5 Reasons I Love Oklahoma

5 Reasons I Love Oklahoma

From a proud Okie.
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Why do I love Oklahoma? People who aren't from here ask me this question on a regular basis. I understand why people are curious because there are so many things about my beliefs that do not align with a state that makes national headlines for things that are regularly embarrassing. I do not support our Governor, I disagree with most things that the State Congress does, and hailing from a state that regularly provides the world with meme fodder has its disadvantages. The things that garner us national attention are usually cringe-worthy — except for Sweet Brown, you keep doing your thing, girl.

Aside from the fact that Oklahoma is regularly a national embarrassment, it is also home. I hail from a small town in Southeast Oklahoma — Hartshorne — that no one has ever heard of; we have two traffic lights and one is usually broken, people regularly ride their horses and/or ATVs into town, and, yes, we do have a guy who hitches a trailer to his lawn tractor and uses it to haul his groceries home. The town even reenacts a bank robbery as part of our Independence Day celebration, they've done it since my mother was a kid. I grew up watching it every year with my cousins and now one of them is one of the "outlaws" who rob the bank. It is traditions like these among other things that makes Oklahoma such a great place to live. Oklahoma will always hold a special place in my heart and it will always be OklaHOMEa.

Here are 5 reasons why I love where I live:

1. People are friendlier in Oklahoma than in other parts of the country, or even the world.

This is a photo of my NeeNee (grandmother) making her rounds at the local café. She makes it a point to say hello to and/or hug everyone she knows, which is usually most of the restaurant. I've been told by several people who aren't from Oklahoma that they find our friendliness weird and sometimes unnerving. We smile at strangers on the street and wave each other on at four-way stops. Apparently this is just plain strange to anyone who isn't an Oklahoma native, but its part of the reason I love this state.

2. The generosity and sense of community.

If you ask anyone from outside of our state what they know about Oklahoma, you'll likely hear "tornadoes." We are dead center in the middle of tornado alley and we know what a storm can do, but every time our community is ravaged by mother nature we come together to clean-up and rebuild. Almost everyone I know did something to help after the May 20, 2013 tornado that destroyed a big part of Moore, Oklahoma. It may have been a small gesture such as donating a few cases of bottled water or as big as throwing a benefit concert like Toby Keith. It doesn't matter what it is, big or small, Oklahomans help in anyway that we can.

3. The food.

Our state meal (yes we have a state meal) consists of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, fried okra, pecan pie, sweet tea, and the list goes on. People who aren't from here get really confused when you say "chicken fried steak." When I lived in Michigan people called us strange for having black-eyed peas for New Years dinner and servers would always bring out unsweet tea and sugar packets when we ordered sweet tea. If you don't mind the fat content and cholesterol, our food can't be beat. Oh, and Dr Pepper, because Dr Pepper.

4. Norman

In my opinion Norman is the greatest city in the state. Move over OKC and Tulsa, Norman is comin' for ya. Norman is home to the University of Oklahoma and as a college town it has a lot to offer. Norman is the city of festivals where there is always something going on. Norman offers a wide variety of activities for a wide variety of interests. Norman has the Medieval Fair, Norman Music Festival, Jazz in June, the Summer Breeze Concert Series, and the second Friday of the month Art Walk on Main Street. In addition to the festivals and live music there is also a multitude of local bars and restaurants that are bound to strike your interest.

5. Local and regional music.

Another thing that I love about Oklahoma is the local and regional music scene. Many famous musicians hail from Oklahoma and many still call the state home; Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, and the list goes on and on. Oklahoma has also brought us bands such as The Flaming Lips, The All-American Rejects, Kings of Leon, and Hanson. Aside from the more well known musicians listed above, Oklahoma is home to a fantastic lesser known sub-genre of country known as Red Dirt. The Turnpike Troubadours, Stoney LaRue, No Justice, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and The Damn Quails are just a few names that come to mind when I think of Oklahoma music. Red Dirt and Oklahoma country aren't all that the state has to offer as there is also a wide variety of genres represented throughout Oklahoma.

Pictured above is Hosty Duo, if you are interested in learning more about regional music I would suggest checking Hosty out - you can usually find him at The Deli in Norman most Sundays.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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​10 New York City Brunch Restaurants I Love A Waffle Lot

Trust me, breakfast is overrated, even if it is at Tiffany's!

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You guys knew it was coming! If you know me personally or follow me on Instagram you would know that the thing that I love most in the world is brunch. My life motto is "Mimosa es su mosa" or maybe "On Sundays, we drink mimosas." Just kidding! However, there is nothing I love more than having waffles, poached eggs, and a latte on a Sunday with my girlfriends. Brunch is a long-held tradition for us, it's a great way to relax and it honestly just brings everyone together. So I thought I'd share a few of our go-to spots!

1. Dudley's

This is my favorite place of all time to get brunch. Dudley's is right on Orchard Street, it has a quaint little interior great for dinner, as well! However, I suggest going during the summer to enjoy their outdoor seating. The food is just so delicious! The first time I went was actually at the end of August with my best friend Alexia. She had just gotten back from traveling and we wanted to brunch, go to The Met, walk the Brooklyn Bridge and go thrifting all before we went back to school the next day. We got brunch and were full pretty much the whole day, it was insane. It was also really fresh. Alexia even says when she comes home from Greece no meal ever compares to the food she eats back home, but this really hit the spot. The cuisine is American with an Australian twist. I normally get the chia muesli, a burger with a salad on the side instead of fries. Also if it's later in the afternoon, I'll just do cauliflower tempura with green aioli! For drinks, I suggest a latte or their cold brew.

2. Buvette

I literally just went last weekend with my friend Emily, so if that doesn't tell you how much I love it here, I don't know what does! Buvette has extremely friendly staff and great food, the portions are a tiny bit small but they are super filling, definitely try the specials! I suggest the Belgian Waffle with berries and a latte. My friend Emily got a lemonade and avocado toast!

3. Victor's Cafe

Best croquettes and burger to date. I also got yuca fries on the side. Best brunch ever, oh my gosh! Of course, I got a latte with that, too! The paella de vegetales and platanos are to die for, as well. Victor's Cafe has my heart!

4. Your Mother's House

I actually just went to Your Mother's House on Sunday. It's not the best brunch ever, but they have such a great menu with tons of variety. I even had this Groupon for bottomless brunch if you are of legal drinking age. The Groupon definitely makes it worth it!

5. Sarabeth's

This has been a long-standing tradition between my friend Sara and I. The first time we went was actually when I was like 13, I want to say. It was December and at the time Sara was like 17 and she bought me tickets to see the Radio City Rockettes. However, the only reason I took the train at that point was for work so I wasn't going to be allowed to go. So we devised a plan to convince my mother that her mother was going and it all turned out quite splendidly.

We went to Sarabeth's, I got the lemon ricotta pancakes, and Sara got the crab cake benedict. I would recommend both. Then we saw the Rockettes. However, the reason this is a funny story is that a month later on Christmas Eve, she and her parents came over and our mothers are extremely close because Sara and I have been friends since I was five years old. Sara and I went to my room to hang out and left our mothers to talk. After a few glasses of Chardonnay, Sara's mom told my mom that we went alone. I was grounded for three weeks. Well worth it though, not only did I see the Rockettes, but I found a regular brunch spot!

6. Chat Noir Tea

I know I'm a coffee girl, but I needed some tea to spill it at this brunch! Chat Noir Tea has an amazing Croque Monsieur and a great English breakfast tea. I suggest getting the tea service for two!

7. Juliette

I've told you guys once and I'll tell you again, all great things reside in Williamsburg! I'll be back here with my girlfriends in two weeks. I recommend the french toast at Juliette if you have a sweet tooth like me!

8. The Cheesecake Factory

This is probably one of my favorite places to eat, for dinner here I usually get the crusted chicken romano but for brunch, at The Cheesecake Factory they have plenty of sweet things, so I'll normally order a few things and split it with whoever I'm with!

9. Milk & Honey Cafe

I know this one is a throwback to the "10 Instagram Worthy Cafes" article I wrote but the Milk & Honey Cafe does have some great brunch options and come on, you can try one of the best cafes and brunch places in New York all at once! (Fun fact: My Odyssey profile picture was taken here!)

10. Cafe Mogador

So I wanted to include Cafe Mogador in this because it was actually recommended to me and will be my next brunch stop, so I figured why not leave this here as a little surprise for us both!

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