the municipality to set rules pertaining to outdoor dining capacity — but there’s no guarantee whether or not the restaurant will comply.

When an environmental engineering professor was interviewed by Vice News, it was revealed that an enclosure with multiple walls or sides can’t technically be categorized as outdoor dining from a safety standpoint. It’s also important to note that there are no totally safe indoor environments, even with good ventilation and air purification. Some restaurants are forgoing the six-feet rule with outdoor dining, as walls or tents provide a false sense of security and separation. And because customers don’t wear masks during meals, dining outdoors might be a lot riskier than you’d think. Of course, weather conditions can also make outdoor dining less safe. Snow, freezing temperatures, and even heat lamps could pose dangers to diners.

COVID-19 is certainly a huge concern for most Americans, given the number of rising cases across the country. Although anywhere from 8,000 to 18,000 U.S. residents are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease every year, more than 27.8 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the last year with approximately 488,000 fatalities. While this isn’t deterring Americans from eating outdoors (or inside, in many cases), many experts agree that it’s nearly impossible to know whether an outdoor dining setup has good ventilation — and you might not know until you arrive how a given restaurant is adhering to health guidelines. Although virtually no situation is without risk, it’s worth asking yourself whether it’s really worth it in this case.

Outdoor Winter Dining: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Olio é Piu indoor/outdoor dining

What Should You Wear When Dining Outdoors This Winter?

If you live in a warmer state, you might not have to bundle up for outdoor dining. But in many areas, cold temperatures and inclement weather can make eating outside a lot less comfortable. And while some eateries will attempt to use technology to fight some of those effects, it’s never going to be as pleasant as indoor dining would be.

So how can you stay cozy? Dressing in layers is key. Instead of wearing breathable fabrics like cotton, opt for wool or synthetic fiber for your base layers. You should probably wear a thick, long puffer coat, thick socks, insulated boots, a scarf, leather gloves, and a hat, as well. It’s a good idea to BYOB — bring your own blanket, in the case — to cover yourself up as your body temperature drops throughout the evening. You might even consider getting yourself a battery-powered heated jacket or hand warmers for some extra warmth.

Overall, try to keep your meal brief (which you should do anyway to reduce transmission risk!) and check the weather forecast before you decide to dine out. It’s a good idea to call the restaurant directly, as well, to assess whether they have the room or what kinds of accommodations they might have. If you know you’re someone who is sensitive to the cold, it might be best to sit this one out.

Outdoor Winter Dining: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

What’s the Best Way to Keep Supporting Local Restaurants?

Many people choose to dine outdoors because they simply miss the restaurant experience. But a CDC study from September found that adults who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than those who tested negative (and there was no discrimination made between indoor and outdoor dining). Another study published in November found that restaurants were the riskiest places for new infections. If you’re being tempted because you see others enjoying meals outside or you want to support your favorite eatery, you might want to consider some alternatives.

Although fully loaded semi-trucks can weigh as much as 18,000 pounds, lighter-weight food trucks are still a common sight on many roads throughout the United States. If you have a favorite, follow them on social media to see where they might be headed if you’re looking for a restaurant experience without taking as big a chance. Ordering take-out is also a popular option, albeit not a new one. Instead of relying on GrubHub or DoorDash, which take a percentage of sales from the restaurant, opt to order directly through the restaurant for pick-up or delivery. Many restaurants put together special dining packages for holidays or even virtual events, so inquire with them about whether there might be something exciting to try at home.

It’s not easy for many of us to accept that restaurant dining isn’t yet back to normal. But until it is, dining outdoors this winter might be a bit too risky — or just a bit too uncomfortable — for some.

Win Ogden's Own x Deborah Czeresko Glass Decanter + Rocks Glass Set

Win Ogden’s Own x Deborah Czeresko Glass Decanter + Rocks Glass Set

There’s something about art that speaks to everyone. It’s not the same for everything but they call art conversation pieces for nothing. Art, of course, comes in many forms. One favorite is glass blowing. We find it incredibly mesmerizing how glass artists mold and shape melted glass into the most exquisite things. From attention-getting decorative pieces to functional art pieces. Now imagine owning something like that. A functional piece of art that will always ignite conversation. We’re here to tell you, you can own one of those when you enter to win the Ogden’s Own x Deborah Czeresko Glass Decanter + Rocks Glass Set.

Win Ogden's Own x Deborah Czeresko Glass Decanter + Rocks Glass Set

If you’re familiar with Netflix’s Reality Show Blown Away, then you’re very familiar with Deborah Czeresko, the Glass Artist who won. For those not familiar, Blown Away is a competition show, much like Top Chef or Project Runway, where glass artists compete in creating innovative artworks. If you haven’t checked it out, we recommend you doing so to see all the amazing things these artists created.

Deborah Czeresko has teamed up with Utah’s beloved Ogden’s Own distillery for a special collaboration. This collaboration, Deborah’s famous piece, “Morph”, a handcrafted glass decanter + 4 matching rocks glass set valued at $8,000.00, will go to one lucky winner. All you have to do is enter the raffle for a chance to win. The best part, you’ll also be helping out a wonderful charity.

Win Ogden's Own x Deborah Czeresko Glass Decanter + Rocks Glass Set

For as little as $5.00, you can be the lucky winner of the stunning Ogden’s Own x Deborah Czeresko decanter set where 100% of the proceeds raised go to two Utah LGBTQ organizations, the Utah PRIDE Center and Equality Utah. This is an amazing and rare opportunity to both support a great cause and potentially win a one-of-a-kind artwork that any spirits aficionado would love.

Wouldn’t you love to win this conversation piece to display your favorite Ogden’s Own expression?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on this collaboration.