Lifestyle

Things I Loved This Month: October 2019

October has been sort of a funky month for me, so I don’t really have a lot of favorites if we’re honest. I can say that this month went by really fast and had so many ups and downs that I’m very glad it’s finally over. Here are just a few of my new favorite things for this month!

1. Corduroy Mom Jeans

Last spring, I found white corduroy mom jeans from Topshop that I fell in love with. I wore them a ton because they are so nice and cozy, very comfortable and they go well with tons of outfits. This year, I found the same pair and decided I should get them in brown and also black! They are some of the best corduroy mom jeans I’ve found and I had to talk myself out of getting the pink also!

2. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I’ve mentioned this product in a few blog posts (My Skin Care Routine and my Sephora Haul) and I’ve really grown to love this product. I love the way my skin looks in the morning after I’ve used it and I think the overall health of my skin is much better because of it! It’s so light and not sticky. I am definitely going to repurchase this since I’m just about finished with my sample!

3. Citrus Defender @ Starbucks

I was feeling really sick earlier this month and was sort of unsure what to do about it. I saw that the Citrus Defender tea at Starbucks was a good alternative to the Medicine Ball tea and decided to try it. Lucky for me it’s packed out with vitamin C because it’s made with citrus tea and lemonade and it’s absolutely delicious. I’m not saying it cured me, but I was feeling 100% again within 2 days…just saying!

4. Everything Brown

Seriously, I love everything brown. I don’t know how many times I have to say it. I have about 4 brown sweaters now, a pair of corduroy pants, I’m on the hunt for chocolate brown loafers, I have a brown satin body suit, I have issues. Brown is my color for this season, and next, and probably the rest of my life. Highly recommend you try this out in a monochromatic look or in satin-y materials because it just is really beautiful!

5. Similarly, Everything Green

This month I also bought the most beautiful green shoes and I want to cry every time I look at them. They are so cute and comfortable and exactly what my closet needed. I also recently acquired a few green sweaters and found a gorgeous green plaid coat that I plan on buying soon. Not sure what is going on but these colors are making me so excited for fall and winter!

6. Louise et Cie Kota Heels

I’ve shared these shoes a few times on my instagram and they are just the best. A beautiful, classic heel with a super comfortable heel height that will last you for years to come. They are from Nordstrom and I bought them in white, black, and navy and I can’t get over them. A great shoe for day to night and just about any occasion.

This post contains affiliate links to Nordstrom.com.

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

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Lifestyle

Why I Stopped Drinking for a Month

Some of you may not know but for the month of October, I actually decided to take a break from drinking alcohol to give my body a rest. August and September had been such busy months and I spent a lot of time drinking socially with my friends and family to celebrate life events, the end of summer, birthdays, etc. By the time October rolled around, I was feeling really sluggish and just overall icky. I decided to stop drinking for about 30 days and see how I felt afterwards. Keep on reading to see what I learned from this experience!

First thing I learned is that I enjoy waking up and not being hungover. I woke up not hungover for majority of the week even when I was drinking because I really only drank Friday – Saturday and the occasional Sunday. However, I had a major appreciation for waking up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and feeling well rested and frankly, hydrated. It was not a new experience, but I definitely was much more appreciative of it.

Next thing I learned was that, during the week after a long day of work, I felt like I wanted a glass of wine about 2 days per week. I associated having a glass of wine after work with relaxing. It was my little treat for myself because during the day I really only drink water and coffee. But because I wanted to really stick with my plan, I switched out my glass of wine for some flavored sparkling water and, while it didn’t really do the trick, it was enough to hold me over on the days I really felt I needed something special.

Next thing I learned is that, I definitely had gained weight from drinking so often. In the last month, I really haven’t worked out much, but in general I feel like I like the way I look a little bit better. My tummy is a bit flatter and not bloated very often and maybe it has nothing to do with drinking, but that’s what I’m going to attribute it to.

I also learned that, I can’t always blame drinking for waking up feeling hungover. I distinctly noticed that there were a few mornings that I woke up feeling hungover, when I hadn’t even drank anything but water the previous day. Maybe it wasn’t enough water, but I certainly didn’t sneak in any alcohol. I woke up with headaches and a feeling of dehydration on a few days, so that’s something I need to be more conscious of also!

Lastly, when I went back to drinking (on 2 occasions for a birthday and Halloween), I did not feel good afterwards. One day, I drank only wine and the other day I drank rum & coke and both were not kind to me. To be honest, it’s enough to make me want to take a permanent break from hard liquor and stick with beer and wine. But for social reasons, it’s always nice to have the option of saying, “Hey, let’s grab a drink!” So will I stop drinking for good? The answer is a hard no, of course not! Will I be more careful about what and how much I drink, absolutely. I prefer to feel my best and sometimes, it’s just not worth the trouble!

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

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Lifestyle

October 2018 Favorites

October has come and gone and I’m back with my monthly favorites! 2018 is FLYING and I think I say that every month but it’s really true. I can’t believe it’s already November. This month, I have lots of fashion favorites because I finally figured out what my fall style is. I also have some more fall things and life stuff that I’m loving because it’s FINALLY starting to feel chilly and cozy and I’m ready to hibernate for 4 months. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. SomethingNavy at Nordstrom

I’m a long time fan of Arielle Charnas and her blog, SomethingNavy. I think she was actually the very first blogger I ever followed¬† on instagram about 5 years ago during my freshman year of college so we go way back. I even remember her reaching 100K followers and now she has over 1 million. Anyway, she released her clothing line at Nordstrom at the end of September and now that it’s October and chilly out, I finally was in the mood to throw on some boots and a fuzzy coat. I am absolutely loving her clothing line this month and probably for the rest of my life. I got 5 of her shoes because I think they are so good. She’s got great taste in shoes, honestly. All her pieces are perfectly curated and go so well together. I think she’s really found her niche with creating elevated basics. I’m crazy excited for her November and December collections.

2. Zara

I think I’ve been living under a rock for at least the last 5 years because I just started shopping at Zara in September and have fallen IN LOVE. I completely understand why everyone feels the way they do about Zara. I think my style is finally evolving into a more mature smart casual look and I think Zara really reflects that. I’ve been spending way too much money there and I’m not even mad about it. I think Zara will definitely be my go to store for my work and casual clothes for the fall and winter. I always struggle with spring and summer clothes so we’ll see how I feel when that time comes!

3. Denim

My job changed it’s dress code from Business Casual to “Use Your Best Judgement” which I absolutely love because that means no more uncomfy dress pants for me. This is what I mean in my bullet above about a more smart casual look. Now that I can wear jeans to work, I have been denim obsessed. I’ve recently acquired an absurd amount of jeans because I can wear them all the time. Prior to this I was also a leggings/sweatpants kind of girl but now I even like wearing jeans…on the weekend (UGH THE HORROR). I’ve been getting all my new jeans from Topshop. As you all know I LOVE their Mom jeans and the Jamie jeans. I also found a few pairs of the Joni jeans that I like (cue my leopard pants). I also (sadly) love distressed jeans that I can’t wear to work so I’m trying to resist the urge. I think next I want to try out GRLFRND, Paige and Levi’s for my denim. I’m looking to explore some new brands for denim so please feel free to leave suggestions/reviews in the comments!

4. The Book of Joy

I mentioned this in my What I’m Reading post for this month and thought I’d bring it up again. I really am enjoying this book because I think it’s exactly what I needed this month. Since I’m struggling a lot with not being miserable about where I am in life, I thought I’d try reading this because everyone loves His Holiness the Dalai Lama, right? Him and the Archbishop are world renowned spiritual leaders for a reason. It helps me to put things in perspective and take a step back and remember what it really means to be joyful.

5. Briogeo: Don’t Despair, Repair!

I’m not sure why I haven’t mentioned this before. I’ve been using it since August and have really been loving it. It makes my hair feel really soft and not like I tried to bleach my curly, ethnic hair more than once (cue my 9 million regretful thoughts). In combination with all my other hair care products, it’s been such a big help keeping my hair healthy as I journey to grow it out as far as I can.

6. Dark Nail Polish

No surprise here that I like dark nail polish for fall. But I’m really loving purple/berry color nail polish. It’s such a pretty and flattering color. I think it really looks great on every skin tone because there’s such a wide variety of dark berry pinks and plum purples. My favorites for this month are Bahama Mama by Essie and Maki Me Happy by Essie.

7. Blazers

For the fall, I just fell in love with blazers and denim. Remember what I said about smart casual? Here it’s coming into play again. It all makes sense now, right? Okay, so yes BLAZERS. I love to dress them down with jeans and a t-shirt but keep the look put together by adding in some ankle boots. I’m loving all kinds of blazers and really missing my employee discount from BCBG. They have the best blazers. Very chic and stylish, but still classic. I’m still exploring some brands, but I’ve been looking into what Revolve has to offer and I found this very cool corduroy blazer from BlankNYC. I’m also recently obsessed with &OtherStories so I’ve been looking there for nice blazers also. I’m heavily inspired by Arielle Charnas (of course, see bullet #1 for proof) and Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat.

8. Dallas, TX

I’ve been traveling quite a bit in September and October (and never took any photos because I’m a bad blogger). I went to Dallas for a weekend to go to a Cowboys game and I had such a great time. The atmosphere was just totally different from New York. There’s a real sense of pride in where you’re from with people in Texas. Everyone in Texas loves Texas and it makes it hard to not feel the same way. I felt so happy and comfortable and it was such a great experience. We ate some AMAZING brisket and had lots of beers and even got to try In n Out. I’m definitely looking forward to heading back there!

 

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

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Lifestyle

What I’m Reading: October 2018

This month started out feeling pretty unhappy for me. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but I think it was because I was stuck in a funk of not really knowing how I can move my life forward. Because it was such tough feeling to deal with and it was having major affects on other aspects of my life, I thought I would take some time to read a book about joy. I purchased The Book of Joy¬†by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu a few months ago but I just never got around to reading it until recently. It just felt like the right time. So today, I’m going to tell you how I feel about it.

I think this book is quite excellent. It looks at things from a different perspective than most books like this do which is extremely refreshing. It doesn’t take a religious stand point like you’d think it would. The Dalai Lama actually tells most of his stories and teachings based on the idea that we are all related to each other because we are human. We’re not black or white or Christian or Jewish or rich or poor. We’re just human and that’s why we’re all connected. It’s almost profound because the world in general (but especially the US) is obsessed with labeling and separating everyone into categories. But when you think about it, it’s absolutely true. We’re just humans and that’s all. It’s one of the best ways to look at things, but especially when it comes to kindness, generosity, and judgments.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop talk about mental health and how we deal with our emotions. They talk about building up “mental immunity” to the negatives in our lives. It’s basically how we recover from negativity in our lives. If we have strong mental health and high mental immunity, then when negative things happen, we can recover a lot quicker than if we struggle with our mental health. Mental immunity is like a muscle that needs to be trained and worked with every single day to get to a point where those negative thoughts and experiences don’t affect us so much. It’s just like healing from an addiction if you think about it. Sometimes the only way to get better is by working at it every single day for the rest of your life.

Another great point about this topic was that no one will ever completely block out every single negative thought. Sometimes there are situations that you have to just let the negatives be. You can sit and be upset about them and it’s not the end of the world. You get up and you try again tomorrow. The idea is that sometimes you can’t control those negatives, but you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. It’s okay and tomorrow is a new day.

The book goes on the discuss other emotions and how they are related to joy. They also discuss the 8 Pillars of Joy which are absolutely fantastic to read about. Overall, I think it’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it. It can be a lot of information that you need time to understand and digest, though. I found myself reading a chapter or a few paragraphs several times before I felt like I really understood it, but once you understand it it’s very insightful and puts things in perspective. I think if you’re feeling like you want a new perspective on joy and life in general, this would be a great read for you!

 

P.S keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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