Hi, my name is Helen Brookes and I am @40plusnotgivingupyet

I am a SHOPPING ADDICT who craves the opportunity to help women get back their mojo and feel the very best they can.

I love sharing my high street finds (and fails!) on my Insta feed and you can tune into my honest try-on sessions anytime, anywhere via my daily Instagram Stories @40plusnotgivingupyet.

I’ll share stuff I love, bargains and discounts and answer your burning fashion questions such as;

  • Which SIZE should I buy? (size 12 in one store? size 16 in another? or can I size down)
  • What does the material FEEL like? (itchy? cheap? silky? Do I need to iron?)
  • Will it show my BULGY bits? (we’ve all got them just what to wear to make you feel as confident as you can)
  • What kind of UNDERWEAR will I need? (I love a bit of control underwear but also let’s talk practicality if it’s see through you need to know)
  • How can I DRESS IT UP or down? (insta style with heels don’t always transfer well to the real world where you’re probably just going to Lidl)
  • And of course….does it have POCKETS?!

We’ve all ordered online and been bitterly disappointed when the garment arrives, usually in the wrong size or fabric. Don’t think it’s you. My mantra is if it makes you feel rubbish, or it’s all wrong then IT’S NOT YOU IT’S THE DRESS!

I’m also a hungry bargain hunter and definitely not into designer clobber (I don’t have the cash and even if we did, I think a trip to Mauritius would be more my bag!). I’ll share the deals and discount codes and if I can I’ll try and wrangle a code for you! I share the beauty products and fake tan secrets that I can’t live without too, anything that helps my mid 40s!

I’m also pretty random and share lots of the stuff I love; family life, VERY simple foolproof recipes, and travel and just life as a Mum of three – my two girls Lola and Poppy, and George my nephew.  I’ve been hit hard by loss in the past having lost my sister, and my Mum and Dad and I will talk about grief sporadically as it’s a huge part of my life and I’m happy to normalise it and share. Oh and there is also  a very tolerant husband in the wings but he NEVER appears on insta.


Let ME try before YOU buy!

It’s a lottery buying online. Let me road-test your purchases – before you click buy! I take the best of the current high street fashion and feed back to you about it’s cut, sizing, quality and how best to style it. Time saving reviews delivered straight to your phone!

My Instagram @40plusnotgivingupyet

I don't know why I'm holding my ear in the awkward what-to-do-with-my-arm classic insta pose but we are now in Truro and we can hear seagulls so let's go with that... ZERO faff to get here, left very early this am and happy days. Few days staying at our pals and very happy.

MAXIMUM faff incoming for our hopeful Greece trip in a week though . Summary of tests and hoops we've gone through now in stories for departure in a week (as requested by a few of you so I'll save to highlights). But with the massive disclaimer that this is what we've booked and everything keeps changing and by god it's a ball ache and who even knows if we will get there 😂. And anyway consult the government website 'cos who wants to listen to a woman of 46 years old who stands with her hand to her ear just 'cos she doesn't know what to do with it?

#40plusnotgivingupyet #cornwall #truro

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Throwback. Dunno why I do this to myself though 🥺.

This was Greece 10 / 11 years ago. Our first holiday that we enjoyed with the girls rather than grit our teeth trying to endure through lack of sleep. Hard work with kids this age but such joy.

Different hard work with teens though isn't it ? We have booked Greece with George too saying he will come with (first time abroad with us!). It is in just over a week and fingers crossed all the hoops and tests and everything go through before hand. Omigoodness it is an utter ballache 😂. We have a few days in Cornwall first staying at friends but Greece is where we can entice the boy so I'm gonna get a pic on some steps with him too and the girls. So I can look back and cry at that at a later date too. #emotionalwreck

Ps I always loved Crocs on the girls. I think Pops was in size 2 infants. George has just got a pair size 13 adult. Ffs. Another pang literally everything making me cry 🙈 #isthisthemenopausetoo


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AD One of my happy places and not giving a stuff about what I look like in a wetsuit thickened middle or not!?. But unlike my slightly dodgy handling of the paddleboard there is one thing I'm determined to take charge of and that's my hormones which also seem to be slightly all over the place! Yes I am talking menopause and although I'm not COMPLETELY there yet I'm definitely peri..

Indeed.. it seems I don’t go a day on stories without someone Dm’ing me about their experiences, or to let me know that “yes my symptoms are a sign and just you wait!”. At 46 years old, I’ve had my first hot flush (WTH!), erratic sleep patterns, forgetfulness and itchy skin. Joy.  But it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom and the best thing we can do is learn more about what this next chapter brings. In fact, 2 out of 3 women say that they don’t feel prepared*. It DOESN’T NEED TO BE LIKE THIS! 

Always Discreet, is on a mission to empower women so that they can manage their menopause symptoms with confidence. They’re teaming up with Menopause experts, Over the Bloody Moon, to help equip and inform women as they embark on the next stage of their life. 
@overthebloodymoon (what a brilliant name!) are hosting a FREE series of Menopause Masterclasses, sponsored by Always Discreet, to help to remove the muddle and fog that so many of us feel as we approach this stage (or indeed while we are in it!). There will be four classes running throughout September, open for everyone whether you are pre, peri or just want to find out more about the menopause. 
I’m signing up and I’m looking forward to it, see the link in my stories if you’d like to get involved too. Women SHOULD be able to empower themselves in this. I want to take control of the things I can’t control.  As for controlling a paddleboard? Well I hope I will be less wobbly with that too but that’s another story..

#AlwaysDiscreet are products for bladder leaks – a symptom that you might experience during menopause.
*The Invisibility Report" by Gen-M, Oct 2020


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I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Top tip... when I've cooked in the past week it's taken me a cold shower to get over the heat. From now I shall chuck a baguette, some cheese and salami on a plate and call it a Ploughman's dinner. Or.. if you leave it late enough they'll all help themselves to cereal. Other lazy too hot to prepare dinner hacks welcome ⬇️⬇️⬇️..


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You can see our #smallmumtallmum reel on our Instagram highlights so check it out!

A hashtag born from an Instafriendship with Abi @stealmystyle40!
We shopped, we storied, we shared our try-ons and laughed at the differences in sizes.  Our followers told us they LOVED it and asked for more. #smallmumtallmum was born!