Lifestyle

Fall 2018 Weekend Morning Routine

If you know me, you’ll know that the weekends are my absolute favorite part of the week but not usually for the same reason as anyone else. Most people like to use their weekends to go out and treat themselves, but for me weekends are about doing things I love and are actually productive. For me, that often means that I get A LOT of things done. I truly value my weekend mornings because they set me up for a productive and positive week.

I start my weekends the same way I start any other day. On the weekends, I do tend to sleep in a little bit later than I normally would until about 9:00 or 9:30am. First thing when I wake up is that I open my Holy Bible app and listen to the entire chapter of the verse of the day. After that, I open up my Simple Habit meditation app and I do a 5-10 minute meditation to start my day off right. These two steps are absolutely critical for how my day goes. I find that I have better, more positive days when I start off my morning with the Bible and meditation.

After that, I always go and make myself a big cup of coffee and some breakfast. Usually it’s just Eggo waffles and some sausage because we don’t like to get too fancy at my house, but it’s really whatever I’m in the mood for. While I have my breakfast is when I catch up on my social media, listen to a podcast and do my best to get into a creative mindset. When I’m not feeling so creative, I like to scroll through WordPress and read some new posts and find bloggers to follow. I also like to scroll through Pinterest and find some inspiration for future posts!

Once I’m done with breakfast is when the real productivity starts. I prefer to spend my mornings prepping blog posts for the coming weeks. Depending on what I have coming up I’ll either write up some new posts or get ready to take some photos. I’ll do my makeup and lay out my outfits before setting up the tripod or put on some music if I’m just writing up some new content. Once I get those done, I’ll edit those photos and finish up prepping my new posts. After that, it’s usually almost noon and I’ll have some lunch and get ready to head to the gym and actually start my day!

It sounds very boring, but I love to have structure in my life. Dedicating my weekends to working on something I love makes me so happy and it really sets me up for a good week. I don’t have to worry about what I didn’t get done because I went out and was too tired to take photos or do some research for future posts. I love to go out and enjoy my life as much as the next person, but I’ve found that spending time doing something I love gives me so much more satisfaction because it’s always one step closer to the future I’m working toward.

P.S. keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

What I’m Thankful For

With this being my first Thanksgiving with you all, I thought I would share some things I’m really thankful for this past year. This has been one of the best years yet and there’s been a lot of change and growth in so many aspects of my life. With so many ups also comes a lot of downs and there were some really stressful and hard times this year. I’m thankful for all the experiences I had because they brought me to who I am today. I really love who I’ve grown into and I’m looking forward to the person that I’ll be in the future. So here we go. Here’s what I’m thankful for in 2018 in no particular order.

I’m thankful for the end of my relationship with my boyfriend because it forced me to figure out what I really wanted out of life.

I’m thankful for family for doing as much as they can to help me always.

I’m thankful for the ability to read a new book every month because I’ve read more books this year than I have in a very long time.

I’m thankful to still be able to live with my mom and not pay rent with my first full-time job’s salary.

I’m thankful for my cat that showed up on our front porch one night because he’s there when I feel like no one else is.

I’m thankful for all my friends that have given me words of encouragement and love since starting the blogging journey.

I’m thankful for my health because I get to do a lot of things that other people can’t.

I’m thankful that my job has allowed me to travel and have experiences that I would have never had on my own.

I’m thankful that I finally took a leap of faith and started this blog because it’s one of the most rewarding things in my life.

I’m thankful for every experience that has taught me a hard lesson because I would not have made it this far if I didn’t have those moments.

I’m thankful for my renewed faith and my openness to prayer and God’s will.

I’m thankful that I was able to take not one, but seven trips this year. That’s the most I’ve ever traveled in one year outside of work.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to explore my creative side through this blog.

I’m thankful for the friends that I can talk to about anything whenever I need it.

I’m thankful for the friends that aren’t as big a part of my life anymore because I know that I wouldn’t have had the realizations I’ve had without them.

I’m thankful that I can wake up in the morning and be proud of what I’m working toward because at the beginning of this year, I had nothing to look forward to.

So, now I want to know, what are you thankful for?

P.S keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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Fashion, Lifestyle

OOTD + Life Update Chit Chat

So I wanted to share a little life update because right now I’m trying to make new and positive strides in my life. I also wanted to share my cute outfit while I gave you the update because… this is a fashion blog, people.

Sweatshirt: Zara /  Tank: Old Navy / Leggings: Topshop / Boots: SomethingNavy (Nordstrom)

So like I mentioned in a previous post, the start of October was not easy on me. I really was going through an emotional rollercoaster. But I made the decision to do things that are good for me and make me happy and help me develop into a better, stronger, smarter, more resilient person.  Aside from going to the gym consistently, I made a point to listen to a new chapter of the Bible every morning as soon as I wake up. I also committed to reading one book per month so that eventually I can push myself to read a new book every 2 weeks and then every week. I love reading so I really want to be able to get more reading in to my ~very~ busy schedule. I also started looking into different networking events and events where I can meet people that have a similar mindset as me. And so far, I’ve enjoyed myself and I feel a lot better but I still have rough days. I feel like I can do more to help myself be happy by myself. So I thought I would try some new things in my routine and here I’m telling you what I’m trying out.

The first thing I started doing was taking better control of my finances. I’m trying to reduce how much I use my credit card and get back into the habit of using my debit card or cash. So I decided to give myself a set amount for the two weeks in between paychecks that I can spend. I’m 23 years old and I live with my mom, so I don’t have expenses other than my phone bill, my student loans, and my credit card bill. Therefore, I don’t need a lot of money to live. I allotted a certain amount to keep in my checking account to use for food, gas and fun after I take care of my expenses. So far, I think it’s helping a lot but I get those cravings for treating myself to something fun which by the end of 2 weeks, there’s not always enough leftover. So I started deciding at the beginning of each week what I’m going to treat myself to and making sure I’m setting aside what I need for that. It’s helped a little bit to get rid of that craving feeling for spending, which is great but it’s definitely a lifestyle adjustment that I’m still getting used to.

Another thing I started doing was listening to podcasts. It’s a lot of fun and I find them super interesting. I’m still exploring them and figuring out what I like and what I want out of them but I do like them. It’s like getting to sit in on a little panel talk without actually going to one. However, I find that I can’t multitask. I guess because I really want to hear and understand the content of them, so I can’t put them on and then try and do something else. I actually tried to write this blog post while listening to one and had to wait the hour and a half until it was over to write a single word. But for driving in the car or commuting on the train, I think they are perfect for that because you can listen without distraction.

One other thing I decided to try is meditation using the very popular apps that are around these days. It was recommended to me by a very good friend of mine after I told her about a tough situation I was dealing with. She mentioned that it helped her a lot when dealing with stress and anxiety, even if it was only for 5 minutes. At first, I thought it was going to be just another thing to add on to my routine but after thinking about it, I thought it could be something to really look into. So I downloaded a bunch of apps like Calm, Insight Timer, and Simple Habit and tried to start meditating. I started one night after having a bad day, and did one that was for a good night’s sleep. It was definitely not easy to get into a full meditation at all let alone within 5 minutes but I think the calmness and quiet time was helpful before bed. I slept very well that night. I also tried it again in the morning to start my day off right and even though I was sleepy still, I felt like I was starting my day on a positive note. Meditation is HARD but I think just laying down, releasing all my thoughts and relaxing and breathing has helped me feel better every day. I try to do it at least once a day and it’s a major part of my routine now and I’m looking forward to really exploring this side of myself.

The final thing I decided to do was take my blog seriously. I started this just as a creative outlet and a way to get my ideas out into the world and share my thoughts and feelings. After a few months of writing and taking photos and posting, I realized that this is a heck of a lot of work but I really enjoy it. It’s satisfying to know that people like what I have to say. Fashion is something I’ve always been interested in but writing this blog has showed me it’s something I’m really passionate about in combination with sharing my thoughts. It’s also a great way for my to have a record of where my life was at certain points, which is just convenient and interesting to look back on. So I decided that because I love doing this, I want to post things that are more meaningful like this little life update. Fashion of course is my main priority, but I want to show you what’s going on behind the scenes too.

I hope you enjoyed this update and I’m looking forward to my next update! Hopefully some of these things I talked about actually help and I’ll have some good feedback for you!

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

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Lifestyle

October 2018 Favorites

October has come and gone and I’m back with my monthly favorites! 2018 is FLYING and I think I say that every month but it’s really true. I can’t believe it’s already November. This month, I have lots of fashion favorites because I finally figured out what my fall style is. I also have some more fall things and life stuff that I’m loving because it’s FINALLY starting to feel chilly and cozy and I’m ready to hibernate for 4 months. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. SomethingNavy at Nordstrom

I’m a long time fan of Arielle Charnas and her blog, SomethingNavy. I think she was actually the very first blogger I ever followed  on instagram about 5 years ago during my freshman year of college so we go way back. I even remember her reaching 100K followers and now she has over 1 million. Anyway, she released her clothing line at Nordstrom at the end of September and now that it’s October and chilly out, I finally was in the mood to throw on some boots and a fuzzy coat. I am absolutely loving her clothing line this month and probably for the rest of my life. I got 5 of her shoes because I think they are so good. She’s got great taste in shoes, honestly. All her pieces are perfectly curated and go so well together. I think she’s really found her niche with creating elevated basics. I’m crazy excited for her November and December collections.

2. Zara

I think I’ve been living under a rock for at least the last 5 years because I just started shopping at Zara in September and have fallen IN LOVE. I completely understand why everyone feels the way they do about Zara. I think my style is finally evolving into a more mature smart casual look and I think Zara really reflects that. I’ve been spending way too much money there and I’m not even mad about it. I think Zara will definitely be my go to store for my work and casual clothes for the fall and winter. I always struggle with spring and summer clothes so we’ll see how I feel when that time comes!

3. Denim

My job changed it’s dress code from Business Casual to “Use Your Best Judgement” which I absolutely love because that means no more uncomfy dress pants for me. This is what I mean in my bullet above about a more smart casual look. Now that I can wear jeans to work, I have been denim obsessed. I’ve recently acquired an absurd amount of jeans because I can wear them all the time. Prior to this I was also a leggings/sweatpants kind of girl but now I even like wearing jeans…on the weekend (UGH THE HORROR). I’ve been getting all my new jeans from Topshop. As you all know I LOVE their Mom jeans and the Jamie jeans. I also found a few pairs of the Joni jeans that I like (cue my leopard pants). I also (sadly) love distressed jeans that I can’t wear to work so I’m trying to resist the urge. I think next I want to try out GRLFRND, Paige and Levi’s for my denim. I’m looking to explore some new brands for denim so please feel free to leave suggestions/reviews in the comments!

4. The Book of Joy

I mentioned this in my What I’m Reading post for this month and thought I’d bring it up again. I really am enjoying this book because I think it’s exactly what I needed this month. Since I’m struggling a lot with not being miserable about where I am in life, I thought I’d try reading this because everyone loves His Holiness the Dalai Lama, right? Him and the Archbishop are world renowned spiritual leaders for a reason. It helps me to put things in perspective and take a step back and remember what it really means to be joyful.

5. Briogeo: Don’t Despair, Repair!

I’m not sure why I haven’t mentioned this before. I’ve been using it since August and have really been loving it. It makes my hair feel really soft and not like I tried to bleach my curly, ethnic hair more than once (cue my 9 million regretful thoughts). In combination with all my other hair care products, it’s been such a big help keeping my hair healthy as I journey to grow it out as far as I can.

6. Dark Nail Polish

No surprise here that I like dark nail polish for fall. But I’m really loving purple/berry color nail polish. It’s such a pretty and flattering color. I think it really looks great on every skin tone because there’s such a wide variety of dark berry pinks and plum purples. My favorites for this month are Bahama Mama by Essie and Maki Me Happy by Essie.

7. Blazers

For the fall, I just fell in love with blazers and denim. Remember what I said about smart casual? Here it’s coming into play again. It all makes sense now, right? Okay, so yes BLAZERS. I love to dress them down with jeans and a t-shirt but keep the look put together by adding in some ankle boots. I’m loving all kinds of blazers and really missing my employee discount from BCBG. They have the best blazers. Very chic and stylish, but still classic. I’m still exploring some brands, but I’ve been looking into what Revolve has to offer and I found this very cool corduroy blazer from BlankNYC. I’m also recently obsessed with &OtherStories so I’ve been looking there for nice blazers also. I’m heavily inspired by Arielle Charnas (of course, see bullet #1 for proof) and Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat.

8. Dallas, TX

I’ve been traveling quite a bit in September and October (and never took any photos because I’m a bad blogger). I went to Dallas for a weekend to go to a Cowboys game and I had such a great time. The atmosphere was just totally different from New York. There’s a real sense of pride in where you’re from with people in Texas. Everyone in Texas loves Texas and it makes it hard to not feel the same way. I felt so happy and comfortable and it was such a great experience. We ate some AMAZING brisket and had lots of beers and even got to try In n Out. I’m definitely looking forward to heading back there!

 

P.S. keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

What I’m Reading: October 2018

This month started out feeling pretty unhappy for me. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but I think it was because I was stuck in a funk of not really knowing how I can move my life forward. Because it was such tough feeling to deal with and it was having major affects on other aspects of my life, I thought I would take some time to read a book about joy. I purchased The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu a few months ago but I just never got around to reading it until recently. It just felt like the right time. So today, I’m going to tell you how I feel about it.

I think this book is quite excellent. It looks at things from a different perspective than most books like this do which is extremely refreshing. It doesn’t take a religious stand point like you’d think it would. The Dalai Lama actually tells most of his stories and teachings based on the idea that we are all related to each other because we are human. We’re not black or white or Christian or Jewish or rich or poor. We’re just human and that’s why we’re all connected. It’s almost profound because the world in general (but especially the US) is obsessed with labeling and separating everyone into categories. But when you think about it, it’s absolutely true. We’re just humans and that’s all. It’s one of the best ways to look at things, but especially when it comes to kindness, generosity, and judgments.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop talk about mental health and how we deal with our emotions. They talk about building up “mental immunity” to the negatives in our lives. It’s basically how we recover from negativity in our lives. If we have strong mental health and high mental immunity, then when negative things happen, we can recover a lot quicker than if we struggle with our mental health. Mental immunity is like a muscle that needs to be trained and worked with every single day to get to a point where those negative thoughts and experiences don’t affect us so much. It’s just like healing from an addiction if you think about it. Sometimes the only way to get better is by working at it every single day for the rest of your life.

Another great point about this topic was that no one will ever completely block out every single negative thought. Sometimes there are situations that you have to just let the negatives be. You can sit and be upset about them and it’s not the end of the world. You get up and you try again tomorrow. The idea is that sometimes you can’t control those negatives, but you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. It’s okay and tomorrow is a new day.

The book goes on the discuss other emotions and how they are related to joy. They also discuss the 8 Pillars of Joy which are absolutely fantastic to read about. Overall, I think it’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it. It can be a lot of information that you need time to understand and digest, though. I found myself reading a chapter or a few paragraphs several times before I felt like I really understood it, but once you understand it it’s very insightful and puts things in perspective. I think if you’re feeling like you want a new perspective on joy and life in general, this would be a great read for you!

 

P.S keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

My Thoughts on Limiting Beliefs

Please note: I’m not an expert on this topic, I only have my own personal opinions and experiences.

Trying to navigate my life in my early 20’s has felt a lot like learning to walk again. I’ve spent a lot of time fumbling around, falling down, and getting back up again just to realize I don’t really know what I’m doing. Eventually, I’ll learn to stand up on my own and then I’ll learn to take a few baby steps and walk until I’m back to being a fully functioning adult, but the in between time has led me to really think about why I’m struggling to learn how to navigate my adult life.

I can attribute most of the times I’ve fallen down to something called limiting beliefs. You can read all about limiting beliefs in just about every self help book on the market (or the planet tbh). Some are better than others, but they all talk about the same things. We all have thoughts and ideas in our heads about who we are, what we’re good at, what we’re not good at, and why. These thoughts aren’t necessarily right or wrong, but they do determine what we say and do, as well as how, when and why we say or do them. Our limiting beliefs are typically the thoughts that limit us (obviously) or keep us from doing progressive things. Sometimes they stop us from big things like quitting our job and starting a business even though we have a million dollar idea. Sometimes they stop us from little things, like reaching out to someone because we think we’re bothering them. Either way, they hold us back.

I think the first step to dealing with your limiting beliefs would be making yourself aware of them. You can’t change something if you don’t recognize that it’s an issue. I’ve found that this comes with spending time by yourself just letting your thoughts flow and seeing how you react to them. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone because I’m going through a transitional period in my life and as tough as it is, it’s been really helpful. I’m much more aware of the beliefs I have about myself that keep me from moving forward in different aspects of my life: my relationships, my career, my future, my finances. I’m starting to be more aware of the negative thoughts that I have when I think about these things, such as “I’ll be alone forever now!”, “No one really wants to read my content anyway”, “Maybe I’m not cut out for this”, etc.

Once you know what your limiting beliefs are, then you can start working to adjust them or block them out. You should understand why you have those beliefs and what they stem from. Was it a traumatic experience? Abusive relationship? Divorce? It could be a number of things that distort your thoughts and cause you to think these things. Getting to the root of it and solving that will significantly help in reducing your limiting beliefs. Plus, once you are aware of your limiting beliefs and the thoughts that come with them, you have the chance to actually change them. If I were to start thinking, “I’m going to be alone forever and everyone hates me”, I know that I can stop myself and say “No, Karen, you won’t be alone forever. You’re alone right now because it was the right time for that to end and you needed to take time for yourself. When the time comes you’ll meet the right person.” It’s like giving myself a little pep talk.

One last thing that I’ve found has been really helpful in moving past my limiting beliefs is praying. I’m not very religious to be completely honest, but I personally have found that praying most nights right before bed to say thank you for what I have and ask for more guidance in certain areas of my life has made a major difference. In the last few months, I’ve seen a lot of changes happen and some are more difficult than others, but praying was always one thing that made me feel better and more secure about the future. Knowing that God has a plan for me, trusting in that, and sometimes asking for some extra help has made a world of difference.

Finally, one of the major players in moving past your limitings beliefs is being patient with yourself. These beliefs have been working at beating you down for a lot longer than you think. Months or even years. Just like a bad habit, you can’t change it over night. It takes constant work to remind yourself that those thoughts aren’t a reflection of who you really are. They are just your brain working against itself to keep you from taking steps into unfamiliar territory. It comes with time to break down those bad thought habits, but it’s not impossible if you keep at it. I work at it every single day and some days are definitely better than others, but when I look back at myself 6 months or a year ago, I can see a difference in who I am.

The millennial generation is extremely ambitious, very opinionated (or sensitive depending on who you ask), and very impatient which can be frustrating sometimes. We are constantly dealing with issues that stem from our limiting beliefs and an unbalanced society. We wish we were further ahead in life or more successful when in reality, we just started. I hope this was helpful to hear my personal thoughts about this topic, especially for young adults.

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

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Lifestyle

September Favorites 2018

Today I’m back with my September 2018 Favorites! Just like always, I have a little bit of everything here so let’s get right into it!

1. JAS Rehab Deep Repair Hydrating Mist

This spray has easily become by all time favorite hair product. My cousin actually introduced me to it because use uses it for her kids’ hair which is a similar texture to mine. She actually gets it from her friend’s salon in Jersey City, but I was able to find it on Amazon also! The first time I used it, I was away from home and had to make due with what I could find and I quickly realized that I didn’t need any other products in my hair with this. It’s kept my hair soft and shiny and I can actually see the difference in the damage I had. 10/10 would recommend!

2. “Marlo” Tan Over the Knee Suede Boots

These babies were a go to for me last fall and winter and they are back again as one of my fall staples. They fit SUPER snug which means that are not falling down no matter what. I seriously cannot stand when my OTK boots fall down so these are pretty much the only ones I like to wear now. These also come in black and gray and you better believe I’m shooting to have all three this year!

3. OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Serum

This little guy is a beauty blogger favorite. Everyone knows this is the good stuff and I’m right there with them! It has a nice citrus scent and doesn’t feel too heavy or oily after you apply. I love a good vitamin C serum and thought I’d give this one a whirl and so far, I really love it.

4. Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel

As I’ve mentioned before I do suffer from some acne scarring and breakouts but in the last month or so, I’ve seen a really significant difference in how dark my scars are. After just a few uses I could see a big difference which makes me think this is here to stay as part of my skin care routine.

5. Leopard Print

All of it. Tops, pants, sweaters, shoes. Everything. Give me all the leopard print. Don’t act like you don’t feel the same way.

6. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

I started reading this book in the last few weeks of September but I really love it so far. Shonda Rhimes is very real and she writes very casually. She’s honest and I like that.

7. Louis Vuitton GM Neverfull

I got this bag to use for travel since I am traveling A LOT in September and October and it’s definitely one of the better decisions I’ve made. It really just holds everything in it and I love using it even for work. It’s super versatile.

 

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

 

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