9 Things That Made a Difference

Published in: Just For Fun

It never hurts to take stock of the things that’ve made a difference and influenced your life in positive ways. Here’s my list, in no particular order. Can’t wait to read yours. :)

(Oh, and because this is MBB, feel free to mix in both beauty related and non-beauty related things!)

9 Things That Made a Difference

1. More sleep

When I was in high school and college, I would pride myself on being able to whirl through my days on five or six hours of sleep, but when I hit my mid-20s, and it happened almost suddenly in fact, I started waking up cranky and feeling groggy all the time.

I figured out the problem after I went to bed early one night, hours before my usual bedtime. The next morning I felt like a new girl, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I could have been a superhero with all of the energy coursing through my veins.

Crap! I’d been sleep deprived for almost a decade.

My sweet spot seems to be about eight hours of sleep, and when I’m able to get it, not only do I mentally and physically function better, but I see the difference in the mirror. My dark circles look less dark and scary, and I don’t break out as much.

Now, every so often, I go through bouts of insomnia (so annoying), but I really try to get as much sleep as I can. Going to bed early at least once a week helps.

2. Getting a pet

Rather, allowing myself to be adopted by a cat. :) Tabs turned out to be one of the happiest accidents of my adult life. I always had pets growing up, but when I left home for college and moved in with roommates, furry companions weren’t allowed. And then five years ago Tabs entered my life hired me as his assistant, and now I laugh and love so much more with him in my life. ‘Nuff said.

3. Exercising regularly

I wasn’t athletic as a kid and barely ever exercised through high school and early college. Then, during my junior year, while I was going through a bad breakup, a friend invited me to her kickboxing class. I was filled with anger at the time, and when she said, “You can beat the living crap out of a heavy bag,” I said, “When do we leave?”

It was a great emotional release. Needless to say, I started going on a regular basis and soon added jogging, and then a membership to a gym. Within a few months, I was over the breakup, sleeping better at night and was a full dress size smaller.

Over the years, I’ve gone through phases where I haven’t exercised at all, but I always feel better when I resume. Nowadays, I mostly exercise on a treadmill, which I try to do at least four times a week.

4. Taking risks

Some things aren’t worth the risk, but other things are. Six years ago (gosh, has it been that long?), I left a steady corporate job in the legal field (I was a legal assistant) to make a run at writing full time.

I wrestled with the decision for years. I didn’t want to make a horrible mistake, and the corporate job was secure. I knew I’d miss the pay (damn those golden handcuffs), but I was also very unhappy and totally uninspired. I felt that if I stayed there for purely financial reasons, I’d grow more and more bitter over time.

So I resigned (scary!). First, I landed a gig working at a literary agency, where I started freelancing for magazines on the side.

Looking back now, I only wish I’d done it sooner. Taking that leap was one of the best decisions of my life because it led to Makeup and Beauty Blog, and it introduced me to you. :)

5. Learning to love my hair

It took some growing up and several bad haircuts, but now I love my wavy hair. It’s part of my identity, and now I can’t imagine NOT being a curly girl.

6. Eyebrows!

Gurl, it’s amazing what a little tweezing can do (and filling)! You can’t beat a pair of well-groomed brows. I definitely feel more polished and put together when mine are in good shape.

7. Discovering the Shu Uemura Lash Curler

Remember how I freaked out a few months ago when I lost my Shu Uemura lash curler? I was crushed! I’m sure I could manage without it, but I hope I never have to. It’s been one of those life-changing beauty products for me. Curled lashes appear to open up my eyes, and I swear they even make me feel less tired, which is great because I could use all the help I can get. The Shu always delivers a perfect curl without pinching.

8. Not sweating the small stuff

If left to my own devices, I’d focus like a laser beam on every little irritant. I admire gals who don’t let the little things get under their skin because it’s something I’ve had to work on most of my life.

I learned a great trick from a good friend of mine years ago that I turn to a lot. Whenever something gets to me, I ask myself, “Will this still bother me in a month?” To be honest, sometimes I have to push that out to a year, LOL! But it usually works.

9. Last, but certainly not least, finding El Hub

Meeting and marrying a supportive and loving partner has been the icing on the cake. He’s cute, funny as all hell and understands my weird sense of humor. I wish I had some kick-ass dating advice, but I don’t. I would just say that when you meet someone who lifts you up when you’re down and truly laughs at your jokes — even the lame ones! — hold on, and don’t let go.

What are some of the things that have made a difference in your life? Please share in the comments. Also, you don’t have to list nine things. Nine is just my lucky number. :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

119 Comments

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  1. Vijaya says:

    I like number 6, but for me, personally, I’d say the opposite. I don’t do my brows: when I finally learned that I shouldn’t HAVE to feel like I HAVE to change them, it made a huge difference. I like my heavy eyebrows.
    Vijaya recently posted … MAC Lipstick in Summer Shower and MAC Fashionflower Lip Product Swatches

  2. Kat says:

    Honey, number 9 just made my day. Did I not mention that I am a die-hard hopeless romantic? <3

  3. i’m with you on loving your hair! embracing my natural waves has, oddly enough, made me more confident. also, playing around with makeup more (thanks to blogging) meant i had to look at myself more and it made me realize that all the little things you nitpick about yourself aren’t really that bad!

    and being more positive has done wonders! having a positive attitude really affects everything in your life.

    p.s.
    #9 made me awww! <3
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Call It Beautys Favourites From The 2011 Met Gala!

  4. Becky says:

    By far, my children are the most positive thing to ever happen to me. You realize that family is what comes first and to see things through your children’s eyes is beyond amazing!!! :)

    Also, I totally agree with the whole eyebrow situation…totally makes me feel 100% better when they are lookin’ good!

  5. I like the “will this still bother me in a month” – good advice, I’ll try to remember that one! :)
    Gotham Polish recently posted … Forever 21 Times Square- like the website- but real

    • Karen says:

      It’s such a great trick! It’s saved me MANY TIMES. I have my friend Mark to thank for — he’s, like, the most zen guy I know!

  6. Littlegminor says:

    I just popped in to say that I love this post and I love your positive energy! I still struggle with sweating ALL the stuff (big and small) and risk-taking, so it’s nice to hear that it isn’t necessarily a life sentence. It’s been a very stressful day but now I’m feeling inspired and a bit more optimistic. Thanks!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Learning to embrace the now. I can’t change my past or predict the future. When I’m down and worried I repeat what my mom tells me. ” borrowing trouble gets you nowhere”

  8. Liz! says:

    I love this post, and am definitely feeling the positivity today! And I’m always down for counting my blessings. Some of mine are:

    -stop freaking out about my acne. Part of this is was just growing into my adult self and getting comfortable with who I am. I can try new skin care products, and if they break me out they break me out, if not great. Nobody who loves me cares that I have a couple zits, and it probably looks way worse to me than anyone else would notice.
    -adopting my puppy love! He brings so much joy into my life.
    -leaving my social work job when I did. 2 years was just enough time there for me to learn a ton, and get burnt out enough to push myself to make a huge life change without being so burnt out that I got permanently scarred or bitter.
    -meeting and marrying my husband. He is supportive, funny, cute and just plain wonderful. I’m grateful for him every day.

  9. Ashley says:

    This is such a beautiful, uplifting post! Thank you so much for writing this. I feel more empowered to make positive changes in my life. :)

  10. Tiffany says:

    My husband, my baby, and my pup have all made huge positive impacts on my life. Also, letting things go and not dwelling on the past – something I still struggle with. And self-tanner and bronzer on the beauty side of things :)

    • Karen says:

      Bronzer = a whole new world!

      How are you doing? :) And how is the babe?

      • Tiffany says:

        We are getting by! I’m told it gets easier :)

        She is good; the dr thinks she might have acid reflux so we are hoping her treatment will work soon!

        • Kim says:

          Hang in there, Tiffany. It definitely does. You won’t even remember these times in a couple of years. When friends told me that, I thought they were nuts and asked if my brain would fall out (which, I thought, would be the only way I’d forget those days!). Truthfully, your brain will fall out a little but all the sleeplessness, the impatience and the frustration just fades away with time. That’s why so many people do it all over again! :)

          • Tiffany says:

            Thanks for your kind words, Kim! I’m also feeling all this guilt. Like I should be enjoying this time while she’s still so tiny, but instead I’m just trying to get through the day!

          • Kim says:

            Don’t worry, Tiffany, everyone feels the guilt. Someone should write a book about all this so new moms have the head’s up and don’t feel like they’re alone. We all feel like everyone else is a better mom and we’re failing our kids (at least all of my friends and I felt this way). Every age has its joys and challenges but you’ll be able to enjoy the later ones more, when you can finally get some sleep! Honestly, all new moms struggle and the constant crying (whether it’s colic or reflux or something else) would frazzle the nerves of even Mother Theresa. Every day is going to get better. :)

  11. Ruchita says:

    What a great post! The picture of you and El Hub is beautiful!

    1. Pets are definitely a positive thing for me as well. I never had any pets growing up and didn’t plan on having pets until a cute tabby cat showed up in my garage. Soon after, we took in another stray kitty from some friends. I had no idea how quickly I would fall in love with these two furballs.

    2. Just recently, I’ve found my HG foundation! After years of mixing colors with drugstore brands, I finally found my match with MUFE.

    3. I have also re-discovered the wonders of threading. It used to take me forever to tweeze my brows, but not any more!

    4. Family. I’m lucky that I have supportive parents and even my husband’s side is great. I’m blessed to have a lot of great people in my life.

    Thanks for bringing the positive energy. :-) Sometimes it’s easy to get down with trying to get through the daily grind.

    • Karen says:

      Congrats on finding your HG foundation! That is a BIG DEAL! Which one of the MUFE’s is it?

      And yay, it’s all about the cute stray tabbies!

      • Ruchita says:

        It’s the MUFE HD Invisible Cover Foundation. The Mat Velvet is a close second, but the color match with the HD is great!

  12. Katie Coleman says:

    My kid, my cats, my crazy life….and the hubz is a pretty good addition lol :0)

  13. larie says:

    Great post :) I’m with you on the exercising thing – I never played sports as a kid (I don’t really like competitive things…) but in my late teens/early twenties, I started running, rock climbing, kick boxing, and I really think it makes all the difference in keeping me motivated and energetic.
    larie recently posted … Getting Ready for Summer- Tarte Smooth Operator

  14. Fantastic Post Karen! Number 9 is my fave….since I am almost at my 1 year wedding anniversary I can say that being married has been so wonderful and it’s great having a soulmate to share everything with.
    Kajal Couture recently posted … April Favorites

  15. Brandy says:

    The one thing that has made a difference in my life was making the choice to be childfree. It’s not a choice that has garnered understanding or acceptance from an alarming number of the people around me (I’ve been roundly judged and criticized by many people), but it’s opened up my life in directions I never thought possible. I am currently pursuing my dreams of working in global education and the education of girls while traveling the world. Contrary to what some people have felt the need to tell me, you can be a positive force on this planet even if you decide not to populate it. :)

    • Karen says:

      Chase those dreams, Brandy! :)

    • Kim says:

      Good for you, Brandy! The next time someone judges you for not having kids, ask them why THEY decided to have them. Was it to make the world a better place? What positive impact on the world did they envision? Having kids is often a more selfish decision than not (and there are plenty of abused, neglected and abandoned children to prove it).

    • lexi says:

      *big round of applause to you!* I totally agree. I’m childfree by choice, and plan to stay that way. I love my dog, and plan to always have them with me.
      if you are a pet person, you might enjoy this – I love to share it with people:
      (the last portion about pets being better than kids):
      http://funpics.classicfun.ws/index.php/Funpics/To-all-non-pet-owners

  16. Jenny says:

    Your post was very inspiring! Sometimes people are so busy that they forget what they are grateful for.

  17. Casey says:

    Cheers to that list! What a great post! Thank you so much.

  18. Plouffy says:

    I’ve just discovered your blog and i really love it ! it helps me when i feel tired, or when I want to buy a new lipstick. On your lips, all colors look so nice ! (sorry for the mistakes, I’m French).

  19. Allie says:

    Aww seeing your list made me so happy! You are so lucky you have Tabs…I’ve always wanted a pet but my mom was allergic and hated animals anyway and now I’m in school so I barely have money to take care of myself. One day…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Allie,

      One day, a special pet will come and adopt you! Just wait. :)

      • Lily says:

        Awww, such sweet words! Me, I’m not into having a pet, but I like the idea that a special pet will come and adopt those who want one. :)

  20. jobe says:

    Mine has def been letting go of my expectations of how it is going to go… Just letting it be what it is.

    Man, I miss getting my eyebrows waxed so much. I have found that I am a Terrible plucker. Relied too much on the wonderful woman who waxed mine in my last city :). I did not know how wonderful she was until I moved.
    jobe recently posted … Instead of writing today I marveled

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jobe,

      That’s great advice. I’ve had to learn that one, too.

      As for the eyebrow situation, I’ve had the same thing happen to me, but with hairstylists. It’s really hard to move to a new city and find good people who you like and trust with beauty services. Maybe ask one of your buddies for some recs?

  21. lauretta says:

    #9 was adorable :) Also #2! My dog brings me so much joy and I love her soso much.
    What has made a difference in my life is being aware of myself and constantly trying to be better overall!

  22. Melody says:

    This is a truly inspiring post! It even made me tear up a bit at the end. Love you so much for not only blogging about beauty but the most important things in life other than beauty as well.

  23. lo says:

    I love all of these! Except the lash curler… ALL of them pinch my lids :( But I especially love #9… I can’t wait to find my person :) For me, a smile, lots of water, and good posture make a world of difference. Also, bright lipstick. When a guy at Starbucks stopped to compliment me on my lipstick, I knew I found the right shade.

  24. Bernice says:

    I really really love this post! <3

  25. Gina says:

    Everything about this post was beautiful, Karen. So beautiful in fact, that that last picture of you with El Hub made me so emotional, I shed a tear!

  26. Amber says:

    Aww, LOVE this post! I’m especially with you on 2, 5, and 9. I hope to find out one day soon about 1 and 4. :)
    Amber recently posted … Weekend snaps- crawfish boil!

  27. Amista says:

    Really beautiful post Karen!! Especially about your husband! My husband is the love of my life and sometimes you just doubt that you’ll ever find anyone like that.. until… YOU DO!. Our marriage and our daughter are the best things that have ever happened to us.

    You’re the best blogger i know, seriously. No other blogs i read even remotely compare to yours! Thanks so much for everything you do :)
    Amista recently posted … Sonia Kashuk Spring Awakening Palette

  28. Sonya says:

    I love this post. It made me feel good.

  29. Denise says:

    I too loved this post and I agree with all of these things except the eyelash curler. My lashes are curly enough just wish they were longer! Thanks for sharing!

  30. ValbonaPro says:

    We love you Karen!!!

  31. Charisse says:

    I love this post! As someone wise once said: don’t sweat the petty. pet the sweaty!

    But in all seriousness, reading “Who Moved My Cheese” has changed my life. I’ve become more positive and prepared for anything (good or bad). :)

  32. Megan says:

    Oh my, Karen, you just made my day. And it’s been a great day: shopping for summer clothes after two years of pregnant/post-pregnant body and fitting into my “old” size, getting an amazing kale and kalamata olive salad for lunch, and being ridiculously productive. I love to hear all the gratefulness! Your wedding picture is a perfect shot of love and contentment.

    And here are mine, in no real order:

    1) My baby boy. Rick and I were trying hard NOT to have a baby when Tommy happened. I fought pregnancy the whole way. I was studying for the LSAT, volunteering at a cat shelter 4 days a week, and finally happy with how I looked. I hated every minute (no lie) of pregnancy, but my, when Tommy got here on Christmas morning of 2009…he was what mattered. He laughs, sleeps, and makes me smile in the morning. Not even my cat can do that.

    2) My Pepper cat. I never had pets growing up (well, fish. fish don’t count.), and I was determined to have a cat when I had my own place. Rick’s sister Ann was fostering a cat that had been a real jerk in the shelter: biting, scratching, hissing. She’s still a legend there. Under Ann’s care, Pepper had turned into a quiet, very shy girl. Ann asked me to cat-sit one weekend, and when I agreed, she told me, “Great, it’s a long weekend. I’ll drop Pepper off Tuesday night, and be back late Monday.” I gulped (Rick was living with me, and is NOT a cat person!), and set my bathroom up for a “safe room” for Pepper. We worried Pepper would freak out when she arrived; instead, she hopped out of her carrier, looked around, and climbed on my lap. She never left. She is my baby girl, my kitty best friend, is tolerated by Rick, and is outgoing, vocal, and sweet.

    3) Loving my short hair. I write this even as I am absolutely, majorly envious of your wavy, black, gorgeously-highlighted mane. Every time I’ve tried to grow my hair out, though, it’s just not flattering. There’s no way I could carry off what you have! I’ve had to get over feeling like less of a girl, but now I have my hair in a Michelle Williams-like pixie, and I am finally at peace with it!

    4) Seltzer water. Just because I drink a lot more if it’s fizzy! My skin is better, my hair is better, and I’m better. :)

    5) And for a beauty one…Anastasia brow powder and gel. I have beautifully shaped brows, but very little hair to fill them out. Anastasia products are my godsend. I may not even put foundation or concealer on, but if I have my brows filled, I feel amazing. I even fill them in to go play sand volleyball!

    To echo many on here: Karen, thanks for all you do. I don’t think you realize just how many people’s days you have brightened!

  33. Wendy says:

    Beautiful, positive post. Thank you for sharing your bliss. Glad you took a risk! Leaving my job and starting my own business was one of the best decisions I ever made.

  34. Ariel says:

    Great post! Here are my thoughts:
    - Traveling. After traveling the world by myself, I feel like I can handle any situation and figure things out on my own. But being on my own also made me appreciate my family and boyfriend even more.
    - Learning to follow my heart/instincts when it comes to just about everything– relationships, career, major life choices. They have not failed me yet. Even when I at first think I made the wrong choice, things usually work out for the better later on if I go with my gut.
    - Adopting a kitty two years ago. After the worst first semester of school and almost dropping out, having a fuzzy animal to cuddle with waiting for me at the end of the day gave me perspective to realize school was just one segment of my life.
    - “Going green.” This one is more recent, and I am always looking for ways to improve. It caused me to be more selective about what I buy so that I really love everything I have, and I am also saving money. As part of this project, I started shopping at consignment stores and my wardrobe has gotten a lot more fun. My house is cleaner, my diet is healthier– it has affected almost every aspect of my life.
    Ariel recently posted … Review- Hourglass Eyeshadow Duo in Gypsy

  35. Katie says:

    Almost dying changed my life. I guess being young you never think anything will happen to you and that you’re invincible and then you realize how delicate life really is but also how strong your body is at fighting injuries. It just makes me appreciate being here.

    • Helen Chris says:

      I love those 9 things you have provided us…For me, what I like most is sleep…I like sleeping…LOL

    • nayumigrante says:

      Thanks for the blog. All of them are true, but #9 definitely moved me. :) I hope to be just as beautiful on my wedding day..

  36. Heidi says:

    What a great thread! Here are my things that make a difference, in no particular order:

    1) Pets. Every pet I’ve ever had has brought such joy and unconditional love to my life.
    2) Making an effort to surround myself with positive people. It really impacts how I look at life now that I’ve made the (sometimes difficult) choice to distance myself from some of the negative people in my life.
    3) Believing in a higher power. Whatever anyone wants to call it, it comforts me to believe that there is a natural order to things and that everything will turn out the way it is meant to.
    4) Music. I have to have it playing ALL THE TIME! It really affects my mood and state of mind.
    5) Color. My mood is really influenced by the colors that are around me.

    and, finally….

    6) Never underestimate the power of a really amazing lip gloss!

  37. Denise says:

    Awesome post! I’m with you on the pets, we have five furbabies here at home :) And I’ll surely take your “Will this bother me in a month?” tip, although I think I can shorten it to “Will this bother me next week/tomorrow?” Number 9 makes me feel all mushy inside :) I believe I found my guy, and I’m not letting go :)
    Denise recently posted … Labor Day Swatches from the Majolica Majorca Haul

  38. Elle says:

    You are such an amazing writer. This post put a huge smile on my face. I love each thing you wrote on here, and I agree with all of them. :) Thanks Karen!

  39. Elle says:

    Oh, and one more thing to add – I think something that makes a difference is really finding terrific female friends (you don’t have to have a ton, I really only have three close girlfriends) – girls who are just there for you no matter what and can take you at your worst and your best. Girls who are honest without being cruel, sweet without kissing your ass, and who just get you. Every day I am grateful for having found some amazing women I am lucky to call my friends! :)

    Now I’m all mushy. Sorry :)

    • saby says:

      it’s ok honey, you are lovely. even if you have girlfriends, it’s important that you make your own decisions , and you don’t let anybody influence you !

  40. Brenda says:

    My husband and my 2 little girls …

  41. saby says:

    Karen this is such a beautiful post ! What really made a difference in my life was a very special man who helped me understand myself and men better, and made me so much more compassionate. he is not with me right now but he is always on my mind :-) I also think that following your God given instinct is the way to be ! Good luck everybody !

  42. Manuela says:

    Thank you for this post Karen! <3

    *hugs*

  43. Vicki says:

    It is so touching the way he is looking at you with pure love and devotion. Yes….. I’m talking about Tabs! I’m sure El Hub is too but you can’t see his face!

    Enjoyed reading this and everyone’s replies, very uplifting.

  44. DiBonD says:

    Painting, exercising (I agree with you, Karen!), and stopping regretting things in the past.

  45. Advah says:

    #9 made my day, and I needed this. Thanks :) Also, this is a gorgeous and very sweet picture!

  46. Maribeth says:

    Lovely topic and good discussion. I have to say meeting and marrying a great guy was #1 until I got my collie (just kidding). I LOVE my dog. He looks like Lassie (beautiful to behold) and is my calming force – coming home after work and hanging with him, seeing his little face full of love and our daily greeting where I hug and pet him for 5 minutes first thing after walking in the door. And I just found Dior Extase mascara this spring so my life is complete! Lol

  47. Lisa says:

    Lovely post. Really nice start to my day and a little inspiring to get my butt on the treadmill. We adopted a cat last year and she absolutely runs our family now. She is our princess and is spoiled rotten. But it was the best thing we ever did. She started out as a mangy, skinny thing and is now a plump, fluffy ball of white groomed hair. Our dog has even grown to love her…relunctantly. But awesome post. Have a great day!

  48. Nina says:

    what a lovely picture of you and El Hub, you look so awesome together.

    this is a great way to start my day, given just how icky this week has been so far. :)

    my 9 things -

    1. learning to break free and do my own thing.

    2. discovering the power of eyebrow powder/pencil.

    3. falling in love w/ the hubs – before him, i had no idea what love was.

    4. getting comfortable doing things on my own.

    5. rediscovering faith and meditation.

    6. reinforcing family and extended family ties.

    7. learning to curb my tongue (so difficult).

    8. trying to do a good deed a day.

    9. loving my furkids and embracing the fact that im childfree. :)

  49. Alka says:

    I have to admit I got all misty-eyed at #9 – the image epitomizes the promise of life-long love! I have been more than a bit emotional about love & marriage lately as my husband and I will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary next week. Thanks for sharing you ‘beautiful’ list!

  50. Kim says:

    What a nice way to get everyone to be thankful for their blessings. We’re so lucky to have found you, Karen! :) I would say playing sports since I was a kid, my friends, my husband, my kids. From a beauty standpoint, it would have to be embracing my hair, the power of eyebrow grooming and finding MBB!!

  51. Sheree-Ann says:

    My heart melted when I saw that picture with you and tabs. You can see love and appreciation (for his personal assistant) in his eyes. Such a handsome kitty. I grew up with cats as well, but my hubby is allregic. Sometimes I ponder swapping hubby for a furry feline :).

    I love you blog! Love, love, love it!!!!!!

  52. Sarah S. says:

    Thank goodness you got into writing, Karen! I don’t always agree with your reviews, but I always enjoy reading them. You have a gift and we thank you for sharing it with us!

  53. mishel says:

    hey karen,

    just wanted to say reading your list this morning lifted my spirits a bit. i’ve been down about work and unhappy with my body lately. reading your list made me realize i shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and do something i truly love (which i am working towards!). i might not comment on your blog everyday, but i am always checking back because your humour and posts are always amazing. keep up the good work!! <3

  54. Julianne says:

    This was such a great post! Very inspiring! :) I like them all but # 2 is best!

  55. Harshleen says:

    Great post Karen!! I loved the “not sweating the small stuff” tip…….will definitely try to implement it. And now you got me really interested in the Shu Umera lash curler :))

  56. victoria r. says:

    karen i absolutely love this post! it’s definitely a spirit lifter for me and makes me want to take stock of all the things that i’ve actually done RIGHT…. instead of focusing on when things went wrong. thanks for being you – and for helping all of us feel good with or without makeup! :) ur the bomb!

  57. Patty says:

    The photo of you and your other significant other (aka Tabs) is one of the sweetest I’ve seen of you and him. The love you have for each other pops right out at you. Nice.

  58. Mandy says:

    Thanks for this post. The one about you leaving the corporate world to go after what you really wanted really struck me. I’m stuck with those golden handcuffs too (salaries are nice, dependable, and offer SECURITY!) but my passion is not in this job, it’s elsewhere. Here’s to hoping to find the confidence I need to make a step in the direction right for me…

  59. Sarah Finnegan says:

    This is such a great post! It really made my day a bit brighter. THANKS!!

  60. C.Diff says:

    Tabby envy (as usual)!

    Thanks for the reassuring story about leaving the corporate world. I need to come up with the cojones to start easing my way out of my evil job. It has good pay and it’s incredibly hard to get fired as long as you’re not stealing, but we get treated craptacularly on a personal level and it’s sucking my will to live. I need to get some voice acting demos out the door, and how!

  61. sarah says:

    such a lovely post. this is my al time fav post!!!

  62. Trude says:

    YES to all of it. :) I’m fast approaching the big 3-0 and so many of these are my list too! Glad I’m not the only one. Thanks Karen – so glad you left that job!

  63. Kellie says:

    Karen-

    I just wanted to say that I loved this post! I have never commented before but have read your blog for about a year. I am also a crazy cat lady and love that you integrate Tabs into your blog! :) This was a beautiful post and you are a beautiful person. Thank you for brightening my day!

  64. Izzy says:

    I was just complaining about how much I hate my curly hair. I woke up with a fro this morning. I just can’t control it.

    -_-
    Izzy recently posted … Eyeko Mascara

  65. Jenn says:

    Thank you so much for this post, I loved it! I’ve been having a bad day (or even months, year…perhaps) and this was very inspiring and uplifting to read.

    I’m really going to have to try out your friend’s tip from #8. I have a VERY good memory when it comes down to some little things…so I might have to try pushing to a year (or longer :P) as well.

  66. nia says:

    love this post!

  67. babette says:

    Hi :) Have been reading your blog for only a couple of weeks, but I’m kinda loving it. Do you have any advice for too much volume, very thick wavy hair? Haircut, products, etc? I’m tired of blow drying.. but I can’t get my hair to work with me other wise. So.. pretty please, with a mac paint pot on top?

  68. Gloria says:

    I wish I have your courage to quit my boring ol’ lab job that I absolutely hate. I dislike most of my coworkers as coworkers, but like them as friends, and I hate the job. The pay isn’t wow, but it pays the bills. The job however, is horrendous to my health. I know I’m spiraling into depression and my hands/wrists are permanently injured because of the repetitive motions we perform at work.

    Every little thing sets me off now, from the way an irritating coworker talks and slaps his hand obnoxiously on the table, to how the machines beep and alarm. It’s beyond frustrating but I feel like I don’t have any other choice.

    Even though I am capable of doing so much aside from lab/science work, all potential employers seem to see me only as a lab rat. I can’t seem to get out of my work! What I’d love is to jump into beauty/cosmetics marketing/social media/PR. But alas, my supposedly prestigious degree and my background in science doesn’t seem to help much when it comes to getting a dream job. :(

    • jess says:

      It sounds like you are burnt out. Get out now before you blow! You deserve more then a job that does permanent physical damage and makes you feel depressed. You could always get into some science testing job for beauty companies to get your foot in the door & build relationships then wait for a PR or marketing job to open up. Or just try something completely different and interesting just to get out of that lab rat job til you can get a job you love. Even though the economy is recovering does not mean we need to be depressed miserable and fall into a downward spiral. Do something good for yourself, you deserve it.

  69. Anh says:

    I didn’t know you were a legal assistant! I am finishing up law school and I worked as a legal assistant in the year I applied. It was awful. You obviously made the right decision.
    Anh recently posted … the history major in me

  70. Stef Smith says:

    Becoming a Mother, best thing I ever did! I was afraid that I would lose my identity, that Stef would be replaced with this person called “mom.” When I had my first daughter, I realized that I was still Stef, I just had a kid! I love being Mama, it fills my heart with joy, but I can also still be me!

  71. Alice says:

    Awww, the pic at pt. 9 moved me! You have such a blissful expression in it! I hope to be just as luminous on my weeding :D

    I should learn too to love my curls, to let go of little irritating things, and I should buy a Shu Uemura lash curler!!!

  72. Jackers says:

    What a great list. :) Thanks for posting this, they were all awesome reminders about how I should be living each day. Also, great advice given in #1; I totally agree.

  73. jess says:

    I loved this post. I feel like it all rings true. Exercise, sleep, grooming..taking care of ourselves is key to feeling good and having more “bushy tailed days.” I really like taking risks because so few people do it these days. You have to risk to gain or you will be forever stuck in the status quo. I’m about to get married in 4 months (found my #9 6 years ago yay!) and applying to grad school. Both are a little scary but really good too! Sometimes it scary to make adult decisions and realize I am growing up more and more each day but it feels good to do good things for myself and have the freedom to choose.

  74. Tori says:

    Awwww that picture of you at the end is beautiful! :3

  75. Phyrra says:

    Getting Phaedra has made a huge difference in my life. I have anxiety issues and some other annoying health problems. She’s helped my anxiety tremendously and lowered my stress levels.

    Your image of you and Tabs is adorable, as is the one of you and your hubs :)
    Phyrra recently posted … Lorac on Hautelook!

  76. Christin says:

    Hi Karen~ I’ve been following your blog for a loong time but i think this is the first time commenting! I recently quit my job that I hated and I am scared, but reading that you did something similar gives me a boost of encouragment!

  77. JCz says:

    AAwwwww I lurve that picture of you and Tabs! I think of 1 word: teefers. I see his teefers peeking out!!! :)

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