Lifestyle

Let's Talk About Self-Doubt and How To Overcome It

One thing that I’ve had on my mind lately has been the feeling of not being good enough for this blogging world. With social media and everyone blogging, it can be really tough to not fall into the habit of comparison. You always hear that social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives, and frankly, we all know it. But there are still plenty of times where I find myself saying, “Why would these people want to follow me and see my content?”, “I’m not pretty enough to have a big following”, and so many other destructive thoughts. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of self-doubt in my creativity, my skills, and my overall success in life. So today, I wanted to share a little bit about those feelings and what I try to do to over come them.

When I’m starting to have these self-destructive thoughts, it almost always comes after I saw someone who seems to be living an incredible life. Maybe it’s an influencer who’s gone on an amazing trip or just bought a house or had an amazing career opportunity. Maybe it’s someone I went to college with who got engaged or stayed at a fancy hotel and I’m wondering how they can afford it. Sometimes it’s just seeing someone who’s really well dressed walking around, honestly. For me personally, it’s really easy to slip into those self-destructive thoughts. As I’ve said a few times in previous blogs, I feel like I struggle with authenticity sometimes because I’m still figuring out exactly who I am and who I’m meant to be. Sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m creative enough or have good enough style or do anything special that makes people want to follow me, and those thoughts make me spend a lot of time trying to appeal to my audience. Usually when I’m trying to appeal to my audience, I get the complete opposite result because they can see that I’m not being my authentic self.

Because I’m still figuring a lot of things out, being authentic can be tough. It’s tough to remember that I’m creative in my own way and I have my own style that might be different than other people I see on the street. It causes a lot of doubt in me and what I can do, but I move past it. Yes, sometimes I have to wallow in self-pity before I get over it, but I always get over it and get my groove back.

Some of the most important things I do to help myself get over my doubting feelings are to talk to someone that knows me well and I feel comfortable sharing that information with. Getting an objective opinion sometimes feels like they are just being nice, so you have to trust that the person you talk to will always tell you the honest truth and give you the feedback you need to improve. For me, that person is my boyfriend. Yes, he loves me and will tell me all the good things I need to hear, but I also know that he will give me his honest opinion and tell me straight up when I’m being dramatic or having a pity party for myself. So it’s really important to find a good person to talk these things out with.

Another thing that has been very helpful to me is to pray about it. I haven’t talked about this in a long time, but I do still pray often just to say thank you or to ask for help on certain things. Sometimes I feel like I get an answer right away, and sometimes it feels like He went on vacation and I had to leave a voicemail for the tenth time. One thing that it comes down to with prayer is just trusting and believing that God has a plan for you and He’ll show you what you need to know when the time is right. But that doesn’t mean to sit back and relax until you see a sign from the heavens. You have to keep working on your own, because being faithful is great but God’s not going to do the work for you. He’s just there to show you the way, but you still have to put in the work to get there.

Last but not least, it sounds silly, but you have to just take a step back and remember where you came from. When we start our journey in blogging, we usually have no idea how to set up a website or plan content or use a tripod, but we learn. We get better at writing and styling and posing for photos. We learn what angles look best for us and which coffee shops let you take photos inside and how to change in the car without being seen. It’s all a learning curve, but there are a ton of resources and along the way you figure it out. I remember starting from nothing and being so nervous to share my content with my friends and family for the first time. I remember struggling so much to get my first 100 followers and 200 followers on my blog. Getting to 1,000 followers on Instagram felt like torture, but I did it. Stopping to think about where I started and where I am now is usually the biggest help to me when I’m doubting myself. Maybe I’m having a bad week for engagement or all my photos turned out horrible, but I’m way further than I was a year and a half ago when I started. Reminding myself where I came from is always my motivation for moving forward because I know so much more now than I did back then and I’m still learning every day.

Sweater, Turtleneck, & Shoes: Target / Jeans: Topshop

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

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Lifestyle

How To Feel More Productive and Organized Everyday

As a disclaimer, I would not necessarily call “productivity” my middle name or anything, but I do like to think I have some tips that make me feel like I can get a ton of stuff done. These are just some tried and true tips that I like to use to make sure I have the most productive and organized days possible. Being that I work full-time, write this blog part-time, and also make time for friends/family and relaxing, being productive and organized is really important for me. I need to make sure I’m getting as much done as possible while I’m awake so that I can enjoy the time where I’m not working. So keep on reading if you want to see some of my best tips for being productive!

1. Making a “to do” list

I am a huge fan of “to do” lists! Seriously. The satisfaction of crossing things off my “to do” list is worth taking the time to write it out. It’s the best way for me to organize my thoughts and figure out what’s most important for me to get done. I do my best to write out my list in the order of most important to least important so that I can get the most important stuff done first. You could also do this from most difficult to least difficult or most time consuming to least time consuming. Do whatever makes sense to you. I also will prepare this the night before or at the end of my work day, so that I don’t have to take time to do it in the morning. Having it already prepared means that I can just jump right into the tasks.

2. Take a break

I am also an advocate for taking breaks when you need it. I am often suffering from burn out and feeling overworked, so I do my best to alleviate that stress early on by taking breaks when my body says I need them. Sometimes that means leaving a few tasks until the next morning and sometimes it means taking the entire weekend off to do nothing but lay in bed. Do what makes sense for you, but make sure you still have enough time to get your tasks done before they are due. If I know I have to take photos for a blog post that is going up on Thursday, and it’s currently Saturday, I’ll either suck it up and take them Saturday or push the photos until Sunday if I know I’m just not in the right headspace to take them. Don’t stress yourself out by procrastinating, but take a break so that you can come back and feel better about completing the task at hand.

3. Create a monthly schedule

For me, specifically in regard to content, I make a schedule of when I’m going to post things. I plan my content about a month in advance so that I have the whole month to write and shoot them. This helps me plan out what weekends I can go out and shoot photos and what days I can write so all my work gets spread out, leaving me stress-free usually. I also use my Lily Pulitzer planner to keep track of my entire life. I write in what blog posts are going up, what Instagram photos to post, my budget, any plans with friends, etc. Everything goes in my planner so it’s all in one place which makes it easy to look ahead and see what else is coming and what I need to prep for.

4. Start your day properly

Having a strong morning routine, especially on the weekends, is a huge key for helping me feel productive and organized. It gives me time to relax before jumping into whatever is most pressing that day. Every Saturday and Sunday, I try to make sure I make breakfast and a cup of coffee before I start doing any work. During breakfast is also a good time for me to catch up on shows, mindlessly scroll through Instagram (versus focusing on engaging with accounts), watch Youtube videos, look for inspiration, etc. It lets me free my mind a little bit before I focus for a few hours.

5. Find some inspiration

For me, taking the time to scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and looking at other blogs and Youtube is really important for me to create content. It’s how I find inspiration a lot of the time. Sometimes I feel stuck on what to wear every day or maybe I can’t think of a new blog post I haven’t already done, so looking to other content creators helps get my creative juices flowing. Whether it’s finding a new piece of clothing to buy or seeing an interesting post, it usually always helps me think of something new to post. Now this one is tough, because you can also get stuck in the comparison mindset by doing this so it’s not for everyone. You have to be in the right mindset, feeling strong and secure with yourself to make this one work otherwise it can make you feel worse. I sometimes struggle with comparison, so this doesn’t always work for me. When I’m feeling that way, it usually means I need to take a break instead!

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips and that they are helpful to you in feeling more productive this year. It’s been one month into 2020, and there’s still 11 more for you to reach your goals and feel more productive!

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

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Lifestyle

Things I Loved This Month: January 2020

I cannot believe January is already almost over! This month went by surprisingly quickly compared to in 2019. Last year January literally felt like it was 3 months long. This year, maybe because it’s been really busy at work and there’s been a ton going on in my personal life, it feels shorter but I’m not complaining over here. A few weeks ago, I said I wanted to hold onto the winter weather for a little bit longer (because I just bought a bunch of sweaters), but all of a sudden in the last week of January I’m feeling ready for spring. I’m trying not to wish the winter away, but the spring fever is definitely creeping in for me. Anyway, here’s some of my favorite things this month.

Teller’s American Chophouse – Islip, NY

This is the restaurant that Andrew and I went to for our anniversary dinner and holy cow it was delicious. The manager that night asked if we were celebrating anything special and then made sure our dessert had “Happy Anniversary” written onto the plates which was a really special touch. Our server was attentive and gave us such a good experience also. It was those small details that made us say that we’d love to go back. The food was also insanely good too. We happened to go during restaurant week so they had a price fixed menu option that we decided to do with a wine pairing and everything was so so good. I got lobster bisque as my starter and Andrew got some kind of bacon dish to start. We both got the Teller’s Delmonico which was the most delicious steak I’ve ever had and it came with truffle butter sauce and crispy fried onions and we added on a side of asparagus. For dessert we had cheesecake and a chocolate brownie with bourbon ice cream. Everything was amazing and I would highly recommend!

Serafina – New York, NY

This is the restaurant I went to for my birthday in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan and it was another hit for me! The inside of the restaurant is a gorgeous rustic Italian feel with exposed brick, dark wood and dim lighting for a really romantic atmosphere. They had lots of pasta dishes to choose from, some meat and fish entrees, tons of apps/soup/salad and dessert options. I got the eggplant parm because they didn’t actually have chicken parm on the menu which I have to say was disappointing but it was good so I don’t mind too much. Andrew got gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and that was absolutely delicious. I think I’d get that next time I go! Another thing I liked was that it was reasonably priced for a nice restaurant in Manhattan. I’m looking forward to going back and I would definitely recommend checking this one out!

& Other Stories

Earlier this month, I bought a scary amount of sweaters from & Other Stories which is a store I’ve had my eye on for a while. I always thought they made such beautiful pieces, but could never really afford to pay the price for the quality. I took the plunge and ordered a few sweaters that I felt were closet staples that I was missing and was so pleasantly surprised at how much I love them! The material on all the sweaters is thick and warm because most of the ones I ordered are made of a wool/alpaca blend. The colors are beautiful and they fit really well. They do have to be carefully cared for so as not to upset the fibers of the material but I think it’s worth it. These are the kind of quality items that I’ll be able to wear for years and years to come.

Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer

This is an item that I rediscovered recently and I am so happy that I did. One thing I noticed since the beginning of this month is that my makeup looks really powdery and dry and I’m thinking it’s because I had been using a matte primer because I have naturally oily skin. Apparently that was too matte because my makeup has been looking extremely cakey this month and I hate it. I decided to try out just using this primer from Smashbox and it helped a ton! My skin looks glowy under my makeup, but it still lasts most of the day even with my (apparently not so) oily skin.

Boomerang for Google Chrome

This one is not really as interesting as the rest but it’s been a tool that has come in really handy over the last few months. Boomerang is a plug-in that you can add onto Google Chrome (completely free) and it gives you some extra tools for your Google Emails. I, personally, love to use it for the Delay Send option which allows you to type out an email and delay the send time for whatever time you want. I like to use this when I’m sending an email late at night and I want it to arrive in the person’s inbox in the early morning. Instead of getting up and hitting send at 8:00 am, I can hit send at 11:00 pm the night before and set the time of delivery for 8:00 am. It’s a huge lifesaver because I don’t like interfering with someone’s personal time at home. I’m a huge advocate for work life balance and I don’t want someone to feel pressured to respond to my email when they’re not working.

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

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Lifestyle

Things I Loved This Month: December 2019

December has proven to be another very busy and expensive month. I spent more than I usually do on Christmas presents this year (it’s usually none cause I have a thing about presents), as well as lots of dinners and spending time with friends and family. Lots of work also, of course in preparation for the upcoming end of year festivities as well as planning for 2020. Lots of good things are on the way!

1. All of YOU!

Just a few days before Christmas I reached 200 blog followers which was one of my goals for 2019. It was one, I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to reach so I am so proud and surprised that I did. I truly could not have done it without all my readers and the people who support me every day. I hope to grow even more in 2020 and I’m excited to share the rest of this journey with you all.

2. Caseapp

Last week, I shared my experience working with Caseapp and creating a custom phone case. It was a lot of fun and I’m so happy with how they turned out! It was such an easy process to design my own, but they also have tons of cute cases to choose from which made my selection process more fun. I was excited that they also offered a discount code for my followers for 20% off your purchase until January 11, 2020. The code is KARENMAURITZENN20 and can be used at www.caseapp.com!

3. Danielle Bernstein @weworewhat

Danielle Bernstein has been a huge inspiration to me this month for a few reasons. Obviously, she has insanely good style. She’s classic with such a funky twist. She wears clever pieces and she is so good at accessorizing (something I’m working on for 2020). But on top of that, she is also in her late 20’s and has built quite a few successful startup businesses. She’s got a clothing line, a tech business, is releasing a book and has major collaborations under her belt. THIS GIRL KNOWS HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS. I am truly inspired by her business savvy and she is a model of who I’d like to be when I grow up.

4. Not Shopping

This month was interesting for me because I actually took a break from doing any personal shopping and focused strictly on gifts for family. I’m not saying I’ve converted into a person who enjoys giving gifts, but I am saying that this is one of the first times where I actually enjoyed NOT shopping for myself. Maybe it was the crazy holiday season contributing to it, but it was refreshing not feeling like I needed to buy anything or scrambling around trying to find the best sales. I’m at a place where I’m happy with what I have and looking forward to transitioning into an even more classic “forever” wardrobe, but I don’t feel any urge to purchase. I find myself looking around putting things in my virtual cart and letting them sit there for weeks because I just don’t feel like I need to buy them. It’s amazing to feel this way when it’s something I struggled with for a very long time!

5. Taking Photos

I know this one seems silly to you, but I really struggle to enjoy taking photos. It’s probably the outfit changes, and having to put makeup on and recruiting friends and family for help that makes it something I struggle to enjoy but it’s true. I’m the blogger that hates taking photos. However, this month I felt more creative than ever and I was excited to really get my ideas out in digital to share with you. I’m looking forward to trying out new forms of media, specifically video in 2020 so it’s about time that I finally started enjoying taking photos! It can really be fun when you love what you do (and with lots of practice).

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

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Rediscovering My Purpose as a Blogger

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sort of going back and forth about what I do in this blogging space, how I got here, why I started, etc. Lots of thoughts running through my head recently. In the year 2020, I have some big goals for my blog and myself and I feel really strongly that I can achieve them in the next year. I work really hard at what I do, and I’ve never felt so creative. But as we all know, the deeper we get into things, the more our reasoning for doing it changes.

I started my blog when I was 23 years old, one year out of college and struggling to “figure it out”. I was feeling unsatisfied and frustrated with my career choice, my relationships, my finances, and so many other things and it truly felt like there was no end in sight. I started this blog as a digital journal of what was going on in my life. I wanted to be able to look back and say “I remember when I wrote this, I had this going on” or “I had just finished going through this.” I was looking for a creative outlet for myself. I wanted a chance to do something I actually felt passionate about, but had denied myself for a very long time.

Now, I am (almost) 25 years old and a lot has changed. I’ve changed jobs, let go of relationships and started new ones, written over 150 blog posts, and so many other things. One thing I’m realizing though, is that my reason for writing this blog has changed. While I still love writing posts like this one to use to look back on and see where my head was when I wrote it, I’ve also realized that I’m passionate about more than just fashion. In fact, I want to write even more of these thought provoking, open and honest posts. I rediscovered that I love writing. I sometime feel pressured to do things a certain way to appeal to a larger audience. I’m extremely susceptible to the anxiety and comparison that comes with creating a presence online. I have a better understanding of who I am, but struggle to portray that online. I’m extremely proud of the work I’ve done on this blog. I have an extremely strong support system behind me that I didn’t have when I was 23. I know that I want more out of this and it’s something I am truly passionate about and will always be a part of who I am.

In 2020, I want to do my best to stay true to myself and who I am. I want to write about the topics that I enjoy! I want to create the kind of content that makes me happy. I feel like I have so much more to offer and 2020 is the year that I feel ready to find out what that is. I’m not exactly sure where this year will take me, but I’m excited to find out. As far as my plan goes, I will continue to share fashion content because I love it. I’m hoping to create more content and share a larger variety of topics, not just fashion. I want my readers to feel like they really know me and that I’m giving them something valuable when they read my posts. I want my readers to feel like I can be a friend. So that’s my focus for the coming year, just being true to myself, no pressure. I’m looking forward to a lot of good things this year.

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

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What The Heck Happened in 2019: A Recap

2019 was quite the year. To be honest, I would call it my best year yet. So many wonderful things happened in 2019, that I feel really excited for 2020. I’m not really sure how it could get any better. Keep on reading for a summary of what the heck happened in 2019.

The Good

Some good things that happened this year include but are not limited to: dating Andrew (the best person in the whole world), getting a new job, finally saving up some money for the future, reaching 1,000+ Instagram followers (finally), fully committing to the growth of my blog, traveling to 3 countries and within the US, connecting with other bloggers online and IRL, landing not one, but two brand partnerships and SO much more. This truly was my best year so far. There’s no words for how thankful I am for everything that happened this year because it set me up for so much more to come next year.

The Bad

Even through all the fun and frills, it wasn’t a perfect year. Here are some of the bad things that happened in 2019: didn’t quite reach my goal of 200 blog followers by the end of the year (*edit: I reached this just a few days before Christmas!), I lost my job, I effed up my finances for a bit being unemployed (and before that if we’re honest), experienced burn out more times than I can count, stopped going to the gym, spent a ton of time comparing myself to other people and a ton of other things too.

What’s Next

I have some more thoughts on this coming in tomorrow’s bonus blog post, but I have big plans for 2020. One year goes by so fast, but there is so much that can be done in that amount of time. My main goals for next year are to really dive full force into my blog/Instagram and create things that I love. I want to move out on my own, make new friends, travel and explore a different part of myself as an adult in her mid-twenties. There’s so much room for growth and I have a lot of learning to do, but I feel really ready to take on some new things. I’m looking forward to making 2020 my best year yet.

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

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Creating a Custom Phone Case with Caseapp

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was working on a new partnership and it’s time to finally announce it! I recently worked with Caseapp to create my very own custom phone case on their website www.caseapp.com and I love how it came out. They were also kind enough to offer a 20% discount code to my followers that can be used on their website. The code is KARENMAURITZENN20 and it can be used up until January 11, 2020. Thank you again to casepp for letting me create my own custom iPhone case!

The process to create the case was super easy. You just go online and select Custom at the top and select your type of phone or laptop and then you can start customizing! There’s tons of colors, fonts, and stickers to choose from to make it your own. I knew I wanted to make something with my initials on it and I wanted it to be pretty and simple. I found this sticker that said “baby”, so I decided to work with that and typed in the part that says “don’t call me”, added a little heart sticker and my initials and decided to make it this really pretty color. After that, I added it to my cart and checked out! Super simple process and shipping took about a week to be delivered.

They also have hundreds of pre-designed case options also with all kinds of themes. They have cute holiday ones, animals (which were my favorites), some really beautiful artistic pieces, funny ones and so much more. It was definitely hard to choose! I found this super cute panther queen case and it really spoke to me so I decided to pick that one up also.

Overall, using Caseapp’s design tools were super easy and the process to create it was so simple. I’m so excited to have worked with them and hope to work with them again when I get a new phone in the spring! They have an amazing Instagram that you can check out @caseapp and of course, their website www.caseapp.com. Don’t forget you can use my discount code KARENMAURITZENN20 to get 20% off your order from Caseapp until January 11, 2020!

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

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