Sincerely Seven: Week 31

It’s Sunday! Another week gone by, and I cannot believe it’s August! I haven’t been home to the East Coast in over 8 months, and I’m kind of bummed about it to be honest. I really want to go home, but I am also very anxious about transmitting anything to my family members. Sigh, maybe one day.

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super yummy zucchini bread, see below for recipe!
  1. Very important: you can look up voting stats about your state including registering deadlines and information on delegates on Vote Save America! Also, sign up to vote by mail if your state allows. Remember, we are less than 100 days away from voting!
  2. For those of you who were (or still are) Meg Cabot fans, she has been posting Corona Princess Diaries on her blog since the pandemic started, writing in present day from Princess Mia’s POV in Genovia. Reading these took me back and I really want to watch the Princess Diaries. Also, just put these into a book, please!
  3. The ever-talented Michelle Obama debuted her new podcast this week and her first guest was her husband, former-President Barack Obama. I love how much these two are starting to step out into the spotlight and I never want it to stop.
  4. This week, I made Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Zucchini bread and it sounds like a lot going on, but it was TASTY. Seriously, wish I could send each of you a piece of this bread.  See pic above and admire the chocolate chunk goodness. Another easy one bowl wonder from Half Baked Harvest!
  5. One of my favorite shows as of late has been The Not Too Late Show with Elmo (I’m very fragile right now). This week, Sara Bareilles sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I really love her voice and rendition of the song, plus Big Bird makes a killer cameo.  The only song I listened to this week that wasn’t on folklore tbh.
  6. We had a 4.3 earthquake here in LA earlier in the week (conveniently, at 4:30 AM). I know it’s not common everywhere, but here’s a great resource of how to prepare for an earthquake/disaster, and what to do if you find yourself in the middle of one.
  7. I found this article from Refinery29 about thrifting during coronavirus; since I’ve been trying to thrift more (versus buying new), I was wondering if it was safe to go to thrift stores. It seems like it’s best to stick to online thrifting. Check out places like Poshmark, TheRealReal, and thredUP. Also interesting is this article about how resale is thriving in the pandemic, which is SO exciting to hear!

Happy AUGUST to everyone! Have a safe week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Happy One Year, LA

I’ve lived in Los Angeles, CA for one year. It’s actually insane to me that it’s been a whole YEAR. 365 days. 130 of which (give or take) have been spent inside my apartment due to COVID. I guess I’ve enjoyed it, at least the time I was allowed to be out doing things, when things were open. It is weird living in a tourist destination; I can remember walking out of my work office (when I went to the office), and seeing a ‘Hollywood’ tour bus passing by as passengers snapped pictures on their phones to capture scenes of WeHo. I sometimes wonder how many pictures I am in that I will never see. When I am driving to the farmer’s market and swarms of people are posing in front of the ‘Beverly Hills’ sign near Rodeo Drive, but I’m just going to buy vegetables. Almost everywhere, everyone is posing for pictures, whether it be a tourist or an influencer/wannabe celebrity. It’s so strange.

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It’s also strange being 20 minutes from the beach. I’ve hardly even gone if I’m being honest, having grown up in the Appalachian mountains, I don’t even think about my close proximity to water and the days I could spend lying in the sand. I do love the sun though. Sunshine and no humidity, all day, every day? Yes, please! It almost makes me want to stay forever, that and the wide range of cultural food options. Some days, I can not imagine ever heading back east to chop suey, humidity and snow.

LA, here’s to another year; hopefully I can get out and enjoy you more in the next.

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 30

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone had a great week. Mine was b u s y! I had back to back meetings all day, every day, it was kind of awful? I took Friday off and we drove up to Thousand Oaks to go to a ‘Pick your Own’ farm which was super fun!

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On the hunt for 🍓
  1. I bet you all had a great week because TAYLOR ALISON SWIFT DROPPED A SURPRISE ALBUM, what e v e n. If you haven’t heard it (I don’t know why that would be), you can buy it here. It’s sonically cohesive and beautifully written, and I love every song. I think my favorite song is ‘invisible string’ because I’m a simple cute love song kind of gal. Also, here’s a video for the song “Cardigan,” which makes me want to become a fairy in the forest. Any other Swifties in the house?
  2. Y’all I made these Strawberry Glazed Chai Donuts with the strawberries we picked and oh. my. laaawd. I love chai everything and the strawberries were bursting with flavor, together it is magic. I did add too much flour (oops) so these turned out more bread-nut than dough-nut, but the flavor is what matters, right?
  3. My flady hero of the week is AOC. If you missed her powerful speech (I’m concerned are you living under a rock?), here it is in all its glory.  Background: Rep. Yoho allegedly called her a ‘fuxking bich,’ and she decided to speak out about it, because otherwise, the behavior would continue to be allowed. I love how graceful and dignified she was as she spoke, it was inspiring to see her stand up for herself and essentially all women. My favorite quote that I want tattooed on my face is:

    “Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man, and when a decent man messes up as we are all bound to do, he tried his best and does apologise. Not to save face, not to win a vote, he apologises genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done so that we can all move on.”

  4. Did you know the internet generates carbon so every email you send or receive is impacting the earth? Makes you want to take the time to hit that ‘unsubscribe’ button for brands you no longer shop at, OR re-evaluate if this meeting could be an email!
  5. To all my Americans, 100 days until the election people!! I am a voter is a great resource to register, or check if you’re registered, sign up for reminders, etc. We need to get out and vote in all elections, both local and federal. Our nation is falling apart (see Portland, Seattle, etc) and we need leaders across the board to step it up or know that they will get voted out.
  6. We watched Palm Springs on Hulu this week and while I am very much over the ‘Caddy Shack’ plot, this movie was actually, funny, cute and a surprise twist I did not see coming. Overall, would recommend watching, especially if you’re an Andy Samberg fan!
  7. Finally, for anyone else working from home, I hope you’ll find this video as hilarious and on point as I did, in Apple presents, ‘The Whole Working From Home Thing.’

Happy thoughts for a new week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 29

Hello friends! Another Sunday, another week gone by. I’m on my THIRD book of this week, 32nd of the 2020 year (ugh I know, I’m the worst), so I’m quickly typing this up so I can get back to my book. I’m currently reading Such a Fun Age, and would really recommend, it’s pretty good so far! Nothing much else happened this week. I wish I had a more exciting life for you all!

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Very beautiful plate of chicken parm I made this week, see below for my thoughts on bucatini ❤ 
  1. I made these vegan chocolate thumbprint cookies this week, I love The Loopy Whisk for plant based recipes. I am not personally vegan (butter is wonderful), but I do try to include more plant based recipes in my life.
  2. I loved this piece from Stacey Alderman, The Only Way Out is Through. It’s a very honest piece and I found comfort in someone else  being about 5 seconds away from losing it on some days. I also loved hearing her and her husband’s story and how they’ve overcome hardships that life has thrown at them. I can’t wait to read the next part!
  3. On that note, here is a great read about practicing self care during COVID should be a marathon, not a sprint. We need to educate ourselves on the growing list of prominent social issues (new this week, child trafficking), but we also need to prevent burnout. It’s OK if you take a break from social media, it’s OK if you tune out, no one is going to ‘cancel’ you.
  4. I’m sure everyone is well aware, but Rep. John Lewis passed away this week. I loved Obama’s statement about his passing, reminding us all of the importance of voting, and how Lewis’s legacy will live on, in those who continue to imagine and fight for a better America. And also, please take note and remember those senators who posted tributes with pictures of black men who weren’t even John Lewis. *smh*
  5. Barilla took a step forward in sustainability by removing the plastic window from their pasta packaging, making it easier for consumers to recycle packaging. I mean, honestly, now that I think about it, we don’t even need the window, we can usually tell what the pasta looks like if there’s an image on front of the box. I really hope other brands follow suit!
  6. Since we’re on pasta, my favorite carb, here is a great ranking of pasta types. I personally love bucatini that I buy from Domenico’s Foods at the farmer’s market. What’s your favorite noodle?
  7. Finally, what’s your favorite condiment? If it’s sriracha, then this video might interest you on how sriracha is made.  Very interesting that the peppers that go into it only grow for 4 months out of the year!

That’s all folks. I’m off to walk on the beach because I live in California. I’ll think of each of you while I look out to the ocean and send good vibes your way for the week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 28

Happy Sunday all! I had a rough day yesterday (just overall bored and sick of being stuck inside), but we went to the Farmer’s Market this AM and then I went to the pool for a bit before it got too busy. It was so nice to just do a few things outside of our apartment! What are you all doing to stay sane during these times? I truly feel like quarantine has been a roller coaster of emotions, where some days are very high and others are low. Here are 7 things that I discovered this week…

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I went to the pool today. YAY! Suit from Aerie. 

1. As a reminder, deadlines are approaching for registering to vote. Here’s a helpful guide of all things you need to know because it’s your duty to get out and V O T E!

2. This week I learned about Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup (weed killer) and how traces of it can be found in our food, even after processing (yuck). Here’s a list of cereals and oat based foods to avoid where traces of Glyphosate were found.

3. For any New Girl fans, here’s a summary of why fans are still obsessed with Nick Miller, a man who “sets the bar so incredibly high and yet so unbelievably low for men.” Anyone Team Nick? I’m truly Team Schmidt but have a deep love for both Nick and Winston as well.

4. Down to Earth with Zac Efron is a new show on Netflix that I would highly recommend watching! It’s very informational and they do a great job of showcasing other nations who are kicking ass at being sustainable and how the U.S. is severely lacking in sustainable planet saving efforts.

5.  These two person banana cream pies sound SO delicious! I’m always looking for small sized desserts since I can’t take bulk bakes into work anymore.

6. I’m pretty new to clean beauty, but I’ve recently discovered Credo Beauty and I’m obsessed! It is so great to see a store taking a stand to only sell brands that have clean cosmetics. I’ve been tempted to try Beauty Counter as well, has anyone tried?

7. Has anyone else been watching, ‘These are actually cakes videos?” Well I have been watching them all week and I am *traumatized*. What is real and what is cake anymore?!

And on that note…have a wonderful week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

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.

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  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