thought of the week: delve deep.

with thanksgiving being just a couple of days away, i have been seeing posts left and right from therapists about how to survive the holiday. many talk about coping strategies, topics to avoid around the dinner table and how to choose your battles when going up against your family. let’s keep it real – the holidays are not necessarily merry and bright for everyone. but here’s the thing, if you go home and find yourself triggered af while sitting around the dinner table but can’t quite figure out why, there might be some more work for you to do.

“at times, the answers to your questions are found in the places you’re too afraid to delve deep into and explore.” -rachel wolchin

a couple of weeks ago, i did a post about how to get what you need out of therapy. in order to get what you need, you have to be willing to go to therapy in the first place. and beyond that, there has to be a willingness to delve deep. something i tell each of my clients is to make sure they understand that it will often get worse before it gets better. therapy requires some digging and unearthing of things you buried and sometimes, things you weren’t even aware were tucked away. your willingness to do the work will provide a reward and inner peace that is unparalleled.

what places or topics have you been avoiding delving into?


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thought of the week: you’re killing it anyway

2020 certainly has not been a walk in the park. january kicked off with the loss of kobe and gigi bryant (along with multiple other passengers) in a fatal plane crash. i can actually remember saying out loud that 2020 couldn’t get any worse. fast forward to march – a full blown pandemic had swept through not just the nation, but multiple continents. once closer to summer, more senseless killings of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers had sparked a revolution. revolutions are not always pretty. and just a week or so ago, we wrapped up the gnarliest presidential election to date. it would be easy for me to say that 2020 was the worst year of all time. but honestly speaking, that would be a lie.

2020 was certainly rough on a grander scale, but when i look at the lives of some of those nearest and dearest to me, 2020 has been a year of growth, new beginnings, stepping outside of comfort zones and pausing to be more reflective and grateful. amidst this pandemic, i have had multiple friends give birth to beautiful baby boys, several friends close on their first homes, many others became dog moms/dads (myself included), countless promotions at work, one of my very best friends got married to the love of her life yesterday, a couple have launched businesses, many have taken time to invest in their mental/emotional health/wellness and a ridiculous amount of other awesome things i know i am forgetting. one of the biggest shifts i have seen are people being more expressive to those they love on any day ending in the letter y. there is no longer this need to wait until a birthday or celebration to express love and gratitude. that has arguably been one of the best things to come out of this pandemic.

even with all of the aforementioned, i have had several conversations with loved ones in recent weeks about feeling guilt or shame around the things that are going well. some have even said they have downplayed what is going well for them to friends and family after realizing that they do not seem particularly happy for them. here is a sad reality: not all people are capable of celebrating the accomplishments of their loved ones if they do not have something they feel is also worth celebrating in their own lives.

i came across this quote on instagram from wctherapygroup and felt compelled to write this post and share it:

“not everyone is going to be celebrating and cheering you on. know you’re killing it anyway.”

don’t allow a lack of outside validation stop you from doing the damn thing. sometimes, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader. and i will let you in on a little secret – when you’ve curated a dope inner circle, there will ALWAYS be at least one other person happy to cheer alongside you and toast to your greatness.

what have you accomplished this year that we should be cheering for?


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son & garden

as i wrap up my week of posts about the bay, i could not help but save this brunch spot (i had been dying to go to) for sunday funday. christine and i hadn’t seen each other in the flesh since the first weekend of march so when there was a chance to try a spot neither of us had been to while beating seated outdoors, we couldn’t say no.

welcome to son & garden.

there are two locations – one in sf and the one we went to in menlo park. son & garden was so cute! it was an added bonus that the associates were friendly and incredibly mindful of all things covid related. after we were temperature checked, we were escorted to our table.

last sunday was the first truly cold day in the bay so it was good that christine and i dressed in layers because it windy af. while we were under a covered patio with heaters, we were not directly underneath one and it showed. during this time of year, if you are going to be doing any outdoor dining, i would suggest bringing layers or even a blanket. anyway, on to what we ordered!

i started with earl grey tea to knock the chill off + to give me a bit more time to decide what to order. i mean – what do you do when literally everything looks good?

i ended up getting the korean benedict which comes with a bone in short rib and kimchi fried rice. the eggs were perfectly poached, the hollandaise was made fresh in house and the rainbow potatoes were delightful. i don’t know what i did to deserve this benedict but lord knows i thoroughly enjoyed it.

in lieu of dessert, christine and i opted for a cocktail and it was just dreamy. cloud 9 is this fruity, bubbly goodness that is sparkling wine based and has edible flowers and a candied butterfly. as a girl that grew up loving cotton candy, i had to get my hands on this drink. and yes, it tasted as good as it looks. to both our pleasure and surprise, it was not overly sweet! when i return, i will definitely do one at the start and end of my meal.

we certainly will be back and i cannot wait to explore more of the menu.

i’m getting ready for a brunch date now before starting a two week quarantine to prep to visit my new nephew (enzo) in the bay. i hope you each are having a true sunday funday.


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kennie’s 30th birthday – napa edition

i will be the first to say how grateful i am that i was able to properly celebrate turning 30 in vegas this year before the entire world shut down. one by one, i watched as the cancellation texts, emails and phone calls came through for so many of the 30th birthday celebrations my friends had planned. it was a bummer for all of us – 30 is a big deal.

kennie was no different. she was hoping to get all her friends together in either hawaii or nyc – both places holding a special spot in her heart as a home away from home. during one of our lengthy facetime calls, she mentioned how it just seemed like there would be no way to celebrate. i just couldn’t allow that to happen, especially to someone who is ALWAYS willing to show up to celebrate others. from la to vegas to hosting my grad school graduation celebration, kennie is a ride or die. i told her it might look different but it could be done. i suggested doing a few small celebrations so her birthday could still be acknowledged in a safe way. she was shocked when i told her i would be willing to drive to the bay. then, she mentioned she had never been to napa.

kennie, born and raised in the bay, lover of wine, had never been to napa. that’s all i needed to hear.

i told her how most wineries were not seating parties bigger than six so to choose four other guests (in addition to us) and i would map out a full day of fun. it was good to see her getting excited about her special day again. lucky for me, brianna was one of the guests. as a fellow aquarian and master planner, i knew i would have some help getting her big day together.

this past saturday, we loaded up the car and made our way to napa. there were definitely some bumps in the road (like us missing our first reservation due to one of our guests being late for pickup), but somehow, everything seemed to work out the way it was supposed to.

we started off at hog island island oyster company for some much needed champagne, oysters and chowder.

next, we made our way to madonna estate where bob made sure we had the most delicious rosé and pinot noir. this is where these phenomenal boxes by brianna were served. who doesn’t love tortellini on a stick? it was everything i never knew i needed. i got these wine glasses from amazon because they were too hilarious not to purchase.

i will admit that we saved the best for last – i am a member at domaine carneros and wanted kennie to be treated like the queen she is. dan at domaine absolutely made sure that happened. from us being seated with the most stunning view to him serving kendall an exclusive glass of le reve to us staying far past our reservation slot, everything about domaine carneros was perfect.

happy 30th birthday, kennie! i love you so much.


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thought of the week: getting what you need out of therapy

dana and i might both be la girls but we met in the bay during undergrad at scu. somehow, between big moves, booming careers and all of the curveballs life can throw at a person, we managed to remain integral parts of one another’s lives. she is a person who checks in on her strong friends, myself included. dana can read me like a book. she has been supportive of my blog since day one so when she reached out about a topic she wanted me to cover, i couldn’t resist.

the text message she sent said:

“…i feel like with shelter in place, so many people are now considering or trying therapy for the first time but i think a lot of people don’t know what to expect or how to maximize what they get out of therapy. how can someone get the most out of therapy or your relationship with your therapist?”

as i lay here, snuggled up with misu on a much needed day off (shout out to all my veterans, especially my papa), i wanted to provide some tips on how to get what you need out of therapy.

1. make a list of three major qualities you are looking for in a therapist – for me, it is someone who is solution focused, blunt and consistently able to see me. what are your three?

2. identify what topics you plan on bringing into session beforehand

3. be TOTALLY honest with your therapist – if they don’t know the full story, you aren’t going to get what you need out of each session

4. remember that they are not there to be your friend – it isn’t supposed to feel like a starbucks conversation between two old pals

5. be consistent with showing up to each session – i schedule my therapy sessions the same way i do work, an appointment with my ob and expensive restaurant reservations – i am never late and i am ready upon arrival

6. don’t be afraid to tell your therapist what you are looking to get out of your time spent together – they might need direction as no two clients are the same

7. be sure to actually do any homework assigned to you by your therapist – it is being assigned for a reason

8. do not expect your therapist to work harder than you or to “fix you” – that is not their purpose

9. a good therapist is going to push you to step outside of your comfort zone. please know the difference between feeling uncomfortable and feeling unsafe. do not fight your therapist (or fire them) because you feel uncomfortable. clearly, where you were comfortable wasn’t working, otherwise, you wouldn’t be in their office in the first place

10. understand that it will often get worse before it gets better. therapy requires some digging and unearthing of things you buried and sometimes, things you weren’t even aware were tucked away. your willingness to do the work will provide a reward and inner peace that is unparalleled

📷: hilly


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