thought of the week: inspiration > comparison

february is my favorite month for many reasons. the first day of the month is misu’s birthday. i love winter. i have a deep appreciation for black history month. celebrating love is something i do regularly but valentine’s day gives me even more of a reason to do so. the three day weekend due to presidents’ day is never something i complain about. many of my favorite humans are born during the month of february, including anj (aka my twin), who is blogging alongside me at this very moment (you can check out her amazing blog here). lastly (but certainly not least), it is my birthday month.

i tend to get pretty reflective around my birthday and set intentions for the year that lies ahead. something that has continued to show up in sessions with my clients as of late is people choosing to measure their success based on how they are doing in comparison to others versus simply measuring whether they have grown in the last week/month/year. i took a step back to ask myself – is this an area of growth for me as well or is it something i’ve already mastered? what i determined was this: in my professional life, i do an exceptional job of only comparing me to me. i make a conscientious effort to continue learning new tools to share with my clients, i am unafraid of admitting when i do not know something and figure out the appropriate resources to circle back with and i can see distinct differences in the therapy i did back in 2016 as opposed to now. when it comes to my personal life, there is room for improvement. i think for many people my age, especially women, it is easy to look around at those closest to you and wonder if you are doing something wrong if your lives don’t look similar. this is especially true when it comes to marriage and children. while i think because of the way my analytical brain is set up, a little comparison may be present to some degree, the shift i noticed once approaching 30 was admiring those closest to me who had achieved something i hadn’t yet.

this quote seemed to hit the nail on the head.

“inspiration is infinitely better than comparison. let brilliant people motivate, not intimidate you.”

i am surrounded by a group of extraordinary humans. and rather than let jaclyn’s success in private practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist, melissa owning + remodeling her own home or anj’s domination of being a stay at home mom to a bright eyed little boy intimidate me, i find myself constantly being in awe. instead of being amazed silently, i often will inquire about the inner workings of how these exceptional humans are thriving in their lives. i have been encouraging my clients to do the same. inspiration is absolutely better than comparison.

do you find that you compare yourself to others or are you able to be inspired by the success others around you have?

xoxo,

k. tap

32 (part three).

to round out our time in the south bay, my mom and i did lunch at one of my favorite italian spots. afterwards, we picked up some of my favorite women on earth and made our way to napa.

we checked into my favorite hotel there (the archer) before freshening up before dinner at a restaurant i have to go whenever i am in town (celadon). while i had never been there for dinner before (my friends and i often end up there for boozy brunches), it didn’t disappoint. i was so glad that my godmother happened to be in sacramento that week for work so she joined us for dinner and drinks at the hotel afterwards. we shared so many laughs over dinner – nearly three hours felt like 30 minutes.

celadon has the absolute BEST calamari (i used caps so you know it’s real)

wednesdays are meant for wine and we definitely did just that. first, we started with breakfast at charlie palmer steak. it came highly recommended and a couple of weeks before our trip when i mapped it, i realized it was in our hotel. somehow (even though i had stayed at the archer before), i had no idea it existed. i had definitely been missing out because we all enjoyed our meal so much.

avocado toast (with smoked salmon, cucumber, watercress, pickled red onion and a poached egg)
belgian waffle (served with butter, strawberry compote, blueberry compote and maple syrup)
huevos rancheros
blood orange 75 (gin, blood orange liquor, lemon and sparkling wine)

i would absolutely go back again and i would recommend ordering a savory dish for yourself and splitting the waffles with another person or two in your party. and even with me being a vodka girl, i had to have a couple of blood orange 75s. they were absolutely delicious. if you want to go to charlie palmer, make a reservation via opentable.

next, our wine tasting tour began. my mom had never been to napa so i was excited for her to get to experience it, especially with women who we both love so much. our first stop was artesa!

the view of napa from entrance of artesa
me + melissa 🤍
interior of artesa
complimentary glass while we waited for our table.
this yellow jacket is my new favorite item in my wardrobe. it’s by lezé the label and is part of hayet rida’s honey glow collection she released. it is so soft yet heavy enough to keep you warm while being so breathable. my dress is from asos.
sofia 🤍
mom + sofia 🤍🤍

artesa is a winery i had always wanted to visit but it seemed impossible to land a reservation on any of my weekend trips. i figured i would try my luck since we were going on a wednesday and booked it immediately. since i am a member at the two wineries we went to next, i knew i would be able to secure a reservation at each of those easily. we all loved the service at artesa and i thought their rosé and their reds were perfect. i think on my next trip this june, it is likely i will become a member. afterwards, we made our way to madonna estate.

the fields at madonna – we had perfect weather
me + mama bear 🤍
the garcia sisters + me 🤍🤍🤍
alexz hates pictures but we take such good ones together that she ends up forgiving me
melissa – quite literally my lifesaver

we all did tastings at madonna but ended up purchasing multiple bottles afterwards that we loved to enjoy there while we soaked up the sun, took photos and talked about anything and everything. melissa was such a fan that she became a member. i know she won’t regret it – i certainly haven’t. after leaving madonna, we drove just up the road to a winery that has my favorite views in all of napa – domaine carneros.

the squad.

we went all in. tastings. charcuterie plates. bottles. smoked salmon plates. we laughed. we cried. it was the most like myself i had felt since before being hospitalized last summer. it was just the most magical day.

sparkling chateau tasting
charcuterie
bottles on bottles on bottles.
smoked salmon
lil’ spoon + melissa 🤍🤍🤍
loves of my life

after leaving domaine carneros, felecia and i dropped the girls off, went to the airport and flew home. each part of my birthday was exactly what i needed it to be – from la to the bay to napa, i was surrounded by love and laughter. no matter what part you showed up for, just now how grateful i am.

xoxo,

k. tap

32 (part two).

after a much needed day of recovery on my actual birthday, my mom and i flew to the bay area on valentine’s day. we landed a little ahead of schedule, our suite was ready even though we were checking in four hours early and the weather was perfect.

last year, felecia and i spent valentine’s day with kendall and dom. when we realized we would be in the bay again on valentine’s day, it only seemed right to keep tradition alive. my dear friend, nick, wanted to join us for dinner. when i said we’d love that and just needed to make a new reservation, he took the reigns and booked at one of favorite restaurants without even realizing it – telefèric barcelona.

i had only ever been to the walnut creek location but since we were staying in the south bay, nick made the reservation for the one in los gatos. it was my first time going with a larger group so i was able to try many things on the menu i hadn’t previously. we had the best experience – not only was the service outstanding, the food was incredible and the drinks were delicious.

far more food was ordered than what was captured below however i had to include some of our favorites.

spanish meatballs – felecia and kendall were obsessed with these!
catalan tomahawk 40oz. served with dipping sauces and potatoes – one of the best steaks i have ever had in my entire life.
paella mixta (pork, chicken, shrimp and octopus) – we had them double the order since four of us would be sharing it (felecia is allergic to shellfish so she couldn’t indulge in this portion)
gothic mojito (i chose passion fruit however strawberry and raspberry were also options)

as if the top notch dinner and even better company weren’t enough, nick surprised us and treated everyone (including kendall and dom whom he had just met that night) to dinner for my birthday/valentine’s day. my favorite card i received this year was from nick. felecia also nearly died when he handed her a valentine’s day card. i am constantly reminded of how wonderful my friends and family are – it is even better when i get to bring different groups together.

mama bear, me, nick, kennie and dom

if you find yourself in the bay area and in need of delicious spanish cuisine, book a reservation through opentable at telefèric barcelona. there is one in walnut creek, one in palo alto and the one we went to in los gatos (the other two locations are in spain).

xoxo,

k. tap

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

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