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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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LaKayak

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!

-LM

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!

Bible, Life, Travel

Real Life vs. Social Life: #NoFilter

August 17, 2015

Social Life: We are living it up with amazing coffee and working in Denver!
Social LifeRender

Real Life: Why am I making that horrible face? Anything for the artsy social pic.
Real Life

I think social media is really cool. I use it a lot. I think there are many benefits with social media. One thing I think is a downfall with social, though, is the ability for people to show what their life is really like. It is so easy to let your Facebook timeline to present the kind of life you want people to think you have. It is definitely tempting for me to put out the best image about my life and how I want people to see me. It’s human nature. Most of us want others to think well of us, and many of us are afraid of being really known in fear of being found out as uninteresting, broken, imperfect, etc.

I have to say, my feed is often filled with posts about the exciting adventures, cool travels, and the interesting people I get to meet. I am very grateful for the path God has brought me on, and grateful for his grace in my life. Nevertheless, I definitely am showing the highlights. We don’t always post the unappealing or ugly things that happen in our lives. We also don’t (usually) make posts about the average, everyday mundane things going on (unless it’s another picture of my coffee—which you know I love!).

#CoffeeOfLaurensInstagram

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So, I’ll just go ahead and let you know that I am without a doubt imperfect, broken, often uninteresting, and more (or so much less). I am impatient with people when I am in LA traffic. I struggle with feeling entitled when boarding an airplane and I don’t get priority because I’m on an airline that I don’t have status with. I snap at my husband when I am stressed prior to going on stage or TV. I think more about myself than I should and not enough about others. I don’t look put together all of the time as much as I wish I did. And on and on and on.

What I love is the beautiful gift of grace from God that allows me to have peace in the midst of my mess. Anything I’ve done well, I can only credit to my heavenly Father. I am forever grateful that the Bible tells me that I am completely loved by him. This is one of the ways the Bible has impacted me. I love the Bible, and love that for a living I get to invite others to engage with this book.

Grateful,
-LM

Social Life: We are cute sisters bonding over donuts!
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Real Life: Feeling sick after these donuts.
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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.

hello! 

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

http://www.wafflechampion.com/

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

Brunch.

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.

Angelina.

Angelina

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.

Atmosphere

Brunch

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?

-LAGM

Bachelor's degree- University of Oklahoma, Friends, Life, School, Uncategorized

Alumna- created April 29, 2010

September 27, 2011

As my time at the University of Oklahoma, and my time as an OU Tridelta collegiate member comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect back on the sweet friendships I have made in this season. The friendships I found in college have meant the world to me and have helped me grow into who I am today. Each one of the tridelt senior women in my “crew” 😉 have impacted me in specific and different ways.

With Meghan, I see the gift of creativity which God has given her. I tend to lack in the area of creativity, but Meghan is so talented in this area. Meghan shows this attribute of God as creator, and I love it.

“In the beginning, God created… ” Genesis 1:1a

My friend Kayley shows intense joy in her life. Kayley is always smiling, and encouraging others. This is a joy that she attributes to her relationship with Jesus. She has shown me to lean into the joy that can be found in Christ. No one has a life that doesn’t come with its own set of trials. Our joy is not in the circumstances, and Kayley is a wonderful example of someone who finds her joy in Jesus.

“Consider it pure joy my brother, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance” James 1:2

With Sarah, I am challenged by her discipline and focus on becoming all that she can be. This discipline is evident in her amazing progress in track as a pole vaulter. God gives us all gifts, and we should use them and work hard at whatever we do. This is something I see lived out in Sarah’s life.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

My friend Jessica is precious. She is always so compassionate and kind. She shows me a beautiful picture of God’s compassion and kindness as he loves us unconditionally. God is so merciful, and I see this characteristic lived out in Jess. She challenges me to be more compassionate and considerate of others around me. 

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

In Cherrie’s life I see hope and determination. There is a hope that Cherrie has in Christ, and she shows that hope with her life and it is evident to those around her. She lives her life to the full, and is always up for a new adventure. She has an amazing story and gives glory to God for everything.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15

With my friend Noralea it is evident that she has an adventurous spirit, and a serving heart. Her love of adventure leads her into a spiritual adventure with a heart striving to be closer to God. It is beautiful to see her discover God in new ways and challenge me to do the same. Noralea is also very thoughtful and is continually looking to serve others. 

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11

And my dear friend Casey shows complete loyalty, and has a firm and unshakable faith. She is a wonderful friend. She is loyal to all the relationships in her life and this characteristic is also seen in her loyalty to God. She has a solid faith in God and is always learning more. It is so comforting to see this loyalty and love, and know that God is always going to love. Nothing can change that.

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

I have so many beautiful friends, and they teach me so many things. My Tridelta friends are so special to me, and I thank my Lord for them. I am reminded of Philippians 1 as we approach these last few weeks together before we all graduate and move to different places.

Verses 3-6 say “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

La

 

Update 9/22/2015:

I wanted to add a more recent pic to this post! We graduated spring 2010, but five years later still love seeing each other! This was taken December 2014:

friends 2014.1