Coffeewatch 2K15

This week, Marvin and I have united our powers to find the best coffee in town, just for you. As you might have seen some similar videos on the web, because this “challenge” was held in Holland, Michigan we can assure you that you will not see anything like this. All the caffeine addicts out there; we got you. As someone who is very particular with their coffee (extra hot, skim milk, double shot latte) I can assure you that the results were not biased and were definitely on point.

Enough said about the video; check it out to see who won two upperclassmen’s hearts who basically have more coffee than blood in their veins…

So if you liked that video (we’re sure you found that entertaining at least), you should check out the coffeeshop’s website. Our favorite (personal opinions) Lemonjello’s has so many great options. From teas, to pastries, what else could you want? And to mention that they were recently mentioned in a Buzzed article titled, “24 U.S. Coffee Shops To Visit Before You Die.” If it’s Buzzed mentioned, it’s definitely worth the visit!

The next coffeeshop to visit is JP’s Coffee. There is just so much recognition in Holland’s coffeeshops. They were mentioned as one of America’s top 10 coffeeshops according to the USA Today. So in other words, come to Hope. Not only do we have spectacular academics and community, but we have great coffee affirmed by the great nation of America.

Up next is Alpenrose Restaurant. What a great place. It’s Holland’s personal European style delicatessen and café. Definitely worth the visit with great coffee, pastries, and FOOD! Lastly, we have Hope College’s own coffee from Simpatico Coffee. Simpatico has coffee joints in both Holland and Grand Rapids. They offer a true café-esque atmosphere. Another place to visit!

Make sure you share our video and share this post with you friends. They’ll probably want to come to Hope College afterwards! Thanks for reading and the support!

Coffee With Dad.

I’ve been home for the past few days, but on Wednesday, I woke up in Holland.

And I met my dad for coffee downtown on 8th Street, at 8 AM, where snow abounded, but the sidewalks were clear. Whoever implemented the heated sidewalks, I applaud you for your insight. You’re the real MVP.

I picked up my latte and lifted it toward my face, warm steam rising to tickle my nose.

“Thanks so much for coming here, Dad.” I said. I grinned. “It’s so good to see you.”

There’s something warm about having a cool dad. I know that he’s always there for me, and he’s always going to be there for me. I love to catch up with him about the things happening in his life and share the changes happening in mine. He invests his time to listen, and expresses his successes humbly. Someday, I hope I can be just like him.

I’ve been blessed with parents that know me from the inside out. Their insight is one of the most valuable gifts I could ever acquire.

To all the parents out there, and especially to mine, thank you. Thank you for putting in the time to take care of your kids. Thank you for traveling seven hours both ways to pick me up, most of the time in a snowstorm. And most of all, thank you for your grace.

JP's Coffee
[Warm coffee on a snowy day.]

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wishing you blessings upon blessings this Christmas season.

Check out my profile @hopesophie17. Questions or Comments? Send me an email at

Sushi… It’d be easier with a fork

“Stop it, stop, can you please NOT pick them up with your hands? You’re grossing me out.”

“I don’t even know what that is.”

“Yum. Yum, yum, yum.”

“Mmmm, that’s really good. Yeah, I like it.”

“Crab? That’s crab? You just told me it was salmon!”

“Guys, I really like this, it’s really good! Can we come back again next week?

And that, in short, was the extent of our sushi experience. In our group of six, four of us were well-suited with sushi, and two had never tried it. Although most of us were sushi-familiar, we’re all still in the process of learning how to correctly consume the rice, fish, and vegetables with two sticks of bamboo.

It would have been easier with a fork.

But the new restaurant located downtown, Mizu Sushi, is awesome. It’s awesome if you love sushi, and it’s awesome if you don’t. They have a full menu with great options, green tea, and mochi ice cream – delicious ice cream with a chewy outside. And the best part? It (can be) super inexpensive. For one sushi roll (which is enough for me!) the cost runs anywhere between $4-10 (so, basically, it’s the same price as my late-night trip to McDonald’s, and it’s a ton healthier, too.)

Have you ever had sushi before? If not, it’s something you have to try (it doesn’t matter if you like it or not… it’s more about being able to say you tried it at least once!)

Want to hear more about fun things to do downtown, or about other cool things on Hope’s campus? Tweet at me @hopesophie17 or shoot me an email at Have a great weekend!

The Perks of Living Downtown

Happy October!!! As this week wraps up I thought I would write about the perks of living downtown during my Senior year. First of all, after living in dorms for two years and an apartment right on campus Junior year, I was ready for moving somewhere more off-campus yet still “on-campus.” A bunch of friends and myself thought it would be best not to live off-campus because signing leases and having only a few of them around next semester (one is graduating early and the other is doing an internship in Chicago) would make things complicated. Also, since none of my friends or myself are RAs, we had to stick with apartments instead of cottages like some of my friends are in. Therefore, we were limited in what apartments and housing were available to us and considered living downtown. When we finally heard back that we were living there, it was really exciting because there are a bunch of bonuses to living further away from campus:

  1. Close to all of the shopping and restaurants downtown
  3. Not as loud because underclassmen aren’t running around outside at obnoxious hours
  4. Not on a meal plan so you can eat whatever and whenever you want
  5. Lot more living space compared to dorms
  6. Some apartments have air conditioning–a bonus during those hot, move-in days
  7. Nice view of the downtown area and events going on
  8. Feel more independent

These are just a few of the obvious upsides to living downtown but there are plenty more! The only downside I have quickly realized is that it’s further from campus so I have to allow more time getting to class. Also, with winter approaching, it will be a hassle trudging through all of the snow to class, but it’s definitely worth it to live somewhere awesome!

If you’re currently attending Hope and reading this blog, I suggest looking into apartments downtown as soon as possible and searching for roommates because it gets stressful and overwhelming very quickly. All of the apartments require a certain amount of residents, so securing a group of people to live with is key. Also, I have friends that decided to live off-campus for their Senior year and they had to start looking for houses in the fall and start thinking about signing leases before Christmas break. It’s definitely something everyone needs to start thinking about to get your top choice!!

With that, I hope you all have a relaxing weekend and enjoy the rain. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15

Yes, College Students still go skating!

Hello Everyone!

I hope your week is going well. I enjoyed a wonderful weekend. On Friday it was my friend Monique’s 20th birthday. We celebrated by eating at Jonny Carino’s, one of my favorite restaurants in Holland. After dinner we attended the Hope Orchestra Concert to support Monique and watch her play the cello. She looked fabulous up on stage; I felt like a proud mom.

Delicious Salmon Salad

After Monique’s birthday celebration, there was a roller skating event with the all guys dorm, Durfee, and the all girls dorm, Gilmore, The two dorms rented out the roller rink, and a lot of people from the two dorms attended. I loved the event, and everyone had a lot of fun skating! We skated from 9 to 12 in the morning, and I felt exhausted afterwards.

We got our picture taken with Santa!!!!

After walking around downtown, some friends came over to my room. We basically chilled the rest of the evening and enjoyed some great conversations and laughs.

Today, I attended church with my friends and then played tennis with Matheus, Matthias, and Amy. Matheus and I took the victory over Amy and Matthias. We were pretty excited after our big win. The rest of the today consisted of studying and grocery shopping. I am excited to only have 3 days of school this week. Thanksgiving break is SO close!