Fashion

January 2019 Favorites

For my favorites this month, I’ve got some really good ones that I’m in to and frankly, I’m an advocate for quality over quantity. I’ve been really into social media this month and going out and denim (again). So sit back, relax, and read about my January favorites!

1. Straight Leg Jeans

I talked about these babies last week in my OOTD post and I told you how obsessed I am with them. Like weirdly obsessed. Straight leg jeans have been around forever, but they just recently became trendy again and I was not on board for a long time about these. However, I’m really into the raw hem and distressed versions and frankly an influencer is what convinced me to try them so I’m easily influenced and it’s fine. My favorites are from Topshop and they are linked here for you.

2. Headbands

Headbands of all sorts are very trendy these days and frankly I used to really struggle with headbands. They never fit my head and I hated the ones that went all around your head because they would always slide off and it was SO ANNOYING. I like the ones that have a little knot at the top, but I’m really open to all types these days. They’re so cute!

3. @idktonight

This is an Instagram account and website that offers date night ideas for EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Like 7 days a week. They give suggestions for New York City only because that’s where they are based and they pick 3 different neighborhoods to give suggestions for each day. Each date has 2 parts usually dinner and drinks or an activity such as art exhibits, comedy shows and so much more. It’s really cool honestly and it’s been so nice to get new ideas from scrolling through their site and Instagram stories.

4. Pinterest

I have been crazy into Pinterest this month! Mostly because I’m lacking real life inspiration, but also because there’s lots of fashion going on this month with all the couture shows in Paris. I absolutely love to look at fashion week street style on Pinterest! It gives me the most inspiration because it’s just super fashion forward looks, worn with confidence. Here is my Pinterest if you want to check out what I’ve been pinning lately!

5. Jalapeno Margaritas

HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE. JUST TRY IT.

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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Fashion

November 2018 Favorites

Now that November is over, I’m back to sharing my monthly favorites. This one has a lot of lifestyle things and some clothes because that’s really all I’ve done this month. November has been a heavy month for self-care and improvement. It’s also been sort of a slow month for new products because I was saving to buy the new launch of Something Navy (and it was completely worth it). So here’s some things that I’ve been really enjoying this month. YAY!

1. Breakfast

I am just crazy into breakfast these last two months. It’s such a major part of my morning routine on the weekends and helps to set me up for a really great day. Breakfast with a nice big cup of coffee is like a sign of a good, happy day. I feel the most productive after I’ve had breakfast also which has been a tremendous help for my blogging skills. I highly recommend having breakfast as often as possible!

2. Echinacea

I also got sick early in October and it was awful so I amped up my vitamin game. Once it’s cold and flu season, my intake of vitamin C and echinacea drastically increases. I take vitamin C year round, but echinacea is only during the cold months and I SWEAR BY IT. It reduces the amount of time that you’re sick by several days which is really helpful when you have a busy schedule or just hate being sick. Again, I highly recommend.

3. Slouchy Knee High Boots

I’ve mentioned these boots in a few of my previous outfits posts. These are on a totally different wave length from the typical leather knee high riding boot. These slouchy ones give off a very relaxed, cool but feminine vibe which is how I like to describe my style so they are right up my alley. They look great with a casual jeans and a sweater look but they look even better with a long dress or a sweater dress for a cozy, feminine look. They can be really casual or dressed up and that makes them extremely versatile. I hope these stick around for a very long time. Some of my favorites are from Something Navy at Nordstrom, Zara and Target!

4. Blush/Light Pink

I have never really been into pink as far as clothing goes but this fall I think it’s just the prettiest most feminine thing you could wear. Probably because it is. I love a blush pink sweater or a light pink blazer. I even love pink lip gloss and pink eye shadow! It’s becoming a real issue. The only issue I’m finding is that I struggle to style it with anything other than denim and white shoes? I think it would also look so dreamy with tans and browns but I just don’t have enough of those in my closet to do that. If you have any advice, please hit me up.

5. Jewel Tones

Another thing I’m really loving is jewel tones, especially an emerald green and purple! I really love them as accessories in shoes and jewelry but I also am really loving them for sweaters and coats. I think they are just a really pretty and elegant addition to a simple outfit. I also think they look so pretty together, like an emerald green long wool coat over a pretty velvet purple dress. These are also great colors for the upcoming holiday season,but you knew that already.

6. Simple Habit App

I also mentioned this in my chit chat life update post, but I’ve trying to meditate often to improve my well being. I felt like I needed to try something new because I was losing my motivation to stay positive. I downloaded the Simple Habit app and started doing 5 minute meditations every morning and night to help with sleep and to start my day on a good note. In the last month, I’ve found that it has definitely improved my sleep so that I can fall asleep faster and feel well rested in the morning. I also find that it helps keep my mood a little bit higher or at least more level throughout the day whether I’m having a good day or a bad day. I definitely have a lot of practicing to do but I do feel it’s made a difference in my life so I’m looking forward to exploring more into meditation.

7. Spotify

This one is not really new at all; I’ve been an avid Spotify user for a few years. However, it’s probably my second most used app behind Instagram. I listen to some of my favorite podcasts on Spotify during the day at work and on the weekends. I listen my the Rap Caviar and Get Turnt playlists at the gym. I’m really into the Top Hits playlist for when I’m writing my blog or just starting my day because I like upbeat and catchy music at the moment. I have literally spent like every waking moment listening to music lately because it makes me feel good.

8. Attached by Amir Levine & Rachel S. F. Heller

This was my book of the month for November 2018 because I listened to an episode of Girls Gotta Eat Podcast where they interviewed a match maker and she said that this book along with The 5 Love Languages were what she recommends to all her clients read before they start the match making process. It discusses the science behind adult attachment styles and how they affect your relationships. It’s a brain system that helps to determine how “secure” you are in your relationship based on whether or not your partner meets your needs. I’ve always had an interest in attachment styles and even wrote a paper about it in college so I thought it would interesting to read this book and it did not disappoint! It helped me take inventory of my needs from a romantic partner and more definitively determine my attachment style. I think this is a great book for anyone, single or in a relationship, to read if you want some more insight into why you act the way you do!

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

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What I’m Reading: November 2018

For the month of November, I read Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller. As you know, I’ve been reading a book every month since August and I’ve been really into self help books but I wanted to move a little bit more toward science based self help not just the typical “You can do it!” type books that are out there. After listening to an episode of Girls Gotta Eat podcast, one of their guests recommended this book to read. It discusses adult attachment styles and the science behind how we build relationships and why we sometimes act “crazy” in them.

Our adult attachment is thought to stem from our childhood and our attachment to our parents. In the past, attachment studies were based on an experiment called “The Strange Situation” where babies or toddlers were brought into a room filled with toys by their mom. The child was allowed to play and eventually the mom was taken out of the room and the child’s reaction was observed. Some children noticed the mom’s disappearance and were visibly distraught while others did not seem to notice. When the child was reunited with their mother, some were immediately soothed by their mother, some took a lot longer to calm down and some were completely unphased. This helped researchers come up with the three attachment styles: secure, anxious and avoidant.

Research shows that your attachment is flexible throughout your life and can be changed based on life experiences. For example, if you were a secure child but maybe your parents had a nasty divorce where you felt you couldn’t express your feelings about it, you might eventually develop an avoidant attachment style where you avoid intimacy and affection at all costs. Or alternatively, you might develop an anxious attachment style where you crave intimacy and affection because you were missing it during a critical point in your life.

What I loved about this book is that it provides simple tests for you to determine your attachment style and then gives detailed explanations on some of the characteristics of those attachment styles, why they happen and how to recognize them in yourself and your partner. But it’s not just a random person in their basement trying to give you relationship advice, it’s based around years and years of research. There’s lots of studies on attachment styles and the authors do a great job of referencing tons of psychologists who got strong results from their research. That’s what I really liked about this book because I felt like I could trust this source of information.

I feel that reading this book has provided a lot more insight into why I do certain things in relationships and why I have the reactions that I have. It also helped me realize what kind of attachment styles my previous partners have had and it’s helped me make sense of why things didn’t work out.  As far as self-help books go, this one definitely not the same as any other self help book I’ve ever read. It builds strong cases for why you can trust the information and it gives very detailed explanations. I highly recommend this book to anyone who might be struggling in their relationship or even just wants to learn more about themselves.

Let me know what books you’ve been reading in the comments below!

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

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Podcasts I’m Listening To

As I mentioned in my life update/chit chat post, I started listening to podcasts as part of my daily routine. I’ve found that I can learn A LOT from sitting and listening to podcasts while I’m driving or having breakfast in the morning on a Saturday. There’s hundreds of podcasts out there covering all kinds of topics, but I thought I would share some of my favorites today. I’m still figuring out what I like and don’t like, but so far these are my top picks!

To start off, my absolute favorite so far is the Girls Gotta Eat podcast. It’s run by 2 single women living in NYC and they talk all things relationships, such as how to meet men “in the wild”, first dates, sex and so much more. They have a lot of (hilarious) experiences and they are super open about it which is the best part. They are authentic and not afraid to share their real life dating struggles with their audience. Two of my favorite episodes by them are “How to Meet Men in the Wild” which talks about how to meet men while you’re out and about in a world filled with all kinds of dating apps. Meeting someone in person alleviates a lot of the trouble because you can tell right when you meet them if you have a connection worth exploring. Another favorite episode is called “F*ck You, Carrie Bradshaw”, which you guessed it, talks about Sex and the City. They go over basically how f*cked up Carrie’s relationship with Mr. Big is and how it skewed the idea of how relationships should be for women.

Another favorite of mine so far is The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher. On this one she discusses being a photographer turned serial entrepreneur and all the steps she took to get there. She often interviews women who’ve built their own digital media businesses and they share their story and advice for women who are looking to do the same thing. She’s built a million dollar brand for herself and she’s got a lot of insight into this new world of social media. Her podcasts are great for when I’m feeling stuck on how to improve my blog or I’m looking for inspiration.

Some others that I’ve been listening to recently are:

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso

Second Life

What We Said

WorkParty

These are some that I’ve listened to one or two episodes of so I’m still figuring out if I LOVE them or not but I definitely like them! I mean who doesn’t love Oprah, right?

Some that are on my list to listen to are:

Diary of a Female Entrepreneur

On Being

The Skinny Confidential

U Up?

The GaryVee Audio Experience

Ted Talks Daily

Adulting

Guys We F****d

We Met at Acme

These are a variety of career, dating, and health & fitness podcasts (my top 3 priorities in my life at the moment). They’ve been recommended to me by some of my lovely friends so I’m excited to listen to them! I trust their judgement! However, there’s not always enough time in the day to listen to 45 podcasts and get the real juicy details out of them so I’m taking my time with this. Like I mentioned in my life update post, it’s hard for me to listen to the podcasts while doing something else because I miss a lot of the important information. I really like to sit down and focus on it and take notes if I can. I’m looking for advice on these topics, so I definitely want to pay attention to them!

Now I’m wondering, what are some podcasts you like to listen to? Leave a comment down below!!

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

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Fall 2018 Weekend Morning Routine

If you know me, you’ll know that the weekends are my absolute favorite part of the week but not usually for the same reason as anyone else. Most people like to use their weekends to go out and treat themselves, but for me weekends are about doing things I love and are actually productive. For me, that often means that I get A LOT of things done. I truly value my weekend mornings because they set me up for a productive and positive week.

I start my weekends the same way I start any other day. On the weekends, I do tend to sleep in a little bit later than I normally would until about 9:00 or 9:30am. First thing when I wake up is that I open my Holy Bible app and listen to the entire chapter of the verse of the day. After that, I open up my Simple Habit meditation app and I do a 5-10 minute meditation to start my day off right. These two steps are absolutely critical for how my day goes. I find that I have better, more positive days when I start off my morning with the Bible and meditation.

After that, I always go and make myself a big cup of coffee and some breakfast. Usually it’s just Eggo waffles and some sausage because we don’t like to get too fancy at my house, but it’s really whatever I’m in the mood for. While I have my breakfast is when I catch up on my social media, listen to a podcast and do my best to get into a creative mindset. When I’m not feeling so creative, I like to scroll through WordPress and read some new posts and find bloggers to follow. I also like to scroll through Pinterest and find some inspiration for future posts!

Once I’m done with breakfast is when the real productivity starts. I prefer to spend my mornings prepping blog posts for the coming weeks. Depending on what I have coming up I’ll either write up some new posts or get ready to take some photos. I’ll do my makeup and lay out my outfits before setting up the tripod or put on some music if I’m just writing up some new content. Once I get those done, I’ll edit those photos and finish up prepping my new posts. After that, it’s usually almost noon and I’ll have some lunch and get ready to head to the gym and actually start my day!

It sounds very boring, but I love to have structure in my life. Dedicating my weekends to working on something I love makes me so happy and it really sets me up for a good week. I don’t have to worry about what I didn’t get done because I went out and was too tired to take photos or do some research for future posts. I love to go out and enjoy my life as much as the next person, but I’ve found that spending time doing something I love gives me so much more satisfaction because it’s always one step closer to the future I’m working toward.

P.S. keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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