Kelly May Studio


How I've learned to keep houseplants alive

HomeKelly Kennedy

While in college I took an internship at a flower arrangement shop that also kept a retail space filled with house plants. Most of my job was trimming flowers but I also did some upkeep for their inventory for the store. This was my first real experience trying to keep plants alive, before this I would buy plants, they would die a couple weeks/ months later and then I would buy another.  So I had to learn a lot, and fast. 

The first thing I learned was you can tell what you're doing incorrectly to a plant by what color their leaves are. For instance brown, crinkly dry leaves could be too much sun or too little water. Yellow leaves however mean you're watering too often.

Most of my personal houseplants have become little experiments, trying different combinations of care to see what yields the healthiest plant. I change up their location and watering schedule to see which they like the most. Also, I usually ask when I buy the plant what type of light and water they need but tweak their recommendations when I bring it home. The absolute biggest helper though, has been using a water bottle to mist the plants most days and watering them in the sink once a week. 


Lakeview/ Lincoln Park

TravelKelly Kennedy
Lincoln Park3.jpg

City Adventures 

After living in this city for a year now I feel the need to get a better feel for it's neighborhoods so I'm going to explore them on the weekends and give a little info on what I learned in these posts. 

Today I started in Lincoln Park and then ended in Lakeview. Right when I got into Lincoln Park I had a Glazed and Infused donut, thankfully this wasn't my taste of their donuts but it's still noteworthy. I highly recommend this donut shop, they're all over the city, not specific to this neighborhood. I then window shopped a couple different stores that caught my eye including Art Effect, The Tie Bar, Foxtrot Market and Vosges Haut Chocolate.  The Art Effect is great for gift giving, they have brands that are very much in style right now ( was around ever corner). The Tie Bar was a nice curated collection of mens clothing with a beautiful interior. Foxtrot Market caught my eye because it was attached to Jeni's Ice Cream (yummmmmm!), it had a small collection of high end food that made me want live off of $20 chocolate bars and $8 loaves of bread. Lastly Vosges Haut Chocolate had the most beautiful selection of chocolate and chocolate truffles I've seen since moving to Chicago, I can't wait to visit again when I have more of an apatite for rich chocolate. 

I then took the train four stops to Lakeview, kind of near Boystown. My first stop was at Belmont Army and I spend a good hour on the top floor which is entirely vintage. It was one of those vintage shops that had affordable prices and you had to search to find anything.  This would be a great stop for anyone looking for a costume. My last stop on the adventure was at La Boulangerie where I had two french macaroons (lemon poppy seed and salted caramel) and a chai tea while I read my book. The french macaroons were wonderful, soft and moist and full of flavor. The chai tea was from a mix, so it was average. 

All in all I really enjoyed these neighborhoods, they aren't my favorite in Chicago but I can certainly imagine going back, mostly to try more food though. 

Minimalist Interiors: How To

HomeKelly Kennedy

About a month ago I moved from a tight one bedroom apartment to a spacey two! It has been so wonderful to have the extra room but it's also added a decorating challenge. All my walls in my old apartment were covered in art and gallery walls, but now I have too many walls and too little art to create the same effect. The same goes for my furniture, there just isn't enough to fill the whole space. In the future I hope to slowly collect more art and furniture for the space but I don't want to invest on anything right now.

My solution to this decor problem has been to consider a more minimalist decorative look with the pieces I have. This can be difficult because it means every piece has to be placed perfectly and should be beautiful on it's own. I've collected a couple images below that have helped me create the minimalist look in my home. Notice all the white wall space left un adorned and the simple decorations that mostly include plants. I hope to share my new apartment on the blog once all the decorations are complete. 

Layer it on me

FashionKelly Kennedy

Temperatures are dropping...YES YES YES! Colder weather not only means my hair will no longer look like Einstein's, but it also means LAYERS. A fashion girls dream. I've never understood how stylish ladies could love summer (looking at you Leandra Medine) because to me dressing gets more exciting the more cloths you put on (hello pattern play). So in honor of THE best fashion season here is a round up of great ways to incorporate layers. 


Autumn To Do List

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

Fall is my favorite season and I'm so thankful it's finally here after a long steamy summer in Chicago. There is something about autumn that feels like a new beginning each year. I get giddy when the bright leaves cover the ground and the air starts to cool. 

Each season I try to make to do lists; things I want to accomplish before the next season starts. It's usually pretty typical stuff (go to the beach in the summer, have hot coco in the winter, ect) but it really helps me feel like I'm making the most out of that time of year and keeps me from having regrets when the time passes. Here is my list of what I'm going to do this fall:

  1. Bake the perfect apple pie. I already attempted this two weekends ago and it was such a failure! ( I don't recommend this recipe )
  2. Take a long job along the Lakefront Trail
  3. Bad scary movie marathon while eating candy corn and drinking pumpkin beer (here's a list to start with)
  4. Carve pumpkins. Mike and I bought pumpkins last year and then never carved them, not this year!
  5. Have a picnic in the park before it gets too cold. Doing it solo is a great idea also.
  6. Work on my buttermilk biscuit recipe in time for Thanksgiving. Last year my biscuits were less than impressive and I want them to be the star of the meal this year.
  7. Take the train out to the 'burbs to see the foliage in nature.



Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower
— Albert Camus