My Favorite Purchases During the Month of January

I did a lot of shopping during the month of January, more than normal. Today I’m sharing the things I purchased that I’ve enjoyed, plus a few things I have purchased as gifts.

Click on the title of any item, to read more about that item.

Bose Wave SoundTouch System IV

I used several gift certificates I received for Christmas to purchase the Bose Wave Radio Soundtouch System after lusting after it for many years. LOVE this thing! I use my Amazon Echo Dot to operate it with my voice and it’s added so much to my life. You can read more about it in this previous post: A Music System So Hot, The Remote Caught Fire!

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV, Review


Large Mouse Mat for Office Desk

Purchased one of these large mouse pads/mats for my office desk and it’s perfect for what I needed. I was so tired of mouse pads that were too small or wouldn’t stay in place. This one is awesome because it’s huge, not very thick and very soft. It is so comfortable under my arms when typing and using the mouse, and I never run the mouse off of it. My laser mouse works great on it, but it’s perfect for any style mouse.

I purchased a “map” one HERE  for my office and a a Van Gogh Starry Night one, HERE, for the dressing room where I use my laptop.


I kinda wish I had gotten this one for the dressing room…so cute! You’ll find it here: Mouse Mat

Beautiful Umbrella

I saw these umbrellas recently and just loved them. I love how the pretty part is on the inside where you can look up and see it. It’s also visible when being carried.

I ordered this one for my daughter-in-law today. It’s a surprise, she doesn’t know it yet unless she happens to read this. lol One of the things I love about these umbrellas is that they can be carried hands-free. That’s really helpful when you have little ones with you.

I ordered this one for me. Love the travel theme! You can see how the handle works in this picture. You’ll find the two I ordered and many more with beautiful scenes and floral patterns here: Umbrella

Update: Umbrella came today and I love it. So cute and works great!


A Smart T.V.

The TV in my kitchen died recently, it was many years old so I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. I replaced the kitchen TV with the small TV I had here in the office. You can see it there just above the monitors.


I’ve finally entered into the world of Smart TVs! I replaced the Office TV with a 28 inch Smart TV. It’s picture quality is so much better than the little one I had here, but the thing I love the most is when I’m sorting through photos for a post, or doing other work here in the office, I can stream a movie from Netflix or watch a YouTube video while I work.

I used to do that on one of the computer monitors, but unfortunately that meant I couldn’t use the monitor for work. I love having two monitors while working, makes the work go so much faster! Now I do my streaming on the TV and finally have my second monitor back! This 28 inch size is perfect for the office and was very affordable. Amazing how inexpensive TVs are these days. Absolutely love having it here! You’ll find the one I purchased, HERE.


Liquid Fence

Ordered this after a reader recommended it for keeping deer from eating my pansies. So far, it’s worked great and it’s eco-friendly and not harmful to deer or rabbit.



Bird-Friendly Coffee

I subscribe to a birding blog and one of the other subscribers/readers recommended this coffee saying it is bird friendly. I was curious and ordered a bag. It’s delicious! I only drink iced coffee but I’m guessing it would be good hot, as well.

Epica Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder

When my bird coffee came, I was surprised to find that it was whole beans. So I ordered this coffee grinder that had great reviews and it’s excellent!  So easy to use, works great and cleans up easily. Highly recommend it!


Fleece Lined Slipper Socks

Love these snuggly slipper socks. I purchased two pairs and they are sooo warm! Great to pull on when you’re curling up to read a book or watch TV. They come in a lot of cute styles.


Hagerty Holloware Bag

I use these Hagetry Silverware bags to store the silverplate flatware you so often see me use in table settings. It keeps them virtually tarnish free so when I’m ready to set the table, I don’t have to stop to polish the silver.


I just ordered one more for the silverplate twig flatware I used in Thursday’s table. Definitely recommend them for easy silverware storage.

Update: I’ve had a few questions about storing silver flatware. If you will be using your flatware a lot and taking it in and out a fair amount, the bag shown below would be better for that. You’ll find the flatware storage bags below here: Silver Flatware Storage.

I use the bag shown above because I’m not taking the flatware out on a regular basis. I keep it in the bag and store the bag inside a plastic bin. Then I just reach into the bag and take out what I need when creating a table setting. But I wouldn’t do that for expensive sterling flatware or expensive silverplate flatware.

For more expensive silver or silverplate sets, this bag below is better. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s better for long term storage of sterling or silverplate flatware.


For my sterling flatware, I use an actual silver chest that I purchased 30+ years ago and it keeps my silver tarnish free. If you buy a silver chest, make sure it has the special lining inside that will keep silver from tarnishing. Not all silver chests are made that way. The bag shown above is a less-expensive alternative to a silver chest and perhaps a bit easier to store since it’s smaller.
Maybelline Brow Drama in Light and Dark Brown

If you’re looking for a way to enhance the color of your eyebrows and color the gray, you have to check this out. I’ve tried several products and none of them worked very well but this Mabelline Brow Drama is excellent!

It comes in both light and dark brown. I’ve been using the light brown but just ordered the dark brown to see how it looks. I really like the light brown so I’ll probably stick with that color, but I just wanted to see how the dark brown looked, too.
Update: Dark brown color came and I think I like it best. They both work great, though.

Electric Wine Bottle Opener

Ever struggle with getting a cork out of a wine bottle. It always ends up hurting my hands. I ordered this electric wine bottle opener after seeing a YouTuber use one in a vlog. It works great! I think I’m going to order several of these to give as Christmas gifts this coming Christmas.



Forgot to include, I also added a small beverage cooler to my exercise space this month. You can read more about that here: A Small Beverage Cooler for the Upstairs


Have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday for Met Monday!

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  1. Marilyn Bowers says:

    Would love to have the white lace dinner plates..where can we get them please?

    • I purchased those online from Horchow back in 2008. They are actually chargers. I haven’t seen them available since then. You may want to google for pierced charger plates or a similar phrase to see if anyone is making something similar now.

  2. Whatever the topic, you have the most interesting and useful list of items. Thanks for testing them first and sharing the sources. I’ve been happy with all of my purchases from your lists.

  3. I like the giant mouse pad- great item! The umbrella is intriguing but how do you keep the umbrella from falling over on your arm? I didn’t click the link, perhaps it explains. I love fresh ground coffee. I started grinding my coffee a long time ago and I do believe it makes a difference! What does that mean that a coffee is “bird friendly”? I like the idea of the Haggerty Hollowware bag- looks like a good idea!

    • I noticed in the reviews that someone said that it stands up on it’s own, not sure what that means. Mine will be here on Tuesday so I can see how that part works. Maybe you sorta brace it against yourself. I’ll let you know after it arrives. I love the designs and how they are on the inside of the umbrella!
      The coffee is organic and is chemical and pesticide free, so the way it’s grown is better for the environment and I guess for the birds, too.
      They make those bags in a lot of different sizes. I have a couple that I use to store larger silverplate pieces in.

    • Liz, I just found a better explanation of what Bird Friendly Coffee is, here:
      It says:
      “Bird Friendly is a certification created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC), which is part of the National Zoo based in Washington, D.C. Bird Friendly standards are the strictest of the third-party environmental standards. Certified coffees carry this seal.”
      The Bird Friendly Seal is displayed on the Java Planet website here: at the bottom of the page.
      They are also Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic certified. It is great tasting…no bitterness, which I love for my iced coffee.

  4. Great ideas! I love the umbrellas. IS your office furniture from Pottery Barn? I am looking for similar desk items for my office and wonder if you are pleased with yours?

    • Thanks! Yes, it’s their Bedford line. You can see it much better in this post where I share which units I purchased to put it all together in this configuration:
      I’ve been very happy with it, it’s very functional. If you buy it for your office, I recommend having glass cut to protect the top. I had glass cut by a local glass company immediately after the furniture was delivered, just didn’t want to risk scratching it up. I also love not having to worry about sitting a drink on top since the glass protects the finish.

  5. We had rain today and I struggled with an umbrella and shopping caddy. That handle is very interesting!

  6. Enjoy your purchases. You have some great ones there.

  7. How could you not have your beverage cooler on your list? As soon as I saw yours I went looking. Lord, they are expensive, but we are thinking about making some new living arrangements that will allow us to stay in our home and still be close to family. My first thought was they must have a tall one that I could use for food as well as drinks. I did not get into the nitty gritty of them but WOW! Love the spray for dear. Seems weird you have pansies and we are expecting snow. When Jan 1st comes I start chanting my motto. “I CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 90 DAYS”. Gets me through winter and I am already down to 62!

  8. How much silverware does this size bag hold? I have the silverware holder in my cart, it holds a bit. Do they scratch each other in just the bag? I am remiss here, my poor silver is sitting in a kitchen drawer all tarnished so I have not used it in a few years. Do you know an easy way to clean silver? ( hire someone, heh heh ) I heard put it in a soapy aluminum pan, have not tried. Maybe I could try aluminum foil in a big pan. sigh.

    • Jillian, I don’t trust the aluminum pan thing with any silver that’s valuable or that you really love. I’ve read bad stuff about that online.

      I can easily fit 8 place settings in one of those bags. Mine doesn’t get scratched in the bag because I don’t take it in and out on a daily basis, plus, it goes into a plastic bin where I store the flatware that I don’t use on a daily basis. You can see how I store a lot of my flatware here:

      Hagerty does make bags that are specifically for flatware storage and you can see that here:
      They also have these for individual place settings:

      If I were storing expensive silver flatware, like sterling flatware, or I was storing antique flatware that I was worried about, I’d spend the extra money and buy one of those bags I’ve linked above. I store my actual sterling flatware in a silver chest that keeps it tarnish free. Of course, the best thing for sterling flatware is to use it everyday, then you don’t have to worry about ever polishing it. But I would never put it in the dishwasher.

      For my needs, the regular bag works fine since it’s not being jostled around or taken out on a daily basis.

  9. What size Hagerty bag do you order to hold your flatware?
    For 4 place settings and 12 place settings?
    Thanks so much…..I enjoy your blog and your imaginative tablescapes.

    • Pat, the bag that I’ve shown and linked to above in this post is a 9″ by 12″ bag and I can easily fit 8 place settings inside. But, I only store relatively inexpensive silverplate flatware that I don’t use every day in that type bag…and it gets stored inside a plastic bin, inside the bag.

      If you’re looking for storage that’s more protective, especially for sterling flatware, check out this bag:
      That bag is specifically designed to hold silver flatware and will hold up to 120 pieces.

  10. My mom was an ice coffee drinker and used her leftover coffee to make
    ice cubes so as not to dilute her coffee. Have you ever tried this?

    • I haven’t…I have heard of doing that, though. That would be such a great idea if you’ve just made it, and it’s still hot. I usually end up making mine a little strong, so when I had cubes, it works out okay. I usually make a coffee pot full, then store the left over coffee in the fridge, so it’s already cold when I want some. I got that idea from The Pioneer Woman. I only drink about 1/2 glass every other day, anymore and I feel jittery. lol

  11. An easy to use wine bottle opener? yes please!

  12. What a fun and informative post. I love checking out all of the cool things you purchased.

  13. Wow, great purchases, Susan. I hope you love your new umbrella and tell us about it. I sure wish were more tech savvy, and could use 2 monitors at once! LOL!

    • Pinky, trust me, it’s really easy. On Microsoft Windows, it’s designed to recognize when two monitors are connected, so you don’t do anything. It just knows they are there and it works perfectly. I couldn’t live without him that now I have them. They save so much time.

  14. Linda Page says:

    You, my friend, are a walking, talking personal shopping catalog!!!! Love your items; especially the umbrellas! How cute! My son gave me an automatic pop open and close umbrella several years ago that has a really pretty floral design but it ins’t on the inside and that would be so cool to see the design over your head! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Those umbrellas are just the cutest thing ever and the modification to carry it hands free is just the icing on the cake. Why can I never think of a really practical or forward thinking solution to a problem? I just was not born with that creative gene.

  16. Bunny Rogers says:

    Hi Susan. I have been looking for just the right TV for my sewing room and I think I will get the one you have. Thank you so much. Also your readers might be interested to know Silversmith cloth can be purchased by the yard to make their own. I have some years old and it really works for a long time. Maybe indefinitely. No zippers are necessary as I just make flaps and ties to keep the air out. So much more economical to be able to make custom sizes. I’ve seen it several places but I buy from here:

  17. bobbi duncan says:

    Always exciting to see your latest finds, and these couldn’t have come at a better time because I am so in need of a new umbrella…I love the travel one! The electric bottle opener will make great gifts for friends and family…what a great little invention! Thanks so much for sharing.

  18. You are going to cost me a lot of moolah today, Susan. LOVE that mouse mat! I didn’t even know they made them that big! I need to replace my TV in the kitchen so I will be on my way to purchase my first Smart TV. Hopefully, it will be smarter than me! Have a wonderful week!

  19. Linda Louise S. says:

    Try Benefit Gimme Brow for your eyebrows. It’s the best. I’ve tried many and I find this is the one I like. Covers the gray and keeps the brows in place. I think it comes in 3 shades. Comb it against the way the hair grows first, then with the hair. Enjoy and have a great week.

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