handling it

I think the month of May is one of the craziest months of the year for parents…possibly tied with December.  In the last 14 days my husband and I have managed to juggle a multitude of kiddo events that have come at us like a tsunami.  These aren’t just any events, but important moments for our kids where a parent’s love and presence is important (plays, track meets, soccer games, field trips, auditions, orientations, awards banquets, and more).

treasures patterson maker


Many times these events happen simultaneously, so Peter and I have to divide and conquer.  It’s a joy to experience all of these moments, but it can be maddening on the nerves as I have waves of intense mom guilt when I have to choose one event when two (sometimes three) are happening at once.  I usually try to make it up with a home cooked meal or one-on-one time at night.  The kids are good sports about it all.

This is pretty much my daily mantra.

handle it

There is no “express lane” in the line of parenting.  An abundance of love, strength, sacrifice, and humility is needed when you become a mom or dad.  Every day you roll up your sleeves and do your best.  Sometimes it’s the easiest thing in the world, and sometimes you wonder if you’ll make it to three o’clock.  I find myself filled with gratitude knowing that I get to experience so much adventure with having a big family.  And sometimes I collapse from the wild ride that day (sorry kids, I’m still in yesterday’s sweats and pizza is for dinner).  I try to always soak up the good while balancing those “not so perfect” moments that can leave you feeling completely baffled or fatigued.  Coffee and prayer have become my survival tools of life.  And a saint of a husband.

Today I applaud all parents who are making the most of their experience, loving their kids, and juggling responsibility and adventure with the best of them.  You are giving the most precious gift of all…yourself.

Posted in About me, Faith, Life, Our Family | 3 Responses

southern living plants on my porch

Earlier this year, Southern Living Plant Collection contacted me and offered to send over some of their beautiful new blooms for spring.  My first thought was “Who, me?  The girl who accidentally kills plants?!”  I went over in my head all kinds of fake excuses I could use to say no: Florida rain, Swahili lessons, chickens molting, election year, break-dancing workshop, mom deadlines…but nothing was sounding legit.

I thanked them for their offer and politely explained that I may not be the best candidate to share a gardening project, as I have a very active black thumb.  But Jessica in their marketing department wasn’t going to take that for an answer.  She assured me that their plants would be custom selected for the climate I lived in and super easy to plant, even for the humblest of gardeners.  She believed in her plants…and me.  And I’m so glad she did because this was one fun and rewarding project!  We kept things realistic and agreed that starting with planting in pots on the porch would be the safest for a beginner like me.

simply seleta southern living plants1

The plants arrived in nicely labeled Southern Living boxes and were in beautiful condition.  They sent me Mountain Snow Pieris, Yewtopia Plum Yew (I noticed the tag said “disease/pest/drought resistant”, ha), and Jubilation Gardenia.

Each plant had its own label and was custom selected based upon what colors I liked, my gardening skill level (the order probably read: shipping to plant murderer) and the area in which I lived.  Once they arrived, we immediately unboxed and watered them, but the plants had to wait another two weeks before I planted them since my schedule was nuts.  Our hens were most helpful in the whole process.

simply seleta southern living plants boxes

I was so scared that they would die before I had a chance to plant them, but they were super hardy and did exactly what they were supposed to do – grow and live!  Champagne, our oldest hen, was a big supporter too.

simply seleta southern living plants chicken

Soon it was time for the official planting.

simply seleta southern living plant collection

I decided to style a fun sitting area on our porch and loved it!  It felt so cozy and inviting with the potted plants nestled around the grouping.  It was a hit with the family and a perfect spot for a glass of ice-cold lemonade on a sizzling-hot afternoon.  We get a lot of those around here.

simply seleta southern plants4

Only two days after I potted our new gardenias (which smell divine, by the way) they burst with white blooms!  I’ve never seen so many blooms on one little shrub.  In fact, there are so many blooming that I keep snipping the blooms and bringing them inside to freshen up our dining room shelves.

simply seleta gardenias


simply seleta southern living plants3

You can order their plants in stores here.  OR you can order your online here, which was the other thing I really loved about this process. I didn’t have to drag a gaggle of tired kids up and down crowded nursery isles wondering what would survive best in our lighting and climate, then load up all the plants and carry/load/unload home.  Southern Living Plant Collection provides all of that information with a touch of your keyboard – and they also provide cool styling advice, videos, and more so you can tackle your project with confidence.

Favorite feature:  enter your zip code on this page and they tell you what works best in your climate.

simply seleta southern living plants2

I have a few more of their plants to put into bigger pots – and they’re still super healthy and waiting patiently.  Thank you to Southern Living Plant Collection for giving me a little gardening bravery and sharing your beautiful plants!

simoply seleta southern living plants

This post was written in partnership with Southern Living Plant Collection; all opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you for supporting the blog and its wonderful sponsors!

Posted in About me, Budget projects, Gardening, My Design Work, My Home, Style Sessions | 4 Responses

wednesday white simple beauty

It’s been an exciting and wonderful two weeks filled with art, beauty, celebration, friend visits, and family time.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so many exciting things happen at once.  It was so much that if I put even half of it on my instagram, my phone would probably explode.  We went from our big Joffrey performance in Seaside to Mother’s Day to Peter’s birthday.  All in 72 hours.  So fun and so exhausting all at once.  But all good stuff.  A little arrangement I made using grocery store flowers in a pretty white vase my sweet friend, Leslie, just gave me.  

simply seleta flowers

I want to tell you more about my Joffrey Ballet Concert Group week in a post, but I’m taking a little time to breathe in some much needed relaxation and reflect on all of the beauty that surrounded us in a matter of days.  All of these experiences were such treasures.

**Tomorrow I’m back with a FUN post sharing what I just added to our front porch to give it the perfect spring touch.  See you in the morning!**

Posted in Happenings Around Town, Life, My Design Work, White Spaces | 1 Response

SEASIDE Dance Month in May

Guys I am so, so, soooo excited to share with you our big announcement that Seaside Dance Month is happening in May!  We’ve been working on this for so long and it’s finally here!  In celebration of dance, we have planned three fabulous and FREE shows right here in Seaside performed by professional dance artists from all around the world.  We’re talking ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap, and more!  Duets, big groups, solos – you name it, we’ve got it.  And it’s all performed under the stars in the Seaside Amphitheater.  We begin Seaside Dance Month with a return performance by Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, who just arrived from New York on Tuesday (explains my absence the last few days).

SeasideDanceMonth (1)

Here are two of the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group dancers hitting the pose from our poster last spring : )

Joffrey-Beach-Duet simply seleta

And here is the company from last year.  Each year we host all dancers here in Seaside for a week of rehearsals and classes, and one unforgettable performance under the stars in Seaside.

Joffrey-Beach-Group simply seleta

A few pictures from Joffrey Ballet Concert Group’s performance last year will give you a taste what you can expect again this year.  Pictures hardly do it all justice, but it’s still beautiful.  I’ve seen a lot of performances in many different settings, and there’s nothing like a beach sunset hitting a stage of Joffrey Ballet Concert Group ballerinas at just the right moment while Tchaikovsky permeates the salty sea air.  It’s a true Seaside experience.

serenade openphoto by Shelly Swanger

Joffrey Balanchinephoto by Sarah Ponder

joffrey balanchine simply seletaphoto by Sarah Ponder

This next piece is Light Rain by the Joffrey’s late Gerald Arpino, an edgy, modern dance that’s sure to leave you blushing.  It first debuted in the early 60’s (need I say more?) and exudes pure art and passion.

light rain pas

This piece mesmerized the audience.

light rain group

Are you ready to come enjoy the shows yet?  I’m telling you it’s amazing.

Our Seaside Dance Month show line-up for the month of May, all performed in the Seaside Amphitheater:

May 7, 6:00pm:  Joffrey Ballet Concert Group performs classical and contemporary works from Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Dwight Rhoden, and more.

May 14, 6:00pm:  Ballet Pensacola performs a variety of dance works including ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and tap.

May 21, 6:00pm:  our Gala featuring guest artists from New York City Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet of Canada, Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance, and many more.

If you’re out of town, this is a great reason to book a cottage and come stay the weekend.  Seaside, dance, and the beach?  A great way to relax and and enjoy dance.

Thanks to the Merchants of Seaside for sponsoring all three of these magnificent events.

**Be sure to check my instagram to see behind the scenes moments of Joffrey Ballet Concert Group dancers and director rehearsing and enjoying Seaside.  They are already soaking up the scenery, sand, and sun!

Hope to see you at our shows!

Posted in About me, Ballet, Happenings Around Town, Travel | 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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