Sincerely Seven: Week 33

Goodness gracious, it’s toasty in LA this weekend; I’ve coped by staying indoors in the AC and doing basically next to nothing (another weekend in the Q, what’s new). I’ve built more Sims houses (can’t stop, won’t stop) and haven’t read much of the book I’m on (it’s good, but slow). Siiiiiigh. Anyone else in a slump? Or just bored? Or have you all gone back into the world, quarantine be damned? …Is anyone there?

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Nothing really happened this week other than I put this Disney eyes filter on my cat… a lot. 
  1. This week, Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris to be his running mate (was that THIS week? Seems like ages ago to be honest). I was a bit surprised since these two seemed to really go at each other during the debates, but loved this article that broke down why Biden picked Harris over others. Overall though, love this move for women AND cannot wait to hear ‘Madama Vice President.’
  2. You all know I live in an apartment in LA, so I don’t come by backyard fires and s’mores very easily these days; this deep dish s’mores bowl is SO tasty and easy and made me feel content and cozy in my fifth floor apartment.
  3. In a (non)surprising turn, many colleges are changing their minds about reopening/allowing flocks of students to return. I’ve been keeping an eye on this for awhile, but if you’re a college freshman, STOP what you’re doing, do not start at an expensive school, stay at home and go to the local community college to get your 101 classes completed this year. You will save SO much money.
  4. Chrissy Teigen is pregnant with baby No. 3 and I’m honestly so happy for her (is that weird?), especially after she tweeted how she conceived this child naturally, AND has been taking pregnancy tests every month since she was 21 hoping for a positive that would come naturally.
  5. If you haven’t noticed, a lot of fashion companies are filing for bankruptcy and closing stores. It’s so sad to see my LinkedIn feed these days, it’s mostly colleagues or friends of colleagues who are posting about having been let go from their jobs, as their companies are doing rounds of layoffs to stay afloat.  I’m worried it will only get worse as the pandemic continues and fall and winter loom in the distance.
  6. If you love cooking shows, love Selena Gomez, or just watched everything on all the services and have nothing new to watch, check out HBO’s new show, ‘Selena + Chef.‘ It’s cute and delightful, and I really want to make the ramen and the matcha cookies that Chef Candice taught Selena how to make.
  7. Finally, and MOST importantly, buy some stamps!!

Hoping for a more exciting week ahead!

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 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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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

 

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!

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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!

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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.

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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

 

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