March Favorites

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Favorite Things40 Comments

Wow!  I wasn’t expecting such a response to selling the postal sorter.  I can assure you, though, that I’ve bought and sold a lot of beautiful things over the years…things that were rare, unusual, and things that I loved.  But I’ve learned that I can love something for a while, as long as I have the perfect place for it and a use for it, and then I can let it go if ever that changes.  I find just as much joy sending the beloved item off to a new home.  And I haven’t regretted selling anything.  There are times when I remember a piece with fondness or I think about a piece I sold a few years ago that would now be perfect for this house.  But, if I kept everything I might have a spot for in a future house, I would have to rent a storage unit.  I would rather sell something than have it languish in the garage.

Anyway, onto my favorites for March…

I didn’t write a favorites post for February, because February was just a weird month for me with my shoulder issues and tons of snow days.  But things turned around and March was a great month.  Here were some of my favorite things…

Mom visiting

Of course, my mom visiting was one of the highlights.  Not only do I just enjoy spending time with her, but she was such a huge help working on projects that I couldn’t do on my own.  She’s happy to be my helper and hand me tools when I’m up on a ladder or hold a piece of sticky wallpaper away from the wall as I line up the top.

J Jill

When my mom was visiting, she wanted to shop for boots at our local mall.  We did find a good pair of boots for her (on clearance) at Macy’s but we also found some cute things for me at J Jill.  I had only walked into that store once and didn’t try anything on, because I wasn’t in the mood to shop.  On this particular day, though, I saw a black checked dress in the window and it pulled me into the store.  My mom and I ended up staying in the store for an hour and I tried on a bunch of stuff.  Since my birthday was right around the corner, my mom treated me to several shirts, the dress, some leggings, and a necklace.  Almost everything I tried on fit well and looked nice.  As excited as I was about having new clothes, I was even more excited to find a new go-to clothing store.

Here are a few of the things I got that are my favorite…

Hammered Disks Double Drop Necklace

Textured Gingham Tunic

Gingham Double Cloth Dress

The Dawn Wall

I watched this mountain climbing documentary on a whim and it was so, so good.  It was an inspiring story with so many great themes like bravery, persistence, camaraderie, loyalty, and more.  I couldn’t wait to watch it again with Jeff.  (This series is on Netflix.)

The Curse of Oak Island

This is a TV show Jeff started watching a couple of years ago.  I initially made fun of him for watching it, but then I got sucked in as well!  There is an island in Nova Scotia where it is believed a treasure was buried in the 1700’s and people have been hunting for it ever since.  It’s interesting watching what they find (from a historical perspective as well as to discover another piece of the mystery) and that is the real appeal of the show for me.

The thing that has to be tolerated (and our family makes fun of it constantly) is the narration.  It is over the top and so excessive and ridiculous that it’s laughable.  I can’t tell you how many times the narrator has said that the holy grail, the arc of the covenant, and the lost manuscripts of Shakespeare are some of the things that might be buried there.  Could it be?!? Every find is “potentially the most significant find in North America that will change the course of history.”  And, it’s not.  It never is.  And it won’t be.  So just stop saying it eight times in every episode.

If you can deal with that, though, it’s a fun show and even the boys enjoy it.


I’ve already shared about this project, so I won’t go on and on about it, but it’s been so good for me to do some no-pressure painting.  I have learned a lot through this exercise (you can read about what I’ve learned HERE) and I can’t wait to paint some larger landscapes. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Edward Seago

I have been crushing lately on Pissarro and Sisley, but I have a new-found impressionist painter obsession with Seago.  I love his colors and his messy, yet perfectly placed brush strokes.

I recently purchased this book and I’ve been eating it up and marking numerous pages of paintings to study closer…

morning walks

As I shared in January, my focuses for this year are contentment and health.  I shared some of the boundaries I put in place to encourage a spirit of contentment HERE, but I haven’t mentioned anything about the healthy component of it.  I’ll share about it eventually, but right now, I’m just trying to live it.  A part of that has been walking every morning.  What started as a task I had to drag myself to has turned into something I look forward to most mornings.  When the weather’s nice, it’s outside with Sebastian.  When it’s not, it’s on the treadmill.  I’ve followed it up with some Yoga and stretching.  It’s been a nice way to start the mornings.

The only downside is that my shin splints are causing some pain, but I’ve bought some compression sleeves and athletic tape to see if one of those options help.

sugar snap peas

I know this is an odd favorite, but they are my new “cheese and crackers”.  I like that they are crunchy and fresh.  I dip them in a little bit of Laughing Cow swiss cheese and no, it doesn’t taste like a slice of cheddar on a crispy cracker, but it satisfies. and I’ve come to crave it.

I’m taking a couple of bags with me to Junk Bonanza, so I have them to snack on.

What are some things you enjoyed in March?

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March Favorites

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40 Comments on “March Favorites”

  1. Thank you for sharing your favorites. There are quite a few items that interest me. Have fun at Junk Bonanza! 🙂

  2. My friend was training for a marathon and developed shin splints. As soon as she bought the proper running shoes, it made all the difference! The cushioning on athletic shoes has a short life. If you can see little horizontal stress wrinkles in the outside edges of the rubbery soles, it’s time for new shoes! Good luck!

      1. I love sugar snap peas plain or with ranch or something. I do want to make a comment about your new shoes though. Even though they’re new, it could be the wrong type for how you probate. Going to a running store and being assessed as to if you over, under pronate or are neutral could help with it as well. When I was running, I was wearing the wrong kind of shoes, even brand new and had plantar fasciitis. As soon as I got the right kind, pain was gone. It wouldn’t hurt to find out and then go elsewhere for shoes. I hope it gets bettwr’

  3. I love that your top 2 favorites were when I was there and part of. Those were my favorites for March too and added to that just being with the boys.

    1. It gives me so much joy to know and see the two of you love and enjoy each other. Very special think to share. Thank you.

  4. We just love Oak Island and several similar shows, but agree about the narration. It’s hilarious to hear them say such dramatic things so often! Happy to hear you had a good March!

    Mine was good too, if quite different. Our country lane finally got repaired yesterday from flooding that started Mar 12. I’ve been at home for 28 days with no way out. Got a bunch of annoying projects done. Started and finished 3 art projects. But we had no damage to buildings, only roads, we had plenty of food and the power never went out. So Thank You God! We are luckier than many in our area. And now I can get to town and see real people again!

    My only regret is that I had planned to drive up to Shakopee today and be first in line at your booth tomorrow. But now with the storm coming, it doesn’t seem sensible. Sometimes I hate being sensible!

    Love your posts! Good luck wth Junk Bonanza!

  5. Shin splints are no fun! I suffer with those too (& blame them on our sweet 100+lb Lab that drags me all over the neighborhood!). And along with sugar snap peas, I Love those Almond Nut-Thins crackers on your snack plate.

  6. I have loved J. Jill for the past 10 years. I live in their tunics (like the first gingham one) all winter; I currently own 6, 1 is “barn clothes”, 3 for everyday, and 2 for dress. (They rotate down the line every fall when I buy a new one and the barn one gets tossed.) Enjoy!

    1. Yes! I love that their shirts are longer. That is a more comfortable style for me and more flattering.

  7. If you love sugar snap peas, let me tell you, they are a CINCH to grow, especially in your climate. You can even grow them in a pot if you want to just try it. The vines are also gorgeous and you will find them fun to photograph, paint, AND eat. 🙂

  8. I buy most of my clothing second-hand and when I come across a J. Jill item in a thrift store, I really feel like I’ve scored. I have several in my closet.

    My favorite snacks are raw green beans, with sugar snap peas a close second. I’ve recently discovered beets. Trader Joe’s sells a bag of frozen beet chunks and I love the convenience. I toss the beets with olive oil and a bit of seasoning and roast them about 20 minutes in the oven. Sometimes I roast carrots with them. So tasty and satisfying!

  9. I love this list! My husband and FIL are addicted to Oak Island they talk about it every time they are together, which is often and yes I’m sorry I laugh! I also recently discovered J Jill and was surprised by their selection. And I love your painting! We recently went to the Cleveland Museum of Art, they have a great Impressionist exhibit and even have a section of Monet’s Waterlilies, my husband asked what the big deal was, I had to restrain myself because he just doesn’t get it and I can’t make him. I don’t have many friends that appreciate art so it’s fun for me to read your posts and see your work, it fills a void for me. So please keep painting and sharing.

  10. I’ve been shopping J Jill for years. Their clothes are quality and last forever, especially the linen and tencel. Shop online for sales at outlet. I returned something at the mall J Jill and the manager couldn’t believe the deals I was getting. Also their sizing stays the same thru out the styles.

    1. Long time lover of JJill – currently have a sweater (own it in 3 colors) and pants (also own 3 colors) on from JJill. Today only they have half off sale items – that’s when I buy!! Their clothes wear well and last and you pack most of them by rolling pieces and then just shake them out when you get to your destination.

      Oh – And Marianne – LOVE the new “do”!

  11. Yes! Definitely sugar snap peas..n fresh cucumbers….!! Cute clothes your Mom got for your birthday! How fun..!!!!!!!!!!!🎈

  12. I have worn J Jill for years! I have a linen skirt that I still wear that must be 10 years old. Their clothes are timeless and great quality! I also recently revisited Talbots and am in love with their “jeggings “. I recently became addicted to a new murder mystery series – The Fix. I am seeking to just be healthy this year too. I have done so many eating plans and exercise routines and just want to be at peace with myself!

  13. Hi Marian,

    When you share about “your mom time” it is always my favorite part about your post. It is so wonderful that she can still spoil you a little. I love the little landscapes, they are adorable. I am also a fan of JJill, I always feel “good” in their clothes (and the black and white check is all the rage this season.)

    Hope you stay out of the path of the snow storm.

  14. Hello! New reader here. This was like some great sampler post for me to get to know you. A little bit of everything…(although you had me at the wallpaper photo). Loved it all, and I need to go back and read about your landscape painting adventure. I’m all in!

  15. So glad you found JJill! It is my favorite dress shop, and I would say half of my wardrobe and closet is from there. There stuff lasts forever. And almost always buy when an extra % is off the sale stuff!

  16. I used to get shin splints also. Figured out that I was subconsciously tensing everything as I ran. Once I concentrated on just relaxing, they went away. For me, swinging my hips more and loosening my gait worked. Think about and adjust your form and it may clear up. Hope this helps.

    And I love your paintings. Thanks for posting, inspiring the rest of us, and keeping it real with your own personal struggles.

  17. Enjoyed your favorites post. Liked all your picks from J. Jill. I admire what I see in the window when I pass the store, but I’ve never gone in there to actually try anything. I might need to do that sometime.
    We watch The Curse of Oak Island with our teen boys. We look forward to it every week, although we do the same as you and mock the narration. It’s so funny and dramatic. Last summer while on a business trip, my husband took a picture of a rock somewhere with marks on it and send it to us with the caption “Could it be?|!” Its a fun show to watch. We might like that climbing documentary too. I’ll have to check it out.
    I really enjoy your landscape paintings. I’m excited to see your continued creative endeavors. You have been doing such beautiful work and it is fun to watch. Thanks for sharing with us as you grow and develop your skill and talent.

  18. So happy you are enjoying your walks – I love them too and for me it’s an easy way to get fresh air, exercise and feel happier/less stressed all at once. I had to comment and say thank you – I just got back from aldi with my snap peas and I think thanks to you I’ve found a new snack I like! Thank you!

  19. I love J Jill. I only buy on clearance and in the store (I think their shipping is too high). But the clothes don’t get pills and last a long time!

  20. I love J Jill too. If you order in the store, shipping is free. I wear larger sizes and they carry all in their catalog.

  21. Whenever anyone at the gym complains about shin splints invariably someone says…”buy new shoes/sneakers” Just a suggestion but you may need new ones.

  22. Disappointed that the weather is so crappy for Junk Bonanza, but it is April in Minnesota! Those attending will have a special time shopping with smaller crowds which is a bonus for them since they braved the weather today. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this show due to a busy weekend ahead. Surprised it has taken you so long to give J. Jill a try. Their clothes a great. I also bought the checked dress to wear with Capri leggings…good choice! I love checks.

  23. I went to a barn to pick, but most of it was just motorcycles and tools. But I did see a table upside down, the legs are gorgeous and I asked how much it was. He said “ oh you can have that I’m tired of moving it around “ SCORE. I can’t wait to paint it. Also got a small Chrystal chandelier. So that was my highlight for March 😊

  24. I’ve been sucked into the Curse of Oak Island also. I can’t stop watching it now thinking, what if this episode they find something. My husband has already tapped out but I’m still going strong!

  25. HI Marian,

    I am a long time fan of J Jill. Check out their “Compassion Necklace and sometimes clothing” that they do to support disadvantaged and homeless women become self-sufficient. My love of J Jill depends on the color palette for the season. Sometime there is a lot of funky colors, still I wait.

    I have to suggest that you and Jeff watch the documentary “Free Solo” that just won an academy award. Jimmy Chin was a producer and went to Shattuck~St Mary’s Schools in Faribault (my high school too) and this film will amaze you on many levels. Choices.. we all have them.

    Enjoy Junk of my favorites when I lived in Minnie 🙂
    Stay well, Cynthia

  26. Hi Marian,
    I’m glad you got to go to the Junk Bonanza Sale! I haven’t been there yet but it is on my Bucket List! I’m the wild lady that saw you in Target earlier this week. I must apologize if I sounded too chatty! But, after all , you were my first “Celebrity Sighting!” Have fun this weekend and don’t forget to stop in Chatfield at Adourn! 🙂

  27. I have loved J.Jill since I learned about it when my now college age girl was just an infant because, my friend had the catalog and she gave it to me just so I could take the picture of the girl on the front to the hairdressers. I was a new mommy with a sassy J.Jill model hair cut. Since then I’ve never actually shopped at J.Jill for J.Jill clothing but I always searched for and found several items of her brand over the years at thrift stores. They are still my favorites and my “go to” cardigans and sweaters. I like the black gingham. I’ve been seeing it lately on instagram and love it. Brands like Cabbages and Roses or bloggers like We Made This Home posted this week! Now, it’s really going to be on my mind!! Gingham is just so timelessly fashionable. My Mother made our whole family matching blue gingham shirts when I was in the fourth grade. I remember calling it my Buttercrust bakery shirt because it looked like the design on their bread bag. But after that I learned that it is very French and Chic. Thanks for sharing again all of your wonderful stories.. Have a beautiful day!

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