Here's what worked for me, similar to what others have recommended:
add to wp-config.php:
I wish I knew what caused the problem initially... suddenly I couldn't access my backend (wp-admin)... and got the error about allowed memory size exhausted... I disabled some plugins and was able to access the backend. I then renabled plugins except for any that I could live without. However, I was still seeing the message in certain places like in the Dashboard under "wordpress development blog" and "Other WordPress News"... instead of showing the feed data it was just showing the memory error within those boxes. This fix made those errors go away.
Now I just wonder if there's a way to optimize what I am using to not go over the 32M default limit? Or is there some other error that it's causing it to go over the 32M limit and what I've done is simply applying a band-aid by raising the limit to 64M?