August’s Books of the Week

by | Sep 15, 2020 | a slice of life, Favorite Things | 13 comments

Just so I’m not sharing my August Books of the Week in October or November, I’m getting back on schedule and sharing them in mid-September!  It’s just been a busy season of life and I know many of you are experiencing the same thing.  It’s been so much better for me now that all of the big projects (and the upheaval that comes with them) are winding down, the boys are back at school, and Jeff is back at work.  We’re all settling back into a routine.

I have been able to visit Barnes & Nobel in person, which I have absolutely loved!  I almost always walk out with something (well, I pay for it first), even if it’s just a magazine.  When we went last week, I thought that I wouldn’t find much since I was just there a couple of weeks prior, but I still found several books and a couple of magazines.  I’ve enjoyed getting back into my old rhythm of going for a walk, listening to a podcast and some music, and then reading and taking notes/journaling.  That simple routine clears my head, feeds my mind and creativity, and sets me up for a productive day.

Anyway, here are the books of the week for August 2020…

The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson

I say this about a lot of books, but this one is also a feast for the eyes.  It’s the kind of book I just want to browse through, like a well-styled shop.  I want to take time to notice all of the details and just enjoy the simple beauty of them.

the stuff of life | hillary robertson | miss mustard seed

While THIS BOOK is visually beautiful, it does feel grounded in reality.  It’s just a tidied version of real, which is what you want in decorating books!  It’s filled with yummy textures, neutral color palettes, and a lot of foraged decor.

the stuff of life | hillary robertson | miss mustard seed

Old Home Love by Candis & Andy Meredith

This title makes it pretty obvious.  If you love old homes, you’re going to love Old Home Love.

old home love | andy candis meredith | miss mustard seed

What I enjoy about the home represented is that they show respect for the architecture and history of the home while also allowing it to be updated and modern.  I think that’s a tough balance to strike and it’s done beautifully.  This dining room is one of my favorites…

old home love | andy candis meredith | miss mustard seed

Beginning Drawing Atelier by Juliette Aristides

If you want to get into drawing and sketching, but you’re not sure where to start or you sketch already and just want some good direction on practice, this is a wonderful book.  My favorite part about it is that Juliette does not dumb-down the content because it’s a book for beginners.  So many beginning sketching and drawing books look so cartoonish.  These drawings have a classic feel.  It’s broken all down into doable exercises to get you started, though.

beginning drawing atelier | juliette aristides | miss mustard seed

I haven’t worked through it completely, but I love the exercises I’ve done in it so far.

beginning drawing atelier | juliette aristides | miss mustard seed

BHG Decorating Book 1961

I shared this book last year, but I wanted to make it officially one of my books of the week picks.  It is such a fun book for anyone who loves decorating or interiors.  You can get a good chuckle looking back at the trends, the styling, the colors, the sketches and old photography, but it also has great, timeless decorating ideas and advice.  I love looking at older books to see what has survived the trends and changing times.  Looking at the past can help you make better design decisions for the future.

BHG Decorating Book 1961 | miss mustard seed

Those were my picks for August’s books of the week!

In case you missed them, here are the previous books of the week…

January 2020

Making a Life | Martha Stewart’s Organizing | Essentialism | Slipcover Style | Daily Painting

February 2020

City Farmhouse Style | A Place for Everything | Color: A Visual History | Conscious Creativity

March 2020

The Life of a Bowerbird | New Americana | Making Winter | Painting Clouds & Skies in Oil

April 2020

The Art of Beatrix Potter | BHG New Cookbook | Nora Murphy’s Country House Style | BHG Trade Secrets | Simply Living Well

May 2020

The Art of Still Life | Cozy Minimalist Home | Creating a New Old House | Keep Going

June 2020

All Along You Were Blooming | Furniture Makes the Room | On Flowers | French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings | Get Your House Right

July 2020

New Farmhouse Style | Mastering Composition | Beautiful | Spruce


We’re nearing the end of the year, so are there any books that need to make my 2020 list??


  1. beverlee Lyons

    Hahaha…I had that Better Homes & Gardens book when it was current.. Glad to know these books are still around.

  2. Cheri Dietzman

    I found that BHG book at Gold Rush a few years ago and gave it to Nate. He loves it, especially since he is a Mid-century enthusiast!
    I’ll be checking out a few of these other books myself! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Judeth

    I ordered Spruce from Amazon. I needed a book to help with a cute little chair I picked up for a $1 at a flea market. Cannot wait to get started.

  4. Traci at Hembree House

    I may have to get Old Home Love.
    Great runner on that stair!

  5. Ellen Shook

    I always enjoy posts like these. I had to laugh — I have that same book from 1961. Only I bought mine when I was a young wife about 1965! I have several books from “back in the day” that I acquired at estate sales. It is always fun to look back and laugh.

  6. Julie | Home On The Hill

    The Stuff of Life book is available here in Australia & actually at a reasonable price – I think I will buy a copy as it looks interesting & so often imported books are very expensive here.

    Just one thing though Marian I keep wanting to mention – I’m a web designer & when you do an external link to another website it’s always best practice to create the link to open in a new window & not to close your web page. 🙂 That way the reader doesn’t forget to come back to your site, or have to reopen your web site page to pick up the spot in the post where they were still reading.

    It’s easy to do, it’s just selecting the link target as ‘new window’ or in some software you choose ‘blank’ when you add the link. When I remember whilst on your blog I right click the link & select open link in new tab, but quite often I forget as it’s not the common thing & so click back arrow & redo the process so I don’t lose track of my spot in your post. 🙂

    • kim

      Yes Yes Yes! Thanks for pointing this out.

  7. Terry

    Love your choice in books, have bought many and not been disappointed once. What I would love is some info on your music. This music you listen to when painting is sooooo wonderful but I don’t know who it is.

  8. Sandra

    I recommend “remodelista” by Julie Carlson
    Great examples of different homes and styles.
    “The Remodelista 100” -Everyone should have at least 1 of these in every home and an excellent resource listing at the end.

  9. .Anah Mitchell

    Absolutely loved the book Old Home Love. It is so beautifully done. Also love their HGTV series that was only on for one season. I love their style and also that these homes are from my state (Utah) which is unusual.

  10. Sally

    One of my favorite books has to be Tasha Tudor’s Garden. I love gardening, but also reading about her way of life, her illustrations and photography. If you’ve never looked into it, you should.

  11. Kate

    I love your books choices this month! I put the drawing book on my wish list as a gift for my daughter. I’m hoping I can find the other ones at our library.

  12. Deb

    “Home Body” by Joanna Gaines is amazing! Lots of decorating pointers and ideas for multiple styles, for beginners or those of us who just need a little bit of help getting over the ‘It just doesn’t feel right’ problem areas of any room in the house.


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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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