A Minute For Reflection

Healthy Living, Other Thoughts

Meditate and Reflect

In honor of Easter and Passover this past week, and regardless of whether or not you celebrate either, this is a great time to take a moment and do a little reflection. For me it seems like life happens so fast that I rarely have the chance, or make the time, to take a step back and reflect on things that are important to me, or to think about the things that I am grateful for. So, right now I am going to take a minute to reflect, feel free to set aside a few minutes today to pause and come along with me (and no, you don’t have to sit in a meditation pose, but feel free to!).

Below is a short list of things that I plan to take separate moments today to think about, reflect on, and appreciate – if you would like to use these as a guide for your own reflection please do so.

1. Family

Boy, can family be a pain in the butt, but they can also be the strong roots that support you and lead to beautiful moments.

 

2. Friends

Take a minute to think about the people that build you up every day, that empower you to be your best self.

 

3. You

You are the ruler of your life, take a moment to think about and appreciate all the things that you have done for yourself lately.

 

Last, but not least, I am so very thankful for you all, thank you for coming along on this journey with us.

Sausage, Spinach, Wild Mushroom & Cheese Frittata

Family, Friends, Healthy Living, Recipes

Frittata

In honor of Easter Weekend I want to share the perfect frittata. So gather your friends and family around you and whip us this tasty treat.

Sausage, Spinach, Wild Mushroom & Cheese Frittata

Ingredients:

8 eggs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 oz. white cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed

3/4 lb. assorted wild mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

1 bunch Swiss chard, about 3/4 lb., stems removed and leaves cut into 1-inch strips

 

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper. Fold in the cheese. Set aside.

In the deep half of a frittata pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the sausage on paper towels, then transfer to another bowl.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage.

In the same pan over medium heat, warm 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add half of the Spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tsp. of the olive oil and the remaining Spinach.

Return the rest of Spinach, the sausage and the mushrooms to the pan and heat over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the egg mixture and cook, using a rubber spatula to lift the cooked edges and allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking until the eggs begin to set, 4 to 6 minutes more.

Lightly brush the shallow pan with the remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and heat over medium heat. Place the shallow pan upside down on top of the deep pan and flip the frittata into the shallow pan. Cook, covered, until the eggs are set, about 6 minutes. (Note: If you do not have a frittata pan heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit after the the eggs have set place the pan in the oven for 7-14 minutes until a nice brown crust over top the frittata.)

Gently shake the pan to loosen the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate. Serves 8.

Why Your Twenties Matter

Healthy Living, Real World

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 5.14.54 PM

Recently I watched this TED talk, Why 30 Is Not The New 20. If you haven’t watched it, you should, it just might change your life. As I sat in my living room listening to Meg Jay talk about why 30 is in fact, not the new twenty, there were a lot of thoughts running through my head. At first I thought something along the lines of “who the hell actually thinks that 30 is the new 20? what.” It was a strange concept to be sure, but the more I listened to her speak, the more I realized that even though I would never have phrased it that way, she is completely right.

This thing called the twenties, or in our case the twenty-somethings, have earned a weird reputation. We are suspended between fun loving college students, and serious settled adults. Meg Jay’s take on it as an “extended adolescence” isn’t wrong. While we don’t exactly think of our twenties as a throw away, we don’t exactly think of them as the decade that determines most of the important decisions of your life – but that’s exactly what it is.

This is the decade that we define who we are, and who we will be. We graduate from college, we do something with that degree (even if it is just hanging it on a wall), we choose our careers, we choose what city we live in, and in a lot of cases we choose our partners, and possibly even start a family. Holy shit – those are all HUGE choices. So why is it exactly that this decade seems if not unimportant, unintegral?

We all know people, maybe even the person in the mirror, making choices that could affect their later years negatively. First – There are twenty-somethings who have no idea what they want to do, so they wait tables or work other random jobs while trying to figure it out. While everyone needs money, and props to them for making it work, this is a time period where we need to be gaining “career capital” for our future. This is the time to show who we are and why we kick ass at our chosen path, but to do that you have to actually determine a path. So even if we do need to wait tables, we also need to be shadowing professionals in fields we are interested in, or interning with companies that we might like. This is not the time to let days slip by.

Second, the relationships we have MATTER. Meg Jay told a story about a patient that said something to the effect of “I know he isn’t right for me, but it doesn’t matter because I’m just having fun, not settling down.” and then later down the road was something like “we got married when we were thirty because it was time to settle down, and I’m horrifically unhappy.” Pump the breaks. I’m not saying that we can’t have fun in our twenties, and that every relationship has to be make or break, but we need to be aware that the people we surround ourselves with matter. Either they make you happy or they don’t. They make you better or they don’t. And do you really want to be with the people that don’t? This applies to significant others, but it also applies to friends.

So the moral of the story is this – your twenties matter. They really matter. This is your life people, choose wisely.

 

Mindy Kaling : Subscription to Beauty

Fashion & Beauty, Healthy Living, Other Thoughts, Real World, Uncategorized

Mindy Kaling

The amount of love I have for this woman is treading dangerously close to obsession. Let’s just get that out there right off the bat.

It wasn’t until this year that I began to struggle with my weight, and that has a lot to do with the fact that I was living with my boyfriend – pizza and ramen were staples in our diet. When I say struggle, I mean that for the first time in my life, I couldn’t down an entire pizza and cheesy bread without bloating. The struggle was real. My metabolism had finally leveled out with my age and now I was paying for all those late night TacoBell runs.

But here’s the thing – at least I don’t have to subject myself to the aggressive commentary of the public (just my mother’s judgmental eyes when I go for that second baked potato). For those of you who are familiar with Mindy Kaling, you know that she is outrageously funny. After Elle used a cropped image of her for their cover rather than the full body shot it used for other cover-girls, Kaling became a pioneer for those women who didn’t fit the super-skinny stereotype.

mindy12f-1-web o-ALLISON-570 o-AMY-570

Kaling never expected to become a role model or ground-breaking woman in Hollywood. Watch this segment of her interview with Jimmy Kimmel and see how she feels about the new coverage:

 

So basically, good ol’ Mindy is one kick-ass woman. She made some really incredible points in her interview with Jimmy, and I think she is spot on. She is a NORMAL woman. She cares about how she looks. She enjoys experimenting with fashion trends. She looks for relationships. She has a sense of self-confidence, but she is still prone to insecurities. Just because she is not shamed into a corner for not looking like the vast majority of her colleagues does not by any means imply that she is immune to the commentary – backhanded or not. Kaling is simply allowing herself to be herself with no intention of becoming a hero to anyone – though if she becomes one along the way, she certainly wont complain.

What a SOLE-ful Meal

Budgeting, Family, Friends, Healthy Living, Recipes

parmesancrustedsole

We all have our favorite dishes, and those we wish we could make. Mine just happens to be the Parmesan Crusted Sole from Romanos Macaroni Grill. However, I do not enjoy paying $18.75 for one dish, so I found the secret to serving four the same delicious, and healthier meal, for the same price.

Parmesan Crusted Sole

Serves 4

4 (6-8 oz) Sole fillets
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Lemon Beurre Blanc (Don’t worry its super easy and I included the recipe at the bottom YUMMM.)

In a food processor blend panko, parmesan and parsley until fine. Transfer to a shallow pan. In a separate pan whip eggs and milk until well combined. In a third pan place the flour.

Take the sole fillets and season with salt, pepper and powdered garlic. Dredge sole in flour, then egg wash and finally in the parmesan/panko mix. Pat the parmesan and panko into the sole until the mix sticks to the fish.

In a large saute pan heat butter and olive oil until hot. Carefully place sole in the pan and shake the pan to make sure the fish doesn’t stick. When sole is golden brown, flip over and continue to cook. When sole is done (120° F internally), transfer to plate and top with lemon beurre blanc.

Lemon Beurre Blanc
Makes 1 cup
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 lb butter – unsalted, chilled, cut into cubes
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
In a sauce pan over medium high heat, combine wine, vinegar and shallots. Reduce until almost a syrup consistency. Add cream and continue to cook reducing by half. Turn the heat to low and add butter cubes 2 at a time while stirring until all the butter is added and sauce is a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: If the butter is not chilled it will not incorporate into the sauce. Also if the wine mixture is not reduced far enough the sauce will be runny.
Orzo and Spinach
4 ounces julienne-shredded fresh spinach
1/2 small julienne-cut radicchio
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato packed in oil, julienne cut
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
4 ounces orzo pasta, uncooked
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice and zest of one small lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook orzo according to directions on box, about 9 minutes or until al dente. Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and stir, making sure to not let the garlic brown. Add the zest and lemon juice. Toss in the spinach and radicchio and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat and add orzo. Mix. Sprinkle with cheese once it is on the plate.
 
kate-middleton

Kate Middleton: Why She’s an Incredible Role Model for Women Everywhere

Healthy Living, Other Thoughts, Real World, Relationships & Sex

kate-middleton

There is a reason why everyone is obsessed with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge: she is a woman who has her shit together. And even if she doesn’t, she sure does carry herself like she does.

Recently, I was on a business trip when a special about Prince William and Kate came on the television that JetBlue has in front of each of the seats. I stopped on the channel, unable to find anything else intriguing to watch. I, like everyone, am fascinated with all things Duchess: her style, her demeanor and her grace.

However, she is so much more than the Duchess of Cambridge; Kate Middleton is a beacon of light for women everywhere. Sure, we aren’t all on our ways to being the queen, but we can learn from her as she takes the world by storm.
Here are reasons why Kate Middleton is not only a fantastic role model for her subjects in England, but for all the women across the world.

She’s Changing The Way We Think About Body Image

One of my absolutely favorite Kate Middleton moments was when she exited St. Mary’s Hospital’s Lindo Wing to show Prince George to the world. Not only had Kate only given birth a day before George’s introduction to the world, she also had to show off her post-baby bod. Talk about pressure!

kate middleton

Of course, the Duchess of Cambridge’s figure was scrutinized. People were stunned to see how beautiful her hair was styled post delivery, and her blue polka dot dress is still being talked about. What caught most people’s attention was her stomach: it wasn’t flat. Unlike Prince William’s late mother Diana, who opted for a full-coverage gown after stepping out to show off William, Kate decided to go for a dress that she would wear on any other given day.

Not only was Kate Middleton brave to be showing off her post-baby bod so soon without worrying about the critics, she also showed women everywhere that it’s okay to accept your body for the way it is after you have given birth to a human being. She came out of the Lindo Wing, natural and beautiful, which was widely accepted by all.

According to “British Motherhood Guru” Siobhan Freegard, “In a couple of minutes on the steps of the Lindo Wing, Kate has done more for new mums’ self-esteem than any other role model.
 Sadly too many celebrities often have ultra fast tummy tucks or strap themselves down to emerge in tiny size 6 jeans, leaving everyone else feeling inadequate. Kate shows what a real mum looks like—and natural is beautiful.
”

Thanks to Kate Middleton, we are one step closer to getting rid of this unrealistic expectations that our bodies aren’t perfect just the way they are.

She Dresses Modestly, Yes, But She Has A Say in Her Fashion Choices

Kate is a part of the royal family now, so she can’t dress in super casual wear in public. She helps pick out her clothes that she wears to public events with the help of her best friend and stylist, Emilia Jardine-Paterson.

Whether she’s in casual wear or a ball gown, Kate always impresses with her modest yet fashionable style. She makes being covered up look contemporary and chic without compromising her personal style. Below are a few of my personal favorite styles from the Duchess:

kate middleton

The egg shell blue dress she wore while on the Royal tour in Singapore.

kate middleton

A teal Jenny Packham dress with lace back and Jimmy Choo heels.

kate middleton

Roland Mouret’s Lombard gown

kate m

On tour of Canada, Duchess Kate wore a purple dress by Issa with a diamond-studded maple leaf brooch borrowed from the Queen.

For more of Kate Middleton’s best looks, you can go Glamour’s awesome photo collection of her attire.

She Works Hard to Give Back to the Community

Sure, she may have to show up to some charities as part of her royal duties. But Kate Middleton actually cares about the work she does.

Not only was The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry established in 2009, but the Duchess of Cambridge “had taken on the patronage of a further three organisations” in 2013 and “had taken on the patronage of four charities” in 2012.

Duchess Kate also “asked her wedding guests for donations to an anti-bullying charity instead of gifts,” as she was a victim of bullying herself in her younger years.

She Established Her Independence Before Marrying Prince William

In my personal opinion, it is so important to spend time on your own and get to know yourself before you can be fully involved with someone else. We know Kate now as Duchess Kate, but she dated William for nine years before he proposed.

Even after dating William for four years, Kate and William called it quits for a short while in 2007. Essentially, the couple never saw each other and Kate was being harassed by the paparazzi.

Not only was Kate aware that her every step was being scrutinized while dating William, but she herself did not know what direction she wanted to go in life. According to Parade, they broke up and spent time apart. During this time apart, “Kate embarked on a breakup social whirl, [but] inside she was in pain.”

Girlfriend took some time to herself to decide what was right for her and to make sure she wasn’t rushing into a life she didn’t want. Once she realized it is what she wanted, she and William got back together.

It seems to be working for them. Commenting on their break up later, William has said, “We were both very young … We were both finding ourselves and being different characters. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up so it was just a bit of space and it worked out for the better.”

She Radiates Happiness

My favorite characteristic about Duchess Kate is the fact that she nearly always has a smile on her face. She is composed and graceful; she also always looks genuinely happy. Whether she’s walking her dog Lupo, talking to young children, playing volleyball with students, or simply being photographed while walking down the street, the Duchess is the epitome of someone that radiates happiness.

We should all strive to be as happy and healthy as Kate Middleton. You go, girl.

kate middleton blue dress

20 Things Sex & The City Taught Us About Our Twenties

College, Friends, Healthy Living, Real World, Relationships & Sex

Sex and the city

In my opinion, Sex and the City is the cornerstone of twenty-something womanhood. That may be a slightly aggressive statement, and yes it may be an old show – but think about it. Have you ever had a problem that hasn’t been addressed in an episode of the show? Haven’t you discussed which of your friends is which character? Have you ever secretly wished that life could happen like the show, that you could have Carrie’s closet, Samantha’s confidence, Miranda’s smarts, and Charlotte’s class? When friends go through bad break ups we heal ourselves with ice-cream, alcohol, a good cry, and a few seasons of SATC. There is an episode for everything you can expect in your twenties. But more important than all the clothes, men and cocktails Sex and the City teaches us all some of the most important lessons that we need to learn as twenty-something’s.

Don’t Compromise Yourself

Dont Compromise Yourself

Everyone Has Issues

  Everyone has issues 2

People Will Judge You- But You Control Your Life

You control Your Life

Embrace Your Sexuality

 Embrace Your Sexuality

Sometimes You Have To Accept Defeat

 Sometimes you have to accept defeat

We Aren’t Meant To Be Tamed

 Women arent meant to be tamed

Release The People That Drag You Down

Release the people that drag you down

Realize What Is Important, And Prioritize It

 Realize whats important

You Don’t Have To Be Positive All The Time

 You dont have to be positive all the time

Our Girlfriends Are Our Soulmates

 Girlfriends are our soul mates

Timing Isn’t Always What You Want It To Be

 Timing Isnt always what you want it to be

Wait For What You Deserve

 Wait for what you deserve

Shopping Is The Best Cardio

 Shopping is the answer

Listen To Your Friends, They Look Out For You

 Listen to your friends

Be Honest

 Be Honest

You Can’t Plan For Everything

 You Cant plan for everything

Embarrassing Things Happen To Everyone

 Embarassing things happen to everyone

Tell It Like It Is

 Tell it like it is

Don’t Let Fear Control You

 Don't let fear control you

Your Most Important Relationship Is With Yourself

The Most important relationship, yourself

What you should know about getting an IUD

Healthy Living, Relationships & Sex

birth control

Ever since we got acne, and my first friend started “doing it,” birth control has been a hot topic; and as twenty-something’s the myriad of choices can be overwhelming. Many of my twenty-something friends have chosen to switch their birth control option to an intrauterine device (IUD). I started taking The Pill when I was 16; and by the time 22 came around, I was sick and tired of filling my body with hormones, day after day. I’m also terrible at remembering to take meds, and I know many of my friends are too. No matter how many reminders I set, I would inevitably skip a day or two and have to make up for it. So, when I heard about a birth control option that would last me 5-10 years without having to think about it after the first few months, would prevent me from having hormones pumping through my body, and would be completely reversible whenever (if-ever) I so choose? Well, I was on board.

But before you make a decision about sticking with your birth control pill, or switching to an IUD, there are some things that you absolutely need to know.

Types of IUDs

An IUD basically looks like a small piece of plastic shaped like a T that gets inserted into your uterus. The two most popular versions of an IUD are ParaGard and Mirena.

ParaGard: made of copper which basically makes your uterus toxic to sperm (pretty cool, right?)

Pros- 99% effective, lasts up to 10 years, hormone-free (!!)

Cons- heavier, longer-lasting periods

Mirena: releases progestin that makes your body prevent sperm from entering the uterus

Pros- 99% effective, lasts up to 5 years, shorter and lighter periods (most women no longer get a period after 3 months… and that’s totally fine for your body!)

Cons- local release of hormones (but, at least it’s not pumping through your whole body like The Pill)

The Insertion Process

So, you can usually only get an IUD inserted at a gynecologist’s office or at Planned Parenthood. You will discuss your options, sign forms, take some ibuprofen, and get set up in the stirrups. Some places will give you a local anesthetic, and I highly suggest you ask for it. You can place a pill close to the cervix to soften it, and make it easier and less painful to place the device. They insert the speculum, then take some time to switch gloves to be sterile, and then insert that thing right into your cervix. Which hurts. Like a bitch. Not gonna lie (I did not have local anesthetic). Then you’re done. There is a 1/1000 risk of perforation (i.e. the IUD punctures your uterus), but your doc can usually tell if that happens. I had some minor bleeding, some slight dizziness from the pain, but then was sent off on my way to deal with my terrible cramps for the next 24-48 hours. (I would definitely recommend having nothing planned for the day you have this done, although I do have a friend who got hers implanted and then drove two hours to college on move in day). Everyone’s pain levels are different. Some people have no cramping or issues the next day, others don’t want to get out of bed for 2 days (and I have a friend who couldn’t drive herself home after the appointment), I was fine after 24 hours. So prepare for anything.

Maintenance

So that little plastic piece that is now in your uterus has two little strings that hang off of it, which hang out in your vagina. (After a few months they usually wrap up around your cervix and are gone.) In those first 3 months you want to check and make sure those strings are in the same place. Are they shorter? Are they longer? Does it feel different? If so, go see your physician ASAP because it’s an indication that the IUD moved out of place. There’s only a 2-3% chance this happens, but hey it happened to me! One day my strings were longer, I saw my physician, and my IUD had moved, so I had it removed and replaced.

Cost

Without insurance, an IUD generally costs $1000. Fortunately, with my insurance it was covered at 100% (I didn’t even have to pay a co-pay). Thanks Obamacare!! Check with your insurance provider.

 

There are so many options for birth control these days, take the time to do your research and speak with your physician when deciding what option is the best for you. Every body is different, so make sure you are choosing the right option for you.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. This information is based on my personal experience and the information I received from my physician and reputable sources.

Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

Family, Healthy Living, Recipes

Dog Treats!

As you may know, I am the lucky mother of two rescue dogs, Snugs & Ruby. Like many of their four-legged brethren Snugs and Ruby love nothing more than a great snack, a good belly rub, and a nap (preferably on the people bed). We have tried out a couple different dog treat recipes, and have bought treats at what seems like millions of specialty dog stores in Portland. So in the spirit of good snacking, take a look at our recipe for Bacon dog treats.

This recipe makes about a dozen treats, bone shaped cookie cutters optional (but preferred)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (for dusting on top)
  • 3 slices of bacon, chopped

Steps

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs and peanut butter.

3. Add in the flower while whisking slowly.

4. Roll out dough, and use dog bone cookie cutter to create cute shapes.

5. Spread chopped bacon onto the top of cookies, pat down to keep them put.

6. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes

7. Take treats out, and allow to cool before serving to your pooches!

 

Not only are these treats going to be a huge hit with your dogs, but they are also healthy and home made. When you take a look at packaged treats in the store you may be surprised by some of the ingredients you see, and it stands to reason that if those ingredients aren’t good for humans, they can’t be good for our fur babies. Now you can feed your dogs treats, and feel good knowing that you were in control of the ingredients that went into them, and that your dogs can enjoy themselves while staying healthy.

Snack on my furry friends – and SIT!

treat-appearance

 

Tech Talk: Top 10 Must-Have Apps

Budgeting, Friends, Healthy Living, Real World, Recipes

apps

If you’re like me, then your smartphone is probably plastered to your hand during most waking hours. Our generation is the first of its kind in that we have access to unprecedented resources at our fingertips. In matters of money, love, friendship, networking, and healthy living, more than likely There’s an app for that. And so, without further ado, my top-ten list of must-have apps for your twentysomething life.

1) Mint
One of the sure signs of being in your twenties is that money magically disappears from your bank account at an alarming rate. Payday is on Friday, but by the time you account for rent, food, insurance and other miscellaneous bills, you’re desperately searching the couch cushions for loose change by Saturday. Luckily, Mint gives you a better way to manage your money. The app allows you to categorize and track all of your spending and shows you areas where you can save money. You never know, you might actually be able to afford to biggie-size your fries after all. You go Glen Coco.

2) iBartender
Once upon a time, there was a college undergrad who thought that the key to a good cocktail was to grab any kind of liquor and mix it with any kind of juice and ¡voila! mixology magic! It didn’t matter if you put so much alcohol in it that you could barely swallow because hey, drinks aren’t supposed to be fun, AmIRight?!

Umm…many rough mornings later, I’ve learned that the secret to avoiding that “Dear-God-If-I-Survive-This-I-Swear-I-Am-Never-Drinking-Again” feeling is to Know. What. You’re. Doing. The iBartender app provides easy drink recipes to impress your family and friends with. Plus, my favorite feature of the app is that it allows you to choose which ingredients you have available and gives you a list of drink recipes that are actually acceptable for human consumption.

3) Gas Buddy
Say it with me: paying for gas makes me want to cry. I don’t know, just something about spending almost four dollars for ONE gallon of gas just kills me a little inside. Thank GAWD all the stars aligned and somebody created the GasBuddy app. This little gem finds the cheapest gas based on your geographical location! Never underestimate the benefit of saving a few pennies at the pump. Those pennies definitely add up!

4) Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat

Do we even really need to discuss this one? Social media is, in essence, the bloodline of our young adult lives. We are a generation that needs to be connected 24 hours a day (whatever you definition of connected may be). Social media is like one-stop shopping: you can (not so) secretly stalk your exes, keep up with what your high school lab partner had for lunch today (because some things you just need to know RIGHT NOW),  and get the latest news and gossip all in one place. Downloading the app(s) on your phone ensures that you never miss a minute of the action. A few notes: 1) You are not invisible online. You never know who is watching what you like/post/tweet so keep it classy. 2) Snapchat is not an excuse for you to expose your kibbles and bits to the world. Put your clothes back on. 3) Taking selfies is, like, a thing now. I get it. However, please feel free to take pictures of something else. Thanks, Management.

5) LinkedIn

If I had to assign the most important word to the twentysomething years, it would be networking. After four years of undergraduate study, you are the proud owner of a shiny new diploma. Now the question is, what are you going to do with it? The job market is as competitive as it’s ever been and no one is going to know who the hell you are or what skills you have if you don’t market them appropriately. Every twentysomething should create a LinkedIn account, like NOW. This vast network of employers and companies is the perfect pool for you to cast your poor little unemployed net into. Use the app like a mobile resume: update your most current employment, add useful skills, and make connections with people in fields that are important to you.

6) Netflix

There is nothing – NOTHING – like being able to watch your favorite movies and TV shows while you’re dying of boredom in the waiting room of your doctor’s office. For just a few dollars a month you can have access to unlimited OMG moments wherever you are. Because sorting out that super awkward love triangle between Olivia and Fitz and Mellie all of a sudden makes sitting in that waiting room not so bad after all.

7) *insert your favorite smartphone game*

Candy Crush. Flappy Bird. That is all.

8) Pandora

This is one of my favorite apps for two reasons. For one, it saves me a ton of storage space in my phone because I can have all the music I want in one app instead of downloading my entire music library (complete with notable Miley Cyrus throwbacks before she was, you know, Miley Cyrus) to my phone. And secondly, Pandora stations are perfectly suited to whatever mood I’m in. I can switch to 2 Chainz radio when I wanna twerk somn’ giiirl, or throw on some John Mayer when I want to eat junk food and cry about why I’m not rich and famous like Beyonce. Either way, it just works.

9) Epicurious

This app is one that I just discovered recently and, let me tell you, this app was MADE for people like me. There are those of us who are…ummm…challenged in matters of culinary technique, and that’s okay! Because now, there is an app full of recipes broken down into every category imaginable. For example, the home page right now has recipes for chocolate desserts, spring cocktails, mother’s day dinners, quick breakfasts, and Easter desserts, just to name a few. Now, with just a click (tap?) you can find a list of ingredients and instructions to create actual real life meals. Because although Cinnamon Toast Crunch fulfills all the desires your twentysomething heart and stomach could ever have, I think we can do a little better.

10) My Fitness Pal

Rouding out my top ten is the My Fitness Pal app. Y’all..this thing is incredible. Some of us can remember a time when we could fold into a pretzel with no problem. Nowadays, climbing the stairs is the world’s greatest struggle and trying to bend over and touch your toes is just…not gonna happen. Luckily, this app is for all the fitness backsliders of the world. It allows you to keep a daily journal of food intake, calories consumed, and exercises performed. It also keeps you on track so that you can get healthy and lose weight in a safe and appropriate amount of time. Plus, you can add your friends and help keep each other on track. Summer is fast approaching-time to get it right, get it tight!

P.S. all of these apps are FREE! So, since you’re probably on your phone right at this moment or have it within a six inch radius of your hand, go ahead and download some useful apps! Your phone battery is going to run out too fast anyway – might as well spend it on something productive 🙂