Lifestyle

Weekend In My Life: NYC

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend and a great start to your week so far. I, for one, had an excellent weekend so I wanted to share what I did with you. Now, because it was a special weekend, I have to admit I got caught up in the moment most of the time and forgot to take any photos (bad blogger, I know). So, there’s not any photos, but I still wanted to share it in case you’re ever in NYC for the weekend!

To start things off, this weekend I was out celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday with his friends and family. Friday night, we started out going to dinner out on long island at Bahama Breeze which is like a caribbean themed restaurant. The food here was great, but the drinks were amazing. We drank pain killers at dinner which is one of my favorite mixed drinks now (because it’s one of Andrew’s favorites hehe). They are made with dark rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, a splash of orange juice, and topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. They are absolutely delicious and I HIGHLY recommend them!

Saturday was the real celebration, though. Andrew and I went into NYC to celebrate with his friends. We stayed at the Sheraton Tribeca Hotel because we didn’t want to have to worry about taking the train home late at night. We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel and how nice it was. I’m super picky about hotels after working in the events industry, but this one was very clean and modern and the service was great. I’d probably stay here again if we ever needed a place to stay in Tribeca!

For dinner, we stopped at Beauty & Essex which is like a speakeasy restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. On the outside, it’s a pawn shop where you can purchase jewelry and other items if you’d like! Inside, behind a back door, is a beautiful restaurant. The service was excellent, I must admit. However, the food is served as small shared plates which we were surprised to discovered upon sitting down. Although the food was good, if we had known it was supposed to be served as small plates, we would have gone somewhere else. The prices weren’t justified by the serving size, unfortunately.

After dinner, we took a quick pit stop at Hair of the Dog a few blocks away because it’s the only bar I know that has happy hour on Saturdays until 8:00 PM! After that, our original plan was to stop by the Public Hotel rooftop for more drinks, but the line was so long when we got there, that we turned around and decided to head somewhere else. We ended up settling on the Delancey which was not crowded at all when we go there. We hungout on the roof, got drinks and enjoyed the very humid evening with friends. My Romper is from Revolve and is linked here for you if you want to check it out. I got it in a medium to get a looser, comfy fit.

Overall, we had a great night and a wonderful weekend! Let me know in the comments what you did this past weekend!

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

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Lifestyle

Ballin’ on a Budget: No Shopping Summer

Today, I wanted to share a little journey I went on this summer and my thoughts on the whole process. Starting about back in April, I stopped shopping (except for a few things) and not necessarily by choice (which I’ll get into another time). It was definitely necessary, but it’s been an interesting journey for me.

First things first, I definitely shopped a little in May to refresh my work wardrobe and get some things for my vacation to Greece in June. I also treated myself to a two items in July and August for special occasions. It wasn’t exactly a no shopping summer, but it was definitely a summer with very little shopping.

I have to be honest, because it was not necessarily a choice, I think it was a little bit easier to do this successfully. The desire wasn’t really there because I knew I had other priorities. However, my love for shopping didn’t disappear. It just went to the bottom of my priority list. I spent a lot of time scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, etc and just not feeling like I wanted to shop which was definitely a key factor to going 3+ months without shopping in bulk like I normally do.

Now that it’s half way through August and getting into fall, the itch to shop is definitely back in full force. I also started a new job recently so all I want to do is treat myself because I think I deserve it. So far, I haven’t bought anything new yet, but it’s probably coming soon! It’s very interesting to me that I spent the whole summer not really caring about getting new things, but now that I feel like I can or I deserve it or I need it cause it’s going to be ~fall~, it’s getting more difficult.

Some things I learned from this experience is that:

  • I can still work with what I have and look good (biased?)
  • Other things are way more important, but it feels good to get the things that you want sometimes
  • My creativity does not depend on buying new things every week (but buying things once in a while helps keep those juices flowing)
  • I can actually go 3+ months without buying things which is a huge first for me
  • The money I saved from shopping, could be put to use on more experiences which last way longer than trendy clothes

This experience was a little bit of a wake up call from a financial aspect, but it also shed some light on just how creative I can get when I need to. I’m hoping that moving forward I can remember this experience and find a healthy balance between the two! Cutting it out completely was tough and not sustainable for me, but it was definitely good to give myself that break.

I want to know in the comments: have you ever challenged yourself to give up something you love for more than a month?

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

Things To Do This Summer 2019

Now that summer is in full swing, I thought I would share a few things I love to do during the summer and a few things I’m looking forward to doing this summer. I’m hoping to inspire you to try some new things and enjoy your summer to the fullest!

1. Beach/Pool

This one is obvious, but it’s important. My absolute favorite thing to do in the summer is spend a day at the beach or pool, preferably with a drink in hand and the sun shinning. Here in New York, we’re lucky to be surrounded by lots of water so I always prefer the beach, personally. But, at least in New York City, there’s also the option to visit rooftop pools at various hotels all over the city!

2. Festival/Concert

Summer is festival season all over the world. It basically starts with Coachella in the spring and runs all the way through to September/October. Although a few big festivals have already passed, such as Governor’s Ball and Bonnaroo, there’s still a bunch coming up, such as Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits (tickets are available for both still). In NYC, there’s also all kinds of free/cheap concerts in Central Park and at various music venues all over the city.

3. Weekend Trip

Specifically in New York, there are lots of cute and inexpensive destinations that you can head out to for 3 day weekend. Because so many places are within driving distance, these are really great, quick and easy trips to take. Like I’ve mentioned before upstate New York is a great place to go! My New Paltz, NY blog and my Lake Placid, NY blogs are linked here and here for you respectively. Aside from New York, there’s also so many destinations within driving distance, such as Philadelphia, PA or the Jersey Shore/Atlantic City, even Boston, MA!

4. Movies in the Park

In Central Park specifically, there are always movies showing in the summer every week. Usually, it’s older, feel good movies which is a lot of fun anyway. You can grab some snacks, a blanket and lay out on the lawn for a good movie! However, lots of parks all over the country do this also so you can find one in your state too!

5. Sunset Boat Cruise

This is something I’ve always been a little interested in doing because it’s a good way to get away without going too far. It’s a great date night or birthday dinner idea also! You can usually book groups for these boat cruises. It’s really romantic and usually drinks and dinner are included in the price (depending on the company) so it’s a good deal also. They have these all over New York City and in most other destinations that are on the water.

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

April 2019 Favorites

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of favorites for this month but I do really like the ones that I have so I hope that counts for something.

1. New Paltz, NY

Earlier this month my boyfriend and I took a little weekend trip to New Paltz and for a small college town, I really loved it. I shared our experience in it’s own blog post, linked here. We had to best time reliving our college dreams again. We visited the campus and ate lots of good food and drank $4 rum and cokes and had ourselves a ball. It was definitely my favorite experience of the month.

2. Craft Beers

I drank a lot of craft beers this month and my body has made me fully aware of how it feels about it (not very good) but I enjoyed them nonetheless. I went to a cask ale festival earlier this month that had about 85 breweries there to sample. Needless to say, I had a great time. Now that it’s getting warmer out too, I’m really looking forward to heading back to some of my favorite breweries on long island.

3. Trousers

You may have noticed that this month I was really into trousers. I bought 3 pairs this month. They are cute and practical and can easily be dressed up for work with a button down and heels or down for a weekend brunch in a t-shirt and sandals! Highly recommend investing in at least one or two pairs for the spring and summer.

4. Zara

I rediscovered my love for Zara recently and now I want to buy all kinds of things from there. I’m definitely not into fast fashion and I will admit that not everything they sell if worth the price, but Zara is very on trend when I’m in the mood for trendy pieces. It also is moderately affordable but much better quality than Forever 21 or a similar store.

5. Santa Clarita Diet

I started watching this show back in February or March with my boyfriend and we really got into it. It’s extremely gruesome and takes some time to get used to but it’s so funny and the storyline was not predictable which I really liked. I’m not a huge Drew Barrymore fan honestly, but I do really enjoy this show! And Season 3 came out recently!

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

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Fashion

March 2019 Favorites

March is finally over and spring is here to stay! 2019 is absolutely FLYING by and I think I say that every time I write a blog post, but it’s true. I can’t believe it’s April already! I only have a few favorites for March because frankly, I didn’t do very many new things this month. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

1. The Chemistry Between Us by Larry Young and Brian Alexander

For the month of March, I was (still am) reading The Chemistry Between Us by Larry Young and Brian Alexander which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a book about the science of why we fall in love and have sex and love our children, etc. If you don’t mind reading about testing the sexual hormones of rats and lots of science terms about the brain, the book is really interesting. The authors made the book fairly easy to understand and it’s written with a good balance of pure science and comedic relief. I would highly recommend this book if you’re interested in books based on real scientific research!

2. BaubleBar

I have been overly obsessed with wearing fun and over the top earrings lately so naturally my new favorite place to shop has been BaubleBar. They have such cute, bright and quirky jewelry and LOTS of rainbow pieces. I may or may not have purchased 4 pairs of rainbow earrings for summer but it’s only a problem if you make it one.

3. Fabletics

I recently signed up for Fabletics (literally 2 weeks ago) but so far have really loved the pieces I got. I needed to overhaul my gym clothes because I figured at 24 years old, it’s time to give up my sorority t-shirts and wear adult gym clothes. I bought a bunch of tops, some were mesh and some were the spandex material and I really love both! They fit really well and are breathable. I also bought 2 pairs of the Powerhold leggings and am OBSESSED with them. They fit SO SO SO well. They don’t fall down, ever. Literally ever. I can’t believe it. Anyway, obviously I highly recommend these pants and I’m looking forward to getting a few more pieces!

4. Pointed Toe Mules

I just bought a pair of these from Urban Outfitters in a pretty lavender color (as seen in the featured image, and currently on sale!) and honestly, I really love them. I had the same pair in a velvet leopard print which was to die for, so I knew for spring I would want to get them in the lavender. The style is so classic and the color is extremely wearable even though it’s pretty bright.

5. Maren Morris – GIRL

I would 100% be lying to you if I said I didn’t listen to this album on repeat 24/7 since the day it came out. I don’t know what it is, but I am in love with this album. I just feel like she was very real and honest and fun with this album. It’s got a nice variety of fun pop songs and sweet love songs which is what I love. I only knew a few of her songs before this album, but I’m a huge fan of Maren Morris now!

6. Rosehip Seed Oil

I jumped on the bandwagon with this since a friend of mine recommended it to me and showed me how much of a difference it made for her skin. I’ve only been using it for about 2 weeks now, but I already love how soft and smooth my skin feels. I’m hoping that it will help with some of the acne scarring I have, but either way I love how my skin looks and feels now so I am definitely going to keep using this! I got mine from Amazon!

7. Baiting Hollow Farm and Vineyard

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I took a trip out to the Baiting Hollow Farm and Vineyard to do a tasting and enjoy the beautiful weather we had. This vineyard had such a great atmosphere and I was very happy to spend the afternoon there! There was lots different wines to try, live music and lots of people. Maybe it was the sun finally coming out, but it was such a great experience to sit outside and drink some wine and people watch. I highly recommend this vineyard, but beware that there will be lots of girl groups dancing and drinking wine on a Saturday here!

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

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