Thing 11: Honey from a local (sometimes unusual!) source

jars of honey

Bees!!! ? ? ? ? ?

Beekeeping is more popular than ever in urban areas. From hobbyists to academic programs and everywhere in betweenbees!!! And with bees comes honey. I love small batch, local honey where the bees are super cultured. Local honey has health benefits and they people who care for local hives tend to have immense respect for how the bees are treated too

I jumped to get a jar when the Whitney sold honey harvested from the bees that live on their roof in artist-designed ceramic containers; picked some up during a trip to Salt Lake City a few years ago from the apiary on the rooftop of the main library, and I have purchased from multiple DC groups too (DC Bee, Second Story Honey). 

So when Congressional Cemetery emailed me about Rest in Bees, the honey made from the cemetery hives, I was all over that. This was also the first time a Favorite Thing went in reverse order. Janet, from the great state of Michigan, wanted some of the Rest in Bees honey but didn’t live locally anymore. After I offered to get her some, I then decided it would be perfect for Favorite Things so this jar is on the house!

Thing 10: UrbanStems

flowers and a cargo bike

I am obsessed with plants. They add comfort and warmth to a space, and improve your air quality and mood too. While I prefer most of the plants in my life to be potted, there is something timeless and special about getting flowers (*Siri play Only Girl by Rihanna*).  As a lover of giving AND getting joy, I send flowers frequently too—blooms for many an occasion ???

In DC, UrbanStems is my quick flower sender of choice. The company started here and still maintains a heavy local presence. In DC (and NYC), UrbanStems provides same day (or advance scheduled) delivery, mostly via cargo bike. Their nationwide offerings are also great, but these will come via FedEx or UPS.

If you have a little more time, I do suggest reaching out to a local florist first. As I’ve suggested with finding an artist, Instagram is also a great place to find a florist. But if you’re still struggling to find availability or someone who delivers, rather than going to Legacy Big Flower and risking quality, consider Urban Stems! 

Jamee in DC got The Filly mini bouquet delivered to her today! Want to try UrbanStems? Get $20 off with my customer link.

Thing 9: Tangle Teezer


I’m a notorious hair abuser: a fake blonde who neglects haircuts and sometimes (used to be often but I swear I am trying) uses hotel shampoo. But I am attempting to do better. And I wonder why no one ever told me to get a better brush. 

My recent move to do better included a silk pillowcase (for skin and hair purposes) plus some new hair serum and the Tangle Teezer. Turns out my whatever brush was ripping my hair out. Very sad. The TT bills itself as follows:

Our prescriptive detangling hairbrushes quickly and gently detangle all hair types with minimum damage, leaving the hair soft and shiny. The long teeth detangle, removing knots, reducing breakage and leaving hair healthier-looking, while the short teeth smooth and leave the hair glossy and frizz-free. It’s as simple as that! 

While this brush is often touted as a wet brush for those with curly/wavy hair, it also does wonders for my fine, silky hair…wet AND dry. Megan in Lakewood gets her own Tangle Teezer to try out.

Thing 8: Sun Bum SPF 50

sun bum spf 50 sunscreen

If you know me, you know I am the sunscreen queen. Never a day without it. It’s my #1 tool for anti-aging and dermatological health. And the perfect sunscreen for me is Sun Bum Original Face SPF 50. Not just for my face, but for all over my body. It’s 3 oz (so almost the maximum size for carry on baggage), plus it’s vegan, fragrance free, reef friendly, and 80 minutes water resistant. 

I love how it dissolves on my skin and how easy it is to apply. Plus, you can purchase it easily at most big drug stores. As with any skin product, there is no perfect universal solution, so do try it out for yourself. Dan in San Francisco can now do just that! 

Reminder: Since March 2020, sunscreen is HSA/FSA reimbursable!

Thing 7: Rapid Home Tests

I am really hoping this is the last Covid related thing on Favorite Things ever. That said, cheers to the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests. While PCR tests remain most accurate, their turnaround time can be a hindrance for quick checks. Current studies show rapid tests are more than 80% effective at detecting any level of Covid-19 infection and likely to be more than 90% effective at detecting who is most infectious. 

Before attending a group function and a few days after returning from one, I will take a home test. It takes less than 20 minutes from opening the box to getting results. Lately, I am taking 3-4 tests a month for safety and peace of mind. You can find them at most pharmacies (both in store and online), with the cost typically between $7 and $12 per test (the BinaxNOW tests are sold in 2 pack boxes). While this is not super high, it is extremely annoying because many other countries give away rapid home tests are free or sell them for less than $1. Alas, I am still happy this is an option and hope it continues to be more and more available to anyone who needs them. 

Tests are approved for anyone 2 and up, though samples must be collected by an adult for young children. You can even use a version of this test for travel, but it needs to be purchased with telemedicine capabilities. Having a small indoor get together this winter? Consider asking your guests to swab their shnoz beforehand. My only sister is the lucky recipient of a pack of tests.