Self Love!

Valentines Day has never been a favorite holiday of mine. I think those feelings started in college when my boyfriend at the time waited so long to buy me flowers a flower that the only thing our local grocery store had was one that was mostly dead. My mother warned me he was lame. The only bright spot in my Valentines Day is my father! Every year since I was in Kindergarten he has sent me flowers. No matter where I am in the world, which let’s face it at times I can be tricky to locate, he always manages to find me and has flowers delivered!

When you are single Valentines Day can go one of two ways. You can hate the day and every happy in love person you encounter, giving dirty looks to anyone who looks remotely in love and you wearing all black. Or, you can join in on the love fest and celebrate those in you life you love- romantically or not! Celebrate your girlfriends, your sister, your best friend, and the woman you see every week at the dry cleaners, your nieces or nephews, and of course treat yourself with a little something special as well! I am a big believer in celebrating me all days of the year, especially on February 14th!

In the midst of this love fest holiday I will warn you of a few precautions you should take; steer clear of romantic restaurants, rom-coms, and most all of social media that day. You don’t have to hate the day but living everyone else’s romantic holiday when you are a single may cause nausea, vomiting, heavy drinking, and texting under the influence.

Love, Keylee

My Valentines Day Gift Guide for you or for someone you love:

He Said, She Said.

Well, I did it. I survived the first year of being single. My first Valentines Day, first birthday, first wedding anniversary, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Years and finally my first year anniversary of walking out on the life I knew. I did it! Wahoo, my year of firsts was over! Then it occurred to me, now I have to have a year of seconds, and I was still single! Ugh! One of the ways I got through the first year was telling myself, “don’t worry next year will be different!” Would it really be or was I still lying to myself?

January had been a very tough month. While in New York for the Miss New York USA pageant, I got very sick. I called my super doctor in Beverly Hills and asked for my usual miracle cure cocktail; antibiotics strong enough to cure an elephant, pain-killers, steroid inhaler and the “really good” cough syrup. He told me he couldn’t prescribe a narcotic across state lines and that I needed to see a doctor in New York. Blah, so annoying, I didn’t have time to see a doctor, I had a hundred things to do before the pageant and being sick was not one of them.

Thank goodness Jack was there, I agreed to go to urgent care so I could get some meds. Jack drove me to the urgent care and I ended up in the emergency room. I found myself waiting in the hallway on a stretcher with Jack sitting at the end of my bed covering his face with his scarf; he looked a little like the paparazzi photos of Michael Jackson. After a chest x-ray and a few tests and a lot of waiting around, I found out I had come down with pneumonia, for the second time in my life. I was laid out on a stretcher and not even a cute doctor in sight! Jack filled out all of the paperwork and gave them my insurance info.

“Sorry ma’am, do you have another insurance card? This one is no good.” The admissions lady informed me as I lie in a hospital bed wishing I could just go home.

“Excuse me, what do you mean it is not good. We have insurance; you must have entered it wrong!” Jack said like the momma bear he was, his voice going into the higher pitch it reached when he was really getting angry.

The woman walked back and pretended she tried it again. When she walked back, she said, “I am sorry, this is no good” and shoved the card back to Jack.

“Where is my phone?” I said with as much energy as I could.

“Why?” Jack asked.

“Give it to me!” I snapped.

I started furiously texting my ex. “What the fuck! I am in the hospital and being told I have no health insurance, are you fucking kidding me??? After all the shit, you put me through and now I have to deal with this?”

He text back fairly quickly, acting concerned and confused. “What? Are you ok? What happened? Of course, you have insurance!”

“Well, I am being told I don’t, you need to fix this and fix it NOW!” I typed back.

“I will fix it! ARE YOU OK???” He demanded.

“I am fine, just get my insurance fixed!” I was in no mood to fill him in on personal details of my life, nor did I want his sympathy.

I had to sign my life away to get out of the hospital, but to be fair I found out I did have insurance. He had changed insurance plans, and I didn’t have the proper card. But it was his fault that I didn’t have the card, at least I did have some insurance though I would be paying off that ER visit for the next year.

We had just finished Miss California USA the weekend before, and the New York pageant was going to be even more work, it was a more green staff and I had spent months working on it. I was beside myself, thank God Jack was there. We left the ER, went to Walgreens for the usual; prescriptions, Kleenex (the hotel tissue was shit), Gatorade, saltine crackers, cough drops and gossip magazines. The doctor said I had to stay in bed and couldn’t leave my room. What? How the hell was I going to do that when I had a pageant to produce? I had two days until the girls checked in so I decided I would be totally well by then! Yes, it had been a rough year but I wasn’t in that bad of shape, I thought to myself. I was sure I would bounce back quickly; I survived the last year I could survive this.

As I lay in my hotel bed, which was only marginally more comfortable than the hospital stretcher, I found myself too tired to even operate the remote to turn the channel on my TV. Fuck, I was really sick! I hated being sick, especially away from home. I didn’t even have anyone to send me flowers or that I could call and complain about how sick I was. My business partner was nice about it, but I could tell he was stressed. I was staying in my room in order to not expose anyone else on staff and have them get sick!

As the days moved on, I wasn’t getting better. As contestants arrived, I told myself that I would stay in bed until competition night and then would feel better! Well, that wasn’t true either but after a couple of days the guilt and stress took over. I managed to take a shower and wash my hair; I had to lie back down after that. The most simple task simply exhausted me.

I finally made it the theatre where the pageant was being held and about half way through the first show and after finishing a bit of filming I had committed to doing. I had to go back; I was too sick. I felt so awful for leaving everyone else with all the work and not being there to the level I should have. I missed almost all of it; I missed most of the weekend.

At the end as sad as I was to miss the pageant, but I was happy it was over. I couldn’t wait to get home, I had less than a week before we left for Paris and I wasn’t about to be sick on that trip!

Ah, Paris. I was excited beyond description!

Single & Stylish,

Xx Keylee

*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 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, 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.

I Had Found Heaven.

The next morning I woke up from a sleep so deep that for a moment I wasn’t sure where I was. As I blinked my eyes open it was like a dream; huge four poster bed, white linen everywhere, the sun peaking in the wooden pocket doors and the smell of the ocean filling in the air. I was fairly sure that I was in heaven. I grabbed a robe and opened the pocket doors to find Sam on the deck reading the paper on his iPad and enjoying coffee. I had no concept of what time it was and more importantly, I didn’t care. Once again, he had ordered most of the breakfast menu, and I enjoyed my little buffet. As we sat there on the closed in porch, I was itching to jump into the ocean. The water in Turks and Caicos is crystal clear and warm, the type of ocean you want to run and dive in head first. As I said to Sam that I was going to go for a swim, he looked at his watch and said “okay, but make it quick. A cart will be here to pick us up in 20 minutes.” “Oh really?” I asked, “and where are we going in 20 minutes?” “To the spa, we have manicure and pedicure appointments this morning,” he replied with a great big grin. “How wonderful!” I said as bent down to give Sam a kiss, and then ran to change into a swimsuit. I figured I had 10 minutes to swim and 10 to get ready for the spa. Gotta love a man who gets a mani/ pedi.

The water felt amazing and after my quick dip I rinsed off, threw on one of my new sundresses from our shopping spree (I knew Sam would get a kick out of me wearing the things he had bought- plus they were all so fabulous I couldn’t wait to wear them). Just as I put on some lip gloss, Sam yelled that the cart had arrived. Since we had arrived at the resort in the dark, I hadn’t seen anything but the beach. It was breathtaking. The whole island had a Dirty Dancing feel to it; the larger part of the hotel was on the hill, many smaller buildings all around and then the little villa’s on the beach with golf cart paths in between. The landscaping and flora was beautiful and smelled even better, many of the flowers I had never even seen. At the top of the hill, we arrived at a simple building with a long stone entrance; the spa! Little did I know at the time that I would be spending a fair amount of time there. I am not always a fan of spa mani / pedi’s; they are overpriced and take forever but, this time it was so heavenly I just sort of melted into the chair and utterly enjoyed the whole experience.

My spa services took a bit longer than Sam’s so I told him to go ahead, and I would meet him at the pool. It would be the first time since I landed in Miami that I would have a bit of time to myself, and I needed a minute to breathe! After my services, a driver took me back to our villa, and I just collapsed on the couch, let out a huge sigh and took it all in. “Am I really here?” I asked myself. I sat there for a moment longer and then said out loud “yes, you are really here but only for the weekend so get your butt off the couch and go enjoy it!” I threw on my sexiest swimsuit, a new cover-up, flip flops, grabbed my sunscreen and headed to the pool. I found Sam in a lounge chair under an umbrella, on one side of him was sun and the other was shade. As I walked up he said he wasn’t sure which I preferred, sun or shade, so he picked both. It was a really cute gesture and of course I picked the sun. Before I could hardly relax Sam decided it was time for a cocktail, I never have to be talked into a cocktail so I agreed and said, “I will have whatever you are having.” Sam didn’t like to sit still for very long so he got up and walked to the bar. Soon he came back with two drinks in hand, I didn’t even have to ask what it was, I knew it was tequila. After our second cocktail Sam rolled over in his lounge chair and said “I am really glad last night happened.” I was a little taken back by this ‘out of nowhere comment’ but giggled to myself and thought… “yeah, I bet you are!” In reality, I just smiled and said “me too.”

We ordered lunch and just as I thought that I would drift off in the shade for a quick nap a woman showed up and said, “the cart is ready when you are Sam.” I sat up and said, “Where are you going?” He looked at me and smiled, “we are going back to the spa for a massage.” I didn’t think I could handle any more surprises but, the spa twice in one day was a surprise I didn’t mind at all. As Sam walked to take a phone call, I closed out our tab. I was in shock, how could lunch and a few cocktails equal $450? I thought it must be a mistake until I looked at the itemized bill that showed our cocktails were not just cocktails; they were $45 glasses of tequila. It was very typical Sam, so I signed the bill and looked around for him. I wondered who he was talking to for a moment and why he had to walk away. I let it go and walked to the cart. I hadn’t even turned my phone on and I was really good at ignoring emails from my lawyer, I still had not forgiven him for the mix up in court.

During the massage, I drifted into the nap I had been thinking about and afterwards all I wanted to do was get back in the ocean. Sam was up for it and as we walked from our villa to the beach, about 20-30 seconds, we noticed that most of the women were topless on the beach, and some of the people were totally naked. I wasn’t about to get totally naked but when in Rome, I could go topless. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach, in the water, talking, laughing, kissing… it was all pretty perfect. I found out things like; Sam still wanted more children (bonus), he had wanted to ask me out for years, he told me about his family and what it was like growing up for him, we talked about our divorces… it was really nice to lay all of it out on the table. After the beach I walked back to the house with the intention of using the little girls room, the big bed looked so heavenly that I grabbed a pillow and thought; I will just close my eyes for a moment, I was so relaxed. Next thing I know Sam was waking me up and hour and half later!

Dinner that night was amazing, the food was fantastic, the wine was even better and the atmosphere was unparalleled. I had found my happy place.

The next day as I woke up, again in what I was still convinced must be heaven, I found Sam with a menu asking me what I wanted for lunch. Lunch? We hadn’t even had breakfast. “Why are we ordering lunch?” I asked. “I charted a boat for the day so we can snorkel and island hop, the resort is going to send us with a picnic, “ he said. I literally squealed with excitement. Boat? Island hopping? Picnic lunch? Everything he just said made me excited! As I slipped into a swimsuit I realized I didn’t have a beach bag of sorts to take on the boat. As I asked Sam if he did, full well knowing he would not, he suggested we run to the gift shop and buy one. “Well, what time does the boat leave?” I asked; I didn’t want to make us late. “Whenever we want it to, it is our boat for the day,” he said with a laugh. Oh, that was a good point. A day on the boat was my favorite time we spent together. Our guides were excellent and took us to the best snorkeling spot, dove down and brought up a HUGE starfish for me to hold (of course we tossed it back), laid out our picnic lunch on the beach and took us to Iguana island- that was not my favorite. I am terrified of lizards and barely got off the boat during that stop.

As we cruised back to the resort, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was the first time in a long time I had not thought of my husband, my divorce, or work. What was this magical feeling I barley recognized? Oh, yeah…. I was happy. I wanted this feeling to last forever!

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

On this trip I had forgot my beach bag but this fall the bags are too beautiful to forget! Here are my favorites, with the exception of the Prada Saffiano Cuir Camo bag that I have posted about 100 times.

*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.