beyond remission – words of advice for thriving

i could not be more excited to share this book with each of you. my dear friend (gracelyn) and her aunt (melody, a cancer survivor), spent the last couple of years creating this work of art.

beyond remission – words of advice for thriving is an extraordinary collection of stories, photographs and advice from cancer survivors to those battling it now, those in remission and honestly, anyone who has been impacted by cancer. i cannot name a single person in my inner circle who has not been impacted my cancer in some capacity. can you?

this book is truly for everyone and has people from all walks of life represented – young, old, black, white, men, women and literally every kind of cancer you can think of. it shows how cancer does not discriminate but more importantly, it shows how beautiful life can be in spite of and/or after cancer. so frequently, stories around cancer are not told because it is a taboo topic. part of why this book is extraordinary is because gracelyn and melody dive in with each survivor. in this book, there is definitely a story for everyone and no two are the same.

this book was a labor of love and was made even more phenomenal due to melody being able to connect closely with the stories being told due to her own experiences acute lymphoblastic leukemia (which she dives into in the book). the vulnerability of melody and every single one of the participants in the book is nothing short of awe inspiring. there is an unreal amount of positivity weaved throughout the book and with my own study of gratitude and positive psychology, this is something that stood out to me. it is certainly a mindset and outlook we could all use a little more of.

it is hard to choose which quotes resonated with me the most but i tried to choose my favorite five:

1. never once did i consider not making a full recovery. -amy, breast cancer

2. i wanted no pity, just everyone’s love and support. -erika, breast cancer

3. surviving means remembering those who didn’t, and living every day of your life in search of why you did. -kyle, testicular cancer

4. for the first time in my life, i was open to leaning on people and feeling vulnerable, instead of always being in control. -kara, synovial sarcoma

5. each time i revisit my cancer journey, i am reminded of how far i’ve come and what a gift it is to be alive. -audrey, ovarian cancer

as if this book isn’t motivational and moving enough, gracelyn and melody are doing so much to give back to the cancer community through their foundation, luna peak. there are few things i love more than people giving back and women showing time and time again that they can rule the world.

to say i am honored to know gracelyn and proud to call her a friend would be a gross understatement.

you can get your hands on a copy of beyond remission – words of advice for thriving on amazon or barnes and noble.

the only regret i have is not ordering more than one copy because after reading, i know many survivors in my life would benefit greatly. i also have a dear friend currently battling lymphoma that explicitly stated how she wants to be surrounded by positivity – this book is full of it.

once you read it, tell me which quotes resonate most with you.


k. tap

thought of the week: who are you choosing?

i was having a conversation recently about the people closest to me. the friend i was talking to mentioned that i am one of the few people he knows that has both quality and quantity in terms of my friends. i don’t know that i had ever thought of it in that way but certainly agreed with him. when asked how i chose those in my circle, the answer was easy.

i choose people who consistently choose me.

at 30, i refuse to have any relationships that aren’t reciprocal. that required me to make some cuts. and here’s the thing: i don’t love the people i cut any less, i just love them from a distance. in my old age, i am becoming more particular about who i am choosing.

“actions speak louder than words but consistency speaks louder than both. choose people that always make you feel wanted.”

if you’ve been following for some time and know about my love languages, you know i don’t need to hear much – i am far more interested in what you do. that’s what i pay closest attention to. something else to consider is the consistency of said actions. while i choose actions over words, if the actions aren’t consistent, what’s the point?

when looking at those you are pouring into, i want to know who are you choosing?


k. tap

the dorsey cocktail bar

in honor of thirsty thursday and me having intense vegas withdrawals, i thought you all would love to hear about a bar you must visit if in vegas, especially if at the venetian. i went to the dorsey cocktail bar for the first time last december and knew i had to make a reservation for my mom and i for labor day weekend.

one of the reasons i fell in love with the dorsey is because it reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time – beauty and the beast. as a child, i also said if i could be any princess, i would choose belle. and while i loved her yellow dress and the relationship she had with the staff members of the castle, what i envied most was the library. as an avid reader, there was nothing more captivating. and strangely, the first time i walked into the dorsey, i felt like i was in a sultrier version of the beauty and the beast library. what made it better? the craft cocktails they serve and on this most recent visit, the bomb ass dj that was spinning everything from lauryn hill to ja rule to biggie to megan the stallion.

during covid, a reservation is highly recommended and the minimum is two drinks per person and one appetizer per two people. trust me – you will want more than just that the second the first sip hits your lips.

felecia and i ordered the following cocktails: spicy flamingo, sunflower and easy street. the spicy flamingo is kind of like their spin on a spicy watermelon margarita – who doesn’t love watermelon with a little kick? don’t be deceived by the name sunflower – that drink came with the perfect punch since it is gin based with absinthe but balanced perfectly with floral and citrus notes. easy street is named perfectly because the cucumber and vodka is super smooth and goes down easy.

something i loved was how the bartenders did not take offense to modifications to a cocktail. my mom is definitely a vodka girl and made an adjustment to the spicy flamingo to have it made with vodka instead of tequila. it did not disappoint.

there is ample space to spread out and be comfortable – this was especially crucial during covid. the music is played at a volume where you definitely enjoy it but do not need to yell to have a conversation. and for people like us who like to stay in the venetian, is there anything better than getting buzzed downstairs and just taking an elevator back up to your suite? absolutely not.

when planning your next vegas trip, make a little reservation on opentable beforehand and thank me later.


k. tap

thought of the week: pain passes…

this week has been filled with more meaningful conversations and revelations than i could have imagined. if 2020 has taught me anything, it is that life comes at you fast.

a couple of days ago, i was in session with a client and she just lost it. i held space as i watched her spiral on my screen. once she collected herself, she apologized. when i asked her why she was apologizing, at first she said that she was unsure. then, when she found the words, she stated that she was sorry for feeling too much. then there was a second apology – one for discussing the same topic in session more than once.

she apologized for feeling too much…in front of a professional…whom she hired…to process feelings with.


i not only am working with her on not feeling the need to apologize for feeling and doing so outwardly, but i also brought to her attention that she is guilting herself about not having worked through something she dedicates an hour or less to each week.

she certainly hadn’t thought of it that way. i had come across this quote last week and shared it with her:

“pain passes more quickly when we don’t criticize or shame ourselves for feeling it.”

not even 24 hours later, i sat at my dining table with two of the most resilient women i know and we discussed the power and courage behind vulnerability without shame or guilt. sometimes, we think that we aren’t progressing because of something on the outside but oftentimes, we are playing a part by getting in our own way. just imagine how good it could feel to process pain without shame or criticism.

have you been hindering your own healing?


k. tap

vanderpump cocktail garden

over the weekend, i took a much needed road trip to vegas with my mom for an early birthday celebration. on saturday, we were lucky to have hillary join us for the day as we adventured to the most magical place in vegas – the vanderpump cocktail garden.

it is like stepping into the most beautifully lit forest. the experience was outstanding and the garden certainly had the lisa vanderpump touch. an added bonus? i have never seen a more efficient line/check in process. every single person working there was friendly, knowledgeable and aesthetically pleasing. and of course, the food and drinks were to die for.

if you are familiar with villa blanca, you probably already know and love the goat cheese balls. well guess what? you can get them here, too! we also did the crispy chicken sliders and the truffle potato puffs. not only was everything fresh and decadent, it was the perfect size to pair with a cocktail.

speaking of cocktails, our waitress, ashley, was able to answer all of our questions. she also returned in the blink of an eye with the most amazing drinks for us to try. my mom and i both went with the “please her, caesar!” and hilly had the “puff the magic dragon” – both were insanely delicious. my drink was vodka and champagne based while hilly’s drink was mezcal based. there truly is something for everyone.

both ashley and brandon (another employee at the cocktail garden) were just delightful. we felt right at home. when brandon realized he was in the company of a fellow virgo, he asked my mom what her favorite spirit was. when she replied with vodka, he brought these amazing shots for the table with an edible flower that numbs your mouth a bit and enhanced your tastebuds. my mom was SHOOK. she said that in all of her years of drinking, she has never had drinks this delicious or unique.

it was the perfect way to kick off a week of celebrations and we can’t wait to go back.

have you been to the cocktail garden? if so, what did you get?


k. tap