Let’s Go, 2021.

2020 has finally come to an end, whew. I was not one of the folks who was desperately waiting for 2020 to end, excited for something to magically change on January 1, 2021 about our current predicament in the world. But, that being said, I am happy to leave 2020 in the past and looking forward to vaccines, possibly traveling to see family more often, and not caring about what the government is doing on a daily basis…simple things really. I feel like 2021 will be a year of relaxing and getting life back in order; I am not expecting big things until 2022. And by big things I mean traveling and paying off my student loans.

Here are my goals for 2021:

  1. Be smart with finances. I am trying to pay off my student loans by the end of 2022 (3 years ahead of schedule) so I really need to be smart with my finances and make smart money moves over this year and the next. I also kind of want to get a Peloton once we move into a larger apartment, so I’m thinking about saving a bit to get one by the end of 2021. But we’ll see, debt first.
  2. Keep reading. I’m not setting a goal of 60 books again this year, as I got burned out this year by December and it wasn’t enjoyable to read any more. I’m cutting back to 40; I hope to read some series and longer length books I was unable to read in 2020 since I was sprinting to hit my 60 reads mark. I do really enjoy reading and want to keep that in my routine.
  3. Have a better relationship with LA. I lived in LA for 6 months before COVID happened and once that hit, I was unable to do anything, so I don’t have a best relationship with LA/California. I really want to take more time to go to the beach and read or walk. I also want to explore more of the parks/trails, and try some more cultural restaurants that I won’t be able to eat once I move back to the midwest.
  4. Take trips. Kind of in tandem with the above, but it’s so easy to access hundreds of small coastal towns, national parks and interesting places from southern CA. We have friends in Denver, so hoping to visit them, possibly visit a friend in SF, as well, and possibly a glamping trip in the mountains with my best friend. Will any of this happen in 2021? Who knows, I’m keeping expectations low this year, but overall, just want to leave my apartment more in 2021, even if it’s a day trip to Santa Barbara.
  5. Buy 30 clothing pieces, only. Seriously, I want to keep track of my clothing purchases and only buy 30 pieces total. I’ll write more about this in a post later, but I bought way too much this year and I want to cut back in 2021.
  6. Try new things. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone, take a baking or tennis class, try boxing, or try a new food. Not about to go sky diving but small things I can do to push myself in 2021.

What are your goals for 2021? Or after 2020, have you learned to not focus on goals/intentions and just let what will happen, happen?


Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 42

Hi Everyone! Sorry I missed week 41, with traveling and spending time with family, I sort of forgot! I hope everyone had a good 2 weeks; mine have been largely uneventful, just spending time with family and looking at the fall leaves everywhere (fall in the Laurel Mountains is *heart eyes*).

  1. I absolutely adored this week’s episode of The Dissenters; they interviewed a Holocaust survivor and talked about dehumanization, racism and how we need to be better examples for future generations. Definitely a must listen!
  2. We are less than 20 days away from the election and I know everyone has either already voted or has a plan to vote…right?! If not, please make a plan today!!
  3. Folks, this upcoming week is…. the official kick off of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas! WOOHOO! Yes, I am a Hallmark movie watcher, and am surprised they were able to bang out 40 movies for this new season. Here’s a schedule of when you can catch all the new ones!
  4. So glad someone finally wrote this piece; Billie Eilish was seen out and about and people are commenting on her body, both negatively and passive aggressively by calling her ‘brave’…. she’s 18? She has a normal body? Who cares? Unsure why everyone feels the need to comment on this, but loved this piece shutting haters down and promoting a more accepting culture.
  5. Love anything and everything by Mindy Kaling, but she has a new HBO show that will be a college version of Sex and the City. Yes please! Can we also talk about how she just had a BABY and no one knew about it?
  6. Anyone else working from home? Here are some health effects to your body that are caused from working at home… kind of makes me want to be back in the office! I have tried to have as ergonomic of a setup as possible, but I really miss my standing desk! I also try to turn off my computer and not check emails on my phone after I’ve stopped work for the evening, but sometimes it’s hard not to check!
  7. The pumpkin and maple cookies sound AMAZING! On my to-bake list for sure.

Hoping everyone has a happy and healthy week ahead!


Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 34

Is anyone else sweating their brains out? Just kidding, I’m not either, I’m wrapped in a sweater in the AC, but from what I hear, it’s very insufferably hot outside in LA rn, as I assume also in most of the country. If you don’t have AC, I apologize, I really don’t understand why that isn’t like an automatic thing that’s everywhere, like in Florida. Anywho, in other news, another boring week of laying around the apartment. I have been a reading fiend, as my boyfriend has been playing more video games this week in the evenings, leaving me to read in peace in the bedroom (not saying I don’t want to spend time with him at all, just saying I get through more books during these weeks). Here’s what else got me through the week…

fav outfit this week

  1. The DNC took place this past week, and if you were like me and only caught some of it in real time, or watched recaps the next day, here is a guide with all the major highlights. 
  2. For those readers out there, Malala is launching a book club later this year, like can I sign up now? I also want to read the book she recommends for millenial women…. like, adding to my list ASAP.
  3. I loved this piece about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her hoop earrings. I personally didn’t know about Latina women and the custom around hoop earrings, but I’m so happy to see a Latina woman in a place of power to be a role model for girls everywhere, especially those who can see themselves in her.
  4. If you wish you could make yourself a billboard for voting when you go outside, you should get some merch to spread the word! If doing so, make sure it’s voting merch that is giving back. I personally want the VOTE canvas tote with QR code, bc how convenient? But also LOVE the ‘big ballot energy’ cashmere sweatshirt for a cool $380 (YIKES catch me crafting my own on a champion sweatshirt and donating to a cause instead).
  5. Make this No Churn Fudge Brownie Coffee Ice Cream like right meow. Again, would mail you some, but this time, I already ate it (sorry not sorry).
  6. I was hit with a case of I WANT TO TRAVEL blues this week, so just drooling looking at this list of tasty European foods that I can’t have (*cries).
  7. As I’m trying to work through my own capsule wardrobe, I loved these Grown-Lady Shopping Rules. I especially loved the notion of ‘cost per wear,’ something I definitely need to consider more when I’m shopping.

Here’s to a hopefully cooler week for everyone!


Sara Ann


A Basic B Abroad: Munich 

Oh, Munich! This place actually might have stolen my heart. We spent 5 days here and while there weren’t as many attractions as our other stops, I found this city to be the best! It was easy to navigate, the people were friendly, and the city was absolutely beautiful. The main reason we stopped here was to go to Oktoberfest, but we also got to tour the Bavarian Alps, and see Dachau, the concentration camp near the city.


We went on the Friday of the 2nd weekend of Oktoberfest (Italian Weekend). I would highly recommend going during the week, or on a Friday. For reference, we got there at 8:30 (Doors to the tents don’t open until 10), but we probably would have been safe getting there before 9:30. It was crowded, but we had no problem getting a place at table in the Hofbrauhaus tent. This tent is quite rowdy; it seemed like most of the American students who were studying abroad wound up here.

Beer is served in a Mass, which is a liter glass, with the equivalent of 4 AMERICAN shots worth of alcohol. My only advice is to PACE YOURSELF. Have a beer, eat a pretzel or sandwich, then maybe have a Radler before your next mass. There are people walking around with foods inside the tents so it’s easy to grab food. It’s cash only too, so make sure you get plenty out before going. For reference, I had about 80 euros with me (and I barely spent any as we ended up at a table with a bachelor party….they bought all our drinks….hehehe).

Also, don’t forget that Oktoberfest is actually a festival. There is also plenty of food and rides outside of the beer tents to enjoy. I would recommend doing the Ferris wheel, as it gives you a great view of the city.

The City of Munich & Beyond

The next day, we explored the city. Marenplatz is the town center, with plenty of churches, restaurants and stores to explore. I think we went there nearly everyday for food. Then on Sunday, we got to take a trip to the Bavarian Alps to see the Neuschwanstein castle, which was Disney’s inspiration for the Beauty and the Beast castle. See photos below.

Finally, on Monday, we went to visit Dachau. I don’t have much to say other than that I will ever forget the feeling in the air at that place. It was hauntingly beautiful as we were there on a balmy 70 day and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but the atmosphere, it was heavy. I would definitely suggest stopping by, but it’s a bit of a day trip as it’s outside the city.

Tips for Munich

  • Please stay with Laura and Kevin (and Mimi and Cooper!) Laura was THE BEST, seriously I want to be her friend. She gave great tips and advice for what to see and where to go. Plus their place is a quick bus ride away from Marenplatz. Also, coming home after a busy day to see Mimi and Cooper was so great. If you stay with them, please give the cats a scratch for me!
  • If you’re a girl heading to Oktoberfest, stop by Moser Trachten for a traditional Bavarian dirndl. Your dress should hit around your knee, any shorter and everyone will know you’re a tourist. Tie the apron on the right if you’re in a relationship and left if you’re single.
  • Download the MVG Fahrinfo Munchen App and pre-buy your day passes for the buses and trains. This made life SO much easier; although, you don’t have to show your ticket to get on or off the buses…
  • For the tour of the Bavarian Alps, please do book with Mario at Pure Bavaria Tours. He was  fantastic tour guide and we stopped at a cheese farm on the way back home, ugh I still think about that yummy cheese from time to time.
  • On our last night, we ate at hans im glick, a restaurant in Marenplatz. It was  burgers a fries kind of place and after being in Europe for 10 days, it was exactly what I was dying to eat.

And that’s the end of my trip. We flew back to London and then out of Heathrow to the States. I’ll never forget all the amazing things I saw on this trip and I honestly can’t wait to see where I’ll go next…



A Basic B Abroad: Amsterdam

After 3 days in London, we were off to Amsterdam. We stayed in uptown, where Vondelpark and the Rijks reside. While in Uptown, we enjoyed a stroll through Vondelpark as well as a few hours in the Rijksmuseum. I would highly recommend going to see the famous art museum; however, we spent about three hours there and only got through 1 and 1/2 floors.

Sights around Amsterdam

Unfortunately, on the 2nd day, I got food poisoning and very much did not enjoy getting lost in Amsterdam. The city, specifically downtown, is quite confusing with canals; however, it is extremely magnificent and I often find myself thinking about the beauty of the winding canals around the whole city.

FIOS BENCH ❤ (see my Longchamp, white Converse & Starbucks…basic AF)

Of course we found the Fault in our Stars bench, like did you think I would thousands of miles across the world and not stop at the bench where Hazel and Augustus sat?! We also stopped by the floating flower market, ate stroopwafel and finally found the Anne Frank House. Would highly recommend pre-buying your tickets online, as we stood in line for over an hour.

Other Tips:

  • If you’re traveling to Amsterdam, I would either go with a tour group or pre-plan the heck out of this trip. We wasted so much time wandering around, literally lost. It haunts me the number of things we probably didn’t get to see or do because we were wandering around trying to find a place or attraction.
  • Take a canal boat tour, we did ours at night and it was so beautiful to see the city all lit up!
  • Tulips are not in season in the fall, if that’s what you wanted to see (major bummer)
  • We didn’t participate in the, err, coffee shops, but if that’s what you’re into, they’re literally everywhere. Can get pre-rolled or loose. Whichever you fancy.
  • We stayed at the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel, would definitely recommend. They do city walking tours and have a decent free brunch to start your day!

A Basic B Abroad: London 

Last month, I embarked on a 10 day trip abroad to London, Amsterdam and Munich. It was very busy and jam packed with touristy stops, but it was beyond memorable. I’ll be writing a short recap of each city and today I’m starting with my three days in London.

London Bridge

Oh London, such an amazing city, with the perfect mix of old history and modern culture. We stopped by Buckingham palace, Big Ben, Regent Street and took many trips on the tube. While it was awesome to see all the sites, London reminded me of NYC, it was just another city with big buildings and thousands of things to do. I would definitely return if I was ever back in the neighborhood as there were many places I didn’t get to see (Carnaby Street! sketch!).

My favorite part of London was when we had drinks in the bar on top of the Shard. It was a tab minimum of $30 per person to hold the table, but that view was WORTH it. It was a very ‘fluffy’ place so if you’re not into snooty, maybe don’t grab drinks there. There is a viewing room with an admission cost, if you still want to see the incredible view from 72 floors above London.

Other tips:

  • We stayed at “The Wombat,” seriously, nicest hostel ever. We stayed in a six bed dorm and we had our own bathroom and lockers. The breakfast was delicious and there was a storage room to keep our bags after we had checked out. 9/10 would recommend.
  • We went to The Comedy Store Players in Piccadilly Circus; it was an improv comedy show at the comedy club where Mike Meyers started and honestly, I almost died laughing. 10/10 would recommend.
  • Download the metro app to plan out your tube route (seriously a lifesaver). Also if you’re going to be there multiple days, get the day passes, almost always worth it.
  • Pro Tip: When in doubt, find a Starbucks. Seriously, this coffee chain is EVERYWHERE, plus they have free WiFi and bathrooms. Oh, and coffee. What more do you need?