Lifestyle

My Summer Reading List

This summer, I’ve been doing a little bit of reading and I’ve added quite a few books to my summer reading list. So today, I thought I would share some of the books I’ve read so far and the ones that are still on my list to read. Let me know if you’ve read any of these in the comments!

What I’ve Read:

To start off this summer, I was reading Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. This book is exactly what it says it is. It gives you the tools you need to have successful crucial conversations (the really tough ones, about sensitive topics that could make or break your relationship with the other person). Now, I knew going into this, that this book was not going to be something I genuinely enjoy reading, but I wanted to learn the skills it has to offer. The authors are great because they go really in depth about why we are usually not good at having these crucial conversations, and they give you lots of tips and tools for how to make those conversations go smoothly. These tips are excellent if you can take the time to remember them and implement them in your daily life. I think they are skills that every person should at least try to have because I think they can be really effective when done right!

After that, I started reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. As I’ve mentioned before I’m a big fan of books that are based around scientific research so this one was right up my alley. Kahneman and one of his associates, along with tons of other researchers, spent a good portion of their life’s work studying probability and trying to figure out why humans make some of the decisions that we do. They discovered that we have 2 brain systems, one that makes decisions quickly, almost automatically, and the other requires more effort to come to a final conclusion. However, depending on the situation, we don’t always use the correct system, and they were studying why that is. This book is a surprisingly easy read even with all the scientific jargon and while it’s absolutely massive, it’s not as daunting as it seems. If you’re into the workings of the brain and why we do the things we do, this is a book you should definitely get your hands on.

What’s On My List:

I’ve got a few books left on my list, of all different genres so I’m linking them here for you! I’ve been in the mood to switch things up and try reading fiction books again so that’s what I’m thinking of next, but I’ve got so many that I want to read so it’s always a tough choice. I probably will not get through these for the rest of the summer, but at least I can read them into the fall!

Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen is about a young woman who moves to New York City and finds herself working for the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and through all the drama of her new life figures out how to find success in this new world of hers.

Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller was recommended to me by a friend and I’m finally (almost) getting around to reading it. This book is about his journey to create stronger connections and find real satisfaction in all aspects of his life, family and career.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is a memoir about his time in Auschwitz during WW2 and finding meaning in the suffering he endured so he could eventually overcome it and move forward in his life.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is about a 9 year old boy who searches all over New York City to find a missing key to a lock left by his dad after dying in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He meets all kinds of survivors on his journey for this key and along the way comes to terms with his grief.

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Fashion

I Let My Boyfriend Dress Me: Summer 2019

Hi Everyone! For today’s blog post, I wanted to try something a little bit different. I remember always watching Youtube videos where the girl has her boyfriend pick out her outfits and I thought that might be fun to try on here. So lo and behold, I had my very enthusiastic and sweet boyfriend pick out some outfits for me. He’s been so supportive of my blog from the very beginning, I thought it was only right to give him a little feature! Keep reading to see what he picked out for me!

Andrew: Personally, I was excited to be made a part of the blog and be able to style Karen in my own way. I wanted to go with 4 different styles and create looks I have never seen her wear before. The 4 styles were Casual, Workwear, A Night Out, and Silly. The last one was for my own amusement.

A: For Casual, I wanted to create a summer look that incorporated one of Karen’s many dresses. I also noticed the Colorblock trend that she was utilizing in various posts. I chose the color yellow after finding a floral dress of hers she had never worn before. I made sure to select yellow shoes along with somewhat flashy earrings and a matching headband. I do not think she would use this much of one color in her usual outfits, but it was fun to just see it for myself.

Dress: Target / Shoes: Public Desire / Headband: Urban Outfitters / Earrings: Baublebar
Dress: Target / Shoes: Public Desire / Headband: Urban Outfitters / Earrings: Baublebar
Dress: Target / Shoes: Public Desire / Headband: Urban Outfitters / Earrings: Baublebar

A: The Workwear look was very clean, but I wanted to pick something that I thought she would actually wear to work. Karen’s favorite color is pink, so when I saw the pink button down, I knew I wanted to start there. Keeping with the lighter summer vibe, I selected white pants, pink shoes, and pink earrings. I thought the pink shoes with the buckle added a bit of flair to this simple outfit for work and maybe I will see Karen in it one day.

Top: Zara / Jeans: American Eagle / Shoes: Something Navy / Earrings: Baublebar
Top: Zara / Jeans: American Eagle / Shoes: Something Navy / Earrings: Baublebar
Top: Zara / Jeans: American Eagle / Shoes: Something Navy / Earrings: Baublebar

A: Karen and I occasionally enjoy a night out and I honestly think I nailed this outfit. I selected the off the shoulder yellow top, white shorts and the white platform sandals. I even asked her to put her hair in a bun using a gold scrunchie, so you know I put some thought into this. The gold earrings were also something extra to add to it as a whole. I’m excited to go out with Karen when she is wearing this, but I hope I can look good in comparison.

K: I actually forgot to put on the earrings when I took these photos, but they were just thick small gold hoops. They are the Chrissy earrings from Baublebar!

Top: Forever 21 / Shorts: Zara / Shoes: Steve Madden / Scrunchie: Urban Outfitters
Top: Forever 21 / Shorts: Zara / Shoes: Steve Madden / Scrunchie: Urban Outfitters
Top: Forever 21 / Shorts: Zara / Shoes: Steve Madden / Scrunchie: Urban Outfitters

A: For the Silly themed look, I chose something that I felt Karen would never be caught wearing. She has a colorful style and placing her in various muted tones is just not her style. I chose beige pants and an over-sized burnt orange button down that she has never worn. I made sure it was buttoned all the way to the top and paired with beige flats. I also opted for her to part her hair completely to one side, which I thought added to the unusual look of it all. I would call this look “Bohemian Chic”.

Top: Target / Pants: Something Navy / Shoes: Steve Madden / Hair Clips: Amazon
Top: Target / Pants: Something Navy / Shoes: Steve Madden / Hair Clips: Amazon
Top: Target / Pants: Something Navy / Shoes: Steve Madden / Hair Clips: Amazon

A: Overall, I had a lot of fun with this task and it definitely created a unique date night activity for the both of us. I’m looking forward to the next blog where Karen creates a few outfits for me. Wish me luck!

K: We had such a fun time working on this together and I’m so happy with what he picked out. He tried to keep my style in mind and I think he did a great job! Let me know how you think he did in the comments below, xx!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

Thoughts on Social Media and Authenticity

As I was drifting off to sleep the other night, I started thinking about authenticity and how using social media makes me feel. After a year of blogging, I can truly say that I understand why a lot of bloggers deal with anxiety and depression surrounding their work and social platforms. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all, just in case anyone is having similar thoughts about the use of social media and how it affects us.

One thing I really was thinking about was how inauthentic I feel about a fair amount of my social media posts. I feel like I try so hard to choose a photo that people will like enough and to write captions that people will think are funny, to the point where I’m losing sight of the reason I’m posting in the first place. Of course, about half of my posts (specifically on instagram) are to promote my blog, which is the intention, but those are the posts I feel the most unsure of. I feel like I’m trying too hard to give my audience what they want, that I’m actually not giving them what they want.

Unfortunately, I am also extremely and easily influenced by the accounts I follow (and sometimes the ones I don’t follow, thanks Explore tab). I find myself scrolling for 45 minutes and feeling sad that I didn’t get to go on vacation there or buy that $500 dress. It makes me sad that it makes me feel sad. Social media platforms are such a blessing and have helped thousands of businesses grow in a way they could never have before, but sometimes we get swept up in all the exciting parts of everyone else’s lives in the process.

As far as in authenticity goes, because I’m so easily influenced, I feel like I don’t have a good grasp on what I really want out of these platforms that are available to me. I don’t have a solid idea of who I am and what I feel is most important to show. Sometimes I try too hard to be at the same level as people who have been doing this for a decade and I feel bad about where I am now and how far I’ve come. Being true to yourself is something that should be so simple, and yet I’m finding it very difficult.

To be honest, I’m not sure where this leaves me. Is it time for a break from social media? If so, what happens when I come back? How do I get comfortable posting only the things that make me feel best? How do I filter out all the stuff that doesn’t make me feel my best? There’s a lot left to think about, but I think these are thoughts that we tend to keep to ourselves, and we shouldn’t. Sometimes, it makes more sense to get these thoughts out and have that conversation.

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Fashion

What’s In My Cart: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Every blogger, fashionista, and instagrammer’s favorite time of year is finally upon us: the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! The sale is available for Nordstrom Cardholders to shop since July 12th and is open to everyone else starting July 19th. This annual sale gets you NEW arrivals at MARKED DOWN prices! It’s their best sale of the year and I thought I’d share a few items I have my eyes on for the upcoming fall season (too soon, I know). Everything is linked below for you to shop also but hurry because these items sell out SO QUICK!

Jackets/Coats

A few staples I’ve been looking at for the upcoming fall season is some great blazers, the perfect suede moto jacket, and a few tailored topper coats to wear for nicer occasions. Linked below are a few items I’ve got my eye on!

BlankNYC Next Level Suede Moto Jacket: This little beauty got away from me last year during this sale, so it’s definitely going in my cart this year.
Sam Edelman Rib Tweed Car Coat: This coat is just stunning and I’m obsessed with everything brown this coming season. Plus Sam Edelman is always excellent quality.

Sweaters

I’m big on sweaters as you all know so of course I have a lot of cute picks. As I mentioned before, brown is my new favorite color for the fall so I’m looking for all the coziest brown sweaters this year. I’m also really big on button up cardigans and comfy pullovers, so that’s definitely what most of my picks will be for the upcoming season. I have a few linked below for you!

Something Navy Flecked Crewneck Sweater: See what I said about the browns? SO cute and you all know Something Navy is one of my most favorite brands so I’m really excited they are participating in this sale! Plus this comes in a TON of colors!
Halogen Ribbed V-Neck Cardigan: I’m really loving cardigans that can be worn on their own as tops or opened up and worn over tanks or camis like this one! Plus the pink color is SO cute, but it comes in tons of other colors also.
Something Navy Cozy V-Neck Cardigan: What else do I really need to say here? This one comes in a few other colors also, I just really love brown!

Dresses

For dresses this coming season, I’m definitely looking for versatile dresses that I can wear to work and also transition day to night if I need to. I know that I’ll have a lot of opportunities to go from work to events in the evening where I need to look put together but still comfortable enough to run around all day long. I also have formal occasion dresses in mind because a lot of people ask me about where to get wedding guest dresses, so I’m linking a few of my picks here for you.

ASTR The Label Lace Midi Dress: This pretty little thing would be perfect for a summer wedding and it comes in TONS of colors, so it can fit everyone’s style. Plus it’s about 30% off, which makes it a major steal.
Eliza J Geo Print Belted Shirtdress: This dress is a perfect example of a work appropriate day to night outfit. The print is subdued, but still eye catching and the silhouette is flattering for every body type.

Jeans

The fall is always a good time to buy jeans so I love to add a few new styles during this time. So far, looser jeans are very popular and I’m all for it. I also love a classic dark wash jean for when you need to look more put together. I’m linking some of my favorite styles below for you.

Topshop Ripped High Waist Dad Jeans: This year, Dad Jeans are the new thing and I am so into it. The loose rugged fit is a good balance with a cute sandal and a feminine top. It’s very construction worker chic, right?
Good American Good Legs High Waist Skinny Jeans: These are the most perfect wash of denim ever. They are the kind of classic jean that every girl should have in her wardrobe because they are great for your casual Fridays, date night, or just running errands on the weekend.

Shoes

Now I’m not desperately in need of new shoes, so I didn’t go scouring Nordstrom’s site for anything in particular, but I have been thinking of purchasing a new pair of black ankle boots. Those are always a staple for your wardrobe! Here’s the shoes I’ve got sitting in my cart right now, linked below.

Dolce Vita Coltyn Bootie: These are so cute and I love the croc print on them. They are just a classic ankle boot with a small heel, so they will be comfortable to wear all day long. And of course, Dolce Vita is widely trusted brand, so they’ll be sure to last you a while.
Charles by Charles David Maxx Pointy Toe Pump: This sale is a great time to stock up on classic styles like these pointed toe pumps. I have these in a few colors and I absolutely love them and find them comfortable to wear all day long. I’m definitely looking to purchase some more classic versions since they are about 30% off! These run a little small so I would size up half a size!
Charles by Charles David Burbank Bootie: These cute mid-calf booties are right up my alley and are high up on my list of things to purchase. The olive suede is very stylish yet the color is subtle enough that it can really go with anything. Plus this style is very flattering to wear with skirts and dresses.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys. This sale is absolutely insane and remember that sizes go very quickly and there’s little chance of restocking! If you want something, you have to grab it ASAP! I hope you enjoyed this and let me know what you guys are excited about for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! xx

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Fashion

High End Summer Fashion Wish List

This summer, I’ve been dreaming about some very beautiful and very high priced fashion items. However, I’ve got Saks dreams on a Forever 21 budget. The likelihood that I’ll buy these any time soon is slim to none, but I figured I’d share a few of the items that are on my wish list. If anyone has any occasions to help me justify these purchases, please let me know. Thanks.

House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve

Nicole Richie’s brand, House of Harlow 1960, is one of my favorite brands actually. She makes great quality, on trend pieces that satisfy my need for beautiful color and it’s not so far out of budget (especially when they go on sale!!). Below are a few of my wish list items from House of Harlow 1960:

Shopbop

Shopbop is one of my favorite sites to look at all the beautiful designer pieces and get inspiration so that I can go and find dupes or less expensive alternatives. I get almost all my style inspiration from very high end fashion, so shops like this one always give me the best ideas. Shopbop is great because they carry very high end brands such as Alexandre Birman, Zimmerman, and LOVESHACKFANCY and also lower end brands such as Levi’s, Madewell, and Free People, so it’s not completely unattainable. Here are some of my wish list picks from Shopbop:

FWRD by Elyse Walker

This is my favorite shop for ogling at all the beautiful high end designer items that I can never justify buying. This is one of my favorite shops for your standard designer pieces, such as Gucci, Chloe and Saint Laurent. It’s also a partner of Revolve, which means that the quality of service will always be top notch and they offer FREE 2 Day Shipping. Here are some of my FWRD by Elyse Walker wish list picks:

Thank you for reading! xx

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Fashion

OOTD: July 2019 Update

Howdy, Friends! I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July weekend! I wanted to stop by here today and give you all a little update on my life and also share an outfit post because this IS a fashion blog.

First, for the outfit, I’ve had these pieces for a while and never really got to wear them so I thought I would wear them together because they look pretty cute. Remember when I was obsessed with this bright green color in the spring? It’s still a thing and it’s happening right now in this outfit. It’s just so pretty and I feel like green is unexpected. My top and shorts are both from Zara and my sandals are from Steve Madden and were featured in my Spring Shoe blog post, linked here.

Moving on, I have some thoughts to share with you all. First, as of June 2019, I’ve officially been writing my blog for one full year and I am so proud to say that. It has been such a crazy year I’ve had with all kinds of ups and downs. I’ve traveled and lost relationships and friends, built new relationships and friendships, drank a bunch of coffee and read a TON of books and it’s brought me full circle to now.

When I started this blog last year, I had no idea where it would take me or if I would even commit to writing it. I wanted to use it as a diary to track what I did and how far I’ve come while also combining my love of fashion into it. I started out having literally no idea what I was doing and zero followers to now having a better idea of what I’m doing and nearly 150 followers! I am really proud of how far I’ve come with this and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds. It really truly feels like it’s going to be the biggest year of growth yet and I am so excited to share this journey with you all. I would never have gotten here without all of your support! Thank you for everything! xx

Top: Zara / Shorts: Zara / Sandals: Steve Madden
Top: Zara / Shorts: Zara / Sandals: Steve Madden
Top: Zara / Shorts: Zara / Sandals: Steve Madden
Top: Zara / Shorts: Zara / Sandals: Steve Madden
Top: Zara / Shorts: Zara / Sandals: Steve Madden

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

Things To Do This Summer 2019

Now that summer is in full swing, I thought I would share a few things I love to do during the summer and a few things I’m looking forward to doing this summer. I’m hoping to inspire you to try some new things and enjoy your summer to the fullest!

1. Beach/Pool

This one is obvious, but it’s important. My absolute favorite thing to do in the summer is spend a day at the beach or pool, preferably with a drink in hand and the sun shinning. Here in New York, we’re lucky to be surrounded by lots of water so I always prefer the beach, personally. But, at least in New York City, there’s also the option to visit rooftop pools at various hotels all over the city!

2. Festival/Concert

Summer is festival season all over the world. It basically starts with Coachella in the spring and runs all the way through to September/October. Although a few big festivals have already passed, such as Governor’s Ball and Bonnaroo, there’s still a bunch coming up, such as Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits (tickets are available for both still). In NYC, there’s also all kinds of free/cheap concerts in Central Park and at various music venues all over the city.

3. Weekend Trip

Specifically in New York, there are lots of cute and inexpensive destinations that you can head out to for 3 day weekend. Because so many places are within driving distance, these are really great, quick and easy trips to take. Like I’ve mentioned before upstate New York is a great place to go! My New Paltz, NY blog and my Lake Placid, NY blogs are linked here and here for you respectively. Aside from New York, there’s also so many destinations within driving distance, such as Philadelphia, PA or the Jersey Shore/Atlantic City, even Boston, MA!

4. Movies in the Park

In Central Park specifically, there are always movies showing in the summer every week. Usually, it’s older, feel good movies which is a lot of fun anyway. You can grab some snacks, a blanket and lay out on the lawn for a good movie! However, lots of parks all over the country do this also so you can find one in your state too!

5. Sunset Boat Cruise

This is something I’ve always been a little interested in doing because it’s a good way to get away without going too far. It’s a great date night or birthday dinner idea also! You can usually book groups for these boat cruises. It’s really romantic and usually drinks and dinner are included in the price (depending on the company) so it’s a good deal also. They have these all over New York City and in most other destinations that are on the water.

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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