January Favorites

by | Feb 5, 2017 | a slice of life, Favorite Things | 41 comments

I’ve been thinking about sharing a “favorites” post each month for a while now and finally decided to actually do it!  There are so many times when I find a show, a website, an Etsy shop, a beauty product, an Instagram account, etc. that I am smitten with and I want to share them with others.  So, I’m going to *try* to do it each month, collecting things that are my favorites along the way.

And I hope you find some new-to-you things that you enjoy!


Self Care

I go through spurts with this… I really try to go beyond my daily routine and find products that will make me feel pampered.  I had some gift cards from Christmas and I recently took a trip to Sephora, so I have found some new favorites in the self-care department…


My sister-in-law introduced me to Living Proof hair products over Christmas.  Her hair looked shinier and healthier than I have ever seen it, so that prompted me to ask what she’s using/doing to make it look that way.  She has been using Living Proof’s heat protectant spray, so I started with that and then added their shampoo, conditioner, and travel-size mask.  They are making my favorite list, because I love them and my hair loves them, but they are expensive!  So, I’m on the hunt for a more moderately-priced awesome shampoo & conditioner.  Something between Panteen and Living Proof!

Sticking with hair products, I just started using Verb Ghost Oil for my ends before styling and it is good stuff.  As a blonde, my hair can look like straw and this really prevents that and it’s not as expensive as the Living Proof products.  Since I’m growing my hair out, I’m trying to be mindful to really take care of it.

The associate at Sephora introduced me to Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads and they make my face feel smooth and fresh after each use.  She was a thrifty girl as well, so she suggested cutting the pads in half, so you get 120 applications out of each jar instead of 60.  Very smart!  So, that’s what I’ve been doing and there is plenty of product on 1/2 a pad to apply it to my entire face and neck.  I just starting using these, so I’ll keep you posted to let you know if these are still favorites in February!

Also on that shopping trip, I found Kat Von D’s Shade & Light Eye Contour Quad.  I have been looking for a nice gray eye shadow palette and I love that this one has white, two grays, and a mushroom.  It is perfect for my eyes and the colors I usually wear.  I need to watch a tutorial on how one is “supposed” to apply it, though, because I’m just making it up and I’m certainly doing it wrong.  Oh, but I like that it’s a very velvety, saturated eye shadow.


I’ve also been using Acure Organics Seriously Glowing Facial Serum from Grove Collaborative.  I actually haven’t been applying this to my face, but to my neck.  I used to sort of poke fun at my Oma’s “turkey neck” and now I’m at the age when I realize her neck was just a preview of my neck’s fate.  So, let me just slather it with seriously glowing serum…




I loooooove a good period drama miniseries and few outfits do them better than the BBC/ITV/Masterpiece group.  (I sort of lump them all together.)    I have been looking forward to watching Victoria since they first announced it over a year ago and it has not disappointed.  I actually couldn’t wait to watch it week to week, so I bought it on iTunes and have already binged the whole show.  Now, I have to wait until next year for season two…

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It did get me on a British royal kick, so I re-watched one of my favorite movies, Young Victoria and also watched Netflix’s The Crown.  Both are must-watches if you’re into that sort of thing.



I am totally in love with the artwork by Laura and Jason van Dyk of @godsfingerprints

 …and they just look like a sweet couple I would want to have over for dinner.



We’ve been playing Rock Band as a family since we got it for Christmas.  I will confess that I am much more into it than my guys and I’ll sneak in a set after everyone else is in bed!  I found a new-to-me song that is in the Rock Band library that I just love.  It’s called Still into You by Paramore.  There are so many songs about heartbreak and conditional love that it’s refreshing to hear a song about still having butterflies after years of being together.  I would love to see a couple dancing to this song on their 50th wedding anniversary.  Maybe I’ll have that chance…



I don’t know about you, but I tend to “wait to go clothes shopping until I’ve lost some weight.”  Well, that mindset leads to having a wardrobe of sweatpants and nice clothes that are too small.  So, I decided a couple of years ago that I need to make myself go clothes shopping now and then and I need to buy things I like that fit me as I am now.  If I ever reach my goal weight, well, I can go shopping again.

Now, I’m not a fashionista at all and this isn’t the beginning of fashion posts, but I thought I would share what I like to wear.

Since having kids, jeans are my nemesis.  I think it was unfortunate that I got pregnant around the time low-slung jeans came into fashion.  I am so thrilled that high rise jeans are coming back in style.  I mean, I would rather have my love handles tucked securely into a pair of jeans instead of lopping over them.  (Yes, I did just write that sentence.)  Anyway, the Old Navy High-Rise Rockstar Jeans are a recent find that I’m pretty happy with.  They do stretch out a bit throughout the day, but not enough that they start to sag.  Keep that in mind if you try them on, though.  I could only order them online, but I found them to be true to size.

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I usually wear sweats to the studio, mainly because I’m painting, sanding, crawling around on the floor, etc, but there really isn’t a good reason why I couldn’t do that in some comfy jeans.  It is true that you feel better about yourself when you dress up a little. Well, dress up a step above sweat pants.

Speaking of Old Navy, though, I went into one to buy some more jeans and was delightfully overwhelmed by their selection of flowy shirts and tunics.  I usually go to Anthropologie for that sort of thing, but at about $150 a pop, their dresses are a splurge.  I sort of thought I had “grown out of” Old Navy a few years ago, but I love their current selection.

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I bought several things, including this Printed Pin-Tuck Swing Dress.  This kind of dress typically feels a little too short for me to wear on it’s own, but I like it paired with leggings or skinny jeans.  It’s comfy, but looks dressy.

I did buy a few dresses from Anthro as well, since I had a gift card from Christmas.  One of them was this Lilibet Dress

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Again, it’s just cute and comfy and forgiving.

Lastly, in the apparel department, I am loving these Reebok Cloud Ride DMX Walking Shoes.  My mom bought them for me on our girl’s shopping day over Christmas and they are the most comfortable walking shoes.  Now, I love things that are cushy, which these shoes most certainly are, but they don’t feel like traditional tennis shoes.  I would suggest trying them on to see if you like the feel.  They are very bouncy!




The mangos from my local grocery store have been heaven lately.  If they weren’t $1/each, I would eat them all day long.


I’ve also enjoyed nibbling on cream Havarti cheese from the deli counter and d’anjou pears dipped in cashew butter.  These have been my favorite go-to snacks in January.



My favorite project I completed in January was definitely the step-back cupboard.  I had a vision for it and I love how it turned out.



Random Things

An Instagram friend sent me this mug as a gift…


It’s the “I like Cows” mug from Metal Goose Etsy shop.  It has a sketched cow on the other side.  And you know what?  I do like cows, so this mug is very appropriate!

And lastly, I bought this Lucy’s Inspired necklace from the Clara Collection at the Fancy Little Flea last weekend.  Shaunna actually picked one out first and as I saw her lift it up to buy, I was hoping there was another one!  It’s a long chain with a crystal on each end and you can knot the chain wherever you want to adjust the length.


It’s a versatile piece that I’ve already worn a few times and it’s a favorite for sure.



I had a lot of favorites this month!  I think it’s because I had Christmas money, gift cards, and some allowance saved up AND I went out on personal shopping trips a couple of times, which is a pretty rare occurrence for me.

I hope you enjoyed my favorites!

What were some of your favorites in January?


Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links.  All of the items were selected because they were my favorites, not for the sole purpose of using an affiliate link.   Unless noted, I purchased all of these products as a customer and did not receive compensation to review or promote any of these items.  As always, all words an opinions are my own.


  1. Karen

    I got my hair cut and the beautician specialized in razor cutting rather than using scissors. This is my new favorite thing!

    • marian

      My stylist when we lived in VA cut my hair with a razor and I loved it, too! 🙂

  2. mary anne

    New flannel sheets with snow and ski theme. They are Cuddl Duds brand and very soft.

  3. Liz Meyer

    I don’t know if you have a Trader Joe’s where you live but they sell frozen mango bites in a bag and they are super yummy as a replacement for your fresh mangos. Somehow frozen fruit is like a dessert, don’t you think??

    Still waiting to see what the area around your computer looks like- how do you organize your everyday paperwork, bills, school stuff, etc… Hope you can do a little inspirational piece for those of us who aren’t that organized with daily paperwork. Pleeeeeeease!

  4. Brenda

    This month I love 1930’s reproduction fabrics in bright colors! I would rather go fabric shopping than clothes shopping! I’ve also started to crochet and my favorite colors are blues, greens and aqua. I love the beautiful colors of spring!

  5. Marsha Kern

    Love this post-please keep them up!

  6. Ramona

    Love your favorites post! Hope you’ll continue it each month. I could watch Young Victoria every day. The cupboard is beautiful!

  7. amy

    Favorite tv show was “The Selection” on the history channel. It had 8 episodes of regular people that wanted to do navy seal training. It was rivoting. It’s worth searching out and watching the inspirational stories of the participants and the stories of the instructors. Loved it!

    • Jen

      Me too for The Selection! Oh, and kettlebells with friends.

      • marian

        Ha! Kettlebells with friends. Is that a thing or just something your doing?

    • marian

      I’ll have to check that out!

  8. Crystal

    Oh Marian,

    I REALLY hope you continue to do these posts! I have found some of the best (& now MY absolute fav) things via posts like these. Plus, I generally just really enjoy reading them 🙂 It’s fun to peek into different aspects of some of our favorite “friends” lives across the miles. (Oh yeah, AND online! Lol) & to see what cool new things they’ve recently found, or, better yet maybe, what tried & true “oldies” they’ve been loving on for quite some time.
    Admittedly, I tend to think you’re just about the coolest thing since sliced bread so admirer/voyeur (aren’t we all just a little!?) particularly enjoyed this post-
    So, please, whenever you can, keep them coming!

    P.S. My stylist back in PA always razored my hair once all the cutting was done & that one extra step added so much to the cut. The texture & bounce you get from having it razored really is superb! And, I’m by no means an expert, but I think it made my cuts last longer & I was the victim of a few less bad hair days as a direct result-
    I will say though (& this could TOTALLY be JUST me, Ha!) But, the sound (& feeling too really) of the razor going through my hair always made me cringe, like A LOT!!… Sort of similar to nails on a chalkboard to me! Eeek! I always loved my hair afterwards so I forced myself to “tough it out”… #1stWorldProblems am I right!?!
    Pain is beauty though I suppose, but was I ever relieved each time once that part was over with! lol

  9. Elizabeth

    Your “favorites” post was hugely successful — fun informative and inspiring.

    I loved the return to the stepback cupboard project. The result was a masterful combination of skill and restraint.

    I thought of you when similar piece posted on a local classified thread. To my chagrin, they didn’t seem to know what it’s called. Worse, they boasted about putting on “new hardware.” Your project’s vintage hardware is a major part of its charm. Now I appreciate yours all the more.

  10. Maureen Ryan

    My favorite new “find” since Christmas: “This is Us” on NBC. We binge-watched it on NBC.com so that I could catch up and it’s a very involving, delightful show. Highly recommended!

  11. Vicki

    This may sound strange because I never had dandruff so never thought to try it, but as I got older my hair is a little drier and more course. I absolutely love Head & Shoulders (with Almond Oil). I use it every third day and it smooths my hair and conditions my scalp to be soft; but surprisingly it’s not a heavy shampoo at all. The complete opposite, my hair is thin but I get so much body using this shampoo. Worth a try!


    Marian, Love this type of post for a once a month type thing. Gives us a chance to possibly finds new products, music and interests and to share what we might have found. I love Old Navy myself and have recently started back shopping there. I will have to try some of the beauty finds also…sounds like they might be worth a try….and the necklace…LOVE! I look forward to reading your posts…you are very inspirational. My colors are more jewel tones and I love vintage, so we have the antiques in common. I love being crafty and upcycling the old. I have so much around my house that needs to be done, that I don’t know where to begin and you have given me so many great ideas…I would just use a different color pallet. Thank you again and I will read you tomorrow!

  13. DeAnna

    I love jeans, but after having two kids and now hitting 50, the low rise thing for sure wasn’t working for me. So glad to see the higher rise jeans back in. Old Navy hasn’t been on my mind at all, so thanks for the info. I appreciate these kids of posts too! Every once in a while just having a glimpse into products other women like is helpful and nice 🙂

  14. Vickie White

    Since, I basically want to be you but the lack of artistic talent,work ethic, energy and torganizational skills render this wish impossible, reading about your favorites was JUST what I needed! I actually have that eyeshadow pallete, and Ive already bought a second one in case they discontinue it (which they have already done with my favorite bra AND my favorite jeans….I learn quick). Anyway, thanks as always for your candor and your ability to show your life in a generous, happy way.

    Hugs from Texas,

  15. Susan M

    I LOVE the Living Proof line! I use the shampoo and conditioner and they make my color treated 50+ year old hair very happy. FYI they have a night time product that is as important to me as the shampoo and conditioner. I cannot wash my hair every day and their night cream makes your hair look smooth and beautiful the next morning and it smells amazing. You just work through your hair before you go to bed. Wake up, brush it out and no bed head.

    Also, Phillip Thomas Roth has a powder sunscreen that is awesome!! I know it is a bit early to be thinking about sunscreen where you are but on the gulf coast we apply it every day and the powder version is great when the humidity is high.

  16. Lori

    I also have hair that turns to straw or goes limp from certain shampoos and conditioners. I’ve had to switch brands over the years, as the favorites eventually became discontinued. My current favorite is Joico K-Pak color therapy. I buy it online from either Amazon or eBay as it’s so much cheaper than in the stores. Some may consider it expensive, but my hair is the only thing I spend money on for myself.

  17. B Folk

    Interesting list. Cute video and song. Lovely artwork from Godsfingerprints. Thanks for sharing your world with us, Marian!
    I like mangoes, but had to give them up: my mouth swells up like a “Botox lady” after I eat them! My go-to fruit is blueberries, I have them every day. Favorite snack is a few slices of Muenster cheese and some walnuts, and water. One of my favorite skincare products: Avon Foot Works Beautiful Dual-action Pedi-peel pads. Every other week, I use them on my feet, elbows, backs of my hands, neck, and face! I have sensitive skin, and they aren’t too harsh. One pad for my feet, and another pad for all the other areas, combined. That way, only a small amount of product is left on the pad to do my face. I just can’t use them after I wash, have to wait at least a half-hour. Afterwards, I apply Silicone Glove Handcream, or petroluem jelly, and go to sleep. Keeps my skin baby-soft.
    So glad that the rise on jeans is going back up, it’s been hard to find shirts that cover my backside and don’t look like a circus tent. I finally got to check out a Hobby Lobby when I went on a biz trip with hubby last month (there aren’t any H.L.’s in my state), and it is my new favorite store! I spent several hours going up and down (almost) every aisle. My head was spinning with ideas. I was actually feeling a bit sick from the overload of all that is available there, and had to leave;)

  18. Linda

    My favorite thing in January was learning to make quilts. Loving it!

  19. Iris

    I like this idea a lot!

  20. Kimberly

    Hi Marian! Thank you for introducing us to your favorite things! Sometimes it’s good to try something new and perhaps get out of a rut of the same old, same old things! I’m currently using a product by Paula’s Choice. It’s the BHA exfoliating toner. I absolutely love it! It has totally changed the texture of my skin. And I am also using Jose Marans Argan oil which is great for my skin and my hair so it does double duty and they both cost less than the products you are trying! Something to think about next time you’re shopping for beauty!!

  21. Sheila Nicolle

    Binge watching Victoria in past couple days too! Love it!

  22. Donna Doble-Brown

    Would love it see you wearing Lucy’s necklace! I have the original crystal one on the leather cord that Layla has and I wear it all the time . . . One of my favorites! ?

  23. MaryLisa Noyes

    My fav’s are Bobbi Brown creams. They are great and a little goes a long way. I also bought a farm cupboard at a 50% off sale at one of my favorite antique shops. It was under $200 and thanks to my son and his 2 friends it is now placed in my dining room housing my ironstone. Talk about a piece speaking to me…it shouted as soon as I spotted it in the back room all alone.

  24. Ceita Brown

    I think my favorite was just reading your favorite list for the month! It inspired me in many ways. I should take better care of my hair, especially the ends. You were right about clothes shopping also. We should make the most of who we are instead of dreaming about someone we are not. I see really big girls who look great. It is in attitude and a little effort. Right down to the fruit snacks. We need to savor the little things and be thankful for all. i look forward to next months list!

  25. suzanne

    I enjoyed this post! My own favorite for moisturizing lotion is cerave p.m. My dermatologist recommended it and I was pleasantly surprised that it was cheap and available just about anywhere. Ive been using it for about a year and I actually can see a positive difference. After using and discarding expensive brands for years I finally found something I’m satisfied with.

  26. Kate

    Have you seen the latest addition to ripped jeans ……patches ! Wonderful creative patches from lace to contrasting denim ….as well as real patches from flags and logos. Limited only by your imagination. My grandsons jeans now sport superhero patches as well as some funky denim ones. Really fun to sew (or embroider). My latest favorite thing.

  27. Melody

    I am dying to finish watching Victoria!! How on earth did you get it on iTunes? I only see where they have the current episodes. Can anyone help me?

    • Marian Parsons

      If you buy the season on iTunes, it will give you all of the episodes in about 24 hours. I didn’t know that would happen until I bought it.

      • melody

        Even though it says it won’t release them until they show them? I am game to try it. How long ago did you purchase? Shoot, it is only $20. 🙂 Thanks!

  28. Judy

    Hi Marian, I just watched The Young Victoria for the first time last week and loved it! I love period dramas. I also for the first time just watched the Pride and Prejudice series with Colin Firth (1995). I really enjoyed that one also. Worth checking out if you haven’t seen it.

  29. Darla Karimushan

    I love old, historical shows….The Paradise, Downton Abbey, Death at Pemberley, Reign and watching the Tudors now. Nothing better than painting furniture with Netflix running in the background

  30. Wendy

    LOVE this post Marian…turkey neck? HAHA I am going through a “thing” right now where I want to do a little more self-care, and splurging on quality products for my turkey neck was on the list lol. I was also looking for jeans to hold in the rolls…so….you made my day! On a Netflix note, I have been watching Offspring while painting lately, and love it. It’s based in Australia and its a family drama, really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing your favorite things!

  31. Julie

    I thought I would comment because I use Living Proof daily. I love all their products. If you buy from their website they always give you free items with your order (above $39). Also I have learned to purchase the “large” 24oz size which is way more economical, and you get free shipping, and free samples. I would buy the shampoo separate from the conditioner and then you get “more” free stuff. Livingproof.com ALSO Their dry shampoo is the best!!
    Love all your picks above. 🙂

  32. Donna

    It’s a great post! Love to hear favorites and check them out. The Crown is wonderful and I have recorded Victoria but haven’t watched yet. Love the color of your cupboard.

  33. Joan

    Dear Marian !
    You are so sweet!
    I’ve been reading the blog backwards to refind this post from January favourites, so that I could thank you FINALLY !!!!!!
    I love your favourites, and I’m SO GLAD you love your I Like Cows mug!!!! It was such a sweet amazing experience and surprise ! To see you show it/well I feel so honoured ! Thankyouuuuu so much!!!!
    Biggg huggggs !!!!!
    p.s. I really like reading your product reviews on things you love, will be giving some of them a try for sure!!! THANKS so much for all you share!!!!

  34. Josephine

    Very cute, your posts always make me smile!


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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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