Spring Wish List

I’m really not much of a shopper but there is something about the start of a new season that does make me feel a little more “spend-y” than usual. Here are a few of the things I have my eye on this season:

  • I love a jumpsuit and this one looks light and comfortable.

  • I pretty much live in my Dansko clogs (these ones) but would love a sandal version—my friend Kristan has these ones and I love them. They’re definitely next on my list.

  • Who doesn’t need a nice tote bag? I’m a fan of this light pink for some reason lately.

  • Is anyone else feeling this paper bag waist trend? I haven’t tried it yet but I love the look.

  • I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this curling wand and I’ve been thinking it might be time for me to upgrade from my drugstore curling iron.

  • More light pink springiness—I’m a sucker for a neutral mani in the spring.

  • I just bought a pair of wedges that look a lot like these ones and I really like them.

  • I got this as an impulse purchase at Target the other day and I can’t stop using it—it seriously feels amazing.

  • Love the look of this romper—like fancy adult pajamas. I’m here for that.

Do you ever shop specifically for a new season?

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Butter-Garlic Brothy Rice
Garlic Butter Rice Soup | Freckled Italian
Butter-Garlic Brothy Rice | Freckled Italian

When it comes to food, my husband and I are polar opposites—we’re both big eaters and appreciate great food, but our ideas of comfort food are totally different. Even when we get takeout for dinner, we often disagree on what we should order—I’m firmly in the Noodles of Any Kind camp, and he’s more into pizza or a hot Italian sub. Luckily, last summer we discovered a Panda Express right next to a Firehouse Subs so we mobile order both and pick them up in one fell swoop. #marriage

All of that is to say that this recipe is my kind of dish, and it’s one that I know I’ll get to enjoy in its entirety (although Sophie does seem to take after me when it comes to rice and noodles) because Rob is just not interested in brothy rice, which is what this is. I wouldn’t call it soup, but it should be served with enough broth that you need a spoon to slurp up any remaining liquid in your bowl.

This is basically a non-recipe, but when I shared a photo on Instagram Stories the other day (I made it a week ago when I had a migraine) I got a lot of inquiries so I thought I’d make it again (twist my arm) and share a full post.

Garlic Butter Rice Soup | Freckled Italian

White rice (I prefer jasmine although this time I used Basmati—you could do any rice you like) gets toasted in a pot with a few smashed garlic cloves and lots of butter before simmering away in chicken stock. Once it’s done cooking you simply spoon it into bowls and pour a little more chicken broth over it, depending on how soupy (or not) you want it.

I like to top it with whatever herbs I have in my fridge—my favorites are cilantro and green onion but chives are good too. A little spritz of fresh lemon, lime, soy sauce, or even a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper would be amazing. Sesame seeds? Truffle oil? A soft-boiled egg, perhaps. Find your favorite combo—this buttery, garlicky, brothy rice can be whatever you want it to be.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, smashed

  • 1 cup of rice

  • 2 cups of chicken stock (use veggie stock to make vegetarian), plus more for serving

  • Salt, to taste

  • Desired toppings (herbs, onion, citrus, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic cloves and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant. Add uncooked rice and stir well to combine, cooking another 2-3 minutes. Add a large pinch of salt and continue to stir.

  2. Reduce heat slightly and pour in the 2 cups of chicken stock. Stir once more and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or according to package directions (I usually cook just a few minutes less, or at least check on it a few minutes before the recommended cook time since I toast the rice before boiling).

  3. Fluff rice with a fork (optional: remove garlic from pot) and add more salt if necessary. Spoon into bowls and top with more broth, then sprinkle herbs before serving.

Garlic Butter Rice Soup | Freckled Italian
Butter-Garlic Brothy Rice | Freckled Italian
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Madison Reed Color Bar | San Francisco

This post is sponsored by Madison Reed.

Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian

For the longest time (I’m talking 10 years), I dyed my hair a slightly darker shade of brown, and then more recently I spent a few years (and way too much money) going lighter and exploring the whole ombre trend. With a toddler keeping me busy these days, I’m in a season of more low-maintenance hair care, having just chopped a good 6 inches of length and staying away from any color regimen that includes a full afternoon in a salon chair.

Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian

Because of that, I was really excited to get an invitation to try out Madison Reed Color Bar in San Francisco. Madison Reed focuses on high-quality ingredients and a high-end salon experience, but they get you in and out in much less time than other salons and also focus more on roots, gray coverage, and all-over color (so it may not be the right place if you’re looking for something more high maintenance).

Because it’s been a while since I got my hair colored, I decided to go with the color-reviving gloss in the shade Espresso, which is a really nice cool brown shade that’s just slightly darker than my natural color.

Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian
Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian
Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian

The colors and glosses are all pre-mixed and ready to go, which is so nice because you can buy them (and all of their products) on Madison-Reed.com (use code MEGANCOLOR for free shipping). They sent me home with a tube of the Espresso gloss so I can do it myself at home in 6-8 weeks. The gloss is just $25 online! I think their prices are so reasonable for the wonderful servicethey provide, not to mention the gorgeous space!

Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian

There are also do-it-yourself hair drying stations in every salon that you can use for free, or you can add a blow out to any service for just $35—their products seriously felt so good and smelled amazing! I’m a sucker for a blow out so I truly felt like I was living my best life in there on a Saturday morning with my little head massage and double espresso.

Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian
Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian
Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian

If you live near one of their locations, you should totally try them out! And if you don’t, make sure to check out their website and shop around if you’re looking for a new shampoo or conditioner, styling product, or one of their many lovely glosses and permanent dyes. Use the code MEGANCOLOR for $20 off your first roots treatment in a salon or for free shipping on your next Madison Reed online purchase.

Madison Reed Color Bar | Freckled Italian

Thank you Madison Reed for having me! I can’t wait to try the at-home color and hopefully visit again soon.

Photos by Cue the Light for Freckled Italian.

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