Books I Can't Wait to Read to Our Daughter (Part 1)

Books I Can't Wait to Read to Our Daughter | Freckled Italian

The other day I finished unpacking all of our books, which are on a big shelf in the nursery, and I was having so much fun going through all of the children's books I've accumulated over the years (and a few new ones that some of my friends were kind enough to give us as gifts recently). It made me want to put together a blog post with a list of some of the books I'm most excited about sharing with our daughter. 

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are nine of them:

  • Where the Wild Things Are:  I have a Where the Wild Things Are tattoo for a reason. This book very literally changed my life when a professor pointed out that the illustrations got larger and took over the page the more Max's imagination took over the story. I knew children's literature was special but I didn't know how sophisticated it could be until that moment, and I really think it was that class discussion that made me want to go to grad school and continue to study children's lit.
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee: One of the sweetest picture books ever. The illustrations are the cutest.
  • The entire Harry Potter series: These books are so special to me and I can't wait to share them with her. Rob and I want to start reading them to her right away, is that weird? I think it might be the first story she ever hears.
  • Pretty much everything by Shel Silverstein, especially Where the Sidewalk Ends: I love Shel. 
  • Bee-Bim Bop and First Book of Sushi: I haven't read either of these yet but I'm ordering them after hearing about both on the bibimbap episode of Spilled Milk. Kids books about food? I mean, what could be better? I actually wrote a collection of haikus about food in grad school so these are right up my alley.
  • A is for Activist: Another one I haven't read yet but can't wait to share with our daughter. 
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar: One of Rob's favorites when he was growing up. It's this kind of stuff that makes my heart want to explode--knowing that we get to pass on our favorite books, foods, traditions, etc. and just leave the rest behind. (For example I don't think I'll be reading Love You Forever to her because I think it's creepy.)
  • And last but not least, Go the Fuck to Sleep...just kidding! Or am I?

These aren't all of my favorites, so I'll be sharing more later! Do you have any that I should add to my list? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

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Introducing The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook | Freckled Italian

I'm so incredibly excited to announce that my third cookbook is officially available for preorder on Amazon! The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook is quite possibly my favorite book so far, and I had so much fun working on these keto recipes and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Like my first book, this one covers 15 main ingredients that are essential to the ketogenic diet and is packed with 150 high-fat, low-carb recipes to keep you full and satisfied on the keto diet (spoiler alert: there's a bacon AND an avocado chapter). I also included two variations for every recipe so you can switch up flavors and ingredients, bringing the number of recipe possibilities up to a whopping 450.

The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook | Freckled Italian
The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook | Freckled Italian

If you want to read more about my experience with keto, you can read this post I wrote after a month of high-fat, low-carb eating. I had some trouble sticking with it throughout my pregnancy but am so excited to get back to it in the next few months--it truly is one of my favorite ways to eat, and it was something that Rob really identified with right away, which was a nice change of pace from Paleo (a lifestyle I love but one that is really my thing more than a thing we do as a family--and if I've learned anything about nutrition and health, it's that sometimes you need an accountability partner to back you up).

The book will be released on December 5, so stay tuned these next weeks for more sneak peeks and even a couple full recipes! Until then, you can preorder your copy today--thank you so much as always for your support! I really couldn't do any of this stuff without you guys.

Photos by Linda Schneider for The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook.

An Impromptu Weekend in South Lake Tahoe

An Impromptu Weekend in South Lake Tahoe | Freckled Italian

The awful fires taking place in Napa and Sonoma have been going for a week now and a lot of the smoke drifted down into the Bay Area--I didn't think much of it until Thursday when I started feeling lightheaded and couldn't stop coughing. Rob suggested we get out of town for the weekend so we booked an Airbnb in South Lake Tahoe (it was actually another little studio cabin attached to the place we stayed last time).

I felt a little silly leaving because of the smoke when so many people actually had to evacuate because they were in real danger, but we figured with me being almost 35 weeks pregnant, it was better to be safe than sorry; so on Friday morning we packed up the car and the pup and hit the road. We didn't really make any plans since this wasn't supposed to be a vacation (and we were just in San Luis Obispo a couple weekends ago), so we brought a bunch of snacks and drinks with us and decided to do a lot of relaxing at the cabin.

There was another Harry Potter marathon on TV (apparently we're really good at going to Tahoe for Harry Potter marathon weekends) so we hung around for a while before going out for a pretty mediocre dinner at Cold Water Brewery. I think we got the wrong stuff--Rob got a flight of beers and didn't really like most of them and then he had a pretty expensive burger that left a lot to be desired. I ordered soup and a salad that was super boring, but on our way out we saw a couple with some delicious-looking pretzel bites and $4 pints...I think we'll do that next time.

I woke up early the next morning and took Ender for a long walk--it was 25 degrees and the fresh air felt so amazing after a week of smoke. We went back to the cabin and I made a pot of coffee and some cinnamon rolls and sausage (we stopped by Safeway after our sad dinner and bought some milk for coffee, stuff for breakfast, and a couple pints of Ben & Jerry's...Pregnant Megan is a real sucker for junk food).

We wanted Chinese for lunch but the place we looked up was closed, so we drove down the road a bit and stopped at a little place called My Thai instead. The Pad Thai was super delicious (although next time I'm going to ask them to make it spicy), and the portions were huge so we brought a box home and had it for dinner later. After lunch we went to South Lake Brewing Company and Rob tried a few beers and I had a sparkling tea which was a little weird, but nice--I always appreciate it when a brewery or winery has a non-alcoholic option that's not water. I wanted to go to Free Bird for an afternoon chai latte but they close at 2PM so we ended up being basic and driving through a Starbucks to split a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I thought I would do a lot of reading, writing, and getting ahead for the week but it ended up being a weekend full of naps, Harry Potter, and chilly walks with Ender and Rob in our cute neighborhood full of cabins or down by the lake--not super productive but pretty awesome. And I still got that Free Bird chai latte on Sunday morning (seriously, if you're in South Lake Tahoe you need to stop by--it's the cutest little place and the coffee and tea are really good.)

It's kind of fun finding new getaways when you move to a new place, and even though we hadn't planned on being there this weekend, it was nice to escape to a place that's starting to feel like a home away from home. (Although I think having the sweetest husband and cuddliest pup to hang out with helps a lot.) I'm already daydreaming about bringing the baby there when some of our friends come to visit this winter (after a stop at some of our favorite wineries in Sonoma and Napa, of course). It's weekends like this one that make me feel like we're really making the most of our time in California.

Wishing you all a cozy, safe week.