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




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

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


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

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)


  • 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


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!



Puppy Basics

Family, Friends, Other Thoughts, Real World


When we bring a new puppy into our lives there are many things to be aware of. In my earlier article I addressed the vet, and all of the things you need to do to ensure the good health of your puppy. In this article I am going to go over the basics, the things that you should always provide your new addition with, and the keys to success. These things are vital to not only the safety of your puppy, but will ensure that you are putting your best puppy parenthood foot forward.


Identification Tag

As soon as your pick your puppy up you will wants to have an ID tag made for your puppy in case he wanders from home. Include his name, your name, address and phone number. Veterinarians and pet stores usually have resource for obtaining ID tags. When your puppy is spayed or neutered, consider a microchip identification.



Now that you have your tag, attach it to the collar. You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar when on your pet. Check the fit often as your pet grows!


Leash & Harness

For potty walks or for spending time in an unfenced location, outfit puppy in an appropriate leash and harness. Retractable leashes allow you to control how far puppy wanders from you without him tugging or pulling. By hooking the leash to a harness, your puppy won’t be choked if he tries to outreach the leash lead.


Food & Water Bowls

Stainless steel is easiest to keep clean and doesn’t break, which makes upkeep a breeze. Something to be aware of is that some puppies can have allergic reactions to plastic bowls.


Grooming Brush or Mitt

Brushing your puppy regularly keeps his coat looking nice and feels good to your pet. And just as important, this is time for you and your puppy to bond.



Playing with toys helps puppy’s balance and motor skills. Chew toys can help him shed his baby teeth. Choose indestructible toys and stay away from toys and toy parts that can be swallowed.



You’ll soon see that a curious puppy will explore anything and everything he can reach. And he doesn’t know which things are puppy-safe. “Puppy-proof” your house by doing these important things:

  • Keep electrical cords our of chewing reach
  • Keep household and garden chemicals locked away
  • Keep cans/bags secure from puppy
  • Check around vehicles before moving them
  • Keep chocolate away from puppy because it is highly toxic and can kill


Traveling with Puppy in a Car:

  • Put puppy in a special doggy seat belt or crate (seat belts are best)
  • Put puppy in the back so the driver is not distracted
  • Never secure puppy to something in the car with his leash to prevent choking should the car stop suddenly
  • Never leave your pet alone in the car for more than a few minutes
  • Never leave your pet alone in a closed-up car on a hot day for any amount of time. Car heat can kill puppies even at lower temperatures.


Feeding Your Puppy

At first, it’s important to feed your puppy the same thing he was eating before you brought him home. As he gets used to his new environment you can gradually introduce the food you chose. Many commercial foods are acceptable but be sure to choose a well-balanced one. Consult your veterinarian for how much and how often to feed your puppy. It will depend on his energy level. Choose a convenient place to feed your puppy and use this spot consistently. Be sure to clean your puppy’s dishes before every use and always give him fresh water at each feeding.

Store-bought puppy treats are fine to give him, but they are actually full of fat. Be aware of how many treats your puppy eats and try to adjust the amount of food in his regular meals accordingly. Giving table scraps is never a good idea. They throw off the balance in nutrition in your puppy’s diet and can upset his stomach. And if you don’t feed your puppy from the table or your plate, he won’t learn to beg for food.



You’ll only need to bathe puppy if he’s dirty or smelly; bathing too often can cause dry skin. It helps to brush puppy’s coat before the bath. Use the proper dog shampoo, lukewarm water, and gently scrub from head to tail, taking care not to get soap or water in eyes or ears. Rinse thoroughly and stand back. Puppy will shake, shake, shake! Dry with a towel or hairdryer (not to hot!) as quickly as possible so puppy doesn’t get cold. Bathing is an opportunity to check for fleas, ticks and skin problems.


Caring for Teeth

A healthy diet keeps teeth clean and gums healthy. However, tartar will inevitably build up so have puppy’s teeth checked regularly by a veterinarian. Between visits you can brush puppy’s teeth yourself with special pet toothpaste and a soft brush.

Like children, puppies will lose their baby teeth. Between three and six months old baby teeth will gradually fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth. A mixture of soft and hard food, puppy biscuits, or hard rubber chew toys will help loosen baby teeth naturally.


Clipping Nails

Clip puppy’s nails about every six weeks using special dog clippers. Some owners prefer to have a veterinarian do the clipping because it’s a delicate task to keep from clipping into the quick. However, just using a nail file will often help keep nails in check without the danger of cutting into the “quick” of the nail.


Loving Puppy

One of the healthiest things you can do for your puppy is give him lots of love and attention. Dogs are extremely loyal by nature and are happy when they please you. Their ancestors, wolves, ran in packs, so you can understand that puppy can get lonely if you don’t spend enough time with him. Studies show that emotionally, dogs benefit from being petted by humans as much as humans do from petting dogs. So, play, talk, pet, and love. You’ll both be happier and healthier.


Weekly Music Box: Dance


Spring is officially here and it’s time to start getting ready for that warm weather. While there are a lot of great upbeat songs out right now (“Happy” by Pharrell Williams, Avicii and Tegan and Sara are personal favorites right now), I have a few other suggestions of songs you should add to your mix!

Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses

I have no idea where I was the first time I heard this song, but it’s guaranteed to get me singing. Onlyyyy the horsessssss!

Sample lyrics:

And if this is the end
It’s the best place I’ve ever been
It feels so good to just
Get lost sometimes

Dragonette – Let It Go

Dragonette was founded in 2005 by Martina Sorbara and her husband, bassist Dan Kurtz. These Canadian performers create such a dynamic electro-pop sound that it’s hard not to listen to their songs over and over. They also have an awesome Laidback Luke remix version of the song.

Sample lyrics:

We don’t need a cure for the weight of the world
Cause it’s floating round in the universe
Just swing it like it’s tied by a string that you hold
And let it go

Icona Pop – We Got The World

We all know about Icona Pop, especially after they collaborated with Charli XCX for “I Love It”. This song is definitely going to be a staple party anthem song.

Sample lyrics:

Just come into my arms
I will get you love drunk
We’ll be burning bright

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- And We Danced (ft. Ziggy Stardust)

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “The Unplanned Mixtape,” was released in 2009. “And We Danced” is one of the best songs that they’ve done so far. There’s no doubt in my mind why this duo swept the Grammy’s this year.

Sample lyrics:

I will not, I will not give a damn who watches me
I will live, I will live liberate the fox in me
I will be the disco ball, freak and give my all

Dragonette – Live In This City

I’m wrapping up this list with my favorite song by Dragonette, “Live In This City.” Always a must on my road mixes!

Sample lyrics:

I gotta keep on doing what I’m doing
‘Cause we’re clapping our hands now
Yeah I found a lipstick that I like
And so I’m walking it downtown

An Attitude of Gratitude (so cliche, but….)

Family, Friends, Other Thoughts, Real World

One of the wonderful things about being a twentysomething is that we are old enough to be able to look back and young enough to be able to look forward. But how often do we stop reminiscing about the past or worrying about the future and just be grateful for right now? Gratitude. In the midst of trying to keep up with work, piecing together an acceptable social life, spending time with family, and shutting out the world for those few blissful hours of sleep, it’s so easy to forget to just…pause. I read a quote recently that has really stuck with me. It said, “The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” In other words, we have more than enough to be grateful for if we would only take the time to look around and see it. 

Show of hands: how many of us know people who just seem to have their whole lives together?


They are a fellow twentysomething, but they have a great job, disposable income, and seem so freaking happy. Meanwhile, you’re ordering off the dollar menu (again) and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix because it’s free and what else is there to do on a Saturday night? It’s easy to wallow in those moments of self-doubt that we try to mask as envy. But the thing about it is…our lives are not all the same. Our journeys are not all the same. And even those people who seem blissfully happy and content with life have moments when they feel the same insecurity and self-doubt. So twentysomethings, STOP.

beyonce stop it gif

Stop comparing yourselves to other people. Stop wishing that you had more or looked better or ran faster. Stop telling yourself that you’re destined to live a life of inferiority. You’re not. Stop telling yourself that things won’t get better. They will. Stop racing around in circles trying to satisfy some unconscious need to prove yourself to people that you’ll eventually discover really don’t matter.

Gratitude is a concept that we sometimes make more complicated than it needs to be. We are consciously aware of it when we are the proud recipients of money or we land that dream job right out of college. But how often are we consciously aware of how grateful we should be to just wake up in the morning? Do we think to be grateful for food or shelter? Are we grateful for the parents that put up with our bullshit and always bail us out of trouble and the friends who share laughter, tears, and an abundance of alcohol? All of a sudden, our lives don’t seem so bad after all, right? We may not have everything that we want but we have SO MUCH to be grateful for, twentysomethings. Because guess what? Someone, somewhere, RIGHT NOW, is praying for just a fraction of what you have.

I recently started a gratitude journal and it has honestly changed my life. Each night before I go to bed I write down five things I’m grateful for from that day. It can be something as big as getting a raise at work or as small as having just enough money to buy my lunch. Whether my day was fantastic or one of the worst in recent memory, I can ALWAYS think of at least five things. Why? Because even when life feels like a colossal whirlwind of shit, there’s always something positive if I look hard enough. And so, my fabulous fellow twentysomethings, I challenge you to find the good in your world. You have a wonderful life ahead of you. Go live it.

The Killers

Weekly Music Box: Indie/Rock “Winter to Spring” Mix

Tunes, Uncategorized

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”


There’s nothing better than listening to music that warms your soul. Plato got it.

As winter starts to turn to spring (FINALLY), here are a few tunes that can change up your playlists and get you ready for the excitement that is warmer weather. Godspeed!

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – 40 Day Dream

This song was released in 2009 and is one of my favorite songs to put on in the morning while I get ready for the day. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros has a revolving band lineup of up to 12 people- so when you listen to this track, know that a bunch of people came together to hang out and make awesome music. There isn’t anything better than that.

Sample lyrics:

I been sleepin for 40 days and
I know Im sleeping cuz this dream’s too amazing

*The song starts around the 1:05 mark*

Fitz And The Tantrums – The Walker

This is a “wake up, dust off yesterday’s troubles and get going” song! And we all need one of those. If this song isn’t enough to get you up and going, I’m not sure what song will! The video also gives a different dimension to the song, depicted by a man who breaks from the waiting line and begins to “walk to the sound of his own drum.” Amazing.

Sample lyrics:

Can’t keep up with my rhythm
Though they keep trying.
Too quick for the lines they throw.
I walk to the sound of my own drum

Tin Sparrow – Eileen

I somehow stumbled upon Tin Sparrow’s “Eileen” on iTunes, and I don’t know how I could ever go back to not knowing this song exists.

Sample lyrics:

These old streets don’t feel the same
Because on long rides home, I no longer see your face
Did you know just what you meant to me?
I wish I could share my stories with you, Eileen

Radical Face – Welcome Home

A slower tempo than the rest of the songs, “Welcome Home” has easily become one of my go-to songs for when I’m feeling down. The song is peaceful and emotional.

Fun fact by Pitchfork: “Floridian Ben Cooper is the one-man-band recording as Radical Face. He’s also half of the Morr duo Electric President, a project focused on muted indie pop in the Postal Service vein that has come to define the label.”

Sample lyrics:

Ships are launching from my chest
Some have names but most do not
If you find one, please let me know what piece I’ve lost

The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done

Ah, The Killers. Need I say more?

Sample lyrics:

Another head aches, another heart breaks
I am so much older than I can take
And my affection, well it comes and goes
I need direction to perfection

Have suggestions for the music box? Tweet us at @TwentiesLiving!

Spice Girls

Weekly Music Box: For The Ladies


This past Saturday, March 8, 2014 was International Women’s Day. You probably heard about it on the news, you might have read our article for it, or maybe one of your girl friends posted about it on all 5 of their social media accounts. Some of you may be sick of hearing about it, rightfully so in some cases. Personally, I’m glad to see all of the web traffic pointing to something so incredibly important: celebrating women and their accomplishments.

Our first ever music blog is dedicated to the ladies of the world: may these jams inspire you to be the best woman you can be. Or at least give you (another) reason to bust a move in your living room.

No Doubt – Just A Girl

Gwen Stefani is loved by everyone. When I went to her No Doubt concert a few years ago, she sang this particular song for a few verses before asking the guys to sing along. Because she’s Gwen Stefani and no one would be stupid enough to ignore her, the male population of the crowd started to sing along. Eventually Stefani stopped them, saying, “Wow, I can’t believe you guys just did that. Do you even know this song?” Stefani was on stage, laughing to herself, about the fact that she got men to sing along to her extremely feminist song.

To this day, she is still my hero.

Sample lyrics:

‘Cause I’m just a girl, oh little ol’ me
Well Don’t let me out of your sight
Oh I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights

Robyn – Indestructible

I have yet to meet a woman who does not adore Robyn and everything she stands for. When listening to her music, you can tell she’s singing with soul and attitude. Not quite on board with her music yet? That’s okay, I’ve got the perfect song for you.

Sample lyrics:

“And I never was smart with love
I let the bad ones in and the good ones go
But I’m gonna love you like I’ve never been hurt before
I’m gonna love you like I’m indestructible”

Ke$ha – Grow A Pear

Oh, Ke$ha. We can always count on you to stick it to the guys. This is one of my personal favorites; there’s no sugar coating in this title.

Sample lyrics:

“When we fell in love
You made my heart drop
And you had me thinking ’bout you nonstop
But you cry ’bout this and whine about that”

Tegan and Sara – Goodbye, Goodbye

This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Tegan and Sara have voices equivalent to what I would imagine angels would sound like. This song is the perfect combination of honesty and attitude- with the sisters saying goodbye to someone who treated them less than.

You can feel their underlying pain, which makes me want to root for them to get over the jerk and move on. Preach it, T&S!

Sample lyrics:

I don’t wanna
Feel the need
To hear your voice

You never really knew me
Never ever, never ever saw me
Saw me like they did”

Miley Cyrus – FU (ft. French Montana)

Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Cyrus at least creating intriguing music. One of my favorites from her latest album, Bangerz, is this song. It isn’t as much “girl power” oriented as it is “get the hell out of my face,” but we all need a song like this. Miley, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Sample lyrics:

“Don’t even try to act like Mr Super Nonchalant
What makes you think I’ll stick around
I’m not as stupid as you sound
And you sound really dumb right now”