crosley cruiser deluxe turntable

even though i have been in my apartment for about a year and a half, i find myself obsessing over different nooks depending on the day of the week.  one corner that i will never get over is the one that houses my crosley cruiser deluxe turntable.




there are so many things to love about this turntable.  first, it was gifted to me by my dear friends reens and sam.  if you have been following along for a bit, you probably remember me mentioning them all throughout my chicago post and/or seeing sam’s amazing skills behind the camera in my post about what i would have done differently in grad school.


next, let’s just have a moment for this amazing pop of color – green is my absolute favorite.  if you know me, you know i am a music fanatic.  there is something so spectacular and nostalgic about hearing one of your favorite songs on vinyl.  an added bonus is that this record player is bluetooth compatible, incredibly lightweight and beyond easy to transport.



*the beautiful records with rick ross, adele and justin timberlake above the crosley cruiser were handpainted by emilio cortez aka dj too tall – you can check out his artwork here


i started collecting records little by little at music festivals, i have received a few here and there as gifts but the best records came from my grandfather when i moved into my apartment.  he gifted me a huge box of records that belonged to my favorite uncle.  it was stacked with gems – everything from sade to the police to whitney houston.  it makes me think that my varied taste in music comes from him.  it also might explain my music festival obsession.  i can’t help but feel closer to him when listening to any of those records.  it is an unparalleled feeling.


the crosley cruiser comes in about 10 different colors and can be found at nordstrom – just add it to your cart while you are shopping the anniversary sale.  trust me, you won’t regret it! for $69.95, it is worth every penny.


did you grow up listening to music on vinyl?  what are your favorite records?



k. tap

create your own happiness

for more years of my life than i care to admit, i was consumed with figuring out how to make those around me happy.  and if they ever reached that state of happiness, i then made it my job to figure out how to help them maintain that state.  i would beat myself up if the people i loved seemed unhappy, discontent or disappointed.  it took me a really long time to break that mindset.


at the end of the day, i am only in control of my own happiness – no one else’s.




“i cannot make you happy, but i can commit to support you in the creation of your own happiness”  –yung pueblo 


when i read this quote for the first time, it brought tears to my eyes.  while i had changed my mindset years ago about being able to make another person happy, i could not quite figure out why i initially felt guilt.  i think part of it felt like i was abandoning someone i loved while they were on an important journey.  to me, this quote highlights that while i cannot make someone happy, i can still walk alongside them in their journey to find happiness without doing the work for them.  that is the beauty of it all.


how do you create your own happiness?  how do you support your loved ones in creating their own happiness?



k. tap


p.s. i know i have been posting a ton of poetry lately (all in lowercase letters just like how i like to write) – now you know how much reading i get done when i have time away from work.  i hope you are enjoying it as much as i am. 🙂

the sun and her flowers

it is no secret that i love to read, but clearly, i have been on a heavy duty poetry kick as of late.  last month, i reread “salt.” (yet again) and loved it.  this month, i picked up “the sun and her flowers” by rupi kaur for the third time.  you can get your copy here – i am all about amazon because i hate having to wait extended periods of time to get my hands on a good book.




even though christmas is one of my least favorite holidays, this book was gifted to me by my friend anthony.  while i initially thought it was odd since he knows i am not really about christmas, i realized once reading the inscription that it was far more about being an aid in the healing process with it being my very first christmas without my grandmother.  not only did it help me greatly during that first holiday season/year without her, it is a book that i find myself picking up again and again.

*by the way, anthony sketches some really dope shit – check him out here!


there are some poems that hit differently on this third read – i am going to include some of my favorites for you to enjoy.



“the irony of loneliness is we all feel it at the same time  – together

while this resonated with me during my first read, after having some years under my belt as a counselor, these words are ones that i reference in sessions with clients.  so many of the teen girls that i work with think they are the only ones who are lonely without realizing that the girl smiling in their pre-calc class is just as lonely, she just wears it differently.



“this place makes me the kind of exhausted that has nothing to do with sleep and everything to do with the people around me  – introvert

the older i get, the more introverted i become.  the more introverted i become, the more time i need to recharge after being in social situations.  whether it is something i do regularly like work or something that is less frequent like a birthday party, i find myself being tapped out if i do not carve out the appropriate time to recoup. it has also made me ultra aware of who i choose to spend my time (exhaust my energy) with/on.



“the way you speak of yourself the way you degrade yourself into smallness is abuse  – self-harm

so frequently, self-harm is viewed solely as physically hurting oneself – what i like about this poem is that it highlights that there are various types of self-harm, especially repeated self-degradation.



“sometimes i stop myself from saying the words out loud as if leaving my mouth too often might wear them down  – i love you

during my first read, i both loved and hated this poem.  i loved it because it totally captured who i am in intimate relationships but i hated it because i would give anything to tell my grammy i loved her just one more time.  while she was here, we said it during every phone call and when saying goodbye in person.  however, i made a vow to myself to say it more often to those who i know i love because who knows when will be the last time i have a chance to say it or they have a chance to hear it.  with 2019 being my year of vulnerability, i have really been practicing this more.  it has been beautiful and does not wear down the words in the slightest for me or the recipient(s).



“if i am the longest relationship of my life isn’t it time to nurture intimacy and love with the person i lie in bed with each night  – acceptance

*pardon the shadowing on the page above – even after several attempts, this was the best shot

so often, i hear people talking about another person completing them.  while i believe in love and partnership fully, i do not love this concept.  i think as people, we should be complete on our own.  and with that comes nurturing the most important relationship in our lives – the one that serves as the foundation for all other relationships; our relationship with ourselves.  this poem will always serve as a reminder to do just that.


if you have read “the sun and her flowers”, i would love to hear which poem(s) is your favorite.  if you have not read it in its entirety, tell me which of the ones i posted above resonates with you most.



k. tap



thought of the week: don’t be fooled – this shit is heavy

i have talked to you all before about how some of my habits in grad school were not the healthiest in terms of juggling a million different things and the overall toll that took on me.  i have also talked about how it is important to get rid of the ideology that wearing a game face is always necessary.


with that being said, i am no longer juggling as many things as i was a couple of years ago but i am still juggling quite a bit.  some of the things are ones that are more visible like my career as a counselor, operating this blog and of course, extensive traveling.  others are not as visible such as complex relationships with family members, still learning how to manage the grief around my grandmother, maintaining a plethora of long distance relationships, trying to navigate being a black woman in the world we currently live in and many other things i won’t dive into both for the sake of privacy and time.  look, sometimes just saying all of it out loud can be exhausting.


something i have been told time and time again by family, friends, coworkers, mentors, clients and even strangers is how i make this balancing act look easy.  while i think it is being said as a compliment, part of it almost diminishes the struggle i am often enduring.  i also think there is something to be said about all of the things i am juggling not necessarily being visible to the naked eye – it almost makes it harder to measure or grasp.


today, my friend julian posted this on his instagram story and it did not only make me think of myself, it made me think of many friends and clients i have that may make balancing look easy, even if it is silently breaking them down.




“just because i carry it all so well doesn’t mean it’s not heavy.”


this quote is multidimensional.  yes, i do carry things well, at least from the outside looking in, no matter the weight.  and yes, what i am carrying is rarely easy or light.


but here’s the thing, i have been working on sharing a bit more with loved ones about what it is that i am carrying, especially the things they cannot see.  i have found that that has been helpful in them understanding my day to day struggle along with there being a higher chance of them not adding more to my shoulders if they are aware that i am already at capacity.  it made me wonder if part of the issue at hand was me wanting to appear like i had it all together.


are you carrying more than what is feasible right now?  could your load be lightened if you shared what you were carrying with your loved ones?


i would love to hear about it.



k. tap

summer salad

i find summer to be a bit difficult in terms of preparing my meals.  even though i have more time during summer to cook/meal prep, because i live in a building that is literally 90 years old, i do not have full fledged central air.  instead, i have these wall units in both my living room and my bedroom (which i am incredibly grateful for since i live on the second floor and heat rises to the top).  with that being said, i hate turning on my stove or oven after 10am and before like 10pm.  this can be problematic for someone like me that makes an effort to fast intermittently day to day.  my standard eating window is from 12pm to 8pm which is when my apartment tends to be the warmest.  one of the things on my to do list for this summer was to come up with a few meals that are easy to prep and do not require me to turn on my stove or oven.


i have always loved a good caprese salad but usually see it as more of a starter versus a meal as i am typically not full after consuming one.  this summer, i found the perfect additions to make it more complete.




all of the ingredients can be purchased from trader joe’s or your local market.


ingredients for k. tap’s summer salad:

  • coppa, prosciutto or salami (above, coppa is used)
  • mozzarella balls (these mozzarella balls are marinated in both olive oil and pesto so you can choose to add in fresh basil if you wish but it is not required)
  • grape tomatoes
  • scoop of guacamole or 1/2 of a mid sized avocado (diced)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper


i typically start from the outside and work my way inward.  i lay between 6 to 8 pieces of coppa down.  then, i place the mozzarella balls.  next, i add the grape tomatoes.  i gently spoon the guacamole or avocado in the center.  i generously drizzle balsamic vinegar over the mozzarella, tomatoes and guac.  lastly, i sprinkle garlic salt and black pepper.


not only is this salad tasty but i am typically full for 3-4 hours after eating it.   it is perfect because it only takes five minutes to throw together, is essentially carb free, packed with flavor and the best part of all?  i do not have to turn on my stove or oven to prepare it!


if you love caprese salads, try it my way and let me know how you like it.



k. tap


p.s. if you are lucky enough to have central air and don’t mind turning on your oven, click here for the recipe to my savory southwest salmon salad – it is one of my go to meals!