I love all the Christmasy scents around home this time of year.  Cookies baking in the oven, a fire crackling in the den, candles burning, and a big pot of coffee brewing.  All of these aromas really complete the picture of a cozy holiday scene.  I recently fell in love with a new coffee that our guests brought: it’s called Anderson’s Holiday blend.  It’s from Austin, Texas.  I also found it online over here.  I’m not exactly a coffee connoisseur, so forgive the simple description, but it was tasty and rich without being too strong, which I love.  Whenever it brews, the whole house smells so homey and Christmasy.  I highly recommend!

Enjoying my coffee and a rare, quiet moment early in the morn…


I love it when our Texas cousins come and visit us and bring us treasures from a “big city.”  It’s a little bit like living on an island here in the sense that we don’t always know the latest and greatest of what’s going on in the big stores.  Sometimes I feel like Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island with my simple blue shirt and a basket of palm tree clippings for  decorating, haha.   Not really, but you get my gist.  They also brought us the most beautiful candle called Holiday Classic by Nest that has the best Christmas fragrance.  A dash of woodsy mixed with orange, clove, and vanilla notes.  It literally smells like Christmas when it burns!

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And here’s another goodie you can easily make at home.  It’s this amazing stovetop potpourri - promise you will LOVE!  Our dear friends made if for us last year (thank you, Melissa!).  It’s one of my favorite holiday gifts we’ve received.  Our house smelled so cozy and wintery pretty much throughout the cold months – even weeks after I had not  simmered the mixture.   Here is my non glamorous picture of it simmering last week.  There is even a free printable recipe card you can include with your gift mixture – cute pics of it all here.

simmering stovetop potpourri

Hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with holiday fun!

By Seleta | 3 Comments

around our home

Christmas decorating in our home is a big event.  Our family tradition is to go together and pick out a Christmas tree, grab a gallon of eggnog at the grocery store, then zip home.  I just ran across some sweet Christmasy pics with our youngest years ago and wanted to share a few with you.  Our other three must have been waiting for the tree to arrive inside.

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Tree hauling beach style.

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Peter always ends up dragging in a tree that’s nearly too big to fit through the door, then haggles with getting it in the stand….at which point he asks me to eyeball whether it’s straight or crooked.  This usually takes a while.  Half of his body is covered with a massive tree and his voice is muffled.  There is general awkwardness, which is where my laughter begins.  It starts with a few chuckles then gets more disruptive.  After Peter has managed to achieve a straight tree, I usually change my mind about the tree location and he has to make some minor adjustments.  This is usually followed by some “oops” moments, where I’m catching the middle part of the tree and he’s struggling down below.  The end result is more laughing by me to the point where I become not quite as helpful as before.  Happens every. single. time.  For some reason, I always find this crazy process hilarious.

After we survive the tree management, I like to serve eggnog on a tray with cute glasses and turn up the Christmas tunes.  The kids ooooh and ahhh over sentimental decorations they’ve made through the years and hang everything on the tree.  I love to sit and watch them go.  Sometimes they argue over who has which branch or ornament, and it’s usually our youngest who gets bullied out of a branch or decoration, but mostly they’re adorable.  Makes for great memories.

Here is our boxwood wreath that year, I loved the simple silk green bow.  And how adorable is our little guy…who isn’t so little anymore.  Sniff.

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From the day he could crawl, this one has always wanted to be helpful.

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And he was so proud to help me with the wreath.  Of course it wasn’t all crazy perfect and styled out, it was just a simple wreath with a bow, most importantly installed by him.  A memory with warmth and love.  Those are the best kind.

simply seleta wreath3

I do like simple.  And this pretty scene with the ribboned boxwood wreath and white stockings is a great example of simple decorations that feel so warm and inviting.

bhg christmas

Sometimes I think about the perfectionism and materialism that seeps into Christmastime.  The idea that everything has to be “just so” and gifts have to be certain fancy things.  It’s an easy pitfall to land in and speaking personally, it takes a conscious effort for me to keep the true meaning of this season alive in my heart and in our home.  I guess that’s one reason I try to keep everything simple.  In the end, the things we remember most about past Christmases are the warmth of home, the magic of the season, and the love and laughter we share together.

Yes, simple is good.

Do you have a favorite Christmas family tradition?  I would love to hear about it!

By Seleta | 5 Comments

classic toy guide

I’ve had several requests to put together a holiday gift guide for kids.  When it comes to toys, I am a huge believer in a mix of simplicity and whimsy.  In fact, the toys our children have spent the most hours playing with are those which allow them to create and use their imagination (blocks, dolls, picnic sets, character figures, tents).  That being said, here is my gift guide for kiddos.  After spending the last 15 years of my life buying many, many toys, my advice is limit the electronics and keep your children playing with toys that stimulate their brains and imagination.  This guide has some of our favorites we’ve bought for our children through the years.

simply seleta classic child gifts

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NOTE:  Almost everything in this guide is from boutiques in our town which you can order online – these stores did not pay me to include their products, I just want to support them!  Buying local and supporting small businesses is such a good thing.  It helps our economy and supports small business owners.  I know we can’t do ALL of our purchases locally (I do love target), but supporting local businesses better supports our communities.

1.  The Logan SEASIDE House is a portable pop up dollhouse that can be put together for play or easily stored flat on a shelf next to favorite books.  Great travel toy because it’s so easy to store.

2.  Take building to a whole new level with these science ABC blocks for your little genius.  I probably could have used these for myself in 9th grade biology.

3.  Flora and the Flamingo book, a wordless picture book exploring the friendship and adventures of Flora and her graceful flamingo friend.

4.  We bought this magnetic mermaids by mudpuppy for our 9 year old last spring.  She spent hours and hours playing with it.  I asked my daughter what she liked most about this toy and she said: “I like how you could change her outfits AND her hairstyles.  At first I thought it was only her clothes and I was sad, but she has lots of pretty hair dos.”

5.  Bla bla dolls are a favorite in our house!  You can order them through Seaside Style, simply email or call for which are available.  Also available on thebla bla website.

6.  Super BIG and soft teddy bear from over here.  Gave this exact one for our youngest for his 9th birthday last month.  He loves it!!  I love the color and how classic it looks.

7.  What’s more classic than a silver speedster for your little James Bond in training.  This would definitely be hours of play.  Over here.

8.  Nothing is more fun than pushing your blocks when you’re still teetering around.  Our tots had one of these block and roll wagons and all loved it –  a great way to entertain your little one and inspire building with blocks.

9.  I’ve always adored this cursive magnetic board which teaches your little one cursive in a fun, tactile way.  Cursive is becoming a lost art, and many kids today don’t even have a signature.  We need to keep cursive alive!

10.  One of the best toys we ever bought our kiddos was a teepee.  It’s easy to move inside or out and inspires hours of creative play.  This striped teepee is sure to look adorbs in any setting.  My youngest two still play in theirs!

11.  This mint shift dress with poms poms, a must for any girlie girl.

12.  The sweetest little diary for your horse girl.  We gave this to our oldest daughter years ago before her first pony.  I’m so glad it’s still around, it’s precious.

13.  Because this little bud sunhat from Seaside is the most adorable hat ever.  Comes in both child and infant sizes here.

14.  An easel is another great classic child’s gift.  We still have ours and the kids use it for all kinds of things – from writing out a special dinner menu to drawing art.  This wooden easel has magnetic, chalk, and paper options all in one.  There is nothing cuter than seeing your little artiste create away his/her own masterpiece or a special note to mom or dad.  Priceless moments! **BONUS USE:  I use the easel as a tool for our youngest to practice his spelling words since he’s so tired of sitting at a desk by the time he comes home.**

WHEW, that was a list.  I hope it helps you with some of your Christmas shopping!

By Seleta | Leave a comment
  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my husband, fabulous four offspring, happy horses and frisky fur babies. A former TV personality turned Designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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