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

What I’m Reading: January 2019

For the month of January, I decided to read a book that was recommended to me by a very good friend. And actually once I started reading it, a few others told me how great a book it was. Needless to say, I had pretty high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed but I’ll explain why below.

This month I was reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck. The book discusses the difference between two mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. The fixed mindset believes that all of our skills/traits are fixed and cannot be changed or improved. We all have a certain level of intelligence, talent, skill, etc and that’s as good as it gets. The growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that we are all capable of improving and growing in every aspect. We can all get smarter and learn new skills and be more ambitious and so on. She spends majority of the book discussing the difference between the two in various different roles, such as in business, relationships, coaching, etc.

So, my thoughts on this book are very mixed. I think the concept is awesome and I definitely can see lots of pieces of each mindset in myself. In some areas of my life, I tend to have a more fixed mindset such as in things that we typically think require talent, like sports. In other areas of my life, I’m whole heartedly in the growth mindset, such as my knowing skill level at work can always get better. I also liked that she split it up and looked at how the mindsets affect all different aspects of life and didn’t just apply it to business or parenting or something else.

There are a few things I didn’t love about this book and one of them is that it’s really dense. There’s a lot of information in each chapter and it’s not necessarily attention grabbing information. It’s a little bit boring to read after a while, in my opinion. I also felt that because the mindsets are explained pretty well in the beginning of the book, she’s just repeating the same information throughout the rest of the book. Sure, she really drives the information home, but it’s tough to read 4 or 5 chapters that all have the same main idea.

Overall, if this is the kind of information you’re looking for, it’s a great book to get into. Her ideas are awesome and she really teaches you how to recognize these thoughts in your own life. Just be aware, that it might require a little bit more concentration than you normally give to a book because the information is so dense.

I hope you enjoyed this review!

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

Standard
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
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
Fashion

November 2018 Favorites

Now that November is over, I’m back to sharing my monthly favorites. This one has a lot of lifestyle things and some clothes because that’s really all I’ve done this month. November has been a heavy month for self-care and improvement. It’s also been sort of a slow month for new products because I was saving to buy the new launch of Something Navy (and it was completely worth it). So here’s some things that I’ve been really enjoying this month. YAY!

1. Breakfast

I am just crazy into breakfast these last two months. It’s such a major part of my morning routine on the weekends and helps to set me up for a really great day. Breakfast with a nice big cup of coffee is like a sign of a good, happy day. I feel the most productive after I’ve had breakfast also which has been a tremendous help for my blogging skills. I highly recommend having breakfast as often as possible!

2. Echinacea

I also got sick early in October and it was awful so I amped up my vitamin game. Once it’s cold and flu season, my intake of vitamin C and echinacea drastically increases. I take vitamin C year round, but echinacea is only during the cold months and I SWEAR BY IT. It reduces the amount of time that you’re sick by several days which is really helpful when you have a busy schedule or just hate being sick. Again, I highly recommend.

3. Slouchy Knee High Boots

I’ve mentioned these boots in a few of my previous outfits posts. These are on a totally different wave length from the typical leather knee high riding boot. These slouchy ones give off a very relaxed, cool but feminine vibe which is how I like to describe my style so they are right up my alley. They look great with a casual jeans and a sweater look but they look even better with a long dress or a sweater dress for a cozy, feminine look. They can be really casual or dressed up and that makes them extremely versatile. I hope these stick around for a very long time. Some of my favorites are from Something Navy at Nordstrom, Zara and Target!

4. Blush/Light Pink

I have never really been into pink as far as clothing goes but this fall I think it’s just the prettiest most feminine thing you could wear. Probably because it is. I love a blush pink sweater or a light pink blazer. I even love pink lip gloss and pink eye shadow! It’s becoming a real issue. The only issue I’m finding is that I struggle to style it with anything other than denim and white shoes? I think it would also look so dreamy with tans and browns but I just don’t have enough of those in my closet to do that. If you have any advice, please hit me up.

5. Jewel Tones

Another thing I’m really loving is jewel tones, especially an emerald green and purple! I really love them as accessories in shoes and jewelry but I also am really loving them for sweaters and coats. I think they are just a really pretty and elegant addition to a simple outfit. I also think they look so pretty together, like an emerald green long wool coat over a pretty velvet purple dress. These are also great colors for the upcoming holiday season,but you knew that already.

6. Simple Habit App

I also mentioned this in my chit chat life update post, but I’ve trying to meditate often to improve my well being. I felt like I needed to try something new because I was losing my motivation to stay positive. I downloaded the Simple Habit app and started doing 5 minute meditations every morning and night to help with sleep and to start my day on a good note. In the last month, I’ve found that it has definitely improved my sleep so that I can fall asleep faster and feel well rested in the morning. I also find that it helps keep my mood a little bit higher or at least more level throughout the day whether I’m having a good day or a bad day. I definitely have a lot of practicing to do but I do feel it’s made a difference in my life so I’m looking forward to exploring more into meditation.

7. Spotify

This one is not really new at all; I’ve been an avid Spotify user for a few years. However, it’s probably my second most used app behind Instagram. I listen to some of my favorite podcasts on Spotify during the day at work and on the weekends. I listen my the Rap Caviar and Get Turnt playlists at the gym. I’m really into the Top Hits playlist for when I’m writing my blog or just starting my day because I like upbeat and catchy music at the moment. I have literally spent like every waking moment listening to music lately because it makes me feel good.

8. Attached by Amir Levine & Rachel S. F. Heller

This was my book of the month for November 2018 because I listened to an episode of Girls Gotta Eat Podcast where they interviewed a match maker and she said that this book along with The 5 Love Languages were what she recommends to all her clients read before they start the match making process. It discusses the science behind adult attachment styles and how they affect your relationships. It’s a brain system that helps to determine how “secure” you are in your relationship based on whether or not your partner meets your needs. I’ve always had an interest in attachment styles and even wrote a paper about it in college so I thought it would interesting to read this book and it did not disappoint! It helped me take inventory of my needs from a romantic partner and more definitively determine my attachment style. I think this is a great book for anyone, single or in a relationship, to read if you want some more insight into why you act the way you do!

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

Standard
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

Standard