Friday Favorites (86)
Friday Favorites | Freckled Italian

Happy Friday! It’s been a gloomy few days here in the Bay Area but today is supposed to be clear before a weekend of more rain, so I’m excited to get out and do a few things this afternoon with Sophie. Before I sign off for the weekend, I wanted to share a few links since it’s been a while since I did a Friday Favorites post!

  • This spicy cashew dressing is AMAZING. I made it yesterday thinking it would last and I basically ate all of it standing at the counter (I dipped cucumbers into it and yes, I also licked the bowl). I also want to make this salad soon.

  • I bought this shirt the other day and wasn’t super sure about it, but then I tried it on again and sent a picture to two of my best friends who convinced me to keep it. After sharing it on Instagram Stories yesterday, so many people asked about it so I thought I’d link it here—it is seriously cute and I’m glad I decided to hold on to it! (I also ordered this dress in peach but it matched my skin exactly and was bizarre so I sent that one back.)

  • This is an old article, but an interesting one considering what’s going on in Georgia and Alabama recently.

  • Game of Thrones spoiler alert! I thought this piece perfectly captured how I felt after last week’s episode.

  • Just a quick moment of self-promotion and a sale for funsies: grab my Monetize Your Blog e-book at half price this weekend with the code HALFPRICEWEEKEND (That comes out to a grand total of 9 bucks.) I also sent out my newsletter (it’s less news and more of a letter) yesterday, so if you want to read that and receive future ones make sure to subscribe here.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)
Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding | Freckled Italian

I’m finally hopping on the chia seed pudding train and I’d like to tell you that it is…interesting! I’m actually a pretty huge fan of the texture but I could see how it might take some getting used to. The way the chia seeds absorb liquid is really quite bizarre but man does it end up being a delicious and healthy little snack!

I decided to keep it simple for my first try and just made a basic vanilla bean chia pudding (I even used alcohol-free vanilla so Sophie could try it out at her next snack time—she played with it for about 10 minutes before deciding she was also a fan and devouring most of what I put in her bowl), but you could really get creative with both flavors and toppings.

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding | Freckled Italian

Between breakfast and a few snacks it did not last very long, so I’ll be making another batch really soon—probably a chocolate version next!

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)


  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons chia seeds (6 tablespoons)

  • 2 cups milk (almond, cow, whatever you prefer—for this recipe I chose an almond/cashew mix)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you could also use a real vanilla bean if you have one on hand—just cut in half and scrape the inside out)

  • Whatever toppings you like: banana slices, berries, etc.


  1. In a large container with a lid, mix chia seeds, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir well to ensure that there are no clumps, then transfer to refrigerator and chill overnight.

Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding | Freckled Italian
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Dear Sophie | 18 Months

Dear Sophie,

Mother’s Day weekend is here and I mostly can’t believe how well-rested we all are! This time last year you were sleeping a lot better but we were still up nursing together almost every night or early morning. As excited as I was to leave that part of baby-hood behind and sleep uninterrupted again one day, I must admit that I do sometimes miss your warm little body against mine in our rocking chair at 4:45 AM.

Last year, your dad silently scooped you out of your crib in the corner of our bedroom and let me sleep in (which I always want to do but never actually do), and a couple hours later we were all together again on the couch, a fresh hot latte in my hand and you in my arms.

Being your mom is by far the best, most amazing, most awe-inducing, hardest, but most fun thing I’ve ever done. I miss you when you’re sleeping and wake up excited to see your little face and hear your little voice. We both smile so big when we hear “Mamaaaa! Dadddddaaa!” over the monitor every morning. When Ender wanders into your room you say “Ender! Good boy!” and blow him a kiss.

You’re going to be a year and a half this month and you are constantly blowing me away with everything you do and learn. You are sweet and you share everything and you’re smart and so incredibly funny. It’s an honor to be your mom.

So much love,


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