A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes? Most Likely!

Other Thoughts, Real World

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”

― John Lennon

As someone who has very real and lucid dreams each night, I find sleeping and dreaming to be fascinating subjects.

I dream about a myriad of things: current friends, pain, old boyfriends, moving residences, ghosts, happiness, the Energizer Bunny, summers at the beach, Kit Kats, people cheating on each other, something someone said to me that one time… the list goes on and on.

Sometimes, I get so emotionally involved in my dreams that I don’t even feel rested when I wake up because my mind has been so active during the night. I know that I’m technically unconscious when I’m dreaming, but it feels so real. Thusly, I decided to do some research on dreaming.

The brain is amazing, fascinating and complicated, and here is what I found out:

You Can Control Your Dreams

As mentioned before, I finally have started to be able to control my dreams. It took a lot of confusing dreams to finally decide I wanted to look up how this is even possible.

My first lucid dream, which is what they call the dream that can be manipulated by the dreamer, was very simple. I remember that my goal in the dream was to fly, but for some reason, my legs would not let me. My dream self stopped for a moment, and declared out loud that this was a dream and that I could do anything I wanted to. Then, I started to fly. I woke up both very impressed and slightly confused.

A few years back, CNN published an article on lucid dreaming, saying that, “In fact, humans have known about lucid dreaming for centuries; Tibetan Buddhists began practicing “dream yoga” more than 1,000 years ago as a means of attaining a purer form of consciousness through awareness in dreams.”

So how does one have a lucid dream? For one, you can try to remind yourself before you go to sleep that you will be dreaming soon. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it can help ease you into the process of lucid dreaming.

Or, you can assume the old fashion way and just let yourself have dreams that unfold without your dream self’s intervention.

Dream land

When You Dream, Your Body is Paralyzed

This is extremely scary to think about, in my personal opinion. However, it happens to every person while they dream every single night. This occurs during the REM atonia stage; REM means Rapid Eye Movement and is the phase most closely connected with dreaming, while atonia means lack of muscle tension.

According to World Of Lucid Dreaming:

“REM atonia is an essential sleep mechanism. As you fall asleep, it cuts off the electrical signals between your muscles and your brain so that you can sleep peacefully each night. In short, it stops you from acting out your dreams.

The experience of sleep paralysis occurs when your mind (in part) wakes up, but your body remains asleep. Physically asleep, you remain paralyzed. But mentally conscious, you may start to panic and the half-dreaming mind conjures up nightmarish images to “explain” what is happening, often based on cultural beliefs.”

But alas, it’s all normal! So that makes me feel a little bit better. Sort of?

You Forget 90% of Your Dreams

For the longest time, I refused to believe this was true. I feel as if every night I have a certain number of dreams and remember at least a few (weird and quirky) aspects of each one. How could I possibly still forget 90% of my dreams?!

Most studies suggest that people over 10 years old can dream from 4 to 6 times a night. The general “rule of thumb,” according to How Stuff Works, is as follows:

“It is said that five minutes after the end of a dream, we have forgotten 50 percent of the dream’s content. Ten minutes later, we’ve forgotten 90 percent of its content.”

There are many different theories on why this is so. “Freud theorized that we forget our dreams because they contain our repressed thoughts and wishes and so we shouldn’t want to remember them anyway. Other research points to the simple reason that other things get in the way. We are forward-thinking by nature, so remembering something when we first wake up is difficult.”

In Our Dreams, You Only See Faces You Already Know

This is yet another fact that I refused to believe for the longest time. I was completely convinced that there was no way in hell that I could have seen every person in my dream. In fact, I was sure that my mind was trying to mess with me after a while.

The fact of the matter is: we only dream of what we know. It’s a little hard for me to wrap my head around, seeing as though I always that creative people’s minds were different and could create new images. However, it’s simply not so.

I was on the Phillippine Psychiatric Association page when I came across this fact: “The strangers that we see in our dreams are actually real people that we might have actually seen during our lifetime even though we might not just know or even remember them. Because we meet a lot of people everyday during our lifetime, it is only natural for us to have an endless supply of characters that our brain could use when we dream.”

Brain: 1000000, Me: 0.

Dreams Are Symbolic

This one is one of the more interesting pieces of information on dreaming, in my opinion. Dreams can be weird, bizarre and have nothing to do with anything; they can also be symbolic and reoccuring due to the fact that your brain is trying to tell you something important. It just varies.

Like a lot of women, I’ve looked up “themes” in my dream dictionary only to be convinced that the symbolic representation of my dream was incorrect. But sometimes, it takes a bit more work to figure out what our dreams mean to us.

According to Harvard-trained psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber (found on Women’s Day), “The meaning of our dreams oftentimes relates to things we are needing to understand about ourselves and the world around us. We tend to dismiss these dreams due to the strange components, yet it is the feeling we have in these dreams that matters most.”

So, dreams are obviously up to interpretation. What matters most is your interpretation and how you feel about your dream. While you may not focus on the actual figures and go for the overarching picture.

And if you don’t get it right away, don’t worry. Your brain has that handled. Sometimes reoccurring dreams will occur as a way of trying to get a point across.

Men and Women Dream Differently

I always assumed both sexes had the same type of dreams, but looking back, how could they? We don’t even think in the same way. In general, men and women experience the world very differently.

According to a recently published article by Huffington Post, themes pop up differently for each gender during the time that they dream.

For example, “women may have a tendency to dream of emotions, relationships, and family members. In contrast, men may have a tendency to dream of violence, strangers, cars, and sex with unknown partners.”

That sounds about dead on.

And as if that doesn’t differentiate our dreams enough, women and men also interpret dreams differently. Shocker there? Not at all, because we interpret things differently when we are awake, as well.

“Women tend to recall more details of their dreams and regard them as more important, on average, than most men might. Women are also more likely to share, record, and discuss their dreams with others. Additionally, women are more likely to define a dream as being a nightmare and are more likely than men to seek out dream interpretation and/or use a dream dictionary to help them to understand the meaning of their dreams,” states the article. That sure explains why I have three different dream dictionaries, doesn’t it?

Sure, there are exceptions to these very scientific but “gender-based stereotypes,” but I am talking generally here.

For more of a breakdown of how differently men and women dream, check out the amazing Huffington Post article here.

So, is a dream a wish your heart makes? Probably.

Dream on, dreamers!



8 Reasons To Smile On Monday

Other Thoughts


Everyone can use some happiness on Mondays. I’m fairly certain that it is scientifically proven that Monday’s are the worst day of the week – so here are a few things to smile about today.


1. Coffee.



2. This Adorable Mother’s Day Card from Simply Jessica Marie

Mothers Day Card


3. Tule Skirts from Space46 Boutique 

Krystin Lee_Annawithlove_Tulle Skirt_blog--7


4. This adorable pic of my puppies

Snugs and Ruby


5. Will & Grace Marathons


6. Summer Hits of the 90s station on Pandora

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 10.17.30 AM

7. Passion Tea from Tazo


8. Brookside Dark Chocolate Goji Raspberries & Pomegranate



8 Cocktails For Spring

College, Friends, Other Thoughts, Real World, Recipes, Uncategorized
Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Sunshine, music, patios, friends, family and the wind in your hair. What’s missing? The perfect cocktail. Lets be honest, this week is completely crawling by at a snails pace, and I need something fun to look forward to making this weekend. Here are 8 simple recipes for great spring and summer cocktails, weekend wisely!

Counting down to my all time favorite we are starting with…

08 – Kir Royale

Courtesy of Google

Courtesy of Google









Ingredients: Creme de Cassis, Chilled champagne or sparkling wine

  •  Pour 1 Oz of Creme de cassis in the glass
  •  Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  •  Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object
  •  If you have a cherry just throw it in your drink.

07 – Long Island Iced Tea

Courtesy of Cocktails.com

Courtesy of Cocktails.com







Ingredients: 1 Oz Vodka,1 Oz Gin,1 Oz White Rum,1 Oz Silver Tequila ,1 Oz Triple sec,1.5 Oz Sweet and Sour mix,Splash of Coke,8 Ice cubes of ice

  • Pour the vodka and gin
  • Add the rum, tequila and triple sec
  • Add the sweet and sour mix
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Shake it ! 12 times at least
  • Fill your highball glass with ice, fill it to the top.Strain the cocktail into your glass
  • Strain the cocktail into the glass over the ice
  • Save a little room for the coke, top the drink with it
  • Drink or serve it, garnish with a lemon wedge

06 – Margarita

Courtesy of Chow.com

Courtesy of Chow.com

Ingredients: 2 Oz Tequila,1 Oz Orange liqueur,Juice of 1 lime or lemon,0.5 Oz of simple syrup or Lime Cordial,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice

  • Pour all ingredients into the shaker.
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Add the fresh lime juice or just squeeze a whole lime inside
  • Shake it hard! 12 times at least
  • Strain the cocktail into your chilled glass or strain over ice (margarita on the rocks)
  • Place a lime peel on the rim of the glass or put salt on the rim of the glass. If you want to “salt your rim” check out our cocktail guru tip at the bottom of this page.
  • Drink or serve it, your Perfect Margarita is ready to drink!

05 – Mimosa

Courtesy of Inspired Taste

Courtesy of Inspired Taste

Ingredients: Half a glass of orange juice,Chilled champagne or sparkling wine

  • Fill half of your glass with orange juice, make sure it’s cold
  • Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  • Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object

04 – Apple Martini

Courtesy of Gustologist

Courtesy of Gustologist

Ingredients: 1.5 Oz Apple flavored vodka,1 Oz Sour apple liqueur or apple flavored schnapps,Dash Midori,1 Oz Pineapple juice,1 Oz Apple juice,8-10 Ice cubes

  • Pour the alcohol into your shaker
  • Add apple and pineapple juice
  • Add ice
  • Stir 12 times
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice a tall glass
  • Drink or serve it, your cocktail is ready to drink!>
  • Garnish with three apple pieces on a toothpick

03 – Bellini

Courtesy of Laylita

Courtesy of Laylita

Ingredients: One third of a glass of peach puree or juice,Two thirds of Chilled champagne or sparkling wine

  • Muddle a whole peach (or skip this step and just pour peach juice in the the glass)
  • Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  • Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object

02 – Cosmopolitan

Courtesy of InspiredTaste

Courtesy of InspiredTaste

Ingredients: 2 Oz citron vodka ,1 Oz orange liqueur ,1 Oz Cranberry Juice ,Dash of Lime Cordial ,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice ,Lime peel for garnish

  • Chill the martini glass (click here if you want to know how)
  • Pour the liqueur and vodka to your shaker
  • Pour the cranberry and cordial to your shaker
  • Add the fresh lime juice or just squeeze a half of lime inside
  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Stir it! 12 times at least
  • Strain your cocktail into the chilled glass

01 – Mojito

Courtesy of MyRecipes

Courtesy of MyRecipes

Ingredients: 1 Spoon white sugar ,2 Oz White Rum,Hand full of Mint leaves ,Half of one lime cut into 3 wedges ,Splash of club soda ,1.5 Oz Sweet and Sour Mix ,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice

  • Muddle the mint, limes and sugar, muddle until you actually smell the mint.
  • Add 2 Oz of Rum
  • Add the sweet and sour mix
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Shake it hard! 20 times at least
  • Double Strain into the glass full of crushed ice
  • Top the drink with club soda
  • Add 5 fresh new mint leaves and a lime wedge on top and serve it, your perfect drink is ready!
arrested development

(Some Of) The Best Arrested Development Moments

Other Thoughts

arrested development

Arrested Development is one of the best television comedies of all time. Fact.

Let me just start out by saying that every single episode of Arrested Development is fantastic. You cannot go wrong watching any episode, even if you’ve already seen it a hundred times.

As an avid Arrested Development fan, I decided to dedicate this #TBT to something bigger than your random friend’s pictures from 4th grade (and we’ve all done it): the best Arrested Development moments of all time.

Even if you don’t agree, I urge you to enjoy the following recaps. They are in no particular order, because if I actually had to try to narrow it down to the best episode, I’d be here all day.

Lucille’s Never-ending ‘Tude

You know a show is going to be spectacular when the writer’s can show off their stuff in the second episode. In “Top Banana,” we meet George Senior’s roommate, T-Bone, meanwhile George Michael tries to steer clear of Maeby (and his crush). There is a lot of burning down storage units and Tobias going to opening auditions for fire sales.

Personally, some of my favorite bits are when Lucille talks. About anything. Her snarky remarks should make us scoff, but it only intensifies our love for the Bluth mama bird.

banana lucille

banana michael

(Source: roymustache, via Arrested Development Tumblr)

2. Buster Goes to Army

Throwing Buster into the army mix? Perfection.

His giddy and amazingly juvenile nature makes for some hilarious Arrested one liners.



(Source: it’s-arrested-development, via Arrested Development Tumblr)

3. The Lindsay-Lucille Relationship

The beautiful Lindsay (aka Portia de Rossi) constantly has to deal with zingers from her insult-throwing mom. Sometimes it’s just an exchange of glances, and sometimes the duo find themselves drunk and getting kicked out of popular restaurant chains.

No matter what, it’s always fascinating and entertaining!





(Source: ashagreyjoyed, via Arrested Development Tumblr)

4. Tobias, Always Saying Things That Come Out Wrong

Tobias is hands down one of the best characters ever to grace television.

He goes after his dreams (which is being an actor) and constantly gets put down by the Bluths, but by golly, he doesn’t care!






(Source: liesmiths, via Arrested Development Tumblr)

5. Job and His Magic…err… “Illusions”

If you’re a fan of the show, you know how fairly obvious it is that Job is the least favorite. Watching him trying to prove himself by means of being a professional illusionist is not only sad and hilarious, but relatable as well.

(Relatable in the way of trying to prove oneself. Not making it as a professional illusionist. They have much more skill than I will ever have.)


(Source: Arrested Development Tumblr)

6. Mrs. Featherbottom

You know you have a fantastic father figure on your hands when he’s willing to dress up as an old British nanny I’m order to get to know you better, Mrs. Doubtfire style.

Maeby, you don’t know how lucky you are. Pun intended.


(Source: asmokingcaterpillar, via
Arrested Development Tumblr)

7. Anyong

What do you get when you combine the Bluths with a foreign adopted son?

Confusion and extreme frustration. (See Lucille’s face below.)




(Source: gracillius, via
Arrested Development Tumblr)

8. Tobias is a Never Nude

Tobias, buddy, we feel your pain! Never being able to be naked must be really tough.

We’re just glad you decided to use short denim cutoffs to cover your junk.


(Source: Arrested Development Tumblr)

9. Buster, Just Being Buster

Tony Hale is the man. The end.


(Source: eternal-weekend, via Arrested Development Tumblr)


A Royal Obsession: Baby Prince George

Family, Other Thoughts


I have a problem, and luckily it seems the rest of the world has it too…an obsession with the adorable baby Prince George. It’s not enough that the custom made baby clothes he’s seen in are selling out (just like everything worn by his motherbut there are countless articles dedicated to him, from how many teeth he now has to how he “stole” another child’s block while at a play-date in New Zealand.

Normally there is some form of obsession with celebrity babies, even leading some celeb parents to attack the paparazzi for their photos of children. But I think the Baby George phenomenon is bigger than any of the rest (sorry North West). I actually went so far as to reach out and touch his chubby adorable cheek on a magazine cover at a drug store. I’ve officially snapped, but can you really blame me?

Being an early twenty-something, having kids is something that’s not on the visible horizon for me for a long while. I’m trying to find a steady job, I’ve never taken care of a puppy or pet, I’ve never even attempted to keep a plant alive. Do I want kids? Sure. Do I want to wait another ten plus years before I have them? Absolutely. In the meantime, I have all these pictures of Baby George to fawn over.

...I also love you.


Truths from Portlandia

Other Thoughts, Real World


When I started telling people that I was moving to Portland, everyone suggested I watch Portlandia. Now that I live here, everyone asks if the show is true… Yes. Kind of. They exaggerate characteristics, and sometimes there is some Seattle in there – but yes, it’s true. No it isn’t offensive if you ask, and yes I do find it funny.

My Portlandia Truths:

1. People Care About The Chicken

People care. Is it local? No? Get that shit out of here immediately. This is one of the huge perks of Portland, foodie central – and I love it.


2. The dream of the 90s is alive – in Portland

Clowning is completely acceptable, piercings and tattoos are everywhere, there are copious bands, and we like it that way.


3. Don’t. Forget. Your. Grocery. Bag.

The judgement is real. And only sometimes silent.


4. If you aren’t on social media – do you exist?

Some people actually don’t have it. Do they exist? I know a few.


5. Timid Portland Drivers

It may just be me, buut my colleague from New York agrees Portland drivers are the worst.


6. Hipster’s Will Be Hipsters

Last week I saw a biker with a cross-bow on his back.


7. Snobby Second-Hand Stores

Enough said.


8. Brunch

This one is universal, but Portland takes it to a new level at times.


9. Artisan Movie Theater Food

Artisan Popcorn and Truffle Fries please!


10. Feminist Bookstore

I haven’t seen one, but I fully believe it exists.

10 Years of Mean Girls

Other Thoughts, Real World


Remember the first time you saw mean girls? You were intoxicated by the Plastics and all of the drama unfolding around them. You wore pink on Wednesdays, you were SO thankful your mom wasn’t a “cool mom,” and you cringed a little when she broke the crown. I have to admit, on October 3rd every year, I post “On October 3rd he asked me what day it was,” and I regularly quote the movie in everyday life.

Are you ready to feel really old? Mean Girls came out on April 30, 2004. And we’re still quoting it. This movie is the girls bible, so get in loser, we’re going shopping – for the ten best quotes from our all time favorite chick flick – and tomorrow’s Wednesday, wear pink.











Next week marks the ten year anniversary of Mean Girls. So in honor of this milestone, and the lasting relevance of the movie we invite you to join us in our Mean Girls celebration. April 30th is a Wednesday (could it be any more perfect?), so please join us in a day of pink! Tweet us @TwentiesLiving or Instagram (@TwentySomethingLiving) us your pictures for a chance to be featured on our social media channels!

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.

How to Design Your First Real World Home on a Budget

Budgeting, Other Thoughts, Real World
Photo courtesy of vintagerevivals.com.

Photo courtesy of vintagerevivals.com.

Making your first “real world” apartment your own can be a seriously daunting task. For starters, you have no clue how long you’ll actually live there, you’re on a pretty tight budget, and most likely, you’re pressed for space. Yet you still want you’re first home to really feel like a home. Don’t worry! These tips will help you turn your new space into a place you love calling your own, without breaking the bank.

1. Don’t over commit.

It’s not smart to make big-ticket purchases just yet. You’re in the transient phase—spending too much money on large-budget items could potentially backfire down the road…  especially if you’ll be moving in the near future. Make inexpensive purchases that can easily relocate with you on your next move—and if they can’t, reselling them is no big deal. In addition to flea markets and thrift stores, sites like Craigslist, Overstock, Ebay and Etsy are amazing resources for bargain finds. For our NYC friends, check out curatedcraigslist.com for Craigslist’s best home items in your ‘hood.

2. Dual-purposed items are your friend.

Desks and tables are not always the least expensive items on the market… but both are pretty similar. If you’re truly pressed for spaced, purchase a dual-purpose surface—something that’s great for both working and eating. A slicker surface, like this simple Ikea piece, is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth (post-meal), while also serving as a great (and unobtrusive) workspace. And it hardly weighs a thing, so it’s so easy to move around!

This Ikea table works great as both a workspace and a spot to sit and eat a meal. Plus, it's only $40!

Photo courtesy of Homepolish.


3. Think UP.

Never underestimate the potential your walls hold. For example, if you’ve got no room (or extra cash) for a nightstand, install a simple wall shelf above your bed. This maximizes space in a decorative fashion. Inserting a dowel rod or stringing a rope between the shelf’s brackets also makes a fantastic magazine rack + bookmark. Throw in a nice book-end and/or a droopy plant (I’d recommend string of pearls or burro’s tail), and you’re lookin’ good.













You can also use wall shelves as storage space. Choosing baskets like this or this make for a good-looking option, while keeping your things nice and organized.

4. Gallery walls are basically the grown-up version of collages.

Framing large pieces of art is expensive. Creating a gallery wall is way less expensive, and way more fun. They’re a great way to mix and match artwork, photographs, wallpaper or fabric samples, and your favorite greeting cards. Ikea sells really cheap frames in an assortment of colors, which you shouldn’t be afraid to mix! Metallic + wood? Black + white? Anything goes. Throw a fun little mirror into the mix if you can—reflective surfaces make your teeny space feel more spacious.

Photo by Claire Esparros.

Photo by Claire Esparros.

To save even more money, pick up colorful washi or artist’s tape from your local craft supply store (apx. $5.99 per roll), and create your own DIY frames. Simple frames (or washi tape frames) arranged in an asymmetrical manner allow you the freedom to add more pieces (and rearrange) down the road.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

5. Stick with succulents.

There are few things better than bringing home fresh flowers. They liven and brighten up a space without taking up hardly any room. Sadly, flowers are not forever. Invest the few extra bucks in a succulent or two. These adorable plants require very little maintenance* and really make a huge difference in your space—they even clear the air of unwanted toxins! They come in varying sizes, and can be found at your local Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, or grocery market. A dash of green really goes a long way—you’ll be surprised at the happiness a little plant can bring!

*Succulents should be watered once a week, and can survive in high or low light conditions. Photo by Claire Esparros.

*Succulents should be watered once a week, and can survive in high or low light conditions. Photo by Claire Esparros.

5 Ways to Survive Easter with your Extended Family

Family, Other Thoughts, Real World

Survival Kit

You woke up to beautiful sunshine gleaming through your window, birds chirping, and the idea of eating gargantuan loads of chocolate is on the horizon and then it dawns on you: you have to spend an entire day with your obnoxious, idiotic extended family. Already started prematurely stuffing chocolate in your face to cope? It’s alright. I have five recommendations nurtured over years of practice to help you get through this day. Deep breath, let’s begin.

1) don’t talk

I’m serious. Don’t do it. Just smile and nod. Say yes when appropriate, and if you must ask a question, say “Oh really?”. The less you engage others, the better. Trust me.

2) don’t fight, take the apathetic road

You’re cornered by those relatives who watch Fox news and collect their Welfare checks and use them to buy canned ham and gun amo. You’ve spotted them when you walked in, cringed, and have been avoiding making eye contact ever since, but now they got you. Crap is flying from their mouth faster than the one batch of buttered rolls were devoured. Hold it together, don’t take his bullshit bait. Try and find a pause, say “fascinating” and just walk away. Don’t start fighting facts with someone who bases their life in myths.

3) you’re stuck with your intensely talkative aunt, and you feel too bad to leave

Just focus on the food. I recommend a dip. Try and stand next to food during this convo. I prefer a dip because you can always blame its quick disappearance on the little cousins, or at least that’s what I’ve always done. Just focus on the colors of the food and how it tastes as your aunt slowly and circuitously tells you about her nine cats and diabetes.

4) buddy system

Find your favorite sibling and latch on. Then throw her at your talkative aunt when she comes your way. Girls gotta survive somehow.

5) find dat booze

When all else fails, snatch a few beers, put those in a hiding spot, snatch a few more and get to it. Peace be with you.