Books of the Month: May 2021

Apologies for the delay on this post, it was all written, I just got distracted by the book I was reading this week and forgot to post it! I actually really enjoyed all of the books I read this month; it was also quite a variety, from thriller, to historical fiction, to romance, to a web cartoon. I also somehow bought like 8 books last month? And had several come available at the library so it’s been quite the mad dash to get through my TBR.

The Push was a psychological drama about a mother who suspects there is something wrong with her first born daughter, but everyone thinks she is making it up. It reminds me a bit of Woman in the Window, where the female protagonist isn’t believed by anyone and is made to be crazy. I think this was a really well written book; it felt real and honest (as in, I’m not taking a chance and having children), and helps to pose the question, at what age do sociopaths start to show their true nature and what do we do about it…?

Lore Olympus (Season 1) is a Webtoon comic that I fell in love with this month. I’ve been very into greek mythology and this (modern?) retelling of the story of Hades and Persephone made me swoon. I literally gobbled up the comics, reading through season 1 in about 3 days. Would recommend if you want to scroll through something other than Instagram.

Circe was a fantastic book about the nymph daughter of Helios, who ends up becoming a powerful witch, exiled to her own island. Odysseus eventually ends up on her shores in his return home to Ithaca, for those who read The Odyssey by Homer. The story was about a powerful woman, coming into her own as a powerful sorceress who defies the gods for her own gains, which we love to see! *clap*

The People We Meet on Vacation was another Emily Henry banger. It was a semi coming of age story (IMO) meets romance about Alex and Poppy, who meet in college and become friends, traveling on vacation each summer. I felt it was a bit of a When Harry Met Sally* rip off and I definitely loved Beach People more, but Henry still wrote complex characters who had complicated backgrounds within an overall great story. I felt like it was also a coming of age story for Poppy, in a way that reminded me of Honey Girl. Also, loved the back and forth chapters that helped to better show more of Alex and Poppy’s pasts.

(*WHMS is quite literally one of my favorite 90’s rom coms, second to Pretty Woman, so I really wasn’t upset by this)

Milk Fed was a coming of age story about a twenty something living in LA, struggling with her body image, weight and mommy issues. I found it to be a bit triggering when she was talking about her eating disorder, but overall, it was an interesting story. I don’t think I would recommend this one to everyone but it was a very well written coming of age story.

We Begin at the End surprised me. It started off and I was very confused as to what was happening? But slowly, the story developed and I found there were really well written characters within a very complex story. It reminded me a lot of All of the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood, but with a murder investigation thrown in? The story follows the police chief, Walk as he tries to prove his friend’s innocence when someone in town is found murdered; there is a second plot factoring in a young girl and her brother as they outrun the sister’s past misdeeds. The two plots are woven into one another, of course.

Overall, I enjoyed all of the books I read this month, I would definitely recommend The Push or Circe the most. I’ve been on quite the Greek mythology kick these days and am currently reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (so close to being done and I already know it’s going to be my favorite book for June). Any book suggestions on this topic will be well received!

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Lore Olympus, Season 1 by Rachel Smythe

Circe by Madeline Miller

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

What did you read in May? Leave it in the comments, I’m always looking for recommendations!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 10

Happy (almost) spring all! I know we’ve lost an hour but we get more DAYLIGHT and I am thrilled. I am not thrilled that we stayed up last night watching Outlander, so I went to bed later than normal, but had to get up at the same time because cat. Coffee is most definitely fueling me today, but when isn’t it? I also feel *disgusting* while I’m writing this, I made donuts this AM and already ate about three, so I should probably go for a walk, but I’ll more than likely lay here for the rest of the day..

Cereal Milk Donuts!
  1. I have been binging ‘Under the Influence with Jo Piazza,’ a podcast about mommy influencers, history of influencers, etc, and WHEW I would recommend. It really breaks down the influencer world in general, from the start and how it evolved over time, and I could not stop listening. I’m not a mom, but I do follow some influencers who are moms and it’s very easy for me to succumb to products that influencers suggest across the board.
  2. This weekend, I’m tackling donuts…. Cereal Milk Donuts to be specific (see above). It merges cereal milk from the iconic, Milk Bar, and the custard from Bread Ahead Bakery in London (they rose to fame in early quarantine for their instagram baking tutorials). You can find the recipe here. It is a bit involved and a 2 day process, so if you want a more no fuss donut recipe, try Erin McDowell’s recipe here (which is the base for the cereal milk recipe), SO easy and SO tasty.
  3. A friend shared this article with me this week, about Armie Hammer’s recent drama and his family’s legacy that led up to this point. You guys, it’s wild! It’s a longer read, but 100% worth it. The texts he apparently sent? Oof. Thinking about his wife (who seems lovely from Instagram) and his children…
  4. I’ve been seeing baked oatmeal everywhere, and I’ve never had, but these recipes look really yummy? I’ll have to try some this week, has anyone tried baked oatmeal?
  5. Loved this NYT opinion piece about Taylor Swift and her lyrics taking us back to nature. I loved even more that it was written by a 50 year old dad, proving anyone can be a TS fan. She is ~t i m e l e s s~!
  6. A fun article for anyone else missing Wandavision this week, Jac Schaeffer, director of Wandvision, explains how Kathryn Hahn was chosen for the role of Agatha. Kathryn Hahn has been a favorite of mine for awhile now (did you watch Mrs. Fletcher?), but I loved her in Wandavision! I also loved that the entire writing staff wanted her for the show. As they should!
  7. A nice reminder to get yourself into more ethical fashion habits, here are 5 reminders of things you can do to create a more sustainable closet. Follow my Poshmark closet here, and always remember to check Poshmark, The RealReal, thredup, etc for pieces before you buy new!

Hope you all have a lovely week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 8

Apologies for my absence over the last few weeks, I don’t really have an excuse other than laziness? And my birthday was last weekend so that counts for something right? I haven’t even been up to much, just cleaning and trying to re-organize my apartment (whilst simultaneously looking for a new one and convincing my boyfriend we need to move now). I mainly want to move because we’ve been in a one bedroom, together, working from home for 12 months now, and no we haven’t killed each other, but yes I feel like I live in a tin can and have been slowly losing my mind. I dream of moving back to Ohio and getting a whole house with plenty of space for storage and litter boxes and large beds, but for now, we’re here and I’m trying to make the best of it.

hike on my birthday, clearly did it for the view and this picture ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what got me through my birthday week:

  1. The Golden Globes are tonight (fingers crossed for another Schitt’s Creek sweep)! Here’s everything you need to know.
  2. Girl boss of the MONTH is Whitney Wolfe Herd, the CEO and founder of Bumble, who recently became the youngest female billionaire after taking Bumble public (while holding her baby son). Talk about a boss showing the world a woman can run a company and be a mom.
  3. I just made these peanut butter cups from Butternut Bakery blog; they were SO easy and taste SO good. Please try ASAP if desserts are your thing, I’m already thinking about making more.
  4. Joe Biden has been trucking along as president, doing things he said he would, and things he said he wouldn’t. He’s also been finalizing all his cabinet picks, here’s a quick list I found helpful to keep track of everyone, just so we all know who we can hold accountable for the next four years.
  5. I loved this interview with Lana Condor, star of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before franchise. I love both Lana and her character, Lara Jean, and I loved that she touched on body image issues and a lack of asian representation in Hollywood. I personally feel like Noah Centineo gets more fame after TATBILB movies which is annoying, since Lana clearly carries the franchise on her back and he’s just….good looking.
  6. This week, I found out about Tis the Damn Readathon and uhm? how did I not know about this (Shawna, I’m looking at you and your wealth of Taylor related info)? I wasn’t planning on reading anything specific in March, but here we go I guess!
  7. Finally, I love James Corden and his carpool karaokes (who doesn’t), but I was dying after this tour bus interview with Prince Harry. I thoroughly enjoyed their conversations, that got a lot more serious than I was expecting? Though I can’t stop thinking about Harry knowing the words to the Fresh Prince song, did he really know all the words? Imagining the Queen watching American TV sends me into overdrive. Also, the obstacle course at the end that features Prince Harry’s athletic abilities (read: fit/hot body) was very enjoyable, but also how did he not get any mud on him?!? I don’t understand…

Here’s to a new week and a new month and hopefully being a wee bit less lazy!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 5

Sunday again. I spent this week trying to organize our apartment, cleaning out clothes I no longer wear, mopping, etc. Just being a boring adult really. I was finally able to go back to Target again but that was really the highlight of my weekend. I ordered things from the Container Store, so until that order comes, I can take a break from trying to organize and catch up on my reading.

King Arthur Cinny Rolls
  1. Today I made Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls and you guys, this recipe is EASY and SO good. If you’ve ever been afraid of making rolls, or using yeast, I feel like this one is pretty fool-proof! And tastes delicious.
  2. Last night, Dan Levy hosted SNL and I was crying laughing from the Zillow Skit. I thought I was the only one who aimlessly creeped around Zillow and looked at homes in various cities that I’ll never live in, but I guess I’m not the only one who gets a thrill from this?
  3. If you follow my Instagram, you know I’ve gotten big into puzzling this year. Loved these puzzle options and definitely want to order the cat on the Vespa…
  4. Obviously today is a big day in America…Team Ruff won the Puppy Bowl. I was personally cheering for Team Ruff after Muffin scored the first touchdown, but good job to all the pups who played and were adopted! I’m honestly trying to figure out how I can be the referee next year…also, can we talk about Chunky Monkey?
  5. Amanda Gorman killed it with her poetry…again. I actually missed her performance, as I was too busy eating snacks, but loved her poem and LOVED her coat.
  6. The Golden Globe noms were released this week and many were snubbed, while Emily in Paris got multiple noms. Now we all know I loved EIP, but did it deserve any awards other than a Teen Choice Award? No. I’m SO mad Insecure, I May Destroy You, and Bridgerton got snubbed.
  7. Finally, in honor of Black History Month, here are 25 books by Black authors to read. I really want to read Heads of the Colored People.

Have a happy week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 2

Praise the Lord for three-day weekends and snow. I am very ready to be back in LA, but I’m also enjoying January in the mid-west while I have it. A snow day is a perfect excuse to lay around and do nothing (you know, outside of a pandemic). My Dyson Airwrap finally came in so I spent a lot of time watching how to videos and taking it for a spin. Hereโ€™s what else got me through the week:

Lovely hair and cozy robe ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
  1. You all know I’m utterly fascinated by Bridgerton. This week I read the first book (which of course I’ll recap in my monthly book post) and discovered this video of a Regency tailor explaining all the men’s fashion in Bridgerton, and whether or not it was historically accurate for the time. It’s SO interesting, especially since I’m a historical costume nerd. He gets a little long winded in some places, but I thoroughly enjoy how passionate he is about regency era fashion. Also, the part about the boot literally made me LOL. Patiently waiting for him to post a Bridgerton women’s fashion one…
  2. Also senseless things that aren’t important but I have THOUGHTS: Olivia Rodrigo (and all the drama from HSMTMTS). I bopped to ‘Driver’s License’ basically every minute of this week and was so in my feelings about it I thought I was seriously going through a break up? Even though I’m happily still in a relationship? Power of music, y’all. Also, spent too much time this week reading about the love lives of 3 teens, because what else can we do during a pandemic when you’re in isolation?
  3. Another story that held my interest for way too long this week– Ivanka and Jared don’t let their secret service detail use any of the 6 bathrooms in their DC home…. what? Flabbergasted on this one? Makes me think of the movie, The Help, and yes I would bet all my money that if placed back in the 1960’s, Jared and Ivanka would not let their help use an indoor bathroom, or provide anything other than an outhouse.
  4. I am happily out of COVID-ville, although I still complete a more than moderate workout without feeling exhausted. I guess doing more yoga wouldn’t be the worst thing for me. This is one of my favorite, Deep Stretch from Yoga with Adrienne.
  5. I really want to bake since I’m finally getting my taste back. I’m currently thinking about making Ina Garten’s chocolate cake. It looks and sounds heavenly. Has anyone attempted?
  6. Speaking of taste and smell, losing it was…weird? I found this article fascinating, about someone who has anosmia, which is the loss of smell. Like I was suffering for the 4 days when I completely lost it; now it’s somewhat back, I feel like I can taste whispers of things, if that makes sense? I canโ€™t imagine not having it at all…
  7. Tomorrow is MLK Jr. day and I think we all should take 20 minutes and read MLK Jr.’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail.‘ It’s a powerful reminder of of the suffering of persons of color and how not much has changed in the 58 years since he penned it.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 1

The first week of 2021 was….a disaster, if you ask me. Dozens of things happened in America, including a failed coupe organized by the president, and on top of that, I think I got COVID (pending results), but 2 people in my household have it, so I think it’s safe to assume that my cough, congestion and fever aren’t random happenstance. I also think I’m coming onto the other side of it now, but I’m so ready to feel normal again. And by normal I mean not have a stuffy nose and random bouts of tiredness throughout the day. Part of me is glad I got it though, I don’t have to be a paranoid hypochondriac for the next 3 months.

Aurora + Grogu

Here’s what got me through the week:

  1. Simon Basset from Bridgerton. I binged the show this week whilst lying on the couch and damn, that man puts all of Jane Austen’s leading men to shame. Need to read the books ASAP and see if Quinn’s character is truly so suave and charming.
  2. Also regarding Bridgerton, you know how much I love costume design, I devoured this interview with Bridgerton costume designer, ย Ellen Mirojnick. I love how they continue to tell more of the story through costumes, especially in these historical pieces.
  3. I’m sure we’re all still shaken from the events that happened this week, I know I am. I’m also wondering when we’ll no longer have to live through these national historical moments (sometimes multiple at a time) AND be expected to keep working (#captialism). I really liked this article about coping during these hard times, especially at work. I’ve been told multiple times to limit media exposure to a certain amount of time as to not overwhelm, but haven’t been very good about it. I definitely need to try this more often in the new year.
  4. In some good news from this week, the democrats flipped the senate after Warnock and Ossoff won their races in Georgia. Good riddance to senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, literally no one will miss you.
  5. I spent a lot of time this week watching HGTV, and just home reno things in general. I went down a rabbit hole looking on AD and dwell, and fell in love with this Malibu mid century home. Really loved how the laundry and powder room are hidden off the kitchen, plus that shower is to die for.
  6. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good robe. My current robe is from FabFitFun’s brand, Summer and Rose, from the Winter 2020 box. It’s SO cozy (and needs washed after I lived it in this week). I also want to buy all the robes off this list, especially the barefoot dreams robe.
  7. Sick with COVID? Living in the cold? Here’s a quick and easy chicken noodle soup recipe that that kept me alive this week.

I hope the second week of 2021 is better than the first. And reader, don’t forget to wash your hands and wear a damn mask.

Sincerely,

Sara Ann