32.

i cannot believe today is the last day of february. while january may have moved at a glacial pace, i feel like i blinked and february zoomed by.

while my 32nd birthday was on the 13th, my mom always taught me to celebrate birthdays for a full month. over the next week or so, i will be sharing about each of my birthday celebrations.

part one was on the 12th. i wanted to do an outdoor boozy brunch so naturally, we went to plate 38. it was sheer luck that the weather was even more gorgeous than anticipated. it was 81 degrees with the perfect little breeze. i honestly cannot remember the last time i had this many people i loved in one place – likely before the pandemic started. about 25 of us met to up to celebrate another trip around the sun. there were people present from all stages of my life – my immediate family, my extended family (all connected through my godmother), friends from elementary school, high school, college and my work family (both from the automotive industry and the education field). it made my heart incredibly full.

tj – aka my little big brother since he is 6’9”
hayley – recently did the math and realized we’ve known each other since 1997
drew – little brother from scu
ajaya (ram ram) – my aquarian bff
mama bear, auntie sheila, auntie rene, godmother, charm + my godsister
alan aka sonny
my godsister – been doing life together since 1990
reena, mama bear + mayra – true love is driving up from san diego through brutal traffic for brunch
reena totally makes me want blue hair all over again!
my convent cuties – these girls from my last job feel more like family now. also, if you love jumpsuits as much as i do, this loveappella number is currently on sale at nordstrom! while i am wearing it in olive, it also comes in a gorgeous burgundy.

my brother and his girlfriend took me out after brunch to continue the party. afterwards, the after after party was at my mom’s. then there was a pregame at my place before going out that night. *note to self – i am now 32 and not 22. my hangover on super bowl sunday highlighted that in a way i can hardly put into words. even still, the love i was surrounded with made it all worth it.

pooh bear 🤍
jordan 🤍
the only proof that i made it out the night of the 12th is this photo with annie

each birthday, i select a word to serve as my theme for the year. for 32, the word i selected is: intentionality. it is defined as the fact of being deliberate or purposive. after having a close call last year due to covid, i am intensely aware of how fragile life can be. to say it is important for me to be deliberate with my actions, purposive with my work and intentional about the relationships i pour into would be a gross understatement. each person present on the 12th was someone who showed up for me and/or my family during the time it was most needed last year. i am eternally grateful.

it is a beautiful thing to be able to tell the people you love that you love them while they are here to hear it. if there is any piece of advice i can give with my additional year of wisdom, it is to not wait another minute to say “i love you.”

what is something you plan to be more intentional about this year?

xoxo,

k. tap

happy valentine’s day

i love love and i’ve always loved valentine’s day. i was lucky enough to spend valentine’s day with some of my favorite people – my friends dom, kendall, nick and my mama. it was an extension of my birthday celebrations (a full birthday recap will be up this weekend once mom and i return from the bay/napa).

while red is not a color i often wear, i saw this dress a couple of months ago and knew it had to be worn this week.

i fell in love with this city chic dress in black a couple of years ago and wore it to the veuve polo classic. when i came across the same dress in red on the nordstrom app with a belt and on sale, i had to have it. it was originally $99 (which i would have happily paid, especially for a full outfit) – i got it on sale for $59! you can find this little number here.

city chic is a brand that carries a variety of sizes and has everything from dresses to blazers to leather joggers. i have a few of their pieces but this dress is my absolute favorite.

how did you spend valentine’s day? and what did you wear?

xoxo,

k.tap

thought of the week: the meaning of friendship

february 10th is one of my favorite days of the year. two of the most powerful women i’ve ever known were born today – my great grandmother (granny) and my best friend, anj aka twin.

when we met in 2010, it was odd to us that we hadn’t crossed paths before then since we had been at the same college (a small, private one) for two whole years. i am a true believer that timing is everything and like to think that anj came into my life exactly when i needed her. when we met, we were both 20. while we were definitely adults, there was so much growing to do. it has been beautiful to watch her evolve and to be able to go through my own evolution with her by my side every step of the way.

we’ve seen each other through it all. in our early 20s, it was wild nights at bars and house parties, helping each other move into new apartments and embodying the work hard/play hard mindset.

in our mid 20s, it was flying to see one another for weekends filled with quality time, music festivals and supporting one another through promotions at work and graduations.

in our late 20s, it was being present for the big life shifts – celebrating love and honoring those we’ve lost.

in our early 30s, it has been welcoming in new life (both human and fur babies included) and learning the importance of investing in ourselves (mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally).

across our 12 years together, you manage to ALWAYS show up. anj, you might only be three days older than me but i get the pleasure of learning from you every single day. sometimes, i struggle to explain just what you mean to me. however, i came across this quote back in december and saved it for today:

“friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. it’s not something you learn in school. but if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” -muhammad ali

when i stop and think of what it means to have friends who have become family, anj is the very first person to come to mind. happy birthday, twin! i love you endlessly.

xoxo,

k. tap

happy birthday, misu!

i can confidently say that i am thrilled january is over. while it wasn’t a particularly terrible month, it just seemed to move at a glacial pace. february has so much for me to look forward to. not only is it my birthday month but today, my baby turns two!

misu has brought me an inordinate amount of joy. he has shown me so much about unconditional love.

i feel like in some ways, we rescued one another. when i think of how he loved on my mom last year while i was hospitalized, it can bring me to tears. to say they have a special bond would be an understatement.

misu and i are certainly fortunate to have so many people who love him so much. here are some of my favorite shots taken by/with some of his favorite people:

pool day with auntie lynnie – summer 2021
freshly groomed with auntie amanda – spring 2021
dinner with uncle pooh bear – december 2020

happy birthday to my little rascal. i just adore you.

xoxo,

k. tap

giada – the cromwell las vegas

just before christmas, i was lucky enough to venture to vegas for a much needed getaway with some lovely ladies from my last job. we had agreed to ahead of time to do one calm night and one wild night. our calm evening was definitely memorable because we had the most magnificent dining experience at giada.

for all of my fellow food network lovers, dining at giada was just as dreamy as you think it would be. i was especially excited to experience this with annie – she has all of giada’s cookbooks, loves a good italian meal. today is her birthday so this post is in honor of her. happy birthday, annie!!!

i cannot go to an italian restaurant and not have burrata. the burrata crostini was served with a kale salsa verde and toasted pine nuts. it was absolutely divine.

next, i had an arugula salad. it definitely had a little something special since it was combined with candied lemon, crispy pancetta and parmigiano-reggiano. it was a simple salad but absolutely decadent. for my main course, both amanda and i had the ravioli which comes with lobster, candy stripped beets and preserved lemon butter. our waitress suggested we get the lemon potatoes as a side to share and dip them in the preserved lemon butter sauce. it was absolutely to die for.

annie got giada’s signature lemon spaghetti and was in heaven. the presentation was just stunning.

michelle and vicky split bone-in tuscan ribeye and salmon paired with roasted broccolini. to say they were pleased with their choices would be a gross understatement. everything was seasoned to perfection.

more cocktails were consumed than i care to count and every single one was amazing. my favorite was probably my drinkable dessert. giada’s take on affogato included a bailey’s gelato they make in house. i am still dreaming of it.

our experience was seamless from start to finish. there are few things that compare to an amazing meal with even more amazing women.

if you are in vegas, be sure to make reservations via opentable at giada – the cromwell las vegas. you will be so happy you did.

xoxo,

k. tap