My 10 Favorite Home & Home-Making Related Purchases of 2017

Happy weekend! How’s your weekend going?

If you’ve been reading BNOTP for a while, you probably know I’m not a fan of scary movies, but I may try watching Winchester (starring Helen Mirren) with my hands over my eyes. lol The movie is hitting theaters in early February, but  I’ll most likely wait until it comes to Amazon since I can’t imagine seeing a scary movie on the wide-screen! Yikes!

Winchester Mystery House Movie


The reason I’d kinda like to see it is because I actually toured the real Winchester House many years ago when I was on a trip to California. We were zooming up the interstate en route to San Francisco when we spotted a sign advertising the home tour. I had just seen a special about the home on HGTV a few weeks before so couldn’t resist stopping to see it in person. It was everything I had imagined it would be and I loved the tour. The movie is supposed to have been filmed in the house itself, which is so rare these days. Usually everything is filmed in a studio.

You’ll find my previous post about that visit and the home here: Winchester Mystery House. If you ever find yourself in that area, be sure and take the tour. I would love to go back and do one of the flashlight/candlelight tours they host, especially closer to Halloween. That would be a hoot!

Winchester Mystery House


Some of My Favorite Purchases from 2017

(NOTE: Click on the title to access that item.)

Today I was reflecting back on a few of the home/home making purchases I’ve made this past year that I’ve really enjoyed. Some I liked so much, I ended buying them again to give as gifts. Today I thought I’d share a few of my faves.

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System

I had always wanted a Bose Sound Wave system for my home office. I have their surround-sound system in my living room for movie watching and love it, plus I’ve always been impressed with their customer service and how they stand behind their products, even when you manage to catch the remote on fire! Yes, I really did that once! lol

I’ve loved having this system here in the office this past year, so much so I purchased one as a gift for a friend a few months ago. He has really enjoyed it and told me recently it was a big hit at his office Christmas party this past year.

Bose Wave Radio System Review


Shout Color Catcher Sheets

This is such a small thing, but learning about Color Catchers was a transforming moment this year. They saved my favorite polka-dot shirt when I thought it was a goner! (Read more about that HERE.) Will never be without these in my laundry arsenal

White & Navy Polka Dot Shirt with Orange Cardigan Sweater, Navy Jeggings



I don’t do a lot of mopping, but the one room that needs a good mopping several times a year is my screened-in porch.

Patriotic Table Setting for 4th of July, Porch Dining


I never liked mopping it because it can be really messy, especially during pollen season. The Mopnado has made the porch mopping task a lot easier, as well as much faster. You guys even noticed, I had a few folks ask in comments last summer if I had done something to the porch floor. No, I just finally found a good mop system that gets it really clean! lol

Mopnado Mopping System

Bench for the Master Closet

One of the best things I did last year after giving my master closet a mini-makeover, was adding this bench to the space. I use it every single morning and night as I’m getting ready for the day, or preparing for bed. It’s the perfect spot to put on/take off my shoes each day and I love all the extra storage for socks, gloves and shoe care products. This little bench was definitely a lifestyle improvement purchase. (Read more about it in this post: Small Storage Bench)

Small Bench for a Small Closet


Blackout Buddy

Remember when Hurricane Irma was threatening to clobber Atlanta last year? I added these American Red Cross Blackout Buddies to all three floors of my home after a BNOTP reader told me about them. I love knowing if the power goes out, they will come on and give me light for many, many hours. I also purchased them for my son and daughter-in-law and they have enjoyed having them. When I visited recently, I noticed the one in the hallway just outside the guest room lights the way to the bathroom at night. So convenient!

Blackout Buddy Lights


Larger Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag

Though not house related, I had to mention this bag since I really enjoyed using it during my travels this past year. It was an upgrade from my previous Travelon bag since it’s just a little bit bigger. The built-in pockets for carrying a water bottle came in super handy, too.

Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag for Travel


SystemBuild Cabinets and SystemBuild 36″ 2 Door/2 Drawer

It took a while to get all these cabinets delivered in one piece and assembled, but now that I have them I absolutely love the organization and storage they provide.

Cabinets for Storage, Garage, Basement, Laundry Room, Home


They’ve made putting together tables for entertaining and Tablescape Thursday so much faster. Very happy I added these to the garage this past summer! (Read more about this process here: Tablescaping Storage for Dishware, Flatware, Napkin Rings, Napkins & Glassware.)

Cabinet Storage Ideas for Dishware, Glassware, Flatware and Napkins


Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner

I’m still impressed with this stainless steel cleaner…no more horrible fingerprints on my storage tool chest! I’ve received several comments and emails from you guys saying how much you love it, too. Always makes me feel good when I recommend something that I love, and you end up loving it, too. You’ll find my previous post about this cleaner here: How to Clean Fingerprints Off Stainless Steel for a Lustrous Shine.

Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish


A Place to Call Home

Though not a home product exactly, I had to mention this delightful book by James Farmer. If you’re not following James on Instagram, be sure to check out his Instagram account. He has the most humble, lovely personality and I just love following him there. I think he’s listed there as James T. Farmer. This book is wonderful! It would also make a fabulous gift for anyone who loves a casual, cozy, warm, traditional style of decorating.


Nora Fleming

I don’t remember who said it in the comments of THIS post, but you were right! Whoever said that I’d better buy a few extra storage boxes for my Nora Fleming minis was absolutely correct. These things are sooo addictive…don’t say I didn’t warn you! lol

Nora Fleming Christmas Charms


I purchased a Nora Fleming platter for my dil for Christmas and a pedestal for myself. I lost count how many of the minis I bought for each of us, but it was a lot!

Nora Fleming Mini, Lighthouse


These are the ones I have right now in my collection. The Georgia Bulldog helmet is actually a spare for my son and dil who both graduated from there. I purchased one for their collection, but also purchased a spare that I’m keeping here in case their helmet ever gets chipped or broken.

The reason I purchased two is I’ve noticed that most of the minis are only available for a few years, then they are retired. Once they have been retired, they go for a small fortune on eBay. For example, one mini that I’d love to collect is a tiny stack of books. It would be great for a book club meeting, or just for us bibliophiles. Since it’s an older mini that has been retired, when I see it on eBay it is usually priced well over $200.

So I figured it would be good to have a spare Georgia helmet on hand for all those future football game-watching parties. You’ll find the Nora Fleming platters and minis available here: Nora Fleming.

The cute Santa boot mini on the bottom row in the second box down, actually holds toothpicks. That’s great for using on a platter at Christmastime with a food that needs toothpicks for serving.

I bought my dil the three-tiered birthday cake mini available HERE. It holds a single candle which is adorable. She used it when I was there a few weeks ago during my birthday. I need to buy one of those for my collection, too. I somehow managed to accidentally buy two pumpkins when I was buying them at Christmastime.

Three more minis and I’ll need a 4th storage box. Addictive, I tell ya!

My Nora Fleming Mini Collection


Happy Weekend! I’m finally taking down my tree this weekend, sad to see it go. I should have included it in this post because it’s the most beautiful artificial Christmas tree that I’ve ever had! I just checked and I don’t see them available now. I may purchase a 9-ft one next year for my bedroom since it has a higher ceiling. Love that tree!

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  1. Dawn Marie says

    Wow! I love all your fave 2017 purchases! I purchased a few minis after I seen yours, plus a bread plate. You’re right, addictive! I’m waiting for the pink flamingo to be released end of Feb. Yes, I have one mini storage box . I usually buy the minis on eBay for 12.50. Would like a retired mini, price prohibitive right now.
    Thanks for sharing all your goodies!

  2. Holy Cow I just saw your storage units with your seasonal things arranaged !! Awesome !!

  3. Jane Franks says

    Hi Susan! What a great idea to review your purchases last year! I’m with you on the scary movie thing. I don’t think I could even watch one at home alone. I’d be checking all the doors and windows for days!! I have an interesting story about Bose! One of my high school classmates (Massachusetts) worked for Mr. Bose who invented Bose! Here is what he did: “Responsible for creating most of Bose Corporation’s audiovisual product demonstration tools (such as the shows in Bose stores) between 1972 and 2008. Appointed a “Bose Fellow” in 1999.” And about those color catchers! Don’t you love those? Someone introduced me to them several years ago when I was making quilts and had to prewash all the fabrics. I put deep colors in with white and never had any color transfer. In fact I just used one today with some throw rugs. One of the rugs is a madras-like plaid and i wasn’t sure if it was color fast. I’m sure glad I used the color catcher as it came our almost black! And I had white rugs in with it!! Great product.

  4. Gayle Kesinger says

    Loved this article. I want to send the article about the tree to someone I work with at our Church on Christmas trees around the Altar. Real trees have gotten so expensive and sometimes do not look very good. How do I just send the post from Nov. 15 or is that possible?

  5. Those Nora Fleming minis–I knew they were trouble as soon as I saw them!
    Couldn’t be more adorable. I hope you find the bookstack one.

  6. Hi Susan! This was a fun post! I think I’ll skip the Winchester movie, even though I love Helen Mirren. I’m not a fan of scary movies; even that picture scared me a little bit! lol The house would be fascinating to tour, though. I have to say of everything you posted, your dish cabinets are my fave. I really need a good system to get my dishes all in one place. and your system is so inspirational. I’ve referred to them multiple times. Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  7. SharonFromMichigan says

    Aren’t those Shout Color Catchers a life saver? I’ve been using them for years in the laundry (especially when my husband and grown son do the laundry – LOL). My saying is, when in doubt, toss one in! They’ve saved me many times from ruining clothing.

  8. Oh my gosh. As a child I toured the Winchester house (I think I was around 8) and back then you were able to step across walls and look down three stories into a sink. I remember the guide telling us to “watch your step”. When I went back again with my son and dil about four years ago I was so disappointed. Nothing like I remembered and probably due to CA regulations of tourist sites. The gardens were pretty with beautiful fountains. I like the minis very much but didn’t get them.

  9. Horror movies freak me out big time!! No way I will be seeing the Winchester movie, I really like Helen Mirren read a really good article about her. She said most of the parts she is offered now are about people with cancer or dying. Guess that is why she decided to make a horror movie. Lol.

  10. Debbie from NC says

    We purchased the same tree that you did this year. We actually we bought it after reading your experiences to find the right tree. It is a beautiful tree and most people commented they thought it was a real tree. This was the first Christmas we had an artificial tree and it was a purchase well worth the money. Thank you for your post and recommendation!

  11. donna a zoltanski says

    I too LOVE your garage storage – love organization. I would have thought you were a Virgo….(they love everything neat and tidy) but anyway Happy Birthday to you! You must have lots of patience to put things together – excellent. Keep your suggestions coming…..I love shopping together….

  12. The movie post caught my eye! I was debating on seeing it. My husband & I toured her house several years ago too. What an awesome & crazy house it was! I also love those cabinets you have!!!

  13. I cannot tell you how many times you’ve helped me thru your posts…or how much money I’ve spent because of your posts!!!! Hahahahaha!
    From boots to sweaters to travel bags and now trees . I too bought new tree this yr for big bucks and couldn’t stand it once I got it home. So back to the store it went. So now I’m treeless again. Just pasted the type tree into my notes and pray I remember it for next yr! So thanks again!
    Oh….and just ordered some of the stainless polish too…see? You spending my money for me!!!

  14. Sheila Sexton says

    Oh.. I didn’t know there was a movie coming out about the Winchester house, toured it with my parents in the 60’s and again with my husband in late 70’s, such an amazing place, can’t wait to see the movie, thanks for telling us about it.

  15. Cyndi Raines says

    Great purchases Susan, it’s fun to look back for a year end review. Yes, the minis are addictive. I have 4 at present and am pacing myself with another 4 or 5 “must have”on my wish list, hehe, and at least 4 “optionals”. I told hubby that these would make a great little gift(s) instead of flowers, so I am giving a copy of my list to my girlfriend so when he wants to buy me a surprise gift he can give her the money, have her place the order for him and then I will be very happy when it arrives. Pretty smart, huh. Lol.

  16. Glad to hear the “Winchester” movie house is the real Mystery House! What a great tour and glad we can go through it again in movieland…We’re going for sure!

  17. Such a fantastic post, I loved every entry! I always learn something new.
    I bought Nora Fleming many years ago and have at least three (vintage, by now) boxes put away that I have not seen in ages except for packing them to move to this house last fall. (Yes, I was addicted!) Maybe 2018 will be the year that I bring them back to life!
    I enjoy all of your posts and all other reader comments of great finds. It’s so nice when we can share with one another.
    Vanessa in Atlanta

  18. Your research and reviews is much appreciated. I have purchased many of the same of your 2017 items.

  19. Thanks for the info about James T Farmer. Love his style and have enjoyed seeing his posts on instagram since you referred him. I have a questions about instagram, and since I’m sure you are much more tech savvy than I, maybe you can give me some advice. About 2 weeks ago I was hoping around instagram checking out folks I might like to follow. Shortly after that I started getting post to my instagram page from people I don’t know. I mean like over 100 posts from that many people. Many of these people post pictures that I find offensive, i.e. sexual in content. My account is private and I have looked for an easy way to block all these unwanted posts but can not find an answer. Have you had a similar issue? So frustrating. Vikki in VA

    • I haven’t run into that so I don’t know why that would happen, especially if your account is private. I only see posts in my feed from the people I’m following. Vikki, you may want to try Googling that to see if anyone else has run into it and what they say it could be. Make absolutely sure that you have a good password that has Capital lowercase and numbers in it, and I even use Instagrams 2-step verification system like I do with gmail.

  20. Mini
    Don’t you think you should organize your mini
    By seasons
    Christmas in one
    Summer in another
    They are a little mixed up in the boxes!

  21. Susan, I really enjoyed this post. I have the Bose system in my sitting room…my favorite room. I plan to order the stainless steel cleaner as all my appliances are stainless. I just had to tell you this…my best friend surprised me with James Farmer’s book, A Place to Call Home, to celebrate my first year of blogging. Left it on my front porch..a sweet surprise. I cried sweet tears of joy! I am so green at this blogging but am loving it. You are a real trooper to be so sick on an airplane and in another country and handle it with such grace.

  22. Myra Davis says

    Susan, I really enjoy all your posts and this one too, highlighting you 2017 purchases. May I say the purchase I liked the most was your cabinets for the garage. I cheered you on as you made decisions of which cabinet style to purchase, as you assembled, returned the damaged ones, and finally got it all together beautifully. I, too, thoroughly enjoy having a variety of sets of dishes, chargers, napkins/rings, flatware, and glassware, to use for all occasions and storing is certainly a challenge. Once again, YOU have been my inspiration and I’m getting there with a garage-length storage space now fully dedicated to my “stuff”. Sorry to say, I don’t have all beautiful closed cabinets as you do, but I do have adequate shelving & space and am happily getting it all stored & organized. I think this will make my efforts of tablescaping much better. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much, Myra. What you have planned sounds perfect! I can hear the excitement in your voice. You are going to love it when you get everything stored away. I keep asking myself why I didn’t do this a long time ago. 🙂

  23. Susan, I think my favorite would be the storage cabinets. I know it was an ordeal, but you persisted. I would love to have such a storage system in my garage, and may work toward that goal this year. We have cabinets, but they are not as nice as these.

    • Sarah, you would absolutely love it! I wish I had done it ages ago. If I’m still living in this home the day my son and dil let me know if they want his childhood furniture that I have stored on the other side of the garage, I may just add a few more cabinets over on that side. You can never have too much storage, right? 🙂

  24. Elizabeth Speicher says

    The Therapy Stainless cleaner is absolutely aces! Just gutted and replaced everything in my kitchen and got talked out of white appliances by my daughter for all stainless and was immediately regretful, fingerprints and smudges everywhere. Your research and Therapy to the rescue! Prevents them for about a month and then a quick wipe and voila, gone! Thanks

  25. Bobbi Duncan says

    Susan, I loved seeing this review. I have purchased many of the items you have posted over the years. I call you “my personal consumer reports” because I know you are a perfectionist and will only relay products you truly feel are worthwhile purchasing. Thank you for all the help over the years and for being such a down-to-earth blogger–I think being “real” is the best part of any blogger’s posts. Hugs!

  26. Susan, I needed a new Christmas tree last year, but never could find the one I wanted with extended branches to hang my long ornaments on. When I saw your tree, I knew that it was the perfect one. Even my son the “Christmas tree expert” said it was a perfect tree and looked very realistic. It was a beautiful tree decorated. Thank you for sharing.

    • I love that about that tree…the longer branches. I think that’s one reason why it looks so realistic. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jane…makes my day to hear that! Your son sounds like he is as picky as I am about Christmas trees. lol I love it! We picky Christmas tree people have to stick together. 🙂

  27. Love my Nora Fleming collection. I’ve collected mini’s for a few years. Side note: several of the mini’s can be used to put toothpicks in.. the Santa boot and water can.. and several others. The layered birthday cake has a hole for a single birthday candle. So fun.. happy collecting and enjoy.

  28. Winchester was good! I jumped at all the right places. My girlfriend laughed at me each time and I love a scary thriller not so much horror movies.

    Always love your favorite things, Susan. You always give me great ideas.

    And THANK YOU for the years of blogging, sharing and great times we share.

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