herb & sea

to say i love san diego would be a gross understatement.  it is the perfect escape when wanting to get out of la but not be too far from home.  it helps that one of my closest friends, hillary, moved here a few years back.  we make a conscious effort to visit one another.  when looking for a little staycation during a time when i would typically be catching a flight somewhere tropical, a quick drive to san diego seemed like the perfect solution.


when choosing where to go to dinner, the choice was easy.  we love to support small businesses, we love seafood and a dear friend of ours, sara, is both the executive chef and partner at a restaurant in encinitas.  last night, i finally got to experience herb & sea.



founded by brian malarkey, who you might recognize from top chef, herb & sea is truly a gem.  even amidst the pandemic, they have found a way to create an extraordinary dining experience.  rather than each get a starter and an entree, we had sara suggest some of her favorites.  because this was not hillary’s first rodeo, she had an item or two that she knew we should tack on as well.




it was unreal.


we started with drinks (we got the mezcal and flowers and even as someone that typically gravitates towards vodka, it was to die for), burrata, oysters, hamachi crudo, smoked salmon dip and shrimp toast.  there was nothing i would not order again but i will say this – i could have ordered 10 of the hamachi crudo plates and still wanted more. it was that good.




for our main courses, we went with the local field greens, linguini and crab, peaches and prosciutto pizza and the crispy boardwalk potatoes (which aren’t pictured due to us being in a trance from all of the goodness on our table).




and for dessert, there was a special cheesecake with tropical fruit and berries and for you chocolate lovers, a lava cake.


i really cannot say enough great things about this restaurant, the drinks, the food and the quality of service.  brian happened to be there while we were dining and stopped by our table to say hello, ask how our dining experience was and wish us well.  there is something magical about restaurants like this one where you can tell that every single person who works there genuinely loves people, food and what they do.


if you find yourself in the san diego area, stop by herb & sea. you will be happy you did.



k. tap




thought of the week: you are allowed to change the price

in the world we live in, there is this unspoken idea that we are supposed to be constantly dialed in.  right now, i am typing this from my macbook that is linked to my imessages with multiple windows open across my four gmail accounts.  when did this become the norm even during summer vacation?  anyone else in the same boat?


even with me being dialed in pretty regularly, something i have been working on is accessibility.  it is one thing to have all of these windows on my screen open – it is an entirely different thing to feel an immense pressure to respond to every text, phone call, email, dm, etc.  i am someone that has to be dialed in for work from august to may.  we have been instructed to keep our cell phones on our desks in plain sight so we can see the alert if the school goes on lockdown (what a world we live in).  this is in addition to me working in mental health and getting more texts than i could ever count about crises that need to be addressed immediately.  when i am at work, this does not bother me because i knew that this simply came along with the job.  but it is outside of work that started to chip away at me.


there did not seem to be boundaries around my accessibility.  it is like i had made this unconscious decision to be equally accessible for anyone at any given point in time, no matter the reason for contact or my mental/emotional state of being at that moment.  something had to give.  this quote summed it up perfectly.




“you are allowed to change the price of what it costs to access you.”


i cannot tell you how much i needed to see this in print or how much it resonated with me.  there were people that had access to me that did not deserve it.  there were people who had access to me that was too easy considering the lack of reciprocity in our relationship.  there were people that accessed me with heavy content without first checking to see if i had the capacity to hold it.  but here’s the thing – i was, am and will be in complete control over who has access to me along with what it costs to access me.  while the cost may not be monetary, it certainly includes things like reciprocity, compassion and loyalty, amongst other things.


have you stopped to think about what it costs to access you?  do you need to change the price or is it fine as is?



k. tap

thought of the week: normalize asking children for consent

i don’t know if it is because so many of my clients are children, the new school year being only a month away, working through my own childhood trauma, being asked to be a godmother for the second time yesterday (which i am thrilled about) or a combination of the aforementioned, i have been gravitating towards writing about the little ones as of late.  last week, my thought of the week was: normalize apologizing to children.  it has gotten more traction on instagram than any post i have done the entire time i have had this blog.  there have been so many conversations following the post that have been thought provoking and tugged at my heartstrings.  i got messages from people saying that they truly felt seen – some for the very first time.


building on last week’s thought on things we should normalize with children, i saw this tweet from a doctor a few days ago that resonated with me – normalizing asking children for consent to touch them.




“normalize asking children for consent to touch them.  whether it is a hug, a kiss, an arm rub.  ask for consent.  teach them from a young age that they have autonomy over their personal space and they have a right to be upset if it is violated.” -dr. setshwaelo


because of the field that i am in, it is absolutely normal for me to ask children for consent to touch them.  if i have a client in distress and there is an incredibly emotional session, at the end of the session, i will ask: “would a hug be helpful or comforting to you in this moment?” – not only do i respect and honor whatever their decision is but my language makes it clear that the hug is about them and not about me.  however, when i think back to my own childhood or what i see with many of the children i work with in their own families, that is not the case.


i cannot count how many times as a child i was instructed to hug someone whether it be an extended relative or a friend of my mom or dad.  here’s the thing: not only is physical touch not one of my primary love languages, since i was a child, i have been someone that goes off of energy.  if i really loved someone, i would likely initiate a hug.  if i liked someone’s energy, i didn’t mind a hug.  if i did not like their energy, a hug was not something i wanted to engage it.  however, it did not always feel like a choice.


as i have gotten older and through education and practice, done a deeper dive into the field of psychology, i have thought a great deal about the impact of that along with the messages being sent to children early on about consent.  a child does not owe someone a hug or any other kind of physical touch as a greeting.  it does not matter if they are interacting family, friends of the family or an elder.  this still applies even if the adult in their life values physical touch as their love language of choice.  if the child does not, it is wrong to force them to do so.  if we are teaching children to advocate for themselves as they grow up, shouldn’t that start early on and at home?  and if it is in fact starting at home, that means that parents should back their children up if they express not wanting to be touched by someone even if it is someone the parents trust.


i am incredibly interested in thoughts on this along with experiences you’d like to share on the topic.  write below or feel free to privately message me depending on the nature of your response.



k. tap

champagne for breakfast

happy sunday!

while i might be missing all of the bottomless mimosa brunches my weekends were filled with pre covid, i certainly have found a way to make weekends at home a bit more fun. who doesn’t love champagne for breakfast?

this adorable mug (gifted to me by my dear friend, steph) is from my favorite boutique in the world, ibiss. the boutique is in the bay area, specifically, willow glen. i fell in love with the boutique during undergrad and it became my go to spot to decompress after a long day of work/class. naturally, i got to know the women running the place. that just made me love the store even more. ibi is a true gem and makes every shopping experience so personalized. i think every girlfriend of mine has received a gift at some point from ibiss – whether it be a party dress, a beautiful pair of earrings, a chic jumpsuit or a set of champagne flutes, there is truly something for everyone.

ibi and i have become great friends over the last decade plus. her energy is magnetic. if you are looking to support a small business operated by a woman of color, look no further.


k. tap

p.s. yes, i am still enjoying the coffee cake

p.p.s. i pretty much only use mugs for cold things like ice cream, parfaits or even ordinary beverages because i don’t prefer hot drinks. plus, it reminds me of my childhood summers spent with my godsister at her granny’s house. ms. bessie would always serve us cold drinks out of mugs, especially slushy 7up on a hot summer day.

classic coffee cake

i have been channeling my grandmother during quarantine and that has included a lot of kitchen experimentation.  this week, i tried my hand at something everyone loves – a classic coffee cake.


here’s what you will need:

  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of butter (melted)


now, for the steps:

  1. combine the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl
  2. combine the baking powder, flour, salt and sugar in a medium mixing bowl
  3. combine the egg mixture with the flour mixture
  4. pour half the batter into a lightly greased 9×13 pan (i used pam cooking spray for this)
  5. in a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon to make the streusel
  6. sprinkle half of the streusel on top of the batter
  7. add the remaining batter, then top with remaining streusel
  8. drizzle with melted butter
  9. bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minuets (my oven required 30)
  10. allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting
  11. enjoy!



if you are like me and not big on a huge breakfast (boozy brunches are a completely different story), a serving of this classic coffee cake is the perfect way to start the day.  who doesn’t love a little something sweet?


are you a coffee cake fan?  what is your favorite sweet to have for breakfast?  if you try out this recipe, let me know how it turns out.



k. tap