#myhometownguide Boulder

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Honest Cooking and Fiji water asked me to participate in this great series My Hometown Guide.  Show them your favorite spots to eat, stay and play in your hometown and win a getaway to any of the US cities featured in Earth’s Finest City Guide! To participate, just upload an image of your favorite spot in your hometown to Twitter or Instagram with hashtag #myhometownguide and tell us where you live and what makes the image special and you will be entered to win automatically.Well worth a trip to your favorite restaurant.  Who am I kidding, you're probably already there.  This is, of course, a sponsored post, but I jumped at the chance to shed a little light on the amazing food in Boulder.

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The Kitchen Nextdoor: This place is so much more than farm to table (which if you ask me is getting a little played out).  The Kitchen Nextdoor is a revolution.  From the honey Sriracha chicken wings, to the vegetarian meatloaf, anyone can find something amazing here.  In 2015, the KND is opening their first out-of-state restaurant in Chicago, IL.  Honey Sriracha wings for all!
What to try: Potato smashers with the honey Sriracha sauce.

Kitchen Nextdoor

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Fresh Thymes Eatery: When I asked Christine Ruch, the creator of this magic place, why she thought her restaurant was the embodiment of Boulder, she said that people shouldn't have to sacrifice their food beliefs to get a fast meal.  Her menu includes delicious options for gluten free folks, lactose intolerant peeps, and you can feel good about all of the ingredients that go into her dishes.
What to try: Chickpea flatbread or the magic bar.

Fresh Thymes Eatery

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Beehive: When you walk into Beehive, you know you're in for something out of the ordinary.  The flawless decor and friendly staff almost prepare you for the food you're about to eat.  You'll start with warm, housemade Gourgeres, and move on to the Maine pan seared day boat scallops that will seriously melt in your mouth.  All the while, you can choose from their amazingly curated wine and beer list.  It's a win, for sure.
What to try: Cast iron skillet quail with the Royal Flush cocktail.


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Salt Bistro: You just can't go wrong at Salt.  It is consistently great and most things on the menu will blow your freakin' mind.  What are the best two things in the world?  Correct, cheese plates and pasta.  Well guess what?  Salt has an amazing cheese selection and they make their pasta in house (which if you're wondering does make a difference).  
What to try: Wild Boar potato gnocchi with braised brussels sprouts.

Salt Bistro

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Pizzeria Locale: You may not get a pizza cutter here but you'll be so busy stuffing your face hole to notice.  These pizzas can only be described with one word: Crazemazing.  The menu is split between white and red sauce pizzas, but it really doesn't matter which pizza you pick.  It will meet the aforementioned standard of crazemazing.
What to try: Funghi mozzarella pizza or literally anything else.

Pizzeria Locale

So come visit Boulder, or give your favorite home town spot a little love and you might win an awesome getaway!


Friday, March 14, 2014

our first home: advice and hard learned lessons

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(This is our future living room!  It still has the sellers, ahem, interesting decor.)

So if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter (which you totally should, in my humble opinion) you'll know that I don't hold back my feelings on the home buying process.  It is truly fun/terrible.

After bidding on a couple houses, we have finally found the one.  This experience was a total crash course and you won't feel entirely comfortable with it until you've gone through it once or twice.  I wish someone had given me a little more advice at the beginning so I knew what to expect, so for any of you shopping for a home, here are the key lessons I learned:

Look at everything you possibly can.  I would have never guessed in a million years that I would fall in love with a brick ranch in the neighborhood our home is in.  It was pretty much the opposite of what I imagined.  The reason my priorities changed is because our realtor took us to see absolutely everything that was on the market, whether it met all of our needs or not.  This shaped my 'wants" and 'needs' lists completely - in a really positive way!

Be ready to move quickly.  If you are house hunting, there are a few things you need to have in order: down payment money (or a plan to have it soon), being pre-approved for a loan (doesn't necessarily need to be the bank you'll eventually borrow from) and being ready to move (or if you have a different timeline, sticking to it).  Many of my friends were surprised by how quickly we found this house and went under contract, but oftentimes, this is the way it works.  So be sure it's what you really want!

Always think about resale value.  We buy houses because we fall in love with them.  We can envision starting our family there or growing old there.  But the truth is, most people only stay in their first home for a few years.  Ben and I bought this home with rental property potential in mind, but also with our eye on resale.  For example, there was a major sewer issue in this house and we really had to stick to our guns to get it fixed by the seller - it almost cost us the house completely.  But a $3-4,000 issue can put a big damper on selling your home in the future and in this case, we were able to negotiate around it.

If you don't trust your Realtor, get a new one.  Our realtor is the best.  She is honest, thorough, has great follow-through, has rental property experience, and listened to us (really important).  She has made the entire difference in this process.  Unfortunately, there are just plain BAD Realtors out there.  If you have even the slightest impression that your realtor is pushing you into a home that isn't right for you, or isn't following up as often as they should, ask everyone you know for recommendations and get a new realtor.  You need to feel 100% comfortable with this person because you're trusting them with one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make.

When a contract falls through, get over it.  There are constantly new houses coming on the market, no matter where you live.  It is still a buyer's market out there, so there will be another house.  I shed quite a few tears over the first home we bid on, but eventually you learn to get over it quicker.  You should have someone to vent to (for me it was my lady friends because guys won't really understand how you're feeling) but then you have to move on.  I know it sounds cheesy but these words are absolutely true: if you don't get one house, it's because you were meant to buy another.  Seriously.

The final lesson I have to offer is don't say, "we have the house, now let's fill it with kids!" to the man you hope not to scare off.  Just sayin'.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

the first eBook

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Photo courtesy of Manzanita Photography

New Years is for sweeping declarations, right?  Cause I've got one.

LP is going to slow down for the next three months.  I know, you're all like, "well, Lizzy, you don't give us much now."  Yes, this is true, and I've figured out why.  This blog and I have an ongoing love affair.  It always welcomes me back after I've been watching Grey's Anatomy reruns instead of baking.  It is a constant source of support and happiness.  As I've said many times, you, my dear readers, are my favorite people on this here earth.

But I'm anxious to make some moves.  It's time to turn my love of baking into something that I can grow with and pour my energy into. I am dipping my toe into the world of cookbook writing and writing my very first eBook.  It's still developing, but you can bet your asses it's going to be centered around sweets!

Stick around, cause it won't be completely boring around here.  I'll still post life updates (there's going to be a lot happening in 2014, trust me), cookbook progress, and pretty things I see around the intertubez.

I hope that you'll all line up to buy my bound-to-be-fairly-priced cookbook when it is all done.  I am so grateful for every single view, comment, and tweet.  You all make my world go round!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

new years motivation

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It wouldn't be New Years without resolutions.  Me, I try not to make any because 99.9% of the time I break them.  But whatever your goals are, here is a little motivation to get your ass in gear!

Click here to get your harsh reminder to keep your 2014 resolutions!

Monday, December 30, 2013

honey and mint loves lizzy pancakes

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I don't know if you've seen these beautiful creations around the interwebs, but I have fallen quickly in love with Honey & Mint.  From gorgeous cake toppers, to party invitations, to creative prints for your kitchen, this shop has it all as far as I'm concerned.

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How darling is that cake topper? The lovely and amazing Jenny will be offering 15% off to LP readers using the code LIZZYPANCAKES15.  Use it, you guys.  I'm so serious.

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As for this cake, I used a recipe from the talented Sweetapolita.  The only change I made was adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon to my dry mixture.  Made for some crazemazing cinnamon cake!

I know Christmas just passed.  I know that you're finding it a little morally repugnant to shop, even online.  But this stuff will stay in your kitchen for a long time to come, it's worth it.  So go ahead, go check out Honey and Mint.  I won't tell anyone.

Smooches, you dears.


chocolate peppermint whoopie pies

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So I know it's been a little quiet around here, Christmas time is insane.  Also, way too expensive.  So this recipe is brought to you by leftover stuff in my pantry.

I know you're busy and broke, so here are some cookies that won't take that long at all and will replace grocery shopping.  Cause all you need are these whoopie pies.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

giveaway from the shoppe by madeline trait - CLOSED

A winner has been chosen - congratulations, Anne!  Thanks to everyone who entered!  Now go shop at Madeline's webbie!

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You.  Guys.  I have been admiring Madeline Trait's work for a long time now and she has agreed to giveaway a cake topper of your choice.  Honestly, I'm kinda jealous of you guys.  So enter this giveaway as fast as your little fingers can manage because you are going to want to get in on this action.

Friday, December 6, 2013