life, life changes, life lately, life updates

anna elizabeth allen dot com


I’m pretty stoked to share my new website with you guys — which probably explains why this space has been lacking the past year or so…

I created my new portfolio with hopes of moving my blog writing + professional work + more to a combined space to not only keep me more sane, but prevent a scavenger hunt when it comes to sharing my stuff.


While my work portion is password protected — the world of advertising is a mine field of permissions… other sections like #annawritesstuff, essays (coming soon), and inspiration will be updated on the regular with a variety of topics.

Of course this isn’t  me saying Little Reminders of Love is fin, rather if you can’t wait for newer posts in this corner of the internet (hah!) — head over to to keep up to date.


growing up, life changes, life lesson, money money money

My need for change (literally).


I’m going to be honest. I’m rotten with money.

R O T T E N.

Knick knacks are my number one weakness and food comes in at a close second. I am a “comfort shopper” — I look for happiness in things when my anxiety is high and my mood low.

Problematic for many reasons, most of all being the fact that buying these things has yet to make me feel better long term — or hell, longer than 5 minutes after leaving the store. It’s a quick fix that provides a distraction. At least until I check my bank balance which will, without fail, result in lots of cringing, regret, anxiety, and of course, a touch of self hatred.

So I’m trying to come up with a plan.

(CONFESSION: I just had to stop myself from buying financial help books on Amazon because THAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO HERE, ANNA.)

I’ve always poked into the wonderful blog, “And Then We Saved,” always admiring Anna’s self control and ability to save, and always clicking away in shame… But the last couple of days I’ve been reading it inside out as I make a “financial freedom” plan of attack.

One big realization I’ve made lately is that I want the freedom that comes with having your finances under control. So far I’ve imprisoned myself in my spending behavior, repeating bad habits all the while longing to change. So that’s what I’m wanting to put down in words as a record right here: I will empower myself through the freedom that comes with healthy financial habits.

Maybe I’ll keep updates here, maybe not. But I owe it to myself to make note of it now. To hold myself accountable (pun 100% intended.).

Some rad resources & posts from And Then We Saved


“Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully.”  -Scott Alexander


"aunt-hood", Hamburg 2014, heartbreak, life changes, life decisions, moving

Hamburg is for lovers (and other happenings lately).

Hamburg, October 2014
I’ve been pretty quiet around here lately on account of having moved across the world again. Turns out such things keep you pretty busy. Oh how I’ve missed “busy”.
The end of 2013 and the first half of 2014 were rough, to say the least. Remember my coming home from Munich and how it ripped me in half? I’m still on the mend, but recovery is everything.
It was in August when I was offered a job in Hamburg. I was over-the-moon. Still am. It’s exactly what my heart was urging me to do; return to Germany. 
And Hamburg is a hop, skip, and a jump from my old stomping grounds of my old au pair days. My host mom from that time, turned surrogate big sister, turned great confidant keeps reminding me that it was Schicksal (fate). I trust this. I truly do.
So for the past month I had been searching for an apartment and picking up from where we left off when I left my Eckernfoerde family. 
My heart and soul and hope needed this happenstance more than anyone could possibly understand. 
Of course I miss my family. Heaps. In fact, after a left my brother and sister-in-law welcomed their first baby, a Miss Eleanor Constance, and just last week my sister Katie and brother-in-law added baby number three to their “Party of Four” with sweet baby Gwyneth Elizabeth. But my nephews are pretty Skype savvy, so I get a lot of messages reminding me that I’m away but still thought of. 😉 
But since I signed on my new apartment and have gotten a little more settled, I’ll keep you all better updated. Promise. 
After all, there’s so much more I’ve been meaning to write. 
april 2014, healing heartbreak, hope, life changes, life lesson, post-degree, post-munich

Fate Is Wild.

Royals Game. 4/18/14

Hi friends!

I’m here! I really am alive and doing quite well. Albeit rather hum-de-dum. But I’m here!

Easter was lovely, as usual. Such a great time to ponder the big things and be drawn back to what matters. I’m thankful for those moments spent among the sea of people at Mass, a mere being among the masses, sharing in His great love. It’s rather remarkable, when you think about it.

It’s taken some oompf to get going these days. But with some lows always come a few highs, and that’s what helps me keep on, keeping on.

When I caught myself on the brink of weeping last week, over the usual things–things I should know by now that I have absolutely no control over…–I told myself to snap out of it. Get on with life. Things happen. Life changes.

Then I skipped the weeping and went right into the full on sobbing instead. You know the kind: big, slobbery tears, chest heaving, glasses foggy. 

It’s amazing what can seemingly be lifted as a result of such cries. You feel refreshed. As if you’ve let out all the chaos and are somewhat able to comprehend it all a bit clearer.

Give it a day. Any sense of control you thought you had will vanish soon enough and you’ll be back wondering where to go from here…

But enough about my tendency to break down as a result of my not being able to control my future to the extent which would make me most comfortable… I’ve been embraced by the important parts of life and been cared for in a way I never realized I needed.

Old friendships have been reignited, past hopes reevaluated, and new dreams born. It’s truly up in the air where I may go from here. I guess that’s what keeps it most exciting, the not knowing.

But for a gal like me, oy. That’s a feat. Stepping back and letting go.

So I just put the brilliance of Cheryl Strayed on repeat in my mind…

“How wild it is, to let it be.” 


P.S. This slays me..
P.P.S. I miss the tour already.

cope, faith, life changes, life lesson, Munich II., my life, post-degree, summer 2013, write it out

The post that almost wasn’t.

[Munich. August 21, 2013.]

The time it takes to spill your guts–or perhaps the time it takes to summon the guts to tell your story–always differs from situation to situation. Either way, guts are involved and it’s messy and makes you feel like your showing everyone your “insides” while everyone else shows their best “outsides.” It’s taken me a while to spill these particular guts of mine because in a way, I’ve been hoping for a different ending to this particular situation.

And of course, I think it’s important to show the vulnerable parts of ourselves. But you surely knew that already. I write about it often.

My horoscope for this week from The Rumblr’s  Madame Clairevoyant (though it’s admittedly not based on much astrology, if any; and I am not a so much a believer of astrology; it’s my favorite horoscope):

Taurus: This is a week for talking all the time; it’s a week for telling your life and telling your secrets; it’s a week for spilling everything you’ve ever kept inside you. It’s a week for talking things through and talking things over and making yourself heard. It’s a week for letting your speech go a little wild, for letting your speech show you things you didn’t even think you knew. Don’t spend too much time alone this week, if you can. Spend your days out in the world, spend your days talking, spend your days singing.

 So here I am, getting a little wild. With my words.

I moved back to Munich at the beginning of July. Oh the hopes I had! My new job was everything I had wanted! I found a dreamy apartment with incredible roommates! Oh the greatness. Oh the hopes. Oh how high, high high I was flying.

And then the company had complications getting my visa so I sat around Munich, waiting for the phone to ring, eager to throw on my snazzy new digs and nude heals and finally get to start work. As always, the longer I waited the higher my hopes flew. By this time I suspect they were halfway between the Earth and Mars.

You know where this is going, don’t you? I knew you would.

Of course my company then, at the beginning of August, tells me they will need more time to try for a visa for me. So I should pack up and move back home. (As if I lived a mere 20 miles away, not halfway around the world, mind you.)

I don’t know what devastated me more: the fact that I would have to say goodbye to Munich once again, or the fact that my dream was in the palm of my hands, and it’s as though, finger by finger, it was pried from my grasp. The initial sobbing on the cool, hardwood floors was most likely because of my pride. My pride was bruised, and I felt as though I had been the butt of a huge joke. As the situation became more and more real to me, the more I realized that this wasn’t a bad dream, or that I hadn’t been the butt of a joke, but that this was my life, the more it hurt. The more I mourned for what was, what could have been. Trying to accept that this was somehow apart of my life for a reason and, at the moment, I have no idea why.

I do know that I’m trying to make the best of my time left in Munich. And I’m grateful I got to consult for such a great company for even just a short time. But I also know that my heart feels as though it’s been stomped on. My dreams have been yanked out from right underneath me and it’s a hurt you just can’t explain. It feels suspiciously like a breakup. And I don’t know how much more this battered heart of mine can take this year.

So, for now, I am applying for jobs back in the States, perhaps doing some more work for the company (but back home), keeping my head high, hoping that this will make sense eventually. In the meantime, it’s one of those things you take day-by-day. Enjoy the moments as they come.

And pray to God this year will start to look up soon.

“You have so many layers, that you can peel away a few, and everyone’s so shocked or impressed that you’re baring your soul, while to you it’s nothing, because you know you’ve twenty more layers to go.” -Craig Thompson

college, dreams, ku memories, life changes, life decisions, little reminders of life, may 2013, my life, post-degree

All in a year’s time.

Last weekend marked one year since I graduated from the University of Kansas.

One whole year.

In the course of a year so much can happen… and here’s the thing:

It’s not about whether or not somebody else thinks what you’re doing is right. It’s about doing what’s right for you, when you’re ready. It’s about living your life for you and understanding and taking into consideration the advice and hopes others have for you–but really, truly, at the end of the day, going to bed confident with your decisions.

Are you living your life in a way that makes you happy? A way that makes you proud? Are you being brave with your life and at least giving your biggest dreams a chance though others scoff?

At the end of the day these are the questions you’ll have to answer to yourself.

Some of us have found their way. Some have found their homes. Some have started families. And some of us, we’re still finding our way.

But you know what?

None of us are doing it right.
None of us are doing it wrong. 

All that matters is that we’re doing it the best we can.


As for me, I’m still finding my way. I’m still fumbling and waiting and fickle. I have to remind myself that that’s OK. Daily.

But, the adventures I’ve since had are more than I could have ever expected. And truly, I’m confident about my first year post-graduation.

More than anything, if it’s been any indication of what’s to come, I am ready.

april 2013, essays, growing up, heartache, life changes, munich 2013, my life, read it love it, words from my heart

And I guess this was merely a chapter, not a novel.

[Munich, March 2013.]

Oh, Munich. You’ve been swell, really. I wish I could gather my life up back home and bring all of it (and them) here to this magical city … but for now, we will soon part. But I’ve scattered so many pieces of my heart around this city, you’ll always have some of my love.  

And sweet Kansas, see you in May.


It’s sometimes funny the things I stumble across at just the right moment, that I find myself nodding along to while reading and saying, “YES. THIS. SO MUCH THIS.”

This is one of those moments::

“I believe one of the reasons people don’t leave the comforts of home is this insidious belief that you must change everything in order to make it valuable.
Simply not true. You can set out to live in a country you’ve always dreamed of. You can learn things and test yourself and have a hell of a good time. You can drink cava in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, hop on a train and get off on an unplanned stop, dance drunk, dance sober, kiss strangers. And you can hold onto what makes you love your city at home. You can prefer waking to an alarm and riding your bike to work, eating vegan food, and having co-workers. Being surrounded by friends and having a backyard. And you can go back.
You can go back!”

Click here to read the whole piece.