Getting a Tree & Style Update

by | Dec 8, 2013 | Decorating, Holiday | 54 comments

Today we went to pick out our Christmas tree at the local tree farm where we have bought our trees for the past few years.  It was a chilly day, so we strolled through the open barn looking over the lineup of 8 ft+ trees.  One caught my eye.  It was tall and looked perfect.  Confident in my ability to pick out an amazing tree, I went over to buy some garland while the tree I selected in about 10 seconds was wrapped and strapped to the top of our van.  When we got home, my husband trimmed the lower branches and we put it in the stand and put it in place.

missmustardseed-7 (427x640)

Hm.  It looked a bit thinner than I remembered and there were some big holes in the shape of it.  Plus, the branches point more up than out.  Did I really pick that tree?!   Yep.  I did.  Well, it’s our tree now, so we’re going to make it work!  The boys and I got the lights untangled and tested.

missmustardseed-5 (427x640)

They were both so excited and this is the first year they have been really helpful.

missmustardseed-9 (427x640)

missmustardseed-8 (427x640)

Most of the time.

I really enjoyed their enthusiasm in hanging the ornaments on the tree.  I’m telling you, that tree is loaded!  They didn’t want to stop.

missmustardseed-12 (427x640)

I had to do some rearranging, because some of the “favorite” branches were sagging under the weight of 5 or 6 ornaments.  Some of them were too sweet or funny to move.  My youngest was gathering a bunch of birds and made a little family on one of the bottom branches.

missmustardseed-10 (427x640)

They looked so cute snuggled together, so I left them as is.  Even with the bare spots in the tree and some awkwardly placed ornaments, the tree looks really lovely.  I’ll share more of it later.

missmustardseed-11 (427x640)

I also started adding some more decorations around the house…

missmustardseed-13 (427x640)

missmustardseed-4 (427x640)

Our boys were in the town Christmas parade today, so I didn’t get to work on it more, but I’ll pick it back up tomorrow and through the week, in addition to the other projects I have on the list.

It’s nice to have to tree up, though.  Now I need to get some Christmas shopping done!


And, before I go, I wanted to give an update on my style efforts.  There was a stretch when I was slipping into some old habits, wearing slouchy sweats and no makeup for a few days.  So, I decided to put on a proper outfit today…  Ella pinned a t-shirt over a plaid shirt and I loved the look, so I bought a lightweight plaid shirt from GAP last week and layered it under one of my MMS tees…

missmustardseed (427x640)

I paired it with premium skinny GAP jeans, my LL Bean Deerfield boots and painted my nails a dark charcoal color.

missmustardseed-2 (427x640)

missmustardseed-3 (427x640)

Through this style journey, I’ve realized that I just am a jean and t-shirt kinda girl. but I don’t have to fight that.  I just have to jazz them up a bit!


  1. Mary Deckert

    Hi Marian:
    I’m usually a jeans and tennis around town type, but have been trying to add a dash of style . I finally found a pair of tall boots I like and now I’m stumped on what kind of jeans to wear with them. Your skinny jeans look cute on you and not bunchy around the knees. I’m terrified at the thought of “skinny” jeans though! Are the skinny Gap’s your go-to jeans? Any other suggestions on how I can pull off the jeans and boots look?
    Thanks! Mary

    • Jo

      They have these leggings that look like skinny jeans but they are more comfortable. I know they are sold everywhere but Kohl’s has them and I think they are Vera Wang. You might want to try those. They are great. The one problem with wearing jeans and boots is that a lot of the jeans do bunch at the knee. Personally, I’m someone old enough not to care, but these leggings eliminate that problem.

      • Candace

        Love leggings! But remember they are not “pants”. Wear a shirt or sweater or tunic that covers your behind when you wear leggings.

    • Gloria

      You can put mitten chips on your pants and hold them down and you won’t have bunchy knees.

      • Gloria

        mitten clips!

  2. debbie klausing

    Recently I read – “Be yourself, because everybody else is taken”. I am most comfortable in jeans too, and I am so glad they have been around for as long as I can remember. You look great, good job with the makeup too! I am on a search for comfortable leather boots!

  3. Morgan

    How come your nose ring switches sides at times? Is it fake? In the photos of you with Ella the stylist it’s on the left nostril and here it’s on the right.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      No, it’s real and it’s on the right side of my nose. Some pictures of me are either taken in a mirror or with my iPhone when the image is reversed.

  4. Deann

    Your hair is looking super cute lately, Marian ! looking forward to seeing more of your decorations 🙂

  5. Pat

    I adore that you “left” some of the mis~placed ornaments
    hung on the Christmas Tree by your children!!! Always. . .
    always encourage their creativity!!! The bird grouping is an
    amazing observation of nature from your youngest!!!

    Cute jeans & T~shirt kinda’ gal photo!!!
    Embrace who you are and who you are becoming!!!

  6. Kathleen

    The tree looks lovely, my kids like to put lots of ornaments on one branch too ! Love your outfit, I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl too. Always nice to see new ideas.

  7. Danielle

    The tree and your boys are beautiful. We got our tree yesterday and will be decorating this afternoon. My two boys are very excited to decorate. x

  8. Kathy M

    You look perfect! Shortly after my daughter gave birth to grandson #1, her husband posted a photo of her holding the baby and she looked like a million bucks! I had given her Victoria Secret “man’s PJ’s” which she donned in the pic—-everyone complemented her—she said her Mom always said to just keep some mascara + lip gloss nearby and you’ll look great! A basic must which you show in your lovely photos———and the shape of your tree is perfect—it always falls a bit over the weeks…..

  9. Susan Clark

    I appreciate the help with styling me as much as my home! Thanks!

  10. Ann

    Your tree is amazing but I ADORE your hair!

  11. Terry Oliver

    H,Marian! You are looking quite sparkely! Love your photos, and those boys are adorable! I think I will dig out my boots and jeans after seeing your inspiration- it’s about 10 degrees here and winter is in the air along with Christmas. Happy holidays!

  12. kristin

    I wanted to say I really like your hair short with the little bit of length to it–as it is now. When I first saw it short it had a harsher edge. I really like the softness of this “grown out” short cut–it is very flattering. Also, love the casual look with jeans, boots, flannel and your T. I noticed awhile ago Layla (TLC) had a “look”. She always has boots, tank, open flannel tied/buttoned at bottom, and jeans (oh and her leather strap bracelet). LOVE the look. Casual, comfortable, but put together. You are a good mom to have left some of the ornaments as they were placed by your boys. 😉 And a prepper…my girls around 9 and 12 started becoming more difficult when it came time to help assemble the tree. This year (11 and 14) I just told them to leave and come back for their own ornaments–it was that irritating and unhelpful. There are a few blissful years when all hands are on deck–now, not so much (at least in the tree dept.) Enjoy the “family of birds” while it lasts!

  13. Kelli

    I love the style of your decor and your cute look. You do good work! 😉 ~k.

  14. Mesha

    Adorable Miss Mustardseed!!!!! I love this blog!!!

  15. Tammy

    I understand the concept of to each his own, but the curiosity in me begs the question of what is the appeal of wearing a nose ring as shown in the close ups?

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I’ll have to write a “what’s with the nose ring” post at some point. In a nutshell, I’ve wanted one since college, but people always talked me out of it. Now that it’s become a bit more socially acceptable and I’m my own boss and I’m still young enough to pull it off…I decided to get it. I can always take it out when I’m ready for a change and I’ll never say, “Yeah, I always wanted a nose ring, but…” My husband gave me permission and I just went for it. 🙂

      • Teresa

        Marian, I personally love your nose ring and I wish I could have one! However, I am probably old enough to be your mother and I just can’t do it!! I would have a little diamond stud though because I’d be afraid of getting the ring caught on something. I’d do it tomorrow if people wouldn’t think I had lost my mind.

        • Ginger Marshall

          Teresa, Do it!

  16. Pamela

    Beautiful boy! Beautiful YOU!

  17. Maria

    I have picked out a tree and swore it was different when we got it home! My hubby wasn’t with us and still teases me to this day about it. You look beautiful and I love your style! I need to get rid of the sweat pants, but they are so comfy! lol

  18. kimberly kuehneman

    How did you make the little boxwood wreaths? I have the tutorial for the large one so that’s not the issue. I just haven’t been able to find any really small forms.

    Please let me know!

  19. Linda

    please keep sharing how to add zip and style for the jeans and t shirt crowd. many of us are out here with you! 🙂

  20. Marisa Franca

    You look adorable and I love the jeans and flannel look. It can look super feminine kind of a Ralph Lauren look. And Christmas is so much about our adorable children that letting them help decorate will stay in their minds forever. You’re a good mommy.

  21. Leticia

    Looks beautiful! and You are too! Leticia

  22. Debbie Rejmer

    Your tree is perfect – you got the right one:-)
    Thanks for sharing your boys decorating too.

  23. Jen

    Love the house, the tree, the outfit, the hair and the nose ring. All super cute! You have an eye for style and that’s why so many people love reading your blog!

  24. Jelena

    Marian, that a HUGE tree! 🙂
    It’s so neat that the boys wanted to help. The bird family is kind of cute, too.
    Oh, and I love that house shaped birdcage on top of your china cabinet!

  25. Melodye

    My dear Marian, I love your look, including the nose ring. It is you, part of your story. Enjoy the days of having helpers. All too soon, you will be decorating the tree alone and will be able to put the ornaments in their perfect place. I can speak from experience that it is bittersweet.

    Enjoy this Christmas season.


    • Susan

      I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now. I too love ironstone, I recently found a set of dishes on craigslist that are white and blue. I love them. My question is where did you find the fabric for the chair you upholstered? I found a settee at a garage sale and I want to redo it in something similar. I’ve had no luck finding anything. Thanks , Susan

  26. leahbeth

    i don’t usually have time to read the comments…..yikes….you really are very graceful fielding so many points of view…about you!! God bless you!! i was simply going to say adding a scarf instantly jazzes up an outfit. you seem quite a lovely person with a lovely family! many blessings to you this holiday season and throughout the new year.

  27. Grisel Levene

    Your boys are so cute. My they always be a blessing to you and your husband! I love your look and I must say, you have stunning eyes!! You go girl!!

  28. Linda

    YES, on the tree !!!!! YES, on the start of decorating !!!!!!! and the biggest YES goes to T-SHIRTS & JEANS !!!!!!!!!! YES, they are the most comfortable, and you can dress them up if needed !!!! This is you………… your as cute as a button!

  29. Heather :) :) :)

    Oh, I LOVE your Christmas tree just the way it is….that’s a perfect tree because it’s telling a story of your family 🙂 🙂 Plus, the fact that your boys wanted to help is so adorable and very sweet 😉 🙂 🙂

    Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  30. Roxanna

    Your tree is perfect…..wouldn’t change one branch! I agree with Linda above, your cute as a button!

  31. DebZorn

    Your tree, your house, your sweet boys – awesome! And you – just so cute. As usual, thanks for sharing some of your life. I really enjoy hearing about your journey.

  32. Wendy

    Your tree is lovely. The branches will become more downward now that it’s inside and especially because of the decorations.
    Nothing wrong with being a jeans gal and your absolutely right about knowing how to jazz them up. Wish I could manage skinny jeans, too!
    Love the pictures of your boys with the lights and that family branch for the birds! Very sweet.

  33. Siouxzie Q

    Pretty tree. Pretty you. Pretty awesome boys. It’s all good. 🙂

  34. Linsey @ Farmhouse Porch

    Lookin snappy girl! You AND the house! 😀
    Happy Holidays


  35. Judy

    Hi Marion, you look great! Thanks for sharing your journey.

  36. Louise

    You are a intelligent, attractive, personable, talented, very well put together woman in your jeans or whatever you might decide to wear. At my age, and at the risk of sounding like my mother, I’ve learned to be myself and be comfortable both mentally and physically doing just that. Thank you for sharing yourself and your life with us…totally enjoy it all!

  37. Debbie

    I love your tree and all your beautiful ideas! Also love the fact that you left a “family” of birds together where your son placed them. We have a similar story. My daughter was about 4 when she placed 4 red hearts on our tree all clumped together. She said they were for the 4 of us – they mean love – they need to be together. So yes, you guessed it – she just placed those 4 hearts all clumped together on our tree last night…and she’s 23! I smile every time I see them. Blessings!

  38. Sandra

    My what big beautiful blue eyes both you and your son have…love them….

  39. Shirley D

    I love that style of tree! Every year I’d look for a tree like that instead of the bushy ones. The ornaments show up better & that’s what it’s all about. If you were hanging cranberries or some garland from the tips that always has a nice drape to it also. You did good! Now even your tree rec’d a new style update!

  40. Tania Russell

    Listen here, little Miss Mustard Seed, you are just darling, whether it’s “styled to the nines”, or just in jeans and t-shirts!! Just your hair, your cute little nose-ring, and your smile speak volumes of your style and sassy-ness. Keep on being the best you can be–it’s enough! Thanks for brightening my day with your lovely posts and sweet anecdotes:) I look forward to them every day! Happy holidays, and much joy and love to you and yours! xo

  41. Lori

    Good Job! I always raised my kids, especially the girls, that you don’t go out of the house basically looking like you just rolled out of bed. It takes just as much effort to put on a cute top and jeans as it does something sloppy, and wash your face, a little mascara and lip gloss and your good to go!

  42. April

    Super sweet! I love your happy smile. It brightened my day. Sending one back to you.

  43. Jennifer

    The house, decorating, tutorials etc. are fabulous, as always.

    I just had to comment on your hair — I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! So darn cute!

  44. Linda

    Love your new look!!!

  45. Krista

    Love your blog, Marian! You, your son and your tree look adorable!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company