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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What I’m Reading: August 2018

For the month of August, I’ve been focusing on learning how to create my personal brand and translate it something a lot of people can relate to. I started this blog in June of 2018 technically, but I didn’t really try to do anything with it for about a month. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be posting or what my main topics would be. I didn’t know what kind of people I wanted to attract. In short, I hadn’t decided on what my personal brand would be.

Since I started my blog, I have spent a lot of time researching social media, influencer marketing, blogging and the like. I was searching for books on Amazon one day and I came across this little baby that I am almost positive will become my new bible. I found Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy. It’s written by a woman who actually scouts out social media Influencers to do campaigns for various magazines, which means that she decides what makes an Influencer influential. Basically, I trusted her opinion and bought the book.

She covers all the stages of becoming an Influencer from setting up your social media platforms (highlighting the main four: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Youtube) to taking photos, earning campaigns and hiring an agent. However, the best part is that she tells it from her perspective as someone who hires Influencers, which is a key component to this book being a holy grail read. Another thing I really find valuable about this book is that she also inserts interviews and quotes from some of the top Influencers in the game right now! You can’t even pretend like that’s not helpful. They give you their honest thoughts, ideas, and advice about how they got started, what it took to get here, and what they wish knew back then.

I truly feel like this book has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I wouldn’t have known about this industry. It’s helpful to to know what a PR manager, agent, photographer, etc looks for when they are looking to hire an Influencer. It’s helpful to know when my following is big enough and engaging enough to reach out to brands for partnerships. Of course, I’m not anywhere near those milestones yet, but they are good to know now and can help me plan for the future. However, just like everything in this world, someone else will always have a different opinion about it so I am taking everything with a grain of salt. There’s not a ton of books out there on the market that go quite this in depth to focus on actual bloggers and Instagram, but there are a handful that focus on social media marketing in general. If you’re looking for some advise about becoming an Influencer, I think this book is a good place to start!

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