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Jess & Kelly Q&A–Fun Facts about our friendship and what we’re excited to wear this fall!

Jess Keys and Kelly Larkin wearing Barbour

On Jess: Look #1: Green Coat, Printed Button-Down (also in white), Green tartan scarf, Boots and Umbrella available at Barbour stores! Look #2: Navy + Red Coat, Sweater, Jeans, Camel scarf available in stores but Tuckernuck has lot’s of Barbour scarves in different colors!, Boots–available in store. All clothing c/o Barbour. On Kelly: Look #1: Grey Sweater, Camel scarf, Navy coat + boots available in stores. Look #2:  Green coat,Green tartan scarf, Boots available in store. All clothing c/o Barbour.

Sooo excited for today’s blog post featuring some of my favorite photos we have ever taken!

Remember a couple weeks back when I told you Kelly, Mitch, Emma, Neal and I we were shooting some Fall looks with Barbour? Today, you get to see them! Huzzah! (Well, the ones of me and Kelly. The photos with Neal and I are coming in a later post!)

Collaborating together with brands we absolutely love has always been one of our favorite parts of blogging! The photos turned out SO cute and moments like these make us so thankful for this crazy career we’ve made for ourselves.

Kelly and I frequently get questions about our friendship, so we thought to accompany these photos, why not do a little Q&A? We’re both answering the same questions about each other in our posts today 😉

Let’s jump in!

How do you guys meet?

We have a mutual blogger friend Krista, who introduced us on Instagram and said we had to meet! We got in touch over email and agreed to meet up at an Anthropologie event (the one on Southport in Lakeview!) I remember being slightly disappointed that I had missed meeting Noodle–who was a puppy back then. (Mitch had walked her to the event but left before I got there, so I met Mitch and Noodle the next week ?)

Kelly in the City and The Golden Girl Blog

[one-half-first]Malvern Roll Collar Sweater BARBOUR[/one-half-first][one-half]

Malvern Roll Collar Sweater BARBOUR


What was your first impression of Kelly?

I thought that she was really nice and easy to talk to. We agreed to meet up later that week to shoot outfit photos for one another, and then I feel like we were best friends. There really wasn’t much of an in-between period, haha!

Are you guys actually best friends in real life?

Yes! Kelly was in my wedding (we joke that it’s so bizarre I wasn’t at hers because we hadn’t met yet ?) and I can’t imagine not having her in my life. She was the first person I called when we got engaged (and she ignored my call because she didn’t know if it had happened yet and she was terrified of ruining the surprise.) We have been through a lot together and have also helped each other grow so much from both a professional and a personal standpoint!

Jess Keys and Kelly Larkin wearing BarbourAltair Waterproof Hooded Jacket BARBOUR


How often do you hang out? What do you guys like to do?

Not as much as we used to because #life but an average “Kelly, Mitch, Neal and Jess” night basically involves us going over to Kelly and Mitch’s, consuming too much wine and laughing for about 10 hours straight, looking up at the clock and realizing it’s 3am. We’ve also both agreed that we need to make more of an effort to have girls nights. This summer has been so crazy, I know we’re both looking forward to slowing down a little this fall and having more time to do that!

What qualities of hers do you admire?

Kelly is one of the most genuine, selfless people I’ve ever met. She will go to the end of the earth for her family and friends. She’s so hardworking, smart, and is an incredible mother and an amazing wife. She teaches me so much through example. Even if we somehow didn’t speak for months (I mean, that would never happen, but just for example’s sake) I know that she would always be there for me no matter what. She’s also everyone’s biggest cheerleader–she is always always her friends #1 fan. She just makes everyone feel really special without even trying–that’s just her personality.

Jess Keys and Kelly Larkin wearing Barbour

Altair Waterproof Hooded Jacket BARBOUR

Jess Keys and Kelly Larkin wearing Barbour

What are some little known “Kelly” facts?

Oh man. Where to begin? I feel like there are STILL weird facts I learn about her where I look at her and say, “WHO ARE YOU!?” Let’s see…

1. She used to work as a reporter for a newspaper in Hartford Connecticut covering MURDER. (????)

2. Some days she subsides on Kit Kats and Chardonnay alone. Kelly eats to live, she does not live to eat. (What does that feel like?) Because she has no interest in food, sometimes we have to make her eat–because she forgets.

3. She hates cilantro. Like, HATES it.

4. Kelly’s dad is famous for this insanely long joke about a dog. We need to get him to tell it on Instagram stories. (Okay that’s not technically about Kelly but it needed to be included.)

5. Kelly is a crier. She cries when she’s happy, sad, everything in between. Sometimes it is justified, but rarely so. For example, she used to cry about how she was concerned “Noodles life is too boring because they don’t do enough exciting things with her.” (Despite Noodle having a loving owner who was home to pet, play, and walk her 24-7? I’m literally LOLing typing this ?)

6. She tried to convince me to put black ankle socks in our Holiday Gift Guide. (“WHAT?!” she will still defend. “THEY ARE MAGICAL SOCKS!!!”) Who gets excited to buy black ankle socks?

7. She could probably not name one rapper. She would turn to Mitch and say, “oh, Mitch–that one guy! What’s his name?” Like, one time we were playing “Heads Up” and the person she had to guess was “Dr. Dre” and my clues were: “he’s a rapper? Someone forgot about him?” and no dice.

8. She is an absolute grammar psychopath. I mean, I know it takes everything she has for her to not point out grammatical errors in my blog posts. (Side note: I KNOW correct grammar, I just don’t have time to proof read. Progress over perfection! ?)

9. She calls everyday things weird names like “Food shopping” (grocery shopping?) and “athletic clothing” (workout clothes?) and “Chop meat” (ground beef??) I think this is an East Coast thing but all of us LOL.

10. This gets me every time: Kelly and Mitch’s biggest fight was when they were dating and making dinner. Kelly poured two completely different types of pasta into the same pot of boiling water and Mitch said, “Why did you do that?”

I’ll just leave that here…

Kelly Larkin is wearing a Altair Waterproof Hooded Jacket BARBOUR

Jess Keys is wearing a Altair Waterproof Hooded Jacket BARBOUR Malvern Roll Collar Sweater BARBOUR

Favorite memory of your friendship?

Okay, this is a tie.

First, was when Kelly told me she was pregnant with Emma. I was SO SO happy for her and Mitch after all they had been through trying to get pregnant and I didn’t even tell Neal right away because I was too scared I would jinx it for her. (She wrote an incredible blog post on their infertility journey here (also, there is the sweetest video in her post that will make you cry in the best way ??? I accidentally stumbled upon it last week and sobbed. And then it was so cute I made Neal watch it and then we both cried in the kitchen )

Second, was when Kelly and Mitch saved our whole wedding. Our photographer completely sketched out on us and if not for Kelly and Mitch we would have no wedding photos. She was a bridesmaid and a photographer, Mitch was loading memory cards onto a hard drive all night. They were the MVP’s of the entire day. I was so tired that Kelly even pulled my dress off of me at the end of the night (I was so tired I could barely even talk) and took it home for me so I didn’t have to take it with me to Mexico.

(I’ll tell you the full story of our wedding one day but I still have PTSD so I try not to think about our wedding ?)


What are your favorite projects you’ve done together?

We have spent a lot of hours in the past working on our Holiday Guides (which we did for a couple of years but then everyone started doing them so they lost their appeal). SO MANY LATE NIGHTS over wine. Being slap happy. Often hysterically laughing and occasional scolding at each other’s picks for gift guides. (I.E. THE SOCKS.)

Our Barbour collaborations also really stand out as being some of my favorite. The best brand partnerships are without a doubt with the brands that you really truly love, wear all the time and are really part of our life. Pulling on one of my Barbour coats for the first time each year is kind of a special thing I look forward to. Kelly was the one that actually introduced me to the brand, so every time I wear Barbour, I think of Kelly! I think the first collaboration we ever did together was one with the Barbour Lincoln Park store – this post and this post and our relationship with the brand continued to grow over the past few years!

When they reached out to collaborate with us again this year, we were so excited! The idea was essentially an updated Fall version of these photos (which we lovingly refer to as our “engagement photos” ? but also kind of look like we’re a couple announcing our pregnancy ?) This time we got to model their Weather Comfort collection, which was essentially designed for rainy fall days!

We shot these in beautiful Humboldt Park (my favorite park in the city! It’s huge and so, so pretty). Despite the fact that it was 80 degrees and we were wearing heavy fall gear, it was still really fun. That’s party of the hilarity of being a blogger–you’re always shooting crazy things in crazy temperatures ? Part of me still can’t wait for summer to be over, but I’m really excited to pull on all this awesome fall gear for real!

Malvern Roll Collar Sweater BARBOUR

Jess Keys and Kelly Larkin wearing Barbour



What we’re wearing here: 

The jacket I’m wearing here was my favorite, it comes in three different colors and is super functional–it has a detachable hood and is completely waterproof, but doesn’t look like a rain jacket, so you can wear it even if it’s sunny! It looks so classic with a tartan Barbour scarf–and I absolutely love their rain boots!

This tunic length roll neck sweater is great because you can also wear it with leggings (it’s long enough to cover your behind!) and I was totally drawn to this button down with the prettiest bird print! It looks so classic with your favorite pair of jeans–I’ve loved wearing it with loafers and a leather jacket as well! It reminds me of my mother in law–she loves birds!

(Can we take a second to also talk about Noodle in these photos ? ?)

Make sure to head over to Kelly in the City to see how Kelly answered all of the above questions! Love you Kelly!! 

Thank you so much to one of our favorite brands, Barbour, for sponsoring this post!