Fashion

What I Wore: My 24th Birthday

So, I turned 24 yesterday. It’s pretty nerve wrecking to be honest. First, I’ll share what I wore though because that’s what you’re here for and then I’ll share my thoughts on my 24th year.

I decided to go out to the city and have some dinner and drinks. We went to Refinery Rooftop and had the best food I’ve had in a long time. We ordered the lamb sliders, the Butcher’s meatballs, and then a margherita flatbread. They were absolutely delicious and I would recommend then 10 times over. The signature cocktails were okay, not my favorite. I tried the Yuzu Margarita which I thought was much too strong and then I tried the Perfect Pear which was pretty good. I also loved the atmosphere and the decor. It was really relaxed, there was great music and a really great crowd. I loved this place and I want to go back soon!

Bodysuit: Forever 21 / Jeans: Topshop / Jacket: Nasty Gal / Coat: Something Navy / Shoes: Steve Madden

For my outfit, I wanted to keep things simple and a little bit sexy so I scoured the earth to find a lace bodysuit. I also wore these very cool color block straight leg jeans with gold crocodile print heels. The heels were my absolute favorite part!

So now for my thoughts on this new year of my life. It’s definitely scary and anxiety inducing to think about turning 24. There’s a lot that I think I should be doing and things I’m not satisfied with in my life. It’s also probably just a symptom of being a millenial and in my early 20’s but it’s a rough spot to be in when you’re in the thick of it. I know that it’s an opportunity for growth though but I also think it’s a good time to reevaluate what I want and what I expect out of myself. I have high standards for myself and my life and not reaching those standards gets frustrating but it’s not the end of the world. I have the rest of my life to get things together (but in a timely manner for my sanity, of course). It’s okay for me to take a step back and relax and it’s okay to be open and honest with myself. This is a special time in my life and I want to get the most out of this year. I’m trying to look forward to 24, no matter how scary the thought of it is.

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

Standard
Lifestyle

December 2018 Favorites

For the month of the December, I honestly don’t have a lot of favorites because I really haven’t added very much to my routine this month or tried anything new. However, I do have some fashion and lifestyle favorites that I’d like to share so let’s just dive into it, shall we?

1. Sweaters

I’ve really been into sweaters this month which I know is like, “Karen, seriously? It’s December.” But, hear me out! Of course, during the day at work I wear a heck of a lot of sweaters but recently I’ve really been into wearing sweaters for my more casual days where I probably didn’t even leave the house. I’m all about comfort and not really getting dressed if I don’t have to and this month I did a lot of that. I spent a majority of my days in sweatpants but instead of wasting away and feeling gross all day, I decided to throw on a sweater with my sweatpants. For me, it was like when Carrie Bradshaw had on a pearl necklace with her pajamas in Sex and the City. It really brought the casual look together, therefore, sweaters are topping my list for December.

2. Casual Evening Tops

Again, this is another kind of obscure, weird one but hear me out. This month, I’ve been going out a lot at night for more casual dinners or drinks where it’s not casual enough to wear a sweater, but not formal enough that I need to really dress up. However, I always struggled with figuring out what to wear with my various pairs of jeans and boots. Finding tops that I like is always a struggle but this month, I really embraced my new Smart Casual style and purchased some dressy but still pretty casual tops and they have really changed the game for me. It’s a collection of button downs, printed tops, tops with interesting sleeves, etc and they all look great with jeans which was the whole point! Not sure why I never had these in my wardrobe in the first place! I’ve been getting all of mine from Zara and Something Navy at Nordstrom.

3. Pointed Toe Ankle Boots

For the last 2-3 months, I have been going way overboard with wearing ankle boots and I now have a disturbing amount taking up space in my closet. But to be very specific, I’m just plain obsessed with pointed toe, skinny ankle/sock fit boots that have a 3-3.5 inch heel. That’s my sweet spot and my go to for just about every occasion these days. They work so well for work, for dates, for going out with your friends. Literally for everything. My favorites are from Something Navy (of course) but Steve Madden also has a few pairs that I’ve really been loving.

4. Leggings

Again, because I was in a very comfortable phase of my life, I wore a heck ton of leggings and I may never go back to wearing real pants. The best and only pairs I will wear are from Target’s A New Day brand.

5. The Gym

In December, I really went full force into my workouts. I had been getting a little bit stagnant with my workouts and decided to switch things up and really get back into gear this month. My favorite addition to my workouts this month has been drop sets, which is when you start with your heavy weights and drop the weight down every set. I really put these to work on my leg days and it’s made a major difference so far and I love it. The gym has definitely been my best friend this month.

6. Dior Show Lash Primer and Volume Mascara

I just got this mascara right at the end of December and used it for New Year’s and it is a game changer. I bought both the primer and the mascara and they really work wonders together. I naturally have pretty long lashes, but the primer really extends them even more and the mascara gives me so much volume without being clumpy or spidery. My only issue with this mascara is that it’s not black enough so I still layer my L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara over it and it’s amazing. 10/10 would recommend.

7. My Top Songs of 2018 on Spotify

Not to toot my own horn or anything but I have great taste in music. I thoroughly enjoyed my Top Songs of 2018 playlist on Spotify. Except for a handful of songs, I think it was really reflective on my music taste for this past year. I literally listened to this playlist all month long because I think it’s so good. You can listen to it here if you want!

What were some of your favorites for December 2018?

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

Standard
Fashion

Layering for Winter

I’ve talked about layering for the winter several times before but I thought it was important to dedicate a whole post to it because that’s how much I love it. Today I’m sharing 5 outfits featuring various ways to layer your clothes and stay cozy this winter while still looking put together and stylish. Hope you enjoy!

Outfit #1

I’m starting with some black distressed jeans and a white long sleeve T-shirt as my first layer. Over that, I put on a lightweight black sweatshirt from Zara and over that goes my outer layer, this furry leopard coat. Simple black ankle boots keep this look very casual but more put together. You could also switch out the boots for sneakers if that’s something you’re into! It’s definitely not something I’m into though LOL.

Coat: Target / Long Sleeve: Zara / Sweatshirt: Zara / Jeans: American Eagle / Boots: Urban Outfitters

Outfit #2

Again, I’m starting with some distressed jeans and white T-shirt but decided to throw on a black blazer over top. This one is from BCBG and I think they make the BEST blazers! Over that, I put on a pink coat for another layer of warmth and also because it looks cute (obviously). I love white boots this winter so here they are.

Coat: H&M / T-Shirt: Something Navy (Nordstrom) / Blazer: BCBG MaxAzria / Jeans: American Eagle / Boots: Something Navy (Nordstrom)

Outfit #3

For this look, I ditched the pants, but feel free to put some on if you live in a very chilly climate! I decided to go with some black over the knee boots and an oversize button down from Zara. To add some color and dimension, I added this chunky red turtleneck from H&M and then my oversize leather trench coat. Black suede over the knee boots keep this look very sleek when paired with all the oversize pieces on top.

Coat: Something Navy (Nordstrom) / Sweater: H&M / Button Down: Zara / Boots: Goodnight Macaroon

Outfit #4

No pants for just one more outfit! I wanted to layer this black turtleneck top underneath this really lightweight/sheer leopard dress from Zara. I added tights for warmth and some slouchy boots for style. Camel coat over top because I freaking love this coat and it goes with everything.

Coat: Something Navy (Nordstrom) / Turtleneck: H&M / Dress: Zara / Boots: Something Navy (Nordstrom)

Outfit #5

For this last outfit, I wanted to add some color again. I started with my favorite distressed light wash mom jeans and a cream sweater from Something Navy. I love layering a leather jacket over sweaters so that’s exactly what I did! Over that, I added this pretty pink trench coat from Something Navy, more so for style than warmth. And again, I’m really into white shoes so that’s what I thought I’d wear on my feet for this one!

Coat: Something Navy (Nordstrom) / Jacket: Nasty Gal / Sweater: Something Navy (Nordstrom) / Jeans: Topshop / Shoes: Steve Madden

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

Standard
Lifestyle

What I’m Reading: December 2018

For the month of December, I decided to read a book called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. I was at Barnes and Noble one day and it sort of just caught my eye so I decided to buy it. It seemed like a pretty good book and it was based around different case studies so I thought it could be really interesting.

To be completely honest, I didn’t love her writing style but I thought the content was very interesting. Basically, she spends the first part of the book explaining what exactly grit is. Grit at the very base is a combination of passion for what you’re doing and perseverance through the hardships that come with getting good at it. It’s more than just being talented at something, although talent does tend to help, it’s more about the effort that you put into your work. She also goes over the Grit Scale that she developed during her research. It’s a series of questions that once scored can help you determine just how gritty you are.

Then she dives a little bit deeper into how grit develops in a person and what you need to be gritty. Digging deeper, she explains that in order to develop grit you need to start with a basic interest in what you want to be gritty about. Throughout the book she refers to athletes who started playing their sport very young and loving it. After interest, you also need to practice diligently and way more than any of the other people who are doing the same thing. Finally after that you develop a sense of purpose surrounding your craft and for most of the gritty people out there, the purpose has to do with helping people.

Next she goes into how some outside influences can also help develop grit in a person. She discusses how your parenting style can help develop grit in children and later in life. A key component of this is that you need to be supportive and demanding as a parent when it comes to your kids extracurricular activities. It’s also important to have a role model outside of your immediate family that can also be supportive and demanding. Another way to develop grit from the outside in, is by surrounding yourself with gritty people. Being in a “culture of grit” is bound to make you raise your standards and develop gritty habits.

Overall, I thought the book was well researched and very insightful. She referenced so many case studies which is really what I’m looking for in the books I read lately. Although the writing wasn’t my cup of tea necessarily, the content was great and I would definitely recommend this book! It made me feel like even though I’m not very gritty now, I can work on it and develop more grit which would come in really handy for this blog!

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

Standard
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

Standard
Fashion

New Year’s Eve 2018 Outfits

Now that New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching and 2018 is almost over, I decided to share a few outfits for all the holidays parties you probably got invited. New Year’s outfits are something that I try not splurge on too much because frankly, you can only wear sequins so many times a year. So here’s some really easy New Year’s outfits for you!

Outfit #1

I obviously had to start with a sequin blazer because I’m not going to NOT be festive AF. I got this blazer from the November Launch of Something Navy at Nordstrom which is currently my favorite brand, as you might have noticed. I paired it with some leather shorts from Zara because there’s no rules during New Year’s. A simple black body suit and some black ankle boots pull the whole look together. Don’t forget to wear a coat over top!

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
Blazer: Something Navy (Nordstrom) / Bodysuit: American Apparel / Shorts: Zara / Boots: Steve Madden

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 preset

Outfit #2

Again with the sequins because it’s New Year’s Eve and you knew it was coming. I got this pretty sequin cami at Zara and paired it with leather leggings from Topshop and leather jacket over top. It’s pretty simple and easy but very cute and comfortable. Pair with black heels to keep it very classic but you can always switch them out for leopard or red!

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
Jacket: Nasty Gal / Top: Zara / Leggings: Topshop / Shoes: Steve Madden

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 preset

Outfit #3

I wore these glittery pants from H&M for New Year’s last year and they were such a hit that I had to bring them back again this year! This one is a little bit cozier then the others for those of you who don’t want to wear a sexy little outfit for the holidays. I paired them with a chunky red turtle neck from H&M and some white ankle boots from Steve Madden and my favorite camel coat over top.

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
Sweater: H&M / Pants: H&M / Boots: Steve Madden

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 preset

Outfit #4

I didn’t want to have all sparkly outfits because honestly, not everyone likes to be the center of attention! So for outfit #4, I went with a burgundy sweater dress and my favorite burgundy leather boots from Zara. However, I love sparkle so I added on some bling with these beautiful dangley earrings and topped it off with my camel coat. I am absolutely obsessed with monochromatic burgundy right now!

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
Coat: Something Navy (Nordstrom) / Dress: Target /  Boots: Zara / Earrings: Something Navy (Nordstrom)

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 preset

Outfit #5

One more for the ladies who don’t need any sequins or glitter in their life. I took this leopard button down and kept it a little more casual by pairing it with my favorite distressed mom jeans from Topshop. I added my Gucci belt to keep it looking a little bit luxe and added some white heels from Steve Madden. Again, the camel coat on top because it’s a major staple in my wardrobe!

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset
Top: XLE / Jeans: Topshop / Shoes: Steve Madden

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 preset

I hope you enjoyed these fun and easy New Year’s looks!

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

Standard
Beauty

3 Holiday Makeup Looks

It’s that time of year again when you constantly have holiday parties and events to go to where you get dressed up a little bit more than usual. So, I wanted to share some holiday make up looks that are good for any occasion. When I’m not sure what to wear or I’m not totally happy with my outfit, I usually take that opportunity to play around with my makeup and do something a little more fun. Here’s 3 holiday make up looks for you!

Look #1

For the first look, I wanted stick with something a little bit more classic and what’s more holiday classic than gold eye shadow and a bright red lip? I did the same face routine as my Thanksgiving Makeup Look. I switched out my blush for the BECCA blush in Song Bird and used my BECCA highlighter in Prosecco Pop to keep things festive. For my eye shadow, I went into my Naked 2 Palette and picked up Half Baked and placed that all over my eyelid. Then I used my Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid liner to line my lash line and did a very small flick. For my lips, I used my favorite red lipstick by Smashbox in the color Bawse.

Look #2

Using the gold shadow that was already on my lids as a base, I went back in with my Naked 2 Palette and covered my lid again with Snakebite which is pretty bronze shimmer color. For my crease, I just used my Naked Heat Palette and the color Low Blow which is a matte brown. Since the eyeshadow is a little bit darker and dramatic, I thought a pretty glossy nude lip would be pretty so I used my Kylie Lip Gloss in the color Exposed.

Look #3

For my final look, I wanted to try something a little bit different. I thought I would try a pretty reddish brown look to warm up my holiday makeup. I used my Naked Heat Palette again for this one and kept the same lip gloss on from Look #2. I used Low Blow in my crease again and then I went over my crease again with En Fuego which is a pretty red color. For my outer corner, I used Ashes to darken things up and add more dimension. On my lid, I wanted to do a really shimmery pretty red color so I used Dirty Talk.

I would use my Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara and my L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black or I’d throw on some false lashes depending on where I was going to finish all of these looks. And that’s it for my holiday make up looks!

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

Standard