thought of the week: the magic you’re looking for is in the work you’re avoiding

i have been following nazanin mandi for years.  while so many people know her as miguel’s stunning wife (and admittedly, that is how i initially discovered her years ago when they were still just dating), what compelled me to follow her was how multifaceted she was (and still is).  whether she is modeling, acting, singing or designing bathing suits that accentuate the beauty of a woman’s physique, she pours herself fully into each of her endeavors.  she also is ridiculously authentic, even openly talking about her issues with anxiety and completely normalizing things that we as humans, especially women, are often encouraged to feel shame around.


nazanin often drops little hints of projects she has in the pipeline.  while i think part of it is to keep us guessing about what thing she will conquer next, i think it is also about being held accountable.  once something like that is put out there, the world is then watching to see what is going to be produced.


when i was in the process of starting my blog, i would constantly jot down ideas and plans.  and while those ideas and plan were helpful, i was not executing.  once i finally published my very first post, it was completely liberating.


when i was in spain a few weeks back, i saw that nazanin posted a quote that captured what the process of starting my blog was like.




“people romanticize their plans but dread the execution.  the magic you’re looking for is in the work you’re avoiding.”


at the end of the day, i was looking for my blog to be “perfect” and in doing that, i would simply write down plans without actually doing the work.  there was something scary about potentially failing or producing something i could not be totally proud of.  even still, i was looking for something outside of my work that i was passionate about – something i could really pour into.  when i stopped avoiding doing the work and just did it, that is when the magic happened.


i then wondered what other plans i have romanticized without ever executing them.  what was i waiting for?


what work (that you have been avoiding) could you be doing to add a little magic into your life?


happy friday!



k. tap



the four agreements

over a year ago, my friend kendall told me i needed to read the four agreements by don miguel ruiz.  she had listened to it on audiobook and it was such a game changer for her.  she said it was a book she could read/listen to over and over again at various points of her life because it would always be applicable.  because i hate reading more than one book at a time (i think i am traumatized by how often i had to do that during grad school), i simply added it to my list.  luckily, my trip to spain had the perfect amount of downtime to pour into this book while my handsome waiters at various restaurants across barcelona and mallorca poured me refreshing glasses of rosé.




what are the four agreements?

  1. be impeccable with your word
  2. don’t take anything personally
  3. don’t make assumptions
  4. always do your best


at first glance, i thought to myself that three out of four did not seem that difficult.  the one i knew i struggled with (as most humans do) is the second one – how could i not take ANYTHING personally?  i just used caps so you know this is a serious question.  it is one thing to not take everything personally but to not take anything personally just seemed crazy to me.  i will dive more into that once i breakdown each of the four agreements.  before i can do that, i have to highlight this powerful line from the very first chapter – the chapter before we even hit the first agreement.


ruiz wrote: in your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. and the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else.


that line was incredibly powerful both in my personal life and in my professional life.  when i thought about it, much of the abuse i have suffered (mental, emotional, verbal) was in fact terrible but the way i treated myself afterwards – the way i allowed myself to be treated by others – that was arguably worse.  then i thought about my clients.  whether they have reported being hit or called out of their names or touched inappropriately by a family member – while all of that abuse is horrific, the ways in which they abused themselves afterwards was absolutely devastating.  when i work with them, we are not just working through the trauma of the event(s), we are then working on how they can learn to treat themselves better by valuing themselves more.


my mom has always said that we teach people how to treat us.  i think ruiz was saying the same thing in the introduction of his book.  mama knows best.


the first agreement – be impeccable with your word:  this is the agreement that comes the most naturally for me even though it is as described as being the most difficult.  i know that this agreement was strengthened as a result of being in a graduate program that required so much vulnerability paired with having a slew of clients that would be hanging on to the words i said during session.  because words are so powerful (and we are the only animals on the planet that have this gift), there is this responsibility to be cognizant of the impact of our words.  while words can build people up, they can also destroy people.  it then becomes even more crucial to be impeccable with our word – ruiz describes it as being a way to show love yourself.  i could not agree more.


the second agreement – don’t take anything personally:  this is a tough one for me.  as i have gotten older, i have gotten better about not caring as much about what people say or think about me.  according to ruiz, what someone says about you says more about them than you.  however, the thought is that is we take what is said about us personally, it is because we agree about what was said.  the line that stood out to me was: you eat all their emotional garbage, and now it becomes your garbage.  it made me wonder how much garbage i had consumed over the years that needed to be taken out because it was overcrowding this sacred space of mine.


the third agreement – don’t make assumptions: this one seemed the most common sensical to me but i find that people make assumptions regularly.  the reason i do not make them too often is because i found that making assumptions leads to disappointment more often than not.  this is often because i am giving people more credit than what they have shown me they deserve.  the issue with assumptions, according to ruiz, is that we believe our assumptions to be the truth.  this is applicable whether the assumption about a person or situation is good or bad.  assumptions lead to misunderstandings.  i am trying to avoid misunderstandings as often as possible.


the fourth agreement – always do your best:  before reading this book, i cannot say i thought this was great advice.  now, i know that may seem a bit crazy but i did not think every situation called for my absolute best.  doing my best can be exhausting and so i am more selective about when and where i will do my best – i tend to base it on whether or not i think the person or situation is deserving of such.  ruiz has a different approach and also acknowledged something crucial – our best will look different day to day.  my best on a day where i have slept seven hours after soaking in a bathtub is going to look different than my best on a day where i am running on three hours of sleep and had to spray on extra deodorant because i did not have time for a shower.  but here is the key of why ruiz instructs us to always do our best – if we are always doing our best, then there is no room for judgment, guilt, blame or self-punishment.  while i have not fully transitioned into always doing my best, i definitely see the benefits of this agreement.


it is a book i would strongly recommend.  not only is it a quick read but i believe every person could take something away from this book.


which agreement do you value most?  which agreement comes the easiest for you?  which agreement is the most difficult for you?



k. tap





le grand verre – french wine by the glass

hey lovelies!  while i hope those of you that had the day off, my true hope is that everyone remembers the significance of why we have the day off – so many people sacrificed their lives to fight for our country.  i couldn’t let memorial day pass without saying a little something.


recently, i was asked to be an ambassador for la grande verre – it is a french wine company that sells wine by the glass.  the second i heard about this, i was intrigued.  then, i saw how cute the bottles were and they are incredibly practical, especially with them being plastic and twist tops.  i thought to myself about how many times i may have wanted just a glass or two but would be frustrated when having to open an entire bottle (and more importantly, dealing with storing the bottle afterwards).  i figured if i ended up liking this wine, this could be the answer to all of my prayers.




now, you all know that i love wine but before agreeing to be an ambassador, i had to do an official taste test to see if this was a company i could get behind.  since my friend alan was in town, i thought there was no better person to participate in this taste testing with me.


the box was made with 100% recycled materials which i appreciated.  i got alan and i a few glasses and we started tasting:

  1. stollen ruby relaxed red is 70% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot – alan described this one as light, fruity, smooth and a little tart whereas i thought it smelled like vanilla, tasted a little like blackberries and was subtly sweet.  this was my favorite red because it was just so easy to drink and not as heavy as a lot of red i have tried.  it is a red i think is even doable in the summer which is rare for me to say.
  2. domaine de la pagerie is a pinot noir – this was alan’s favorite!  he described it as medium bodied with hints of cherry and was balanced from start to finish.  for me, this was floral for a pinot.  it was also lighter than i anticipated but not as light as the first red.
  3. clos roussely is a sauvignon blanc – alan described this one as fruity and sweet compared to either of the reds.  i was obsessed with this one and that is probably because it smelled and tasted like peaches, which i absolutely love.  it also had these subtle floral notes and it just reminded me of summer.
  4. anjou vieilles vignes is 85% chenin blanc and 15% chardonnay – alan described this one as smooth, soft and thought it tasted like apple.  i thought it smelled tart but tasted a bit sweet – almost like honey.  this was incredibly easy to drink.


the pours are 6.3 ounces each which is a healthy glass.  i would also suggest these if you were spending a day at the park for a picnic and wanted something easy to transport and if you want to avoid dealing with glass.


you can build your own box or you can pick a box that has been preset for you.  knowing what i now know, i would build my own box because i would want more than one sauvignon blanc – one glass just isn’t enough when it is that good.


whether you are getting this for yourself or for someone as a gift, le grand verre will not disappoint.


which wine sounds like it would suit you best?






thought of the week: change is on you

happy friday, lovelies!  any fun plans for the holiday weekend?  even though i have multiple work commitments this weekend, including graduation, i am happy to be hosting my dear friend, alan, this weekend.  we will definitely be sprinkling some fun in between these work events.


i was really struggling between two thoughts of the week and when reading them both aloud to alan, the one below was his fave so you all can thank him for that.


in my work with my clients, in conversations with friends and working through issues within my own family, there is this common theme of trying to force people to change who they are.  and as much as we may all want that, that is not a realistic approach.  it also is not a fair approach.  it is not realistic to expect someone to change who they are if that is not something that they themselves are not interested in.  it also is not fair to ask someone to compromise part of their being for you.  wouldn’t it be more beneficial to either adjust our own expectations or adjust our dealings with the person?


this quote really highlights the adjustments that maybe we are avoiding:




“stop forcing change on people and change how you deal with them…”


as opposed to expecting someone to change and being disappointed when the change does not occur, i think the responsibility and accountability should be shifted.  it is on us to decide whether or not we are going to deal with someone in the same capacity as before if there are fundamental issues either with them or with the relationship as a whole.  it is easier to choose to move them into a different category in our lives and/or reduce their significance than it is to force them to change if that is not something that interests them.


i thought about how much time i wasted in my early 20s trying to change people when i should’ve been channeling that energy into bettering myself and into people who already gelled with who i was/am as a person.


change is really on me, not on them.


are you someone that forces change onto others or do you change how you deal with others?




finally – a bikini built for big girls

there has never been a time in my life where i was not plus sized.  there has also never been a time in my life where i did not love being in the water.  whether it was in my godmother’s backyard pool, working as a swim instructor at my local pool, day trips to the beach or extended trips to hawaii, mexico or the dr, i live for the water.  it just brings me calm.


something i always hated was how matronly the swimsuits were for big girls like me.  while i have no interest in being in a string bikini, i also did not want a bathing suit that matched the grandmothers who took my senior citizen water aerobics class.  additionally, it was a hassle to have to take off my entire suit when i had to run to the restroom.


tankinis served as a happy medium for awhile but did not really do much for my shape.  during that time, i was still self conscious about my midsection so i figured beggars cannot be choosers.  once i turned 21, i started traveling more with my friends.  i noticed how often i saw guys comfortably strutting their stuff on beaches or at pool parties in miami or vegas.  some of these guys looked like they could have been carrying octuplets and no one said anything, grimaced at them or threw them a shirt to put on.  i then started thinking to myself – would i be fat shamed in a bikini or was i personally just ashamed of my body?


a few years passed and i started seeing more and more bathing suit options for plus sized girls and places like torrid, forever 21 and asos.  i went out on a limb and bought my first high-waisted bikini.  i brought it to hawaii to celebrate my friend alan’s 26th birthday back in 2016 and i haven’t looked back.


since then, i have added a few more to my collection and wear them proudly whether it be in an intimate setting or to go snorkeling in the dominican republic.  i have found that people tend to just feed off of the energy i give off.  the energy i give off is typically calm and confident.  i channeled that same energy when i wore this suit in mallorca recently and did a quick post on my story about it.




i knew i looked good in the suit but more importantly, i felt good in it.  this floral stripe swim set is from torrid.  i bought it last summer for my trip to the dr but have shed some pounds since then so it fits much better.  for my other plus sized girls who are looking for fun suits, here are a few of my favorites:





now, not to worry.  if you are not plus sized but love this high-waisted look, here are a few for you:





where do you like to shop for your summer suits?  how do you feel about mixed prints?