Sincerely Seven: Week 42

Hi Everyone! Sorry I missed week 41, with traveling and spending time with family, I sort of forgot! I hope everyone had a good 2 weeks; mine have been largely uneventful, just spending time with family and looking at the fall leaves everywhere (fall in the Laurel Mountains is *heart eyes*).

See? HEART EYES!
  1. I absolutely adored this week’s episode of The Dissenters; they interviewed a Holocaust survivor and talked about dehumanization, racism and how we need to be better examples for future generations. Definitely a must listen!
  2. We are less than 20 days away from the election and I know everyone has either already voted or has a plan to vote…right?! If not, please make a plan today!!
  3. Folks, this upcoming week is…. the official kick off of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas! WOOHOO! Yes, I am a Hallmark movie watcher, and am surprised they were able to bang out 40 movies for this new season. Here’s a schedule of when you can catch all the new ones!
  4. So glad someone finally wrote this piece; Billie Eilish was seen out and about and people are commenting on her body, both negatively and passive aggressively by calling her ‘brave’…. she’s 18? She has a normal body? Who cares? Unsure why everyone feels the need to comment on this, but loved this piece shutting haters down and promoting a more accepting culture.
  5. Love anything and everything by Mindy Kaling, but she has a new HBO show that will be a college version of Sex and the City. Yes please! Can we also talk about how she just had a BABY and no one knew about it?
  6. Anyone else working from home? Here are some health effects to your body that are caused from working at home… kind of makes me want to be back in the office! I have tried to have as ergonomic of a setup as possible, but I really miss my standing desk! I also try to turn off my computer and not check emails on my phone after I’ve stopped work for the evening, but sometimes it’s hard not to check!
  7. The pumpkin and maple cookies sound AMAZING! On my to-bake list for sure.

Hoping everyone has a happy and healthy week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

We the People.

I am frustrated.

I am frustrated that our democracy is on the brink of near implosion. I might sound dramatic, but I truly cannot fathom our democracy lasting much longer under these conditions. Come November and December and January, the flaws and holes in our great American government will be fully unveiled for all to see. It’s sad really, that after 244 years, the systems that were built to sustain our nation for many decades to come, are old and creaky and cannot support the bullheaded, insolent figureheads who stand atop it. Our Constitution was written broadly to be interpreted by judges, and to be amended. Our forefathers saw that as time passed and the nation grew and evolved, we would need new laws or amendments to what they had proposed; however, we have only made 27 of them.

I think about that a lot. In 233 years, we have only amended 27 rules. I do not know whether that is a good thing, where our forefathers did a great job of writing the laws that we did not need to amend them? Or is it bad? That in 233 years, we have expanded and evolved so vastly as a nation, yet we still do not consider women equal in the eyes of the Constitution? Yes, the Equal Rights Amendment has still not been passed for those of you who were wondering. And how many years away are we from any BIPOC being considered equal in the eyes of the law? Or for it to be a right to be provided with healthcare? Some days, especially when a young Black woman is murdered in her own home for no reason and her murderers STILL haven’t been rightly charged, yes those days, it feels like it will be many, many years before white and black and brown will be equals.

This is 2020! Not 1820. How have we evolved so vastly in our technology and machinery in 200 years, yet those who speak for us in the government hold ideals that remain largely the same?

We need to vote.

We have submitted the issue to the American People and their will is law.

William Jennings Bryan, conceding to William McKinley, 1896

We are the people and the forefathers chose to unite under a form of government known as a democracy, so the people would choose who governs them. The PEOPLE. Not the figureheads who run the government. Unfortunately, our forefathers did not plan ahead well, leaving large holes in the system, and right now, our bullheaded, insolent figureheads are working together to use those holes to remain in power. They are driven solely by their need for power, not for the needs of the people who elected them, not by the duty to protect us and fight for us. They are not here for us. The are selfish and insolent and do not deserve the right to be leading our country. They will not unite together across the aisle to come together to create a better country for the American People. In fact, they take time to actively go against anything the opposite party supports (looking at both parties here), which has led to issues like climate change and healthcare and COVID to become partisan issues, except these are NOT partisan issues, they are HUMAN issues. Taking climate change for an example, I’m pretty sure just about every one loves to be outside, feel the wind through the trees, feel the ocean crash onto the shore, feel the sun on your face. That’s not just a liberal thing, right? I couldn’t breathe the air in California due to the wildfires that are raging the entire state, does that make me a liberal for believing we can keep sustaining life this way?

Yes, 2020 is a Presidential election year, we all know that. But there are 35 open Senate seats and 435 open House Seats. And locally? I’m sure there are thousands more. Thankfully we don’t need to research to vote for all of those seats, but you need to know who is on your ballot. These people sit in the seats that make decisions for the people. If we don’t take time to research and understand who they are or we just leave the ballot blank, we are helping to undermine the system. So take 20 minutes every day while you eat lunch or breakfast for a week or two and read about who is on your ballot. Or if you have a mail in ballot, sit and research as you go through filling it out. Use the internet! Look up the candidate’s websites, Twitters, see what issues they are or are not posting about. For judges, I use the California Bar Association’s recommendations as a guideline for myself (see if your state’s bar association has one), and decide accordingly. You have hundreds of resources on the little computer in your hand, use it for something other than scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.

I ask all of you, please take the time to research and vote in these upcoming elections. I know it might feel like the word VOTE is being shoved down your throat, but 43% of eligible voters did not vote in 2016. That’s nearly half of the country not showing up to choose who governs them. That is reckless and irresponsible and unacceptable. We have a duty to vote, to elect leaders who will speak for us, fight for us, create and uphold laws that are FOR US.

All 331,002,651 of us.

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Resources:

I Am A Voter

Sample Ballot Look up

The Skimm–Get Informed

LA Vote

How to Save the Planet Podcast– Making Republicans Environmentalists Again

Voter Suppression is Democracy Bleeding Out

Sincerely Seven: Week 40

Happy Sunday All! Hope everyone had a lovely week! My week was nice, work wasn’t bad, I finished a book and starting packing for my trip back East that’s coming up this week. I am sadly trying to pack 45 sweaters to wear over a 2 week period and alas, I don’t think I can fit them all in my carry on. LE SIGH, but you better believe I’m going to be watching YouTube videos for sweater packing for the rest of today. Here are 7 other things that got me through this week…

  1. My favorite thing to happen this week… #ProudBoys means LOVE not hate, delighted to see Gay Love taking over this hashtag on Twitter, makes my heart SMILE.
  2. If you know me, you know I am all about Harry Potter and also fall themed cocktails, so loved these Harry Potter cocktail recipes! I want to try the Golden Snitch and The Deathly Hallows.
  3. I spent the weekend watching The Duchess and Emily in Paris, would recommend both, especially The Duchess, which is hilarious. Emily in Paris was very apparently made by the same creator as Sex and the City, but Emily kind of came off as an obnoxious American in France IMO? That being said, I do like Lily Collins (can we talk about her cute new engagement ring?) and the show’s wardrobe is très magnifique!
  4. I love love love chocolate chip cookies, a virtue that was born from being raised on grocery store cookies. I found this ranking of grocery store cookies, I personally was obsessed with the Chip’s Ahoy, Chewy cookies as a child tbh. Not a big fan of Tate’s, but I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like (just kidding, oatmeal raisin cookies can just stop).
  5. Speaking of cookies, this week was biscuit week on GBBO and these Quarantine Florentines sound delicious. Perhaps when I’m not living that bi-coastal life, I’ll try to make these.
  6. Here’s a list of books coming out in October, and there are quite a few that sound really good (THIS is why my TBR pile never stops growing). I got The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab in my BOTM box, which again, would highly recommend for book lovers!
  7. Are you ready for a safe Halloween? As we learned this week, no one is invincible when it comes to COVID and we should all take this seriously, so make sure to wear your masks for spooky season! But seriously, buying the Wednesday Addams one ASAP.

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

P.S. ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? 30 days ppl.

Books of the Month: September 2020

Yinz, how is it almost OCTOBER? I really can’t handle how fast this year is slipping by, is it just me? I’ve managed to read 44 books, which is still insane to me, having initially set my reading goal at 30 books for the entire year. Can I make it to 60? We’ll see! Here are the books I read this month:

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was…okay? I had heard from several people that it was a good read, but it did not do that much for me. It was slow to read and the story was…okay? It was about a New York man who becomes wrapped up in the lives of many people in Savannah, GA, one of whom ends up on trial for murder. I was expecting some shocking twist, but nothing ever came. Would pass.

I Was Told It Would Get Easier was another home run from Abbi Waxman. This book made me want to hug my mom. It’s about a relationship between a forty something mom and her teenage daughter, as they go on a college tour trip on the east coast. I really liked that one of the main tones was that college isn’t for everyone, and it’s a rat race to get into a good college, followed by a rat race to make money until you die, which is SO TRUE and no one talks about it.

A Man Called Ove made my heart burst with joy and tears. It’s really a roller coaster of emotions, but Ove reminded me of my grandfather, a man a few words and fewer emotions. It also makes you think about how you don’t know what other people around you are truly going through and not to judge a book by it’s cover (not literally here). Would recommend ASAP.

Parable of the Sower, was OOF. Octavia Butler kills it again. A dystopian novel about 2024-2027, written in 1993, the United States are divided, climate change is mostly to cause, and it’s everyone for themselves. Water is scarce, and costs more per gallon than gasoline. Lauren, the main character, is trying to survive and make her way to safety she hopes to find in the north. It’s a crazy tale, but I could see it becoming a reality if we continue to ignore climate change and its effects on our world. It was a slow read, but worthwhile.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was a ugly and wonderful novel. Wavy is a young girl when she befriends Kellen, one of her father’s (adult) drug thugs. They grow close and as she gets older, they become more than friends. It made me uncomfortable since it skittered around pedophilia, but the way the story was written made me root for Wavy and Kellan’s relationship. I think, while the nature of their relationship, was, er, unconventional, they really cared for one another, and Kellan tried hard to not cross any lines until Wavy was of age.

If I had to tell you to read one book from this month, it would be A Man Called Ove. It was a wonderful story about people and connecting and made me laugh and cry. Absolute gem. I’m currently reading Pachinko, and hope to read Anxious People and A Woman is No Man in October. What are you reading?

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 39

I’ve really be struggling this week with the news and the country and all that jazz, so trying to share happy things that got me through this week.

can you imagine having a cat this cute?
  1. It’s been a week since her death and while Republican leadership has been quick to get over her death, RBG has been on my mind all week. I found this piece she wrote for the NYT in 2016 very comforting, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Advice for Living.
  2. GBBO is back! Very curious how they’re handling COVID with the new season but I’m so happy it’s back. My favorite bake this week was the pineapple upside cakes, a dessert we made a lot in my family growing up (though ours were from a box…). Here is Paul Hollywood’s recipe!
  3. Loved this more personal piece about Kamala Harris, it was encouraging to hear about where she was at 28 and that she loves cooking as a stress reliever! SAME.
  4. Is it ethical to bring a child into this dying world? I found this article to be a really interesting perspective on a question I hadn’t much thought of. I think I found it most interesting that it was important to consider that a child would more than likely take on the kind of life its parents lived, so the core idea is that it matters more how you’re reacting to climate change and altering your lifestyle to help to Earth. Which is something we ALL need to be doing.
  5. AD toured Hilary Duff’s LA home, and I LOVE her kitchen. Also love her decor style throughout the house, and honestly, just love her overall.
  6. Yay David Yay! Schitt’s Creek swept the Emmy’s last weekend and to say I was over the moon is an understatement. So happy for all the folks from the show who won; it was well deserved for bringing a show together focused on acceptance and love, which is something we all need to focus a bit more on.
  7. Any musical fans out there? I recently discovered the show, Hadestown and I am OBSESSED with the soundtrack. I would love to the see the show in person, but obviously not sure when that will happen. For now, I’ll just keep rewatching the cast’s Tiny Desk Concert. “Come Home With Me” makes my heart want to burst, tbh.

Happy week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 38

It was a good week (until Friday of course), but we’ve been trying to make plans for coming back to the East Coast for the holidays. Should we only come for ~2 weeks at Christmas, and board our cat, OR fly in before Thanksgiving and stay through Christmas, bringing our cat with us on the plane? I know these are things people do all the time (mainly flying with cats), I just feel SO bad at the thought of putting her through all that stress. It is nice that we could both work anywhere, AND it would be great to see family and friends. Though who knows how bad COVID will be come the holidays, so who knows how much we could even see our family and friends. *sigh. So much to decide (and if you know me, I hate decisions, I get anxious that I haven’t made a decision which makes it even harder).

These cookies are SO tasty!
  1. To say I was devastated when I heard about the passing of RBG is an understatement. Ruth, thank you for everything you did to fight for gender equality and for working tirelessly to ensure this democracy was one of fairness and equality for all. You deserve the rest.
  2. If you can, please consider donating in honor of RBG to Amy McGrath who is up for election against Mitch McConnell. On Friday, McConnell announced the Senate would push forward with trying to elect a new justice this year, only hours after it was announced RBG had passed, and that her dying wish was that her seat would be replaced under the new president. But Mitch, what happened to your stance 4 years ago?
  3. This past week was Mexican Independence Day. For those of you who aren’t clear, there’s a difference between Mexican Independence Day and Cinco De Mayo. I honestly didn’t know the difference either, since we only covered important white people events in my education, so this article was very insightful.
  4. Converse came out with their ¡Mi Gente! Collection and a friend/old co-worker of mine was one of the Latina designers who came up the concept and designed a shoe style. Love seeing her work and culture showcased in this way!
  5. These Neapolitan Cookies are delicious, also see how cute they look above! I got the recipe from 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer, but Hummingbird High posted an adapted recipe and I had to share!
  6. Did anyone see this coming? Paris Hilton revealed her real voice, and that she was playing a character for the last several years. I am shocked, but also sad she felt the need to do that? As a blonde, I’ve also purposely played dumb at certain times, though I hate to admit it. I also heard her documentary, The Real Story of Paris Hilton, is really good, but haven’t had time to watch.
  7. It’s the first day of fall this coming week! And what better way to celebrate than a trip to Trader Joe’s to get all the fall foods! The pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bread mix and spiced cider are some of my TJ fall favs!

Wishing everyone a beautiful week ahead and happy Fall!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann