50 Fabulous Gifts Under $50!

Nothing is worse than holiday shopping, women fighting, hair weaves flying, kids crying…. I hate it. Which is why I am thankful to Al Gore (insert eye-roll here) for inventing the internet and in turn being responsible for Cyber Monday! My list seems to grow every year and I find myself, yes- even a professional shopper, not knowing what to buy! So, I am giving you my 50 fabulous gift ideas, all under $50!!!

Now SHOP!!!!

Happy Shopping,


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 KeyleeStyle.com, 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 KeyleeStyle.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A New Man In My Life.

As my next court date grew near, well not near but closer, I began to worry that he would find a way to postpone it again. I spoke to my lawyer and asked that he give me every scenario of what could happen when we walked into court. Looking back I realize this was probably an unnecessary, not to mention expensive, move, but the last time I was so unprepared for the postponement I didn’t want to be taken by surprise again. In the state of California the family court system doesn’t care who did what, it’s called a “no fault” state. Basically, it means they don’t care that my husband had a double life or that we had lived together for four years. All that mattered was the date we got married and that I walked out on our marriage four months after we walked down the aisle. It is a dumb law- just sayin.

After reliving my week of “one-year” mark memories, I decided to take my friends up on the invite to spend a week in Hawaii. I thought it would be a great time for me to relax. I could work from anywhere I had a phone and a laptop, and the idea of getting out of LA for a bit sounded like heaven. This trip would be very different from the last time I was in Hawaii. I had no intention of sitting on the side of the pool and crying for two hours; I did however have plans of lying next to the pool with a cocktail in hand for many hours! I was in a much better place and felt like I could enjoy myself. Just looking at my calendar these days made me exhausted, so I welcomed the break.

I also had a new man in my life, my assistant Jack, and he was fabulous. He was reliable, honest, funny, caring, had flawless style and fabulous hair. He could give a look of death in less than 3 seconds, one of those looks you can only learn from your east coast Italian mother. He quickly learned about everything that was going on in my life, and I began to notice that my calendar was suddenly so packed that I didn’t have time to be sad or lonely. From the day Jack started working for me, he always knew what was best. Jack had dropped out of Medical School to move to LA and become a stylist. When he first told me this, I blurted out, “wow, your parents must be so proud,” intending to sound as sarcastic as it did. He immediately laughed, and I knew we would be together forever! A celebrity client of mine introduced Jack and me, he had interned on a movie she had just finished and when I mentioned I was looking for someone she jumped at the chance to introduce us. It was love at first site. Jack quickly became the man in my life.

I was crazy busy with work and decided I didn’t even have time for men in my life other than Jack. Of course, Jaxton was in and out, per our usual routine of the past one hundred years. Rick, on the other hand, was in my life often, he was someone I relied on regularly; he was dependable, strong, caring and kind. I remember on particularly stressful week, he called and asked if I could be at a meeting with him the next afternoon. I agreed, even when he called back 2 minutes later to say that I better clear my whole afternoon because the meeting may take a while. I didn’t have time to ask questions, so I said ok and rearranged my week to block off the day. I figured the meeting regarded a show we had discussed and that we probably had several meetings lined up back to back. Rick was picking me up at 9 am and at 8:30 he called. “Wear something comfortable,” he said. “What does that mean?” I asked. “Well, you need to wear shorts and tennis shoes,” he replied. “I am NOT wearing shorts and tennis shoes to a meeting!” I said with my voice raising. “Well, I might have stretched the truth a bit about the meeting. We are not exactly going to a meeting today. Just get dressed, and I will explain when I pick you up, be there soon!” He said as he quickly hung up the phone. Grrrr, I was so pissed. I had a super busy schedule and didn’t have time for this shit. I took a deep breath and decided to put on shorts and tennis shoes and meet him outside. Rick had been a great friend, and I wasn’t going to throw a fit when he was trying to do something nice, though I thought about it.

“Where the fuck are we going?” I said as I got into the car and slammed the door. “Good morning to you too,” he said in an annoyingly cheering voice. He immediately started driving, probably so I couldn’t get out of the car. Before he could tell me where we were going I started asking a million questions; “Where are we going? What time will we be back? Will have cell service? Why didn’t you tell me?” “Just relax! You have had a rough couple of weeks, and I think you deserve a day of fun. He didn’t know I was headed to Hawaii in a few days, and I decided to keep that to myself. No need to ruin his fun! As we drove further and further outside of LA, I was totally stumped. Finally, I got it out of him; we were going zip lining at some semi-ski mountain town 2 hours outside of LA. WHAT? I had two thoughts; two hours outside of LA??? And, this was the sweetest thing anyone had done for me in a long time!

Being a girl who is afraid of heights I knew this was going to be a challenge for me, but it was exactly what I needed. The field trip got me out of my head, which has always been pretty difficult to do, and got me smiling and laughing all day. I couldn’t remember the last time I had that much fun. After our zip lining adventure, we went for Mexican food and beers. It was the perfect ending to an unexpected perfect day!

As I left for Hawaii, I knew all the time on my hands would either be a great thing or a not great thing. At times, I feel that too much time on my hands causes me to over think things, wait, but maybe that is wine. Lately overthinking things had become my new past time, and it was dangerous. I started writing in my journal more and more and when I would go back and read the entries it always seemed like someone else had written them. I would swing between sad and lonely to positive glass half full, I can concour the world attitude. I don’t know if it was the roller coaster of emotions or the feeling of being a stranger to myself, but either way it was exhausting! Sabrina would tell me it was perfectly normal, but I felt like I was crazy.

Once I arrived in Hawaii and smelled the ocean air, I decided to treat Hawaii like a spa vacation. I slept a lot, went for long walks each day, swam in the ocean, tried not to drink too much. I wanted to come back from the trip feeling great, and I did.

I came back feeling powerful and recharged. I knew it was going to be a hellish couple of months with work, my pending court date and the holidays. I am not a fan of Halloween and barley recognize it as a holiday, ever. I would spend Thanksgiving in New Hampshire for the Miss New Hampshire USA pageant and though I hated not being with my family on holidays, this year it was a relief. The thought of going home this year didn’t even sound fun. The thought of sitting around a table, seeing friends, and having everyone giving me pitty face was something I was not interested in. I decided work was the perfect excuse to avoid my first holiday as a single!

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

As I think about the holidays and spending time in cooler weather I think about winter coats, and this year I am obsessed with capes! They have such a glamourous European feel to them and they are perfect for fall and winter- in LA there isn’t that much difference!

*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 KeyleeStyle.com, 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 KeyleeStyle.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tis’ The Season to Shop Shop Shop!

When looking for the perfect gifts this holiday season remember that you do not have to bust your credit card limit to show someone how you feel.  Save that credit for your New Years’s shoes!  These are a few of my favorite gifts this season, now put on your comfortable heels and shop!

Stay Stylish and Get Shopping!