Diagnosis – Over 40 with Breast Cancer

 

You never know what is around the corner do you and sometimes you are not prepared to hear news that can completely turn your life around and stop your usual every day routine in its tracks. 

This happened to me on 7th June 2013 when I heard the devastating news that I had Breast Cancer.  I had felt a sharp pain in my left breast on 31st May when trying on a dress. When I removed the dress I noticed a hard swollen area covering half of my breast (not a lump initially) and a slight discoloration to the skin. I hadn’t noticed this before but it was enough of a change for me to see a Dr as soon as I could. (It was typically a weekend!) 

 

 

A whirlwind week followed where I was thrown into complete panic. I googled symptoms and Breast Cancer was popping up everywhere. Within seven days I had a Mammogram and Ultrasound Scan. I was then told I was showing signs of Inflammatory Breast Cancer a rare and aggressive form of cancer.  They took six core biopsies (four from my left breast and two from my armpit) which confirmed abnormalities and I had to wait another agonising seven days before I knew  at what stage the cancer was at. During this time I also had a CT Scan and Bone Scan. 

For anybody who has been through this process you will understand why I was unable to concentrate on anything. I am 43 with two wonderful children (age 16 and 12). I started Beautilicious40Bride a year ago and have worked tirelessly promoting my business. I also entered into a new relationship just 4 months before my diagnosis. This could not have come at a worse time! I felt angry and confused. My initial reaction was “I am too young to die!” … followed by an overwhelming feeling that I was living someone else’s life because mine had suddenly become a nightmare filled with hospital appointments and little else. 

A bit of medical history- I had a hysterectomy five years ago (aged 38) and was put on HRT as a result. A symptom of HRT is that you are more at risk of breast cancer but have a bigger risk of developing Osteoporosis without it. I should have had a mammogram every year but I wasn’t called for any and arranged for one myself in 2010 which was clear. HRT also makes your breasts fuller so as soon as I was diagnosed I was ordered to stop taking it. Within a week my breast had lost its swelling to reveal a large lump. 

My biopsy results confirmed that I had Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer at Stage 2b which had spread into some of my lymph nodes. We were relieved to hear that it wasn’t the aggressive Inflammatory type but I still had a long road of treatment ahead of me. A Mastectomy, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Breast reconstruction and 5 years of hormone treatment.

Me & Adrian the day after my diagnosis

 

Thankfully I had met a wonderful man called Adrian in February and we had been inseparable since we met. I had many a tearful moment with him as I said ” you didn’t ask for this, I’ll be bald and minus a breast very soon”.  His reply was “I’m not with you because of your hair and breasts, Its you I love and I’m not going anywhere”.  

Adrian has been to every single appointment so far and has been my rock in trying to get some normality back on track. He had already moved in 3 weeks before my diagnosis with his son (aged 12). Our children have been brilliant, family and friends have all rallied round helping out and offering support. A few have also completed the Race for Life with my name on their backs. 

I have since had a left breast Mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. My tumour turned out to be 6cm big and the cancer had spread into 9 out of 17 lymph nodes. I have been recovering for the past three weeks and am due to start chemotherapy on Wednesday.  Yes I’m nervous, I am prepared to lose my hair and will shave it off before it falls out, donating it to Little Princesses Trust who provide real-hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland that have sadly lost their own hair through cancer treatment.

So you can see how my life has changed in a month and explains why I have been absent from my usual Beautilicious40 updates.  I will be able to work in between treatments on my good days and I have set up a facebook page diary of my Cancer Journey that you can follow if you wish – Janet’s Breast Cancer Journey 2013/2014 

I would like to thank all the medical staff that have helped me so far. My surgeon, oncologist, Breast cancer Care team, Macmillan volunteers. It is truly amazing the support that is available to you. I also want to shout out to my fellow ‘Pink Sisters’ . I have already met some incredible women who are also on the same journey as me at different stages. It helps to know you are not on your own. 

Ladies please be self aware. If you notice ANY changes in your breasts do not delay!  Changes don’t always present themselves as a lump! Don’t ignore pain! Pain was my first symptom. Also look out for nipple changes, redness, swelling, pigmentation, dimpling. 

Insist on a mammogram, get a second opinion if you aren’t comfortable. This is your body.Your life 

 

Janet’s Breast Cancer Journey 2013/2014

Breast Cancer Self Checks Video 

Breast Cancer Care

Macmillan Cancer Support

Little Princesses Trust 

Life Begins: The Journey to find love after 40 … Dating

 

One of the fabulous things that Beautilicious 40 Bride proves is that true love can happen again later in life following a separation, divorce or bereavement.

But until you meet that special person, being single and over 40 can be a very lonely place and incredibly daunting.

I met my husband young. I was only 19. I married at 23, had my daughter at 26 and my son at 30. Cracks had started to show in our relationship by the time I was 35 and we eventually separated and divorced at 40.  

In the early months after divorce I felt alive and free but soon realised that I was two decades on from when I first dated and it was a whole different ball game. Technology had arrived! 

Dating in my teens was fun in the 1980s. I had no responsibilities or expectations. It was generally a relaxed night out with friends, spotting someone you liked and talking face-to-face with the guy who got your attention. No mobile phones, skype or internet.

I remember in 1989, aged 19, meeting the man I was going to marry.   I wrote my phone number on a beer mat in a local night club with my eye liner! (haha classy). He rang me on the landline the next day. I sat in the hallway on the phone making arrangements for him to pick me up for our first date. I had no other contact with him until the next day when he knocked on my door to take me to the cinema. Little did I know that we would marry, have two children and stay together for 20 years.

 

 

However, things have changed since 1989. In my 40s I find myself with lots of friends who are married. The girl’s nights out are rare and have to be scheduled in with babysitters confirmed. When we do go out, the last thing I want is to be chatted up in a bar under the influence of alcohol.

So, it seems the popular way forward is a dating site. For those who have never used one of these ‘interesting’ sites it’s fair to say you have to keep a very open mind and whatever you do, don’t join with high expectations or you will be disappointed.

 

 

 

I’m not going to criticise online dating completely, I know they work for many people and we have a few couples who are now happily married and are featured on our website (see below) 

So here I am again.. age 42 and currently pondering my next step. It’s hard finding the best dating site for you from so many… Do you pay or choose a free site?  Once you have decided, you then have to create your profile to ‘sell yourself’ to a complete stranger. How much information do you put in? If it’s too brief you look like you aren’t taking it seriously. Too much and there is nothing to learn in the early stages. How many photos do you show?  What kind of impression do you want to make?   eeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!

Can you be too judgemental?  There is never a truer saying than the expression “never judge a book by its cover” when browsing a dating site, but it is the first impression that counts in my opinion especially when there is a  ‘meet me’ option for you to browse photographs with a header Yes/ Maybe/ No where you make your decision whether you’d like to meet this stranger or not.

 

Many of my friends say ‘wait for it to happen naturally’ but if I don’t go out, how can I meet someone? On my child-free weekends, I sometimes find myself on a loose end and frustrated. Friends also say “enjoy being single”  but I don’t and this quote often comes from the ones that are married.  I’m a people person I like the company of others and crave romance and fun!    It’s definitely not like the movies.

In an ideal world I would find my perfect man in a ‘meet-cute’ moment. If you have watched the film ‘The Holiday’ you will know what I mean. Two strangers, a man and a woman are in a department store looking for pyjamas. He just wants bottoms, she just wants the top. They both realise their dilemma and buy one pair of PJs and split it. Eyes meet and off they skip into the sunset.

That’s a ‘meet- cute’.  In reality it doesn’t work like that though…. does it?  

 

 

Would you believe I’m now taking advice off my 16 year old daughter. How crazy is that! Although, when I have chosen a guy to date and I give him my mobile number, I do feel like a teenager.   Will he text?  Do I text first?  He wants to skype me?  Do I say yes or wait to see him face-to-face in person. What do I wear?  If it goes well I get ridiculously excited. If it goes bad I want to run away!  

Teenage feelings in my 40s?… One way to stay young I suppose.. haha

In my experience you have to be much more flexible in your thinking.  Dating in your 40s can also bring a whole different level of skeletons in the closet and possible complications and barriers to get over. The term ‘baggage’ when referring to children completely winds me up!  My kids aren’t ‘baggage’ they are two unique fun people who are my world. Someone will be very lucky to have us as a trio and I would have the same respect towards any future partners children.    

 

 

I think for now I will take a natural route and see what happens. I may just be in the right place at the right time sometime soon. I’ll keep you posted on my journey in Life begins …….  Feel free to add your comments to this post.

 

The following Beautilicious40 Brides had success with online dating.

 

  Julia & Bernie

 Justine & Devon

 Alison & Tristan

 

 

If you are Over 40 and have been lucky in love and would like to share your online dating success story that has led to you getting married please email me: janet@beautilicious40bride.co.uk

 

“All our features are aimed towards our readers being Brides Over 40. (40 plus brides). Rather than calling these fabulous ladies mature Brides we call them ‘Beautilicious Brides’ who are marrying later in life, whether it be a first or second time wedding or even a celebration ceremony for renewing vows”                                                

 (Janet – Creative Director at Beautilicious40 Bride)

Life Begins: Does Love and Money Make The World Go Round?

 

Today’s ‘Life Begins’ post comes from my own personal experience and one that many of my readers may be able to identify with. 
 
Does Love and Money make the world go round?
 
 
 
 
 
As we get older life becomes much harder, responsibilities are greater, decisions are tougher, mistakes have consequences, lessons are learnt, expectations are higher, choices seem fewer and sometimes we may mutter the words   … ‘What is the point?”
 
I am at a crossroads in my life after an unexpected change of circumstance and the question that I keep asking myself is  ‘What do I do now’?  … and the root of my problems always seems to be… Love and Money.
 
 
I know I am not alone. When I look at people around me and listen to  songs, watch films and read stories, many are centred around these two things. Sometimes its just Love, sometimes its just Money but in my case its very often both and today I’ve been looking at my own experiences in order to find some answers.  
 
 
 
Love:  I met my husband in 1990, I was aged 19 and I knew the minute that I met him that we would marry. Don’t ask me how… I just knew. We fell head over heels, enjoyed life, no stress, just the two of us. We had our big white wedding in 1994 (age 24) and went on to have two wonderful children.
 
By the time I was 30 the cracks were beginning to show and stress of life had taken control. My husband’s business was demanding most of his attention; finance became the core of many rows amongst many other things. A run of ill-health led me to have a full hysterectomy aged just 38 and around the same time we began to live separate lives. Eventually in 2010 our marriage broke down after being together for 20 years.
 
 
 
 
Money: The cause of most rows between couples and the defining fact of living carefree or not. I had worked full time up until the birth of our second child in a high-powered travel industry position. It paid well but it was stressful and working the office hours did not suit our young family situation.
 
Something had to give and so we made the joint decision for me to have a career break and take on a part-time less demanding role. It benefited the family greatly in terms of time spent together however it eventually had an impact on finance and although it wasn’t the single factor, it was undoubtedly the biggest cause of stress that led to our divorce.
 
 
 
 
Love:  In the early months of separation it was scary and worrying. A whirlwind of emotion wrapped up in an exciting new package of the unknown combined with the realisation that you are not the same person at the age of 40 that you were at the age of 19.
 
I had changed.  My wants had changed.  I was a full grown adult in mid-life with huge responsibilities, new interests and new dreams.
 
 
 
Money: In the meantime being a financially single Mum of two came with a whole new set of demands. I couldn’t afford to buy a property on my own so rented a beautiful house for me and my children. It is a happy home, a beautiful cottage but every single penny sinks into bills, food and petrol.
 
I allowed myself to follow my dream and launch a business that was unique in the UK.  Beautilicious40Bride brings the wedding industry to women over 40 and in its eight months it has achieved so much. I’m proud of what I have done, the recognition is huge but it is only drawing a small salary at the moment as money is being re-invested into it.
 
Sometimes I feel like I’m chasing my tail but I have a strong belief that big things will happen and all my hard work will eventually pay off.
 
 
 
 
Love: Following divorce I began to believe in myself and follow my dreams to start my business. It is hard being 42 and single especially in the wedding industry where you are surrounded by romance but I believe someone is out there for everyone.
 
I have my two amazing children who I love unconditionally and who keep me going every single day.  So when things get tough,  I look at them and pick myself up and carry on. Hugs from your children are priceless. 
 
Reading the real weddings of Beautilicious40 brides is testimony that love can happen anytime, anywhere, often when we least expect it.
 
So who knows what lies ahead for me in love and romance?
 
In the words of Michael Buble “I just haven’t met him yet”.
 
 
 
 
Love and Money: So through my own life’s experience I appear to be happiest when I have love on my side and it helps if money isn’t a worry. At the time of writing I am 42 and a single mum of two, counting every last penny. I admit to not being at my happiest BUT I have dreams and believe that things can only get better. 
 
Being in love and comfortably enjoying life is a very nice place to be and if you are lucky to have it, cherish it.  
 
 

LIFE BEGINS… Follow Your Dreams

 

The Beautilicious40 journey continues to shine as we celebrated WINNING our first award for Best Wedding Website in Cheshire 2012 and were FINALISTS in the Top 100 Best Wedding Websites Worldwide ( 14th out of 100). Not bad in just six months!
 
And word is spreading!  We are receiving many more emails on a daily basis now from all over the UK. We are being sent more Real Weddings submissions than ever before and we are in regular contact with wedding magazines for our advice and opinion on certain issues raised concerning the ‘older bride’ too.

 

 

 

 
This month also held the Bridal Buyer Exhibition in Harrogate which was an amazing opportunity for us to view a vast selection of newly launched wedding gowns for 2013 and say hello to some of the biggest names in the wedding industry along with lots of fabulous newcomers too.  A perfect day was spent among thousands of dresses and accessories.  I was in girly heaven!
 
We will bring news of the stunning new bridal designs over the next few months.
 
 
 
 
 
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, you just have to stay focused, follow your dreams and never ever give up! 
 
 

Life Begins… I’m dreaming of Italy…

 

Its the 2nd of August and it looks like our Summer is over as I look outside my office window. Grey skies and rain… rain… and more rain! It’s so incredibly depressing.  
 
On a plus side I am counting down the days until I head to Italy to a little town called Verucchio for a little break away and I can’t wait for sunshine, quaint little cafes, great food, peace and quiet and did I say … sunshine? 

 

 

I’ve had the busiest few months launching Beautilicious40 as I’m sure many of you remember the early days of your business, working long hours for little financial reward but as we enter month five, I’m happy to say my perseverance is paying off.
 
The Beautilicious40 name is spreading through the UK . We are being recommended to various suppliers, we currently have 1300 twitter followers and retain our position in the Top 100 UK wedding tweeter list. We have a growing enthusiastic following on facebook and our email inbox is bursting with lovely images and requests for our media pack.    
 

In a nutshell I’m loving it !! 

 

 

Being a Mum of two, working from home can be tough sometimes,  juggling everything. Even though my children aren’t toddlers they are at demanding ages of 16 and 11 with ‘needs’ to see friends at the drop of a hat!  My daughter Alice is due to start sixth form in September and my son Ross is starting high school so its all change.  New uniforms for both, new routines all round for all of us.
 
In the meantime they will be holidaying in Portugal with their Dad (my ex husband), for a couple of weeks while I recharge my own batteries. It works out quite well for all of us really.  Although I’m already starting to dread the school shoes shopping trip. I genuinely feel claustrophobic doing that one overcrowded task! … Shudders 
 
Its hard sometimes imagining that things will work out the way you want them to and its thanks to the amazing feedback and support for creating Beautilicious40 that makes me realise that the website is quite unique in its audience and worthwhile of every single bit of effort and sleepless night I put into it. On speaking to other successful bloggers they felt exactly the same when they first started too. 
 
On a final note I have to salute our Olympic team. I’ve just watched another two GOLD medals won! We now have four GOLDS, and are lying 5th in the medals table! Proud to be British! … ‘Come On TeamGB!! ‘
 
 
 
 
Enjoy the rest of the Summer and keep tuning in.
 
Janet 
 
xx

 

 

 

 

 

Life Begins… If Only I Were Slimmer…

 

How many of us can say that we put things on hold because we are not happy with our size and weight? 
 
It’s sad but so many of us do…. too many of us do. 
 
 
 
 
 
I’m one of these people that has a fluctuating weight and I’m only ever ‘happy’ with myself when I’m a perfect size 12.  I joined Slimming World back in 2001 after the birth of my second child and for the first time ever I managed to lose the pregnancy weight of three and a half stone and keep it off.  I was that impressed with their eating plan that I became a Slimming World Consultant, a job that I held for 11 years and I’ve only just resigned from. 
 
As a result of this role, I met hundreds of men and women that battle with their weight and its incredible the amount of people that feel inadequate because of size! 
 
The added pressure to lose weight for health, holidays, weddings or new job makes it much harder as we often have a fear of failure running alongside the desire to succeed so if we ‘cheat’  we often punish ourselves mentally or cheat more. 
 
 
 
 
 
After my initial success I had a hysterectomy in 2008 aged just 38 and have been on HRT for the past 4 years. It didn’t have an impact on my weight initially but I appear to have developed a yeast intolerance possibly as a result of my HRT medication.
 
This means that I have to control certain items and strictly detox often, which is quite difficult given the industry I work in. Wedding events ALWAYS have cake and champagne and when I am detoxing I have to say NO!   No alcohol and nothing sweet! ……Boo Hoo! 
 
 
 
Basically, I want to be a size 12 but I am currently a size 14.  I keep telling myself it’s only ONE dress size. It should be easy enough… right?
 
But unless that button is switched ‘ON’ in my mind and willpower kicks in, it feels like I’m treading water going no-where! 
 
As a slimming Consultant I saw so many big, beautiful women, dressing the right way, with clothes the correct size to flatter rather than pull. Some could have easily been snapped up as ‘plus size’ models.  These women exercised regularly but society demands that we must be slimmer!   
 
 
 
 
 
 
I have so many wonderful plans for Beautilicious40 including photo-shoots and I don’t want to put them off because of my own insecurities about my size. 
 
I’m currently on day 7 of  a 21 day yeast free detox and I’m passed the headache stage following sugar withdrawal (yuk!).  But I’m already feeling the benefits and I just have to carry on for my health and wardrobe!… Wish me luck x
 
Information sites:- 
 
Yeast Detox Diet
 
Slimming World
 
Hysterectomy Association 

 

The Beautilicious Journey Continues…

 

What a whirlwind month June was for Beautilicious40. Despite the showers falling pretty much throughout the whole month! It has been a fabulous month to network and meet some amazing wedding businesses allowing us to get the name of Beautilicious40 even further ‘out there’. 
 
It has also been a month of change that has seen me another year older, making the decision to leave my part time job to pursue my wedding business dreams and watch my 16 year old daughter transform into a beautiful young woman, finishing her GCSEs and heading off to Prom! Basically my feet haven’t touched the ground this month and it all began with Jubilee celebrations…
 
Beautilicious40 is based in the beautiful village of Styal, Cheshire, where it held a little Jubilee festival  Bunting and flags were everywhere which looked so idyllic given the fact it has a vintage feel to the village anyway. With one pub, one restaurant, a little corner shop, red telephone box and an abundance of quaint cottages and terraced houses on cobbled streets. It is also home to a National Trust Country Park and location to Quarry Bank Mill (available to hire as a wedding venue). The whole village is a perfect backdrop  for vintage photo shoots for the 1940s/1950s era. 

 

 

Following on from that was my 42nd Birthday where we celebrated with a day at the Jubilee Chester Races. A chance to get dressed up and mingle amongst friends. We started with pre-race drinks at the Abode Chester … luckily the rain held off but sadly we had very few winners

 

Me (on the right in black and white)

 

I happen to share my birthday with my Mum so we headed off to  The Stags Head in Great Warford, Cheshire. I had been in contact with them regularly via twitter particularly as they are now venturing into events and weddings on a bigger scale. The Stag’s Head is a traditional country pub with a beautiful landscape and only a five minute drive from the villages of Alderley Edge and Wilmslow.
 
My Birthday luckily fell on a ‘Champagne Tuesday’ which allowed us to have champagne at a reduced price with our excellent meal!
 
After our meal I was given a quick tour and it really is a perfect setting for a wedding. A country pub in a beautiful part of Cheshire with fine food and drink and has the advantage of being able to house a marquee too if required.  One thing is for certain, you would not be disappointed with the service, quality of food and prices!

 

 

 

I’ve had various meetings with photographers, wedding shops, events planners and venues throughout the Northwest and met up with many fabulous people at The Brides Up North ‘North West Tweet Up‘ – It was a perfect opportunity to mingle, share ideas and swap business cards with businesses that I had been in contact with via twitter. It was lovely to put a face to the name and as a result we have lots of exciting things planned for Beautilicious40 in the coming months.
 
We finished June attending the County Brides Wedding awards 2012 held at The Midland Hotel in Manchester. A Black tie event recognizing some of the best wedding suppliers in the North West.  It was a brilliant fun evening where we met some amazingly talented people who we would love to work with in the future. We also spread the ‘Beautilicious40′  word via a live twitter feed, waving the flag for Brides Over 40.

 

 

Beautilicious40 is now just entering its fourth month of business and is growing from strength to strength. Our website stats are increasing daily, we currently have 1220 twitter followers and 204 facebook fans.  The feedback continues to be positive and as a result of its growth and because of the plans I have in pushing it further, I took the decision to leave my other part-time job to give it my full attention.  Three leaving parties later saw my crazy whirlwind month of change come to an end after receiving an overwhelming amount of cards, gifts and good luck wishes. 
 
I am known to be a bit of a workaholic and I throw myself into a project fully. So watch this space!

We have some fabulous weddings and renewal of vows to feature along with some new sponsors coming on board too. Wahay! 

If you want to jump onboard the Beautilicious40 ‘buzz’ please request a media pack via the following link . We really look forward to working with you. 
And finally … I wanted my last image to be of my beautiful daughter ‘Alice’ who recently attended her year 11 Prom. It brought a tear to my eye seeing my baby girl as a young woman. Oh, how time flies… 

 

'Alice' - Year 11 Prom

 

“All our features are aimed towards our readers being Brides Over 40. Rather than calling these fabulous ladies mature Brides we call them ‘Beautilicious Brides’ who are marrying later in life, whether it be a first or second time wedding or even a celebration ceremony for renewing vows”                                  (Janet – Creative Director at Beautilicious40 Bride)

 

Do I have to be a Mature Bride now I’m over 40?

 

Whilst researching for Beautilicious40 I often have to pause to stifle my giggles at how some people perceive the ‘older’ woman. 
 
The funniest comment still being in our feature Your Wedding, Your Style where women over 40 are advised to stick to certain ‘rules’ on how to dress.
 
 To some there is an uncomfortable feeling of how to ‘label’ the bride over 40 and the most used phrase appears to be ‘mature bride’.

 

‘Mature’ by definition is 

Having reached full natural growth or development: (a mature cell).

Having reached a desired or final condition; ripe: (a mature cheese).

Characteristic of full development, either mental or physical: (mature for her age).

Having reached the limit of its time; due: (a mature bond).

No longer subject to great expansion or development.

 

 

I am soon to be 42 and I still have a spring in my step and can’t see that changing when I’m 52 or 62. Maybe it’s the Gemini in me? 
 
Gemini’s are meant to be:- Adaptable and versatile, communicative and witty, intellectual and eloquent, youthful and lively… (I particularly like this description… Thanks Mr Google)

 

So, according to definition, at 42 I am ripe and have reached the limit of my time?… haha yeah right!

 

Many of these fabulous mature women have got on with their lives, after bereavement or divorce or maybe have pursued a career or been unlucky in love previously. Now they are marrying later in the life and enjoying every aspect of it.  It’s absolutely wonderful!

 

For that reason I prefer to call them ‘Beautilicious Brides’.  Beautiful inside out with a contagious zest for life and want to live it to the full.

 

The best part of creating Beautilicious40 is receiving the Real Wedding stories and photographs so keep sending them in via Tell us your wedding story so we can continue to inspire other women.

 

I’d like to raise a glass to toast all fabulous women over 40 that have found love and are planning to marry.
 
Remember that 40 is the new 20… 50 is the new 30… and 60 is the new 40 – So enjoy! Cheers! xx

 

 

 

“All our features are aimed towards our readers being Brides Over 40. Rather than calling these fabulous ladies mature Brides we call them ‘Beautilicious Brides’ who are marrying later in life, whether it be a first or second time wedding or even a celebration ceremony for renewing vows”                                  (Janet – Creative Director at Beautilicious40 Bride)

Life Begins… April Showers ….

 
Drip drip drop little April showers…
 
… I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really fed up with the rain now. Especially as after a few sunny days in March I got carried away and removed my winter items from my wardrobe, replacing them with my lovely summer dresses and sandals. Hmm bad move!
 
 
 
 
Weather aside it has been a remarkable month in the Beautilicious 40 Bride diary. Our website launched and the amount of positive feedback has been incredible. The first month of ‘going live’ has been crazy busy. The long days are exhausting but the satisfaction makes everything worthwhile and if anything is to succeed you have to put your heart and soul into it.
 
We have attended many wedding fairs this month to connect with the best wedding suppliers and have had meetings with some lovely people to bring you the best ideas and fashion with lots more wonderful things to come.
 
I had a particularly lovely meeting with Sharon from ‘For the Love of Vintage’ and was invited to the launch of ‘An Era of Experience’. Sadly I couldn’t attend the launch but we featured the occasion on Beautilicious40 and it proved to be a very successful evening.
 
 
 
 
We have been contacted by many brides-to-be over 40, who now have a different outlook on their wedding day after reading our features and Real Wedding Stories. This kind of feedback is what we wanted to achieve and we look forward to viewing their wedding photographs after their special day.  
 
One particular feature that has proved popular was ‘Gorgeous Gold‘ where we highlighted how fabulous it is to wear another colour other than white or ivory. 
 
 
 
 
In my 41 years, I have learnt to expect the unexpected! Not everything goes to plan all of the time as this month has proved.  
 
I feel I have been put to the test with an intense roller coaster ride that has seen the brilliant highs of watching Beautilicious40 grow in popularity and the lows of being a self employed Mum of two juggling family life with a business.
 
The benefit is that as I mainly work from home, researching, networking and planning, I can fit my business around my family… well, most of the time!
 
 
 
 
The lows have been rushing to A & E with my 11 year old son, with a suspected broken wrist after falling on his roller skates in the school holidays! After two trips to the hospital it was confirmed as a sprain but many hours spent frustratingly waiting isn’t great when you are self employed! Time is money and I have bills to pay!
 
Prior to this I had an unfortunate incident returning home from a wedding fair when my trusty VW Beetle had a tyre blow out! Thankfully we were on a quiet road just coming away from the venue. Minutes later and we would have been on a busy motorway stretch! The RAC came to the rescue but the unexpected cost of two new tyres made me wince a little!
 
And just last week  I pulled a muscle in my back after reaching across my desk. A simple task resulted in me being in the most agonising pain for four days!  Anyone that has had a back problem will sympathise with this. I was incapable of doing anything ‘normal’ and as an organised perfectionist and multi-tasker ‘incapable’ isn’t on my agenda!
 
 
 
 
 
I was determined to carry on and get my planned features on the website, I succeeded with a struggle and as a treat booked into a fabulous Cheshire Hotel for next weekend so I can relax in a luxury bath with a glass of champagne… bliss!
 
 
 
 
May is on its way and the Beautilicious 40 Bride diary has lots of delights penned in including hen party ideas, venues, fashion and more.  Fingers crossed that we get some sunshine but if the rain decides to stay, don’t let it ruin your day. whatever will be will be.
 
As you can see from these photographs, the rain can become a feature and a fun memory instead. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I would like to say a huge ‘Thank you’  for your support so far, it is much appreciated and if you are a Bride over 40 and want to feature your wedding story or renewal of vows on our website we would love to hear from you via ‘tell us your wedding story

 

We also have a media pack if you are a wedding business and wish to advertise/sponsor on Beautilicious40.
 
Stay Tuned
 
Janet x

Enjoy The Little Things In Life.

This week saw the launch of the Beautilicious website and the feedback has been so incredibly positive especially from brides over 40.

 
So much so I had to dedicate a page on the site for others to read.  See  ’Beautilicious Feedback’.
 
It was amazing to see everything finally come together after months of hard work.  I’m definitely floating on cloud nine at the moment and even popped the bubbly to celebrate the launch. 
 
 
 
I’m prepared for the ton of hard work ahead of me to watch it grow, but I’m very optimistic and passionate about Beautilicious40 and will continue to put my heart and soul into it. So many women over 40 are already tuning in on a regular basis.  I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan and one of my favourite quotes of hers is… “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible” 
 

My Idol is Audrey Hepburn...' Nothing is impossible'.

 
Of course, it helps that I have so much support from my friends and family too. 
 
 

Today just happens to be my Dads 75th Birthday

 
But sadly he died of lung cancer when he was just 41.  Maybe this is why I have such a ‘live for today’ attitude to life?  Especially as I have reached 41 myself and feel so young!
 

My Mum and Dad buying wedding rings in 1966

 
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about him and often ponder on the ‘what if’ aspect of life.
 
But life is a journey and we have to take the ups and downs and follow life’s path.  Who knows … had he been alive I may not have been in the place I was when I met my first husband. Therefore I wouldn’t have had my two wonderful children. I don’t have many regrets as I reach my 40s. 
 
 
 
 

Things happen beyond our control and we have to find strength to bounce back. What is the point in giving up?  It just makes life twice as hard otherwise.

 
It’s sad that my Dad has missed so many ‘milestones’ in my life but I do feel his presence from time to time especially when something worries me. It’s like my own personal comfort blanket.
 
I was only 8 when he died so he has missed me going through school and passing for the Grammar school, the tears over failed relationships, working decisions, my wedding day, the birth of my two children, DIY disasters,  divorce and now the launch of my business. I know he would be proud of the woman I have become. 
 

The BIG one of course, was my Wedding Day.

 
It was a difficult time as every girl wants their Dad to give them away so the role fell to my older brother, which he was honoured to accept.
 
The week before the wedding, back in 1994, it had been unexpectedly snowing (in April) and I was beginning to worry!  Thankfully the following week we woke to a beautiful sunny day, no snow in sight, and it gave me comfort believing that my Dad had brought the sunshine.
 
As soon as Mum and me set eyes on each other we just cried, and cried, and cried for a solid hour! It was the best thing we could have done, it got it all out and we survived the rest of the day with a controlled amount of tears. Even during emotional speeches!
 
The journey to the church with my brother and I sat in a horse drawn carriage was a real thought provoking moment. We were both aware of his absence but the sun was streaming in the window the whole time and we had to open a window to let the air in, but we felt he was with us.  
 

My Brother giving me away for my first wedding in 1994 (me aged 24)

 

After I said my vows the sun suddenly burst through the stained glass window and shone on my face and again I felt he was by my side.  

 
Something that my Grandma, Aunties and Uncles had noticed too.  I have such wonderful memories of that special day in my life and although we are now divorced, some things will always remain treasured.
 
Now at the age of 41 I feel wiser and I’ve become very precious about things I consider important in my life.  I don’t surround myself with negative people at all.  I’ve developed a thick skin following divorce and have learnt from mistakes made.
 
W e often go though days at a hundred mile an hour and become impatient, our ‘want’ list gets bigger and we forget to stop and appreciate the small things in life, the things we take for granted.  One of the simplest of things I would love to have done, is make a Sunday roast with my Dad sat at my table.  
 
 
 
 
Give yourself a break from time to time to spend quality time with your loved ones and think about what you already have and enjoy it. Believe me you will miss it once its gone. 
 
My new life is moving in the right direction, I’m taking each day as it comes and I’m on a lovely path of life at the moment. I hope to stay on this one for a while.
 
I wish everyone a very Happy Easter and hope you keep tuning in to Beautilicious40.  
 
Janet xx