Keeping cool..

Lately the weather has been scorching, today's promising a high of 108 degrees. Out our window, the day gives little warning of the sweltering heat it plans to unleash. A thin cloud covering mutes the intensity of the sunlight. But we feel the warmth already. We feel it within us, and without. Oliver drags me to the sliding glass doors, pointing and babbling toward his small plastic swimming pool. We must become creative with our heat coping methods. Even little Oliver senses that his pool will provide the cooling relief his sweaty little body craves. So we crank up our iTunes playlist and head out, still in our pjs, splashing ankle deep into the blue water.

We are having a backyard pool party today, just my son & me.

How will you turn the heat into a party today?



red, white & blue summertime

"Summertime, and the livin' is easy..." penned Gershwin of this magical time of year with weather that makes me feel happy, alive, free.

Lately I've been feeling creative...

I created this simple bunting with thin cardboard, ribbon, paint, fabric scraps and markers.

I love using simple household items like empty boxes or old t-shirts to fashion whimsical decorations for our home. 

Last week, I found a beautiful pair of jeans while digging through a pile of clothes. They cost me just $0.25 and were in perfect condition except for being hemmed a little too short for my legs. I brought them home and used this tutorial to make this brilliant pair of skinnies.

Oliver & I have been enjoying the sunshine from our backyard, and also being patriotic with a little extra red and white and blue.

Happy Independence Day, 

& happy summer!


Fashionably Friday

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."-Jim Jarmusch

I was inspired by this cut-out shirt & this cut-out dress
Using my scissors, thread, fabric scraps & sewing machine, 
I crafted this beautiful blouse from an old Forever21 shirt
Paired with some of my current go-to pieces,
it is already a wardrobe favorite.
cut-out shoulders

messy curls

a scrap of ivory lace created the bow

neon pink nail polish 

Owl ring from Aeropostale

a scrunched sleeve reveals my "Love & Long Life" wrist tattoo 
This outfit & I are ready for a weekend on the coast.

If you would like your own DIY project featured on 
Life & Words, send me a note at mrsb.sellai at gmail.com. 
I would love to hear from you!


Saturday Somethings

As a child, I remember Saturdays as a mixture of things...
Sometimes my family went shopping or swimming, other times we had lots of yard-work to accomplish.
Regardless of what we did, most Saturdays were spent together, as a family. 

Today reminded me of those old days. . .

Lately life passes too quickly. It seems like every weekend is booked full of plans and engagements. I forget to spend time with people I love. These days to simply spend Saturday at home is a treat.

Today feels like a treat.
Today we slept past nine a.m.
We enjoyed our breakfast of milk and cereal and yogurt.
Just the three of us. 
Oliver played peek-a-boo between spoonfuls of yogurt & baby cereal.

Nicholas worked on the yard, we bathed Oliver together, dressed in comfy sweats and cooked lunch together while Oliver pulled plastic lids and containers from his cupboard. I chopped potatoes and yams for french fries while Nick grilled burgers and made a heart out of ketchup on my hamburger bun when I wasn't looking. We sat and talked and smiled and loved each other's company.

Today it didn't matter what we did or how much time we wasted doing nothing.
Because time spent together is never wasted.


Oliver's Dr. Seuss Party

Last weekend, Nicholas & I hosted Oliver's very first birthday party.
We chose "Seussville" as the theme since Oliver loves his Dr. Seuss alphabet book so much. 

I did lots of research on pinterest (and probably drove Nick a little crazy with all my demands) but the party ended up being lots of fun. We enjoyed face-painting and colored bubbles, as well as some yummy food and cupcakes for dessert. I also set out Dr. Seuss' Happy Birthday book for Oliver's guests to sign. Oliver napped just before the party started and woke up supercharged and ridiculously excited by all the people filling his home, especially since they all were there for him. :) 

Enjoy some snapshots of the day...

The red basket is filled with "thank you" bookmarks.

I take a photo of Oliver every month so I strung them up with twine & clothespins.
The food had fun "seuss-y" names: "Poodles Eating Noodles" macaroni salad, "Green Eggs" deviled eggs & "Ham" sandwiches, "Cheese Trees", "1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Goldfish" crackers, "Greens & Other things" platter of assorted veggies, & "Truffula Fruit".

Party favors, & cupcakes on a tray made from a picture frame.

Some fun bubbles were in the favor bags.

"Yink's Pink Ink Drink" pink lemonade

"Hop on Soda Pop" and striped drinking straws

Toya's outfit is inspired by The Cat in the Hat. 

Oliver's Nana (wearing Horton ears) got her face painted at the "1 Face, 2 Face, Red Paint, Blue Paint" table.

Uncle Reuben was in charge of the coloring table, "Oh the Colors you can color"

Birthday Boy!

He loved eating cake :)

Nick as Thing 1, Me as Thing 2, & Oliver as the Mayor of Seussville.

"You're off to great places
Today is your day.
Your mountain is waiting
So get on your way!"


a year.

That was then...


& this is now.

It is amazing the memories & joys we have 
experienced during the past twelve months.

Exactly one year ago today, 
this little curly-haired, angel-faced boy 
stole our hearts and changed our world forever.

Our baby is 1.


Guess what's coming up?

Speaking of birthdays....

Oliver's is coming up!

& although he has no idea what that means, he is loving all the party goods that have flooded our home the past few weeks, especially the balloons. I inflated one today and he went crazy for it.

Stay tuned for party details some time next week. :)


P.S. Oliver's cousin Miles is in the hospital and needs lots of prayers sent his way. If you have a minute during your day, please say a prayer for him. Your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated. 


Thrifty Thursdays

I love wearing fun dresses.

Oracle Summer Tunic $79AUD
This little number from esther, an Australian based online boutique, recently caught my eye. The colors, bold pattern, silhouette exude fun, flirty femininity.

But, I am always looking for a bargain so I waited hoping that one of two things would happen:

a.) It would go on sale. Like a really big sale.
b.) I would find a similar dress that looked just as amazing for a fraction of the price.

Well, it did not go on sale. But, I found an alternative. Yay! & it is pretty amazing! See for yourself...

A super cute picture thanks to Instagram
Close up of the pattern.
Oliver made sure he got in at least one photo

This dress is the essence of me. 
It is the perfect balance of whimsy, exotic & effortlessly stylish. Just add a messy braid, my oversized rose gold wristwatch and a pair of leather sandals and I am ready to take on the world. :)

This dress is from Forever21. Dresses like this typically range from $10 to $25. I found mine brand new at my local Flea Market for just $4! 

The moral of this story?
If something is out of your price range, there are affordable alternatives as long as you are willing to explore a little. 

Also, you never know what affordable treasures lurk in local thrift stores, vintage shops & flea markets.  

Happy Hunting!


p.s. If any of you have found any awesome bargains lately, send me an email. I would love to hear about them!



Oliver enjoyed his first Easter this weekend & also turned 11 months old.

Oliver watched Nicholas & I color eggs with his cousin Hailey. He also got to hunt for brightly colored eggs filled with teddy grahams & cheese-its at Nana and Grandpa's house. 

These days, Oliver spends his time playing with his stuffed animals Rufus & Steggie. He loves watching his dog from the dining room windows. He points at everything and loves electronics. He allows loves books. I think he likes how they taste just as much as he likes to show me the pictures inside their pages. Oliver got new shoes with velcro straps this month. These shoes actually stay on his feet and he does not mind them too much. Mostly because when he wears his shoes, he is allowed to play outside. The other day, he actually carried his shoes to me and patiently waited for me to put them on his feet. He is such a good little boy when he chooses to be. But whether he is driving me crazy or being sweet & lovable matters not because I am his mommy and he is my baby and we our completely obsessed with each other. :)

There is a single month remaining until my little Munchkin turns 1 year old. 
I can hardly believe it. 

♥ Bethany


today i am thankful for 

my wonderful husband.

We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary this week.
Life is fuller, richer & more beautiful because I am loved by him.


"..today i love you more than i loved you yesterday,
but tomorrow i will love you even more than i do today..."




Last week my mother, Melba, gave thanks for her 50th year of life.
Saturday evening, Nicholas & I hosted our first dinner party in honor of her. 
We were joined by a few very dear friends and family.

But rewind a bit. . .
I spent the whole month planning because I 
l o v e 

Any and all birthdays. I decided there was no reason this couldn't be my mom's best birthday yet. So I took a little of this and a little of that, borrowed dishes and tables and chairs and mason jars and buttons...
I printed up my mom's favorite poems and quotes from her favorite books and authors. I sneaked old photos from my parent's house, and even found my mom's old yearbook from her senior year at bible college from w a y back in the day. :)
Then I sewed, ironed, glued, snipped, folded, tied, pinned, spray-painted, decoupaged, hung, strung, arranged, cooked, cleaned, baked, frosted, brewed, chopped, mixed, etc. . .

And in the end, it was a perfect (if I do say so, myself).
See for yourself.



I used this, along with other photos, in a special slideshow. Gold star to anyone who can tell me which small child is my momma :)

Our family (minus Nessa & Lucas)
Here's to the next 50, Momma :)
May they be even fuller and richer than the first.

♥ Bethany