image by dani desbordes at

image by dani desbordes at

It doesn’t often happen that any of us have a lot of free time anymore, right?

Usually, my free time comes around 1am. Brad and I have just gotten home from work. We make ourselves a late night snack. We crash – tired but not sleepy-tired – onto the couch and just veg out for an hour (or until one of us falls asleep) to Jimmy Fallon or whatever series we are hooked on that week. (Currently, How to Get Away With Murder. So freaking good. I would lose a night’s worth of sleep for this one.)

But I can almost always find time for my blog roll. Sometimes it’s over eggs in the morning. Sometimes it’s while I should be getting ready for work. Sometimes it’s while I’m distracting myself from researching or writing something.

Scrolling through all the posts and articles is a chance to be inspired, motivated, learn something new, and catch up with what is going on in the ever creative world around me. It is like the newspaper that I edited with articles that are tailored just for me – baking, wine, design, news, restaurants, travel, recipes, current events, with a bit of entrepreneur talk thrown in there. And while I’ll post a link every now and then that wildly moves me, I thought I’d share a few of the stories that stuck with me this week.

Check it out. Get clicky.

Take a risk. Even if it doesn’t land you in the place you thought you’d be, it sure is a more interesting path.

One of my sister’s childhood friend, Dani Desbordes, is making amazing things. Jewelry, paintings, things for Anthropologie. (nbd…!!) I have one of her repeating patterns as my desktop background right now!

I once had a spaghetti and meatball pizza. This takes that to the next level. #pastaaddict

Brad & I are dreaming of finally taking our honeymoon this spring (5 years later!). I have had this ABM Travel guide to New Orleans up on my iPad for months now… I’m also digging their Palm Springs travel guide and the one about Nashville. Decisions, decisions…

And, obviously, we are traveling to eat. Loved this take on how to Eat Like A Chef On The Road.

I felt the funk during this Mercury Retrograde. Looking forward to harmony and compassion with the New Moon.

More podcasts to add to my list of what I listen to when I’m baking! Especially that Alex Baldwin one. What?!



A Monday Mashup Vlog

Guys, pineapples are totally cool right now.

Plus, so are vlogs… so I made another one.  There was just a lot happening and the music was right (Music To Cook To happening in real life!!) and I just thought you’d find my situation pretty silly.

So… Happy Monday!


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5 Take-Aways from DesignLoveFest Social Media Workshop

I had a whirlwind weekend.

Five straight shifts at the restaurant. Two of them closing. Two of them Mother’s Day.

I was so relieved to sleep in a little this morning and just throw on my yoga pants once I finally rolled out of bed.

But somewhere in between the craziness, I managed to sneak off to the Unique Space in downtown L.A. to get some killer advice on social media from the boss of bloggers in the social media world – Bri Emery of designlovefest.


(yes, i asked to take a picture with her.  i even sat in the front row and asked lots of questions.  i was in super-nerd mode and she was amazing. i am entirely more starstruck by my blogging inspirations than by big movie stars.)

Bri confessed to us that she is an absolute shareaholic, which makes it easy (and fun!) for her to manage her own social media presence.  She even demonstrated for us how she shoots and edits the perfect pics for Instagram.  I was relieved at how normal it made my pre-dinner photo shoots look.

Of course, I had to take a few pictures, myself.

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It was such an amazing space, I just kept thinking about how inspired I would be if I got to work on The Key of Kels from there every single day.

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I even asked a girl to take a picture of me in front of this awesome wallpaper…

designlovefest social media workshop
…and she turned it into a full out photo shoot with direction and angles and everything.

designlovefest social media workshop

I loved it.  These are my people!

designlovefest social media workshop

But I was there to learn.  And to Instagram.  So off to class I went.

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Bri gave us a very real perspective on sharing, on making it look consistent and professional, and on having a good time with it!

My five favorite take-aways from the workshop?

1. Don’t feel awkward standing on your chair or taking your subject a few blocks down to that adorable little coffee shot to get the best pic.  If this is your brand, you sometimes need to go above and beyond to get the vibe or feel or shot you’re looking for.  Plus, who cares what the table next to you thinks?  Tell them you write a blog and give them the website!  Maybe they’ll be your next big fan!

2.  For Instagram – Take a ton of pictures with different angles and composition. Scroll through the thumbnails to see which one stands out the most.  That’s the one that will stand out when people are scrolling through their feed.

3.  Make every feed completely unique.  Otherwise, people get sick of you just saying the same thing over and over again in five different places.  Use different pictures and text.  Post at different times throughout the day.  Give them a reason to follow you in all those places!!  But take the extra five minutes to edit links/pics/whatever to make sure your posts show up the way you intended on each individual forum.  The picture that looks great on Facebook probably won’t be the one that looks the best on Twitter or Pinterest.

4. Speaking of getting photos right, it’s not the worst thing to scroll through your feed and see which pictures stick out like sore thumbs.  Delete pictures that aren’t consistent or are just kind of bad.  They take attention away from the great pictures!  Good riddance!

5. Create your own unique hashtags so you can easily find pictures.  For instance, my friend Sarah started #funwithproduce, and it’s my new favorite place to post funny produce pictures.  I am thinking about starting one like #tkokfavefoodspots or #tkokbakes to easily “list” my favorite restaurants or recipes for anyone who wants to see.  I’ll keep you updated.

(ps! i found this picture through the #dlfworkshop hashtag later that afternoon. i am pretty proud of my front and center super-nerdom for all to see.)



6. One extra bonus takeaway: Most importantly – have fun!  For my blog, my social media is all about my amazing adventures around this wild town.  I love sharing my daily life and the beautiful things I see with all of you, so it’s naturally fun.  I hope it shines through!

DesignLoveFest is always holding workshops for subjects from photoshop to florals to mixology to calligraphy.  Check out the schedule and sign up for one that interests you.  You won’t regret it – and maybe I’ll see you there!



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PopTart Vlog!

My friend Sarah and I love it’s Grace! and her Vlog (video blog) on YouTube.

Grace is hilarious and she lives in the same town as me.  I feel like if we ever met, we would become instant friends.

Ha. Creepy…

But back in (sort of)reality, Sarah and I like to sometimes send each other videos that we call Vlogs. Most of the time Sarah sends me a Vlog of her doing something active and awesome around San Francisco.  Usually I send her Vlogs from my kitchen, making something sugary and delicious.  Sometimes our friend Mochelle even gets in on the fun and sends us a Vlog from her adventures around Orlando.

Nationwide Vlogging.  If you also have friends spread out all over the US, you should try it.  I don’t know why, but it’s really, really hilarious.

Aaaaanyway… Yesterday I was in the kitchen making pop tarts when Sarah texted me that I should Vlog it.  I assume she meant to send the Vlog to her, but as I hit record I thought to myself, “this could be kind of funny (or ridiculous) to share with my actual blog.”

So here it is.  Brad says I’m making my mirror face.  I think it’s hilarious, so I hope you at least find it enjoyable.  Maybe one day I will make an actual blog, where I edit it and make an entire recipe and don’t have The Black Key’s new album blasting in the background.

I promise I will share these pop tarts with you soon.  I just had one for lunch…


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The Rest of My Life

There is this quote that I used to love.


I used to apply it to relationships.  It was originally said in “When Harry Met Sally” about his newly realized love for his best friend.

But this week, I’ve started thinking that it is about finding any little piece of yourself that you have been searching for.

I recently realized that I was already doing what I was supposed to be doing in life.  I took ownership of the fact that I am not a teacher or a lawyer or an accountant or whatever.  I started telling people that I am a blogger, a baker and a candy maker.  I started sharing my dream of one day having a restaurant with my husband.  I started an editorial calendar and taking more photos with my actual camera instead of an iPhone.

I decided I was going to be successful and make a career doing the things I love. Continue reading