Sincerely Seven: Week 50

Another week gone by, and nothing overly exciting other than I tested negative for COVID. It’s the small things at this point tbh. I also got a chess set (I told you I was obsessed with The Queen’s Gambit), but I’m basically a grandmaster now. Here are the other things that got me through the week.

The only exciting thing this week, watching TV with Aurora
  1. UHM Shifty Swifty released ANOTHER surprise album this week and like, I don’t know, is she trying to kill us? Evermore is kind of dark and sad, like a goth folk album, IMO? But I love ‘Willow’ and ‘No Body, No Crime’ and ‘Ivy.’
  2. In other important news, we are getting a vaccine for COVID which is really exciting and gives us something to look forward to. But let’s not forget, until you get the vaccine personally, continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and avoid large gatherings. ALSO, because of this, I’m wearing a mask for the rest of my life.
  3. I don’t know about you guys, but I love three things… butter, cheese and potatoes. Half Baked Harvest put them altogether for what I’m only assuming is a delicious and tasty dish, Crispy Cheesy Potato Stacks. I haven’t made them, but they’re on my ‘to be made’ list. I mean the name alone is making me drool.
  4. Anyone remember Olivia Jade? You know, Aunt Becky’s daughter, for whom Aunt Becky bribed college admissions for and is now serving a term in federal prison for? Well, she was on Red Table Talk this week and it was so satisfying to watch a privileged white woman get knocked down a few pegs? I do think it was a fruitful conversation and I truly do hope she’s sorry. I also think it was an important conversation and I would recommend watching!
  5. I loved this article about non-traditional holiday celebrations where women have created their own customs. I love the self-affirming travel and pet sitting abroad. Uhm, I will gladly travel to another country for a week or two to watch someone’s dog, though I think my family would have some choice words to say…
  6. Assuming most people are having low-key Decembers. If that is the case, here are all the new things to stream this month, on ALL the platforms. I’m personally looking forward to “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle“, “Wonder Woman” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. “
  7. Your daily reminder there are still good people out there….a Florida man paid of the utility bills of 114 families who were at risk of being turned off which is just so heartwarming and lovely. I would also encourage folks to donate time or money to those less fortunate during this month. I personally buy presents for children through my church’s Angel tree, or through USPS Operation Santa. I’ve also donated to this GoFundMe for snacks and flower donations to hospitals in State College, PA for doctors and nurses. I also like to donate in someone’s name as their gift, because that’s what this season is about!!

Hoping you have a beautiful week ahead, loves !

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 49

Apologies for missing last week, Sunday got away from me and I didn’t get to post my seven links of the week. These last two weeks have been busy at work, hoping things start to calm down with the upcoming holiday. Speaking of which, is everyone ready for Christmas?! My shopping is basically done, I’ve been dancing to Christmas tunes and watching Christmas movies. Trying to stay somewhat normal during this weird year. Here are the things that got me through the week…

  1. I spent this week binging The Undoing. Have you watched? Did you correctly guess who committed the crime? I think I blamed literally every character at one point or another. A must watch! You can also stay at the beach house from the show on airbnb!
  2. It’s officially time for Christmas baking! If you want a quick, easy and fan favorite recipe, try these soft chocolate chip cookies (make sure to cream the butter and sugars for ~5 minutes). They are my go to and I whipped up a batch yesterday..
  3. Also in the theme of the season, here are some delicious sounding cocktails that are from TikTok. Uhm I’ll take the Cranberry Sake Cocktail pls.
  4. If you still need to shop for gifts, I encourage everyone to shop small! Here are some awesome small businesses to shop at this season. Might get that tea soap bar for myself…
  5. Lady boss of the week is Gitanjali Rao, the 15-year-old who was named Time’s Kid of the Year. We love seeing a young female scientist taking on problems like the Flint Michigan water crisis (@ US Government).
  6. I also spent this week, re-watching Ted Lasso. Seriously everyone needs to watch this show, these are 15 reasons why Ted will help you through the rest of 2020.
  7. Like I said, this year, the holidays are going to be a bit different, with less gatherings and travel. It’s naturally a stressful time of year, but dealing with COVID stress might leave some even more out of sorts than normal. Mental health and self care are still important to remember during this time. Remember to take care of yourself and your family.

Have a very happy and healthy week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Christmas Gift Guide Pt. 2

I’m very close to done with my holiday shopping, just pending a few more presents. We all have that co-worker, neighbor or friend whom we love, but gets left at the bottom of our lists every year and inevitably, we need to scramble to find a gift for them (is this just me, this can’t just be me). I assume some of you have also been there, so I wanted to share some bundle gifts I usually keep in mind for those very special people or hey, maybe you can use these for the people who aren’t at the bottom of the list. All of these items also make really great stocking stuffers or last minute secret Santa gifts.

Help the Earth

Put a bow on 1 or 2 of the below items that are eco-friendly and silently send a message to your co-worker to use reusable things versus single use plastics.

Stojo Cup, $15.00 // Stasher Sandwich Bag, $11.99 // Travel Flatware, $14.00

In the same vain, you could send a message to your roommate who continually fills the bathroom trash can with make up rounds and cotton swabs, to shift into a more reusable beauty routine.

MakeUp Eraser, $20.00 // Boie Body Scrubber, $10.00 // Reusable Swab, $12.00

Self Care Sunday

2020 has been…woof. Everyone deserves some self care necessities to help them recover and relax from this wild ride.

Candle, $25.00 // Journal, $26.99 // The Little Book of Self Care, $8.99

All about Pop Culture

We all have that friend or co-worker who’s always up to date on the hottest show, movie or meme. I’m too much of a grandma to be this person, but I love these cute things to give as gifts.

Rosebud Motel Mug, $11.00 // Pencils with Sayings, $20.00 // Lightsaber Chopsticks, $13.00

On a Budget

Who says you have to buy anything? For co-workers, my go-to gift is baking a load of seasonal cookies, boxing them up and tying them with a bow. Here are my favorite recipes for the holidays, you can bet I’ll be making these a plenty.

Thumbprint Cobbler Cookies // Gingerbread Chai Cookies // Chai Sugar Cookies with Eggnog Icing // Maple Pumpkin Cookies // Cut Out Sugar Cookies (my favorite recipe)

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

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 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