Sincerely Seven: Week 26

I guess we are halfway through the year now at week 26?! The year has been so crazy and I cannot believe it’s already halfway over. I hope you’ve had a great 6 months (lol who am I kidding), but here’s to hopefully 6 better months ahead.

dbc09ab1b6e6789dfb7c89f18f72ff0859aec7841059e081b051cb8cd127343d_1
Source
  1. My lady hero of the week is Rebekah Jones of FL. This queen was the manager of Florida’s COVID dashboard and was repeatedly asked by the state to manipulate data so it would look like there were less deaths/cases and they could move into phase 4 of reopening. She said ‘no way’ and has not been quiet about the loss of her job from this incident. Here are resources you should use even though some states are pushing to reopen regardless of case totals (here, here and here).
  2. PLEASE think twice before attending a large gathering, even with family. 
  3. On this week’s Work in Progress, filmmaker Oge Egbuonu discussed her new documentary (IN)VISIBLE PORTRAITS, which explores how black women are the most oppressed individuals of all. I watched the film and it brought me to tears. Please consider renting or buying to support this independent film. Egbuonu also recommended a book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy a Degruy which I cannot wait to read!
  4. If you need any Fourth of July desserts, I would recommend this tasty blueberry pie from Preppy Kitchen. I made it a few weeks ago and it was delicious (even with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust)!CAC82F01-D58A-45AF-A5BD-D1392173D80E
  5. Here is a piece highlighting 3 black artists who became viral on Instagram during recent protests. Please support these artists with a follow on Instagram, as well checking out their shops or chosen organizations to donate to.
  6. For any Animal Crossing fans, in case you missed it, it was announced this week that we get to swim on July 3rd!! To say I’m excited is an understatement, tbh.
  7. If you’re into Disney films like myself, Disney+ released a series, Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2. It’s really interesting to see  all the complexities behind the scenes that go into making a full length feature animation film, would recommend the watch!

Here’s to the last few days of June and a happy Fourth of July weekend ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

 

Sincerely Seven: Week 25

I thought I would kick off something new called, Sincerely Seven, where I recap my week, tell you something new or share an article or recipe that I found useful over the last seven days. I’m hoping it will encourage me to write on here more, plus share some nuggets that I found useful or interesting over the course of my week. Without further ado, here are my seven highlights from week 25 of 2020.

  1.  I took a 3 day weekend and it was so lovely to not have work on Friday. Since COVID started, I haven’t taken any time off, mostly because it feels weird taking time off when I work from home. It was well needed and I enjoyed every minute, plus I finally got my hair done so back to blonde baby! Sadly semi wishing I had taken off tomorrow too..
  2. In listening to this week’s episode of Work in Progress, I learned why you shouldn’t eat any more shrimp. I’m officially done, and trying to do anything I can to save the ocean.
  3.  I found this recipe for marinated goat cheese and strawberry crostini this week and it sounds SO yummy. I need to run to Trader Joe’s to get some goat cheese and french bread ASAP.
  4. I personally purchased the book, White Fragility, but then I read this article and have decided not to read it. Just wanted to share since I shared that book title earlier on my blog; I would be curious if anyone has read it, what did you think?
  5. I finished the show “Love Life” on HBO and would highly recommend; Anna Kendrick’s character is very lovable and experiences a lot of character development throughout the show/her love life. I also started “Dear White People” on Netflix; though I’m only one episode in, I really like it so far. Logan Browning plays a very fierce lead, helping to highlight the racial issues on her predominantly white college campus.
  6.  I’m currently reading Normal People by Sally Rooney and I can’t put it down! I also can’t wait to start the show after I finish. Has anyone already read/watched?
  7.  I made this chocolate chip cookie and it’s too pretty not to share with the world (since I’m off social media). You can make them too with this recipe from one of the best bakeries in Columbus, OH.

0BE6EFAC-BD59-499D-A148-E84302C23F05

I hope you had a wonderful week and here’s to wishing for another great seven days ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

So Long Social Media

pexels-photo-1542252
Source

I decided earlier in May that for the month of June, I would remove social media apps from my phone. I realized I was too dependent on social media and my screen report made me cringe every Sunday when it popped up. Mixed with everything happening related to COVID, I wasn’t spending any time accomplishing anything, other than scrolling through social media on and off all day, everyday. A whole day would go by and I would realize it was 4 PM and I couldn’t think of a single thing I had accomplished. I was also getting angry seeing others post pictures of themselves back out in public, or with groups of friends, in close proximity and without masks.

It’s now been almost three weeks and honestly, I’m so mad I didn’t try it sooner. My evenings and weekends are so much more open, I can actually look back on my day and list off a number of things I accomplished, none of which involved my phone. I’ve had time to draw, time to take an online class, watch documentaries (and actually retain the information because I was paying attention). I’ve organized and cleaned more of my apartment, and spent more time reading the actual news, rather than what my friends were just posting about.

I also feel like I’ve cut down on my clothing spending, as I’m not seeing influencer’s posts and making impulse purchases, because I have to have that trendy item. I have increased my apartment decor/storage spending, so it’s really netting out, but still I consider it a win because I’m spending money on things that are actually necessary and useful, versus another dress to hang in my closet.

I still have two more weeks and I’m already sad that I am halfway finished. Maybe I’ll keep going into July as well, as I am afraid I’ll fall back into my lazy, aimlessly scrolling ways. If you are reading this like, ‘this girl is crazy, I could never delete my apps;’ I challenge you to try it for at least a day, or even a weekend, just to give yourself time to do things you’ve been meaning to do, and give your mind (and eyes) a break. I promise, you’ll survive and you don’t need to see that picture of your friend’s banana bread or your ex’s story of him out on a boat.

How does social media impact your life? Are you obsessed with it or couldn’t care less?

Sincerely,
Sara Ann

 

 

Time to Sweat: obé fitness

When quarantine started and I could no longer go to the gym, I decided to try a new online program for my fitness routines. A friend gave me a code for 1 month free of obé fitness, and I figured ‘it’s free for 30 days, why not give it a try?’ And I am so glad I did!

8CFDCFE3-25F4-45FB-8C74-E04FB0AB60A8

obé fitness is an online platform for fitness classes, covering pilates, yoga, H.I.T., dance cardio and more. Most classes are only 28 minutes, with some that are closer to 50. They also have quick 10 minute classes for stretching, abs, yoga, and dance. I love their live classes on the main home page, it’s so fun to participate in a class in real time and even get a shout out from the instructors as they read through the list of class participants. There is also a saved list of ‘on-demand’ classes in case you can’t make it for the live classes. I have several saved that I love to repeat over and over!

40AE51CE-A564-41D9-AFD8-AF34F6D35AA9

The thing that keeps me coming back are the instructors. I love doing yoga flows with Eve, pilates with Mary and sculpting with Peter. They are very passionate about fitness, and I know you might be rolling your eyes, but it’s true! Since it’s online, they really take the time to explain posture, etc of the moves so you’re doing them correctly to get the best results.

The other thing I appreciate is that not once during the workouts do they say, ‘imagine yourself in a bikini this summer!’ or ‘get those abs to look sexy!’ I personally cannot stand fitness videos and instructors who prescribe to these notions about women’s bodies and believe that the reason people work out is to be ‘hot’ and ‘skinny.’ They also encourage the posting of ‘sweaty selfies’ after class which I think is a fun way to get people sharing not so perfect pictures of themselves online.

C7974CE1-E2A5-4BF4-BFC2-EA403EFD02A8
unedited, sweaty selfie

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been tracking my progress with this program, mostly because initially I wasn’t expecting to love it so much. While I don’t workout to lose weight, but to have a healthy mind and body, I have noticed a difference in my body, seeing a bit more muscle/toning, versus soft areas. I can tell my ‘strive for 5’ workouts are working!

Are you apart of the obé fam? If not, would you ever consider joining an online fitness program? I really would recommend, especially while we’re all still indoors!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

 

Black Lives Matter

During these tremulous times, I truly hope every single one of you is staying safe and doing well. I have been horrified by the events in Minneapolis and the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other acts of violence against the Black community.

I am no expert and have benefitted my entire life from being swaddled in white privilege. As I educate myself and learn how to use my privilege to help those around me, I can only hope you are doing something similar to help better the world for those around you, especially in the Black community.

I’ve linked some things that I’ve been finding helpful/interesting, I hope they’ll be useful to you in your life.

For those protesting, please be safe and know your rights. 

Donation pages:

Documentaries:

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix

Books (please order/shop at one of these Black Owned Bookstores):

  • Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan M. Metzl
  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

And for those of you missing a true leader right now, here is a well written piece by Barack Obama that is worth a read.

Stay safe and please, if nothing else, get out and vote.

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

 

Cons of Being a Wallflower

I am what you call a wallflower. I like to slink around unnoticed, observing other people. I read books, go to bed at 9PM, and have lived a mostly uneventful life, going to Target and drinking Starbucks. I know this may sound self-deprecating, and maybe it is, but I don’t mean it to be. I am fully aware I am more on the vanilla end of the spectrum. For the most part, I am more than happy with this life arrangement, except oddly, when it comes to swimsuits. Because of who I am, I am a solid neutral swimsuit kind of girl, even though I secretly wish I could be a bright pattern or bright color swimsuit wearer. Does this make sense? Let me explain.

When I was a little girl, I didn’t give a second thought to what my swimsuit looked like. As long as it was in my favorite color (pink), had flowers or my favorite character on it, I was sold. Fast forward 20 some years and I dread buying a new suit. I always end up with a solid neutral, even though I want the bright pattern or color. I want the red or the colorful floral, but I get the dark purple or black.

These are the suits that draw my eye upon first shopping, if I’m being totally honest. Deep down, when think about who I want to be, I want to be a loud pattern, look-at-me swim suit kind of gal, without the people looking at me part. I know that I can buy hundreds of these loud suits, but I more than likely won’t have the confidence to wear them. I’ll put it on, get anxiety about anyone noticing me, and put on my old faithful black bikini (also to note, a bikini that covers most of my ass).

I sometimes try to think about when this all started. Did something happen? Or did I just learn from society slowly over time that I am not the kind of girl who wears these suits? I am not the ‘look at me’ girl. I am a wallflower with an average body, a flat chest and 2 pack of abs (I am very proud of those, thank you very much).

I also don’t consider myself a ‘sexy’ person, I have been and will always be, cute. Again, I am mostly fine with this. I literally get waves of anxiety when I see women wearing thong bikinis (their butt is literally out, why even have bottoms on at all?), let alone a bright look at me color, or pattern.  I’m not judging these girls (fine maybe a bit). I don’t want to be judging those girls. I guess I’m envious of their self confidence more than anything, that they get to be ‘sexy’ while I’m ‘cute.’ Who dealt these cards anyway?

How does one become confident whilst not having been dealt the sexy card? But looking in further, why is sexy always hand in hand with confident? Isn’t there a sexiness to being quietly aloof and mysterious? I suppose in some scenarios, but no, I am a nice girl, who doesn’t want to speak too loudly or make herself overly noticed as to not take away from others. Cute.  To clarify, though, I do not necessarily want to be sexy, like the women who wear the thong bikini; though, you go girl, you do you. I just want to be the girl who puts on a loud pattern or cherry red swimsuit, and doesn’t give it another thought.

Is that so much to ask?

Sincerely,

Sara Ann