thought of the week: friends who hold visions of your success as much as their own are a blessing.

over the last few months, i have been seeing quotes by yung pueblo pop up everywhere, but especially on instagram and twitter.  while there have been several that i have loved, the one that stood out the most (especially this month) was:


“friends who hold visions of your success as much as their own are a blessing.”


while i would not consider myself to be the most religious person in the world, i definitely would call myself spiritual.  and as a result, i do believe in blessings, especially to those who are truly good and sincere people.


it is common for me to be captain of the cheer squad when my friends and family are embarking on a new journey or unearthing and bringing to life a project they are passionate about.  when i think of times people in my inner circle have held visions of my success as much as their own, i thought primarily of both of my degrees.  grad school even more so than undergrad because i put in a different level of work and knew that the end goal (and result) would be me serving as a counselor/therapist.  my last year of grad school, i worked four part time jobs to make ends meet and rack up the hours needed to be a step closer to licensure.  then, i tried to think about things outside of my education.  and the first thing that came to mind was this blog and how much love was present on a weekend spent in sf earlier this month.




i am more blessed than most when it comes to how many people have been supportive of me starting this project that i have wanted to for years.  a particular reason why i chose this photo with these wonderful women is because even though we were in sf to celebrate the 30th birthday of the beauty in the blue jumpsuit (marilena), both marilena and makensy (the baddie in the black ensemble) made a point to ask me how week one of my project wrapped up.  i was taken aback.  before i launched, both asked me what they could do to best help and support me.  both believed in the project before the first post was even done.  then i thought about it.  and since the day i met them both in september of 2007, both of these women have been two of the friends who most consistently held visions of my success as much as their own.  they are powerful women who choose to actively support the other women (and men) in their lives.  their support of my development has been unwavering.  i hope that they feel that same sense of support, encouragement and love from me.


unwavering support is hard to come by and it truly is a blessing.


tell me who that person(s) is for you in the comments below.



k. tap

anytime is a good time to be in san diego

after having a ton of rain this january in la, the sun decided to resurface last week.  even still, nothing could compare to how stunning the weather was in san diego this past weekend.  i have never been to san diego and experienced bad weather or anything less than a spectacular time.


i was in town to celebrate my friend hillary’s 29th birthday and there was something awesome in store each day.




had to post this solo photo of her because she is so fire.  the jacket is vince camuto and she found it at nordstrom rack for $30 (which is literally insane).  her boots (that i chopped off) are over the knee suede lace ups from ibiss boutique in willow glen.  even though they are in the bay, they ship.  anyway, we were en route to an amazing wine bar and completely unplanned, both had faux fur incorporated into our outfits.  while i did mine with a sweater dress, hillary paired hers with a sleek back bodysuit and some dark denim.




my faux fur jacket from asos is on sale and available now! because i love a print, here is one in a print similar to hillary’s that is also from asos in extended sizes!  i love that it dresses up any outfit and has pockets large enough for my keys and iPhone – you know, the crucial things.  the sweater dress is also from asos and is on mega sale for $18! my booties are an old but faithful pair.  i just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.  now, onto exploring san diego.  our first stop was…




carruth cellars wine garden!  there is no way i can return to san diego and not return to this place.  not only was the service phenomenal, the wine delicious and the build your own charcuterie board(s) to die for, the outdoor/open air vibe was so refreshing.  since it was a winter evening, they had heat lamps on for us and ample seating for our group of 12.  it truly was the perfect way to kick off the weekend and somewhere i could see myself going every single friday if i lived in san diego.




saturdays in san diego are meant to be spent at smoking gun.




not only is this bar ridiculously fun and super spacious, they have a brunch that is to die for.  i recommend anything with the brisket and a side of their cheese sauce. you can thank me later.




our birthday brunch for hillary quickly turned into six hours of nonstop fun.  they even take reservations and are dog friendly.  trust me, it is worth your while.




we were all wiped out from our boozy brunch and called it a night.  we headed over to pb the next day for brunch at world famous and it was worth the trek.




not only does valet parking for $7 making the dining experience exponentially better, there is truly something on the menu for everyone.  our table did three orders of the fried brie.  because i wanted something a little cleaner after the previous day of shenanigans, i started with a delightful avocado toast and had an extraordinary salad loaded with fresh lobster as my main course.



the fact that this is the view from the restaurant patio and directly outside of it makes it even better.




winter in california is not overrated, especially in sd.  i cannot wait to go back in march.


if you head to any of these places while there, let me know what you think!



k. tap

cozy cardigan

i live for a good cardigan, especially the ones that feel like you are being swaddled in a blanket.


i initially saw this cardigan in gray on clearance at forever 21 and figured why the hell not? gray is my favorite neutral and it looked like it had potential.  that was a gross understatement.


the cardigan arrived and i pretty much lived in it.  no, seriously.  one night, my pilot light was out in my apartment and i even slept in this cardigan.  after talking to marilena (my roommate + soulmate from freshman year of college), i was persuaded to buy it in whatever other colors it came in.  that included camel and this gorgeous oxblood.




i have now worn all three of these to work and all three of them on different nights out – whether it was to dinner, a wine cellar in sf or a bar in pasadena.


for work today, i have it paired with a simple black tank by sejour and a pair of my favorite compression pants – the zella live-ins.  they are called the live-ins because you can literally do everything in them – i have worn them to soul cycle, while running errands, to work, on a date; you name it, i’ve tried it.  all i do is switch up my shoe choice and the top.  both the tank and the pants can be purchased in a variety of colors and trust me, you will want more than just one.  head to – that is where dreams come true.




savory southwest salmon salad

now, i already told you all that i love alliteration.  try saying the title of this post three times fast.


i would say that i eat seafood at least four days a week.  whether i am sautéing shrimp to throw over a salad or to add to pasta, baking salmon to pair with steamed veggies and a baked potato or to (you guessed it) throw over a salad or hitting up my favor sushi or poke places, seafood is a necessary staple.


i make an effort to pack my lunch at least three days a week and i have found this savory southwest salmon salad is an easy way to stay full for hours between sessions with clients while feeling like my tastebuds are in for a treat.  the true test was making it for my mom for one of our tuesday night dinners (we get together weekly to watch “this is us”).  while my mom likes many other types of fish, she has never been crazy about salmon – that is, until she tried this salad.


before i get into the recipe, i will tell you now that you can prepare this same salmon and pair it with whatever sides you’d like.  i like to do broccoli with garlic and lemon or maple bacon wrapped asparagus.  perhaps i will do a post on that later down the line.


this recipe will take you 25 minutes from start to finish.


first, we will start with the salmon.  i am all about figuring out how to multitask in the kitchen.  so if you are going to make the full blown salad and not just the salmon by itself, follow the following steps:




  1. set your oven to 425
  2. get a pyrex dish (my baking dish of choice because it has a lid, thus making it easier for storage) and coat it heavily with pam (or your preferred cooking spray)
  3. place the salmon in the pyrex dish – i typically cook two pieces at a time to have enough for two meals (or for a guest, like my mama bear)
  4. squeeze the juice from a quarter of a lemon over the salmon
  5. lightly coat with coarse kosher salt and black pepper
  6. sprinkle one teaspoon of my favorite ginger sriracha lemon rub over each piece of salmon (two teaspoons total)
  7. place a slice of lemon over each piece of salmon
  8. bake in oven for 12 minutes on 425


while it is in the oven, let’s start prepping our salad.





now, my favorite thing about salad in a bag is that you essentially have a meal prepped at your fingertips.  my least favorite thing is that it consistently seems like it is missing something (and it does not hold me over for a long enough timespan).  my favorite salad kit is the one you see above and i order them (typically three or four at a time) from amazon fresh.  you might be looking at this photo and wondering why there is an avocado and guacamole – the avocado was not ripe enough for use yet so i used three teaspoons of guacamole instead.  here is what to do while the salmon is being in the oven:

  1. pour salad onto the plate of your choice
  2. chop a tomato and a whole jalapeño to pour over the salad (i keep the seeds in the jalapeño because i like a kick)
  3. sprinkle a 1/4 cup of pepper jack cheese over the salad
  4. add 1/2 an avocado or three teaspoons of guacamole
  5. sprinkle a light layer of garlic salt and black pepper
  6. add the tortilla strips and dressing from the salad bag
    1. if you are meal prepping for the following today, keep these sealed and separate until the following day so your tortilla strips can stay crunchy and your salad can be soggy free 🙂
  7. wait for the salmon to come out of the oven




we are almost finished! gently place the salmon over the salad and enjoy.




if you make it, let me know how it turns out.




thought of the week: don’t ask women when they’re going to have kids.

let me start off by saying that being a woman (especially of woman of color) can be incredibly exhausting.  i am frequently reminded of how different it must be to walk through the world as a man.  one of the times it is most evident is when i am asked, “what’s new?” oftentimes, before i can get a full answer out about something work related, a personal project i am passionate about (like this blog), a new soul cycle instructor i like or my latest set of concert or festival tickets i purchased, the conversation is redirected to my relationship status.  sometimes, it is even directed directly at my reproductive system.  as i inch closer to 30, the questions seem to revolve more around marriage and/or children.


while i have some friends who are married to wonderful partners, partners who they are excited to procreate with, i also have friends who are married (or committed in some other capacity) to equally wonderful partners who have no desire to have children.  i have friends in relationships where i hope they do not have children based on the partner they selected.  then i have my single friends.  my single female friends are all over the place – some want an army of children, some want none and some are still totally unsure.


here’s the thing – every single one of those scenarios is okay and every single one of those scenarios is personal.  it is personal to the couple and more importantly, personal to the woman – the woman who could potentially be carrying this child people insist on asking about.


i have not heard a single woman describe pregnancy the same way. i actually have not heard a woman who has had multiple children describe each of her pregnancies the same way.  no two women are the same and the same woman (if nourished properly by herself and her environment) is ever evolving.  keep that in mind when addressing these goddesses.


now, i had seen the first part of this quote before.  “‘only women get asked that when they get married. men don’t.’ so, there you have it everyone: don’t ask women — married or not — when they’re going to have kids.”  when i googled it, i could not find the original source.  as if the first part didn’t evoke some strong thoughts and feelings on my end, a classmate of mine who i truly respect from my grad program, lisa, added the part that is highlighted in pink. “for all women who can’t have babies, who don’t want babies, who aren’t sure yet, who can’t afford to have babies, who have trauma, whose story is different than your own…please. stop. asking. even if it feels innocent.”  lisa stopped me dead in my fucking tracks.





those last two lines from lisa: please. stop. asking. even if it feels innocent.  those last two lines tugged at my heartstrings.


i am asked far more frequently than i’d like when i am getting married and when do i plan on having kids.  i am asked by friends, family, acquaintances and plenty of other people that have no idea what my journey has been or what i might be battling personally.  i will share a bit of that momentarily.


in looking at my female friends, i would say about 70% are in committed relationships (everything ranging from having a monogamous partner with a clear understanding of that is expected all the way up to marriage with kids).  the remaining 30% are single single.  i had to say it twice so you could understand just how single they are.  for the bulk of them, this is by choice.


with more and more of my friends getting married, i have been getting more and more of these types of questions.  it is january of 2019 and i have already been invited to four weddings for this year and two for 2020.  it is not that i don’t think about marriage – it would be impossible not to.  but as a kid, i did not fantasize about what my wedding would look like.  i actually did not believe in marriage as a concept until just a few years ago.  something that i always dreamt about was the kind of mom i would be.


i have always wanted kids.  as i approach my 29th birthday, i know that at this moment, i could take care of a child but do not think i am quite ready.  i definitely see it in the cards for me a few years down the line. that is still my business and my choice to share.  i should not feel like i am being interrogated about this.


when i moved back to la in august of 2017, my body was having a visceral reaction to the way i had treated it that last year of grad school.  working four part time jobs, going to grad school full time, interviewing for jobs and moving all within the span of just a few months was too much.  when things finally slowed down a bit (me having just one job, even if it was new), i started noticing how off my menstrual cycle was every two or three months.  so before i could find a new primary doctor, i was on the hunt for a new ob.  while i have never had an online dating app, i would assume that my hunt for an ob was similar to the hunt for a perfect date/match.


after going through about 50 profiles, i had it narrowed down to three.  i studied all three and landed on the woman who has changed my life.  dr. feldman is a gem of a human being – she truly cares for her patients and does not sugarcoat anything.  i love that about her.


anyway, i go into this meeting to discuss birth control options to help regulate these cycles because i had been off the pill for a couple of years.  we talk about different iud options because she thought that would be best after our extensive conversations.  she told me she just wanted to do a full workup (including a pap) and get the results back before inserting the iud.  i was on board and loved how thorough she was being.  this was on a thursday.  i knew something wasn’t good when she was emailing me on a saturday because she does not work weekends.


after opening this lengthy email, i am told that my test results are not normal and there is specifically something wrong with my uterus that cannot be identified based on the pap or any of the tests that were run.  as any normal person would, i panicked.  i was just trying to figure out what it meant.  in the email, i was told i needed to have surgery to be able to rule out several things – one of them being cancer. here i was, one month after my 28th birthday, reading emails about a fucked up uterus and maybe cancer? what happened to just getting an iud?


i had an issue even verbalizing to those closest to me what was going on.  part of it was that saying it out loud might make it more real but part of it was because i am used to being the backbone – how would my tribe respond to me crumbling?  i honestly couldn’t say.


we scheduled the surgery with her for less than a month later.  i had so many questions about what it was they were looking for, how soon would i know if i was in the clear and would i need to be put under.  as a plus sized girl, i was thinking i didn’t want so much anesthesia that it was comparable to tranquilizing an elephant.  and yes, i said that exact line to my doctor.  we figured out a mid level anesthesia – one where i was under enough to not feel what they were doing but not so under that i could not be brought out of it with a loud yell or shake.


my weeks of panic turned out to be polyps.  not cancer. not a tumor. not a cyst. just plain, old polyps.  my doctor was able to remove them all and place me on meds to help regulate my cycle.  still no iud – the deal was she wanted to monitor me every three months before a year to be sure nothing has grown back for moving forward with that.  but let’s hop back to those weeks between the initial appointment and surgery.


all of the thoughts that crossed my mind were about kids.  and in those weeks, it was almost as though i relived every single time i had been asked about when i was getting married or when i was having kids.  it was a feeling that was so foul that it made me nauseous and kept me up at night. it was not just the thought about not being able to have kids that triggered this response but the audacity of people to ask those questions of me when they were in no way, shape or form prepared for a response like the one i just typed.


fortunately for me, it looks like being able to have kids is something that is still in the cards for me.  however, how different would those conversations go if i had to tell someone that i had to get my uterus removed or that my chances of being able to conceive were slashed in half?


i say all of this to say: do not ask.  if a woman wants you to know about whether or not she is interested in having children, trust me, she will bring it up to you.


this post was a lengthy one but i think every single syllable was necessary.


if you have had any experiences related to these types of questions, please feel free to comment or privately message me.


thank you in advance for allowing me to be vulnerable.