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Brunch, Church, Friends, Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Brunch: Jacob’s Pickles NYC

September 24, 2015

“Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you…” –Taylor Swift

It was a gorgeous Sunday morning in the upper west side of Manhattan. I was in the city to visit a few friends. We had just gotten out of a Sunday morning service and needed a place to brunch. That is when we discovered Jacob’s Pickles.

Walking in, I immediately fell in love with the adorable atmosphere. It is a mix of modern warehouse and urban farmhouse décor. (Does that even make sense?…oh well.)

JP OUtdoor pic

JP tables

Brick Wall JP

JP Bar

It was quiet that first day we visited, which is rare. This place has become even more popular since I first discovered it. Every time that I have gone back during normal meal hours, it is pretty busy. If you’re worried about getting in without a wait, you might want to make a reservation.

coffee cup at JP

We ordered our coffees and started sipping. It was so nice to be able to catch up with my squad. These women became some of my closest friends at college. We were in the same sorority, and have a lot of shared memories. These are the women that were my roomies, that tried to teach me how to dance (sorry C and J, I’m still working on it), and were there to listen to me when I was going through a hard season. Now that we have gone our separate ways, it is a treasure when we get together. (To get to know this group of my friends, you can check out one of my first blog posts, which I wrote about them the week we graduated.)

It makes me smile just thinking of that sweet time.


I ordered the French toast the first time. And, yes, I have ordered that exact same dish every time I have gone back. I’ve even gone twice in one week, and ordered the French toast both times. I know there are so many places in NYC that are amazing that I should try, but goodness, it’s hard to pass up Jacob’s Pickles. Yum.

Their French toast is unique. Jacob’s Pickles has amazing biscuits, and they use their biscuits for the toast. I guess the “toast” in French toast should actually be “biscuit,” but whatever. The flaky biscuits are savory and crumbly. With some of Jacob’s Pickles sweet, dark syrup on top, it is truly a delight to eat.


One thing about their French toast I love, is the amount of strawberries they put on top. Often when I order something with berries on top, I get two strawberries, or five blueberries total. Not this place. They are not skimpy with the fresh strawberries they pile on their heavenly French toast style biscuits.


Their orange juice is fresh-squeezed and tasty. It is good if you are looking to load up on vitamin C and are willing to dish out a few bucks for it. Jacob’s coffee is not the world’s best cup of coffee, but it is a solid cup of coffee.


I guess this shop still holds the title to “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”.

If you are looking for the world’s best coffee and can’t find Buddy’s shop, you may consider checking out some of these recommendations of the best coffee in NYC. (I digress… But I personally love Stumptown!)


If you’re in Manhattan, I am telling you to check out Jacob’s Pickles. I hear their pickles are actually good, too. If you try them, let me know what you think.


Where should I go next time I am in NYC? As loyal as my little heart is to Jacob’s Pickles, I do like trying new places. Let me know what you suggest in the city that never sleeps.



Me then at JP

Brunch, Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Lake Tahoe

September 18, 2015

Have you ever been to Lake Tahoe? I just went for the first time, and LOVED it!

Michael and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary at the beginning of August. To celebrate, we decided to take a trip over the long Labor Day weekend, and we chose Lake Tahoe as our destination.

Our schedule included some sleeping in, taking naps, sitting on the beach, getting in the water via paddle boarding and kayaking, going up the mountain for the scenery and hiking, and checking out some of the cute local restaurants and coffee spots. It was ideal.

Taking the time to reflect on the many transitions this year has held for us so far was just what we needed.

With that being said, let me show you the memories we made while in Lake Tahoe.

Day 1:

The first was only a half day, but we made the most of it by checking out the beach, catching a nice dinner, and enjoying the fire pit.

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Day 2:

We wanted to check out South Lake Tahoe, so we got up early and went down to Emerald Bay to see the sunrise. It. Was. Amazing.

Then we went over to the Heavenly Gondola and went up to the highest peak in the area. The altitude was killer for this Oklahoma girl. I was already out of breath just from walking, so we kept our “hike” pretty mild.

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Taking a break from hiking, we also enjoyed playing corn hole. (Michael won.)

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We also had the chance to witness a proposal at the top of the mountain! (She said yes!)

We finished off the day with a nice lunch by the beach, some reading at a coffee shop, an early dinner, and then we were asleep before 9:00pm!

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Day 3:

A number of people recommended a restaurant called The Log Cabin, so we got up and enjoyed a delicious breakfast before heading to a river for some fly fishing. This breakfast was good! And their coffee was the best I had while in Tahoe.

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The rest of the day was spent at the hotel. We had fun paddle boarding and kayaking before dinner.

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It ended with s’mores and sweatpants by the fire. A perfect way to end the day!

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Day 4:

By day four we had explored as much as we wanted to, and were ready to just sit at the hotel all day! We got breakfast at the resort, did more reading on the beach, kayaking again, and just hanging out until going back down to South Lake for dinner at the restaurant with my FAVORITE view: Edgewood.

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I should take some time here to tell you my most embarrassing moment of the trip. It of course happened at Edgewood, which was the nicest restaurant we ate at.

Michael and I were seated in a one-sided semi-circle booth, so we could cuddle up next to each other and not be accused of being a “same-side-sitting” couple.  It was just the only way.

During the appetizer, I accidentally pulled on the table cloth, and ALMOST spilled both of my drinks. (This place was the kind of place that gave you your iced tea AND a water.) Thankfully, it was a close call, but I didn’t actually spill.

Five minutes later though, somehow I managed to do the exact same thing, but this time I wasn’t as lucky. Two full glasses of water and tea actually flew all over the table, seat, and me. Oops.

I guess I did it so gracefully that our waiter didn’t even notice. Unfortunately, the tables around defiantly heard the crash, and were giving side glances to check out the disaster while I cleaned up.

Because half of the booth was wet, I had to scoot way over to Michael’s side. (Maybe I actually spilled the drinks on purpose for the excuse to be closer to my hubby.) Thankfully the rest of the meal was less eventful, and we enjoyed watching the sunset together cuddle up rather close in that half wet, half dry booth.

Watching the sun set over that lake was one of my favorite memories. It was beautiful.

Lake Tahoe, I like you. I hope I will be seeing you again some day.

What are some of your favorite vacations spots? Any suggestions I should add to me dream list of places to visit? I would love to hear from you!


P.S. If you are ready to start planning your own vacation, consider planning ahead for Washington D.C. in 2017. You can have your chance to win a free trip to our Museum of the Bible grand opening by entering in our sweepstakes! Good luck!

Brunch, Life

I am the Champion of Waffles

July 20, 2015
Waffle Champion Door - always a pleasant sight.

Waffle Champion door – always a pleasant sight.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – brunch is a treasured Saturday ritual for me. I’ve been on a nice streak lately where I’ve gotten to enjoy brunch in OKC the past three or four Saturdays in a row- it has been awesome!

I love being in OKC. It is home.

I also love that OKC has a growing supply of local restaurants, and many of them do brunch quite well. Today I will highlight one of my favorite local brunch spots in all of Oklahoma:

Waffle Champion.

You already know what this place is king of: waffles.

Who doesn’t love a good waffle? Everyone loves waffles, and let me tell you – these waffles are GOOD. No, they are GREAT.

I have never had a waffle with such a perfect mix of amazing texture that is so fluffy and soft yet also the perfect taste of light sweetness and bread-y delight. Waffle Champion’s batter is just impressive. It really is something.

My go-to order is the regular waffle, with fresh berries on top. It is to die for. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. This picture isn’t going to help.

Waffles CLose up

WC has all different types of food options with the word “waffle” in it- traditional waffles with toppings and syrup, craft waffle sandwiches, even loaded waffle French fries. If you are looking for a healthy treat, this may not be your place. They do have soup and salad options, but it will be hard to stick with a healthy option when you walk in and smell the sweet buttery aroma of their batter baking in the waffle machines all lined in a row.

So, if you are ready to have a “cheat day”, or just don’t care, then I suggest you stop what you are doing right now and head on over to this waffle lovers heaven on earth. (As long as it’s Tues-Sun, 7am-2pm… their hours don’t leave a lot of option for me except for the weekend!)

I always appreciate fun drink options wherever my brunch taste buds may take me. WC has a nice selection including handcrafted sodas, cold press juice, milkshakes with Roxy’s local ice-cream, elemental coffee and other typical brunch place drinks.

Where WC isn’t lacking for fantastic food, they could, in my opinion, use a better atmosphere. Unless you like the fast pace, bustling, loud setting. The shop itself is quite small, so the line is almost always out the door any time I go on Saturday. Thankfully they have a well-organized system of getting people through the line and getting guests a table. Still, if you were planning to sit and sip on your coffee, you may plan to sip a little faster as you stare at the line of people waiting for a table and a waffle. In my experience, the line doesn’t slow down until well after 1pm most Saturdays.

The latest addition to WC is their outside seating option. This is new in the past few months. It has helped to add a few more tables as well as offer a quieter seating option. The tables are shaded, so even in the summer months it isn’t bad as far as the heat goes (especially if you are there early).

All in all, this place is one of my top two favorites for local brunch in OKC. If you haven’t tried it yet, make it a priority. Keep in mind their hours as well as the fact that parking can be tricky. It is well worth it though.

Maybe I’ll see you there

One of our MANY brunch dates at WC

One of our MANY brunch dates at WC

Brunch, Life, Travel

I love Angelina

June 1, 2015


I really like breakfast food. Especially when it doesn’t require me to get up early. If I can enjoy breakfast food late morning it is the best of both worlds. Thus, brunch is one of my favorite things and I want to share with you some of my favorite spots.

When I think of the ideal brunch, I imagine a leisurely meal with lovely people. I often enjoy brunch with my hubby, family or dear friends. It is usually enjoyed on a Saturday when I don’t have anything else to do, and I treasure those Saturdays. Slow Saturday mornings at home are few and far between in this season of life right now, and I am sure they won’t get easier to come by as life continues forward. So, I try to enjoy those lovely Saturday mornings when I have with nothing to do but sleep in and pick a nice breakfast spot with my hubby. I also enjoy them when I am squeezing in a tasty breakfast meal on the go or on the road and pretend like I’ve got nothing else to do.

I have tried many of the places in my home town of OKC, and love them. There are some fabulous places for brunch in OKC. So many tasty local spots. I will share about them in the future. For now, my husband gave me this idea to blog about my brunch places that I get the chance to visit while on the road.



I was told by a number of people that I should try this place while in Paris. They all recommended it for the hot chocolate. For those of you that told me to go there- thank you! I went the first morning I had in Paris, eager to try the hot chocolate after all they hype, but also eager to see what their brunch menu looked like. Michael and I had a few days in Paris over the weekend between business trips in Israel and England, so we were excited to soak in the city, but also enjoy the food while we are at it.

The place was adorable. A very vintage sheek tea room. It was definitely girly, but not to the same level as Laduree. Michael was pleased to see there were a few other guys in the restaurant :). We got seated and I was giddy – first because I was in Paris for a long weekend with my hubby, and secondly because I was getting brunch in Paris with my hubby this Saturday morning with nothing else to do but sightsee! A dream.



I check out the menu and after some struggle through translation from French to English, I find that they have the golden dish- French toast! Oh I love French toast. It is so good. I try it everywhere I go. I order the French toast and the hot chocolate. Eek how lovely- French toast, I France!

It lived up to what I would have hoped. Authentic French toast, and it was some of the best I have ever had. It had the perfect texture. The crust wasn’t too crunchy, but it was just lightly crisp. The inside bread was amazing- melt in your mouth, but not soggy. It was only lightly drizzled with some caramel syrup, so it was the perfect amount of added sweetness to the toast. If you like traditional syrup with your French toast, you might miss it- though I think you would still enjoy the Carmel drizzle just fine.

French Toast

The hot chocolate tasted like it was just straight melted Godiva chocolate. Whoa- so good, but really rich! I could only drink half a cup, but it was a good half a cup! They give you some whip cream to smooth out the chocolate. It was amazing, but I could have taken it a little less sweet. I also had their tea the next day- the Angelina special tea, and it was wonderful. A very sweet black tea, maybe a little sweeter than I prefer, but it had a nice smooth flavor.

Hot Chocolate

I definitely recommend trying Angelina if you are around one. It has great atmosphere as well as great food.

Do you have any recommendations for other good brunch places in Paris?