August & September 2021 Favorites

by | Oct 17, 2021 | a slice of life, Favorite Things | 18 comments

I don’t know about you, but August and September were a blur!  Well, not quite a blur, but I realized I hadn’t done a favorites post for August about halfway through September and then I could hardly remember my favorites from August.  So, I decided to put them together in one post of late summer favorites and there are some really good ones…

Edgar Payne - A Scenic Journey Book | art studio | miss mustard seed

(This post contains affiliate links.)

little boy

Jeff told me a long time ago that I would love the movie Little Boy and should watch it and, for some reason, I just dragged my feet on it.  I have no idea why.  We finally watched it in September and he was absolutely right.  I loved this movie.  It was more than enjoyable…it was touching, beautiful, funny, powerful, and moving.  It covers themes like innocent faith, unwavering love, and learning to know and love people as individuals instead of judging them and hating them as a part of a group.  It really is a beautiful movie that I enthusiastically suggest you watch.

edgar payne – the scenic journey

This was a book I hesitated to buy because of the cover.  I’m just not really into southwest landscapes.  I mean, I appreciate them, but I love painting lush, green landscapes.  Anyway, I looked at some interior previews and knew this book (Edgar Payne – The Scenic Journey) had a lot more to offer and I shouldn’t judge the book by its cover!  I am so glad I bought it because it is a gorgeous art book and I am smitten with Edgar Payne’s style.

edgar payne - the scenic journey | miss mustard seed

This is my favorite painting among many and I can’t wait to do a study of it!

edgar payne - the scenic journey | miss mustard seed

Even if you’re not into painting, but you love studying art, this book is a winner!

one man’s folly

I had never heard of the acclaimed designer, Furlow Gatewood, so I’m so glad I found and purchased this book as an introduction to his work.  This book is specifically about all of the structures (or follies) he added to his property over the years.  It’s sort of a collection of life-sized playhouses!  Some are old buildings that were moved and rebuilt and others are new construction, but all of them are beautifully decorated and inspiring.

one man's folly | furlow gatewood | miss mustard seed

The designs and spaces are definitely high-end, but there is a lot to take away from them on a more typical decorating budget.  I find I want to go back to the rooms again and again to explore more of the layers.

one man's folly | furlow gatewood | miss mustard seed

the rebirth of an english country house

I knew I would like this book from the moment I spotted it.  There was no doubt.  Homes, history, restoration…it was all right up my alley.  But, what I didn’t know, is that this book would be one I would want to read in an afternoon.  It was moving, inspiring, and captivating.  I really didn’t want to put it down as I was learning about the history of the family and the house and how a young couple unexpectedly ended up with this beautiful home that was part blessing and part curse.

the rebirth of an english country house | miss mustard seed

I made a video review, so you can see more of The Rebirth of an English Country House and my thoughts about it…

I seriously would be giddy if I ever came across an untouched old English linen closet like this one…

the rebirth of an english country house | miss mustard seed

Anyway, if you love history, houses, and good stories, you’ll enjoy this book!

the practice

Shaunna suggested this book to me and it has been so good!  I bought The Practice on audiobook first, so I could listen to it on my walks, but I have to buy the physical book because there were just so many good nuggets of wisdom about creative work.  There’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s all said in such an encouraging, fresh way and so much of it is just the encouragement I needed to hear.  If you have a creative business or share your creative work online, I would highly recommend reading or listening to this book.

the practice | seth godin | miss mustard seed

antique post office register

The antique post office register was definitely a favorite purchase in September, but I have to admit that I had a lot of good late-summer purchases!  I got two boxes from my friend Julia in England, so I still have a bunch of antique art supplies to share in future posts!  But, this was an unexpected purchase and it ended up being so perfect for the studio!  You can read more about it and see inside those amazing drawers HERE.

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

lino cutting

This was another surprise favorite, but I started lino cutting & printing when I took an online art class and I really enjoyed it.  (You can read more about that class HERE.)  I’ve been dragging my feet more than usual in the art-creating department (and I’ve been busy with the book launch), so it was nice to do something that was totally new.  Creative play and learning new things almost always gets me motivated again!

lino cutting | miss mustard seed

kaweco pens & pencils

I was introduced to Kaweco pens & pencils through a lovely little shop in the UK – Choosing Keeping.  I bought a pencil clutch from them along with a fountain pen.  I have since bought a mechanical pencil as well!  THIS mechanical pencil, specifically, is a dream if you’re into really nice pencils.  Their fountain pens are also nice if you want to dip your toe into the world of fountain pens without spending too much money.

kaweco brass pencil clutch | miss mustard seed


After going through a couple of cheap plastic diffusers (that really weren’t that cheap for being plastic), I finally splurged on the Aria Diffuser in August.  I waited until there was a great sale and I bought it as a part of a package so the deal was even better.  And I have really enjoyed it, even more than I thought I would.  I’m pretty basic when it comes to using essential oils, but I do like diffusing lavender.  I use it almost every day, so it was a good purchase.

young living aria diffuser | miss mustard seed

Since I do use lavender so much (in the diffuser, on wool dryer balls, in cleaning supplies, etc.), I buy a larger bottle with a glass dropper off of Amazon.  I buy some of the Young Living blends specifically, but for run-of-the-mill oils, there are more economical options.   Do you have any favorite oils I should try?

lavender essential oil | miss mustard seed

potato corn soup with dill

I made this soup trying to figure out something similar to a soup sometimes offered at our local food co-op and it ended up being excellent.  Not only do we love it (and I’ve made it several times before the corn was past its prime), but I’ve heard wonderful things from my blog readers who have made it.  You can find the recipe HERE.

potato corn soup with dill | recipe | miss mustard seed

There were certainly more favorites that happened in August and September, but these were the ones I either made note of or could remember!  What were some of your late summer favorites?


  1. Alli for Short

    Have to say one of my “Late Summer Favorites” was finding Miss Mustard Seed!
    Little snips of poetry and fabric, new Etsy shops to explore and interests to pursue, all little bright spots every time I visit. Vasari paints, brass pencils, second hand books, it all just makes the quickly approaching New England winter feel a little cozier!

    • Lisa

      The soup was most definitely delicious! I shared some with a neighbor who is laid up waiting for knee surgery and she told me she would pay me to make soup for her!

  2. Tamara Carabelli

    I love when you do your “Favorites” posts! We just got around to watching The Current War last night after seeing you recommend it back in June and thought it was very good. I’m adding Little Boy to my watchlist right now!

  3. Chris Moore

    On HULU there is a program called The Great House Revival. It takes place in Ireland where evidently there are thousands of stone buildings that are derelict. The seasons feature 6 homeowners who buy these properties and redo them. Some have trees growing out windows, no roofs, crumbling etc. The book Rebirth of a Country House made me think of it. The end results are spectacular. The people who buy these needful places are just normal people who have a love for these things.

  4. Rita

    My goodness both have flown by. I think one favorite has been the drives my youngest son and I have taken so he can get his driving hours in. There have been nervous times indeed, but we’ve had nice conversations as well. He also had his Eagle ceremony so all proud mama moments.

  5. kim

    Could I make a suggestion? That would be to set up your links so they open in a new tab. The way things are now, the link opens in the current tab, and when I return to your post, it is at the beginning of the post instead of where the link was, so I have to scroll down and try to find my place. Thanks for considering this.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, thank you! My blog was set up like that for years and that setting must’ve been changed with the new design. I’ll see if we can change that back!

    • Alice Richardson

      I agree with Kim. I clicked on almost all links so that made for lots of time spent trying to go back to where I clicked off. Lovely post of favorite things. Thank you for spending time sharing your talents and knowledge. You are a blessing!

  6. Lynne Taylor

    My favorite for Sept was reading “The Four Winds.” That was such a great book.

  7. Sheri

    I’ve heard that there are essential oils that are dangerous for pets, so I just went and re-looked it up and here is one thing I saw.
    “Pet-safe Essential Oils. While pet parents should avoid using the majority of essential oils, a few are safe for pets if used appropriately. For example, lavender (when used sparingly and in the proper concentration) is probably the safest essential oil for both dogs and cats. Mar. 8, 2021”
    So you may want to do a little research of your own…..just a heads up if you were not aware of this.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you, Sheri! Yes, I was aware of this and did research on it before diffusing oils. That is one reason why I chose lavender. Not only is it my favorite scent, but it is safe for my pets. 🙂

  8. Sandra

    Can I freeze your chicken rice soup ? I wonder if the cream/milk will separate after I defrost it?

    • Marian Parsons

      We eat it so fast that I’ve never tried freezing it. I think it might cause some problems with the cream, though.

  9. Shelley Humpal

    Ok Marian you did it again. I have had Furlow Gatewoods book for quite a while and I keep going back to it again and again it’s a great source but the kicker was The Rebirth of an English Country House. I found it at B&N last winter and didn’t buy it because it’s kinda pricey and I had just purchased some other books. I went back to buy it a couple weeks later and it was gone. I was so bummed. I am traveling now but I’m going to order it and get it out of my system! I had to scroll down so I wouldn’t look at the book as you were turning the pages. It just is so amazing to me how we keep running in parallel universes.

  10. Michelle

    Thank you for sharing you favorites! It is always so much fun to explore.

  11. Karen

    Thank you for the recommendations, after watching the trailer for Little Boy, I’m going to watch that tonight. How did I miss seeing this when it was released. It’s my favorite kind of movie.
    I’m always happy to see some of your favorite things, thank you.

  12. Sue Cantrell

    The room with the blue and white covered chairs. Ah yes, I could live in that room!

  13. Sue

    I like the essential oils from Plant Therapy. I research things to death before I purchase them, and for price and quality I have found those to be the best for my needs. The diffuser you chose is beautiful!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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