Currently...
Currently | Freckled Italian

Feeling ready for fall. I know, I know. I can’t help it though—I’m ready for cooler weather pretty much as soon as the 4th of July rolls around. Like many people in the Bay Area, we don’t have central AC so the few hot days we do get are kind of brutal. We have window units in the bedrooms so it’s not the worst, but it definitely gets me dreaming of sweaters and boots when I’m sweating my ass off through most of July and August.

Eating so much rice! We got a pressure cooker, which I’ve always been kind of intimidated by, but as soon as I started messing with it I became obsessed and now pretty much cook everything in it. (As usual, I’m about a year and a half behind most trends.) I like just plain rice with a ton of kimchi on it when I’m not in the mood to cook, but another thing I’ve been making lately are these Greek chicken rice bowls, which I’ll definitely write up a recipe for and share here soon.

Reading Searching for Sunday (affiliate link) by Rachel Held Evans. What a beautiful book. I unfortunately only learned of her work right before she passed away, but reading her words makes it feel like she’s sitting right here next to me.

Watching all the Disney movies. After my master’s thesis I really didn’t watch any Disney stuff again until just recently, but then I discovered a new-to-me podcast which I am currently obsessed with (see “Listening to” below).

Listening to Inside the Disney Vault. Oh my goodness. This podcast is hilarious and so smart. The hosts watch every Disney animated movie in chronological order and then talk about each one. They make such great observations and know all kinds of trivia about each film, and they are all so funny as well. I have been laughing out loud to every episode so far (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Mulan, and I’m currently listening to the Moana episode). If you’re a Disney fan (or maybe if you’re not a Disney fan), you should check it out.

Thinking about “living” life online…I’ve been taking an intentional break from Instagram and I suppose an unintentional one from this blog lately. For years I spent so much time thinking about traffic and algorithms and photo opportunities and what would do “well” in these online spaces, and over time I finally just got burned out. I’m so thankful for this blog and the Internet in general because it’s been amazing to earn an income from brand collaborations and even my cookbook projects, which wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this online “home” of mine, but lately it’s all been feeling a bit inauthentic to me so I thought it’d be best to step back for a bit. I want to get back to writing what’s on my mind and sharing photos without obsessing over every little detail. I just finished writing another cookbook so I also hope to get back to sharing my recipes here more regularly, because that really has become a passion of mine over the years. Food and words—and less other stuff.

Looking forward to some trips we have planned—we decided not to travel back to the east coast for a while after the wedding we just went to earlier this month because that 5 hour flight with a toddler is a lot, but we have a road trip to Oregon for another family wedding coming up, and after that I’m actually going to New Orleans for a weekend with one of my college roommates in September. Then we’re taking Sophie to Minneapolis in October, where my mom will actually meet us for a few days. And then I’m looking forward to staying put for Thanksgiving and Christmas—can you believe I’m already thinking about the holidays? I literally started planning a Thanksgiving menu the other day. What can I say, I’m ready.

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Another Belle Isle Photo Session
Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian

We were in Virginia for Rob’s brother’s wedding last weekend and after the festivities we spent a few days in Richmond with my family, which means that as usual we met up with our wedding photographer Ashley for some photos. It was so fun to return to the setting of our maternity photos—I can’t believe how big Sophie has gotten and that the last time we were there she was just kicking away in my belly and giving me some pretty serious heartburn.

Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian
Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian
ThePetersonsbyVirginiaAshleyPhotography-25.jpg
Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian

We headed down to the river for a few shots of me and Sophie in the same dress I wore for some of the maternity photos—I’m so glad we got to recreate a few memories with her here. Two years ago we were just dreaming about what she’d be like one day and now she’s her own little person with so much personality.

Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian
Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian
Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian

We were even able to get my mom, brother, and his girlfriend in on the action for about one and a half photos together (Sophie was pretty much done by this point). I can’t wait to get some of these printed! It was so fun having everyone together.

Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian
Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian

It’s always so nice to be back in Virginia, even in the mid-July heat. There’s just something so nostalgic and magical about the east coast that makes it feel like home to me every time—mosquitoes and humidity included.

Belle Isle Photo Session | Freckled Italian
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Land of the Free
Land of the Free | Freckled Italian

As soon as I heard about it I knew that I couldn’t handle it, so I avoided it from my bubble of privilege and and stayed away from news sources and even Twitter for a day or two.

And then there it was, a photo embedded in a retweet as I mindlessly scrolled on my phone, a Double Double from In-N-Out in my other hand. A young man and his tiny daughter, face-down and lifeless on the bank of the Rio Grande, her little arm still bent around his neck.

My stomach dropped and I couldn’t help but think of my own toddler and the way her little body feels against mine when she wakes up every morning, how I have the pleasure of watching her chest rise and fall on the baby monitor, how we are mostly just lucky to have both been born on the “right” side of an invisible line, how I would do anything to keep her safe.

You don’t have to be a parent (or a child of an immigrant, which I also am) to feel horrified by what’s going on at the border of our country right now. Toddlers are sick and cold and scared and hungry and trying to soothe babies they don’t even know who are also locked up, separated from their families. Parents and guardians are waiting for them with grief in their hearts and for some reason they are not being reunited. Families are literally dying as they attempt to get here, doing whatever they can to reach a “safer” nation.

I don’t talk politics on my blog very often and still I’ve had people ask me to do it less. (I will not.) This, however transcends political party. This is a humanitarian crisis and it’s an outrage. I can’t think about anything else.


If you are also feeling helpless and overwhelmed, here’s are just a couple of things you can do to help. Also don’t forget to vote.


PS If you do come across the photo please don’t repost or share it—that’s a whole other issue.

Megan Flynn Peterson
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