Bloggers and celebs everywhere love to wind up the year by getting their Oprah on, and sharing their list of favorite things. So, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon.

None of the following are affiliates or paid product endorsements. These are the items that I love for all kinds of reasons. Maybe you will see something that strikes your fancy, something you did not know about, or something that solves a problem for you. That's my hope! 

Seeds from Pinetree Seeds

I've purchased gardening and crafting essentials from Pinetree for years and am never disappointed. They sell not just flower and vegetable seeds, but plants, gardening tools and supplies, natural pest repellants, loose spices and teas, soap molds, yarns and knitting patterns, craft and gardening books, and everything needed to make your own natural cosmetics and toiletries.

What I especially appreciate about Pinetree is that their seed packets are sized right for home gardeners. You don't have to buy 250 seeds when all you want is 15. You won't find better seed prices anywhere.

Celosia flowers I grew from seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds. 

Original fabrics from Spoonflower

No matter what kind of fabric craft project I'm imagining, I know I'm going to find cloth to suit it at Spoonflower. Known for custom printing anyone's original designs on fabric, gift wrap, or wallpaper, they also sell dinner napkins, blankets, pillow shams, duvet covers, curtains, and wallpaper, including the peel-and-stick kind. So many mouthwatering designs in all categories, it's difficult to make a selection!

Spoonflower is a terrific source of fabrics for some stylish dinner napkins, placemats, tea towels, and other accessories for home staging. Lately, I've stitched up potholders to give as gifts for friends, after carefully choosing the perfect Spoonflower fabric for each person

If you can't find a fabric or wallpaper with just the right
 personality at Spoonflower, I don't know where you would go! 

Ghiradelli Baking Chips

As a chocoholic with a sweet tooth but also someone who values good health, I need something that strikes a balance. My go-to chocolate treat is a small portion of Ghiradelli dark chocolate bittersweet chips. I can nibble on these slowly and be satisfied, instead of destroying a whole chocolate bar! 

They're not cloyingly sweet, and I can remind myself that research shows dark chocolate has numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants, minerals, and fiber that help your heart and blood profile, and that it improves brain function. Yay!

Headset

I like to listen to music, podcasts, and YouTube, but don't want to impose my choices on Mr. Lucky. My music tastes run the gamut from The Stones to Tchaikovsky. With this headset, I can relax, indulge in sounds I like, exercise, or watch movies and not disturb anyone.

Even without a soundtrack, these headphones soften background sounds I want to block. I chose orange, but they are available in five other colors as well, including neon pink, turquoise, lime green and bright blue.

Yeah, that's right, they are wired, as you can see in my photo. But they're adjustable, versatile, comfortable, affordable, and give me good sound quality.

Buckwheat hulls

The only pillow I sleep on is one I made at least 10 years ago. It's filled with buckwheat hulls.

You can buy a buckwheat hull pillow for $85, or you can order enough hulls to make your own for about $15.

The fabric cover you make will take less than half a yard of fabric. That cover stays on all the time, the way traditional ticking used to cover feather pillows.

Over that cover you can use a standard pillowcase folded over a few times, or make pillowcases especially for your pillow's shape. What a delight it is shopping the Spoonflower site for novelty prints!

The best part is that this source for buckwheat hulls comes from a small North Carolina company begun by a mother so her daughter, born with Down Syndrome, and others with special needs could be part of a business. It's a  win/win purchase.

The beauty of buckwheat hulls is that they support your head and neck gently, and never get warm, so your pillow will always be cool and comforting. Make your pillow just large enough to let the hulls move around a little, so you can adjust it when you sleep with it. My pillow is a lumbar style, but I have made square ones to use and give as gifts as well, and they are equally comfortable.

Unlike pillows made from synthetic materials, buckwheat hull pillows never take on a rancid or funky scent. You can wash the cover to your pillow by removing the hulls first. That's why I added a zipper to one end of my pillow.

This is my pillow, minus a pillowcase. The cover is made from two fabric circles, each one 6 inches in diameter, that are sewn to a single piece of fabric 18 inches (the circumference of the pillow) by 15 inches (the length of the pillow).    

Polymer clay

Polymer clay is fun to play with. It's versatile and just challenging enough as a craft. You can start turning out cool stuff without years of practice. It's not expensive to get started because some of the tools you'll already own.

I've used polymer clay mostly to create beads for jewelry, but also to make Christmas tree ornaments and garden art.

This medium does have some drawbacks. It takes adult supervision if kids use it because it's plastic and you don't want anyone ingesting any, so cleanliness is important.

Also, the clay has to be baked in something like a small toaster oven in a well-ventilated space. I bake mine in the garage because the fumes are toxic to both people and animals, although odorless.

Still, unlike traditional clay projects, what you see is what you get, you can get results relatively quickly, and the color choices are unbeatable because you can blend your own combinations.

No one guesses that my turquoise beads are not the real thing.
Imagine the possibilities for turning out your own
original jewelry using polymer clay to mimic different
 
stones, woods, metals, and plastics. 




Ipad 

My daughter and my younger son gifted me an iPad recently and I although I am still a novice at finding my way around, it's changing my game, making it easier to cruise around the web, to see more interesting feeds, and to be more creative and active on social media. I'll still use my computers, cell phone and camera, but I'm looking forward to expanding my horizons with my sleek, new device!

Watering can with long spout

It's just a simple vessel, but such an effective tool, I had to include it. There's no other way to water plants, indoors or out, without wasting water or splashing water where you don't want it, on a tabletop, for example. I also use it to efficiently rinse a shower stall after spraying and wiping the walls. It's kinda cute, too, pretty enough to leave out as part of a plant display.

My green plastic watering can holds just 6 cups of water
but is surprisingly helpful around the house. 

Etagere

For home staging, the etagere is super useful. It's as functional as a bookcase, but has more style. Staged lightly with a few decor pieces, or more densely with books and other objects, it fills space without crowding a room. 

This etagere has smoked mirror
shelves, which add to its appeal. 
I deliberately purchased one that had an Asian tone, with the pagoda-like top. I wanted to display some chinoiserie collectibles all in one place. 

My etagere is a piece from Wayfair and was priced at less than $150, a bargain compared to others I looked at. It's an investment piece that didn't break the bank.  

The finish was a bronzey-gold, so I sprayed it with gold that had more of a glossy finish. I can't think of a staging job where an etagere wouldn't add just the right touch.         

Rebounder

A mini-trampoline has always been a favorite of mine. I gave the last one I owned to my youngest grandson, and when I started missing my bouncing routine, I replaced it with this rebounder.

I need a way to get moving no matter what the weather or my daily schedule. Spending just 20 minutes on the rebounder gets my heart rate up, tones muscles, and improves lymph system functions, all in a low-impact way.

I realize that a 20-minute workout session sounds lame, but, hey, it's better than nothing at all, and a rebounder delivers impressive benefits in the shortest amount of time. I have never been athletic, but have always been active and healthy. At age 77 now, I'm not going to become Ms. Fitness Fanatic.

My headphones can reach me when I'm on the rebounder, so I can listen to music, which makes it more like dancing than working out. The handle makes it accident-proof.

My Keto cookbook

I know I raved about the Ghiradelli chips I love, but I've been eating a Keto diet for the past month. After a week of adjusting ("keto flu"), I'm losing weight and feeling great! This book makes it easy to track macros. It gives me menus and recipes. Those chocolate chips are for binge days, because, you know, chocolate!

The author is an authority on eating well. This book tells you everything 
you need to know about following a ketogenic diet.

Bergamot essential oil

Since my favorite tea to drink is Earl Grey, it's not surprising that my favorite essential oil is bergamot. The scent of Earl Grey tea is what makes it unique and so appealing. Having the essential oil on hand means I can savor that scent in other ways as well. My fave brand? Aura Cacia, for its absolute best quality.

I mix it with coconut oil and sugar for a wonderful sugar scrub. Combined with sweet almond oil, it's my go-to makeup remover. And added to witch hazel and some lavender essential oil, it makes a delightful air freshener spray.

Bergamot oil possesses health benefits as well. It reduces anxiety, promotes sleep, reduces cholesterol, combats food-borne illnesses, and fights inflammation.

I've blogged about the importance of using natural essential oils rather than artificial air freshener sprays, candles, and diffusers for adding fragrance to a home when it's on the market. Bergamot, along with other feel-good scents like lemongrass, peppermint, orange, lemon, pine, and cinnamon, are perfect for giving a home a clean, pleasant scent.

I encourage you to read labels. The terms "natural oils," or "perfumes," or "fragrant oils" are not the same as essential oils. 

Bathroom wallpaper

Sure, wallpaper isn't usually recommended for home staging, but in our master bath remodel this year, I decided to paper one wall with something that would cozy it up and also add some life to a windowless room. Every day I see it, it makes me smile. The pattern is called Palm Leaves Banana Leaf, and I ordered it from Wallcoveringsmart. One roll was enough, and the cost was less than $60 -- so worth it!

Wallpapering just one wall in our master bath made a big difference.
It created the feeling of an exotic oasis! 
Everyone has favorite sources, products, foods, people, places, and activities. Although I usually limit my blog to topics that benefit people staging their own home, I enjoyed compiling this list for you and hope you enjoyed learning about what I value on a daily basis. Now it's time for you to make your own list!