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 32

Another whirlwind busy week of work and it was so nice to turn off my brain this weekend. I do feel like I’m the only one still quarantining? There were so many weddings, bachelorette parties and vacations  all over my social media feeds this weekend? And no one was wearing masks in any photos? Not even in the background? Are we just done? Cool….I’m still in my apartment, making my way through Netflix and the ever growing pile of books to be read. I’ve also picked back up on the Sims, designed my dream home. But yeah, lots happening over here.

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I cried when I ate this last piece, feat. Aurora

  1. I know I know, I should find another food blog other than Half Baked Harvest, but her recipes are SO easy and SO incredibly yummy. This week I made her Simple Blueberry Basque Cheesecake (look at that beauty above), and I’m googling how I can safely mail cheesecake to all of you . No results yet, but I’m trying. In the meantime, and I’m saying this because I care about you, make this cheesecake!!
  2. I love this love letter to fancy shoes, it describes my feelings exactly; I have several pairs of shoes I probably would have needed to replace by now because I used to wear them so much, and now? Well now, they’re dusty in the closet and haven’t seen the sun in months. I miss you mules, I miss you wedges, I miss you ankle booties.
  3. My kickass woman of the week is Betty Reid Soskin, a 98 year old PARK RANGER in CA (she started when she was 85, what EVEN). She’s also been an activist and singer, but I really loved her perspective of looking back on her life, especially hearing of her time working with the civil rights movement.
  4. Not sure if there are any Selling Sunset fans here (🙋🏼‍♀️) but I’ve been dying to know what happened with Chrisnell and Justin Hartley of This Is Us; the newest season of SS dropped on Friday and we finally learn some more of the heartbreaking story of what happened. Here’s an article summary in case you don’t watch SS (but come on, you should, at least for creeping in on million dollar LA homes).
  5. Not to cheat and do 2 recipes, BUT I just didn’t feel like cooking dinner this week and made this AMAZING deli salad from Chrissy Teigen. Like, so simple, easy, and delicious, we devoured it! I feel like it’s a perfect summer meal, plus you’ve seen all my baking, I could use some salads in my life.
  6. This week on Armchair Expert, Leslie Odom Jr. stopped by to chat about Hamilton, BLM and cancel culture. Definitely worth a listen; I especially found it SO interesting that he almost walked away from the Hamilton film because he was asking to be paid the same for the film as equivalent white Broadway stars in other shows. Like SO commendable and I hope more BIPOC stars start taking more of a stand for themselves and for the industry.
  7. If you are like me and still quarantining at home, it’s SHARK WEEK! I literally didn’t even know they still did this. But since no one has cable anymore and we should all be stuck inside, here’s how you can stream it online!

I hope your week is beautiful ahead; I know mine will be, my folklore album should be coming in the mail this week…

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 27

It was so nice having a three day weekend this past week, even though we sat around our apartment for most of it. I really have been thinking about trying to book some kind of trip so I can take a vacation, but with COVID on the rise again, I am too afraid to go anywhere, especially coming from Los Angeles. I also don’t want to take a week off work to sit around my apartment because who knows when it’ll be safe to go anywhere again.

On that somewhat depressing note, here are seven things that got me through this week, also including this very tasty patriotic donut.

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USA Donut from the always delicious, SK Donuts

  1. This 4 Cheese and Mushroom Lasagna might be my favorite recipe of all time. I also love most of the recipes from The Modern Proper, so would recommend checking out their blog!
  2. Who would you consider to be the most influential president? If you said Abe Lincoln, like literally everyone, you might want to watch this video, The Legacy of Abe Lincoln. It’s a bit long but very informative, looking at the way that history is written by the victors, not the losers, so often, half of the story isn’t told.
  3. I got to pick my Book of the Month book this week, I chose The Beauty in the Breaking by Michele Harper. Check out Book of the Month here, I would really recommend it if you’re a big reader! You get to choose from 5 books to select your book of the month for $14.99 and can choose add ons as well. I am a big fan, if you can’t tell.
  4. I LOVED this The Dissenters podcast episode with Sophia Bush. If you’re short on time, start around 27 minutes in, but I would encourage listening to the whole thing!
  5. I’ve been watching Padma Lakshmi’s new show, Taste The Nation, on Hulu and I would really recommend. It’s interesting to learn the origins of foods, and how American culture around food was formed.
  6. Here is an interesting article about politicizing the wearing of face masks which is creating a large problem and dehumanizing the issue at hand.
  7. Did anyone else spend their weekend watching Hamilton on Disney+? It was my first time ever seeing/hearing the songs and it was so great! Here is a great history fact guide that lets you know what did and didn’t really happen in Alexander Hamilton’s life that was interesting.

I hope your week went well and that you were able to safely celebrate the Fourth! Wear your masks and stay well this week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

How’s the Year Going?

For New Year’s I made some goals for myself to work towards in 2020. If you need a refresher, they can be found here. Since I don’t have much going on, I thought it might be a good time to check in and reset if needed.

  1. Save money– still not going well. There’s always something I need to buy, or correctly, want to buy.  It’s a sickness, but I have been trying to think through purchases a bit more before I make them. Baby steps, right? Since quarantine, I’ve been worse at purchasing things that aren’t exactly necessary (like loads of books, outdoor furniture…), but I did put my tax refund and stimulus check towards my debt, so here’s to trying! I think my savings goal was a bit over adventurous, best to work on my debt before I start saving too much.
  2. Read more- I’ve read 17 books so far this year, I would say I’m doing fairly well with this one! Might go above my goal?
  3. Make friends– hah, nope. I was trying to be friendlier at work to people I don’t necessarily work with, and I tried to join a book group on MeetUp but then pandemic happened so haven’t made any progress here. Since in quarantine, I’ve been trying to facetime with those people who are my friends?
  4. Make 5 difficult recipes– I made a roast chicken! It was SUPER gross and I almost vomited like twice, but it was super rewarding in the end. And tasty! I tried a new cinnamon roll recipe but haven’t done much cooking other than instant pot and easy meals. It’s hard to be adventurous in the kitchen when only half the grocery store is stocked.
  5. Be present– I was doing fairly well with this one, but quarantine and tik tok happened and my screen report makes me cringe every Sunday morning (can we just agree Apple should stop doing that until this is over?).

Did you make goals for the year? If so, how are they going? Is quarantine impacting them, either positively or negatively? I’ve love to hear about it in the comments below!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann