Lifestyle

Things I Loved This Month: September 2019

September has been a good month, I think. Very busy and lots of travel going on so I’m excited to share this month’s favorites with you. Keep on reading to see what some of my favorite things were!

Punta Cana, DR

Earlier this month, I went on vacation to Punta Cana and stayed at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana. It’s an all inclusive resort in Bavaro Beach and it was a really nice trip. I was so happy to relax and lay on a beach for 5 days without a care in the world. We spent a good amount of time relaxing by the pool/beach, eating good food, and drinking yummy drinks. It was an exciting, and romantic trip and I was so happy that we got to go!

Toronto, Canada

I also took a little trip to Toronto for work, which was also a great time. Though it was busy during the day, I was able to get out and explore one night. I took a stroll down Yonge St. and treated myself to some of the best sushi I’ve had in a while! Toronto is such a young, happening city so I’m looking forward to going back to explore some more!

Pumpkin Cream Nitro Cold Brew

Say what you want but Starbucks and all things pumpkin got the best of me this month. I’ve been drinking the pumpkin cream cold brews non-stop all month long and I see no end in sight honestly. I will usually get a nitro because of the caffeine but when I’m not so sleepy, I’ll stick with a regular cold brew. It’s just sweet enough that you don’t need to add any other creamer or sweetner to it. Definitely try this if you’re into pumpkin drinks!

Pumpkin Beer

I tried my fair share of pumpkin beers this month also and I have to say it’s hard to choose a favorite! I’m really into local beers, so I’ve tried mostly the ones at breweries around Long Island. My favorites so far are the Montauk Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale and the North Fork Brewing Co. Butternut the Hutt, but an honorable mention to the Blue Point Brewery for their Pumpkin Ale also!

Target

I’ve been all over Target this month because they’re getting in all their new fall fashion. Target has really stepped their game up in recent years as far as fashion goes by adding in all new brands. My favorites are the Who What Wear brand and the A New Day brand. They have really pretty pieces for work, but also some of the best quality basics for under $20 (think: tees for $10 and leggings for $14). Plus they often have dupes for other brands, like Madewell which has such cute pieces but the price point is not necessarily affordable. Definitely check out some of the new styles there!

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation

I put up a question sticker on my Instagram Stories recently asking for suggestions for drugstore foundations and this is one that was recommended to me by a friend. I decided to try it out because I liked the $5.99 price tag and I fell in love. It’s got a medium coverage, but it’s definitely buildable (just make sure it dries in between layers). Plus the shade range is insane! I found my exact match and only needed to try out 2 shades. Love this and highly recommend for a drugstore alternative foundation.

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

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Lifestyle

Things I Loved This Month: August Favorites 2019

August has flown by and I can’t believe it’s over. Although I keep saying I’m ready for fall, it’s always sad to see summer go. For my favorites this month, I don’t have your typical favorites honestly. I’ve had a lot of big changes this month, which has forced me to rearrange a few parts of my life. Below I’m taking about a few things that have really helped me get through this month!

1 . Suave Rosemary + Mint Shampoo & Keratin Conditioner

Okay, this one is kind of funny to add in but I really am excited about these products. Recently, I decided that it’s silly to spend $30+ on conditioner or treatment masks when my hair is super healthy right now. So, I decided to switch to something more affordable. Originally, I only wanted conditioner but I figured why not test out a new shampoo also since I’m not partial to any particular kind. I was not only shocked by the $2.99 price tag (!!!) but also shocked at the quality. My hair was soft, frizz free (!!!), but still felt clean. If you want drug store hair products, I recommend looking into Suave!

2. Starbucks Coffee

Recently, I started commuting by train/subway to work so I’ve had to switch up my morning routine quite a bit. One thing I’ve noticed is that I hate carrying around a crazy heavy bag while on the train and walking the streets of Manhattan. It’s just inconvenient with the crowds which means I’ve had to eliminate some things from my purse. One thing I’ve decide to nix is carrying around my giant coffee mug. It’s just way easier for me to buy it in the morning. I’ve always been a huge fan of Starbucks, but it’s really become my lifeline over the last month because I’m sleepy majority of the time. My go-to order has always been a Venti Starbucks Doubleshot on ice with half & half and vanilla, but now I’m really loving the grande Nitro Cold Brew. It’s so smooth! So I add some half & half because I can’t drink it black (yet), and it’s all I need during the day. It literally lasts me until 3:00 pm sometimes. Highly recommend!

3. A Planner

With my new busy schedule, I rely heavily on a planner. So much so, that I have 2! I have one for work that I use to mark down deadlines, travel dates, and any meetings/calls. I also have one for personal use that I mark down any plans I have for the week/weekend and when I plan to post blogs. It’s color coded and comes with me everywhere. If you’re struggling to get organized, I HIGHLY recommend starting with a planner. I use a Lily Pulitzer Large Planner one for personal (been using this brand since college!) and a Kelly Ventura for Blue Sky one for work.

4. Instagram Stories

I’ve been really into using Instagram stories lately! I like them because it’s a chance to experiment and try out new content without messing around with my grid posts. I think there are so many apps available for you to customize your Instagram stories that make it so easy to work on. It’s also a great way to show your day by day activities and interact with your followers. I’m not comfortable talking on them yet (because the thought of listening to my own voice makes me cringe) but I’m practicing and experimenting and will get there one day! My Instagram is linked here for you to check out!

5. Pinterest

I’ve put Pinterest in my favorites before, but I’ve been REALLY into it this month. I just recently figured out how to maximize my Pinterest usage to promote my blog and my Instagram posts and it’s been a game changer. Not only can I use it to find outfit inspiration (or inspiration for anything else) but I can share my blog posts and Instagram photos there too and direct traffic to those sites that I didn’t have access to before. It’s HUGE. It’s such an underrated platform but it offers excellent results!

6. Punta Cana

I’m currently on vacation in Punta Cana so I’ll have some more details about it in a post next week, but of course, it’s part of my August Favorites!

What are some of your favorites this month? Let me know in the comments below!

This blog post includes affiliate links from Amazon.com.

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

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Travel

July Favorites 2019

The month of July was all about day trips and eating lots and lots of food. So, for my July Favorites, I figured I’d share some of the places I went (mostly around Long Island) to give you all a few last minute ideas for what to do this summer too! Let me know in the comments, what some of your favorite things were from this past month?

1. Greenport

A few weeks ago, I took a trip out to Greenport (on one of the hottest days of the year mind you) and it was such a nice easy experience. Greenport is all the way on the eastern end of long island, on the north fork. There’s all kind of great vineyards over there also! This day we went to visit the famous lavender fields, called Lavender By The Bay where the lavender is only in bloom for about 6 weeks in the summer! It’s a little pricey to get in at about $9 per person, but the field is one of the most instagrammable places around there, so it’s worth it (if that’s what you’re into). After that we stopped by the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, which is cute and has a bunch of great beers. If you do a tasting there, you can even keep the glass! Finally, we stopped by Lucharitos for some tacos and margs and I had the BEST jalapeno margarita, probably ever. The duck breast tacos were also delicious!

2. Fire Island

For fourth of July weekend, we took a little trip out to Fire Island for a little R&R and lots and lots of drinks. We relaxed on the beach all day long, drank some beers out of red solo cups, and soaked up as much sun as possible. After a nice long beach day, we headed over to the bar there for rocket fuels which are frozen, rum, amaretto, and pineapple drinks. They were good, but I’m not big on frozen drinks so I only had one but it’s basically like a rite of passage. After that, we spent the night watching the fireworks, across the bay all across Long Island. If you ever get the chance to do this, take it! It’s an amazing view, that sort of makes you realize how small you are compared to the rest of the world.

3. White Plains

Also during fourth of July weekend, we took a trip up to White Plains and had ourselves a night. We spent the day and night drinking all kinds of margaritas, eating even more tacos and nachos and guacamole. We ended the night with some much needed Domino’s Pizza and some good old quality time. Th next morning, we treated ourselves to some bagels and coffee (and some Advil), which is not quite the same as the kind from Long Island but you know, it did the trick.

4. Montauk

Ahhh, Montauk. Honestly, one of my favorite places on Long Island. It’s the literally end of the island. It’s so far east that you could drive 2-3 hours to get there, and not even leave the island yet. It’s also got a little bit of everything. There’s tons of cute vineyards on the way there when driving through the Hamptons, lots of cute shops for food, coffee, and clothing on the way and even in town. There’s the Montauk Brewing Company, with the most aesthetically pleasing packaging for a beer you’ve ever seen. And of course, we can’t forget the beach. On my trip out there, we stopped for tacos (duh) at Tacombi, which is my favorite taco place in all of Long Island and Manhattan. Then we took a little walk around town to get some iconic Montauk apparel. They had sweatshirts 2 for $35! After that, we went to Kirk Beach which is the public beach in that town and finally our last stop was the Montauk Brewing Company for my favorite, the Watermelon Session Ale.

5. Michael Anthony’s Food Bar

THIS PLACE IS AMAZING. Truly and honestly, the most amazing culinary experience of my LIFE. Our host for the evening, Cassandra, is truly a sight to see. She has such a knack for what she does, you’d have to think she’s reading your mind. This restaurant in Wading River, NY is one where the host, basically reads the energy and the feel of the group and chooses your entire menu for you along with wine pairings for each course. It’s really a game of trust, and she hit the nail right on the head every single time. Some of our favorite dishes from that night included Spanish Octopus, Calamari, Wild Boar Ribs, Escargot, Duck Breast, Monkfish, and Lambchops. It was really the best experience and if you are adventurous and interested in trying new foods, I would highly recommend this place. However, save it for a special occasion, because the price tag is not fit for every day eating!

6. Core Life Eatery

This place is not as exciting as Michael Anthony’s Food Bar, but I love it just the same. There are a bunch of these restaurants all over, actually, but I’ve only just discovered it this month! This place is basically Chipotle, but for super healthy food. They have a variety of pre-selected grain or rice bowls, green bowls, and broth bowls or you can build your own. Everything is made with fresh produce and meats. The portions are a pretty good size, where you might not finish everything but if you did, you won’t feel horrible about it after. It’s really delicious and I highly recommend trying it out if you can!

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

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Lifestyle

My Summer Reading List

This summer, I’ve been doing a little bit of reading and I’ve added quite a few books to my summer reading list. So today, I thought I would share some of the books I’ve read so far and the ones that are still on my list to read. Let me know if you’ve read any of these in the comments!

What I’ve Read:

To start off this summer, I was reading Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. This book is exactly what it says it is. It gives you the tools you need to have successful crucial conversations (the really tough ones, about sensitive topics that could make or break your relationship with the other person). Now, I knew going into this, that this book was not going to be something I genuinely enjoy reading, but I wanted to learn the skills it has to offer. The authors are great because they go really in depth about why we are usually not good at having these crucial conversations, and they give you lots of tips and tools for how to make those conversations go smoothly. These tips are excellent if you can take the time to remember them and implement them in your daily life. I think they are skills that every person should at least try to have because I think they can be really effective when done right!

After that, I started reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. As I’ve mentioned before I’m a big fan of books that are based around scientific research so this one was right up my alley. Kahneman and one of his associates, along with tons of other researchers, spent a good portion of their life’s work studying probability and trying to figure out why humans make some of the decisions that we do. They discovered that we have 2 brain systems, one that makes decisions quickly, almost automatically, and the other requires more effort to come to a final conclusion. However, depending on the situation, we don’t always use the correct system, and they were studying why that is. This book is a surprisingly easy read even with all the scientific jargon and while it’s absolutely massive, it’s not as daunting as it seems. If you’re into the workings of the brain and why we do the things we do, this is a book you should definitely get your hands on.

What’s On My List:

I’ve got a few books left on my list, of all different genres so I’m linking them here for you! I’ve been in the mood to switch things up and try reading fiction books again so that’s what I’m thinking of next, but I’ve got so many that I want to read so it’s always a tough choice. I probably will not get through these for the rest of the summer, but at least I can read them into the fall!

Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen is about a young woman who moves to New York City and finds herself working for the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and through all the drama of her new life figures out how to find success in this new world of hers.

Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller was recommended to me by a friend and I’m finally (almost) getting around to reading it. This book is about his journey to create stronger connections and find real satisfaction in all aspects of his life, family and career.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is a memoir about his time in Auschwitz during WW2 and finding meaning in the suffering he endured so he could eventually overcome it and move forward in his life.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is about a 9 year old boy who searches all over New York City to find a missing key to a lock left by his dad after dying in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He meets all kinds of survivors on his journey for this key and along the way comes to terms with his grief.

This blog post contains affiliate links from Amazon.com

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

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Lifestyle

June 2019 Favorites

June has been a very eventful month for me and there were a lot of new things happening so I’ve got some good favorites this month. I think it really set me up for a good start to the summer and I’m looking forward to the next few months of warm weather

Mykonos

As I mentioned in my Greece vacation blog post, Mykonos was my favorite island that we visited while in Greece. It was just beautiful in every way. I felt safe, the people were so nice, the beaches were absolutely stunning and relaxing. If you go anywhere in Greece, Mykonos is always going to be my top recommendation.

Fujifilm QuickSnap Disposable Cameras

It’s really trendy to use film for photos these days, especially because you can get your film printed or digital to post directly to your social media. I used these Fujifilm disposable cameras on my trip to Greece and I loved them. You got 27 film exposures in each camera and it comes in a pack of 3, so that’s almost 90 exposures. This is a great deal! Plus film looks so cool and they were super easy to use. It was a very retro experience and I loved every second.

Colourpop SuperShock Blushes

I used a few of these to do my makeup in Greece and they are my new favorite cream blushes! They some in tons of colors, are super creamy and very easy to use. They last all day long when set with a little bit of translucent powder too so very good for the summer when you don’t want to wear a full face of makeup. Another great thing about these blushes is that at only $8, they are SUPER affordable! I talked about these in my Greece Vacation Makeup blog post, linked here.

@maggiemacdonald on Instagram

I have been following Maggie MacDonald on Instagram for a little while on and off but recently, I have just been down right obsessed with her. I watch her vlogs every week because I find her really relatable in general, but I also love that she promotes a healthy lifestyle. She follows food combining for her diet, which is a concept I find really interesting. She also posts fashion and beauty, which is obviously a high priority for me as a blogger. If you’re interested in fashion/beauty or a healthy lifestyle, I would definitely recommend checking her out!

Britney Spears

Britney and I are having a moment and I have been listening to her really old music non-stop. Like Baby, One More Time old music because it was so good and real! Plus, it’s always fun to go back and listen to songs you loved as a child. Oh, the good ‘ole days…

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

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Fashion

My Swimsuit Collection

Summer is right around the corner, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite bathing suits with you. I try to only wear the same style of bathing suit, for tanning purposes, but I find that this is definitely the most flattering style on my body. Keep reading to see where I get some of my favorite bathing suits!

This first one, I got last year in preparation for my trip to Miami. Here’s the blog post I wrote about that trip! I found this one on Zaful, since I wanted some less expensive suits but I ended up loving how this fit. It’s high-waisted which was nicer than I thought and I like that you can remove the straps to make it a regular bandeau top.

Top: Small / Bottom: Small

This next one is an absolute staple. Everyone should have a plain black swim suit. This one I got at Target and I’ve had it for literally 4 years because the quality is really great! It’s affordable also, which is an added bonus!

Top: Medium / Bottom: Medium

Next up is another one from Zaful. This one is really cute because of the stripes and it’s high-rise on the bottoms. It’s very flattering, and great for laying out in the sun. The bottoms are a little cheeky but not too much that you’d be really uncomfortable so that’s why I really like these also!

Top: Small / Bottom: Small

This one I got from target last year and it’s my absolute favorite! I saw the color of this and knew I had to have it. The pretty hot pink is so flattering when you have a tan and I love the bra style straps because they give the best support. The little bows are also a cute feminine touch!

Top: Medium / Bottom: Medium

This is a new one I got this year from Target and it’s absolutely stunning. I got it with my trip to Punta Cana in mind because of the pretty fun colors. This is also high-rise and very flattering because of the cut outs on the sides.

Top: Medium / Bottom: Small

Another staple everyone should have it a red swim suit. This one is really simple with ribbed material. It’s a really pretty neutral red that would look great on any skin tone also. It’s got the crisscrossed back also which added some extra support.

Top: Medium / Bottom: Medium

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

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Lifestyle

May 2019 Favorites

The month of May went by so quickly, I feel like I didn’t even have time to enjoy it. I don’t have too many favorites for this month because I didn’t do very much honestly, but I have a few beauty products that I rediscovered and have really been loving.

1. Too Faced Hangover Rx 3-in 1 Primer Spray

I have had this for a few used and used it on and off but lately I’ve been really loving this. I haven’t been wearing very much makeup, so this has been a go to on the very few days that I actually do wear some. It keeps my minimal makeup look on all day and it looks dewy and light, not sweaty which is very nice.

2. Becca Liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector

This has been a real favorite of mine too! Since I’m wearing only a little make up lately, I like this because it makes me look bright and dewy without the powdery look from a regular highlighter. I also like to add it to my body lotion on my legs and arms and chest to make sure I look glowy and bronze now that it’s the season for wearing less and going out more, ya know.

3. HUM Nutrition Vitamins

I’ve talked about these vitamins a few times on my blog but I wanted to share them again because I can attest to just how well they work. I had been taking these for about a year and then I stopped for 6 weeks. In that 6 weeks of not taking these, I felt absolutely horrible. I was exhausted all the time, I was breaking out badly, my digestion was all messed up. I mean, I was a mess. This month, I started taking them again, and what a world of a difference they have made. I feel so much better and it’s definitely because of these vitamins. I would HIGHLY recommend them!

4. Polaroid Camera

I’ve been taking a bunch of polaroids over the last few months because I love how they look. It’s a fun new way to make memories and hold on to them. They are some of my favorite photos that I have recently and if you love aesthetically pleasing photos, definitely get a polaroid camera.

5. Sweat Shorts

Now that it’s warm and shorts weather, I love to wear my sweat shorts during the day since it’s too hot to wear real sweatpants. I can’t get enough of them. It’s comfy and airy, and they look so cute with graphic t-shirts front tucked. It’s like a comfy chic look.

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

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