Lifestyle

Things I Loved This Month: December 2019

December has proven to be another very busy and expensive month. I spent more than I usually do on Christmas presents this year (it’s usually none cause I have a thing about presents), as well as lots of dinners and spending time with friends and family. Lots of work also, of course in preparation for the upcoming end of year festivities as well as planning for 2020. Lots of good things are on the way!

1. All of YOU!

Just a few days before Christmas I reached 200 blog followers which was one of my goals for 2019. It was one, I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to reach so I am so proud and surprised that I did. I truly could not have done it without all my readers and the people who support me every day. I hope to grow even more in 2020 and I’m excited to share the rest of this journey with you all.

2. Caseapp

Last week, I shared my experience working with Caseapp and creating a custom phone case. It was a lot of fun and I’m so happy with how they turned out! It was such an easy process to design my own, but they also have tons of cute cases to choose from which made my selection process more fun. I was excited that they also offered a discount code for my followers for 20% off your purchase until January 11, 2020. The code is KARENMAURITZENN20 and can be used at www.caseapp.com!

3. Danielle Bernstein @weworewhat

Danielle Bernstein has been a huge inspiration to me this month for a few reasons. Obviously, she has insanely good style. She’s classic with such a funky twist. She wears clever pieces and she is so good at accessorizing (something I’m working on for 2020). But on top of that, she is also in her late 20’s and has built quite a few successful startup businesses. She’s got a clothing line, a tech business, is releasing a book and has major collaborations under her belt. THIS GIRL KNOWS HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS. I am truly inspired by her business savvy and she is a model of who I’d like to be when I grow up.

4. Not Shopping

This month was interesting for me because I actually took a break from doing any personal shopping and focused strictly on gifts for family. I’m not saying I’ve converted into a person who enjoys giving gifts, but I am saying that this is one of the first times where I actually enjoyed NOT shopping for myself. Maybe it was the crazy holiday season contributing to it, but it was refreshing not feeling like I needed to buy anything or scrambling around trying to find the best sales. I’m at a place where I’m happy with what I have and looking forward to transitioning into an even more classic “forever” wardrobe, but I don’t feel any urge to purchase. I find myself looking around putting things in my virtual cart and letting them sit there for weeks because I just don’t feel like I need to buy them. It’s amazing to feel this way when it’s something I struggled with for a very long time!

5. Taking Photos

I know this one seems silly to you, but I really struggle to enjoy taking photos. It’s probably the outfit changes, and having to put makeup on and recruiting friends and family for help that makes it something I struggle to enjoy but it’s true. I’m the blogger that hates taking photos. However, this month I felt more creative than ever and I was excited to really get my ideas out in digital to share with you. I’m looking forward to trying out new forms of media, specifically video in 2020 so it’s about time that I finally started enjoying taking photos! It can really be fun when you love what you do (and with lots of practice).

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

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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

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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

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