favorite things 2019

by | Nov 13, 2019 | a slice of life, Favorite Things | 17 comments

Today, I’m excited to be a part of the 10 year anniversary of Favorite Things by Melissa of 320 Sycamore!  She is one of the first bloggers I ever met.  We met nine years ago at the Blissdom blog conference and, unbeknownst to her, she became one of my mentors.  I looked at her as an example of how to be a generous and authentic blogger.  I have loved watching her, her blog, and her family grow over the years.  So, this is a fun thing for me to participate in again!  (You can find my favorites from 2015 HERE.)

This list is a little different from my typical monthly favorite things list.  This is a list of things I love that I think will make good gifts or you may want to add them to your wish list.  I have a mix of items from different categories and price ranges, so hopefully there’s something for everyone.

For you…

I asked for this necklace for Christmas a couple of years ago and it is one of my favorite pieces to wear.  The Madewell Adjustable Necklace is adjustable, so you can wear it as a choker or as a mid-length necklace and everything in between.  It works with just about everything!

for the kitchen…

Jeff has wanted an electric kettle for a while and I was against it.  I knew it would be sitting on the counter all the time.  We finally agreed that we would find one we both liked.  We did a lot of research!  There were cute ones with poor reviews and ugly ones with great reviews and we finally found a cute one with great reviews, so we bought it as a Christmas gift to ourselves last year.  We got this Kitchen Aid Kettle and I have loved it more than I thought I would.  Jeff uses it almost every day for coffee and tea and the boys and I use it for oatmeal.  It’s safer and faster than the stovetop kettle and it looks nice sitting out on the counter.

for your thoughts…

I’ve shared the Wanderings Notebook as a favorite before, but I wanted to add it to this list, because it would make such a great gift.  This notebook is leather, lays flat, and can be refilled with blank, lined, and bulleted inserts.

for the tree…

My Oma’s collection of Wallace Bells started my own collection.  I collect one bell every year and, over the years, have collected all but seven bells from the entire collection since it launched in 1971.  You can buy the 2019 bell HERE and can find past bells on Etsy and eBay.  As a gift idea, my great aunt gave each of my boys one the year they were born monogrammed with their initials.  Engraving monograms, wedding dates, birthdays, etc. makes the bell a personalized gift that’s timeless.  As a side note, I only buy the silverplated bells.  They are available in Sterling, too, but those are very pricey!

because you wear your hair every day…

A couple of years ago, I bought the Buttercup Hair Dryer as a part of a plan to make my hair healthier.  I stopped coloring my hair, reduce my usage of irons, switched products and invested in this nicer hairdryer.  I can tell you that it makes such a difference!  My hair is so much smoother when dried with this and I miss it when I travel and leave it at home.  Mine came with a great diffuser, too, so I can use it if I’m wearing my hair straight or curly.

for resolutions…

I’ve read a lot of books this year and one of my favorites was Atomic Habits.  It is practical, encouraging and doable.  Essentialism and Keep Going are other favorites.

for your tools…

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know I love my tools and supplies.  Something that makes me happy each time I use it is my Vensk Brush Roll.  I actually have two…one is for my oil painting brushes and the other is for pencils and travel brushes.  I love that these can be customized in size (I requested to have my brush roll made to fit my longer brushes) and labeled with a name or monogram.

The fact that they can be customized means they can be used for a wide variety of crafters, artists, and creatives.  They can hold pencils, pens, brushes. crochet hooks, etc.

to carry everywhere…

This summer, Shuanna introduced me to the ABLE Alem Backpack and after admiring it during both of our visits together, I bought one.  It’s such a beautiful bag and a perfect size.

I carried it with me all over Europe…

I hope this gives you at least one gift idea this year.  All of my friends and family are getting crocheted scarves and hats.  Just kidding.  I’m getting people real gifts!  My crochet work doesn’t qualify as a great gift, yet!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.



  1. TNelly

    I read Essentialism and really enjoyed it. I just purchased Keep Going because I that’s exactly what I need today.

  2. Bethany

    I love this list and am going to get the necklace for a family member.

  3. Melissa

    Hello Marian! It’s so good to have you back at Favorite Things and you are the nicest. Thank you for your kind words, you made my day! ♥ I love that necklace, the notebook will be a perfect gift for someone on my gift list, and I just added Atomic Habits to my Audible list. Your pictures from Europe are incredible!! Wish we could meet over chips and salsa again ~

  4. Cheri

    I put the Able backpack on my Christmas wish list months ago! If it doesn’t show up on Christmas, I’ll be gifting it to myself!

  5. Amy

    LOVE all of this!!! and hey, I was at an outside concert here in Alerbammer this past Friday night and thought about wishing I had one of your hats. Do you know it was colder here than it was in Alaska? Do you think you would sell some of your crocheted wares during this period of recovery? Would be neat to know I had a Miss Mustard Seed hat. Met you years ago at Chapel Market and have missed you. 🙂

  6. marc

    The James Clear book is a winner. Be aware that the Kitchen Aid kettle shown in the link is plastic inside. Heat + plastic + water = microplastics !

  7. Patty Soriano

    I think your crocheting is phenomenal for a newbie! A wonderful giveaway, in my humble opinion. It’s difficult for me to even think of anything to put on a gift list when others ask me. I have been spending time getting rid of stuff and just don’t want anything. I’m hoping that we can just make memories this Christmas.

  8. Marlene Stephenson

    Thanks , love the necklace and a few other things for gifts,have a great day.

  9. Dee

    Enjoyed you list. I started collecting the Wallace Silverplate ornaments and love them. I have many gaps in the years but maybe can fill in this year. Doubt I will ever have the first year. I looked last year and the price is beyond belief. I just display mine in a large pretty bowl. Any ideas for other ways to use them. They are wrong for my tree.

    • Marian Parsons

      You could string some together to make a garland or nestle some in greenery to add some shine and reflect the lights.

  10. SusanIrene B

    We got our first Wallace Bell as a present in 1975, the year we married and we have gotten one for each year. After 44 years of marriage we need a sturdy tree to hold them all! These are also one of my favorite gifts for newlyweds.
    Love your list of thoughtful presents.

  11. Renee Cordell

    Marian, I beg to differ. Your crochet work does qualify as a GREAT gift!! I received y precious hat and I love it. My favorite color too. Thank you, thank you. First treatment tomorrow and it is cold so what great timing. Renee

    • Lisa

      Blessings to you Renee for a healthy 2020.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      You’re so sweet! I am praying for you Renee. I’m glad you shared about your chemo, so I have the chance to do that. 🙂

  12. Lisa P

    Marian, you are a treasure. Thanks for your wonderful ideas, encouraging words, and can-do attitude. I feel better every time I read your blog or see you on Insta. I’m sending you warm thoughts for healing and recuperation from snowy Toronto.

  13. Anita Roth

    I bought the leather notebook ! And I love it I like the fact that you can use it as 3 different section to do different things in each sections! Mine is looking a little beat up but I like it that way.

  14. Debbie Nisson

    Is the backpack heavy? Also have you thought about having labels made for your crocheted items? I want to but every time I look there are too many choices! Maybe you can find some good ones for both of us. and I LOVE the necklace and adjustability (is that a word?) of it!


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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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