Christmas Gift Guide, Pt. 1

The Christmas season is upon us, can you believe it? I personally love Christmas; I’ve already started watching Hallmark Channel movies and have listened to one or two songs…okay fine, maybe many more than that. To be honest, though, my biggest pain every year is usually what to buy for everyone. I know gifts aren’t important, but I feel like I need to get something for everyone. I do most of my shopping online (even pre-COVID), but this year with longer than average shipping times and avoiding crowds in stores, it’ll be best to shop online early so you can make sure you get everything on time!

I made a list below of some things to check out for people on your list and I can personally confirm these are great gifts and worth every penny.

For Mom or Grandma– Nixplay Smart Photo Frame, $179.99

I bought this for my mom last year and she loves it so much. My brother and I are both connected to the frame via the Nixplay app so all we have to do is send the frame photos and viola! My mom has pictures of us (specifically my nephew, her grandbaby), and they play on an endless loop for her to update and enjoy. It’s definitely more of a splurge item, but it’s a gift that’s definitely worth it!

For Dad, Father-in- Law– Anker Wireless Charger (2 pk), $39.99

Why are dads so hard to shop for? I really never know what to get him, but I feel like both he and my mom could benefit from this gift. I’m entirely sure if either of them even know their phones can charge wirelessly? But I feel like he could keep one at home and one at his desk. I also wanted to say, I couldn’t find this product anywhere other than Amazon, so apologies there.

For Sister, Cousin, Friend–FabFitFun Box, $49.99 per box, or $179.99 per year (4 boxes)

This is the ultimate great gift; it’s like Christmas all over again every time a new box comes. I’ve gotten so many great products from mine across beauty, fashion and home. I also love it because if I get something in my box I don’t use or need, I can gift those items to other people as gifts. My friend and her daughter share the box, so it’s something they can bond over together. Really, the opportunities are endless!

For Brother or Boyfriend, NERF Guns, $34.99

Because, do men ever mentally age past 12? I’m 99% sure if I gave one of these to my boyfriend right now, he’d have a field day hitting people with soft nerf darts all day long. Don’t overthink it, men are simple, end of story.

For Grandparents–Unhide Lil Marsh Blanket, $65

Again, might seem like a lot to spend, and I technically got one for free for my grandmother, but it’s so cozy and she loves it so much. It actually might be one of the coziest blankets ever made. I would also recommend Unhide’s Marshmallow blanket, which is actually the fluffiest blanket ever made (I swear, I own a lot of blankets, and it’s the best one out there); however, if you’re on a budget, the Lil Marsh will do wonders as well. If you sign up for FabFitFun like I mentioned above, there’s a Lil Marsh in the current box, so you could kill two birds with one stone!

Aunt, Mother-in-Law– Advent Wine Tree, $55.00 (+ cost of wine bottles)

Love this idea for your wine loving family and friends. This also comes in an option for K-Cups and beer bottles, so could be bought for multiple folks to enjoy all season long and re-use in the future. This is also from a small business, so really, just an all around fun gift that keeps on giving.

For Yourself– The Always Pan, $145

This pan is actually a miracle, it’s so easy to use and clean, honestly, would recommend buying it for the ease of cleaning alone. Seriously, don’t forget yourself when you’re shopping this season, you deserve to treat yourself too! It’s also $50 off right now, so get one while you can!

Any good gift recommendations? Would love to get some ideas for this year!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 47

I feel like my weeks are off? There’s 52 in a year right? Are there only 5 weeks left in 2020? 2021 still seems so far away, but I guess Thanksgiving is this week… We found out on Friday that we may have been exposed to COVID last weekend, so we’re isolating until we get our results back later this week. Keep your fingers crossed for us, and I hope you are all safe and healthy! Here are the things that got me through the week:

  1. Being back in Ohio, my skin is DRY. Being in LA, I forgot about dry skin was really like. Loved this article about how to best manage dry skin and causes that you might not even think of.
  2. If you haven’t started shopping for Christmas, I would really recommend you start! Due to COVID, there are extended shipping times, so the ability to wait until last minute is going to be hard this year. I would also really recommend you shop small! I’ve gotten christmas cards and several gifts from small boutiques and shops on Etsy.
  3. Anyone else still dreaming of getting away? Literally me. Looking at zillow and airbnbs has become a new hobby. Here are some airbnb travel trends for 2021 so you can start manifesting your new year.
  4. Loved these mindful habits for a more minimalist home. I’m pretty guilty of clutter, mostly leaving piles of mail laying around (oops forgot to pay my car registration this year as result).
  5. Just because you test negative on a COVID test, it doesn’t mean you are free to go wherever. Please keep it small these holidays, unintentionally infecting a loved one will be much worse than having a small holiday.
  6. If you already watched the newest season of The Crown, or you’re still making your way through it, you might be trying to remember what the Iron Lady was known for from your 10th grade history class. I loved this fan guide to Margaret Thatcher and what really happened in the 80’s in Britain.
  7. As you may remember, I was obsessed with the show, Selena + Chef on HBO. They released a special Thanksgiving edition and I am dying to try this cranberry chutney. What are you making for Thanksgiving?

A very happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 46

How is it the middle of November already? I truly don’t understand where these last few months have gone, but I’m happy to be back in Columbus. I’ve already started my Christmas shopping and am planning which cookies to bake for the holidays. Not too much happened this week other than flying east, worked and did some reading. In fact, I think I’m off to read some more. Here’s the things that caught my eye this week…

  1. The Crown is back and I’m binging my way through it under a pile of blankets. I’m so excited for this season; we finally meet Diana and the famous love triangle. My heart is breaking for her as I’m watching, I knew it was rough for her, but I’m shocked how awful it might have been (the show isn’t 100% true but gosh I can only imagine how hard it must have been). I’m also so excited for Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher. Honestly though, they do a fantastic job casting everyone on the show.
  2. I want to bake these slice n’bake bourbon caramel pretzel cookies ASAP. Bourbon isn’t my drink of choice, so I’ll have to pop out to grab but they really do sound heavenly.
  3. Sir Paul McCartney sat down with Taylor Swift and the two had a very interesting conversation about quarantining, making music and striving for normalcy in their lives.
  4. If you need someone new to follow on Tik Tok, please check out Grandma Droniak. She basically just shows off her outfits and ITS SO PERFECT. She’s also on Instagram.
  5. With Thanksgiving coming up, multiple medical experts have given recommendations on how to best handle Thanksgiving with family. I’m very nervous as we are gathering with family, I think everyone is taking pre-cautions but still puts me on edge.
  6. For any GBBO fans out there, if you’ve ever wondered why they wear the same outfit over two days, Laura spills why. Not very exciting, but I always have wondered why they do this!
  7. The Schitts Creek mansion is for sale and well, America, it was nice knowing you, I’m moving to Canada.

Have a lovely week!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 45

Whew, what a week people, am I right? After the longest week of all of our lives, we finally have a new President and Madame Vice President (holla!). No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we all need to find a way to move forward. I have a feeling the next several weeks are going to be tough, but I think I wasn’t the only one who slept a little bit better last night. Here are the things that got me through this week:

1. Woman of the week goes to Stacey Abrams, who after losing a governors race in 2018 due to voter suppression, went about registering an estimated 800,000 (!) new voters over the last two years, which is most likely the reason Georgia flipped to blue this week in the Presidential election.

2. Runner up for woman of the week belongs to Charmaine McGuffey, who just became sheriff in Ohio. She ran against her former boss because he fired her after finding out she was a lesbian. This is what we like to see!

3. Making plans for Thanksgiving? Here’s my favorite pumpkin pie recipe from Baker by Nature; trust me, brown butter takes everything to next flavor level and this pie is tasty AF.

4. In case you need a new show to watch, I would highly recommend checking out The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. It’s a really intense show with an interesting story and I’ve already downloaded a chess app on my phone because I’m pretty sure I could be a Chess Master after watching the show (hahah kidding), but seriously it’s a beautiful story and I cried at the end.

5. Maybe this is only interesting to me since I work in the industry but here are 5 buyers discussing the future of retail, post COVID. I will say, I was surprised how quickly the fashion world seemed to adapt to virtual business, makes me hopeful that brands can adapt quickly to other things like sustainability.

6. Honestly, the only thing that got me through this week were all the beautiful memes and Tik Toks that people created. Here are some of my favorites… here, here, and here. Also, can we talk about the gem of the nation, Steve Kornacki? Such a trooper, I hope he’s getting time to sleep now.

7. As the holidays approach, I am dreading being around conservative family members who did not vote for the candidate who won the election. I did love this article about navigating conversations that you might be dreading; there were some good tips about how to have an open conversation that hopefully won’t end in shouting.

Here’s to a better week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 44

November, here we are. Apologies for missing week 43, I was traveling again and didn’t get to post. I’m back in Los Angeles for another week before heading to Ohio and honestly? I’m excited to be back on the east coast so soon. LA is lovely, but it still doesn’t quite feel like home. This week was stressful, as every week has been increasingly so as we edge closer to the election. But we’re here, we’ve arrived, and I’ll be holding my breath as we see what the future of our nation will be. Here are some things that got me through this week…

  1. For those of you who voted by mail or ballot box, please check and make sure your ballot has made it and has been accepted. If you haven’t yet voted, here are resources from #NewsNotNoise to ensure you can still vote accurately and on TIME. Also, this woman was able to vote while in labor, so you really have no excuse. If you’re still undecided for whatever reason, please watch this and maybe this too. Good luck at the polls this week!
  2. For my fellow Californians, we are voting this election on Prop 22; please consider voting no. Uber and Lyft have spent a lot of time and money on ads encouraging you to vote yes. This is a great article on why you should vote no and how this same thing already happened in Austin, TX. I would really recommend anyone from any state read these, I can see this issue popping up across the country over the next few years.
  3. I made this insanely easy breakfast yesterday, Sweet Potato and Egg skillet. Would recommend for a very tasty and quick breakfast! I also added mozzarella cheese on top and it was *chef’s kiss. Next I want to add bacon chunks…
  4. For all the Elle Woods fan in the house, the Legally Blonde cast re-united last week and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. One of my favorite movies hands down!
  5. If you need another show to watch or need a new feel good, please watch Ted Lasso. This show is literally a warm hug, Ted is wonderful character that makes you forget about the nonsense happening in the world, and helps you hold onto the hope that there are still good and kind people out there. And no, you don’t have to like sports to watch it.
  6. Where are my fellow 90’s kids at? Remember, ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?Loved reading this piece yesterday about the creators and backstory of the show; I remember being terrified watching this show, but I do wonder how it would be to watch now. I still hate clowns thanks to Zeebo.
  7. Everyone should read this piece, I’m really excited for Gen Z, they really seem set on breaking barriers and societal standards. Loved reading Fairoj’s story and how she wants a degree before a ring on her finger. YES GIRL! More kick ass girls featured in this beautiful video, mic droppp.

Have a wonderful week and see you at the polls!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

P.S. Just one more very important thing… I know everyone is over it, but COVID is on the rise again, please take some time to refresh yourself on how to protect yourself and others. Also, if you’re able, please get a flu shot this year, again, to protect yourself and those around you !

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