I Was In Stage Three.

After my October 8th burning ceremony, I felt a bit better. It is amazing what a little pyro- therapy can do for the soul. I decided to take that “better” feeling, slow down and reflect on what had happened the last nine months. I first turned to Gina and Lisa for a girl’s sushi night. This had become our tradition, and it was our favorite form of group therapy- with sake! I then turned to Sabrina. She was proud of me for burning my wedding photos and felt it was good therapy. She was also proud of me sending an email to my husband’s family. Though it had been a few days I had not heard back anything from any of them, funny thing was, I didn’t care. I didn’t write that email for a response, I wrote that email for me. I hadn’t spewed anger at them; it wasn’t the goal. I had plenty of it, but I knew it was pointless. I basically said that I would spare them the ugly details, I wished things had turned out different, and I wished them all well.

Though my life was fun and seemed exciting from the outside, and much of it was, I was lonely. I had become an expert at avoiding my feelings, pretending everything was ok and getting on with my life – but that had not gotten me very far. The reality of my situation started to settle in, like really settle in. Ever since the one-year anniversary all I could think about it is, “it was one- year since…” this or that.

At work, we were all preparing to head to the east coast for New Hampshire pageant orientation. One-year prior I had gone to the New Hampshire pageant orientation the weekend after my wedding. We had decided to put off our honeymoon due to our work schedules. In fact, the day after our wedding we flew to Las Vegas for a work conference that my husband needed to attend. Literally twenty-four hours after my wedding I was at a cocktail party on my new husbands arm schmoozing and being the supportive Mrs. Married Woman. Two-days after we returned home, I barely had time to unpack and head to the airport. This was normal life for us; we both often traveled and had adapted to mutual hectic schedules over the past several years. It hadn’t always been easy, but we found our groove.

I was heading east, and my husband was speaking on a work conference in Napa. He was a bit nervous for his speech, but he was so charismatic I knew he would do great and charm the room in an instant. I kissed my new husband curbside at the airport and was off. We kept in touch throughout the weekend via text and brief phone calls. The three hour time difference made it difficult but we made it work. He told me his speech went well and sent me a photo of a wine label from the bottle he was enjoying at the dinner. Since moving to San Francisco, we had started to enjoy wine so whenever either of us had a special bottle we would send the other a photo of the label. It was our way of saying, “wish you were here.”

He spent the weekend, what should have been our honeymoon, networking and entertaining. I spent the weekend working with pageant girls and parents, proudly showing off my new ring. Though the trip was going well, I had so much guilt for having to go to New Hampshire. I had was married less than a week and here I had flown off, leaving my poor husband. I felt like a terrible wife. He reassured me that it was fine, it was going to be mostly men at the conference anyway he said. I was so lucky to have such a supportive husband.

What I would later learn is that my husband spent the weekend in Napa, not alone, but with Katy. I even found the same photo of the wine bottle on her Facebook page months later. When people would ask me about our honeymoon, “no we didn’t take one, well my husband did, he just didn’t invite me.” Had become my standard smart-ass reply. Needless to say, we never took a honeymoon.

During my next session with Sabrina, I told her I wanted to step up the work I was doing. I, of course, thought that if I could speed through the steps and really dive in, I would be back to my old self that much quicker. I know that sounds crazy, but it made sense at the time. I started dating less, and though I was still in my bad habit of recycling I decided only to spend time with those in my life that made me feel good about myself. In LA that is hard to find but I was lucky to have supportive friends.

The one person, man, I knew I could still rely on was Rick. Rick and I had stayed close and for some reason I felt close enough to him to tell him everything. All the dates, the drama, my feelings… which I shared with almost no one. I kept thinking that if I pretended I was ok, I would eventually actually be ok. This act might have eventually worked in the long run, but it wasn’t working for now. Rick could see the semi- self-destructive path I was on, and I think he stayed close and put up with my over-sharing to make sure I didn’t spiral out of control.

I decided to take a break from men, which, let’s be honest, lasted all of about 15 minutes, and I was busy at work which kept me focused. We were only a few weeks away from our first pageant of the season, and things were getting hectic. I started staying later and later at the office. I didn’t like being alone in my apartment, so I started going home late and left early each morning. I started going to the gym again and decided to do whatever I could to get myself into a good place. Sabrina told me to be a bit selfish; that is what I planned to do.

Sabrina and I also discussed the five stages of grief and loss: 1. Denial and Isolation 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance

At this point, I was in stage 3. Bargaining. When you feel helplessness and vulnerability, you have a need to regain control. I needed to regain control of something in my life. The hardest part was I didn’t even know what I was trying to regain control of. During this stage many people try to give the marriage one last-ditch effort, this was not my case. I defiantly had zero desire to give my marriage another try; I just wanted to give my life another try. The life I had before I ever met my husband.

I did eventually get a response to the email I had sent on October 8th, eight days later. The response was what I expected; brief, empathetic, and final. We never spoke again.

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

When you are going through an “all about me phase,” it is good to spoil yourself a bit! Here are a few things that will make you feel spoiled but won’t ruin your wine budget!

*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.

Your Waistline & Wardrobe Will Thank You!

We all have had moments of emotional drama; breakups, breakdowns, job stress, fear of the future, watching the ASPCA commercials, etc. In times like this, we rely on our vice(s); the most common vice is food! It is that one thing we grab when we are feeling down; cookies, chips, ice cream, booze, red vines, In and Out or Del Taco in my case. My two vices are anything salty! Though, after some very unscientific research, I found that sugar is the most popular vice for women! This got me thinking, the only thing worse than an emotional drama is having that emotional drama and then on top of it, realizng your favorite jeans no longer fit!

So I asked my friend, fellow blogger, nutrition expert, entertainment reporter, all around fabulous girl- Whitney English the question everyone wants to know, “How can we indulge during these emotional times without busting our waistline?” Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 9.24.14 AM

1. What are your go to food items that satisfy a comfort food craving but not kill the waistline.

When I’m upset about something – whether it be man-related or otherwise – I want something comforting. For me, that means cookies and ice cream!

I’m totally that stereotypical girl in the movies who sits in bed watching a Rom-Com, blubbering into a box of tissues and gorging on sweets. However, this emotional disaster scene doesn’t have to turn into dietary destruction as well.

My favorite alternative to traditional ice cream and cookies is Banana Froyo with 4-ingredient Cookies crumbled on top. These two desserts taste so decadent, but they’re only a fraction of the calories of the real thing:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 9.23.19 AM 4-Ingredient Cookies

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 9.23.02 AM Banana Froyo

2. What are a few mood elevating foods to help get us back in the right frame of mind?

As many people know, serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that contributes to feelings of happiness. Your body naturally produces it, by way of the amino acid tryptophan (a biochemical precursor). Tryptophan is found in many protein based foods – from animal and plant sources – like egg whites, soybeans, oats, salmon, turkey, sunflower seeds and the best one…chocolate!

Some studies show that consuming foods high in tryptophan can reduce feelings of depression. So again, those 4-ingredient cookies with oats and chocolate would be a great choice!

Tryptophan is also a pre-cursor to the hormone melatonin, which induces sleep. Bad breakups can often disturb your sleep, and many studies have shown a lack of sleep can lead to increased stress which is also a contributing factor to weight gain. Yet again, another reason to up your tryptophan intake when you’re feeling down.

3. Any other suggestions to satisfy the sweet tooth?

-Frozen Grapes
-Larabars
-Peanut Butter & Banana Bites or Sandwiches
-Fat-Free Greek Yogurt topped with diced strawberries and a tsp. of honey.
-Black Bean Brownies – sounds gross but I swear they’re delicious:
*Note: I’m seriously obsessed with these things.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 10.23.02 AM

Thank you to Whitney for all of her decadent advice! Our skinny jeans say thank you too!

Click on all links above to find all of Whitney’s recipes discussed in the post and to follow Whitney on social media check out her website; “To Live & Diet in LA”.

xx, Keylee

Don’t Sweat-er It!

After spending the past week in New York, all I can think about is sweaters!!!!! Fall is my favorite fashion time of year, and first thing on my list is SWEATERS! Check out a few of my picks in the sweater department – all on SALE!

Happy Shopping!

xx, Keylee

Wedding Anniversary.

October 8, 2012.

I woke that day feeling like I had an elephant was sitting on my chest. As if Monday mornings weren’t bad enough, I knew this one would be even worse. Today was, excuse me, would have my one-year wedding anniversary. Ideally on this day in a woman’s life she may wake up to find flowers, chocolates, breakfast in bed, jewelry. I woke up to an alarm clock blaring and my phone buzzing like crazy from text messages. Friends and family knew what day it was, and they were just calling to say “hello.” It was sweet of them, but my preference was to forget what day it was and just get on with my life.

My mother called as I was walking out the door for work. “Hi sweetie, its mom. How are you today?” She asked sounding a little bit too perky. “I am fine mom, how are you?” I asked back. “Look sweetie, I know it is going to be a hard day, what are you doing today?” She asked. “Work mom, I am working.” It was true; I wanted to hide under the covers, but I knew that would do me no good, and it just seemed lame.

When I got divorced from my first husband, I threw an “I am not married any more party,” on my wedding anniversary. I also cut all my hair off into a short bob and drank myself silly. I wouldn’t be doing any of that this year. I learned two major things from that experience; A girl with a square face can’t pull off a short bob, and once the hangover wears off you are still getting divorced.

My good friends refused to let me sit and wallow so though I didn’t want a party, I agreed to dinner. I still wasn’t sure where my husband was living; we were not exactly friends at this point. During his phase of trying to win me back, he kept claiming that he was moving to LA. So I was constantly on high alert that I would run into him somewhere. Since he still felt that we should try and “work it out” I decided to have dinner at a club that I belong to. I knew he wasn’t a member, so it drastically lowered my chances of running into him. I also found it a bit poetic since he had me kicked out of the club we belonged to together and then lied about being a member of this club for almost a year. It wasn’t until I became a member that I was able to verify he had been lying… shocking, I know.

The past year had been more turmoil than I had ever experienced, and I was ready to put it behind me. Though I wasn’t technically divorced at the time, I was ready to cleanse the past year out of my energy space.

I decided that I would burn something and since I couldn’t burn the images of him and Katy out of my head, wedding photos seemed like next best thing. Carrie Bradshaw once said that when you are going through a breakup you should, “destroy all photos where he looks sexy, and you look happy.” I decided to do just that; I decided to burn my wedding photos. I loved my wedding photos. My photographer was amazing, expensive but amazing. My husband didn’t feel it was a worthy expense, so I cashed in some stocks to pay for her myself. He would spend $1200 on shoes but wouldn’t pay a top photographer to capture the happiest day of our lives! Looking back I was lucky that we had so many great shots that I had put off picking out which ones I wanted to be blown up until after the holidays and the pageant season were over. I had only had a few smaller prints made to give to our family’s at Christmas. I wanted to make the perfect decision on our big photo since it was something that would hang in our home for years to come.

My best friend had a fire pit, so that evening we poured a glass of wine and grabbed the matches. Standing there over the roaring fire, I felt as if I should say something powerful or meaningful… but nothing came to mind. I took one last look at how happy I was on that day, my face full of hope and love. I said a small prayer to the universe for happiness in my life and chucked them into the flames. The photos lit quickly, throwing a lot of ash into the air, and then they curled and deformed as they burned. It was my first-time burning a photograph. They take a surprising longer time to burn than they do on soap operas. As I sat there watching the “happiest day of my life” go up in flames I felt sad.

At dinner that night as I looked around the table while sipping a fabulous red wine, I felt so blessed. The reason for the dinner was a sad one but even with all the pain and sadness I knew I was beyond lucky. I had such an amazing group of friends. They had supported me every moment of the past nine plus months and I would never forget their kindness. Most of them had been there as I walked down the aisle, and they were still standing with me. When you live 1500 miles away from you biological family you have to pick your local family, and everyone at that table was my family.

Speaking of family; after all this time I had not heard two words from my former “other family”- my in laws. It was mind blowing that they didn’t reach out to me at all. Had they nothing to say to me after their son/ brother had totally betrayed me? Lied to everyone, including them for all the knowledge I had, and they had nothing to say? I had learned not to expect much from them but something along the lines of; “We are sorry this has happened.” Or “I don’t know how we raised such a liar.” Or “Let us at least pay you back for some of the wedding costs.” Hell even a “We never liked you anyway, you deserve all this,” would have at least been some form of communication! They had promised to love me like a daughter at one point, clearly all bets were off. Now, admittedly my family wanted nothing to do with my husband but I had to beg them not to reach out… they had plenty they wanted to say.

After dinner, I went home to my new little life and sat in my bed. I pulled out my journal and tried to write, but I had nothing to say. The numb feeling I had the day I walked out had returned. As I sat there, not crying at all, I started to feel the numbness give way to anger and hurt. I pulled out my laptop and began to compose an email, to my former family. I didn’t want to yell at them or spew anger, but I wanted to say my piece and move on. I thought it was a perfect day for closure!

Logically I should have waited until morning to send an email but instead I hit the send button, turned off my side table lamp and stared at my ceiling. I have no idea how long I lay there, but it seemed like hours. Eventually, I fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning, the light was filtering in through the large windows that made up an entire wall of my apartment, I began to laugh. I had made it. I survived the past nine months and made it through my frist wedding anniversary-it felt great!

Single & Stylish,

xx Keylee

ps. I am posting this weeks blog from 10,000 feet in the air as I fly back from watching one of my best friends get married. Ah, love! The internet is a little weak on my flight so the fashion lookbook will have to wait till next week!

*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.