Lifestyle

Weekend In My Life: NYC

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend and a great start to your week so far. I, for one, had an excellent weekend so I wanted to share what I did with you. Now, because it was a special weekend, I have to admit I got caught up in the moment most of the time and forgot to take any photos (bad blogger, I know). So, there’s not any photos, but I still wanted to share it in case you’re ever in NYC for the weekend!

To start things off, this weekend I was out celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday with his friends and family. Friday night, we started out going to dinner out on long island at Bahama Breeze which is like a caribbean themed restaurant. The food here was great, but the drinks were amazing. We drank pain killers at dinner which is one of my favorite mixed drinks now (because it’s one of Andrew’s favorites hehe). They are made with dark rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, a splash of orange juice, and topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. They are absolutely delicious and I HIGHLY recommend them!

Saturday was the real celebration, though. Andrew and I went into NYC to celebrate with his friends. We stayed at the Sheraton Tribeca Hotel because we didn’t want to have to worry about taking the train home late at night. We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel and how nice it was. I’m super picky about hotels after working in the events industry, but this one was very clean and modern and the service was great. I’d probably stay here again if we ever needed a place to stay in Tribeca!

For dinner, we stopped at Beauty & Essex which is like a speakeasy restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. On the outside, it’s a pawn shop where you can purchase jewelry and other items if you’d like! Inside, behind a back door, is a beautiful restaurant. The service was excellent, I must admit. However, the food is served as small shared plates which we were surprised to discovered upon sitting down. Although the food was good, if we had known it was supposed to be served as small plates, we would have gone somewhere else. The prices weren’t justified by the serving size, unfortunately.

After dinner, we took a quick pit stop at Hair of the Dog a few blocks away because it’s the only bar I know that has happy hour on Saturdays until 8:00 PM! After that, our original plan was to stop by the Public Hotel rooftop for more drinks, but the line was so long when we got there, that we turned around and decided to head somewhere else. We ended up settling on the Delancey which was not crowded at all when we go there. We hungout on the roof, got drinks and enjoyed the very humid evening with friends. My Romper is from Revolve and is linked here for you if you want to check it out. I got it in a medium to get a looser, comfy fit.

Overall, we had a great night and a wonderful weekend! Let me know in the comments what you did this past weekend!

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

Standard
Lifestyle

Ballin’ on a Budget: No Shopping Summer

Today, I wanted to share a little journey I went on this summer and my thoughts on the whole process. Starting about back in April, I stopped shopping (except for a few things) and not necessarily by choice (which I’ll get into another time). It was definitely necessary, but it’s been an interesting journey for me.

First things first, I definitely shopped a little in May to refresh my work wardrobe and get some things for my vacation to Greece in June. I also treated myself to a two items in July and August for special occasions. It wasn’t exactly a no shopping summer, but it was definitely a summer with very little shopping.

I have to be honest, because it was not necessarily a choice, I think it was a little bit easier to do this successfully. The desire wasn’t really there because I knew I had other priorities. However, my love for shopping didn’t disappear. It just went to the bottom of my priority list. I spent a lot of time scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, etc and just not feeling like I wanted to shop which was definitely a key factor to going 3+ months without shopping in bulk like I normally do.

Now that it’s half way through August and getting into fall, the itch to shop is definitely back in full force. I also started a new job recently so all I want to do is treat myself because I think I deserve it. So far, I haven’t bought anything new yet, but it’s probably coming soon! It’s very interesting to me that I spent the whole summer not really caring about getting new things, but now that I feel like I can or I deserve it or I need it cause it’s going to be ~fall~, it’s getting more difficult.

Some things I learned from this experience is that:

  • I can still work with what I have and look good (biased?)
  • Other things are way more important, but it feels good to get the things that you want sometimes
  • My creativity does not depend on buying new things every week (but buying things once in a while helps keep those juices flowing)
  • I can actually go 3+ months without buying things which is a huge first for me
  • The money I saved from shopping, could be put to use on more experiences which last way longer than trendy clothes

This experience was a little bit of a wake up call from a financial aspect, but it also shed some light on just how creative I can get when I need to. I’m hoping that moving forward I can remember this experience and find a healthy balance between the two! Cutting it out completely was tough and not sustainable for me, but it was definitely good to give myself that break.

I want to know in the comments: have you ever challenged yourself to give up something you love for more than a month?

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

Standard
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

Standard
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

Standard
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

Standard
Lifestyle

June 2019 Favorites

June has been a very eventful month for me and there were a lot of new things happening so I’ve got some good favorites this month. I think it really set me up for a good start to the summer and I’m looking forward to the next few months of warm weather

Mykonos

As I mentioned in my Greece vacation blog post, Mykonos was my favorite island that we visited while in Greece. It was just beautiful in every way. I felt safe, the people were so nice, the beaches were absolutely stunning and relaxing. If you go anywhere in Greece, Mykonos is always going to be my top recommendation.

Fujifilm QuickSnap Disposable Cameras

It’s really trendy to use film for photos these days, especially because you can get your film printed or digital to post directly to your social media. I used these Fujifilm disposable cameras on my trip to Greece and I loved them. You got 27 film exposures in each camera and it comes in a pack of 3, so that’s almost 90 exposures. This is a great deal! Plus film looks so cool and they were super easy to use. It was a very retro experience and I loved every second.

Colourpop SuperShock Blushes

I used a few of these to do my makeup in Greece and they are my new favorite cream blushes! They some in tons of colors, are super creamy and very easy to use. They last all day long when set with a little bit of translucent powder too so very good for the summer when you don’t want to wear a full face of makeup. Another great thing about these blushes is that at only $8, they are SUPER affordable! I talked about these in my Greece Vacation Makeup blog post, linked here.

@maggiemacdonald on Instagram

I have been following Maggie MacDonald on Instagram for a little while on and off but recently, I have just been down right obsessed with her. I watch her vlogs every week because I find her really relatable in general, but I also love that she promotes a healthy lifestyle. She follows food combining for her diet, which is a concept I find really interesting. She also posts fashion and beauty, which is obviously a high priority for me as a blogger. If you’re interested in fashion/beauty or a healthy lifestyle, I would definitely recommend checking her out!

Britney Spears

Britney and I are having a moment and I have been listening to her really old music non-stop. Like Baby, One More Time old music because it was so good and real! Plus, it’s always fun to go back and listen to songs you loved as a child. Oh, the good ‘ole days…

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

Standard
Lifestyle

May 2019 Favorites

The month of May went by so quickly, I feel like I didn’t even have time to enjoy it. I don’t have too many favorites for this month because I didn’t do very much honestly, but I have a few beauty products that I rediscovered and have really been loving.

1. Too Faced Hangover Rx 3-in 1 Primer Spray

I have had this for a few used and used it on and off but lately I’ve been really loving this. I haven’t been wearing very much makeup, so this has been a go to on the very few days that I actually do wear some. It keeps my minimal makeup look on all day and it looks dewy and light, not sweaty which is very nice.

2. Becca Liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector

This has been a real favorite of mine too! Since I’m wearing only a little make up lately, I like this because it makes me look bright and dewy without the powdery look from a regular highlighter. I also like to add it to my body lotion on my legs and arms and chest to make sure I look glowy and bronze now that it’s the season for wearing less and going out more, ya know.

3. HUM Nutrition Vitamins

I’ve talked about these vitamins a few times on my blog but I wanted to share them again because I can attest to just how well they work. I had been taking these for about a year and then I stopped for 6 weeks. In that 6 weeks of not taking these, I felt absolutely horrible. I was exhausted all the time, I was breaking out badly, my digestion was all messed up. I mean, I was a mess. This month, I started taking them again, and what a world of a difference they have made. I feel so much better and it’s definitely because of these vitamins. I would HIGHLY recommend them!

4. Polaroid Camera

I’ve been taking a bunch of polaroids over the last few months because I love how they look. It’s a fun new way to make memories and hold on to them. They are some of my favorite photos that I have recently and if you love aesthetically pleasing photos, definitely get a polaroid camera.

5. Sweat Shorts

Now that it’s warm and shorts weather, I love to wear my sweat shorts during the day since it’s too hot to wear real sweatpants. I can’t get enough of them. It’s comfy and airy, and they look so cute with graphic t-shirts front tucked. It’s like a comfy chic look.

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

Standard