Stay home

H-Town Survival Kit Essentials

All of the things you need to successfully social distance in Houston.

By Gwendolyn Knapp Published in the May 2020 issue of Houstonia Magazine

HOUSTONIANS, BEING CERTIFIED HURRICANE PROS, have long known which items we need when hunkering down. But since the coronavirus hit, our list of items to have on hand has gotten longer: TP, for example, has joined peanut butter, ibuprofen, coffee, and Netflix on our list of essentials to stock, thanks to America’s strange run on the stuff. What else is a must these days? Here’s what we cannot have too much of:

Boomtown Boardgame 

Feeling a nagging itch to get out and go places? First, wash your hands. Next, play a game. We love Boomtown, a vintage, Houston-set, circa-1980 boardgame that resembles Monopoly and lets players buy up properties in the Galleria and Downtown, become crazy characters—dibs on Billy Bob—and think about how much we love our city.

Source Vital Fresh Essential Oil Blend

Getting outside and running has been essential to our sanity lately. But when we’re stuck inside, this floral, citrusy blend of rosemary, lavender, and lemon essential oils provides Houston-in-springtime vibes right in our living room, courtesy of the diffuser.

Marg Fixins 

You’ve battled the lines at Spec’s for Patrón and Cuervo (double down!), Grand Marnier, salt, and limes. And you’ll have no regrets about that when you mix up your drink in the blender with ice—made well after our boil water advisory, which ... seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it? Have another.

Bernie's Burger Bus Ketchup

Predicament: You have purchased all the frozen tots and corndogs known to man. But [checks calendar] 28 days later, regular old ketchup cannot make them appetizing. This peppery-sweet concoction can.

Mirth Pajamas

Work from home, they said. We will still get dressed, we said. But these ultra-soft, breathable pajamas with an elastic waistband have proved too perfect for working, stress eating, and sleeping in comfort.

Bodypeace App

Created last year by Houston yoga teacher Lizzie DeLacy, BodyPeace offers yoga, yes, but that’s just the beginning. Featuring everything from simple desk stretches to 50-minute body- alignment exercises, it has proven handy in our efforts to keep from fusing to the couch.

Chips and Queso

Longing for Teo, El Tiempo, even Chuy’s? Whip up your own world-famous homemade concoction—Velveeta with Rotel (or with pico de gallo and chili if you truly prepared)—and scoop it with H-E-B corn chips. Alas, there’s still no Rockets to watch while gorging. Sigh.

The Houstorian Dictionary 

Local historian James Glassman’s fun book has helped us brush up on our Houston history while reminding us of our city’s best colloquialisms, like “all y’all,” which we’ve taken to saying while staring vacantly at Twitter: “All y’all. Need to stop.”

Mosquito Spray

Stay away from other humans!? Mosquitoes didn’t get the message. Luckily, our endless supply of repellent has allowed us to work bite-free in the yard, and thank heavens. We needed the sun.

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