Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Hey, friends. Thanks for stopping by today – I'm glad you're here!
So, yeah. It's officially September. Aka it's basically fall. 
Bring it on, PSL season. I'm ready for ya.

With the change in seasons comes a change in my beauty routine. 
Over the next few weeks, I'll swap out my summer moisturizer for something a little thicker and reintroduce heat styling to my hair routine (bless the drop in humidity, y'all). Especially in the warmer months, I generally favor a simple + minimalist beauty process — but something about the autumn dip in temperature inspires me to be a little more creative. Incorporating a fun lip into my look is by far my favorite way to finish off an outfit... because there's just something about lipstick that really solidifies a look & pulls everything together.

I was recently introduced to LipSense, a revolutionary lip color that's highly moisturizing, completely smudge-proof and not tested on animals. It's also made in America and has been worn by celebrities from Jennifer Aniston to Christina Aguilera! With all the product claimed to do, I was intrigued and interested to try it out, but understandably, maintained a level of skepticism. I mean, let's be real — what beauty product (lip color, no less), is actually smudge-proof? The answer: none. (Well, so I thought.)

I've been using LipSense for a few weeks now and I'm hooked. Seriously. The product works similarly to nail polish — apply a few layers as directed & seal with an outer layer of gloss. I was honestly shocked after I got back in my car the first time I wore it out to dinner that it was still flawless. How does a company even make a product like that?! (I don't know, but I'm definitely not mad about it!) The contrary of long-lasting lip color is that it can be tricky to remove at the end of the night. Thankfully, LipSense has developed the Oops Remover!, an alcohol-free, vitamin packed "gloss" that breaks down the lip color to aid in the removal process.

Ready to try LipSense yourself? My distributor, Kristene, can set you up! You can find her on Instagram at @kissthisbyk or on Facebook. (She even has a Facebook group you can join, too!) Y'all already know long-lasting lip color is a necessity for everything from game day to recruitment — because nothing can unhinge a look quite like half-faded lipstick. Product questions or can't quite decide on a color? Shoot Kristene a message & she'll help ya out! (And, did I mention, shipping is free? #bless)

Have you tried LipSense?

Monday, September 19, 2016


denim // sunnies // converse // cardigan

Hey, friends. How are things?
With the onset of September comes the beginning of school, which really means... football is back. College football is huge at my alma mater and I definitely miss the camaraderie of game day as a student. While I'll always bleed red for my Badgers, game day as an alumn is a little different. 7:00a "eggs & kegs" are no longer a thing, and my time living a block from the stadium has certainly passed. As an alumn, tailgating means a little less day party and a little more lowkey. 

I hate to admit it, but my team has had three games this season, none of which I have even been around for... and I currently live in my college town! But between weekend trips & weddings, I just haven't been able to make it happen. As an undergrad, I rarely missed a game (ever!) so I'm really looking forward to getting back on campus for game day. 

I chose a casual & understated game day look for a weekend trip on a family yacht. We docked for the day at a marina in the cutest little town where we watched the game from a brewery. It was such an incredible surprise to watch my Badgers beat LSU at the iconic Lambeau Field stadium! I really couldn't have asked for anything better. 

How do you tailgate as a student or an alumn? Drop a line in the comments & let me know!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Hi, friends. How've you been? I'm glad you're here!
You might remember that I recently moved from Washington, D.C. to Wisconsin. 
The last few weeks have been a little crazy (to say the least!)
But I'm glad to be getting back into some sort of routine. 

And don't hate me for mentioning it, but it's the elephant in this virtual room.


It's like, just a few days away. How? 
As much as I love summer, I'm actually really excited for autumn. 
(Don't hate me!)

On that note, let's get right into it. Here's what I've been up to lately!


The last couple of months (and this past month, in particular) has been one big curveball. 
I made the difficult decision to leave my first real job — a position I fought to secure for months after my college graduation. And with that, decided to move back to my home state of Wisconsin after finally coming to terms with the fact that D.C. just wasn't the perfect fit for me, despite desperate efforts to convince myself otherwise. (Don't worry, D.C. Mad love for you, always. You just aren't my forever home.) I moved across the country and settled into my new apartment without a "real" plan of what to do next or how to move forward. 

People are reaching out in (seemingly) troves to ask about my new job, why I moved back and what my plan is for the future. And honestly? I don't have a good answer. For any of those questions. At times, the anxiety that comes along with the ambiguity of life is crippling. But right now, I'm just doing what I can — taking life day-by-day, trying to figure it out. I'm so glad you're here & sticking with me through this transitional period. I can't wait to share what the future has in store with y'all. 

And on that note...


The "upside" of ambiguity is time. It's been nice having a little bit of downtime. I've been able to travel and reconnect with a handful of old friends. Last weekend I popped up to Minneapolis to celebrate a friends' birthday. Can we talk about how cool this marble decorative tray is? A friend crafted it as a birthday gift. She's seriously the queen of repurposing & upcycling, and always seems to be working on some flawless crafty creation. (Can somebody get HGTV over here? Because I swear this girl is the next Joanna Gaines.)

God bless people like her who have much more patience than I. 
I'm in the middle of DYI-ing a pair of sofa end tables and think I might lose it if I have to touch another can of gold spray paint. (The struggle.) But I hope they turn out well, because I'd love to share the final product with y'all!

Over this upcoming Labor Day Weekend, I'll be heading up north to spend the weekend aboard a family yacht. I love heading up to the boat because there's just something so incredibly relaxing about being on the water. The construct of time seems to hold no importance, and alternatively, our days are dictated by the rising and setting of the sun. Stay tuned for more details in a post next week!


top: ring || bag
bottom: display rings

If you've been around for a while, you'll know that I've got a soft spot for a well-shaped gel manicure. I always get my nails done twice a month because is there anything worse than naked nails? No. The answer is no. (Actually, yes. Chipped nails.) Because sometimes, you've just got to treat yourself! Whether it be a massage, manicure or microdermabrasion, I'm always sure to pop by the Health, Beauty and Wellness Groupons before I make an appointment. I've been using Groupon to save on beauty services for years — many merchants offer discounts of well over 50% off! 

While I do have salon & stylist preferences for certain services, I always welcome the opportunity to try out new-to-me establishments, especially when I can score a killer deal. Pro tip: Groupon deals are great for gifting & girl's day! (My best friend & I have scheduled side-by-side services from Groupon deals we've found in the past — spa day on a budget!)

Every once in a while I'll pop on over to the Groupon app I have installed on my iPhone and check out what deals and promotions they have. Because, hey. The more you know... the more you will (hopefully) save!


Thank you to Lawrence Cheng Photography for contributing to this post. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Bamboo Eau De Parfum

Hey, friends. Thanks for stopping by today!
Well, the cat's out of the bag, so to speak. (Okay, pause. Who came up with that phrase in the first place?!) Anyways... I'm moving! And not just like the "across-town-and-down-the-road" kind of move. It's more like the "pack-your-life-into-a-pickup-truck-and-drive-it-for-24-hours-straight-across the-country" kind of move. (Check out all the details here if you missed it!)

In the meantime, I wanted to share this Franck Olivier eau de parfum I picked up via Fragrance Outlet. New scents are something I love, but also something that I don't splurge on often. 

Why does a tiny jar of liquid cost so much?!

That's something I've never understood. During the spring semester of my freshman year of high school, I bought my first "real" fragrance. As in, not a Victoria's Secret Love Spell body spray, haha. I bought a small purple bottle of Ralph Lauren perfume, "Hot." I thought I was really "hip" and "adult" for sporting an eau de parfum, and wore it everyday for the rest of the semester and into the summer. That summer I got my first job at an ice cream shop, had a boyfriend with a car (a big deal when you're 15!) and spent every night with my friends in my microscopically small hometown. Oh, the memories. Those were the days.

As in, the days without bills and responsibilities, but also, the days before iPhones and Instagram. (So I guess it's kind of a trade-off.)

It's it funny how a smell can be linked so closely with a memory? This summer, I've been rotating between my holy grail Stella McCartney scent and my new Franck Olivier Bamboo perfume. I really love the notes of this Bamboo scent, which surprisingly, doesn't smell like what I'd imagine bamboo smells like, at all. It encompasses top notes of blackcurrant, violet leaves and ivy; middle notes of lily, rose, freesia and ylang-ylang; and finishes off with base notes of musk, cedar and vetiver. If you've been around for a while, you may have noticed I'm a fan of rose. So drop a rose note into a scent and...

I. Am. Sold. 

Do smells trigger certain memories for you? Drop a line & let me know!

Monday, July 25, 2016


Hey, friends. Thanks for stopping by!
I have some exciting news to share with y'all — I'm moving!

A year ago I made "the big move" after graduating college. I packed up my life into a pickup truck and drove it 20-some hours across the country from the University of Wisconsin campus to Washington, D.C. My first few weeks in the District were full of excitement, uncertainty and a whole lot of sweat (y'all, this is the swampiest city on earth!) But in due time, I settled into my tiny, overpriced, downtown apartment and embraced my new 9-to-5 normal. (If you're curious, take a peek at my first post-move blog post — you're in for a real treat, haha!)

My year in the city has truly been wonderful. I (almost...okay, not quite) met Michelle Obama, enjoyed late-night rosé at the Lincoln Memorial, boarded an astounding 35 flights (yes, I am an expert packer now), had one too many cocktails at PricewaterhouseCooper's extravagant holiday party and of course, Instagrammed brunch. These are the fond memories I will continue to cherish throughout the remainder of my life.

I've met loads of great people. I'm even lucky enough to call a handful of these genuinely remarkable humans my friends. I've gained an entirely new perspective on a few things, and expanded my mindset on just about everything else. When it's all said and done, I like to think I'm leaving the city as a better person than when I got here. And I hope to bring this fresh, new outlook to my next city — Madison, Wisconsin!

I'll be relocating to a new apartment in my home state of Wisconsin in just a few short days. I'm so excited to start a new chapter of my post-grad life in my absolute favorite city in the entire world. I'm getting a puppy later this fall (ahhh!) and maybe I'll finally put those decorating Pinterest boards to use! Once again, I'm packing up my life into a pickup truck, but this time, heading back to my roots. Is this what they mean when they say life comes full circle?

I hope you'll continue to join me in my next adventure. 
You might even see four paws and some fur around here!


Thank you to my dear friends Lily & Anne for your invaluable support of Keynotes from Kay.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Hey, friends. I'm glad you're here!
I feel like we have a little catching up to do (#mybad). 
Also, how is it already nearing the end of July? I'm pretty sure like, two seconds go it was March... 
I'm going to take this month's installment of the "Lately" series in a bit of a different direction, so bear with me (and as always, feedback is definitely appreciated!).


.... work, work, work, work (Rihanna voice)

Ah, yes. Work. A topic I often shy away from around here. And while that's for good reason (I'm not allowed to disclose much of anything about my workplace), I also think it's important for me to maintain a little privacy. Plus, I think I would bore most of y'all to death with any talk about law and bureaucracy in D.C. But, my "day job" is a place where I spend the majority of my hours during the week, and so logically, it's very influential for me. I'm incredibly lucky to work with great colleagues and for the fact that I enjoy many workplace flexibilities (especially the ability to work from home) which make work/life balance easier. But sometimes, I can't help but feel unsure and confused... I'm having some doubts about the direction that I want to take my life in the future.... Isn't it strange that we spend the first 20-odd years of our lives in school but yet that doesn't really prepare us for life in the "real" world? (Yeah, I'm getting a little "angsty teen" here on y'all.) The ambiguity of life is hard, man. Anyways, I don't really have any departing wisdom to leave you with, I just wanted to let y'all know where my head's at.
And then there's blogging, which if I'm being real, is basically like a full-time job in itself, haha!
I started Keynotes from Kay as a creative outlet and passion project, which is still where it is today. 
I love being able to come to this little corner of the internet to share things with you when I'm feeling inspired or excited. In the future, I hope to post on a more consistent schedule (a continued struggle), but for now, I'll continue doing what I can. (And you can always keep up with me on Instagram where I check in with y'all nearly everyday!)


I've always had a thing for spin classes. In college, I used to frequent CYC Fitness, an upbeat cycling studio on the University of Wisconsin - Madison campus. And a while back, I touched on my first SoulCycle experience. Since my first Soul experience a few months back, I've been going to the studio near my apartment occasionally. Truth be told, I would totally be going five times a week if I could. But at $35 per class, it's just not something I can swallow all that often. Sometimes Soul gets a bad rap for its marketing and perceived "cult-like" atmosphere, which I truly disagree with. I'll admit — I was intimidated at first. But now, every time I walk into the studio, I feel like I've found my tribe. (That's kind of a weird thing to say and I don't really know how to explain it. But I promise I'm not losing my marbles!) Near the end of my class last Sunday morning, I was really fighting some tears. And no, not the I-just-got-sweat-in-my-eyes kind of tears. But like, full-blown ugly crying. (So now you're really convinced that I am, in fact, losing my marbles...ugh.) 

SoulCycle is an oddly spiritual experience, folks. It really is. You clip into your bike and spend the next 45 minutes pushing your body to the limit while working through a hot mess of mental garbage. Unlike my last little blurb, I promise I'll end with a point this time... sort of. In in next few weeks, try focusing on your health and happiness. And never feel like you have to apologize or justify for the decisions you make to better yourself.


on a lighter note....

I'm moving out of my apartment in two weeks. Let the packing begin.
Over the past five years, I've moved five times (I moved apartments every year in college!).

It's. Getting. Old.

Like, really old.

Packing is really the worst, you guys. It's funny though, because really, I only have one room of stuff to move — my bedroom (with the exception of a few kitchen items and a few other random things). How does essentially one room worth of stuff take up an entire truck?! How do people move when they have an entire home worth?! (I suspect this is where hiring movers becomes necessary.)
Any tips y'all have for do-it-yourself moving are appreciated!

And if you've made it this far — I applaud you.
Thanks for sticking with me through this one.
Y'all are always the best.


Monday, July 18, 2016


Hey, friends. Thanks for stopping by today. I'm glad you're here!
I've had a whirlwind of a time these last few weeks (and noticeably absent — for that, I'm sorry!) Between work, travel and life, I've been a little overwhelmed. And as much as I hate to admit it, the blog can fall behind when a work crisis unfold (#DCproblems). So, here I am, and happy to be back! I have some exciting news to share with y'all in the next couple of weeks, so don't worry, I hope to be a little more present here in the future. As always, you can pop on over to Instagram where I try to check in with y'all everyday!

Like all of you, I love a good deal. I mean, don't even get me started with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — that's live NOW, by the way! (Preview the entire sale here if you're not a cardholder.) I did some major damage last week and I recapped y'all on what good deals are to be had, so check that post out here if you haven't already! Side note: but don't you think that all retailers should embrace a concept like the #Nsale? I really love how the #Nsale give shoppers discounts on brand new fall merchandise rather than inventory from previous seasons that needs to be liquidated. After hearing the hype year after year, I finally opened a Nordstrom card this year to gain early access to the sale. In years past, I had to deal with the constant disappointment when my favorite items were sold out by the time public access to the sale started, and this year, I was not going to let that happen, haha! (Did you know you can also open a Nordstrom DEBIT card if you're hesitant about opening a credit card? More on that here.)

So, when Groupon Coupons reached out to me recently about their service, I knew it would be a great fit (especially given the timing of mid-summer sales!). I've been familiar with Groupon Coupons for a while, but for those of you who don't know, let me break it down: daily deals from retailers like J.Crew Factory and Saks Fifth Avenue. Yeah. We're not just talking a 10% off Target coupon here and there (although, they've got those, too!)

Every once in a while I'll pop on over to the Groupon app I have installed on my iPhone and check out what coupons and promotions they have. It's basically a one-stop shop to see what discounts are available at many major retailers at any given time. Often, the discounts aren't unique to Groupon, but it's a great resource to check out, especially if you want to see a handful of sales and discounts all in one place (rather than checking 25 different websites). I'm especially mindful to check it out if I know I'm in the market for a big-ticket item or will be spending a larger chunk of change. Because, hey. The more you know... the more you will (hopefully) save!

What are your tips for smart shopping?