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.


adulthood, anxiety, brilliant reads, healing heartbreak, life, read it love it, write it out, writing from the heart

Broken but hopeful

Life can be really hard.

I’m writing this during my lunch break; a break I haven’t taken in some weeks so as not to drown in to dos. My apartment’s a mess. My clothes scattered around, as though about in a fury. My refrigerator is empty. My cabinets sparse.

A month ago it wasn’t like this. I had a full fridge and even hosted my first dinner party. I had a hand to hold regularly and looked forward to the weekends.

But life just happens. And things get heavy, fast. No matter how much you think you have everything under control the truth is that sometimes you have no control. Being OK with that fact is half the battle, I suppose.

So here I am, surrendering to what is. Accepting what may be. Holding on tight to what I know to be true.

In the meantime, I recommend this piece from “Ask Polly.” Because it chewed me up and spit me out and put me back together all in the course of 5 minutes. Now I reference certain lines as reminders. As hope. As a grace to get me through.

Until my fridge is full again. Until my laundry is done. Until my to-do list is finally completed.

I have two daughters, and this, for some reason, is my biggest fear when it comes to them, that they’ll waste their lives chasing men in circles instead of recognizing how much sunshine and genius and expansive, outrageous possibility they carry around with them everywhere they go. But this anxiety of mine isn’t just about young women and their tendency to ignore their own value and worth and potential. It’s also about 30-something men and 40-somethings and 50-somethings and everyone under the goddamned sun. We are all so completely poleaxed by our own longing, by our own magical thinking, by our own physical resistance to hard work. We put our faith in prefabricated fantasies instead of reality; we believe in easy answers and short cuts instead of craft; we admire popularity instead of originality; we find ourselves reaching for shiny dreamworlds and ignoring human beings. The world tells us that we should be disappointed in ourselves, every single day. The best party is across town. The best party is across the universe. We should be fucking a ghost that looks like Chris Hemsworth, gently, in some galaxy far away. 

Let’s just be ourselves instead, broken but hopeful, and let’s be right here, right now. Let’s look around and see the scrappy, mediocre, mundane details of our lives and proclaim them exalted and glorious. Imagine for a moment that I can see you clearly for the first time. I can see you clearly, and you are radiating pure, lusty, brilliant grace and divinity. Feel it. Believe it. Carry it with you.


being brave, growing up, heartbreak, life, march 2014, relationships, spring 2014, words from my heart, write it out

Some rules plus other things.

We talk too much.

This is what he said after asking me to call him. After he texted me the whole evening.

We talk too much? 

Yes. It’s strange. I don’t talk to my best friends as often as I talk to you.

I managed to stutter an OK out while hoping he couldn’t hear my tears through my voice. 

I’ll talk to ya in seven months then, maybe ten, who knows. Whenever. Whatever.

That’s a bit harsh, Anna. Don’t you think?

I’m merely repeating back your suggestion. It’s what you want.

You make it sound so cold.**

I don’t make it sound like anything except the truth.

**We debated this “our talking too much for an hour. Kind of defeats the point, wouldn’t you agree?

I’m so tired of the norms and the insecurities and the hiding behind fears. I’m exhausted from reaching out, opening up, and being told that I have to “not care so much.”

That’s precisely what the world needs more of, not less. 

We need to care. About others. Ourselves. The future. The past. Being apathetic is not why we we’re here. There’s a difference among getting by, being cordial, and being apathetic. A time and place for each.

With relationships, I don’t want to remain indifferent. One of the most important things in our lives, most influential, how can one remain indifferent? I cannot.

I’ve tried. 

I’ve attempted to live a life of being passive, going with the flow, playing dumb, and merely trying to fit in. It was one of the most miserable times of my life. I felt as though I was living one way on the outside, only to suppress my true self within. Never. Again.

And that’s what I’m trying to learn and practice and honor this year: caring. Caring so much that I live each moment, each relationship to the hilt. We weren’t put on this Earth to be robots. We are not Stepford people. I am me, and you are you, and we’re here to help each other and learn from one another. How are we supposed to do this if we’re all the same?

We can’t.

And that’s one of the saddest things in the world.

Do your thing.

Own it. Speak it. Live it.

And if your thing happens to be–gasp–caring about people? Care on, my friend. Care on.

Live to the point of tears.
— Albert Camus

I’ve used this disclaimer, if you will, in the past, almost exactly a year ago, in fact, but I stand by it to this day. Also, to clear up any misunderstandings about what I mean when I use the term “care” in my writing: *And let’s not confuse caring for overbearing. Hand to Heaven, I worry so much about being “clingy” that I become the exact opposite. So it’s all a bit weird. 

Fate, God is Love, God's plan, happiness, hope, january 2014, joy that little things bring, life, Wills and Kate, write it out

Allow the sorrow to shake away.

Though I’ve been pretty much in a funk this week, I decided I wouldn’t let that keep me down. 

I discovered an old “dreamboard,” (a section of which is pictured above) and was blown away by how many of the things I posted came true. You guys, even more goodness happened than I could have imagined. I mean, I spent last Valentine’s Day on one of the most romantic dates of my life, in one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, let alone living in for more than a year… and have I ever told you about that time I went on date in London with a stunningly charming chap back in 2011? I flew from Glasgow to London for 26 hours just for a date with him? Yes, this happened. Or the time a Danish man swept me off my feet in a beer garden, quite literally… he may have been in one of the pictures I featured in my summing up 2013 post. 😉

Needless to say, that board brought with it everything I could have hoped for, cut-out and posted, and so, SO much more. 

So earlier this week, while I was sitting in the doctor’s office about to burst into tears, I reminded myself how flippin’ much has happened in a mere three years. THREE YEARS. Holy moly. Imagine what is in store? For me? For YOU?! The world, my dears, is very much in our grasp.

I used to sing He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands back in Sunday School and what truth that is. The difference between then and now is the fact I realize that He wants to share the whole world with us, too… so long as we loosen our grasps on what we think needs to happen and simply accept every beautiful thing and opportunity He passes our way.

What a beautiful concept. 

This week included lots of sleep (on account of the funk and illness); brand new sheets, which feel like Heaven; The Office on repeat; attempts at getting back into Yoga; heart-to-hearts with dear friends; meditation; reading this series; and, of course, lots of Kate Middleton fandom. She’s perfect. 😉

I hope your weekend is wonderful, sweet friends. Make it wonderful. Splurge on some new sheets, wonderful lotion, and a lot of time to revel in what is, what has been, and what could very well be. And make a dreamboard! I certainly am working on mine. Erm, well, mine’s more of a Moleskin format this time… will share more about that soon. 😉 


❝ Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place. — Rumi
germany, germany 2012, life, moving to munich, my life

Big news: Munich calling…

I am so excited to share that I’ve accepted a job & am moving to Munich in September! 

It’s been a really exciting couple of months and it feels incredibly odd to be finished with university, but it feels wonderful. I am proud that I made the choice to complete my degrees & am ecstatic that this opportunity popped up. 
It’ll be especially great to reconnect with my Northern German loves, though they may still be a bit far away. But a train ride away is much nicer than a plane ride away. ; ) I hope I’ll be seeing my family there soon!
Coincidences are God’s way of getting our attention. Frederick Buechner