January 2018 favorites

by | Feb 7, 2018 | a slice of life, Favorite Things | 33 comments


Victoria on Masterpiece Classics is back!  This is a wonderful show, especially for period drama buffs, such as myself.  I think the first episode was off to a slow start, which made me nervous for season two, but it turned out to be a  great season!  (Tip: If you buy it on iTunes, you can see the entire season before it’s released on PBS, so I bought it and already binged.)


Sick-time Stories

My oldest son, Marshall, has been so sick this month!  We think he had the flu, although that wasn’t confirmed with a test.  He was sick in every way for a week and it turned into an ear infection, so we suspect the flu.  Then, after his trip to Belize, he had strep throat.

Him being sick was not a highlight, but while he was sick, he asked me to tell him stories.  I told him all sorts of random stories about my childhood and he kept asking for more.  We would laugh at things I used to say and do and I think he got to know me in a deeper way.

Time with my Mom

Of course, my mom visiting was a highlight!  We had a fun time together, but we also got a ton done!  My mom and I like work and productivity, so we work well together.  I would pin and sew while she ironed.  I would cut in while she rolled.

The biggest way she helped, though, was just prodding me along.  “Come on, let’s get these curtains all finished, since you don’t like doing them and it takes much longer to it by yourself.”  So, we got more done than I thought we would and it feels so good to have some of that behind me.

The Greatest Showman

When my mom came to visit, she all but insisted that we go watch this movie.  She had already seen it twice and that didn’t stop her from taking me and Calvin to see it a third time.

She was right.  It’s a wonderful movie and even Calvin, my nine year old, who isn’t exactly a musical theatre buff, enjoyed it.  He had seen Zac Efron on Running Wild with Bear Grills, so he liked that he would get to see Zac in a movie.  We even went once more when Jeff and Marshall returned from their mission’s trip to Belize

In addition to the movie, I’ve been enjoying the soundtrack as well.  My mom and I joked that it was our theme music for her visit.

“This is Me” Clip

Building onto The Greatest Showman favorite, I found this behind-the-scenes clip that is so good.  It is an audition, of sorts, to get the film green-lighted and it was a goose-bump-inducing video for me.  I love this song as well – how it celebrates our uniqueness as humans.

Finishing the 100 meadows project

As I shared earlier this week, I finished the 100 meadows project! Finishing was a big milestone for me and I’m guessing that I’ll look back on that challenge as a turning point in my artistic life.

BARE banana chips

Okay, I am not general a lover of banana chips.  They’re okay.  I like bananas, but I am a much bigger fan of berries, apples, pears, citrus, mangos, pineapple, etc…  Bananas are low on my favorite fruit list.

But these are so yummy!  They are crunchy and sweet, but not too sweet.   And, best yet, the only ingredient is bananas.

Sorel Boots & Booties

Both of these were Christmas presents and I love them so much!  I never really took notice of Sorel, but I started researching a great pair of winter boots and I kept coming across Sorel.  I love their styling and have seen people all over Rochester, MN wearing them, which is a ringing endorsement.  I was able to get a pair with a gift card on an after clearance sale for about $75 (regularly priced at $200).  The sale isn’t quite as good, but limited sizes are available here at Athleta.  (Affiliate link.)

And, I’ve been looking for a pair of booties for a couple of years and haven’t found one that I really love.  When we were Christmas shopping, I spotted these and, even though they are a bit more modern-looking, I loved the style.

The leather looks a little worn and the design almost reminds me of spats, so even though they have a modern edge, they have old-school references.  And, they are very comfortable.  Even though they are wedges with a little height, I can walk in them without looking like a 6th grader in her first pair of princess heels.  Win-win.

They are the Sorel Lea Wedge Boot and I actually found them on sale HERE for $139.  (Affiliate link.)  Plus, you can get $15 cash back from RetailMeNot.

What were some of your favorites in January?



  1. Mary in VA

    We love Victoria, and accidentally missed Episode 5 on Sunday night (Super Bowl made us forget). Thanks for info on buying it from iTunes. My son and husband had the flu, thank God for Tamiflu, it’s a miracle drug! I love January because it’s basically my hibernation month – staying inside to do projects (and to stay warm). Now it’s February and my calendar is again filled with girlfriend lunches.

  2. Kim

    Yep, living in the Great White North of Canada myself, I can vouch for the fact that you cannot survive winters without Sorels. There is even a classic scrape-clump way of walking in them that all kids learn from childhood in their stem-to-stern snowsuits on their way to school. 🙂 It amuses me that they used to be considered “unfashionable” and now they’re “hip.” But no one cares about fashion when it is -40 degrees!

  3. B. Folk

    Marian, I am sorry that Marshall had such a tough month! Sounds as if he is finally out of the woods, thank God.
    I may just go see that movie. I also did theater, and had a few of those unscripted “singing-through-tears” moments, when the character enveloped me. Thanks for sharing that.
    Yes, Sorels rock! I bought my first pair for $115 and thought they were so expensive. Lasted me twenty years, so they were one of the best investments I ever made. I have been on the hunt for cute booties that actually have a good, traction-type sole. Never thought to look for Sorel booties, so thanks for the photo. Sorry, but I will probably “copy” you on those:-)

  4. Jelena

    My husband and I are big Victoria fans, too… for the second season now.

  5. Shannon Rundio

    I love your Favorite Things lists!! I share some of those favorites and I love getting these new ideas. One of my favorite things is a favorite things party. We have them every year with ladies from my church. We each bring 3 of the same item (makeup product, kitchen tool, food, etc. ) ranging in price from $5-8 . We then exchange our items and everyone goes home with 3 new favorite things.

    • Dianne

      My daughter went to one of those and got a can of spray paint! Lol So how do you do the exchange? Pick numbers?

  6. Susan

    Both of my daughters have the Sorel wedge boots, one has the tan and the other has black. They both adore them for the look but more importantly, for the comfort. They were pricey but an amazing investment that will probably last. It’s rare that you get style, comfort and function in one boot. Win!

  7. Marlene Stephenson

    Victoria is a favorite.Sorry about your son having such a rough time,its hard on mom’s when our children are sick. Have a great evening.

  8. Robin Wade

    Miss Marian – I think your true calling is to inspire people. That’s what you do for me. you uplift and inspire me. You just do.

  9. pc

    That sounds like a wonderful visit with your mom. I wish I had had more with mine. Sorels are the best for weather.

  10. mary m

    You made some great memories this year.

    Love love love Victoria. Couldn’t stand it as I googled Prince Ernst and got the low down
    on his nefarious activities with the ladies. Saying that he lived to 1893 and poor Albert
    died so young.

    When I was young my mother and I made curtains for my room. They had tiny violets on
    white fabric. In those days you used those metal clamps that make pleats. I learned how
    to make French seams, flat fled seams etc. Lessons learned amd memories made. The curtains hung in my room
    for many years after I left home and the house was sold.

  11. Kathy

    Loved your favorite things post, as I always do! We’re moving to Maine soon where I think the Sorel boots will work very well. My favorite January event – I retired! Yay!

  12. Carol

    You can watch the missed episode on PBS Masterpiece website, but only for a limited time (no money spent -lol).

  13. Cindy in Oklahoma

    Oh my, Marian…. I’ve sobbed like a baby so many times this week. Yesterday when the President accused a political party of being un-American and treasonous and later when his Chief of Staff said young people who had not registered in the DACA program were too lazy to get off their a**es to do so….. It’s been so emotional. But that rocket launch yesterday, the excitement of all those young people with big ideas and dreams.. wow… and now that video….

    Thank you!

  14. Jackie

    I just found out about Victoria – I ordered Season 1 from the library – the same person also recommended “The Greatest Showman” I loved the movie and Huge Jackman is awesome – I can only tell you that with “The Greatest Showman” I believe there is a powerful message – love the soundtrack and I can honestly say I am not a musical person!! You do great work Marian – you get more done in a day then I get done in a week!!!

  15. Kathleen

    The movie clip!!!! I heard the soundtrack was amazing. Must see the movie and get the music. That was amazing.

  16. Rose Johnson

    I dearly love, Victoria and her Albert. Their union is such a wonderful blend of devotion, trust and it is sooooo romantic! The director did a superb job.
    For those who enjoy historical drama, catch The Crown on Netflix. Claire Foy is a perfect “Elizabeth”.

  17. Tori Carver

    I’m so glad you got to watch the Greatest Showman!!! I thought of you after I saw it and even started to email you. ☺️ Such a great family film. It’s so funny when my husband and 14 year old son ask to listen to the soundtrack in the car. 😂

  18. sandy

    so sweet to hear about stories with your son- what a blessing 🙂

  19. Jennifer Emily Penner

    I love your new easeI!
    Time for a new one, what brand did you select and where did you find it? Can you share please?
    Well I’m asking, “please pray for me” I was just diagnosed with a rare brain disease last week, and I”m scared I might have to stop painting again. I just started back after a bad accident I had 10 years ago.
    I Gratefully Appreciated:) www. jenniferemilyatelier.com Ontario Canada

  20. Wendy

    I watch Victoria for the costumes & acting, but am disappointed at how wildly inaccurate it is. I understand poetic license, but the Irish episode was really grating. Even as am American I’m aware that Victoria didn’t care about the starvation. Do you only gave 1000 lb of her own? The leader of another country wanted to give 10,000, but had to drop it to not show up the queen. Also, the storyline of Albert’s brother is totally made up, about the only truth is, yes, he had a brother.

  21. Elizabeth Stein

    I hope your son is feeling better. Poor guy. I love the scene you described of telling him stories from your childhood as he egged you on. It’ll probably become become a favorite memory of his own childhood. Your mom sounds so considerate to insist on helping you with things she knows you would like to finish but are not fond of working on. Loved the MBR curtains. Can’t wait to see the others that you and she made.

  22. Tracy Mar

    Dear Cindy,
    Please, do not post political opinion on Marian’s blog.
    Marian inspires, teaches, supports & endeavors to provide a sanctuary for calm, peace, kindness & thoughtfulness.
    Political commentary from uneducated opinionists is degrading to participants of Marian’s blog.
    Kindly, post your political remarks on a site intended for such; not on this lovely, spiritual & inspirational escape from harshness.

    • Rennie

      Tracy, ‘uneducated opinionists’ is definitely kind AND thoughtful.

  23. Karin

    “The Greatest Showman’ was just so good- I am going to go and see it again. I live in Ontario and Sorels are a must but I do find you have to choose carefully as they can be heavy. I am going to look for those wedge heel boots for when the snows eventually leave us.

  24. Jan Fusco

    I LOVE THE GREATEST SHOWMAN! I’ve seen it 3 times ad blast the music every time I’m in the car. This Is Me is my favorite.

  25. maureen hughes

    Marion, This made me smile… My daughter’s nighttime ritual is to read, prayers (which includes singing the OUR FATHER) , then tell a story from her childhood. Her boys (9 and 5) LOVE the stories from her childhood with her two brothers. When I put them to bed, I do the same, and really have to think to come up with different stories from my childhood and their Mom’s. My all time FAVORITE was when they were visiting; She was taking a shower, so I got started reading, and story telling, but when it came to singing, I kinda fall short. But my son (who has a beautiful tenor voice,and majored in music) was in the next room. I yelled for help, and he came in and sang for us, then my daughter joined in. . The boys were so excited after the song was over, they started requesting song after song. It was magical and I smile every time I think of it.

  26. Cynthia Chilson Finger

    I had not seen that particular clip, so thanks for sharing it! I’ve been using This is Me for my Zumba class cool down, and it never gets old, and it’s like taking them to church, each and every class. Your first pair of Sorels … you’re a real Minnesotan now! They’ll last forever, by the way. Enjoy!

  27. Joanne E Boulter

    Marion, I loved this post! Thank you for sharing you!
    xoxo Joanne

  28. Shannon

    Dianne- for the favorite things party we write our name down 3 times on 3 slips of paper. As you go around the room, each person draws 3 names from a jar and gives their items to those people. To add a little spice and mix thingd up we even add stars by a few names and those starred names can keep the item they just received or swap with someone else.

  29. Norma Rolader

    enjoyed your January 2018 and prayers for your son that he will be well and continued healing

  30. Jill


    What an ignorant remark. No place on earth is a utopia protected from important issues. If readers of this blog aren’t mature enough to deal with it then where in the World are we as a society?

  31. Rebecca Neustel

    My Nanny, born in 1902), (maternal grandmother) and Mama told the most amazing stories, and I wish I could remember them all. My husband and I weren’t fortunate enough to have children, so I’m sorry those wonderful snippets of life won’t be passed on to another generation. I hope your son is well on his way to good health!


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!

decorating, projects, and recipes for winter


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company