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

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.

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

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 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.

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

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Taylor Swift’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ya’ll, I made these cookies a few weeks back and let me tell you, they are fantastic. I like to call myself a cookie connoisseur and these just blew everything out of the water. I will be making these for the rest of my life, thank you Taylor Swift. The chocolate is so rich and the salt, just ughh, you need to make these for yourself, okay?

cookies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

340g block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chocolate chunks from a bag found in the baking aisle #lazy)

1  cup walnuts, chopped

Large flake sea salt, for garnish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

2. .In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and kosher salt.

3. In large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter. Using an electric beater or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until it they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Add in the vanilla as well.

4.With a rubber spatula or with the stand mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts.

5.spoon the cookie dough by 2 tablespoon-size balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the cookie dough balls 5cm apart on the cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12 to 13 minutes.

6. When the cookies come out of the oven IMMEDIATELY sprinkle each cookie with a few grains of sea salt. This is really important to do while the cookies are hot.

7. Let the cookies cool for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Leave any questions in the comments, and let me know if you make them!