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

Folklore Book Tag

As you know, I’m a bit of a Taylor Swift fan and am still shocked she dropped a surprise album last month. When I saw this book challenge, naturally I had to jump on it. No one tagged me (and I’m not tagging anyone), like the rules state, but who cares, it’s folklore and books, which are currently my TOP 2 favorite things!

RULES

  • Link to the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever tagged you and link to their post.
source: taylor swift

The 1 – name a book character you would change the ending for

Désirée from The Queen’s Fortune. I loved this story and I wish the real life Désirée wouldn’t have been left out of the history books, unlike Napoleon and her husband, Bernadotte. She seemed to be a somewhat instrumental part of much of history, but no one remembers her or even knows her name, though her descendants still sit on European thrones to this day.

Cardigan – an old favourite that you always come back to

Harry Potter Series, of course. I think I’ve read like 4-5 times through? Will come back to this series, Always (sobs).

The Last Great American Dynasty – a book with a fascinating and well-told story

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a fascinating story and the first thing I thought of when I heard this song, tbh.

Exile – a book you wish you hadn’t read

Valentine, it did nothing for me, wish I could take it back.

source: taylor swift

My Tears Ricochet – a book that made you cry uncontrollably 

The Last Song. I read it for the first time in like 11th grade and I can still remember *sobbing* in my bedroom when her dad dies.

Mirrorball – a book that feels like it was written just for you

Butter: A Rich History. Butter is my love language.

Seven – a childhood book that makes you feel nostalgic

Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse was my favorite book when I was a kid. If I have to buy a book for a baby shower or a kid’s book drive, it’s always that one.

August – a book that reminds you of summer

Weirdly, Along for the Ride. I used to *love* reading Sarah Dessen books when I was in high school. If I’m remembering correctly, Along for the Ride takes place on the beach, over the summer, which I probably why I think of it? I also used to read Sarah Dessen books all summer as a teen, so maybe it’s partly that too?

This Is Me Trying – a book that deals with loneliness & sadness 

Educated, because that girl went to hell and back throughout her life, and for a long time, wouldn’t admit all the her family had put her through.

Illicit Affairs – a book that gave you a book hangover

Oona Out of Order, I wish it hadn’t ended. I wanted the story of her whole life, not just the snippet!!! It was such a fresh and new story, I could have read it forever.

Invisible String – a book that came into your life at the exact right time

Untamed, I think I could read that book once a month for the next 5 years and find something new that would speak to me each time.

Mad Woman – a book with a female character you adore

Emma from Emma, I love her character and how she means well with setting up her friends, but is flawed as she doesn’t see that her meddling is impacting people’s lives.

source: taylor swift

Epiphany – a book that was haunting

December Park left me shivering under the covers, very dark and haunting.

Betty – a book couple that fills you with yearning

This was hard, I’m a hopeless romantic and there are a lot of book couples I love. Most recently, I would say I loved the couple from The Kiss Quotient, Stella and Michael were so perfect for each other, and they had quite the, uh, steamy romance. I will also eternally love Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

Peace – a book character you’d die for because you love them so much

Luna Lovegood, HP Series, no contest. She’s so unique and kind and lovely. The best character.

Hoax – a book that you thought you were going to love but didn’t

Normal People, there was so much hype around this book and I was SO excited to read, but I really didn’t it love it that much?

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 31

It’s Sunday! Another week gone by, and I cannot believe it’s August! I haven’t been home to the East Coast in over 8 months, and I’m kind of bummed about it to be honest. I really want to go home, but I am also very anxious about transmitting anything to my family members. Sigh, maybe one day.

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super yummy zucchini bread, see below for recipe!

  1. Very important: you can look up voting stats about your state including registering deadlines and information on delegates on Vote Save America! Also, sign up to vote by mail if your state allows. Remember, we are less than 100 days away from voting!
  2. For those of you who were (or still are) Meg Cabot fans, she has been posting Corona Princess Diaries on her blog since the pandemic started, writing in present day from Princess Mia’s POV in Genovia. Reading these took me back and I really want to watch the Princess Diaries. Also, just put these into a book, please!
  3. The ever-talented Michelle Obama debuted her new podcast this week and her first guest was her husband, former-President Barack Obama. I love how much these two are starting to step out into the spotlight and I never want it to stop.
  4. This week, I made Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Zucchini bread and it sounds like a lot going on, but it was TASTY. Seriously, wish I could send each of you a piece of this bread.  See pic above and admire the chocolate chunk goodness. Another easy one bowl wonder from Half Baked Harvest!
  5. One of my favorite shows as of late has been The Not Too Late Show with Elmo (I’m very fragile right now). This week, Sara Bareilles sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I really love her voice and rendition of the song, plus Big Bird makes a killer cameo.  The only song I listened to this week that wasn’t on folklore tbh.
  6. We had a 4.3 earthquake here in LA earlier in the week (conveniently, at 4:30 AM). I know it’s not common everywhere, but here’s a great resource of how to prepare for an earthquake/disaster, and what to do if you find yourself in the middle of one.
  7. I found this article from Refinery29 about thrifting during coronavirus; since I’ve been trying to thrift more (versus buying new), I was wondering if it was safe to go to thrift stores. It seems like it’s best to stick to online thrifting. Check out places like Poshmark, TheRealReal, and thredUP. Also interesting is this article about how resale is thriving in the pandemic, which is SO exciting to hear!

Happy AUGUST to everyone! Have a safe week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 30

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone had a great week. Mine was b u s y! I had back to back meetings all day, every day, it was kind of awful? I took Friday off and we drove up to Thousand Oaks to go to a ‘Pick your Own’ farm which was super fun!

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On the hunt for 🍓

  1. I bet you all had a great week because TAYLOR ALISON SWIFT DROPPED A SURPRISE ALBUM, what e v e n. If you haven’t heard it (I don’t know why that would be), you can buy it here. It’s sonically cohesive and beautifully written, and I love every song. I think my favorite song is ‘invisible string’ because I’m a simple cute love song kind of gal. Also, here’s a video for the song “Cardigan,” which makes me want to become a fairy in the forest. Any other Swifties in the house?
  2. Y’all I made these Strawberry Glazed Chai Donuts with the strawberries we picked and oh. my. laaawd. I love chai everything and the strawberries were bursting with flavor, together it is magic. I did add too much flour (oops) so these turned out more bread-nut than dough-nut, but the flavor is what matters, right?
  3. My lady hero of the week is AOC. If you missed her powerful speech (I’m concerned are you living under a rock?), here it is in all its glory.  Background: Rep. Yoho allegedly called her a ‘fuxking bitch,’ and she decided to speak out about it, because otherwise, the behavior would continue to be allowed. I love how graceful and dignified she was as she spoke, it was inspiring to see her stand up for herself and essentially all women. My favorite quote that I want tattooed on my face is:

    “Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man, and when a decent man messes up as we are all bound to do, he tried his best and does apologise. Not to save face, not to win a vote, he apologises genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done so that we can all move on.”

  4. Did you know the internet generates carbon so every email you send or receive is impacting the earth? Makes you want to take the time to hit that ‘unsubscribe’ button for brands you no longer shop at, OR re-evaluate if this meeting could be an email!
  5. To all my Americans, 100 days until the election people!! I am a voter is a great resource to register, or check if you’re registered, sign up for reminders, etc. We need to get out and vote in all elections, both local and federal. Our nation is falling apart (see Portland, Seattle, etc) and we need leaders across the board to step it up or know that they will get voted out.
  6. We watched Palm Springs on Hulu this week and while I am very much over the ‘Caddy Shack’ plot, this movie was actually, funny, cute and a surprise twist I did not see coming. Overall, would recommend watching, especially if you’re an Andy Samberg fan!
  7. Finally, for anyone else working from home, I hope you’ll find this video as hilarious and on point as I did, in Apple presents, ‘The Whole Working From Home Thing.’

Happy thoughts for a new week 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!

7 Basic Things from the Week! (9/5)

  1. Interesting take on a new fad, Why #SquadGoals Isn’t Helping Our Society at All. I can’t say she doesn’t have a point…
  2. I don’t know if this would ever happen, but I’m 100% for The Supreme Kourt!!
  3. Because I can’t go a week without mentioning Taylor Swift, can we talk about her new video for Wildest Dreams? Watch it again, for the 890th time, I know you want to.
  4. For every other twentysomething starting their ‘freshman’ year, here’s a wonderful article to remind you that we’re all in the same boat.
  5. Although Miss Piggy and Kermit broke up, there is still some relationship drama as the two move on with other, er, people.
  6. There’s a new app out that will keep users safe when walking alone at night. Great read for females, I know I’m definitely downloading this one.
  7. A great take on beauty and not letting it define you. I was screaming YAS all the way to the end.

Reader, I hope you have a lovely and beautiful Labor Day weekend!

Love, B.