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

Standard
Fashion

Simple How to Style: Mom Jeans at a Baseball Game

A few weeks ago, I went to a Mets Game with Andrew for his birthday so I decided to share what I wore to it. It was super easy and simple, but still felt cute and sporty. I also had a minor accident that day, so keep reading if you want to cringe and possibly laugh!

For my outfit, I decided to keep this super simple by just pairing one of my favorite pairs of mom jeans from Topshop with a basic ribbed tank top from Target. These tanks are pieces that I always have in my closet, but honestly forget about because I always try to dress up more. However, they are awesome layering pieces and they are also great for hot days when you just want to be casual. They’re super versatile! I also paired them with this pair of Camila sandals from Steve Madden that I got last summer. These are some of my favorite sandals and I have them in 3 colors! Mine are sold out, but these are similar from Treasure & Bond and ON SALE FOR 40% OFF!

Jacket: Forever 21 / Top: Target / Jeans: Topshop / Shoes: Steve Madden

Now for the fun/scary part! We decided to take the train over to the game because we thought it would be easier than driving since we were also meeting out friends for dinner before the game. We were heading up to the train platform on the escalator and I was walking up like any normal human being would do. About half way up, I tripped over my sandals and felt head first onto the escalator steps. My head hit the edge of the escalator step hard. I quickly got up and immediately started crying out of shock, but realized shortly after that my head was bleeding! We rushed back down from the platform and headed straight to urgent care where they were able to stitch me up right away. Honestly it was such a freak accident because it’s something you never even think of as a possibility, but it happened! To me!

Post Head Injury!

After I got stitched up, we got some buffalo chicken pizza cause we were starved and obviously couldn’t make it to our original dinner plans. The doctor gave me the okay to go to the game as long as I was up for it, so a few hours later we decided to carry on with our plans. The game ended up being very exciting. Lots of great hits by the other team, but the Mets got a few home runs in there too! In the end, the Mets lost but we had a lot of fun. We also watched the whole game so we could see the fireworks afterwards which was another nice treat!

Fireworks!

Overall, I’d say it was a great weekend, even with the scary fall. My main tip to you is to always wear closed toe shoes when you’re walking up the escalator and hold on to the handrail! I hope you enjoyed this read! xx

This blog post includes affiliate links from Nordstrom.com.

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

Standard
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

Standard
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

Standard
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

Standard
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

Standard
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

Standard