Travel

Weekend Getaway: New Paltz, NY

Over this past weekend, Andrew and I took a little mini vacation up to New Paltz, NY to do some hiking, relaxing and visiting his Alma Mater. We ate lots of great food, drank slightly too much and saw some great views while we were there. New Paltz is a really small college town but it’s really got some cute hidden gems!

Our first stop when we arrived in New Paltz was for lunch at La Charla, which is a Mexican restaurant right on Main St. We ordered our margaritas and some tacos and queso. The food was REALLY good and the drinks were really well made! We were pleasantly surprised considering the place was a ghost town when we walked in during lunch time! I personally wouldn’t go back next time just so we can try somewhere else, but it was a good choice for a first timer.

After lunch, we headed over to Lake Minnewaska to do some “hiking”. The trail was very easy to walk which is why I’m putting hiking in quotes but it was pretty high up so we got some beautiful views out of it. It was really humid and there were lots of bugs which is not my favorite thing but I think the views were worth the inconvenience.

After our mini hike, we headed over to our Airbnb to rest, shower and get ready for dinner. This place was one of the best I’ve stayed at. It was absolutely stunning and the host was fantastic to work with! My only concern was that it was about about 20 minutes outside of New Paltz, in the middle of nowhere so it made getting an Uber pretty difficult. I would probably prefer to stay somewhere closer next time but I really loved this place and would want to go back again!

For dinner that night, we went to the Gilded Otter which is a microbrewery right on Main St. with some really great beers and great food too! Andrew and I both got flights to start so we could try a few flavors and were both really happy with our choices. We both found one that we liked enough to get a full pint of. My favorite was the Sunset Blood Orange and Strawberry Sour Ale. There was also a raspberry wheat ale that I liked a lot!

After dinner, we headed out to the bars! Since it’s a college town, there were obviously lots of college students around. It was fun to people watch because we’re not in college anymore but we still vividly remember what it was like. We also both were so shocked (and ecstatic) to be paying $4 for a mixed drink because we got so used to paying $14 for them in NYC!

Overall, we had such a great weekend and were so happy to get to spend some quality time together in a new city. It was my first time in New Paltz and Andrew’s second time visiting his old college so it was a really special experience for both of us! I would highly recommend taking a trip over there if you can. We’re always surprised at how much we can do in our home state!

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

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Travel

Weekend Getaway: Wine Touring

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I took a little staycation out east to Riverhead, NY on Long Island. We visited a really great vineyard and brewery, ate some pretty delicious food and had a really wonderful weekend!

First things first, we stayed at the Hotel Indigo East End which was a nice hotel! The public space (lobby, restaurant, etc.) were so nice and looked like they had recently been renovated. Being that I work with hotels literally everyday at my job and travel often for pleasure, I have very high standards for my hotels. I will say I wasn’t thrilled with the hotel room, but it served its purpose. I also wasn’t thrilled with the service, but we didn’t spend much time there anyway so it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. One thing that I did like was that they offered a complimentary shuttle to and from the vineyards and breweries nearby!

Karen’s Outfit – Sweater: Something Navy / Jacket: Free People / Jeans: Topshop / Shoes: Steve Madden
Andrew’s Outfit – Shirt: Express / Jacket: RVCA / Pants: Lucky Brand / Shoes: Bass

Our first stop was the Baiting Hollow Farm and Vineyard which I mentioned in my previous post (March 2019 Favorites). I loved the atmosphere here and I think it was just a perfect day to sit outside, drinking wine with my wonderful boyfriend and people/dog watching. I also really loved the Pink Satin Rose! I would have liked to buy a bottle of it, and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t!

Baiting Hollow Farm and Vineyard
Sunglasses: Quay Australia (Style: Playa)

After that, we headed over to the Moustache Brewing Company which we picked mainly for the name. However, we were also pleasantly surprised by the beers they had and the great atmosphere! Luckily, we were able to try all 8 of their beers because there were 2 of us and we each got a flight of 4 beers (2 x 4 = 8 in case you missed that math). Some of our favorites included a blueberry and ginger beer (that had 10% alcohol content), as well as both of their ciders!

After that, we went back to the hotel and headed over to Bistro 72 for dinner. The restaurant was CROWDED so it was definitely our mistake for not making a reservation! Again, because it was crowded, the service was not the best but I have ultra high standards. However, the food was absolutely delicious and definitely worth the wait! I got the Maple Bourbon Salmon which was so yummy, I highly recommend. Andrew got a burger that was cooked perfectly and the fries were nice and crispy! We also got bourbon wings which were very flavorful.

Overall, I would say it was such a great experience! We had such a wonderful weekend exploring another part of Long Island that we don’t get to go to very often. Staycations have been such a nice way for us to spend some extra time together without going too far or spending too much money!

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

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Travel

Packing Guide: Early Spring Weekend Getaway

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m just about ready to start taking a few spring vacations so I wanted to also share how I pack for these little mini vacations! Eventually I’ll share my packing guides for some larger vacations too, but for the spring I only have small weekend getaways planned and sometimes those are the hardest to pack for. So here’s an idea of what I’m bringing with me!

For this trip, my boyfriend and I are heading out to eastern long island to do some wine tours and spend some extra time together. We found a hotel that offers passes to a few different vineyards and breweries out east plus a $50 dinner voucher and a one night stay! It’s an amazing deal so we had to go for it! Since we’re only staying one night, it should be pretty easy to pack.

As far as clothing goes, I want to really get into the wine tour spirit while still acknowledging the fact that it’s not quite 75 and sunny yet. Some things that I think will be essential for this trip is: a good pair of jeans, a sweater, a nicer top for night time, comfortable shoes and a great coat! We’re going to spend a lot of time outside so the coat and sweater will definitely come in handy for us. The jeans keep things very casual, but the nicer top would help to dress up the outfit for dinner. Comfortable shoes are also of course great, but we also want to make sure they match both the day time and night time outfits!

As far as toiletries goes, I’ll definitely bring the basics such as face wash, moisturizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, etc. But some of the things that will be really important for me to bring will be a face primer to make sure my makeup stays on all day and night. I’d want to only make a few touch ups throughout the trip. Along with my makeup, makeup remover is another essential because there is nothing worse than waking up to makeup all over your pillows!

A few extra items that I’ll be sure to pack in my bag are a phone charger (duh), sunglasses, my polaroid camera with extra film, and some snacks and water! The polaroid camera is always such a fun thing to take with you places because you can take really cool photos. One thing that I don’t love about it is that it’s sort of big to carry around if you don’t want to bring a huge bag! Snacks are also essential for late at night when you’re just relaxing in bed and I always bring some extra water with me because I think I drink like 100 ounces of water every day.

I hope discussing a few of my favorite things to pack was helpful for an easy spring getaway! I can’t wait to share our experience with you from this trip!

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

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Travel

My Weekend Ski Trip

This past weekend, I went on my very first ski trip and thought I’d write about it and share a little bit of what I brought with me. It as such an awesome trip and I was surprisingly good at skiing! It inspired me to plan a few more trips over the next few months so get ready for a few more packing guides and travel posts coming out.

To start, this was definitely a weekend to be one with nature and hangout with friends. So with that being said, it was the most low maintenance weekend I’ve probably ever had in my life. I brought exactly the right amount of clothes that I would need, no make up and very minimal toiletries. I didn’t want to over pack since it was going to be a weekend of just being outside mostly. We went up to Windham Resort to go skiing and it was such a great time. We stayed in an Airbnb instead of at the resort and it was definitely a great idea because of the location and price. Airbnb is something I never really use but now I’m definitely looking into it for future trips because we had such a great experience. I can’t wait to go again!

As far as clothing goes, it wasn’t very cold this weekend in the mountains, only about 30 degrees so I brought light clothing. I packed some cotton long sleeves and leggings to wear under my ski clothes along with my ski pants, a sweatshirt and then my winter coat. However, because it was so warm, I eventually took the sweatshirt off completely and was perfectly fine! I also kept gloves with me and brought a hat and scarf that I ended up not even needing. We also went out at night to speakeasy and the next morning went to a brewery for lunch so for those, I brought with me my Jamie Jeans from Topshop and another long sleeve t-shirt and a big cozy sweater from Nordstrom. I kept it very casual and was really happy with what I brought. I definitely did not need anything else!

For my toiletries, I kept it simple with the basics, body wash, lotion, face wash, toothbrush, contacts/glasses, etc. However, I made sure to bring a good moisturizer and my serums because I knew that the higher altitude and colder weather might affect my skin differently as well as the water there too! I noticed my face reacted pretty well to keeping my routine the same, thankfully! I brought the same items that I mentioned in my Skincare Routine post, linked here.

On our second day, we headed toward Cooperstown, NY and stopped by the Ommegang Brewery which was such an awesome experience if you love craft beer and Game of Thrones! They’ve got tons of GoT themed beers as well as a few others that were so good. My favorite was the Rosetta which was a sour beer infused with cherry and it was the right amount of sweet and sour but I got a flight and really enjoyed all of them. They also have a gift shop that sells all kinds of cool merch including GoT mugs and growlers and you can even buy their beers bottled.

If you’re ever looking for an easy weekend trip, this was definitely a good one to do. There’s so much going on in New York that I feel like I forget about. This year, I’ve got all kinds of trips planned to explore more of New York!

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

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Travel

Miami Packing Essentials

Next week, I’m taking a little weekend trip to Miami with a few of my friends and I’m really looking forward to it. I definitely need a vacation and I’m really excited to relax on the beach for a few days. I’m often an over-packer because even though I plan what I want to pack a few days in advance, I just never know what to pack. However, for a trip like this, I know there are definitely a few essentials that I’ll want to bring so I thought I’d share them with you!

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Cute sunnies and some sunscreen are an absolute MUST!

1. Sunglasses

Sunglasses and Miami go together like peanut butter and jelly. Not only can they protect your sensitive eyes from the sun, but they are can help hide your tired eyes after staying up until 4am the night before.

2. Sunblock

This probably should have been number one, but at least it’s still on the list. Sunblock is absolutely essential and I have said it before, but the sun does not discriminate. Everyone is susceptible to skin cancer and sun damage, so SPF is super important for your skin’s health. I like to use this sunscreen from Drunk Elephant for my face and then I like to use a cream sunscreen for my body. When I need to reapply, I opt for a spray sunscreen like this one from Target.

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A fun maxi dress is always good for a vacation!

3. Comfortable Sandals

You want to have comfortable shoes that also look good and go with multiple outfits. I like these from Steve Madden, but there’s tons of sandals out there. Find a style that you like and then buy it in every color! (Or don’t, that’s probably a better idea).

4. Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are the ultimate vacation outfit. They are super easy to throw on, but the flowy look gives you comfort and also major vacation vibes. Mine is from Target, but here is a similar one from Forever 21.

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Don’t forget to bring a cute swimsuit!

5. A Swimsuit

Obviously.

6. A Cute Bag

A little pouch is really cute and can hold all of your stuff, but looks a little bit more vacation-y than a regular purse. If you’re not down for a little pouch, you can always try a cute straw bag like this one from Target.

7. Wave Spray

It’s an easy way to keep your hair beachy looking without necessarily spending all day in the ocean. I like this one from Ouai. Make sure to put some leave-in conditioner on your hair first to keep it soft.

8. A Polaroid Camera

If you’re looking to get some aesthetically pleasing photos, this is the way to go. These are fun to put together to make a wall collage or photo album after your vacation also. If you don’t want to spend the money on a Polaroid camera and some film, you can also get a similar 90’s vibe with the Huji app.

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