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.

The Shit Had Hit The Fan.

Once Sam and I were back in LA I decided that if I didn’t tell anyone about my “incident” then it didn’t really happen. Yep, that theory seemed rational to me. So, I told no one. It didn’t even occur to me, at the time; that maybe stuffing things down and not talking about them was how I got to this point in the first place. I went about my business, and when anyone asked me how the trip was, I only discussed how much fun we had and how beautiful it was. It was true; we had an unbelievable amount of fun and details of the trip were not anyone else’s business. Let’s just say my next therapy appointment couldn’t come soon enough. I hadn’t seen Sabrina in several weeks, and I had become paranoid I would have another outburst. You know one of those funny incidents that take place in a romcom; suddenly the woman, usually played by Katherine Hiegl or Jennifer Anniston, are in line at Starbucks and the next thing you know she screaming at a 17 year old barista because he asks her to repeat her order. She starts blubbering on and on about how no one listens to her! Yes, I was afraid that was going to be me.

The next day as I sat in front of my therapist she started with her usual question, “so, how have you been?” I immediately started in with what had happened, “well, I had an incident… I went crazy.” As I went on to tell her the story her facial expression changed appropriately with the drama. I told her about all of the sweet surprises and how he spoiled me. How we talked and laughed and then when I got to the part about me screaming at Sam, she went into her ‘straight non-judgment’ face. I finished the story and waited for a reaction. “I am a bit surprised this has not happened before now,” she said. What? She knew this was going to happen and hadn’t told me? I could have prepared; I could have warned people, I could have not left my house- I thought to myself. “Wait, what do you mean you are surprised this hasn’t happened before now?” I asked. She continued, “Yes. Keylee, you have been through a very traumatic event with a man who had promised you loyalty until death do you part. You cannot expect just to go on with your life like nothing has happened without properly dealing with it.” I hated when she used my name; it wasn’t like when Jaxton used it (which he did all the time and I loved), no when she used it, I felt like I was in trouble.

In other words, my therapist was telling me; shit had hit the fan. My inner psyche was coming out whether I wanted her to or not. I suddenly had two questions, “when will she come out again?” and “how do I keep her quite?” Sabrina looked at me with a slight smile and said, “I wish it were that easy.” After we walked through every detail of the trip and what led up to this outburst I discovered that sadly I was right. The cause was a combination of things but mostly it was the fact that I was married to a man with a double life. I had a unique situation, and it wasn’t as simple as a divorce or a breakup, it was so much more, so much deeper. Not that breakups or divorce is ever simple, but I was learning this was a special case! It was one of those situations that I knew the reality of, but I didn’t really “know” the reality. Some days I am still not sure I know! Ugh, was all I could think. I can’t believe I had to deal with this sadistic man in my life, and now I have to deal with the fall out on my own mental state- NOT FAIR!

The next day Sam called to find out if I had dinner plans. I was shocked he even called. I don’t think I would have called me after such an un-rational outburst. Since I did not have any plans other than laundry I agreed to dinner, he said to meet him at the Mondrian Hotel for dinner. Once I was back from my trip, I dived into work and hadn’t seen Sam since the car dropped me at home from the airport. I was excited that he called, and I was looking forward to spending time together on dry land. I had known him for ten years, we had a blast together, he spoiled me rotten, and we liked all of the same things AND he still wants to see me after my emotional outburst…. I wanted to see if this could go somewhere!

As I was sitting on Sunset Blvd at a stoplight, I got a text from Sam, seeing his name on my phone made my heart sink. Was he canceling? I had the thought then banished it out of my head, why was I so negative? I had been trained not to believe people would follow through but, I had no reason to think that about Sam- I refused to project my shit on him. I decided to solve this mental dilemma and just read the freaking text, “we are eating dinner upstairs, give the desk your name when you arrive.” I don’t remember that hotel having a restaurant upstairs, thought to myself. I left my car with the valet and walked to the concierge desk I gave my name, and Sam’s name and the gentleman behind the desk handed me a room key. I was puzzled but per my usual pattern of behavior, I just went with it. As I arrived at the top floor and knocked on the door, Sam answered and promptly gave me a kiss as he held his iPhone away from his face. While he finished up his call I walked around the room, he had booked a beautiful penthouse for us to have “dinner.”

Looking out over the lights of LA while we finished a bottle of wine, and our delicious dinner Sam began to discuss his upcoming travel plans. He had work coming up but also wanted to travel for fun; New York, twice next month, Miami, Chicago, possibly Europe. Everything he spoke about was grand in scale and full of adventure. It is no secret that I am a girl that loves grand things and adores adventures. When I suggested that our next date be a night in at his house where we could cook dinner and open a great bottle of wine, he was a bit surprised and not very into the idea. I wanted to see him in a real setting, talk about real things; current events, work, friends, etc. Being with Sam was one of those experiences that made you feel like were on a roller coaster. It was exciting, thrilling, and made your stomach flip, but you never knew when it would come to a screeching halt. No Ferris wheel, no carousel, no kiddie rides, just a great big crazy roller coaster- he was all about the wow factor. Don’t get me wrong, I love the roller coaster- I had lived on a roller coaster for the past six years and in a lot of ways the ride seemed totally normal to me. Life was all about the ups, downs, and the thrilling moments- sadly the part I most familiar with was when the ride flew completely off the rails and crashed. When Sam couldn’t agree to a “regular date” or quite night at home…. I got the distinct feeling that is where this was heading; off the rails. How could any relationship sustain this?

The next morning I woke up next to Sam and it was nice. As we waited for breakfast I jumped in the shower and tried to make it appear that I was not that girl who was walking out of a hotel at 8 am in the same clothes she wore the night before. Sam and I had a lovely, yet brief, morning, said our goodbyes, and set out to begin our days. I ran home to change clothes before heading to the office; we were casual but showing up in clothing from the night before was pushing the limits, even for me.

Sinlge & Stylish,

xx Keylee

You don’t always know when you are going to spend the night away from home, but you can always be, at least, a little prepared!

*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.

Breakthrough Or On The Verge Of A Breakdown?

Each day was better than the last, or at least it seemed that way to me. Settling into my new place helped me feel more ‘normal’ and I soon found myself in need of a routine. I had decided now that I had a home I was going to throw myself into work. The only hic up there was I needed to figure out what that work was going to be. I hadn’t had the functionality the last couple months to reconnect with all of my Los Angeles contacts; I knew that was just going to lead to questions that I didn’t want to answer. “How are you? What are you doing back in LA? How was your wedding?”   You can see where this is going and it was a rabbit hole I avoided as much as possible. A week or two after moving into my new place I was asked to go to Hawaii with friends and had zero reason to turn it down, it wasn’t like I was busy. I loved the ocean and for someone living in California I had spent a surprisingly small amount of time in Hawaii. My husband had lived there at one point and had given me advice on places to visit and activates to do while on the trip (yes, we texted semi-often and I had told him about the trip). Yes, this was nice of him to give me these pointers but it also made me want to smack him. Two years prior he had given me trip to Hawaii for my birthday, a trip we never took. Though he managed to take a trip to Hawaii in the past two years, it just wasn’t with me. I could only assume his tourist advice was solid because the photos of he and Katy swimming with dolphins, paddle boarding, having romantic dinners, that she had posted on social media, all looked very fun! Basically I could only assume he took her on my birthday trip, what an asshole!

My friends and I arrived and settled into the house, which had this great infinity pool facing the ocean. After unpacking I sat at the edge of the pool to watch the beautiful Hawaiian sunset. Maybe it was the jet lag or the mai-tai’s but I suddenly started to cry… again. This time it was an uncontrollable cry, heaving shoulders, snot running down my face type of cry.   I know what you are thinking and yes, it was very attractive! That day I sat on the edge of the world and just let it all out let and when I was done I felt 100 pounds lighter. I slept like a baby that night and woke up the next morning knowing that everything was going to be ok.   No doubt I have cried since then, heck I think I cried last week while I was writing, but not like that. That was the last time I let myself really cry over him.

While I was away enjoying paradise I got an email from my best friend, he had suddenly become seriously ill. He was like me and rarely asked for help so the fact he knew I was traveling and was asking for help assured me it was serious. I did not only fear for his life but I realized the company we had built together had began to suffer as well. He needed to focus on his health and being the type of friend I am, and some may say pushy broad, I had no problem telling him just that. He and I were as close as two friends could be. We met judging a pageant over ten years prior,  years before I even thought of moving to Los Angeles. He was one of the reason I pushed my first husband to move to California. We had worked together for years (I had ran his talent agency when I first moved to LA), he stood up for me at my wedding, we had traveled the world together- it was safe to say we had a long history of love and friendship.   When he needed me, I didn’t hesitate for a second and I know he would have done the same.

Our company, no his company, wasn’t your typical business, but the business of beauty. He was the owner of the Miss California USA, Miss New York USA and Miss New Hampshire USA franchise and at this point the girls were a month away from competing at the national competition, Miss USA. Needless to say there was a lot to be done and not a lot of time. We had started the business together in 2005, then it was just the state of California, and I had departed the company in a full-time capacity in 2007 to focus on fashion. Though I hadn’t worked for the company full-time in years I knew exactly what needed to be done. I had been the first national title holder to be given a directorship and having been Miss Teen USA myself I understood exactly what the girls were going through. Before even leaving the islands I was on the phone with the employees, legal team, accounting team, public relations team, etc. Informing everyone that I was headed back to LA and would be taking over, all matters needed to be directed to me moving forward, I wanted him to be able to fully focus on his health and know that I had everything under control.   I was once again the Co-Executive director of Miss California USA, Miss California Teen USA, along with the respective titles in New York and New Hampshire. The Devil Wears Prada was a favorite movie among my friends and I; they soon began calling me Miranda (in reference to Meryl Streep’s’ wicked character). I wasn’t quite that bitchy but I didn’t mind the reference, there was a lot to be done in a short amount of time and I was in no mood for bullshit from anyone. I thought keeping myself busy was a genius idea. I soon figured out that those around me were happy that I was working but watched me a bit like a ticking time bomb, just waiting for a the full breakdown. I was soon balancing, therapy, my new home, a new staff and three beauty queens.   I of course thought this was no big deal!

When he and I applied for the franchise license so many years ago we wanted to change the face of pageantry, make it new and fresh!  In a lot of ways we did, he did.  Over a hundred other people had applied for this position and we were thrilled, yet shocked, they picked us. I was not your typical pageant girl but I saw the tremendous opportunities that came from competing in the Miss Universe system- at any level. Being Miss Teen USA honestly changed my life and I wanted to pass that along to other young women. I wanted to make a difference for these girls, and let’s be real, I wanted to make some money. If you are setting out in the world to make money take this advice; do not become a pageant director. The beauty pageant business is a lot fun, a lot of hard work and can be very inspiring but all of those awful stories that are forever tattooed on the world of pageants are true on some level.  Something inspired them and I the moment I started working in office again I was quickly reminded of that!

Though it wasn’t my dream job, per say, I loved it on some level and working made me feel alive. I was in a much better head space when I was working each day. It gave me confidence, purpose, and most of all a reason to get out of bed each morning. I was not used to feeling like I had no purpose in life and no motivation. That had been one of the hardest things about the last couple of months. I had moved out of the house I shared with my husband months ago, so in my mind, as irrational as it was, I felt I should be moving forward at a much quicker pace. The whole grey cloud I was living in made no sense to me and it was extremely frustrating.   It all just made me angry. I was finally starting to get mad and I was being told it was a good thing- I was not so sure.

Not only was the team and I preparing our titleholders for Miss USA, my husband and I were in therapy, a lot of it. I realize that may sound crazy and I am sure you are asking why I even bothered; I know my family and friends were asking me that. So here is the reason, it was simple- I wanted answers. I wanted to know why this had happened and I needed to try to wrap my brain around what he had done. I was desperately trying to understand it. We agreed to go to a therapist in San Francisco.  I would fly up and have a session with her, then we would have a session together, then I would have phone sessions, he would have sessions alone with her and then I would have sessions with my therapist in LA. Needless to say it was way too much.  Though he was pushing for “dates” with me I still had not been alone with him since the night in San Francisco a few weeks after I walked out and I still didn’t want to be. What I wanted was for him to walk into therapy and say, “this is why I did this to you” and for whatever that explanation was, I wanted it to make total sense and for him to give me the answers I needed. As you can guess that obviously didn’t happen. It was a lot of “I am sorry” and “I never meant to hurt you” and “I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you” and “I miss you” and so on and so on and blah blah blah!   Again, he started to sound like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon.

The one good thing that started to come out of all of this therapy was that I was starting to crack. The numbness was fading and I was starting to feel again. Though what I started feeling was unexpected.  I soon feared I would need even more therapy to learn to deal with all of this.  No one has ever accused me of being touchy feely or call me emotional so this new Keylee that was someone I had never met and I sure hell had no idea what to do with her.   I was weeks away from three girls, I was responsible for, competing at a national competition, I was going to therapy more hours per month than I had collectively gone my entire life, I was partying my ass of to distract myself from all of it and then decided to start making major life decisions.  Was this a recipe for success?????  I will give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

As I started to rejoin the working world I decided I need a few new fun items for my career wardrobe!  Here are a few items to shake up your work wardrobe this summer:


*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.

What Is Twitter Good For? Sex Advice and So Much More!

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Social media can provide wonderful comic relief, a feeling of camaraderie, and even some legit great advice!  I am amazed daily on what can be found on the internet and how witty some people are!  I get a lot of my news from Twitter; it is easy, fast, and fun.  I love handles like @CNN, @KSNNews (so I can keep up on new where my family lives, Wichita), & @HarpersBazaar (for my fashion news).  You can literally find a Twitter feed for any topic your mind can imagine, when it comes to dating and the single life these are a few of my favorites and an example of their latest tweets.

Blunt Bitch (@Blunt_Brunette_)

“the way a you carry yourself while you’re single is who you really are”

The Single Woman (@TheSingleWoman)

“Remember: You are a CATCH. And a catch is worthy of being pursued, wooed, chased. Not just settled for! #TheSW

Sex Facts Of Life (@SexFactsOfLIfe)

“Talk about your ex on your first date if you don’t want to have a second date.”

Womens Health (@WomensHealthMag)

#SexPositionOfTheDay: The Om http://ow.ly/vmvJ3  Rocking, not thrusting, is the key when it comes to this intimate position”

Huffington Post Divorce (@HuffPostDivorce)

“42 guys answer “What’s something a woman can say that will make you run the other way?” http://bit.ly/1lniwwf 

Don’t forget to follow me as well!   Trust me, I say a lot of funny, witty things!

Keylee Style (@KeyleeStyle)

Single & Stylish,


Editor Note:  As you can read, this is obviously not the next chapter in My Story, part 11 will go up on the blog on Monday as usual.  Thursday’s will now consist of posts that are fun, funny, fashion forward, embarrassing, advice driven, and story filled.  Please let me know if you have a great dating story, piece of advice, book you have read or a great site you have found: you can email it to me at: info@keyleesanders.com and I just may feature it on the site- giving you credit of course!!!

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

© 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.