IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guests, E! Dating Coach Laurel House and IVY Members

This weekend I had an extra special brunch with E!’s “Famously Single” Dating Coach, Laurel House AND members of The Ivy!

Over the past few months I’ve joined fellow young professionals across the country as a member of The Ivy. The Ivy, aka the world’s first Social University, was created to unite thoughtful individuals through inspiration and connections. The Ivy’s mission is “to trigger transformative ideas and collaborations that lead to unprecedented human unity, progress, and fulfillment.” As a member of the Ivy, there are various monthly social opportunities to attend, including discussions with distinguished leaders, art nights, cocktail and dinner parties, film screenings, theater and symphony performances, fitness and wellness activities, getaways, and more. Ivy Chapters are located in major cities across the country including LA, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC, and chapters are opening soon in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, South Africa, Sao Paolo, London, Paris, Dubai, and more!

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Photos from The Ivy Summer Soiree White Party

As part of my Ivy membership interview we discussed Ma’amCakes at length, and soon after being approved as a member, my concierge mentioned that we should throw a Ma’amCakes-specific event! In brainstorming the perfect Guest Reviewer for the brunch, I came across this super interesting interview with Dating Coach (and Ivy member) Laurel House (unfortunately, only Ivy members can read the interview), and decided Laurel would be the perfect candidate.

Laurel, best known for her “tough love” approach, is a Dating Coach on E!’s“Famously Single,” co-host of “The Great Love Debate” podcast on PodcastOne, a Dating Coach for Three Day Rule Matchmaking and CupidsPulse, and has been a featured expert on KTLA Morning News, E! News, Good Morning America, Nightline, Glamour, AskMen, Brides.com, Thrillist.com, and dozens of other print, online, and television outlets. Her FIFTH(!) book “Screwing The Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love” was recently published with Running Press. Laurel is an expert on how-to advice, specifically how to empower clients to move on from breakups, learn how to have successful first dates, and turn those dates into healthy, fulfilling relationships.

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In spite of the frequent city-wide “no reservations” brunch policy, Doughboys graciously allowed me to make a reservation, and the lucky first 15 Ivy members to sign up had a guaranteed seat. While it was originally suggested that this be a girls-only brunch, as the main topic was about the dos and donts of dating, I thought it was crucial that this be a diverse discussion; as a result, almost half the attendees were men.

After glancing at the brunch menu and drooling over all the pancake options, we landed on the Black & Whites, Malted Cornmeal, Rice Krispy, and the Blueberry Flax pancakes, which were all split among the table.

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As brunch was being served, our table sure had a hot conversation over those delicious hotcakes. The Ivy guests were definitely not shy around Laurel, as they kicked off brunch by asking “what would you say are the biggest mistakes/trends of dating these days?” “Defining gender roles,” said Laurel, “it’s important to let the man be the man and the woman be the woman. A man should always pay, unless the woman offered to take the guy out. And also, clearly stating your intentions from the beginning – uf you’re looking for a relationship, or you’re just looking for a hookup, that’s something you need to make clear on the first date.” After all, we’re not mind readers, people!

After one of the Ivy dudes mentioned how guys are in trouble from the get go, as they have to live up to Prince Charming, Laurel explained why you should screw Prince Charming – but not literally; Prince Charming swoops you up from the life that you know, locks you up in a castle and only sets you free on his terms. Um, well THAT’S an interesting way to look at it! Laurel went on to talk about how you should be open to meeting a spouse in any surrounding (i.e. airports, Starbucks, the grocery store and more), how dating apps have seriously affected dating (and, unless you app-date with a strategy, it’s hard to find love), and how imperative it is to keep an open mind.

Overall, we shared funny stories, interesting relationship lessons, and most importantly, DELICIOUS pancakes! Laurel’s favorite were the Blueberry Flaxseed while mine, of course, were the Rice Krispy pancakes – look at those melted marshmallows! Doughboys’ Pumpkin Pancakes are some of my favorite in LA, but keep in mind, they are only served seasonally.

Thank you so much to Laurel House for being a Guest Reviewer with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Laurel’s website for more tips and tricks – and especially if you’re looking for a dating coach!

Special shout out to The Ivy for helping me put this together, and a huge thank you to the guests who came to dine with Ma’amCakes and Laurel. If you’re interested in learning more about the Ivy, email teresa@ivy.com so that she can personally make sure you are guided through the membership process.

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Pancake Review: Snooze Eatery

In spite of a 4 hour delay at the airport, flying directly into a thunderstorm, then experiencing a snowstorm by the following evening – all in mid-May – I finally made it to Denver to visit my BFF. Upon tweeting various Denver news outlets for pancake recommendations, I received quite an enticing tweet from Visit Denver, enough so to lure me out of the house and into the freezing cold May Saturday:

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I figured since the weather was terrible that we’d get seated right away; much to my surprise, the wait was an hour and a half! (What’s the wait like on a good day?! Was everyone in Denver just severely hungover this weekend?)

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While waiting for our table and ingesting the ambiance of Snooze Eatery, I noticed a little treat to the left of the hostess stand:

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Free self-serve coffee while in line? That’s certainly one way to entice customers to wait the hour and a half! Fortunately for me, having a pancake blog did help lessen my wait time – or maybe I should say, traveling from LA to Denver in a thunderstorm and purposely eating my first meal at Snooze Eatery is what got me a seat! That is what you call dedication, after all.

Looking at the menu, I noticed the most important word (besides pancake) was left for the end…

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A FLIGHT of pancakes? Like a flight of wine?! What could be better! (Perhaps a pancake/alcohol flight combo… thoughts, Snooze?) Well as you can imagine, I chose this option and selected my 3 pancakes more carefully than selecting my last boyfriend.

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I ended up choosing the Strawberry Fields – which is only seasonal by the way – Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Chip. Out of all 3 I’d have to say my favorite was the Peanut Butter Cup, but I did particularly enjoy the strawberry-lavender cream on the Strawberry Fields. To their credit, all 3 pancakes tasted exactly as they sound: decadent, sweet, and delicious, but most importantly: memorable. Just when I thought breakfast couldn’t get any better, I was suddenly surprised with an extra pancake placed on my table.

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The wonderfully generous employees of Snooze rolled out their flapjack carpet and surprised me with a pancake that’s not even on the menu! It’s apparently called the Sinful Pancake, but for all intensive purposes I’m just going to call it the Ma’amCakes Surprise. This beyond delicious treat included a buttermilk pancake with white chocolate chips, bacon and candied pecans, while topped with vanilla anglaise , cinnamon butter, caramel and powdered sugar. Believe it or not, out of all (4) pancakes, this was by far the best. I certainly recommend that Snooze put these bad boys back on the menu but if not, for all you FanCakes, just ask for the Ma’amCakes Surprise upon placing your order.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience reviewing my first pancakes in Denver. While I do wish I sampled some from a mom-and-pop restaurant in addition to Snooze, it is nice to know I can grab these pancakes in San Diego for any future cravings (there are also restaurant locations in AZ as well). I do wonder why the restaurant is called Snooze… maybe it’s because you need a hefty nap after this meal!

Well FanCakes, be sure to check out Snooze Eatery during your next visit to Downtown Denver – just maybe put your name on the list and go shopping in the meantime, cause you could hit the snooze button a few times before you’re actually seated!