thought of the week: neutrality is not good enough

it has taken me days to try and fully capture how i have been feeling and i honestly don’t know that i will ever feel totally ready or feel that my thoughts are absolutely cohesive.  even still, this could not wait.


unless you literally live under a rock, this month has been filled with stories of the murders of unarmed black people whether it be by the police (like the cases of george floyd and breonna taylor) or by u.s. citizens (like in the case of ahmaud arbery) who have simply taken matters into their own hands.  that doesn’t even include stories like christian cooper (an avid birdwatcher), who simply asked a woman to put a leash on her dog in central park and was threatened by her when she said, “i am going to call the police and tell them you are threatening the lives of both me and my dog!” before proceeding to pretend to be in emotional distress on the phone with the police.  it was evident that she was using her white privilege to punish this black man for simply asking her to comply with the law.  she knew what the ramifications were of calling the police on a black man and she did not give a fuck.  to say that is problematic is a gross understatement.


i truly do not know if there is anyone who is not black that will ever fully understand what it is like to be hunted like animals at any given point in time and to know that there likely won’t even be repercussions for the people committing these murders.  i also don’t know if anyone who is not black understands the amount of stress and trauma that we carry day to day that is often unaddressed.  how many other groups of people do you know that read weekly about the death and mistreatment of their people and are then expected to go to work, perform as if nothing happened and oftentimes, wear a mask to be seen as the perfect token in an effort to not make others uncomfortable or to shift the perception of how people like them are received?


the only group of people i know that go through this day in and day out are black people – people like me.


shortly after starting this blog in january of 2019, i started doing questions with k. tap on instagram live once a month.  people submit questions for about a week leading up to the live and i write them down to pull from a bowl.  the questions can be about anything under the sun – family dynamics, the 5 love languages, grief, favorite recipes and most recently, questions around race relations in the united states.  two questions that were asked earlier this week were:

  • as a white woman (or man), how can i appropriately advocate for the black community?
  • as a black person, do you feel like meeting force with equal force would be a step towards progress?


i answered both of these questions at length and you can review that here.


what has been more interesting are the conversations that followed – not only questions but debates, sharing of information, people checking in because they have never seen me this emotionally charged about anything i have discussed over the last 18 months.


i have spent more hours this week feeling like the walls are closing in on me.  i either don’t sleep enough or i cannot stop sleeping due to the sheer emotional exhaustion of living in skin that looks like mine.  i have had splitting headaches.  i have cried enough tears to create a river to drown in.  and guess what?  the world does not stop spinning amidst all of the chaos.  i am still expected to show up and hold space for those around me, even those who have acknowledged the very trauma i have talked about in this post.


the number of people i have seen remain silent or simply say they are unsure of what to say during a time like this is disgusting.  the number of people who are simply posting themselves drinking their fifth hard seltzer on a boomerang on instagram who have yet to utter any of the names that i mentioned above makes my stomach churn.  the number of people who have no issue appropriating black culture but are seemingly okay with the hunting of black people is foul.


i am at a point in my life where neutrality is not good enough.



“if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”  -desmond tutu


there have been so many people (since the protesting has started) speaking up more about the buildings that are being destroyed, the fact that all police are not the same and talking about how all lives matter.  let’s get into this:


  1. many of the protests were peaceful until the police or random non black people made them violent yet the media is not showing that AT ALL (i know plenty of people on the front lines and their video footage is drastically different than what you are being shown on your television screens).  and for the buildings that were destroyed, is there a price tag you would put on the life of your mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, son, husband, wife or best friend?  if there is a price, is it more than the target store you are concerned about?  none of these questions are rhetorical – i am truly interested in your answer.
  2. while all police are not the same (i can speak on this as the daughter of a retired lapd lieutenant who never shot at anyone in nearly 30 years), the number of police who are racist, prejudiced or biased is too high if the number is more than zero.  the current state of the world has already shown us how high that number could be.  what is scarier to me are the police officers in this category who have not been caught yet.  imagine calling the police as a black person and having to worry that when they show up, you can be gunned down when you are the victim in need of the police to serve and protect.  welcome to amerikkka.
  3. black lives matter does not mean your life as a non black matters less.  in fact, if all lives matter, why aren’t you just as angry when someone who looks like me is killed for no reason?  newsflash: us black people are fully aware of how much the lives of everyone else matter.  we simply want to matter just as much.  if that is asking for too much, feel free to unfollow me.  this is a human rights issue.  it really is not that complicated.


as someone who is not black, now is not the time to talk about your views on protesting, the police or what lives matter.  now is the time for you to speak up on the behalf of the black people who are often silenced or simply told we are making everything about race.  now is the time for you to put your money where your mouth is.  now is the time for you to read literature on how to be a better advocate and ally.  now is the time for you to have the uncomfortable conversations with your family, friends, coworkers and associates that your black counterparts have been having.  now is the time for you to listen.


have you ever stopped to just listen to what black people in this country are going through daily?  and i mean really listen – not with the intent to respond but with the intent to understand.


and to my black people, seeking out a therapist to unpack the decades of trauma you have lived through and the centuries of trauma that came before you is in your best interest.  but guess what?  therapy cannot be impactful if the therapists out there are not acknowledging the injustices of our society.  that being said, choose wisely.


i am not looking to have people in my circle who simply are not racist.  i am looking to have people in my circle who are anti-racist.  learn the difference and put it into action.


if curious about some organizations where your donations could help, click here.


and lastly, check in on your black friends, especially the strong ones.  we break down, too.



k. tap

#girlboss (& all the blondie shop things)

i cannot tell you guys how long i have been waiting to write this post.


#girlboss – when i see that hashtag, i think of so many phenomenal women who are in my orbit, myself included.  so imagine my excitement when an old friend of mine, hayley, (who happens to be one of the women who encouraged me most to start this blog after successfully building her own) started expanding her business.  first, there were shirts.  next, there were all of these amazing pink items – pens, tumblers and beauty & the beast inspired rose domes.  but the item i was anxiously anticipating?


this #girlboss notebook.



it is not secret that i love organization, to do lists, planners, stationary, notebooks, etc. – you name it, i own it and use it regularly.  one of the things a standard notebook is missing is structure.  one of the things that makes a traditional planner annoying from time to time are the dates and it being impossible to customize it exactly as you want it.



the #girlboss notebook found a way to fuse together all of the things i love most.  i think it is even better that this came during quarantine when my day to day looks different than it used to.  it even has a little section to just remind you to take a moment – something that is more crucial now than it has ever been.  plus, i love that even though it is a spiral notebook, it is protected by the hard vegan leather cover (which is an added bonus if you ask me).  not only is it chic but it will not get hooked on things in your bag.  i have had that happen more times than i can count.



but here is what really sealed the deal on my purchase: i am all about supporting small businesses.  i feel even more passionately about doing so when it is a friend who often gives so much of herself to her loved ones without asking for anything in return.  that is who hayley is – she constantly shows unconditional love and positive regard to those around her.  it should have come as no surprise to me that she included something i did not even order…



how cute is this tumbler?  i might be trying to up my skincare game with face masks, wearing sunscreen more regularly (thanks, carolynn!) and drunk elephant products but at the end of the day, that it not enough if i am not drinking enough water.  this tumbler is the perfect reminder of just that.  i also cannot get over just how long my water has stayed cold.  a game changer for the summer months for sure.


who are the girl bosses in your life?  have you told them lately how grateful you are for their presence?  even though quality time is my primary love language, can you tell i have been trying to work on my words of affirmation?


hayley – you’re the fucking best.



k. tap

thought of the week: loving what you do

sundays are one of my favorite days of the week. i typically start the day off on facetime with a loved one – during quarantine, that has consistently been anj (who you usually hear me refer to as my twin). when not quarantined and while in town, i typically would go to brunch – that has now been replaced with coming up with my own creations in the kitchen (from banana bread to french toast). but two things have remained the same whether quarantined or not – i am incredibly reflective on sundays and tend to prep for my work week. sunday is a day that always reminds me of my grandmother. it could be because of the amazing sunday dinners she prepared, the countless sundays we spent at her baptist church together or because it is a day where i typically feel a bit more grounded (grammy always had a way of grounding me). as for the second piece, preparation includes looking ahead at what’s scheduled, gearing up for presentations, tapping into a particular mental and emotional space based on what clients i will be seeing + what they will be bringing into their session and lastly, being sure that there is a chunk of time carved out for myself each day to recharge.

i am a person that truly loves my job. it is more than a job for me – it is a career. honestly, it is a calling. i have known since my junior year of high school that i wanted to work in the field of psychology. i knew that my long term goal was to run my own practice as a therapist. i am currently working towards that with the work i do daily and the research i do + relationships i foster after my work day is complete. there has not been a single day where the work i do with my clients has not felt fulfilling, rewarding and like i was doing exactly what i was meant to be doing. even with that being the case, there are definitely tougher times. covid-19 has presented many more than what i typically encounter.

while quarantined, a dear friend of mine from undergrad tweeted something that just resonated with me on another level.


“it can be so rewarding — and at times heartbreaking — to love what you do.” –makensy smith


rewarding. and. heartbreaking.

it is like i had not acknowledged that the two could coexist. for every rewarding moment i have with a client, during covid, there have been an exponentially higher number of heartbreaking moments than what i typically experience with clients week to week. from worrying about a client that recently came out to their traditional asian american family who didn’t receive it well (who they are now around 24/7) to empathizing with a client who couldn’t bury her grandfather because he passed right at the start of shelter in place to working with so many high school seniors who are grieving the loss of time spent with their best friends along with a host of events they spent four years looking forward to — the work that i do truly has been heartbreaking and even gut wrenching. what makes it worse is not knowing when things will shift back to normal or even what normal will look like moving forward.

i had this realization that things impact me differently because of how much i love what i do. it is truly a double edged sword. it has also made it harder to carve out boundaries while working from home because i know how much the needs of my clients have changed. but still, i know for me to be my best self in the role i fill, i need to be sure to carve out time for me as well. carving out time for myself is not a reward – it is a requirement.

even still, i would not trade loving what i do for anything in the world, even during times like this when it can be devastating. i just think it is important for me to remember to acknowledge that i should not feel guilt over being heartbroken from time to time – it shows both passion and vulnerability. it highlights that i am human.

do you find yourself experiencing both the reward and heartbreak that come with loving what you do?


k. tap

bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeños

happy friday!  i truly mean that – i am actually having a good day and during quarantine, that is absolutely something to be grateful for.  for those of you who know me personally, you know i like my food with a kick.  i eat a fresh jalapeño or serrano literally every single day whether it is chopped up over a salad (especially my savory southwest salmon one), thrown in a taco or put on a toasted bagel with cream cheese – i just think things taste better with a little heat.  i cannot believe i have not posted about these sooner but better late than never.  so, let’s get down to business.  here is what you will need to make my bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeños:



  • 5 large jalapeños
  • 5 strips of bacon (avoid thick cut)
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese (i use onion & chive or jalapeño for extra flavor but if all you have on hand is regular, it will get the job done)
  • 1/2 cup of grated cheese (this is up to you – i mix it up between the italian four cheese blend from trader joe’s, mexican blend or sharp white cheddar – the first is what was used today)
  • garlic salt
  • onion salt
  • black pepper
  • ranch dressing (hidden valley never disappoints but if you have a different brand on hand or like to make your own, do you, boo!)

*i don’t have a particular amount of seasoning that i use – i just sprinkle a few dashes and call it good.  i rarely measure my seasonings.  a trick to be sure you are not putting too much is to sprinkle it into your hand so you can see how much you are putting in before adding it to the mixture



now, to make these bad boys!

  1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. rinse your jalapeños and slice them in half lengthwise
  3. scoop out the contents and sit to the side
  4. put cream cheese, grated cheese and seasonings in a bowl and mix together
  5. if you enjoy extra heat like me, dice the jalapeño contents up and add to the cheese mixture (if this sounds scary skip this step)
  6. use a teaspoon the stuff each jalapeño half – it should look like this:
  7. take the five strips of bacon and tear each strip in half, then wrap each strip around a stuffed jalapeño (if presentation is super important or if you are serving these to guests, stick a toothpick or two in each to be sure the bacon stays perfectly in place – i am out of toothpicks and am serving no one because of shelter in place)
  8. place on baking sheet and put in oven for 25 minutes (i do not spray the baking sheet because the grease from the bacon doesn’t allow the stuffed jalapeños to stick)
  9. remove from oven and plate with a side of ranch dressing
  10. enjoy!



if i want something savory and indulgent that is not packed with carbs, this is my go to.  who doesn’t love spicy, cheesy, bacon-filled goodness?


make them and let me know what you think!



k. tap


p.s. it is friday so don’t forget to make yourself a cocktail.  my strawberry mule is definitely delicious!

monday mules with king st. vodka

hi lovelies!  with surveys showing that alcohol sales have increased by about 60% during quarantine, i figured i would switch it up from banana bread recipes to cocktail recipes.  all throughout undergrad and grad school, i was known amongst my friend groups for making tasty drinks that snuck up on you.  this strawberry moscow mule is no different.  here’s what you need:



  • king st. vodka
  • ginger beer (my go to is by fever tree)
  • a few strawberries
  • a lime wedge
  • ice



and now, for how to make it:

  • fill a cocktail shaker with ice and 5-6 strawberry slices
  • add two shots of king street vodka
  • shake vigorously
  • strain over fresh ice into a mule mug
  • squeeze line wedge over (the now) strawberry vodka
  • pour ginger beer into the mule mug
  • garnish with additional strawberry slices
  • enjoy!



i chose king st. vodka for a few reasons.  i love kate hudson as both an actress and entrepreneur.  when i found out she had a vodka, i was definitely curious.  while quarantined, she was on the ellen show and mentioned how somewhere between 20-30% (i am forgetting the exact number) of the money made from each bottle was going to help aid bartenders during quarantine (since they are obviously out of work).  i have been paying close attention to how companies are treating their employees during this time and it has definitely shifted where i have been making my online purchases.  just something to think about.


this vodka is incredibly smooth with nearly next to no bite.  i cannot wait to make other drinks with it during quarantine so when i host my first event when social distancing is over, my guests will have an array of king st. cocktails to choose from.  also, how gorgeous is the bottle?  that is just an added bonus.


i purchased my bottle online from bevmo but have linked the king st. vodka site directly in the event you are not near a bevmo or bevmo does not deliver to your state.


i also linked a similar cocktail shaker set to the one i have.  i found mine on mega sale at nordstrom rack.  this one from amazon is definitely comparable.


have you tried king st. vodka yet?  what’s your favorite vodka based cocktail?



k. tap