I’ve been friends with Karen, like forever…
We met at nursery school when we were both 3 years old and we’ve been best of friends ever since.
That’s 42 fun-filled years!
On the French Exchange with school. (basically we lived with a French family for a week then they came over here and lived with us for a week ) I think we are about 14/15 years old … and below on the same holiday but this time on the beach.
Karen is on the right of the picture. I’m the one on the left that you could mistake for Kevin bloody Keegan. Look at my hair …
But look at those bikini bottoms, my love for leopard print started young.
Below in Kavos in 1989… We were both 18! The hairs not improved much !
Above – Marbella Holiday fun. Karen is second from the right .Below – Celebrating her 40th Birthday a few years ago.
Above our most recent photo taken a few weeks ago at The Charity Masquerade Ball.
She was my first friend, and come to think of it we’ve experienced a lot of ‘firsts’ together…
First girlie holiday at 17 – just the two of us let loose in Majorca for 2 weeks. I get excited about holidays now… I can only imagine I was unbearable before this holiday!
First time I fell off a boat I was holding Karen’s hand (on the above holiday) We had just experienced our first ever ‘booze cruise’
The first time I slept rough , Karen was by my side. It was while we were back-packing around Greece, on a back-street just off the main square in beautiful Santorina. One of us slept for an hour, while the other one kept watch.
The first time I did the Ouija board I was with Karen . We got into big trouble for terrifying Karen’s younger sister Trudi and her friends who we had been left to supervise for the evening.
The first time I visited America , it was to meet up with Karen who had been working for the summer out there at Camp America.
First time I got drunk …
First time I went clubbing …
First date disasters! …
First time I got dumped …
You get my drift.
We both shared a love for dancing.
Back then we could move a little if I say so myself. Today it’s more ‘dad dancing’ but when the mood takes us we’ll get on that dance-floor and strutt what’s left of our stuff.
Karen was the dizzy blonde bombshell and I was the slightly geeky arty-farty brunette. Our friendship was effortless , we just got each other.
Karen attracted the beautiful boys.
The wally with the 3 eyes , dribbling into his pint…I attracted the likes of him! Karen always used to laugh about that… (while she clung onto her super model-esq man friend)
We did the experimental , growing up bit together.
I moved to Lincoln to attend art college for a couple of years when I was 18. I missed my friends and Karen alot, it felt like my right arm had been chopped off. Mobiles were few and far between back then so we would write to each other religiously once , sometimes twice a week.
I’ve still got all those letters and when I need cheering up I go for a quick read.
All our yesterday’s in pen and ink.
I kinda feel sorry for today’s younger generation. You can’t beat receiving a hand-written letter can you? People go and write a letter to somebody , seriously I bet it would make there day when they receive it.
It’s all online now; you can’t really keep those text messages in a beautiful box with a big pink ribbon around them like I do with my letters.
Of course our friendship hasn’t always been plain sailing and we’ve had the odd fall out but we’ve always made up. We’ll always be the bestest of friends.
So anyway I’ll stop rambling on now …
I thought Karen would be the ideal candidate for my second #keepingitreal interview.
This is a series of posts where I talk to ‘real’ people about health, beauty and fitness. What makes them tick.
Like me Karen is 45.
Unlike me she is married and has 2 children. She looks amazing, and is a beautiful person inside and out
I should really hate her.
So let’s meet the lady herself and find out how she does it.
Hello Mrs … Can you tell me what beauty is to you?
We are getting a little obsessive.
I think as girls we feel the pressure to look our best – we cut, curl, wax, pluck, straighten, squat and sweat to try to look our best. We look in the mirror and scrutinise the person looking back at us .
I see and hear this all the time in the job I do.
When I am in a room with 6-8 ladies sometimes a few of them will panic when I say we are going to be removing make up and having a facial… Panicking about having a ‘bare face’
All I can say is once I have spent an hour with them analysing their skin types and giving them a facial everyone is at ease. There is lots of laughter and their skin looks radiant.
There are beautiful people who many of us find attractive. Put a group of men or women together and the same names will pop up ( Brad Pit, Angelina Jolie, George Cloney, Kylie) I don’t know what makes them beautiful… there has to be something within their features , the symmetry , the eye shape , nose shape in proportion ?? Something makes their faces beautiful and pleasing to the eye!
So for me beauty – ( it’s taken me ages to answer your question … whoops ) is based on physical appearance but also something that comes from within you. A lovely heart with a warm personality,a confidence in yourself and a smiley face.
I am a little worried how the world is becoming obsessed with beauty. Everywhere you look there are images of beautiful women with perfect makeup, perfect skin and gorgeous figures.
Many of these images are airbrushed, helped by great lighting and makeup.
It’s the younger generation I feel for .Having a 14 year old daughter and a twelve year old son I could go on about this forever … but I’ll shut up now !
You look great & have beautiful skin …can you run through your beauty regime and tell us what products you can’t live without & why ?
I do have a good routine and it’s quick . I know many girls thinks it takes forever and is a ‘faff’ to have a good routine but it’s a minute out of your day and I know without doing it my skin wouldn’t be very happy!
A good routine on an evening is a must!
A tip for getting into that routine is don’t wait till your tired and just want to jump into bed. Get into the night time routine habit – do it when you come home from work, kids bath time , kids bed time … whenever just don’t wait till your about to get into bed and are too sleepy to be bothered!
Difficult question what can’t I live without? Having the luxury of having all the Temple Spa range in my house means I’m spoilt! …
I think it would be …
- In the Beginning Cleansing Melt– (£30.00) it’s my ‘facial in a jar ‘ It leaves your skin hydrated , it has melting exfoliating beads so deep cleanses and nourishes. Gorgeous!
- Skin Truffle– (£85.00) this is Temple Spas multi-award winning moisturiser. It gives instant radiance and has powerful anti-ageing ingredients -gold, diamonds and black truffles to name a few. Pop it on and you have instant radiance and a little bit of a lift too.
- Be Firm Serum– (£45.00) as we get older the skin unfortunately needs some help . This is my scaffolding for the skin, helping to reduce and slow down the development of fine lines and wrinkles.
If you were on a desert island and could only have / take 3 items what would they be? (they don’t have to be beauty related)
- My pillow..I sleep sooo much better with my pillow.. I don’t think a pillow of sand or leaves would get me a good nights sleep!
- The Hubby ... if he’s not free (as he needs to be home looking after the children) then Bradley cooper or Hugh jackman would be nice?
- Temple Spas Self Defence SPF Moisturiser , this will keep my skin protected and moisturised.
- Solar powered radio I’m sure there’s no such thing ,
Oh dear that’s 4 ! Which one has to go…
How would you describe your style and where do you mainly clothes shop?
Oh crikey – I don’t think I really have a style?
I think I know what suits me and the colours so try to shop with that in mind.
I’m very impulsive though and if I see something I buy it as I’m really not a great shopper.
If I go to buy something specific I can never find anything , I’ll just wander and come home without anything . Ideally I’d like a personal clothes shopper, I know they do this in some stores and it’s another thing on my to do list.
Dressed up or casual ?
Most days for me its casual or smart casual , I like an excuse to dress up though !
How do you keep in shape and do you take any supplements?
I do take a Vitamin D spray after discovering my level was low, I also take a Vitamin B supplement.
I used to go to the gym, I love swimming and the exercise classes but since getting our dog , coco ,whose big fluffy and energetic I have to walk her twice a day. I don’t find time for the gym aswell.
It’s good in a way though as I have to go out no matter what the weathers doing.I must admit sometimes I really don’t fancy going out but once I’m out in the fresh air and quiet countryside it’s lovely. You can’t beat the fresh air!
How do you relax?
Music is a really powerful way for me to relax.
If I feel like I need to chill just laying down with some relaxing music helps.
On the other scale some fun dance music re-energises me ( I hope nobody ever sees me dancing round the house ).
If you could give your 20 year old self a piece of advice what would it be?
Ha ha this is like saying what would you do differently, isn’t It?
Firstly there’s no rush to grow up! Follow your dreams and don’t let the first disappointment or rejection put you off going for what you really want.
Don’t worry what others think of you , always be you.
We all make mistakes ( some bigger than others) and normally this just helps make up who we are. Never hide behind the mistake once you realise you’ve made one. Have the courage to stand up for yourself, be able to chat to someone and change it.
Don’t let anyone else be in charge of you. Always stand up for yourself.
Lastly the quick fire round (I sound like a quiz show host! )
Tea or coffee … Neither a glass of water as I don’t do caffeine . I’ve never liked the taste.I do feel like I’m missing out on one of life’s little pleasures.
Mascara or lipstick … Mascara
Mornings or evenings … Evenings
Chocolate or wine … Chocolate
Manicure or pedicure … Pedicure
If you could have one superpower what would it be … Oh I would like to say something really kind like the ability to heal everyone but I’m going to go for the ability to stop time
I’m always running out of hours in my day ! So the ability to stop time , would enable me to read that book I haven’t had time to finish, go out with friends, get all my jobs done , chase around after your children ( I am a taxi driver for them now) this would be so helpul.
So there you have it.
I hope you enjoy these posts as much I enjoy putting them together. A big thank you to Karen for taking the time out to answer my questions… and of course for being an amazing friend.
As you may have gathered Karen works as a manager for Temple Spa. If you are local and fancied a party or trailing any of the products she can be found // HERE You could meet her in the flesh.
My first interview in this series was ( a long time ago!) with Sue and you can read it // HERE
Until next time, Tracey x