downton cream

How about a little white excess in honor of Downton Abbey’s new season, which, by the way, I am hopelessly addicted to.  Season five has been more than entertaining thus far.  This living room reminds me of what modern-day-Mary might choose for her home if she lived in this era.  Ladylike and refined, with a nod to tradition.

wed white living room2

Every Sunday I get out my big silver tray and favorite china, brew a pot of tea (or pop a cork), put together simple hors d’oeuvres, and curl up on the sofa with the husband to relish an hour of style and scandal.  I can never get enough.  It’s nice that we both love the show – we do some serious analyzing after each episode.

wednesday tea


I stumbled across some Downton delectables, including their own tea and cookies.  I might add the butter cookies to my tray on Sunday.  Sold out online, I think these are in store only.  But so adorable!

Screen shot 2015-01-21 at 9.58.33 AM

The Downton Abbey plot twists keep me laughing, perplexed, annoyed, anxious, hopeful, and surprised all at once.  It’s a great escape from reality and quite an emotional roller coaster.  I would love to find a book that’s as interesting as the show.  Any suggestions?

Mini review:  Right now my heart goes out to Edith.  I keep waiting for her to just take her little girl and run.  Wouldn’t blame her!  Mary full of surprises lately.  Or is she?  Call me a sap, but I’m still not over Matthew.  Don’t think I’ll ever get over him.  Lady Cora (who always talks like she’s been sucking on a lemon) misses feeling useful during the war and is trying to find meaning and purpose… something useful to do besides rearrange church flowers, manage servants, and wear pretty outfits.  I wonder what’s next for her.  Bates is starting to creep me out, like the way he creeps all around his sweet wife, Anna (whom I adore)…I can’t tell if he’s a major controller, serial killer, or just a protective husband.  The new girl (teacher) totally annoys me.  Mrs. Hughes has such a big heart.  Lord Grantham can be a tool.  Love, love, love Carson.  Dowager Countess is still hands down my fave.


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If I had to pick a white for Downton Abbey, it would most certainly be in the cream family.  A current cream with depth and richness, and no buttercream undertones.  Something that could hold it’s own with all of the English tack, tweed, antiques, and opulent oil paintings.

I’m thinking Benjamin Moore’s Papaya, #957.

ben moore papaya

I’d pair it with Bejnamin Moore’s Whitall Brown, HC-69, which would be striking against gilded frames, crystal chandeliers, and all things British.

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In case you missed the Harper’s Bazaar UK August issue (and cover) which photographed/interviewed the female cast donned in elegant gowns, you can check it out here.


Do you have a favorite Downton character?

By Seleta | 27 Comments


I didn’t have this post planned for today, but figured it’s fresh on my mind and authentic, so I’d roll with it.  Over the holiday weekend I unplugged.  Like, really unplugged.  For four days.  No Instagram, facebook, emails, and as few texts as humanly possible.  In fact, I didn’t even turn on my phone until noon every day since Friday.


“What prompted such a drastic action,” you may ask.

An old movie.  Yep, a good ole 80’s classic that my husband had recorded on our DVR.  One Saturday night, weekend before last, we were settling down to eat a big pasta dinner with the kids.  We hardly ever watch TV while we eat, but had a houseful of teenagers sleeping over plus a little guy over with our youngest.  I guess it was 7 kids at dinner?  Anyway, Peter put on the movie, it was “Mr. Mom.”  Super old flick, even though 1983 seems like only 10 years ago.  We all watched and laughed, partially at the style of clothes, hair, and cars – gotta love that avocado green station wagon.

mr. mom

But as I watched, I felt a little envious of their simple life.  No kids cracked out on iphones, no parents glued to computer screens, no dinging of texts, emails, or digital demands pecking at their minds every waking moment.  The kids played with toys, the parents watched only a few TV shows, and gasp, phones actually had cords!  Which meant, if you called someone and couldn’t reach them, you had to just wait and try again later. 

It dawned on me that moment while watching Michael Keaton innocently juggling his Mr. Mom duties…while I appreciate the convenience of modern day electronics, I think we are totally bombarded by constant communication.  There is some kind of pull in our culture to constantly connect, announce, and share.  Whether it’s taking a photo of something, texting a quick idea, emailing that client at midnight, or answering the phone.  It can be imprisoning.  And after a while it feels like a burden.

Does anyone else ever feel this way?

I’m old enough to remember being a kid without wireless electronics.  There was a freedom in it.  A freedom I really wish my kids had.  We played with mud and pretended to have pie stands, rode our bikes until dark, walked a mile to get snow cones, and wrote notes to friends in cursive.  Yes, sometimes we were bored and had to entertain ourselves.  That would occasionally mean prank calling about a fake pizza order to some innocent person from the phonebook.  Remember phone books???  Sometimes we even had to wait at school after practice and hope our parent remembered to pick us up even though we didn’t have a quarter to call home.  Do I sound like a total grandma yet?

I realize while you’re reading, it may seem hypocritical that I even bring up this discussion.  Hey, Seleta, you’re typing on a Mac while b*tching about electronics.  I know, I know.  I’m not totally dismissing electronics.  They definitely have value in our lives, and I enjoy most of it.  But here’s my point:  unplugging is good.  It feels really nice to disconnect for considerable periods of time.  And I think it’s healthy to be fully present in whatever it is you’re doing and not have to digitally document every.  single.  moment.

It felt good to experience four days with my family without connecting to anything electronic.  It felt good to BE PRESENT with the ones I loved…and not divide my attention to any other digital medium.  Yesterday I had everyone put away all electronics (we do this daily, but I plan to do it even more) and went on a one hour walk with the kids.  We had skipping races, played fetch with the dog, snipped fresh greens in the woods, and watched the sun set over the bay.

I’m concerned about all of us feeling like we need to always communicate and constantly be entertained.  Whether it’s standing in line at the grocery store, waiting at Starbucks, or waiting on food at a restaurant.  With this kind of constant stimulus, what will this generation of kids be like as adults?

I realize the only way to counter this is by carving out more non electronic time so our kids can use their imagination and enjoy nature.  My goal is to unplug even more than I already do to live in the moment.  It feels freeing.

life is wonderful

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic : )

By Seleta | 30 Comments

black + white beauty

Yes to unity.  Yes to compassion.  Yes to a harmonious blend of black and white.

i have a dream2

i have a dream

Happy birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King.

By Seleta | 1 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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