aïya candle co.

because you deserve nice things…

have you ever cheered at the top of your lungs for someone you’d never met? that was me when hayet rida announced she was making her very own luxury candle. you all know how i feel about supporting small businesses, especially ones operated by black women. it was a no brainer. i immediately figured out how to preorder. before i even knew what the scent was, i knew i wanted to support her and my gut told me it would be a phenomenal scent. hayet embodies all things a rich auntie would vibe wise so i knew this candle wouldn’t disappoint. meet aïya candle co.

as soon as the box arrived, it was like christmas. i care about attention to detail and clearly, hayet does, too. from the moment i opened the box, it smelled like i walked through a rose garden in full bloom. from the colors to the handwritten thank you note to the white marble and gold snuffer, i was thoroughly impressed from start to finish. my only regret was not ordering two candles from then beginning. you can visit aïya candle co. here.

at the end of a work day, i am eager to create separation between work and relaxation. there are a few things i do as soon as i get home. i take off my shoes at the bottom of my staircase. i strip off whatever clothes i wore to the office. i immediately throw on an oversized shirt snd boxers or boy shorts. i grab one of three beverages (water, sparkling water, wine). and lastly, i light a candle. there is something about it that is both therapeutic and flips the work switch in my head off. do you have any rituals like this?

hayet graciously replied to a dm i sent her over the weekend regarding the next drop. she said while the release date is a secret, it is sooner than you think. pro tip: the best way to track it would be to follow both hayet and aïya candle co. on the gram. i even set alarms when she is launching different items since we are on different time zones (she is chicago based).

i have been drawn to hayet’s authenticity, her unapologetic evolution and her hustle since the first time i came across her instagram a couple of years ago. the older i get, the more particular i am about what i am taking in – that includes who i follow on social media. hayet is constantly dropping golden nuggets of wisdom and has a smile that can light up a room. with me working in mental health, i find myself drawn to people that don’t stray away from the complicated shit. hayet is a real one.

the candle being lit for 30 minutes has totally transformed my bedroom. hayet is working on a second scent. i not only want more of this candle but i know i will be ordering multiple when the second scent is released.

what is your favorite fragrance?


k. tap

matilda’s bloombox

fridays are for florals and we all could certainly use a little something to brighten our days. 2020 was quite gloomy and the start to 2021 has been a whirlwind. that being said, there have been some bright spots. one of them has been my friend amy’s pregnancy. during the pandemic, i noticed she got really into flower arrangement. with her being pregnant, i wanted to send her something to celebrate while also allowing her to be creative without having to leave home.

say hello to matilda’s bloombox!

matilda’s bloombox is a phenomenal small business that ships farm fresh flowers from local growers to your doorstep. you get to arrange them and they offer tips and videos to help you along (if needed). while i bought a bloombox as a gift, there is also a subscription option.

if you are looking for a way to flex your creative muscles and add some beauty to your home, this is the perfect way to do so.


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saje natural wellness

last week, i did a little staycation in san diego.  it was exponentially improved by three things: great company, an unparalleled dining experience at herb & sea and my soak in the tub with saje natural wellness.


hillary knows me so well that she deep cleaned her tub in preparation for my arrival.  while she finished working, i enjoyed a peach hard seltzer while listening to leon bridges and soaking in her tub.  prior to my 30th birthday, i had never heard of saje natural wellness.  leave it to hillary to show me the better things in life.  she knows how much i love baths plus, both hilly and her roommate swear by saje.


let me tell you this: i literally felt like i was on a cloud.  the bedtime ritual relaxing bath kit did just that.  i just floated away.  my muscles were so relaxed and the tension i often carry in my back just melted away.  something i loved is that the kit came with enough bath salts for at least two (if not three) soaks.  the body butter, oil and candle really rounded out the experience.  i felt completely at ease in the tub but what i loved most was how that state of being continued even after.  i absolutely felt a difference in how i slept that night, even on a couch – that should tell you something.



while i initially would’ve just categorized this as beauty, i realized that saje is much more than that.  if you are truly into health and wellness, saje is for you because of their ability to reduce stress and create calm.  if you love candles and diffusers for your home to create a certain ambiance, saje is for you.  if you want a natural approach to beauty and wellness, look no further.


have you tried saje natural wellness?  what are your favorite products?



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.


prior to last month, i had never heard of boxfox and now, i am here to tell you about how much i love this company.  it is gift giving made easy while also having the ability to be totally unique and customizable if you so choose.


in may, i had a surprise delivery from my dear friend, nicole.  she is always on top of the latest and greatest in health, beauty and yummy treats, which is not surprising with her working on the love goodly team.  this is the box she gifted to me:



it included:

  1. a rose gold ink pen
  2. a floral notebook by rifle paper co.
  3. rose hibiscus coconut water hydrating face mist by herbivore
  4. cold brew gummy bears by sugarfina
  5. genmaicha green tea by no. six depot


with the month of may typically being a rough one and those emotions being heightened due to the pandemic, the craziness of work and the racial injustice in our nation, each of the five items have served a special purpose.  i love being able to put pen to paper to jot down thoughts, ideas, feelings and all of the things i am trying to figure out how to say in person.  i have been working on my skincare regimen because now that i am 30, i am ultra aware of how our skin is the largest organ on our bodies so i am treating it as such – shout out to my rose hibiscus face mist! i started drinking caffeine regularly again once we were sheltering in place and these cold brew gummy bears are the perfect midday pick me up.  and who can say no to a warm cup of tea to just soothe the soul?


as if i was not already obsessed with boxfox, a second surprise one arrived courtesy of one of my favorite couples, gio and liz.  liz has a super dope blog, by the way.  you can catch up on that here.  gio and liz regularly tune into my instagram live sessions and before even hearing my last one in full, gio told liz that i sounded sad.  i am typically good at compartmentalizing so the fact that he could pick up on that was quite telling.  fast forward to them surprising me with my second box in lieu of the hug we couldn’t do due to covid-19.  this box was equally awesome but had totally different items:



  1. two face masks by lapcos
  2. a sparking rosé candle by voluspa
  3. a stainless steel champagne flute by corkcicle
  4. dark chocolate with smoked sea salt by compartes
  5. 52 lists for calm by moorea seal


first of all, i teared up when reading the message both because i was so shocked and just touched by the thoughtfulness of my friends.  clearly, gio and liz picked up on the skincare obsession.  i have a stainless steel wine glass but did not know how much i needed this corkcicle.  while i do not eat chocolate often, when i do crave it, i like it balanced with sea salt or caramel.  and a book that involves list making and calmness?  that has kristin written all over it.


so i am sure you are interested in boxfox because who wouldn’t be?  there are prearranged boxes to choose from or you can build a box from top to bottom based on category, budget and vibe.  there are gifts for everyone on here, including dads (if you need to send a belated father’s day gift). and even amidst covid, they are shipping in three to six business days.


if you are looking for a birthday gift, bridesmaid boxes, graduation gift or something to just show someone how special they are to you, boxfox is the way to go.  if you have any questions, let me know!  i am working on building some boxes of my own as we speak.



k. tap