Countdown to 40

40

 

I realised last night that in under a month I turn 40. This is a major milestone in my life but one I am so excited for.

Growing up I remember thinking 40 was really old, I mean it seemed that my mom was 32 forever so I was sure I would stay this way. Yet time has moved on and I have been slowly creeping towards this age.

I remember when I turned 30 I was really freaked by it all, I didn’t feel ready to be 30 years old I was uncomfortable and not happy in my own skin. Life wasn’t easy and I had just started to show signs of the illness that changed my life. I look back to those days when I was chasing after 4 children under 10 and teaching dance. I remember just not feeling complete as if I wasn’t living life to the full.

Fast forward the last ten years and my goodness a crazy amount has happened. I have walked through some of the darkest moments of my life. My heart has been broken, tore up into millions of pieces and then trodden on. I never imagined at 30 that I would have to bury a child let alone two. I would have never been able to comprehend surviving the loss of my daughter and my foster son. Never in a million years. Yet somehow I have survived, my heart may never be complete but it is learning to love on, learning to beat strongly again and I am learning to live life to the full again.

I know deep down that 40 isn’t really a special age. I mean I preach often about celebrating every day we have here, but still I am rather excited for the day.

This may sound big headed but I like who I see in the mirror now. I may not be a dance teacher or able to fit my bum into a size 12 but I truly love my body and I’m so grateful to it. It has given me four amazing girls, completely different, independent ,inspirational girls. It allows me to foster two truly awesome boys, each a blessing in their own special way. My body may be a little battle worn but it’s not been beaten and I am so thankful for this.

I look back to the person I was 10 years ago and I know I have been on a journey. I use the term “self discovery” loosely  as is the only way to get close to describing  the transformation I feel I have faced.

I love who I am (yes I may have said that before) but I seriously do. I love my emotional side, no more will I apologise for my random tears or unexpected hugs. I’m empathic and I care and this is something I am proud of now. No more calling myself soppy and pathetic, I actually rock.

I love my courage, I am more willing to put myself out into the danger zone, being vulnerable, feeling scared but still moving forward.

I love my brain, it’s ok that I am a little geeky at times, that sometimes the idea of a good book wins against a movie or a night out. That I appreciate my own company and yes at times I get lost in my own mind.

I love myself and I love my life.

As I head towards this birthday milestone I do so with so much gratitude.

Over the last years I have had people walk into my life that have blessed me in so many ways. Friends that love me for me, deep true friendships that can pick up after a time apart just where we left off. Friends I can laugh with, friends I have cried on. I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

I am so thankful for my family, my daughters and my sons each so unique and so beautiful. Getting to watch them grow and learn and experience life is such a wonder, such a gift. My Dad, my Step Mom, my inlaws, my aunts, uncles, cousins, relantionships that I truly value and people I truly love.

My husband, I am completely in love with this crazy man, after nearly 20 years of marriage I still get that flutter in my heart when he walks into a room. He makes me laugh, he drives me insane, but he truly is my soul mate.

I am so thankful that I miss my Livvy, because missing someone is the recognition of an amazing love, a truly unbroken bond. My girl and I will be together again one day, but until then I am going to try and live as she did, fully and with all my heart.

So the count down to 40 begins and I’m so excited. I’m so ready to celebrate the 40 years I have been here with all my family and friends. An evening full of laughter, music and hopefully a gorgeous outfit.

Yet 40 is only the really the beginning, the start of a new stage in life, one I hope will be full of love and laughter and the people that really make my life truly amazing, my family and friends, because with them and because of them I actually love myself more at 40 then I ever did.

 

40 looking good

My weekly plus size fashion wishlist

The new autumn fashion are hiting the stores and I am so excited.

I am also rather shocked at what styles have been catching my eye.

Is my style changing?

Who knows anyway here is my fashion wishlist.

My first want (need) is this beautiful dress from Voodoo Vixen.

The Joni is simply beautiful.

 

CN_L8mPXAAAIQj7

 

 

My second choice is a coat, now coats and I don’t have a great relantionship. My long arms seem to leave many coats ill fitting, but this one from ASOS really caught my eye. The style is a vintage style with a modern twist, I love it.

 

image1xxl

 

 

My third choice comes from the new Martine McCutcheon from Fashion World, to be fair I could have chosen anything from this range as I absolutely love it all but this dress is just pure perfection.

j04tj207505w

 

 

My last but not least choice for this week are these adorable boots from Evans, they are so very cute, I think they would be perfect with my new found love of dresses.

20T06TBLK_large

 

 

 

Seriously the autumn fashion that is hititng her ours stores is something to be excited about.

I think I need to hide my bank card.

 

Style XL 2015, we came, we saw and we rocked it.

Last weekend was Style XL 2015 a plus size fashion event held in my local city of Birmingham.

Style XL is the brainchild of the wonderful Leah from http://www.leahxl.com.

cb22b4_db650136a49d4f24bb966355def6be82.jpg_srz_p_199_186_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

Leah is genuinely one of the nicest woman I know and someone who I owe a lot of my new found confidence too. It was only last year that I walked my first catwalk at Style XL 2014. This was thanks to the encouragement and support from Leah, this lady rocks.  Also a big shout out to her beautiful fiancée Clare who is truly lovely.

Seriously though I remember how much I shook with fear back there in 2014 I’m surprised I made it onto the stage.

Anyway back to Style XL 2015 how do I describe this weekend, two words “totally inspiring”.

The collaboration of plus size fashion brands and confidence building workshops created an awesome event.

Women from around the UK coming together to attend a fashion event where the size on your label is irrelevant.

Fashion brands showcasing the very best of plus size fashion proving that style comes in all sizes.

I had a blast.

I was excited to be booked to walk for the awesome Apples and Pears Clothing , Monroe Knows and Curvy Kate but on the day I actually also walked for Topsy Curvy and Lady Voluptuous too.

Five brands ooh get me.

This year was so different for me, although I was still rather shaky the woman who walked onto that catwalk was very different to the one from last year. I actually relished in the attention. I rocked my curves ha ha get me.

Stylexl15

Seriously Style XL was a great success.

Personally though for me Style XL wasn’t about the clothes (sorry brands). It was being surrounded by beautiful inspiring women.

Women that over the last year have become dear friends.

Woman working hard to empower others.

Building people up, encouraging, supporting.

My challenge  to myself this year was to turn the virtual hugs into real ones.

I am so confident behind my keyboard but this year I wanted to find that confidence in real life.

I think achieved this.

I got to catch up with old friends and make some awesome new ones.

I pushed all my boundaries, I introduced myself to people and I wore underwear on a catwalk ( don’t panic dad I’ve hidden the photos).

I achieved more than I could possibly have imagined and yes I may be having a little body wobble but I can see how far I have come.

Thank you Leah for having faith in me.

Thank you to the brands for allowing me to showcase your beautiful clothes.

I  want to end this post saying this, life is to short to wait to wear the clothes you want. Wear them now and celebrate who you are. Size is a number on a label don’t let it dictate how you live your life.

You are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you different xxx

This time next month, I will be modelling at Style XL .

Guess what this time next month I am heading to Birmingham to model at one of the best plus size fashion events in the UK, Style XL. The event is so awesome that after only one year it has been nominated for the “Best Event” at the British Plus Size Awards. Have you got your vote in yet??

BPSA-Logo-2015

I am so excited to be again part of this event which is looking so fantastic, with brands like Simply Be, Yours, Bon Prix, Jacamo, Monroe Knows, Lady Voluptuous, Chubby Cartwheels, Curvy Kate, Topsy Curvy, Pinup Popup parlour, Claireabella’s Closet, Iridenscene, Nicky Rockets, and not forgetting Apples and Pears the one company I know I am modelling for woo hoo.

So with a line up like this its going to be amazing, but thats not all thats happening, add the MODEL XL final and some fantastic workshops it really is going to be a awesome couple of days.

As for the venue, wit woo take a look at the gorgeous Paragon Hotel, its been having a major facelift over the last months and it looks simply stunning. I cannot wait to boogie the night away here.

So have you got your ticket yet?

If not you better hurry up as tickets are going fast and we are down to the last few so get ordering now.

cb22b4_db650136a49d4f24bb966355def6be82.jpg_srz_p_199_186_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

 

Seriously I am so excited, it was at this event last year that I first walked a cat walk and yes whilst I may have bricking it the company of the beautiful ladies that surrounded me gave me a new found confidence that I am simply loving and embracing.

It really is going to be a great weekend, a fantastic event full of amazing plus fashion. Come check out what we all shall be wearing this autumn/winter.

Honestly I cannot wait and don’t forget if you do join us come over and say HI. I will be the one trying not to trip up over my own feet as I strut my stuff ha ha. Seriously though one of the best things about these kind of events is the new people I get to meet. As my Grandad  once told me “Strangers are the friends you have yet to meet” so lets get saying Hello.

 

 

we have style xl

 

 

 

 

Keeping one of my #plussizepromises

Last week following a challenge set by Debz from the The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess  I blogged about some promises I was going to keep for myself.

One of those promises was I am going to get my legs out this summer.

Well the last few days have been simply gorgeous and a new beautiful dress from ASOS was the perfect time to keep this promise.

asosblack dress

My legs and guess what, the world didn’t break and I enjoyed the sunshine on my pins.

Honestly after years of hating my legs this is major for me. They are constantly swollen thanks to my illness, but guess what that’s life and I have to remind myself I am beautiful swollen legs and all.

asosblackdresscollage

 

I am absolutely loving this dress from Asos the detail on the neck and sleeves are just stunning.

 

 

I promise

The beautiful Katt from The Curvy Cupcake  inspired the amazing  Debz at The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess to set us all a challenge, the #PlusSizePromise.

The challenge is to blog five promises that we make to ourselves this summer.

Here’s mine.

 

1. Get my legs out, I’m tired of being hot and bothered every summer. This year I’m going to get my milky white legs out and let them breathe.

get my legs out

 

 

2. Take time out for myself. This is something I really need to work on, I need to say NO a little more and give myself some quality time, to read, to enjoy a meal with friends, a nights of dancing and copious amounts of alcohol

51grMGCKivL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

 

3. To not back out.  I can list you a million reasons why I shouldn’t do something. This summer is the start of me doing less of this. I want to be positive and believe in myself. I CAN DO THIS.

Icando this

 

4. Its not always my fault.  I am so good at blaming myself that it could be considered an art form. I’m happy to blame myself from anything from a squashed spider to a natural disaster.  But guess what it’s not always my fault and this is something I need to learn.

Itsnotmyfault

5. More time for us. To spend some more quality time with my husband. After twenty years of being together we need to start carving time into our schedule for quality time. More romantic meals, walks, cuddles.

moreofthis

 

So here are my five promises.

Why don’t you join in x

 

Sugar and Spice

The last few weeks have been crazy my wardrobe of daily choice has simply been what has been ironed. Still that hasn’t stopped me looking at some gorgeous outfits and new summer styles that have been coming out.

A few months back I was on the search for an evening dress for the Mayors Awards evening and I came across the website Curvety  a site full of some beautiful dresses. Fast forward a month I was offered the chance to review one of the dresses that I had been looking at. I wasn’t going to say no was I!

Curvety

 

This Sugar and Spice dress by Kiyonna really caught my eye, I just loved the fishnet neckline which gave me a chance to show of my body art.  I loved the fact that it had a mixture of style and elegance.

The sizing is very generous, the material is beautiful. The dress felt so well made and a pleasure to wear.

I think it would be just right for a romantic meal or a formal event.

 

DSC_0041curvety

 

Curvety have some amazing clothes for plus size woman, don’t take my word for it go check them out. Maybe you will find that perfect outfit you have been searching for.

 

 

*I was gifted this dress for the purpose of a review but all opinions, views  are my own.