Lifestyle

How To Feel More Productive and Organized Everyday

As a disclaimer, I would not necessarily call “productivity” my middle name or anything, but I do like to think I have some tips that make me feel like I can get a ton of stuff done. These are just some tried and true tips that I like to use to make sure I have the most productive and organized days possible. Being that I work full-time, write this blog part-time, and also make time for friends/family and relaxing, being productive and organized is really important for me. I need to make sure I’m getting as much done as possible while I’m awake so that I can enjoy the time where I’m not working. So keep on reading if you want to see some of my best tips for being productive!

1. Making a “to do” list

I am a huge fan of “to do” lists! Seriously. The satisfaction of crossing things off my “to do” list is worth taking the time to write it out. It’s the best way for me to organize my thoughts and figure out what’s most important for me to get done. I do my best to write out my list in the order of most important to least important so that I can get the most important stuff done first. You could also do this from most difficult to least difficult or most time consuming to least time consuming. Do whatever makes sense to you. I also will prepare this the night before or at the end of my work day, so that I don’t have to take time to do it in the morning. Having it already prepared means that I can just jump right into the tasks.

2. Take a break

I am also an advocate for taking breaks when you need it. I am often suffering from burn out and feeling overworked, so I do my best to alleviate that stress early on by taking breaks when my body says I need them. Sometimes that means leaving a few tasks until the next morning and sometimes it means taking the entire weekend off to do nothing but lay in bed. Do what makes sense for you, but make sure you still have enough time to get your tasks done before they are due. If I know I have to take photos for a blog post that is going up on Thursday, and it’s currently Saturday, I’ll either suck it up and take them Saturday or push the photos until Sunday if I know I’m just not in the right headspace to take them. Don’t stress yourself out by procrastinating, but take a break so that you can come back and feel better about completing the task at hand.

3. Create a monthly schedule

For me, specifically in regard to content, I make a schedule of when I’m going to post things. I plan my content about a month in advance so that I have the whole month to write and shoot them. This helps me plan out what weekends I can go out and shoot photos and what days I can write so all my work gets spread out, leaving me stress-free usually. I also use my Lily Pulitzer planner to keep track of my entire life. I write in what blog posts are going up, what Instagram photos to post, my budget, any plans with friends, etc. Everything goes in my planner so it’s all in one place which makes it easy to look ahead and see what else is coming and what I need to prep for.

4. Start your day properly

Having a strong morning routine, especially on the weekends, is a huge key for helping me feel productive and organized. It gives me time to relax before jumping into whatever is most pressing that day. Every Saturday and Sunday, I try to make sure I make breakfast and a cup of coffee before I start doing any work. During breakfast is also a good time for me to catch up on shows, mindlessly scroll through Instagram (versus focusing on engaging with accounts), watch Youtube videos, look for inspiration, etc. It lets me free my mind a little bit before I focus for a few hours.

5. Find some inspiration

For me, taking the time to scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and looking at other blogs and Youtube is really important for me to create content. It’s how I find inspiration a lot of the time. Sometimes I feel stuck on what to wear every day or maybe I can’t think of a new blog post I haven’t already done, so looking to other content creators helps get my creative juices flowing. Whether it’s finding a new piece of clothing to buy or seeing an interesting post, it usually always helps me think of something new to post. Now this one is tough, because you can also get stuck in the comparison mindset by doing this so it’s not for everyone. You have to be in the right mindset, feeling strong and secure with yourself to make this one work otherwise it can make you feel worse. I sometimes struggle with comparison, so this doesn’t always work for me. When I’m feeling that way, it usually means I need to take a break instead!

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips and that they are helpful to you in feeling more productive this year. It’s been one month into 2020, and there’s still 11 more for you to reach your goals and feel more productive!

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

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Lifestyle

Things I Loved This Month: January 2020

I cannot believe January is already almost over! This month went by surprisingly quickly compared to in 2019. Last year January literally felt like it was 3 months long. This year, maybe because it’s been really busy at work and there’s been a ton going on in my personal life, it feels shorter but I’m not complaining over here. A few weeks ago, I said I wanted to hold onto the winter weather for a little bit longer (because I just bought a bunch of sweaters), but all of a sudden in the last week of January I’m feeling ready for spring. I’m trying not to wish the winter away, but the spring fever is definitely creeping in for me. Anyway, here’s some of my favorite things this month.

Teller’s American Chophouse – Islip, NY

This is the restaurant that Andrew and I went to for our anniversary dinner and holy cow it was delicious. The manager that night asked if we were celebrating anything special and then made sure our dessert had “Happy Anniversary” written onto the plates which was a really special touch. Our server was attentive and gave us such a good experience also. It was those small details that made us say that we’d love to go back. The food was also insanely good too. We happened to go during restaurant week so they had a price fixed menu option that we decided to do with a wine pairing and everything was so so good. I got lobster bisque as my starter and Andrew got some kind of bacon dish to start. We both got the Teller’s Delmonico which was the most delicious steak I’ve ever had and it came with truffle butter sauce and crispy fried onions and we added on a side of asparagus. For dessert we had cheesecake and a chocolate brownie with bourbon ice cream. Everything was amazing and I would highly recommend!

Serafina – New York, NY

This is the restaurant I went to for my birthday in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan and it was another hit for me! The inside of the restaurant is a gorgeous rustic Italian feel with exposed brick, dark wood and dim lighting for a really romantic atmosphere. They had lots of pasta dishes to choose from, some meat and fish entrees, tons of apps/soup/salad and dessert options. I got the eggplant parm because they didn’t actually have chicken parm on the menu which I have to say was disappointing but it was good so I don’t mind too much. Andrew got gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and that was absolutely delicious. I think I’d get that next time I go! Another thing I liked was that it was reasonably priced for a nice restaurant in Manhattan. I’m looking forward to going back and I would definitely recommend checking this one out!

& Other Stories

Earlier this month, I bought a scary amount of sweaters from & Other Stories which is a store I’ve had my eye on for a while. I always thought they made such beautiful pieces, but could never really afford to pay the price for the quality. I took the plunge and ordered a few sweaters that I felt were closet staples that I was missing and was so pleasantly surprised at how much I love them! The material on all the sweaters is thick and warm because most of the ones I ordered are made of a wool/alpaca blend. The colors are beautiful and they fit really well. They do have to be carefully cared for so as not to upset the fibers of the material but I think it’s worth it. These are the kind of quality items that I’ll be able to wear for years and years to come.

Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer

This is an item that I rediscovered recently and I am so happy that I did. One thing I noticed since the beginning of this month is that my makeup looks really powdery and dry and I’m thinking it’s because I had been using a matte primer because I have naturally oily skin. Apparently that was too matte because my makeup has been looking extremely cakey this month and I hate it. I decided to try out just using this primer from Smashbox and it helped a ton! My skin looks glowy under my makeup, but it still lasts most of the day even with my (apparently not so) oily skin.

Boomerang for Google Chrome

This one is not really as interesting as the rest but it’s been a tool that has come in really handy over the last few months. Boomerang is a plug-in that you can add onto Google Chrome (completely free) and it gives you some extra tools for your Google Emails. I, personally, love to use it for the Delay Send option which allows you to type out an email and delay the send time for whatever time you want. I like to use this when I’m sending an email late at night and I want it to arrive in the person’s inbox in the early morning. Instead of getting up and hitting send at 8:00 am, I can hit send at 11:00 pm the night before and set the time of delivery for 8:00 am. It’s a huge lifesaver because I don’t like interfering with someone’s personal time at home. I’m a huge advocate for work life balance and I don’t want someone to feel pressured to respond to my email when they’re not working.

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

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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

What The Heck Happened in 2019: A Recap

2019 was quite the year. To be honest, I would call it my best year yet. So many wonderful things happened in 2019, that I feel really excited for 2020. I’m not really sure how it could get any better. Keep on reading for a summary of what the heck happened in 2019.

The Good

Some good things that happened this year include but are not limited to: dating Andrew (the best person in the whole world), getting a new job, finally saving up some money for the future, reaching 1,000+ Instagram followers (finally), fully committing to the growth of my blog, traveling to 3 countries and within the US, connecting with other bloggers online and IRL, landing not one, but two brand partnerships and SO much more. This truly was my best year so far. There’s no words for how thankful I am for everything that happened this year because it set me up for so much more to come next year.

The Bad

Even through all the fun and frills, it wasn’t a perfect year. Here are some of the bad things that happened in 2019: didn’t quite reach my goal of 200 blog followers by the end of the year (*edit: I reached this just a few days before Christmas!), I lost my job, I effed up my finances for a bit being unemployed (and before that if we’re honest), experienced burn out more times than I can count, stopped going to the gym, spent a ton of time comparing myself to other people and a ton of other things too.

What’s Next

I have some more thoughts on this coming in tomorrow’s bonus blog post, but I have big plans for 2020. One year goes by so fast, but there is so much that can be done in that amount of time. My main goals for next year are to really dive full force into my blog/Instagram and create things that I love. I want to move out on my own, make new friends, travel and explore a different part of myself as an adult in her mid-twenties. There’s so much room for growth and I have a lot of learning to do, but I feel really ready to take on some new things. I’m looking forward to making 2020 my best year yet.

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

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Lifestyle

Creating a Custom Phone Case with Caseapp

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was working on a new partnership and it’s time to finally announce it! I recently worked with Caseapp to create my very own custom phone case on their website www.caseapp.com and I love how it came out. They were also kind enough to offer a 20% discount code to my followers that can be used on their website. The code is KARENMAURITZENN20 and it can be used up until January 11, 2020. Thank you again to casepp for letting me create my own custom iPhone case!

The process to create the case was super easy. You just go online and select Custom at the top and select your type of phone or laptop and then you can start customizing! There’s tons of colors, fonts, and stickers to choose from to make it your own. I knew I wanted to make something with my initials on it and I wanted it to be pretty and simple. I found this sticker that said “baby”, so I decided to work with that and typed in the part that says “don’t call me”, added a little heart sticker and my initials and decided to make it this really pretty color. After that, I added it to my cart and checked out! Super simple process and shipping took about a week to be delivered.

They also have hundreds of pre-designed case options also with all kinds of themes. They have cute holiday ones, animals (which were my favorites), some really beautiful artistic pieces, funny ones and so much more. It was definitely hard to choose! I found this super cute panther queen case and it really spoke to me so I decided to pick that one up also.

Overall, using Caseapp’s design tools were super easy and the process to create it was so simple. I’m so excited to have worked with them and hope to work with them again when I get a new phone in the spring! They have an amazing Instagram that you can check out @caseapp and of course, their website www.caseapp.com. Don’t forget you can use my discount code KARENMAURITZENN20 to get 20% off your order from Caseapp until January 11, 2020!

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

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Travel

Weekend In My Life: Philadelphia, PA

Over this past weekend, I went on a little weekend trip to Philadelphia with my boyfriend and I thought I would document it to show you guys! I honestly I did not document as well as I would have liked because I truly get caught up in the moment too often to remember to take photos. I did what I could with my posts from snapchat, so bare with me! Either way, I had such a great weekend relaxing in Philadelphia and I am looking forward to going back soon!

We got to the city around 11 am on Saturday so we had a full day ahead of us! We stayed at the Le Meridien Philadelphia which is a beautiful, French decor inspired hotel. It’s a part of Marriott also, so you can still get the perks of being a Marriott rewards member which is nice! It was also really close to everything we wanted to do which made it easy for us to just walk around! We actually did not take a single Uber which was a good way for us to save a few dollars.

When we first arrived, we walked a few blocks and found 2 different little Christmas markets in the city. One was a German themed one and the other was near the ice rink and both were super cute and crowded. It was a nice introduction for our trip! After that, we walked a few more blocks over to Rittenhouse Square and took a break to people watch on a park bench. It was pretty chilly, but it was nice to just sit and relax and chat.

For lunch, we headed over to the Iron Hill Brewery which was honestly the best lunch I’ve had in a while! We both got the holiday beer flights which were good. We both liked 2 out of the 4 beers, so it was just okay but we also have decided we really don’t like beer that much. I got a BLT sandwich with a balsamic glaze and pesto and it was TO DIE FOR. Literally the best sandwich I think I’ve ever had. Andrew got a grilled chicken sandwich which was also really yummy and perfectly portioned. After lunch, we stopped by the Reading Terminal Market to grab some doughnuts! They were delicious, but we got way more than we could handle so we didn’t end up finishing those.

After the doughnuts, we went back to the hotel to relax and rest until dinner time. For dinner, we went to a restaurant called James which was about 5 blocks from our hotel. It had really yummy drinks! We also got the most delicious meatball and burrata appetizer. For dinner, I had some steak with chimichurri and french fries and Andrew got the most delicious, savory gnocchi. Then we headed out to do some bar hopping and get a feel for the city at night. We stopped by City Tap House, then Bru and finally ended the night at Time which was our favorite by far. The drinks there were good and cheap and it wasn’t too crowded for a Saturday night.

We had such a wonderful weekend and I’m so happy we went! Weekend trips are really easy for us to do and we’re hoping to do plenty more in 2020. I can’t wait to share some more trips with you all next year!

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

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Lifestyle

Things I’m Loving This Month: November 2019

November honestly flew by and I can’t believe I am writing this monthly favorite post again! I feel like I was really thriving this month and enjoying being a little bit busy again. I don’t have a ton of favorites (which I think I say literally every month), but the ones I do have are really good. Keep on reading to see some of my favorites for November 2019.

Baublebar

I have talked about Baublebar a million times! They are my favorite shop to buy jewelry from, specifically festive and gaudy jewelry. I am the kind of girl that either wears no jewelry or is dripping in diamonds (not really but you know what I mean). I like Baublebar because they allow me to do both. I have some really beautifully made simple gold hoops from here and a pretty gold cuban link chain bracelet that I wear almost daily, but I also have beautiful giant heart earrings and rainbow earrings from here to. This is not even an ad, I just genuinely love their pieces!

Winc Wines

Earlier this month I did an ad for Winc and shared my latest box of wines I got in. I really was so happy with the wines I got from them. I finished 3/4 bottles and I was so happy to drink them. They were perfect for relaxing on a Friday night with some pizza and a terrible Netflix Christmas movie. You can use this link to get $22 off and complimentary shipping on your order which comes out to 4 bottles of wine for $39. This one IS an ad, but again, I really love their wines!

Headbands

I have showed you guys a ton of headbands this week and I can’t stop, won’t stop on that. I think they are probably the easiest way to dress up your outfit without having to do too much (same goes for earrings). I got a ton from Amazon and Baublebar recently and I am wearing them non-stop! I have a bunch linked in my Favorite Fall Accessories post that I did last week.

What I Wore This Week Blogs

I don’t know about you, but I am really enjoying sharing my weekly outfit recaps with you. It’s a nice way for me to look back on what I wore, how I was feeling and what was going on in my head that week. Plus it’s nice to have all my outfits from the week together in one place. Here is the link to some of my most recent outfit posts, here and here.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I think this has been in my last 2 monthly favorites, but I have to say I really really am loving this. After using it for a few weeks, I am really seeing a difference in the overall look of my skin! It is softer, smoother and my acne scarring is not as prominent lately. I also feel like I have to exfoliate less often now (which is also partially due to my 10% lactic acid from The Ordinary). I think my skin in general is more glowy and I’m also feeling less oily throughout the day! I highly recommend this! Pricey but worth every penny.

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

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