New Year, Same Me.


Happy New Year!!! After being sad during my first single Christmas since I was in elementary school, I was determined to make the most out of New Years Eve. In reality I hate New Years Eve, I have never had a great one, and it is always over-hyped and then a huge letdown. I had convinced myself this year would be different. I had bought a table at my membership club and invited a group of single friends. Once I decided I wanted to go out but didn’t want to chase the party everywhere. I wanted to be in one spot – this was a guaranteed party.

I wasn’t feeling my best in the self-confidence department and knew the NYE staple look for most women, short and tight, was not my cup of tea this year. The party was black tie, and I decided to wear my new favorite dress that Sam had bought me on our shopping spree in Miami. The green flowing DVF dress that made me feel like I was wearing Halston. New Years is a lot like Halloween in respect that you can get away with wearing just about anything; regardless of your age or the weather.

The girls got ready at my place; I had hired one of my favorite makeup artist, Lisa G to do our makeup and hair. I had massive hair extensions that I wanted to wear and knew that it was more than I could tackle. I popped the champagne, opened some caviar, and the night had begun. They had transformed the club into an underwater adventure, and it was fantastic. The night, overall, was fun, and I am glad I wasn’t sitting home crying into my whiskey, but per usual though everyone was drinking. People were getting sloppy drunk, and I was wondering who would be my midnight kiss. As the countdown began we all raised our glasses and shouted at the top of our lungs; five, four, three, two, one, Happy New Years! I did end up having a midnight kiss, but it was a gay BFF, so it didn’t count actually.

I woke up the next morning only slightly hung over and highly disappointed. Though I acknowledge that New Years is always a let down I love the idea of a new year. It was always exciting to me to think about being able to set new goals, feel refreshed, take a step forward in time without looking back- it was exactly what I needed this year. I was ready to tackle 2013 like a boss! So, of course, when I woke up I expected to wake up feeling like a whole new me; New Year, new me-, right? Nope, not the case. New year, same me. I laid in bed and stared at my chandlier on my ceiling.

The past year had been monumental. Maybe it wasn’t in the way I hoped and planned for but it was life changing. I talked to myself for a good hour saying things like; “you might not feel different today, but you never know what tomorrow brings!” And, “This is the first day of a new year, and anything can happen.” Then I had a bright spot, a light bulb went off. My divorce would become final with the state of California this year! California has a six-month statute of limitations and thought I didn’t know the exact date, I knew it would be sometime in 2013. That was something I could get excited about!

I had a brief thought of wondering what my x-did on New Years Eve and that lead me to think about New Years Eve 2012.

We had been invited by friends to Napa to attend a dinner party of a very chic couple that we knew through friends. It was a very grown up civilized dinner party, just how I like it. My husband had two friends that didn’t have plans, and he thought it was totally appropriate to invite them and their dates to come along. I thought it was completely and totally rude, and I could NOT believe the idea had even crossed his mind. We were basically guests of guests, and I was not about to invite more guests! He ended up asking the hostess because I refused. Being the gracious woman that she is, she suggested that they come after dinner to ring in the new year- as the dinner table was full. The two of my husbands friends that I am referring two were work colleges and close friends. I always had liked them, but when they showed up with “dates” that, I am fairly sure, were paid by the hour I decided I was not such a fan. I had never been so embarrassed, and I wanted to kill my husband!

At midnight grew near I decided to put it behind me and kiss my new husband at midnight! I was so happy; a new dress, new lipstick, and a new husband. It was my most perfect New Years Eve to date.

The next morning we went to breakfast with our hosts, loaded Jet into the car and headed back to the city. I was excited to have spent the quality time together with my husband even if it was just a few days. We were still newlyweds, and I would take all the time with him I could get. The day after Christmas, he had received an “urgent” call to from his boss. It seemed a group of workers at the company were preparing to strike, and they were pulling all the executives together for an off-site to come up with a plan to avoid it. It was urgent and had to be taken care of before the end of the year. In reality, he was spending time with Kathy. I would later learn he spent four nights six blocks from our home in a hotel with her and their dog. From the photos, I would later find on Facebook it seemed they had a wonderful time. Eating out, at our favorite places, seeing the tree in Union Square, working out together… It was just lovely. Thinking about it today makes me laugh. It is like Sliding Doors; one moment could have changed everything. Had I crossed the street at a different time, maybe I would have bumped into them or if a friend had said, “let’s go to dinner at Zuni.” I could have been seated next to them. I don’t know why I never caught them together, but it is fun to fantasize about what I would have said! It is definitely not rated PG.

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

I have never met a DVF piece I didn’t love, or at least like. The green dress Sam bought me is still one of my favorite gowns. The latest collection is no exception! Here are a few of my current favorite pieces.

*All of the events I have written about in the above and previous posts are about me, my life, my experiences and from my point of view.

© Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

D-Day Part Deux.

The day had finally arrived; my next, and what I hoped will be my final, court date. Though I was much more put together and composed than my first court day a few months prior my mom flew to LA for the occasion. That morning my dad called, he wished me luck and told me to kick his ass. My dad is the one man in my life I can always count on to be on my side!

As I walked into the Los Angeles County courthouse, I was feeling much stronger than that date in September. This time I was still nervous, but it was different, under the nervous energy I was pissed off as well. The thought of seeing my husband made my stomach hurt, but I felt more prepared, in the way you do when you have done something before so you feel like you know what to expect.

As we sat outside the courtroom waiting for our name to be called I had my usual support group; mom, Mackenzie, my best friend and business partner, Erika, Parvati and my lawyer. I sat next to a woman that was also meeting with her lawyer on the bench outside the courtroom. She was tall blonde, in her later 40’s early 50’s, dressed in designer clothes, elegant and put together in an effortless but chic way. She looked great but, I felt bad for her- she was alone. When she started speaking to her lawyer, it was evident she was a bit nervous, not overly jittery she just seemed like she needed a Xanax, but you could tell it wasn’t her first rodeo. She had been through this, probably multiple times. As I looked at her part of me wanted to be her; she was elegant, so pulled together and stylish with just the right amount of filler for a woman her age. On the other hand I was terrified I might end up being her. Reaching that point in my life that I have gone through so many divorces that I stop asking my friends to come with me to court for support. It was a scary thought.

As they called our case, Erika grabbed my hand and stopped me. She took my wrist and gave me a gift. A simple chain with a cross on it that fit perfectly around my wrist and I rarely have taken it off since that day. Erika and I met the year I won Miss Teen USA; she was Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA, and we clicked instantly. Twenty years later we are still the best of friends, to say she knew me well was an understatement.

My husband had rejected every settlement offer I put on the table so I know this wouldn’t be easy. He didn’t want to pay alimony; he didn’t want to pay a settlement, he didn’t want to pay my lawyer fees, and he didn’t want to pay my health insurance. He had given me money sporadically over the last 12 months but nothing I could live on. Basically, he was willing to give my belongings back if I made a list. In the eye of the California court system I left my martial home after four months of marriage. So half of that time was two months, and that was too little of a time for them to be concerned with. It didn’t matter at all that we had lived together for six years that he had lied to me for seven years, that he had a double life or that he cheated on me- repeatedly. When the judge got sick of our lawyers going back and forth trying to reach a settlement in court, he finally dismissed us with no resolution. My heart sank. He then he asked that the lawyers meet to try and work something out face to face. We walked out the courtroom and decided to go to the cafeteria to talk.

Frist the lawyers spoke, and I sat with my mother at another table. My lawyer came back to the table and explained that they had a hard time reaching an agreement, and his side wouldn’t give at all. Finally, I hit a wall; I was D-O-N-E! I stood up and started to walk toward my husband, my lawyer calling after me saying, “I don’t think this is a good idea, you should let us work this out.” Bullshit. I was sick of this shit they weren’t working dick out. I walked over to my husband and said, “Look, I am not leaving this courthouse until you and I have reached an agreement and settle this. I refuse to let this drag out anymore.”

The look on his face was one of shock but also a look of exhaustion, for a moment I realized he was as tired as I was dealing with this as I was. It was the first time that I realized he might not want to let go of our marriage, but he realized I was not giving in. We sat and talked and talked and talked. He and I talked; we talked to our lawyers, our lawyers talked, I talked to my mom; I called my dad it was a constant conversation for hours! He and I even shared a few laughs, for a moment… just a very brief moment, I saw a glimpse of the man I fell in love with, even if it wasn’t the real man.

I told all my friends they could leave; we didn’t need to all waste our day sitting in a courthouse cafeteria, Erika and my mom stayed. Finally, we reached an agreement, my lawyer wrote it up; his lawyer reviewed it, and we got back on the judge’s docket for one of the last cases of the day. As we marched back into court, it was surreal. I was finally going to be “done” with my marriage. I was finally able to put the past seven plus years of lies behind me. I could see a tiny little light at the end of the tunnel. We presented our settlement; the judge asked if we both agreed we said yes, and the gavel went down. In the end, I didn’t get near what I wanted or what I deserved. The fact I had to pay my lawyer’s fees will always piss me off but after eight hours at the Los Angeles County Courthouse we were done! All of the money and belongings were just “things,” as my father kept telling me, it wasn’t worth the fight. I didn’t know if I wanted to cry, laugh, jump for joy or punch someone in the face. It was mixture of all those emotions at once. I thanked my lawyer, hugged my mom and friends. By the time, I looked up my husband was gone, out of the courtroom. I prayed that day that I would never see him again.

Single & Stylish,

Xx Keylee

I hope that I am never in a courtroom again, but after being there twice in three months and eight hours in one day… I have a very good grasp on what is courtroom chic; look sexy enough to be make you ex take a double take, conservative enough to impress the judge and always wear something that means something special to you. A scarf, a piece of jewelry, sexy panties… any of these would work. Maybe that will be a new part of my styling business???

*All of the events I have written about in the above and previous posts are about me, my life, my experiences and from my point of view.

© Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Single Holiday.

Being alone at the holidays is its own special kind of torture for a single person. For starters you get fewer presents at Christmas, I know this shouldn’t be a big deal but it is. In my house growing up my sister and I would separate all the gift into piles, depending on where everyone was sitting, and then we would go around and one by one open a gift. You always know who gets the most gifts! At meals you may get designated to the kids table from time to time (the kids table is generally an odd number anyway so everyone thinks, it isn’t a big deal) and best of all you get to see those relatives and friends that you only see once a year give you the “oh really, you’re still single?” look. As my first holiday season alone was approaching, all of these things were going through my mind!

As the end of November grew closer I grew more and more anxious. My anxiety was not about the pageant in New Hampshire or being away from my family during Thanksgiving. I really couldn’t put my finger on it other than it was the holidays, and it would be my first major holiday alone. I have always loved going home, holidays or not, and I love spending time with my family but I had no interest in going home by myself to spend Thanksgiving with everyone. My situation was still very fresh and the thought have having to sit around and talk about what an asshole my husband was, and how “I would find someone who deserved me some day” was not high on my list of priorities. The good news was I would be with my pageant family. Me, my business partner, his partner and Mackenzie would all be together in New Hampshire for the pageant and so we had decided to make plans at a fabulous lodge in the country for Thanksgiving dinner. One thing we always did well was be fabulous!

As we landed in New Hampshire the cool crisp air was a welcome change. LA was still fairly warm in November and after growing up in Kansas the holidays were never the same to me when I could wear flip-flops. I had packed all of my winters finest and decided I would be excited about the trip! My mother has always said that attitude is everything, so I was trying hard to have a good attitude.

We landed in Boston and drove to New Hampshire, to settle into the hotel. We would be working Thanksgiving morning before driving further north for dinner. As we drove through the east coast country-side the leaves were beautiful, the roads winding and the trees towering; it all felt very festive. Living in LA and not having real seasons was hard, I missed Fall the most.

We ate dinner in a very chic converted barn; it looked like a Ralph Lauren catalog advertisement. Every detail was taken care of; the china was mismatched, but perfectly coordinated at the same time. The floral arrangements rustic yet polished, and the food was the perfect balance between traditional dishes and modern tastes. The meal was delicious, but the wine was even better. Once our bellies were full we drove back to the hotel; it would be an early start the next morning, and we all wanted to get a little sleep.

I headed back to my room to get a good night sleep; I washed my face, put on my pj’s and jumped into bed. Suddenly I wasn’t tired. My body was tired, but I couldn’t sleep. I turned on the TV and found nothing of interest, it was Thanksgiving night after all, so I decided to watch a rerun of something I really had little interest in and wrote in my journal.

Journal Entry:
Thanksgiving 2012

“Here I am, my first major holiday….alone in my hotel room. I am feeling very blah. Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling blessed to have spent this holiday being thankful and surrounded by people I love. I miss my family, but most of all I miss the life I thought I would have. I have no one to call late at night, no one to say I love you to and no one to greet me when I fly home. No one to call and tell about my day, no one who tells me they miss me. I know I have been sad off and on for the past nine months (sadness mixed with anger really) but tonight I have no anger- just sadness. I pray this will pass with time. For now, I will just focus on work and getting through the weekend. One day at a time, just as I always have.“

Then I thought to myself, I always have Jaxton. Well ‘have’ is not the right word but I always knew he was there. He was spending the holiday with his family and was only a few miles away. We had talked about me joining him for Thanksgiving but in the end I decided I would probably be a big enough of a mess and adding him and his family into my emotional mix was not the smartest of ideas. I have to admit the romantic side of me really wanted to go. I always wanted to be next to him, but I was proud of myself for making the smart decision and saying ‘no thank you.’ So I did the next best thing; I sent him a late night text. Which as we all know is always a good idea (insert sarcastic look here). I wrote the text about ten times, erasing it and re-writing it. What I really wanted to send was ‘Damn I miss you, I want to be next to you, I love you… oh and Happy Thanksgiving.’ I didn’t send it luckily I had a bit of sense at that moment, and I sent this instead; ‘Happy Thanksgiving, hope you have a nice time at home.’

The next day all of our contestants would check into the pageant, and I woke up knowing that I was going to be too busy that day to even think about being lonely. What I hadn’t thought about was that over a year ago when I was here for our orientation I had just gotten married. Many of the girls I hadn’t seen since that time. So that day I had several ask, “Oh hi, how is married life?” Ugh, even after nine months that question still felt like a hot poker straight to the stomach. I considered wearing a t-shirt or button that stated, “Don’t ask about my marriage.” Just to save myself and the innocent well-wisher from the awkward moment of discussing it and the pity face that followed.

I did what I always do; I put on a brave face on when I was around everyone and then later went to my room and sulked, sometimes even cried- in private like a big a girl.

I knew this was only the beginning; the holidays were just starting and after that it would be the one-year mark from when I walked out. I have used a lot of my inner strength just getting through the past nine months, but as I glanced at my calendar before the final show of the weekend I realized I only had a week until my court date. I took a breath, because I know deep down inside the rough part hasn’t even began.

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

As someone who has never been afraid to treat herself to a goodie here and there, I do have to cut back during the holidays to be sure I don’t blow my budget! These are a few of my favorite treats that won’t blow your holiday shopping budget but will put a smile on your face. They make great gift too!

*All of the events I have written about in the above and previous posts are about me, my life, my experiences and from my point of view.

© Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

They Thought I Might Go Home.

Developing the tools to change your relationship habits is like trying to put a five drawer dresser from IKEA together and not have any extra parts- nearly impossible without professional help! So I did what I usually did; I had some wine with my girlfriends and then made an extra therapy appointment that month.

The next day a friend of mine called out of the blue and the first words out of her mouth were, ‘are you sitting down?” I had a bit of a hangover but through my fog I, of course, assumed she was pregnant or something equally shocking, but I would soon learn I was wrong. “Ok, I am,” I said, actually I was still lying in bed but close enough. “I just had lunch with Sandy and I think your husband was sleeping with Rachel as well!” I immediately started laughing, deep hysterical laugh. I don’t think this is the reaction she was at all expecting, but she began to giggle and then ask, “wait, why we were laughing?” It was hard for me to explain but, Rachel was an older woman who was divorced with children and had been our dog sitter at different’ times. Jet loved her so I always felt great leaving him with her when we would travel. I just never even thought my husband was that fond of her as well! I never assumed Katy would be the only one; it just wasn’t logical, but Rachel was the last person I every imagined. One thing was clear; my husband didn’t have a ‘type’. After finding out this new information, I went on to assume that he would sleep with, or had slept with, just about anyone. In all of my research and talking to both therapists, we always agreed that eventually I would learn about other women. Men who have this pattern of behavior never do this just once or with one woman. This was the first evidence, if you can call it that, I had that Katy wasn’t the only one, and I was surprisingly calm about it. I had become so detached from him that I really didn’t care if I found out he was gang banging hookers every weekend. It wasn’t like I ever considered going back to him. Ok, hookers might have been a bit too much but, later I would find out he had a thing for women who looked like hookers (probably real ones too).

Months later I found out that my close friends and family were terrified I would go back to him. This point has always been laughable to me, how on earth could they think that? At first I was offended, did they not know me at all? In my mind, there wasn’t a remote chance in hell that I would ever go back, but those close to me were not so sure. I guess they had never seen me that tortured and dealing with something that was so emotionally gut wrenching. I admit I was sad, I was depressed, I was angry, I was even a bit confused but I was never considering staying with someone who had destroyed every ounce of trust we had. My soul was crushed, but I wasn’t brain dead! I just had to do things my way. My biggest fear in life is looking back and saying “what if.” I have only said it a few times, and it haunts me still. I had to go through the process and find out all of the information I could before officially moving forward. No matter what it looked like on the outside, I was NOT going back. Ever. Even my nieces would sing the Taylor Swift song “Never Ever” whenever his name was brought up, I still think of them every time that song comes on.

November was shaping up to be a great month. I stopped dating (new men), I was focused on work, my divorce was on track and I tried to avoid thinking about the holidays. Since I was an expert at avoiding things, especially my feelings, I was doing a very good job of it! As we prepared to head to New Hampshire for the pageant over Thanksgiving, I was excited, and I had a lot of travel scheduled between now the new year. I knew the holidays would be tough so keeping busy was my solution.

The New Hampshire pageant was my favorite. It was small and very manageable; the people were always nice and it was a good way for us to start off the pageant season. I was even more excited for my travel plans after all the pageants and holidays were over! We had planed a trip to Europe: Jack me, my best friend and business partner Kent, Megan and Mackenzie. I was so excited I wanted to burst!

I was sitting in the office booking a trip to New York for December, and I got a text from Jaxton. He was annually invited on a ski trip for work that took place in Dear Valley, “want to come?” The text read; he always had a way with words. A weekend in the snow with Jaxton, roaring fire, red wine, s’mores, skiing, … how could I say no? I couldn’t, and I didn’t! December was shaping up to be a crazy month, but I was up for it! The best part is that we would be heading to the mountains two days after my court date. I would be in the mountains with Jaxton and free woman- dreams really do come true!

During my next session with Sabrina, I felt focused and ready for her to tell me what I needed in my emotional tool kit! She said the one thing I knew I didn’t want to hear. “You already have the tools; you just need to learn to use them.” I felt like I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when the Good Witch tells her how she has had the power to return home all along, and she just needed to click her heels. Ugh, such a rip-off answer. I wanted her to look at me and say, this is what you need to do. Steps A, B, and C and then this will all be behind you. But when was life ever that easy?

Sabrina did what any good therapist would do; we talked about how the recent situations made me feel. Then she made me tell her how they really made me feel with out my usual sugar coating. I cried a bit for maybe the second time ever in therapy and then we did our usual session of hypnosis to calm my mind. It was my new favorite thing, after a hypnosis session I felt like I had slept 10 hours. My mind was clear and my heart was light. It took away anxiety, and it helped me deal with situations without giving in to my panic. Sadly it didn’t last a super long time but I would take whatever I could get.

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

Don’t we all wish we could click our heels together and find our way? These are heel clicking worthy shoes!

*All of the events I have written about in the above and previous posts are about me, my life, my experiences and from my point of view.

© Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keylee Sanders, Style Studio LLC and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.