birthdays, ballet + beauty

Wanted to share with you something personal that I’ve been working on for a while.  A year ago, I set a goal to get back into ballet shape and capture it in a creative way.  This is a sneak peek of a partner shoot I had with two dear and talented friends: professional dancer, Daniel White, and commercial photographer Tommy Crow.  It’s a pictorial story of truth, beauty, and love.


Given all of the shadows in our world today, I can’t think of a better image to illustrate what we all need right now: trust, love, kindness, and belief in one other.  Leaning on each other.  An authentic human connection.

Again, this is just a sneak peek.  I’m so grateful for Daniel and Tommy sharing their talent in this series (wait until you see Daniel’s solo shots, he is ahhh-mazing!!).  I always say Daniel is 6’3 of pure extension and dance artistry.  No one moves like him – he’s like watching a gazelle.  For those of you in Virginia, Daniel is joining the Richmond Ballet – be sure to go see him in motion this season.

Tommy’s photos are pure art.  He knows how to capture the magic of a moment in a way no one else can.  You may recall seeing his work in this room of the Coastal Living Idea house designed by Erika.  And yes, that art is still available.  Check out Tommy’s work on his website here.



For years I’ve shared with you my designer, mom, and writer side…but never really my dance artist side.  I’ve mentioned before how ballet is a part of my soul, a side of me that I learned I could never live without. Without ballet, I feel like part of me is missing.  Due to parent responsibilities and limited access to quality classes, over the years I had to set ballet aside…but I always held out hope that there would be a time I could enjoy it again.

This past weekend was my birthday.  I love that birthdays mark a momentous life moment and give us the opportunity to reflect on all the blessings, growths, challenges, and gifts we have experienced over the last year.  For me, each year of life is more meaningful and educational than the last.

I think it’s critical to keep pushing yourself and setting goals at all life stages.  Sometimes those goals have to wait or maybe take a little more time to achieve.  And sometimes your goals change.  That’s okay!  This past year I made a decision to take a break from teaching and focus more on my family and things that inspire my creative side.  I decided to set some goals for myself: express more artistry, get back on pointe, and build my strength, stamina, and flexibility.  I’ve been taking ballet class for the past few years, but in August of 2015, I dusted off my pointe shoes and started more intense ballet training – fortunately I was able to take classes while the kids were in school.

Here is my first moment going back en pointe before sewing on my ribbons and elastic.  Exciting!  This shot was in one of the studios of Northwest Florida Ballet, which offers fabulous classical ballet classes for all ages and levels.  I take there every week!  You can see their schedule of classes offered here.

seleta en pointe

The training has been fun and extremely challenging.  And I have a long way to go.  Ballet takes an exorbitant amount of strength and patience, even though it looks totally ethereal and easy when performed.  You push through a lot of pain, repeat the same exercises day after day, and never see “instant” results.  It all takes time.  In fact, training a professional ballet dancer takes a minimum of 10 years.  The beauty is born from pain.


I refuse to ever give a number any power.  I do not assign my body to an age.  Instead I focus on energy, effort, and expression.  Age is a material concept that can give us a false sense of confidence or unnecessary doubt.  Think about it, if we are truly spiritual beings with eternal souls, then age is completely irrelevant.

“Time is an illusion.”

~ Einstein

Sure, we can experience limits with the physicality of our bodies, but our souls are our true expression of achievement, beauty, creativity, and love.   What matters is your attitude and how you express and share your God-given gifts.

When I started training on a more serious level last summer, one message I would hear over and over again (and still do) in class is you can’t improve ____ at your age” or how certain things are no longer possible “when you’re older”.  I learned to immediately replace that message with “I can do this with practice and time” and move on.  Whenever I face an obstacle in class that seems too difficult, I silently think to myself, “thank you God for giving my body the strength and stamina to do this.”  I’ll tell you it really helps.

No matter what your age is, there’s no reason to give up on a goal or not try.  Never.  I would rather die trying than simply give up on a goal.  And may I say that I defied 90% of what was told I could not do.  I still have more to work on and improve, and that’s okay.  I look forward to more training and dancing.

After 11 months of training and achieving a dream, I feel stronger.  I am stronger.

I close my birthday with thoughts of gratitude for life, the love surrounding me, and the belief that I will use my gifts to make a difference in this world one step at a time.  One small, meaningful moment at a time.

Posted in About me, Art, Ballet, Faith, Happenings Around Town, Life | 18 Responses

happy 4th + beach essentials

Ahhhh, July.  The magical month of summer.  This is not only my birthday month, but my first real break all year from carpooling, track practices, meets, rehearsals, workshops, intensives, and performances.  It feels so good to sleep past 6:00am and not be flooded with texts all day on who/when/where to meet in a rush.

I feel like I should put on this fabulous hat  for the next 27 days, sit back, and completely r-e-l-a-x.  But, oh, I still have a gaggle of kids.  Actually they’re pretty mellow and enjoying their nice break too.   Our house is very chill right now.  Much needed.

do not disturb

This time of year in our town there’s always an outdoor movie, concert, beautiful sunset (check my IG for that), beach activity, or fun outdoor event to spontaneously join.  So I try to have essentials packed up and ready in the car.  Here are a few of my must-haves for our summer days and nights.  Not sponsored, just a 411 on few of my faves.

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Posted in About me, Beauty, Fashion, Fourth of July, Happenings Around Town, Life, Make-up, Travel | 10 Responses

design obsessing + life

How was your weekend?  It flew by for us.  Our dancer’s last performance of the season went well (after a scorching long day in the sun, whew) and our other two are having a blast on their youth group retreat. I get occasional texts from them at random hours.  Yesterday I crawled out of bed straight to the coffee maker and poured my trusty, steaming cup of liquid joy.  Couldn’t figure out why I was so sluggish the rest of the day.  Some might even say cranky.  Peter later informed me that I accidentally brewed decaf.  Ha.

I digress.  How about some design talk?

Really love the style, colors, and textures of this nearby Rosemary Beach home by Interior Designer, Ashley Gilbreath.

ashley gilbreath2

Well, that was a modest way of saying I’m really obsessed with this chick’s design work.  She is good.  Really good.

Love the casual elegance of the whole house, particularly the beautiful galley kitchen.  It’s one of the few times I’ve liked the look of a step-up bar.  Normally it’s the first thing I change in a kitchen plan.  Although I lost that battle in my personal kitchen’s design.  But this is perfect.  Of course, what’s not to like about this entire kitchen?!  A vintage paddle board, banded woven shades, perfect pops of color, and more. YES.

ashley gilbreath

Ashley is also one of the designers (and in great company) for the 2016 Southern Living Idea House, which just opened in Birmingham, Alabama.  Check out her portfolio here.

In other news, I was cruising around Target’s clearance section looking for nightstands for one of the kids and bumped into this cutieI know, it’s not a nightstand…I’m easily distracted.  Less than 100 bucks.  Somebody snag this!


And now for a mini chicken/design update in our home.  Here is Champagne, our hen, enjoying a Sunday snooze in one of our newly upholstered wingbacks.  Throw is older pattern  from Target – similar one here.  


I had this exact stripe fabric made in some roman shades almost 10 years ago and still love it.  So 3 years and 5,000 samples later (my average decision time since Pinterest was born), I decided to go back to this same stripe when reupholstering our wingbacks.  Then I found out it was discontinued.  Aggghhhh!  Thankfully, design friend Shannon Darby of The Designer’s Attic came to the rescue.  She somehow found tracked this fabric down and shipped it to me right away.  She’s a great fabric resource.  Thank you, Shannon!

I know it’s Monday and life gets crazy.  Be sure to do something nice for yourself this week.  My big goal this week is a pedicure.  It’s been forever since I’ve had one.  Been taking ballet classes all month, and my feet feel like rocks, so a pedi will be so nice.

Posted in About me, Accessories, Budget projects, Design, Dining Rooms, Kitchens, Our Pets, Random Thoughts, White Spaces | 4 Responses

tgif + a preppy top

It’s Friday!  Here’s a little preppy inspiration for your weekend.



I’m pretty picky about off-the-shoulder tops, but THIS one!!  Love.

striped top

When I peeked at the big sale at our local Anthro yesterday, I spotted this adorable sketch journal for our young artiste…so cute in person.  Going to snag it for her birthday!  Still can’t believe we actually have an Anthro now!!   

This weekend two of our kids leave for their church youth trip and another has a Saturday afternoon dance performance in town.  The month of June is seriously flying by.  What have I been up to this month?  To be honest, a lot of dishes, driving, and dancing.  Pretty much in that order.  I may be a few weeks away from that moonlight picnic, but lots of good things happening.  Hope you have a fun and happy weekend!

Posted in Fashion, Random Thoughts | 1 Response
  • 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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