q + a: fashion, life, design, beauty, and de-cluttering

One of my favorite types of posts to read is a Q&A.  I love getting to know the personal side of someone, it makes them so much more relatable and interesting.  I’ve received a fair amount of email and instagram questions lately, so I thought it would be fun to answer a few of the most common ones here in a post.  I’m covering lots of topics and nothing is sponsored – this is just a fun q+a post.  Here we go!

Q:  Would you be able to share the source of the black ankle booties you were wearing in a recent IG story–the one captioned “Goodbye Atlanta snow”?  Thanks so much!

A:  Sure thing!  Funny you should ask because I was beginning to think that finding stylish, comfy, non-frumpy, AND well-priced black booties was about as easy to find as The Holy Grail.  It felt like I was on the hunt FOREVER but I finally found some that I love.  These booties are the ones I was wearing in the shot – they’re super comfy, are great for lots of walking, and the price is good!

Q:  What lipstick are you wearing in the instagram snow post with your husband?

A:  Burt’s Bees lip shimmer in Cherry.  I love their lip shimmers, it’s the only product I’ve found that doesn’t cause my lips to peel from the crazy chemicals they put in all lipsticks.  The color Cherry is a great pop of color and it’s only five bucks!

Burt’s Bees lip shimmer in cherry here.

Q:  What is your skincare routine?

A:  It’s pretty simple – for my nighttime routine I drink one glass of water then cleanse and hydrate my face with these affordable products I usually pick-up at Target.

This serum I like wearing under a moisturizer.  As far as my main moisturizer goes, I switch it out.  I typically use a sample with purchase or will try something new for a while.  I do like the No7 moisturizers for everyday use.

I’ve had great results with this inexpensive serum as well – and yes it did slightly reduce my eye lines in about 3-4 weeks, so crazy.  Also, I’ve been reading a lot about copper-based peptide skin products but will investigate further, maybe try one, and report back to you in a later post.  Anyone have experience with these?  If so, do share!

I have dry skin and use this cleanser every night – it makes my skin feel moisturized versus dry after I use it and I love that.  Been using this one for years.  It’s great for sensitive skin too.  If you’re oily, this isn’t the right product for you.


Q:  What is your diet?  Are you vegan?

A:  I talked about my top 10 Power Foods in this recent post.  It pretty much sums up the main things I eat daily.  I’m not a vegan (could never give up my coffee cream or free range eggs!) but have consciously reduced bread products, sugar, and started eating double the quantity of veggies to lean meat servings.  I joke that I’m 3/4 vegetarian.  Making this shift was quite a process, as I’m naturally a steak and potatoes kind-of-girl.  Eating greens or healthy veggies does not come naturally to me, but I really like the results.  I could totally do the pescetarian thing if I had more time to plan and prepare those type of meals.  Since I’ve reduced meat and increased vegetable intake, I feel much better and more trim around my waist.

When craving sugar, I try to replace flour-based products (cookies are my weakness) with fruit or dark chocolate.  I definitely have slip-ups and times I enjoy a nice dessert on a special occasion, but try to keep this rule for myself.

Q:  I love your style in clothing.  What are your favorite brands?

A:  Thanks!  I love classic pieces that stay in style for the long haul.  I’m not set on any particular brands, but prefer finding high quality clothes at great prices, so I’m always on the hunt.  Gosh, that sounds like a cheesy ad.  I’m a sale-rack shopper and hardly ever buy anything at regular price.  My favorite sources are JCrew, Anthro, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack (which takes coffee, mental focus, and endurance for the hunt).  I always love Anthro’s sale rack – here’s a cute wrap top I picked up last spring.

If I had to pick a favorite “high end” brand, I’d probably say one of my faves is Rebecca Taylor, as her pieces are more tailored and feminine in style.  Her clothes are out of my budget, but I do own one Rebecca Taylor dress (scored on sale at an Off-Fifth Saks store for a guest TV appearance) and like her classic style and fit.

Personal note: my husband and I call Nordstrom Rack “the Briar Patch”  – a reference to the classic book, Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby by Author Joel Chandler Harris.  Br’er Rabbit tricks Br’er Fox into thinking the briar patch is a dangerous place by saying “”Oh please Br’er Fox, whatever you do, please don’t throw me into the briar patch” which, of course, is Br’er Rabbit’s natural habitat.  Whenever we travel and I find a Nordstrom Rack, I always say “oh, I just have this return”  (somehow I always do) and Peter so knows he’s throwing me straight into the briar patch.

Peter and I in front of Nordstrom Rack:

Q:  What are your coffee table books?

A:  I love having a pile or two of chunky, big books on our coffee table and change them up depending on the season – right now they are Vogue Living, Rooms to Inspire, and Interior Portraits by Victoria Hagan.

Q:  How did you clear out your storage units?  So curious about HOW you rid yourself of the extra! We have sold some houses and are now left with 2 storage rooms.

A:  Whew, I’m still working on this area of our life, it’s truly a daily process.  We are back in our Watercolor home year round (no more renters, no more rental homes, yayyyy!!!) so this was a perfect and necessary time for us to reduce.  I believe reducing down “things” is a multi-step/multi-phase process.  For us, we simply could not do this all at once.  We had to tackle one area at a time, so in August and September we forced ourselves to attack our storage room, closets, and filled-to-the-rim attic.  It was EXHAUSTING, stressful, and draining, but we managed to do what I call “phase one” of purging.

Here’s our formula on how we purged storage rooms and closets:

1.  Schedule the pick-up truck to donate items ahead of time.  This is a critical first step BEFORE any de-cluttering or purging.  I found a local charity company who helps those in need, so I called and pre-booked one of their trucks to pick-up donated items from our home (furniture, gently used clothing, kitchen items, books, etc.).  We ended up filling three huge moving trucks scheduled on different dates.

2. Allocate set times to organize/purge.  Peter and I carved out a certain number of hours each day while the kids were in school to sort through and purge items.  Believe me it was sheer dread for us both, but because I had already scheduled the truck for a “pick up” we had a strict deadline to work against.  We both work best against a looming deadline, so it motivated us to get things done.

3.  Sort, Edit, Purge.  This can potentially get draining and/or emotional – at least it was for us.  You have to be strong and willing to let go of things – for me it was letting go of “hopeful projects” for myself and the kids. I had to let it go, live in the now, and know someone else could benefit from these unused items.

*Helpful hint:  when purging, have someone who likes to organize help you so you have an objective opinion and support system.  I was terrified to edit my closet all by myself, so my fashion-expert daughter helped me.  She was a ruthless editor, it was hilarious!  

my dream closet

When Peter and I sorted through items, we would ask ourselves if this was something we would actively use in our current life.  If the answer was “no” and it was in good condition, then it was donated.  We weren’t allowed to look at an item and say “we should keep this because one day we will ______.”  Nope.  If we kept it, it had to be a “this will be used in the present” kind-of-item.  Sounds easy, but it’s not.  It got tricky with sentimental items.  We had to let go of “special toys with memories” but decided to only kept family photos/videos/very special art by the kids.  I labeled boxes and organized them all in categories.  Holy moly I’ve saved a lot of art by the kids – it’s impossible for me to throw away their art for some reason.

4.  Donate.  This is the rewarding part.  Knowing our gently used and new items were going to help another person/family, or give joy to a child, made us really happy.

5.  Consign.  If you have investment items that could be sold to help you out, by all means do that as well.  We had a few special items we consigned to a local store and it was very helpful to our pocket book!  We even boxed up some special items the kids wanted to sell and participated in a neighborhood garage sale – they helped us set up and managed their own tables and kept their funds.  It was a good thing!

.          .          .          .

Whew.  Okay that got a little long.  Let me know if you enjoy this kind of post from time to time and I can do more.  If you’d like to see my previous q + a  from years ago (not as lengthy) it’s over here.

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  1. Rachel says:

    Hello Seleta,

    I love your style and your posts. Please continue question and answer posts. You make raising four kids look easy. You have style and grace. Merry Christmas!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I love everything about this post ! Keep them coming, thank you!

  3. Tamara says:

    Thak you so much for sharing & inspiring. I love your writing.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. Michelle says:

    Love this! Yes, please continue q & a posts. So much from which to be inspired :)
    Thanks for posting!

  5. seleta says:

    Thanks for taking a moment to let me know what you thought about this series! I’ll plan to do more : )


  6. ann says:

    I love the Q&A-thank you for sharing that with your readers.

    Would love some thoughts on living at the beach full time. Pros and cons maybe…My husband and I are considering a purchase around 30A, after vacationing there for years, as a semi-retirement home. I would love your thoughts as a full time resident.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  7. Seleta says:

    Hi Ann,

    We really enjoy the beautiful scenery, abundance of nature, and intimate environment for raising a family here. Best of luck with your move to 30A!


  8. Seleta says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Michelle, Tamara, Stephanie, and Rachel!


  9. Tara says:

    I noticed that you mentioned it was hard to throw away your kids art…as it is for me. I discovered this app that you can archive your childrens artwork so you never feel guilty about tossing it…even makes a book out of all the pieces. I found this to be a good solution and thought I would mention. Its called artkive. There are others depending on what you want to do with the art (share with family/friends, etc) but liked the idea of a book myself!

  10. Seleta says:

    Thank you, Tara! I will give this a try : )


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    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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