Posts in "Blogging"
On Looking for Inspiration
On Looking for Inspiration | Freckled Italian

I found myself in the Southern California desert earlier this week—driving a last-minute rental car I booked one way from Palm Springs to Oakland.

For roughly half a decade, I’ve attended the same conference every winter—I started going in 2014, right after I quit my 9-5 and was living in Minnesota; blogging and planning our wedding. I didn’t fully know what I was doing but I was writing every day and I was happy. I freelanced and temped as a receptionist and dreamed of my blog paying all the bills. I went to Salt Lake City that January and learned so much that I came home exhausted and overwhelmed in the best way imaginable—with a journal full of notes and a wallet full of business cards and a plan.

That conference really, truly changed my life.

Fast forward to last weekend and I was packing my bag for a week at the same conference, just in a new location. I felt the same in many ways but also so incredibly different. Goodness, how my life has changed in five years—one wedding, three huge moves, one dog, four cookbooks, one baby. Every morning I wake up feeling simultaneously blessed beyond measure and burnt out—excited to spend another day with my daughter but wondering when that spark might light itself again in the back of my mind where essays and recipes and #contentcreation used to overflow; when I might not only dream again about writing, but actually do it.

I started talking to anyone who would listen about how badly I needed this week away to refocus, get re-energized, and find inspiration. “I just want to get inspired” came out of my mouth so much that I started to annoy even myself. But it was true—I felt desperate for inspiration. I still kind of do.

On Sunday morning I landed in Palm Springs and immediately felt a shift. I slid my sunglasses onto my face and felt the sun beaming down on me, so happy that I had braved the cold damp sidewalks of SFO in sandals earlier that morning. My heart jumped as my sweet friend Kristan came around the corner in her car to scoop me and my bag and we were off, driving the short distance to our hotel where, within a half hour, we were sitting by the pool, drinks in hand, waiting for the conference to begin—waiting for inspiration to strike.

The conference was not what I expected this year, and I found myself feeling overwhelmingly disappointed and lost. So, after about 36 hours, I decided to do something I never thought I would do: leave.

I wanted to make the most of my time but through every overcrowded session and late shuttle I couldn’t stop thinking about my word for 2019–purpose.

Does it help me reach a goal? Does it make me happy? Does it serve my family or someone I care about? Do I come out on the other side burned out or resentful? Will it make me a better mom, wife, friend, writer, person? I want to live a life full of choices and work that makes me happier, healthier, more kind, more skilled, more thoughtful.

Would I regret staying and leaving disappointed, feeling like I had wasted even more time? Or should I cut my losses and get back to my family at home, where my husband was missing time at the office and we were paying our nanny to be there four days instead of two? Luckily Kristan felt the same and we cancelled the rest of our hotel stay, I rented a car, and we planned for her to drop me off at the airport the following day. Immediately I felt lighter.

It’s a privilege to be able to say no to things that you originally said yes to, but it’s one I didn’t want to waste. We went to a sponsored yoga class the morning of our departure and as I stood there barefoot in the grass behind the Parker Palm Springs, listening to the instructor tell us how blessed we were, I felt it. Tears in my eyes, hands on my heart, the Universe truly reached out and told me it was time to go home.

And that’s how I came to spend 8 hours alone on the road on a Tuesday afternoon. And as I drove over those majestic desert mountains for the first time, windows down, music blasting, the arid heat whipping through my hair, I realized that maybe there is no magic “press for inspiration” button—maybe sometimes you just have to find it yourself.

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Welcome to the New Freckled Italian
Freckled Italian

Happy Friday, friends! I’m so excited to finally be sharing my new and updated website, complete with fresh branding. Everything was done by my genius still-have-never-met-before-in-real-life-but-knows-me-like-a-sister designer/friend Kelly, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with all of it.

Last year I took a lot of time to really think about what I wanted this blog to be, and I kept coming back to a general theme of “home,” and more specifically “food + words.” I’m usually happiest with the content I put out when it’s a delicious recipe or a personal essay that allows me to share little bits of my life with my readers, so that’s what I plan to focus on the most. I’ll still share the occasional product post and more short-form pieces (Five Favorites, Sentences, Some Things You May Not Know About Me, etc.), but I’m hoping to post more regularly in 2019 and zero in a bit more.

I’m also really enjoying sharing some of my motherhood journey so far, and I’ve been really pleased with the response those types of posts have gotten. It’s a wild ride and I’m always so happy to share mine and hear from you about your own experiences. Thank you for always being so open and helping me create a safe space to share.

Freckled Italian

A few housekeeping items: I’ve been wanting to start a newsletter of sorts—not so much a recap of what’s on the blog (although I’ll probably include that here and there), but an honest-to-goodness letter that I sit down and write to whoever subscribes. It might be monthly, it might just be quarterly—I’m still not too sure of the details but if it sounds like it might be interesting to you feel free to sign up here.

And finally, going forward I do plan to continue to partner with brands, although I hope to remain picky and really only work with companies that I love and who speak to me in some way, on content that I’m proud of and excited to share. If you are interested in working together in 2019, please send me an email.

That’s all for now! Wishing you a wonderful weekend—please feel welcome to stay a while and click around the new site. Let me know what you think!

Freckled Italian

As always, thank you so much for reading! This blog has seen me through so many life changes and ups + downs, and it has always been such a gift to have this space to share with you all. Every kind comment and email you guys take the time to send truly mean the world to me—I really do love hearing from you! I hope you continue to feel at home and uplifted here.

Freckled Italian
Freckled Italian
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The 2016 Freckled Italian Reader Survey
The 2016 Freckled Italian Reader Survey

It's that time again! I deeply value both my blog and my readers, so I love spending some time at the end of the year getting your feedback. If you have a couple of minutes, I'd be so grateful to hear your thoughts about your experience as a Freckled Italian reader (it's anonymous!). As always, I can't thank you enough for being here!

Create your own user feedback survey
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