Hot Off the Farmer’s Market

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I survived living in Orlando, Florida for six years.

Temperatures have been stuck right around the 90 degree mark here in Santa Monica, which is perfect if you want to hang out by a pool or on a beach or something.

But when you’ve had a serious wine night with friends until about 3am the night before and you’re hanging out at the Farmer’s Market the next morning… 90 degrees hurts a little bit.

No big deal.  I just threw on my handy hangover hat and shades….

watermelon shirt

And a watermelon shirt that made me feel like it was straight up summer around here.


Brad, of course, stuck to his normal uniform.  Skinny jeans, vneck tee, Chucks.


Enough about our fashion choices.  The market was also full of produce that felt very summer-like… Continue reading

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.

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I loved it.  These are my people!

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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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Craving: Cake Stands

Ever since I made a giant pink cake for my birthday, I’ve had cake stands on the brain.

My cakes always look great on a simple white plate, but some cake stands are so darn cute.  And they add so many presentation points!

So the other day I walked by one of my favorite Abbott Kinney shops, Bountiful, where I love to find unique glassware.

Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot Kinney Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot KinneyThe store also gives me slight panic attacks, given the reality of earthquakes here in California and the height they have these cake stands stacked up.  I’m already scared enough of accidentally bumping something, but factor in the earth moving and you’re just asking for disaster. Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot Kinney Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot Kinney

Come to think of it, I hope they fared alright yesterday morning after that 4.4 early morning shake we had.  Not much can wake me from my sleep at 6:25am, but both Brad and I opened our groggy eyes and looked at each other confused as Gibson ran around the room like a maniac and our apartment shook for what seemed like thirty seconds.  Brad simply declared, “earthquake” and we rolled over, falling immediately back to sleep.

We just don’t do 6:25am.

However panic-inducing, Bountiful’s cake stand displays are incredibly impressive.  And since this week they are on sale, I might just be going back very soon!

Until then, I’ve been scouring Pinterest, Etsy, and the rest of the world wide web for the coolest cake stands ever to satisfy my cake stand craving.  Here are ten of my favorites:

Craving Cake Stands @thekeyofkels

1.  This Vintage Milkglass Cake Stand in BarkingSandsVintage‘s Etsy store.  Who doesn’t love vintage milkglass?

2.  These Antiquitarian Cake Stands from Anthropologie.  I would definitely buy more than one and stack them into tiers!

3.  This Fondant Marble Cake Stand from Anthropologie.  The marble and the wood together are classic and beautiful.

4.  This White Lace Ceramic Cake Stand from dianezeigler‘s Etsy store. Dainty, elegant, and gorgeous.

5.  This Stratford Cake Stand from Anthropologie.  I love the color, the details, and the dome.  Why oh why is it now sold out?!?

6.  The most amazing Tentacled Cake Stand from BHLDN. Stunning, yet also sold out. I have to find this somewhere!

7.  This Madera Pedestal Plate from Bed Bath & Beyond.  Love the color of the wood.  Love the dome!

8.  This “Baroque” Footed Cake Stand from Horchow.  Oooh.  New shape!  I like!

9.  This Emma Cake Stand from Pottery Barn.  Simple.  Elegant.  Let’s the cake shine.

10.  This Wood Vintage and Rustic Cake Stand in LeAtelierdiMontti‘s Etsy shop.  I like nothing better than that worn wood.  Isn’t it beautiful??

And now, all I want to do is bake a cake.  So, I’m off to do that.


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