Tuesday Beauty Tips: Birthday Reflections

Published in: Beauty Tips


Today I turned 34, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.


Despite having a little more gray hair (I’m still reeling from that white hair in my eyebrow), the wrinkles around my mouth and my eyes, and that pesky chin hair that sprouts up seemingly overnight (like a mushroom! — all stiff and long!), this birthday feels good.

It’s not a milestone birthday like 16, 21 or 30, but this morning over my first cup of coffee as a 34 year old, I thought of a few reasons to relish my day.

My mom. Last weekend my mom asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. I said “Nothing,” because “turning 34 isn’t a big deal.”

She replied, “Of course it’s a big deal. That’s the day we met!”


I’m reminded that I won’t always have her to share things like birthdays with…

I feel lucky to be alive. Earlier this year I was flipping through my hometown newspaper and stumbled upon a picture of a girl I went to high school with. It was in the obituaries. The photo was her senior class picture, and I remembered it because she’d given me the same one at the end of the year.

I dug it out and read what she’d written on the back: “It’s been great getting to know you, and I’ll see you at the reunion in 20 years.”

Every day is a gift.


Birthdays are for big dreams. When I was in my 20s, I felt like I had all the time in the world, but I don’t.

I know that most of us feel like we’re barely able to keep our head above water — I know I do — so where the heck are we supposed to find time to explore the pyramids of Egypt? I can barely find the time to clean the bathroom at home!

For now, I’m going to work under the premise that adventure won’t just come knocking at the door. You have to reach out and grab it!

How old are you turning this year? Is there something you’d really like to do for your birthday?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Jaime says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen! This was a lovely post – and I hope you enjoy your special day!

  2. cloudburst says:

    Wow that’s sad about your classmate, she was so young! I’ll be 32 this year. Time passes quickly. I don’t mind getting older (my 30’s so far have been more productive than my 20’s)I just worry I won’t be able to accomplish the goals I’ve set out for myself. My partner is over a decade older than me so I always look to him for perspective.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cloudburst,

      Like you, I worry about having enough time to get everything done. There’s so many things I want to see and do, you know? And it’s not like the list is getting any shorter. It keeps growing every year.

  3. Mikele says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE BEAUTY BLOGGER!! <3<3 πŸ˜€ You’re not going out for dinner or anything??

    I’ll be 29 (for the first time) this year.. I look forward to many more!! lol! No seriously, I want to go to Santorini and the Greek Isles for my 30th next year. I’d like to have a big shindig here in the Bay with friends and family for my 29th. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mikele,

      Aww, that’s so sweet of you to say! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

      Tonight El Hub and I will do a low key dinner — prolly sushi! Next week I’ll be celebrating with my fam because my brother’s birthday is coming up soon, so we’ll do a joint thang.

      I would love to go to Santorini someday! If you end up going you’ll have to send me pictures so I can vicariously live through you!

  4. Suri says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! Have an amazing day.
    I will be turning 29 this year. I would love to go back to Puerto Rico and spend a week just laying on the beach with a tropical drink or 2..or 3.. =)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suri,

      Thank you!

      I have never been to Puerto Rico before, but I’ve seen pictures of the beaches and they look so pretty!

      And girl, you know I’m all about a tropical drink or four or five… πŸ˜‰

  5. Michaela says:

    That’s such a touching and sad story. So very true…

    Happy birthday! I am being 100% sincere when I say that from what I know of you from this blog, you are a fantastic 34-year-old, and totally beautiful at that.

    Speaking of birthdays, mine is coming up in a week. I’ll have to pop into Sephora sometime soon for that brithday gift…:)

  6. Didi says:

    Happy 34th Karen! I turned 26 this year. I love birthdays! I’ve never seen it as a reminder of age – I see it as an opportunity to indulge in birthday cake! YUM!

    Didi´s last blog post..Shu Uemura Custom Palette

  7. Apple Diva says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I will be 26* this year. lol

    Apple Diva´s last blog post..Face Atelier ~ Pro Team ~ Los Angeles IMATS ~ June 20 – 21, 2009

  8. Cecille says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!
    You are 100% right, everyday is a gift. Thank you for your website, and all the work that you put into it. It is something I look forward to reading everyday. God Bless You on your special day!!! Have Fun!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cecille,

      Thank you for coming by, reading and sharing your life with me. I feel like I’ve met a new group of friends because of the site… that’s an amazing birthday gift!

  9. Beth says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!

    I turned 27 in January and although my birthday itself was a letdown, the weekends either side were fantastic. The weekend before my best friend and his partner took me wine tasting and the weekend after we went to an amazing cabaret show called La Clique, where we say all kinds of crazy things – contortionists, singers, a woman doing a striptease combined with a magic trick pulling hankies out of all KINDS of places – it was such a fun night and we all laughed so much.

    I hadn’t really wanted to do anything in particular to celebrate but I totally know what you mean about having to reach out and grab things. I’m realising that to some extent I’ve been waiting for my life to start happening, when really you have to make it happen yourself!

    I hope you have a wonderful day and make sure you treat yourself or indulge as much as you can!


    Beth´s last blog post..Low Brow?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beth,

      Your pre- and post- birthday weekends sound like they were amazing! You’re lucky to have such good friends in your life. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for these birthday wishes! I’m having a good day so far. πŸ™‚

  10. Laurie says:

    Happy birthday Karen! This was really well put – I get emotional on my birthdays. I’m turning 27 this year (July 16) and while I don’t have any particular ill feelings about my age I always think of my parents and all of the love in my life and how it just matters that they are with me.

    I like to take the time to act like a total princess on my birthday. I usually take the day off and “ask” my husband for foot rubs and other treats that he’d gladly say no to on any other night!

    I hope you and Tabs and your hubs have a great birthday celebration. I send you a virtual glass of champagne to toast:)

  11. Marina says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen!
    hope you are having great time!
    really nice post;)
    as for myself I’m twenty-something:D. I dream to celebrate my Bday somewhere near the sea.It’s because I have my Bday in March and it’s cold in March in the place where I live. But so far my lill dream is still to become true:)

    Marina´s last blog post..China Glaze: Retro Diva & WhatÒ€ℒs Your Color. Fall 2009

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marina,

      I hope that you’ll be able to make that birthday dream happen someday! πŸ™‚ Any day you get to be in the ocean is a good day; if it’s on your birthday it’s extra special.

  12. Emily says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope it’s a happy one! I’ll be turning 25 this year and have had plenty of gray hairs for years now. Even one on my eyebrow. Anywho, I also wanted to say I finally satisfied the malasada craving you gave me with going to Leonards and I had some malasadas with the fam in San Diego this past weekend. Num num.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Emily,

      Holy crap! Where can you get malasadas in SD? Share woman! I will be there for Comicon next month (LOL) and will have to get my fried dough on!

  13. Charan says:

    Happy Birthday Karen..

    I turned 29 this year and hubby took me to paris πŸ™‚ . I am ok with growing old and it doesn’t bother me that much but when kids calls me “aunty” thats when i feel my age πŸ™‚ .

    Charan´s last blog post..Feeling under weather remedies

  14. jane says:

    happy birthday karen! i hope only great things happen for you in the coming year :]
    goodness i would have never ever guessed that you were turning 34. you don’t look a day over 25 :] seriously though you do look very young and i wouldn’t have guessed your age correctly :]
    i turn 23 in september.. ugh.. i hear my next milestone is 25 when i can rent a car πŸ˜€ HAHA oh i want to go to vegas. i haven’t been to vegas since i turned 21. i’m so deprived :]

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane,

      Aww, thanks hon. I gotta tell you — it makes my day when I get carded. Seriously. πŸ™‚

      Anyway, 23! That’s a good age. Do you know yet what you want to do on your bday?

  15. Brittnie says:

    Happy birthday! Your mother’s comment was so sweet. Did you end up doing anything special with her?

    Going to be 20 August.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Brittnie,

      Happy (very) early 20th birthday!

      I spoke with her this morning and will see her next week. I’m gonna have a joint barbeque/birthday celebration with my bro, who’s birthday is next week. πŸ™‚

  16. MJ says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN. Enjoy de day.
    Warm greetings from the Caribbean

  17. Katherine says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    I turned 23 this past February and while I’m not huge on celebrating, I did get to spend it in the Philippines with family I haven’t seen in awhile πŸ™‚

    I hope you’re reaching out for your adventure today!

    Katherine´s last blog post..Poodle dances Tinikling

  18. Happy Bday again Karen!

    I will be turning 37 (SHUDDER) on the 18th of June. I totally agree with you about the JUST DO IT mindset. I was wishy washy about going to London because my company is going through stuff and I thought, what if I book this then get laid off? Well we already put it off once last year, so I was like, you know what, you only live once just book it, so we did and I am so glad! That trip was for our 2nd anniversary and kind of my Bday all in one! Oh the hubbie also got me a Kindle2 for the trip which I am loving!

    Vampy Varnish´s last blog post..London Rocks!

  19. Lana says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen! I hope you have a beautiful year!

    I turned 28 on May 20th. At dinner with my parents, we had a little toast. My dad asked me if I spent the day contemplating the last 27 years and I responded saying that I didn’t. I spent the day contemplating the next seventy.

    All the best, Karen!

  20. Megan says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!!! Your mom’s comment is so sweet. πŸ™‚

    I will be 29 in August. Lately things have been incredibly hectic for me…both at work and at home (dad with emergency appendectomy, grandmother who fell and broke her hip – then hip replacement, getting rear-ended etc. etc. etc.) so I would say that I just hope things calm down and life can feel more peaceful…that would be a wonderful birthday present. I know that by no means am I old…but I have to say that as I get older I want less and less for my birthday and holidays.

  21. lipglossme says:

    Happy bday!

  22. Tracy says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! 34 is a great age. I’ll be 42 in 2 weeks! A June birthday is always fun … sunshine! (I live in the Pacific Northwest) My usual birthday consists of a well deserved shopping trip to the stores “I” love to visit, maybe a pedi and a cold one at a fun outdoor venue. I’m new to your blog (1 week) but am hooked and spreading the word. Cheers!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy,

      I’m happy that you enjoy the site and it’s good to meet you!

      Happy early birthday, too. πŸ™‚ I managed to visit a few stores today. πŸ™‚ Maybe a pedi will be in my future this weekend!

  23. Rachel says:

    Happy-happy-happy birthday, Karen! I’ll be turning 24 this year. For my birthday, maybe travel somewhere fun or eat something super fun!

  24. Jeanne says:

    Happy birthday, lady! Hooray for early-June-Geminis!

    I turned 25 back in April, and I’m still getting used to it! When the NARS girl asked me how old I was, I said, “…Uh, 25?” and she said, “Oh, 25! That’s when you have to start using eye cream religiously!” (I’ve been using it religiously for a while, but sheesh!)

    Jeanne´s last blog post..NARS at Nordstrom!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jeanne,

      LOL, at least you can remember your age. Sometimes I’d forget that I was 33 (!) and it would take me a moment to remember, ha ha ha!

  25. tatiana says:

    Happy Birthday! Your mom is the coolest! I’m turning 26 this year, or twenty sexy or turning 26 and turning tricks. Jk but I’m looking forward to it.

  26. Taffy says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I turned 41 this year but I have been lucky enough to have been blessed with my mom’s wonderful genes and people actually think that I am 26 years old! (by the way, you do not look 34 to me at all!) I have found that when you get older, parts of your life change in ways you don’t like and in ways that you’ll love. I miss not being able to stay awake for 2 or 3 days like I did when I was 20, but now I know that the world isn’t going to pass me by while I’m sleeping!

    Taffy´s last blog post..Finally!!!

  27. KC says:

    Happy birthday! I hope you have a fantabulous day! Well, I already turned 34 (welcome to the club!). I totally agree, are we/how can we seize the day when we have the daily grind? I have yet to figure it all out, and I don’t know if you ever do, but I try to enjoy every day.

  28. CC says:

    Happy Birthday to my favorite beauty blogger!! Thanks for the daily informative and entertaining posts!!!

  29. Dao says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen! Wishing you all the best in this upcoming year. Also, wishing you more awesome makeup as well. Is that Tabs, Jr lemming your cake?

    Dao´s last blog post..Ask My Makeup Blog: Monolid Edition

  30. Rae says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!! I hope it’s been fabulous ^^

    Now get your booty out the door and do something crazy (alright, *slightly* crazy) for your 34th. You only turn 34 once!

    Rae´s last blog post..Life in plastic

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rae,

      I’ll have to wait till this weekend… Tuesday is a school night, LOL!

      Looks like a slice of cake, a DVD and some time with Tabs and El Hub will do. πŸ™‚

  31. lesleybg says:

    Karen! Happy, happy birthday!! πŸ™‚ I wish you all the best in all the facets of life. Your post is so touching and it has made my day… so, I hope that you have a very beautiful and delightful day–celebrating, you!! πŸ™‚

  32. Jenna says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!!!!!!!!!! I turned 23 on Saturday. It would have been sooo much better if I didn’t take the stupid LSAT I took yesterday. Next year I’d like to take a trip, NYC or Quebec City or something. Doesn’t have to be too far away, but enough so it feels extra special. Though I would still want a night to spend hanging out with my family having dinner and then playing board games.

  33. charlene says:

    awww (sings) happy birthday to youuuu πŸ™‚

  34. Stacie says:

    Happy birthday Karen!

  35. Rani says:

    Yay! We’re the same age! I turned 34 last month..and felt the same way as you. I was getting older (groan) and it didn’t seem like a monumental event..but when you think of it, it’s another year of getting to be on this place we call Earth..so like you said, we definitely shouldn’t take it for granted. Plus, I think the 30’s are where it’s at! I definitely didn’t know who I was in my 20’s.

    Enjoy your day, celebrate you, and I’ll eat a piece of cake for you over here! (lol..don’t you love my sneaky excuse to eat cake?! hehe)

  36. Fie says:

    You’re aging gracefully, love. I would love to look as you do now when I turn 34 too! Happy Birthday again! πŸ˜‰ You don’t look 34 at all, I would have pegged you to be 28 at most.

    I’m turning 22 in November. I’m spending my birthday…at my graduation ceremony! How cool is that? πŸ™‚ Another plus would be my parents and my boyfriend would be with me in UK during the ceremony. Coincidentally, my boyfriend’s birthday is 2 days after mine and my mom’s 2 days after him. Celebration week!

  37. Maggie says:

    there’s nothing wrong in turning older, you’ll still be your same youthful self. i hope your blog will be even more successful, as well as your own life and career. good luck and cheers! πŸ˜€

    i already had my birthday, but this year i turned 14. I KNOW, i’m still a young’un, but hey, i love mee blogs. ;]

    love always,

    Maggie´s last blog post..Upcoming FALL 2009 Collections

  38. Tiffany says:

    Happy birthday Karen!! Those were some great thoughts about birthdays it makes me appreciate having birthdays even more!

    I turn 16 next year Feb.10th!

    I hop your special day goes well because we all know you deserve it!

  39. Camellia says:

    Happy Birthday, KAREN (: you’re amazing! and i’m so glad to read your blog everyday ^^* (and i turned 19 this year) i feel like time flies by way too fast!

  40. Redhead says:

    I’m probably one of your youngest readers, Karen, because back in January I because a teenager! Yup, the big ONE THREE. I’m glad that at such a young age I can appreciate things like your blog, the artistry of makeup and my own makeup skills. πŸ˜€

    • Karen says:

      Hi Redhead,

      Honey, you are 13! Awww, that’s wonderful. πŸ™‚ You have so much ahead of you…

      I’m glad that you can artfully apply makeup. When I was 13 I was a mess, LOL!

  41. Yasmine says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I turned 21 this year. I see birthdays as a fresh start, a chance to evaluate what you have been doing, and to have some fun.

    Yasmine´s last blog post..Awesome Free Font Sites

  42. Julia says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I’ll be 31 this year, and I’d like to go to Hawaii with my husband. We haven’t done a “big” vacation since our marriage 4 1/2 years ago, and I’ll be turning 31 right around the same time as our 5th Anniversary. So it seems like a good time to travel!

  43. Amy says:

    Happy b-day Karen! I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog all the time and look forward to your witty posts. I feel you about the age thing. I just turned 30 in March. Oh, how the time flies. Gray hairs are SO not fair.

    Enjoy your year and enjoy your mom…my mom was my BFF and I miss her so much since she died of breast cancer. You never know what life has in store for you.
    Much Love.

  44. Glosslizard says:

    Happy birthday, Karen! That was a very moving and inspiring post! I hope this year of your life is a wonderful one, and more full of sweet than bitter! πŸ™‚

  45. Marmar says:

    Happy Birthday!! Let’s all hope for another 34 years of makeupandbeautyblog!

    This year I turn 26.. and I’m hoping I won’t have to work that day ;___;

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marmar,

      Wow, wouldn’t that be something? πŸ™‚

      I hope that you have a lovely birthday this year — will keep my fingers crossed that you won’t have to work!

  46. Amy says:

    Holy Crap! I am your oldest reader at 42! Seriously! Oh well, it truly is a state of mind (except the odd gray hairs and intermittent aches and pains.) Happy Birthday Girlie! The best is yet to come.

    Amy´s last blog post..Grace in Small Things, Part 24

  47. Nikki says:

    happy birthday!!! πŸ˜€ i hope its been wonderful!

    lets see my birthday this year im turning 19, and since im in canada i’ll probably go out to a bar or club with my hubby since i can legally drink here in the province of BC

  48. Shiny says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!!!
    Great post, it really made me (and probably a lot of other readers) reflect.

    I turn 25 this summer, and I doubt I’ll do anything special… but I realize a little more every year about how special life is and how blessed I am.

    Wishing you a year of happiness! <3

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shiny,

      Thank you for the birthday wishes. πŸ™‚ I’m so happy to know you and all the readers on this blog — I feel so lucky to share these things with a wonderful group of women!

  49. Heidi says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!!
    Have a wonderful birthday and eat your delicious bday cake. You’re right about everyday being a gift. I will be turning 22 this year. I feel like i was 18 just yesterday.

  50. Kate & Zena says:

    I all ready had my birthday–I turned 20 on January 31, 2009. Zena turns 6 on January 5, 2010, my mom turns 45 on January 21, 2010 and I turn 21 on January 31, 2010.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kate & Zena,

      Aww, that’s cute that you know Zena’s exact birthday. I don’t know when Tabs was born (the vet suspect he’s about three), so I just gave him my birthday, ha ha ha!

  51. Paris B says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! We aren’t too far away in age and I’m looking forward to mine later in the year. I love birthdays and I love your post. What I really want to do for now is visit Japan but we’ll see πŸ™‚ Hope you had a great day!

    Paris B´s last blog post..Day 9 : Kanebo TÒ€ℒestimo Serumdrape Rouge Lipstick

  52. Janet says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen!! I hope you are having a great day! πŸ™‚

    Come January I’ll be turning the big 2-1! Huzzah! I’m a year ahead in school though, so I’m among the last of my friends to turn 21. I’m sure I’ll find a way to make it special though πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janet,

      Thank you! I had a wonderful day. πŸ™‚

      21 is a great year… ah, I remember those concealer-less days well! I hope your bday in January is a special and remarkable one that you’ll always remember.

  53. Menden says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    I’m turning 30 this year!! Yikes! Time flies πŸ™‚

    Menden´s last blog post..Today doesnÒ€ℒt count.

  54. Rachel says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen! Judging by any recent photos of yourself you’ve posted on MBB, you’re still looking fantastic and youthful πŸ™‚

  55. bianca says:

    this year is going to be big celebration for me: i am turning 30.
    It’s been the most amazing year of my life!

  56. TUPRNUT says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen!!! I hope you have a wonderful night with your husband… have a piece of cake for me πŸ™‚

    Loved what your mom said about your special day: “that’s the day we met.” Beautiful! And that’s why you should celebrate.

    I turned 28 in March and look forward to what’s ahead for me this year!

    *birthday hugs*

    • Karen says:

      Hi TUPRNUT,

      Thank you for the bday wishes! I am about to dig into a slice of chocolate fudge cake from Safeway… I’ll take a big ole bite for you!

      I hope that your 28th year brings you lots of happiness and adventure. πŸ™‚

  57. Wait4Sum1 says:

    Happy Birthday Karen πŸ™‚

    from your reader, Bangkok, Thailand

  58. JK says:

    Hey Karen!

    I’m turning 21 tomorrow! Our birthdays are so close! Congratulations!

    You are so gorgeous, I’d be lucky as heck to look like you when I’m 34!

    I’m glad you had a good birthday. I’m celebrating with my sister and friends going out tomorrow.

    Have an amazing year!

  59. jessica says:

    happy birthday! i hope it’s as fabulous as you are ^.^

  60. Andrea says:

    Happy birthday Karen!!!
    Hope you are having a great birthday. What a sweet and thoughtful column you wrote today! It reminded us all to appreciate our moms and all the good things we have in our lives.

  61. Kypris says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I hope you had a wonderful day. I enjoyed reading your post – every day is worth cherishing!

    I turn 22 this year. I guess that’s not very old… but each year I have more and more responsibilities to take on and I’m scared soon those will drown any dreams I have! But recently I watched Randy Pausch’s last lecture on youtube, and I really liked his saying ‘the brick walls … are there to stop the *other* people’ in regards to dreams, and it inspires me to go ahead and accomplish what I want!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kypris,

      I understand how you feel — it gets harder and harder when other people get up in the mix, too. I really like Randy’s quote … I’ll have to remember that one. πŸ™‚

  62. Arianne says:

    Happy birthday Karen! This post was so inspiring, especially about your mom and your first meeting. πŸ™‚ So sweet!

    I’ll be turning 23 near the end of the year. All I really want to do is spend time with my friends and family, hopefully with some snow!

    Arianne´s last blog post..The Poor Girl’s Vanity Table.

  63. Ally says:

    Happy Birthday hun πŸ™‚ have a fantastic, wonderful, awesome day.
    I’m turning 25 in august and my boyfriend will be at sea but my mom is flying in for my b-day so i’m happy i’m not alone on my b-day.

    Ally´s last blog post..Grocery shopping today

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ally,

      That’s so sweet of your mom to fly in to spend time with you. Hopefully your honey will be able to come in from sea soon and take you out for birthday dinner, too. πŸ™‚

  64. Elle says:

    I loved this post Karen. I also have another reason for thinking you’re so awesome–today’s my sister’s birthday, too. πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday and many many more!!

  65. Kailey says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I’m gonna share my “dream lashes” formula with you as a present.
    step one:
    apply 1-2 coats of Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara
    step two:
    Apply 1-2 coast of Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Mascara
    step 3:
    bat gorgeously long and thick lashes at everyone!

    I’m turning 15 this year! Wootwoot.
    and i want my first kiss as a present xD

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kailey,

      Thank you for sharing your formula! I’m glad that you like the Clinique mascara. πŸ™‚

      15! A first kiss isn’t a bad birthday present, trust me. πŸ˜‰

  66. Tami says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN!!!!!!!!! I wish you all the best on your special day. I also turn 34 next month but have nothing special planned (that I know of…..lol). It has just become another day after turning 21. Of course I wouldn’t have any objections if the hub wanted to jet me off to Vegas:-D

  67. Christina says:

    Happy birthday!! and oh my gosh you nearly had me in tears – that was such a beautiful thing you wrote. You’re right, how we really do need to cherish every moment and enjoy it even if it is nothing more than turning another year older. I am turning 24 this year in november and dont feel any older [not yet at least] and I am hoping to see the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW live at the midnight showing in NYC! i have loved that movie since i was 12 and have been dying to be amongst other rocky fans! lol i hope i can bribe my boyfriend into doing it with me and my die hard sister too πŸ™‚ than it will be a good birthday! hope you enjoy your night!

  68. Gislaine says:


    I have been reading your blog for a while and I really like it, you have a gift, to share your knowledge and thoughts with us, and let me tell you, YOU ARE BLESSED FOR DOING THIS!!!! so, feel every day like your birthday.

    I was diagnosted with Borderline Disorder, is like a Depression , and I have to deal with life and dead everyday of my life, on one hand, it’s sad,because I feel hoppless and so so sad,but most of the days I feel so lucky to be alive, to have my husband by my side, to have my parents, my cats, my house and a warm bed. sound so silly, but when you think about death, this kind of things makes me realized how lucky I am.
    I got married 2 years ago, and in that week, two people who knew died on a car accident, so when I walked down the aisle in the church I thought about these two girls, and I made a promise to live my life the best way I could live it . well, this year I’ll be the big 3-0 and I’m so happy to see that everyday I’m getting wiser, living my life, and breathe……

    so, celebrate your birthday with your heart full of love, from all your readers around the word, and think that you put an smile everytime we read your blog πŸ™‚
    Besos from CHILE

    by the way, I looooooooooooooove your cat!!!! (sorry for this looooooooooooong comment! hehehehe)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gislaine,

      Thank you for this note and for sharing your story with me. I hope that you have good things coming up for your in your life… big hugs to you and your kitties!

  69. Nosh says:

    Aaaaw!! =) Happy birthday Karen! Your mom is the cutest =)

  70. Kate & Zena says:


    One of the good things about adopting from a certified breeder is you get to know your pet’s exact birthday. We celebrate both the day we brought her home (June 24) and her birthday. We have her pedigree, certification of health, shots record, health history, photos and a print-out of all the questions we had asked with the answers. We might adopt from a shelter next time.

    At least you got to pick Tabs birthday! That’s fun. I would pick a summer month like July as I was born in winter.

    Did you get my e-mail with the photos? If the links don’t work, I can send them as attachments through my e-mail.

  71. Jen says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! What a lovely thought provoking post. I myself will be turning 32 at the end of this month.

    For me, the older I get – the more appreciative and accepting I am of myself. I am my toughest critic, and every year I get a little bit easier on myself. You provide a great deal of inspiration with your blog, so cheers to many more birthdays for us all!

  72. kia says:

    aww happy bday karen! great reflective post! my bday was on sunday!! geminis baby! yehhh! (in my best austin powers voice!)

    kia´s last blog post..Update: Glowelle Beauty Drink 7 Day Supply (via BeautyFix)

  73. Vonvon says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I just joined the thirties club last month, just a little your junior…have a wonderful birthday!

    Vonvon´s last blog post..Estee Lauder TIME ZONE Gift Set And Good Customer Service

  74. Happy Birthday Karen!

    That’s very reflective and mature of you to celebrate your 34th birthday in such a way. πŸ˜‰

    I’m turning 24 this December. As for now, I fell so like a 23. No bigie there. =)

    HaNNa_HuLLaBaLoo´s last blog post..Announcement- regarding pictures on HaNNaHuLLaBaLoo.blogspot.com

  75. lexi says:

    Hey girl Happy birfday!

    I turn 35 in September and I am hoping to have a big coed party since i usually celebrate quietly with the girls over brunch or dinner. Three years ago I did Vegas with my girls, then the next year I went back with my then bf who is now my hubby. I think it’s a combination of being a mom and getting older I have become more reflective.

    I am thankful to be alive
    I have more to live for
    I have let go of (some) selfishness – I can’t lie I still makeup shop like no tomorrow but now I have to limit myself since I now have to buy diapers and formula…
    You think you don’t have anytime now – wait till you’re a mommy!

    Also, I love being in my 30’s! I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s if you asked me to. I do miss being a size 6 like I was 10yrs ago at age 24 =(

    Oh well at least I dropped my baby weight and I’ll make my weight goal by my 35th bday party…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lexi,

      Gah, I miss being a size 2 from ten years ago — those days are sooooo over.

      That’s great that you dropped your baby weight in time for your party! Did you do a combo of diet and exercise?

  76. iceempress says:

    happy birthday karen! i love your mom and how she celebrates the day you met. love that. now i see where you got your wit from. i only wish you more success and more blogging adventures and more kitty cat hugs and just a lovely lovely year. rock on!

  77. Kewal says:

    A very very happy birthday, Karen! Wishing you all the best and keep up the grand blog – I absolutely love it!

  78. Kewal says:

    Oh Karen I love what your mum said about that being the day you both met… It’s simply so beautiful and heart-tugging. I don’t know u personally but from what I’ve been reading on your blog you come across as a really lovely person.

  79. Caitlin says:

    As your birthday evening winds down, I want to wish you a very happy birthday! I’ll be turning 20 this year! Got 2 decades under my belt, hopefully I’m good for quite a few more. Again, I hope you had a great day, and have an even better joint party with your brother!

  80. Alison says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I hope you’ve had a lovely day!

    I turn 27 this year which is kinda scary!
    We all have a lot to be thankful for, I just hadn’t really thought about it till I read your blog today. When I think about all the good things in my life it puts the bad ones into perspective. What I have overcome already far outweighs any of the issues I have now, none of them are as serious as what I’ve overcome.

    Thank you and again have a wonderful birthday and I wish you lot’s of success and happiness for the future πŸ™‚

  81. Ali says:

    happy birthday karen! i hope you had a great day!

  82. Alexzandra says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! Your mom is too funny:) I don’t know if I have any big things that I would like to do for my birthday. I have big things that I would like to do, but they don’t have to be done for my birthday. Generally, so long as I have cake and champagne I’m happy as a clam.

    Alexzandra´s last blog post..Nars Loves S.F. Event Photos

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alexzandra,

      Cake is *always* a good thing. What’s your favorite flavor? Mine is usually chocolate, but a fluffy cake with some sort of fruit involved is always good, too.

  83. Kristine says:

    Happy birthday! I’m turning 22 in a week myself πŸ™‚

  84. Karen B says:

    Happy birthday dear!! Hope you had a wonderful day. I’d bring you pie if Belgium was a little closer to the bay….

    I’m turning 22 in November. It’s still so weird for me being a twentysomething. I still feel so young at times.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen B.,

      And I would gladly gobble up that pie (after slicing you a piece, of course, and handing you a cup of coffee)! πŸ™‚

      You know, that feeling of being young doesn’t go away. I still feel like a kid most of the time even though I’m technically an “adult”.

  85. Rosie says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! Wow 34~ I’ll be 43 this year. My birthday is usually spent chilling. I am so busy every other day, I like to do NOTHING on my birthday.. and I love it πŸ™‚

  86. Baby Girl says:

    Happy Birthday! I turned 35 earlier this year and it snowed and rained on my birthday. I think next year I’m heading to an island for some sun.

  87. LayLa says:

    aaww!! why didnt i read this yesterday?
    maybe because of work….

    TODAY!! i turn 23, and for today,
    i just want a no-fuss, no drama
    normal day, i like being hugged
    and having people giving me bleesing
    that’s what i really like about birthdays,
    presents not too much they always give me
    something i’ll never use..

    Happy Late-Birthday Karen!!!!

  88. Azucar says:

    Happy Belated Birthday!!! I am so glad I took the time to read this blog. What your mother said about the day you were born is SO SWEET & true. πŸ™‚ I can relate to seeing the face of someone from high school in an obituary and I pray the same comfort for you as I have gotten over the past few years. It’s hard, but like you said, everyday is a *~present*~

  89. Sonja says:


    Happy Birthday!
    I turned 22 in April, and what do I want? Really, I have no idea. My parents healthy and maybe to figure out my path in life. But mostly health for my friends and family, because when that’s missing everything else isn’t worth a thing.

  90. Bisbee says:

    Happy Birthday Karen- you are my older son’s age (I could be your mother!).

    I just turned 58 last month – the number is incredible, but I feel good (and look pretty good). When I’m out with my 4 year old granddaughter, enough people have called her my daughter to be encouraging! I always correct them!

    I love what your mother said about your birthday being important – and it is also unfortunately true about her not always being there to celebrate with you – but hopefully you won’t have to face that for many, many years to come. I lost my mother when I was 42 – I’d love to have her with me, especially now that I’m a grandmother!

    Just remember to enjoy each day as it comes, and you’ll be great!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bisbee,

      Thank you for this lovely birthday note. You made me smile. πŸ™‚

      Oh, and I love that there are so many women of different age here on MBB! I feel like I’ve found a group of friends now who I can always ask questions and advice from! πŸ™‚

  91. Elle says:

    i’m turning 21 this year wooot wooot lol finally a big girl now… i might go gamble for the heck of it, on second thought nahhsss i want to relax after all the schooling and working i’m going thru now… a relaxing day isn’t so much to ask for x]

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elle,

      How exciting! Where do you think you might go to gamble? Vegas? I am a slots girl myself. I *love* the Wheel of Fortune slots, LOL!

  92. Louise Gray says:

    Belated Happy Birthday!!
    I remember when I was just 30 and my mom and I were shopping for clothes for me. I was looking at some items and my mom did not like them and said, “That’s not for you. You’re not young anymore.” Now almost 26 years later, I am still young—at heart, that is. After all, what is youth? I have a few sags and bags, here and there. If I was like Dear Dolly Parton, whom I love to death because she speaks her mind, I would have a nip and tuck. hahahaha. I eat (and drink-LOL!) well and try to look good with Karl L.’s help. Other than that-too bad. I’m not into that sexy/romantic thing anymore. Some of my dreams have been busted. But I have a lot of fight in me yet. I am on a journey, just like you. I think of younger people as grape juice or grape kool-aid. It tastes and looks good but there is no depth that living life gives you. Instead age makes you into a fine wine if you are nice inside as you are. Otherwise, the grape juice turns into vinegar and we all know some people who are sour in that manner. At any rate enough of the age talk. I hope you enjoyed your birthday. Did you have a cake like the one in the picture and how about a glass of the bubbly??
    Dear Hubby’s mom says that she wishes that people could experience life backwards by starting out as an old person and then turning young. Hmmph? I’ll have to think on that one. Hugs to you. Louise

    • Karen says:

      Hi Louise Gray,

      You always bring a smile to my face (btw, I loves me some Dolly, too).

      Thank you for this birthday note — yes, I had a huge slice of chocolate fudge cake! No bubbly, though, because it was a school night.

      I thought you had beef with Karl? Are you two back together again?

  93. gio says:

    Happy birthday Karen! I hope you had a fantastic day!

    gio´s last blog post..What ingredients are comedogenic?

  94. Nicole! says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Karen! I hope you had an awesome day!

    I turned 27 this year in January and I was SUPER emo about it. I know it’s no biggy, but I guess it was just all the self-reflecting I decided to do. What accomplishments I made and which ones I haven’t made. It was overwhelming! Looking back on it I wish I just partied it up. I’ve got three more years in my twenties to enjoy =)

    Besides isn’t your thirties the new twenties? =D

    Nicole!´s last blog post..Peace out bitches!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicole,

      That’s what I hear, LOL! πŸ™‚

      I get emo about my bday too — then I talk to my mom, and she says stuff like, “Just wait till you turn 60!”

  95. Marta says:

    I turned 37 in May .
    I am happy with my age .
    Once again Happy Birthday.

  96. Chris says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!
    I wish you a year filled with good health, good fortune and great lipgloss! Chris

  97. Amber says:

    I turned 30 this year (ugh, it still hurts to say that!) but I’ve decided that the 30’s are going to kick ass and actually be better than my 20’s. It’s great to feel more confident, make things happen in life, and enjoy things with a new appreciation.

    Hope you have a great birthday!

  98. wendy says:

    Happy Birthday dear Karen, Im also 34 πŸ™‚
    Hopefully you have a lovly day!


  99. mishel says:

    i hope u had an awesome bday karen! and got all the lovely goodies u wished for =)

  100. Meream says:

    Happy birthday! What your mom said was cute. πŸ˜€

    This year, I turned 26. I resigned from my job, which was something I’ve been thinking on doing for a long time. πŸ™‚

  101. Happy Birthday!!! (sorry it’s a day late).

    I am also 34 and it feels good! So what are a few gray hairs compared to wisdom and being more comfy in my own skin!

    And finding a hubby that loves me and my gray hairs!

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories, esp re: your High School friend. Such a touching reminder that life is precious!

    Thank you! Happy B-day week!

    Mrs. Schwartz´s last blog post..Relay for Life Scarf – Space Invaders!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mrs. Schwartz,

      So true! That’s what hair dye is for, right? LOL! Speaking of, I need to schedule a time for a root touch up soon, oops!

      Have a wonderful week. πŸ™‚

  102. Lorena says:

    happy birthday Karen!

    I hope you had a great time. This post was beautiful. I remember last november when I turned 30 I felt so depressed, because at that age I should`ve done a lot of things, a lot of traveling and as you said I barely have time to clean my bathroom. I heard this song that got me through that moment, is from John Mayer and is called “stop this train”. It really helped me.

    Also your blog has help me a lot, with all your beauty tips, advices and with all the things that you share with your readers you made me accept myself as unique but beautiful. I learned with your blog that no matter what people think you are beautiful just for being you.

    Thanks for all. Greetings from México


    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorena,

      Music helps me when I’m going through a crisis, too. Waaay back when John Mayer wasn’t so big his first single, No Such Thing got me through my quarter life crisis. πŸ™‚

      I hope that you’ll be able to keep making headway on your dreams! If you keep doing it, I will, too.

  103. Amanda says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! Sorry I’m a day long, but I hope you had a wonderful day. I will be 33 on the next bday. It is still half a year away so I don’t really has a wish list yet. πŸ™‚

  104. sunmom says:

    when i was 20, i gave birth to a son who died after a month and 5 days and realized that anything can happen and people will just come and go so we must really seize every day…now i’m 24 turning 25 this december, i have a 1 1/2 year old daughetr and a good family…i can never be too scared about not having them or myself around, so i make sure everyone feels loved in any small way…anyway, too much drama! happy birthday karen!

    btw, were you born and raised in the US or here in the Philippines?

    sunmom´s last blog post..Contest Time: Do You Like Your Partner Hairy or Smooth

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sunmom,

      I am sorry to hear about your son. I hope that it’s become easier for your to deal with the loss… I can imagine it can’t be easy.

      I was born in the Phil. but came to the US when I was a baby. I don’t remember much of the time I lived there. I went back once in 2000; while it was fun I spent a lot of time eating at relatives houses and hanging out in the air conditioned malls. πŸ™‚

  105. elinabelle says:

    Happy Birthday Fellow Gemini! I turned 39 on Monday! Hope you had a great celebration! Thanks for sharing all your fun tops and wisdom. I’ve enjoyed your site very much!

  106. Crystal says:

    Happy birthday Karen! I’m a fellow beauty blogger (Beauty or Bust) and fan. I saw you at the Nars Nordstrom event, but didn’t have an opportunity to say hello.

    Hope this year brings lots of happiness!


    Crystal´s last blog post..Meeting with a Makeup Master

  107. Tali says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you have an amazing day and I love what you wrote!!

    Tali´s last blog post..Another Illamasqua Haul!

  108. Daya says:

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday! I turned 30 in March. It was very low-key (dinner with the family). I always thought there would be a big blowout in Vegas, but no πŸ˜†

    Your mom is very sweet! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daya,

      Happy belated 30th! πŸ™‚

      I ended up doing dinner with friends and family on my 30th too… it was at a Filipino restaurant with a drag show/karaoke bar, LOL! Yah, kinda weird, but so my style.

  109. Kristin says:

    Thanks for that post. It was just what I needed to read today πŸ™‚

  110. Kerry says:

    Happy Belated Karen !!!

    I hope you had a great day and the year will be filled with love and blessings. I turn 36 this year and God willing I hope this day finds me at disney world πŸ™‚

    one love

    Thanks for sharing and for always keeping it real!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kerry,

      You totally made me smile. I am a sucker for all things Disney and to spend a birthday at Disneyland would be a dream come true! I hope you make it there in time for your 36th! πŸ™‚

  111. Stef says:

    I turn 34 tomorrow!!! Gemini’s rule! I had a lot of trouble realizing that I’m going to be 34. It seems like a “grown up” age, and I don’t feel grown up. I didn’t know what to do with myself or my life, I didn’t know what my legacy would be because I don’t work, I stay at home with my children. I wanted passion in my life. Then I realized that BEING home with my children is my passion, being their Mom, being my husband’s wife and partner, is my passion. That it is enough for me, that I might not be winning Oscar’s or going to the moon, I know that to two little girls, I am the best parent in the world! I look forward to being 34!!!

  112. Lehea says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I turned 28 in January. I spent my birthday weekend in Vegas with some of my girls and it’s topped any party I’ve thrown. We had tons of fun. They told me I should go to Hawaii next year and take them with me. Haha!

  113. ritadebora says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!!!!
    This year I’m turning 34, just like you. I don’t think about doing anything. I used to like living and thought I was truly happy until my brother passed away in January 2007 with only 21 years old from an airplane accident. Now I don’t care more about birthdays (or anything for that matter). For me, I like to think I’m stuck forever on my 25 years old. That’s the age I will have for the rest of my life and I hope that it isn’t a long one.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ritadebora,

      I am so sorry to hear about your brother’s passing. It sounds like it has been difficult to cope with; I can’t even imagine the pain you must feel. I sincerely hope that each day for you gets better…

  114. Solé says:

    I turned 32 in April and I love where I am in my life. My 20s were full of turmoil but I grew a lot and now I feel like I have the chance to do all the things I couldn’t do before because of unfortunate circumstances that I had put myself in.

    This post was really insightful. I don’t know that I can add much after 207 comments, but I hope you had a happy birthday. When I turned 30 I wrote a blog about 30 being the new 20. It was sort of tongue-in-cheek, but my point was that times have changed and now in our 30s, we look better than the previous generation did at our age. There was a time when 30-something was considered middle-aged! I still feel like a teenager a lot of the time. I look as good (if not better) than I did in my 20s but now I have the maturity and life experience to be able to really live my life and enjoy myself that I did not have back then.

    Viva 34! Your mom sounds like an angel, by the way. You are lucky.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sole,

      Happy belated birthday to you!

      Remember the show Thirty Something from the 80s? Now the experience of being a 30-something is soooo different from what was portrayed in that show. Things have certainly changed… it really is the new 20!

      Anyway, it sounds like you are at a really good place in your life. I’m very happy for you. πŸ™‚

  115. Marcela says:

    Hi Karen! Happy -late- Birthday! Yesterday I wasn’t able to go online so I missed out on sending you well wishes… I hope you had a great day and that many more lovely days go your way. 34 is young, rock your age! You don’t even look it! What’s important isn’t the packaging, but the product within…I’d compare you to a MAC Veluxe Pearl eyeshadow any day! LOL All the best!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marcela,

      LOL, I don’t mind being a Veluxe Pearl. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the birthday wishes! I hope yours is a good one this year, too!

  116. Marina says:

    thank you, Karen!:)
    nice to see that you got so many comments on your BDay!

    Marina´s last blog post..Fall 2009 Makeup Collections: More Information about Chanel, Guerlain, Lancome, Shiseido and Estee Lauder

  117. Sarah says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!

    Wow, this was a very touching blog. I loved how your mother said it is a special day because it was when you two first met.
    That is sad news about your highschool friend that passed away so young. Life is so precious.
    I already turned 29 this year and it is frightening because I am not where I want to be in life. But, I’m over all happy and would love to visit Greece sometime.

    xoxox sarah

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah,

      I hear you. I think a lot of people worry about wanting to be at a certain place… I go through that often, too.

      Where would you like to go in Greece? I want to visit Santorini!

  118. penelope says:

    im turning 15 this year…and i just want to enjoy myself

    happy birthday!!!!

  119. Sarah V says:

    Happy Birthday…yesterday! I hope you had a great one!

  120. Lauren Alyssa says:

    I’m turning 22 this year. I want to have a big party or night out in San Francisco, then get breakfast the next day and explore the city =)

    I had a quarter-life crisis last year, so I’ve thought a lot about what I want to accomplish in my life. I want to travel extensively, so I’m hoping that I can set aside a week or so of vacation every year to see a new country or US city. Maybe I can even find a job that will allow me to travel a lot. We’ll see how it goes =)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lauren Alyssa,

      I think that’s great that you’re thinking now about the kind of life you want to lead and the things you’d like to accomplish. Another thing you could do is perhaps do a freelance type of job that would allow you to work remotely from anywhere! πŸ™‚ You could do a lot of traveling that way, too.

  121. Aisha says:

    Wow, took me a long time to scroll through all the comments!

    My birthday (37 or 38, I lost count :P) comes up in Sept and my anniversary in a few days so I have those to look forward to. Since I was in young I have never liked my birthday. But rather than take stock and think “Gosh, I haven’t reached so many goals” why not think “wow, look at how far I’ve come.” Cheesy but true!

    Thank you very much for your post. What a nice burst of positive energy! πŸ™‚

  122. Sakura says:

    Happy Birthday! Your blog is so inspiring! (What a cute kitty picture.)It has been rough for me lately working towards a more stable career. Major changes are in store for me. This year I will be 32! I don’t have big birthday plans. Maybe go to a spa for a massage?
    Thanks for all your blogs!

  123. Anne Marie B says:

    I already had my b-day this year, and I turned 42. It was a sad birthday because my husband is in Iraq, missed him terribly. But it served as a reminder that every day you have with someone is truly a gift.

  124. Nadrah says:

    happy belated birthday karen! i really enjoyed this post, and your mom’s comment πŸ™‚

  125. Aleia says:

    Happy Birthday!! Enjoy

  126. Marisol says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Karen! I hope you had a great one.

    I had my birthday on Sunday (6/7) and turned 30. Yup, officially in the dirty 30 club as I have been told. I am actually ok with it. Not panicking like I did when I turned 26 which is so random. I had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and it made me realize how lucky I am to have so many great people around me.

    What did you end up doing?
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… I’m officially part of the Dirty Thirty =-.

  127. Alexandra says:

    Happy belated birthday Karen. Im finally catching up on all the blog posts that happened while i was moving.

    I will be turning 34 in september,and normally have a meal out with my mum her partner and my son πŸ™‚
    It would be nice to spend with my little sister too,as its her birthday that day too. We are exactly 2 years to day apart.

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