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 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

Sincerely Seven: Week 38

It was a good week (until Friday of course), but we’ve been trying to make plans for coming back to the East Coast for the holidays. Should we only come for ~2 weeks at Christmas, and board our cat, OR fly in before Thanksgiving and stay through Christmas, bringing our cat with us on the plane? I know these are things people do all the time (mainly flying with cats), I just feel SO bad at the thought of putting her through all that stress. It is nice that we could both work anywhere, AND it would be great to see family and friends. Though who knows how bad COVID will be come the holidays, so who knows how much we could even see our family and friends. *sigh. So much to decide (and if you know me, I hate decisions, I get anxious that I haven’t made a decision which makes it even harder).

These cookies are SO tasty!
  1. To say I was devastated when I heard about the passing of RBG is an understatement. Ruth, thank you for everything you did to fight for gender equality and for working tirelessly to ensure this democracy was one of fairness and equality for all. You deserve the rest.
  2. If you can, please consider donating in honor of RBG to Amy McGrath who is up for election against Mitch McConnell. On Friday, McConnell announced the Senate would push forward with trying to elect a new justice this year, only hours after it was announced RBG had passed, and that her dying wish was that her seat would be replaced under the new president. But Mitch, what happened to your stance 4 years ago?
  3. This past week was Mexican Independence Day. For those of you who aren’t clear, there’s a difference between Mexican Independence Day and Cinco De Mayo. I honestly didn’t know the difference either, since we only covered important white people events in my education, so this article was very insightful.
  4. Converse came out with their ¡Mi Gente! Collection and a friend/old co-worker of mine was one of the Latina designers who came up the concept and designed a shoe style. Love seeing her work and culture showcased in this way!
  5. These Neapolitan Cookies are delicious, also see how cute they look above! I got the recipe from 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer, but Hummingbird High posted an adapted recipe and I had to share!
  6. Did anyone see this coming? Paris Hilton revealed her real voice, and that she was playing a character for the last several years. I am shocked, but also sad she felt the need to do that? As a blonde, I’ve also purposely played dumb at certain times, though I hate to admit it. I also heard her documentary, The Real Story of Paris Hilton, is really good, but haven’t had time to watch.
  7. It’s the first day of fall this coming week! And what better way to celebrate than a trip to Trader Joe’s to get all the fall foods! The pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bread mix and spiced cider are some of my TJ fall favs!

Wishing everyone a beautiful week ahead and happy Fall!

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

 

Cheers to 2020

It was the end of a decade, but the start of an age.

-Taylor Swift

Can I just say, I am not a big New Years person. I don’t go out (like ever) because I’m usually in bed by 10 and staying up until 12 is hard and who actually cares if you went out and popped champagne and danced until your feet were sore? Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, I’d just rather stay on the couch with close loved ones and then go to bed once that ball has done it’s job.

Does that make me a weird 26 year old? Maybe, but maybe not. I really don’t care either way. At some point in the last decade, I learned to not give a shit (or more accurately, not give as much of a shit) about what other people thought of me. I’ve recently started wearing less makeup. I try to do what I want to do and sometimes that involves saying no to things that will stoke any anxious or stressful thoughts. But that also sometimes involves doing things that are going to stoke those thoughts into an, at most times, unnecessary roaring fire. In the last year, I moved across the country to the fine city of Los Angeles, leaving behind the majority of loved ones on the East Coast. That was really hard and continues to prove hard as I return back to visit, only to leave again knowing I’ll need to spend a load of money to return.

Some 2019 memories!

I think resolutions are a good idea though often easily forgotten (especially by myself). I do prefer to set goals and somewhat realistic ones at that. So here are my 2020 goals that I hope to accomplish over the next year:

1. Save money by becoming a more mindful consumer— we all know I could write, produce and star in Confessions of a Shopaholic, but after recently reading The Year of Less, I want to be more mindful of my purchases and really force myself to consciously decide if I really need to make the purchase. I also want to save around 25% of my income over the next year. Might make it into a somewhat shopping ban, stay tuned.

2. Read more—this is such a generic thing but I’ve always included reading in my goals. I read around 25 books in 2019 and I want to read 30 in 2020. I really do love reading and want to spend more time doing that, versus bingeing another bumble gum show on Netflix (but seriously is anyone watching You Season 2? GAH).

3. Make friends— since moving to LA, I’ve made a few work friends who are wonderful but I don’t have any friends to go see a chick flick with, or grab a coffee with. I love my boyfriend and spending time with him is wonderful but sometimes I miss a friend companion, if that makes any sense? I want to try some local art classes and possibly volunteer (things I’ve heard help make adult friends).

4. Make 5 difficult recipes— I’m talking roast a chicken, make REAL spaghetti, the kind of meals that take all day or at least a few hours to simmer and build flavor. I’m hoping to do more than five, but I’m also trying to be a mindful consumer so I don’t want to unnecessarily overspend to reach my goals.

5. Be present— I am 100% guilty of spending a lot of time on my phone. Like too much time. I cringe when my screen report pops up every Sunday morning and shames me into another week. I might take a month break from social media or something wild, but no promises.

Here’s to a new year, a new decade, and all the possibilities that the future has in store. I hope you take today to spend time with yourself, with loved ones, or however you choose to find joy and happiness.

Love always,

Sara

The Thing about Engagements.

At the ripe old age of 25, I am frequently bombarded with engagement posts all over my social media pages. It seems like every weekend, someone else I know either pops the question, or is asked for their hand in marriage. One by one, my friends are vanishing into wedding planning and settling down to spend their life with ‘the one.’ It seems like only yesterday we were studying for history tests in high school, and chugging beers on frat row in college. Yet, here we are attending showers and discussing bouquet arrangements. And, let me tell you, it’s getting so damn old.

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Now I need to clarify something, because I feel like this could be taken the wrong way. The reason I’m so annoyed with all these engagements has nothing to do with the fact that I doubt my boyfriend has ever even thought about the possibility of proposing. It’s that, at the age of 25, I still feel like I’m 17 and I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m barely a functioning adult and you have the audacity to think I can be someone’s wife?! I’m have quite a bit of student loan debt, and you want me to plan a wedding?! It takes me 25 minutes to pick a movie on Netflix, you honestly expect me to pick a venue, meal and 4-5 friends to stand by my side?? You’re funny.

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Honest to goodness, I am so happy for all the friends I scoff at on Facebook when they post a photo of their ring. I honestly cannot wait to attend the wedding (or creep on the Facebook photos) and see the looks of joy on their faces. I cry at sappy romance films, I LOVE love and I love ‘happily ever afters’ even more. I just don’t why everyone is in such a rush to do this thing (and then the next thing which I cannot even begin to fathom, yes I’m talking about babies). To me, marriage is scary. It’s this serious adult thing that means something. You stand before your family and friends and God and vow to choose this person every single day for the rest of your life. And it seems like everyone is racing towards it.

Now, I love my boyfriend, and I love what we are together, but I’m content with where we’re at. I honestly wouldn’t care if he didn’t propose for another 5 or 10 years. Or never (again to be honest, I do want to get married, but planning a wedding sounds like literal hell with so many decisions and money down the drain, why would I do that)? I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that friends my age (or younger) are like yes, let’s do this thing that is (well, should be) permanent and really serious. Am I just overthinking it? I get that I shouldn’t compare my life journey to someone else’s, but it’s hard not to when it seems like literally every other person my age is doing this one thing. Every time I see another post or picture of a ring, I think of Amy Poehler’s wise words, “good for you, not for me.”

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Does anyone else feel this way about engagements? Or has anyone else survived their twenty’s and lived to give advice to the rest of us wandering souls? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!