Lifestyle

My 2019 New Year’s Resolutions

Now that 2018 is over and 2019 is in full swing, I wanted to share some resolutions I want to work on for this year. These are things that I noticed were pretty big issues for me last year, or at least not productive habits. After taking some time to reflect on the past year and what I’m looking forward to this year, these are some of the items that I came up with!

  1. Be on time and respect not only my own time but everyone else’s
  2. Network with other bloggers
  3. Work on new skills monthly to improve my blog or career
  4. Try a new hobby/activity every month
  5. Read a new book every 3-4 weeks
  6. Invest is a high resolution camera for my blog and instagram photos
  7. Balance my blog content with my regular personal content on instagram
  8. Spend within my means
  9. Save 3 months of rent and utilities
  10. Take a class to improve my skills at work
  11. Take one more trip than I did last year
  12. Listen to a Bible chapter every morning
  13. Meditate every morning and night
  14. Commit to 2 no spend days per week
  15. Put away an extra $10 in my savings and emergency funds weekly
  16. Run or do a full cardio session once per week
  17. Do a full stretching/recover session once per week
  18. Spend a day with myself at least twice per month
  19. Spend a day with my friends at least twice per month
  20. Spend a day with my family at least twice per month

Most of my resolutions have to do with my finances, my mental and emotional health, my physical health and my relationships because those are the areas of my life that I think were really tested this past year. This past year made me realize just how much I need to adjust myself and improve so that I handle these kinds of stressors differently. It was truly an amazing year for me, through all the ups and downs but I am ready to move forward and enjoy the next chapter of my life.

What are some of your resolutions or goals for 2019?

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

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Lifestyle

What I’m Reading: November 2018

For the month of November, I read Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller. As you know, I’ve been reading a book every month since August and I’ve been really into self help books but I wanted to move a little bit more toward science based self help not just the typical “You can do it!” type books that are out there. After listening to an episode of Girls Gotta Eat podcast, one of their guests recommended this book to read. It discusses adult attachment styles and the science behind how we build relationships and why we sometimes act “crazy” in them.

Our adult attachment is thought to stem from our childhood and our attachment to our parents. In the past, attachment studies were based on an experiment called “The Strange Situation” where babies or toddlers were brought into a room filled with toys by their mom. The child was allowed to play and eventually the mom was taken out of the room and the child’s reaction was observed. Some children noticed the mom’s disappearance and were visibly distraught while others did not seem to notice. When the child was reunited with their mother, some were immediately soothed by their mother, some took a lot longer to calm down and some were completely unphased. This helped researchers come up with the three attachment styles: secure, anxious and avoidant.

Research shows that your attachment is flexible throughout your life and can be changed based on life experiences. For example, if you were a secure child but maybe your parents had a nasty divorce where you felt you couldn’t express your feelings about it, you might eventually develop an avoidant attachment style where you avoid intimacy and affection at all costs. Or alternatively, you might develop an anxious attachment style where you crave intimacy and affection because you were missing it during a critical point in your life.

What I loved about this book is that it provides simple tests for you to determine your attachment style and then gives detailed explanations on some of the characteristics of those attachment styles, why they happen and how to recognize them in yourself and your partner. But it’s not just a random person in their basement trying to give you relationship advice, it’s based around years and years of research. There’s lots of studies on attachment styles and the authors do a great job of referencing tons of psychologists who got strong results from their research. That’s what I really liked about this book because I felt like I could trust this source of information.

I feel that reading this book has provided a lot more insight into why I do certain things in relationships and why I have the reactions that I have. It also helped me realize what kind of attachment styles my previous partners have had and it’s helped me make sense of why things didn’t work out.  As far as self-help books go, this one definitely not the same as any other self help book I’ve ever read. It builds strong cases for why you can trust the information and it gives very detailed explanations. I highly recommend this book to anyone who might be struggling in their relationship or even just wants to learn more about themselves.

Let me know what books you’ve been reading in the comments below!

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

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Lifestyle

Podcasts I’m Listening To

As I mentioned in my life update/chit chat post, I started listening to podcasts as part of my daily routine. I’ve found that I can learn A LOT from sitting and listening to podcasts while I’m driving or having breakfast in the morning on a Saturday. There’s hundreds of podcasts out there covering all kinds of topics, but I thought I would share some of my favorites today. I’m still figuring out what I like and don’t like, but so far these are my top picks!

To start off, my absolute favorite so far is the Girls Gotta Eat podcast. It’s run by 2 single women living in NYC and they talk all things relationships, such as how to meet men “in the wild”, first dates, sex and so much more. They have a lot of (hilarious) experiences and they are super open about it which is the best part. They are authentic and not afraid to share their real life dating struggles with their audience. Two of my favorite episodes by them are “How to Meet Men in the Wild” which talks about how to meet men while you’re out and about in a world filled with all kinds of dating apps. Meeting someone in person alleviates a lot of the trouble because you can tell right when you meet them if you have a connection worth exploring. Another favorite episode is called “F*ck You, Carrie Bradshaw”, which you guessed it, talks about Sex and the City. They go over basically how f*cked up Carrie’s relationship with Mr. Big is and how it skewed the idea of how relationships should be for women.

Another favorite of mine so far is The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher. On this one she discusses being a photographer turned serial entrepreneur and all the steps she took to get there. She often interviews women who’ve built their own digital media businesses and they share their story and advice for women who are looking to do the same thing. She’s built a million dollar brand for herself and she’s got a lot of insight into this new world of social media. Her podcasts are great for when I’m feeling stuck on how to improve my blog or I’m looking for inspiration.

Some others that I’ve been listening to recently are:

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso

Second Life

What We Said

WorkParty

These are some that I’ve listened to one or two episodes of so I’m still figuring out if I LOVE them or not but I definitely like them! I mean who doesn’t love Oprah, right?

Some that are on my list to listen to are:

Diary of a Female Entrepreneur

On Being

The Skinny Confidential

U Up?

The GaryVee Audio Experience

Ted Talks Daily

Adulting

Guys We F****d

We Met at Acme

These are a variety of career, dating, and health & fitness podcasts (my top 3 priorities in my life at the moment). They’ve been recommended to me by some of my lovely friends so I’m excited to listen to them! I trust their judgement! However, there’s not always enough time in the day to listen to 45 podcasts and get the real juicy details out of them so I’m taking my time with this. Like I mentioned in my life update post, it’s hard for me to listen to the podcasts while doing something else because I miss a lot of the important information. I really like to sit down and focus on it and take notes if I can. I’m looking for advice on these topics, so I definitely want to pay attention to them!

Now I’m wondering, what are some podcasts you like to listen to? Leave a comment down below!!

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

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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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