M&Co. Blogger Style Challenge: Beach Break

M&Co. have just launched their new summer catalogue and I’m already starting to plan my summer wardrobe.  As you might remember I’m a big fan of M&Co. and blogged my top buys for spring 2015 here and now I’m ready to do the same for summer! I’ve already been through the new catalogue and created a wish list of summer buys for myself…


…so when M&Co asked me to pick my favourite items from the new range and create a great fashion look for under £100 for either a beach or city break I was super excited. I do love a city break but with the sun shining and the heat rising, I’m dreaming of lazy beach days and hot summer nights. So here is my ultimate look for feeling stylish, cool and fashionable this summer during a beach break…

Petite floral print multi-way maxi dress – £29

Why it HAS to be in my suitcase this summer: I’m 5’2″ and adore wearing dresses so finding a dress in the right proportions is very important to me.  I love the flattering shape of this petite range dress, plus the removable multi-way straps makes it really versatile. Straps marks? Not for me this year!  The bold print is fun and summery but not too busy if you’re curvy like me.  A dress you will wear again and again.

M&Co petite maxi dress via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

buy it here

Trilby straw hat – £10

Why it HAS to be in my suitcase this summer: A sun hat is an essential for keeping cool in the midday sun (and avoiding sunstroke etc) and a trilby shape is fashionable with that edge of cool.  Styling wise a hat adds an edge to any outfit and this one could be worn with jeans and a t-shirt as much as it can a dress.

M&Co straw trilby hat via Always a Blue Sky Girl blogbuy it here

Set of four bangles – £8

Why it HAS to be in my suitcase this summer: Adding a small amount of jewellery can make all the difference when you are styling an outfit.  Bangles are great in summer, you can wear as many as you want and gold works perfectly with a tan.

M&Co bangles via Always a Blue Sky Girl blogbuy it here

Gold oversized sunglasses – £14

Why it HAS to be in my suitcase this summer: Oversized sunglasses just ooze glamour and the gold again accentuates a tan and look great with anything. Plus if you don’t want to wear make-up every day they can hide weary looking eyes from the night before!

M&Co oversized sunglasses via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

buy it here

Leopard Print Halterneck High Waist Bikini Set – £28

Why it HAS to be in my suitcase this summer:  Firstly a beach holiday is not a beach holiday without some glamorous swimwear!  Many of us can feel a bit insecure in swimwear so a great fitting suit will make you feel your very best. This 1950’s inspired one is underwired giving great support with a retro halterneck tie fastening and the high waisted bikini briefs with side ruching are so flattering particularly if you are like me and like to cover your tummy. Glamorous, flattering and will contour my curves – I call that perfect!

M&Co leopard high waist bikini via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

buy it here

And this is everything together…what do you think?  I love a relaxed yet stylish summer look and I think this is a perfect beach holiday choice for me.  And to top it off, it all came in at just £89 leaving me enough money left over for some suncream too!  See you by the pool….

outfit build M&Co.jpg 1

What’s your beach holiday essentials?  Find the rest of the range at www.mandco.com or pop into a store near you.

Aye Aye Captain!

Its all feeling a bit nautical today!  I’ve teamed a vintage striped top with M&S sailor style wide legged trousers and navy boat shoes for a fresh summery look.

Tucking a top into fitted trousers accentuates any curves (and my tummy definitely curves!) but today I’m embracing that!  Yes my tummy is on show but the buttons on the hips draws the eye to the edge of your silhouette rather than the centre and the wide trouser leg balance it out.  Also – thank God for M&S’s short lengths – I didnt have to alter these trousers for once!

#ootd nautical striped vintage and m&s look via always a Blue Sky Girl blog
I have added two button brooches I bought from eBay to the vintage top make it even more unique.  This 80’s tee is a great jersey piece with panels of stripes rather than a continuous block which is more flattering. #ootd nautical striped vintage and m&s look via always a Blue Sky Girl blog
#ootd nautical striped vintage and m&s look via always a Blue Sky Girl blog  #ootd nautical striped vintage and m&s look via always a Blue Sky Girl blog
Navy leather flats from Matalan finish the look. A pair of navy shoes is definitely worth having as works great with jeans too.#ootd nautical striped vintage and m&s look via always a Blue Sky Girl blog
When I go out later all I’ll need to do is throw on a denim jacket and I’m good to go.  Smart, fun, easy to wear and perfect for a Friday casual day if you dont want to wear jeans.

Top – vintage

Brooches – eBay

Trousers – Marks & Spencer

Shoes – Matalan 

Coat of Dreams

The other day I bought probably one of my most favourite things ever from Primark.  A baby blue and grey bonded trench coat made from a scuba type material.  It is just perfect and I adore it! Primark Atmosphere  scubs fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

I am wearing it today with a very simple outfit as when something is this nice you want it to stand out.  Simple grey t-shirt, skinny blue jeans and grey pumps – all from Primark too!  Elegant yet still fashionable – perfect for a 42 year old that still wants to embrace the wonder that is fashion.  For sizing I am wearing a size 10 (EUR 36/38).

Little details like the roll up sleeves make it great for warmer months – lets be honest, in the UK you still need a light coat most days.  The scuba material is soft and light and definitely can be worn most of the year.  It has a double breasted press stud fastening and traditional trench coat styling of epaulettes, rain guard and gun flap.

Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog Oversized vintage sunglasses and wavy hair add to the slightly retro look….Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog   These skater style shoes are only £4 in store now at Primark which is amazing value.  You’ve got to love a bit of extra co-ordination, it can make all the difference.  If you’re quick you may find the coat as well, although I found it in the sale section.

Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

So it appears Joseph wasn’t the only person with a dream coat!  Thanks Primark for dressing me beautifully today – I seriously never want to take this coat off.

Coat – Primark

T-shirt – Primark

Jeans – Primark

Shoes – Primark

Sunglasses – vintage

Attachable Collars

I do like a collar detail, especially when wearing a jumper and I couldn’t resist buying one of these detachable collars from eBay.  Shipped from Hong Kong they cost next to nothing (well less than £3) and after the longish wait for them to arrive, I think they’re rather good!

Heres some examples from eBay of the types you can get…    

EBay sellers have a wide selection of different styles but I went for a traditional white shirt style collar with white button.  You wear it like a necklace with the button doing up round the front but there are also versions with a yoke part that tucks in, if you want something that will fit any neckline.  

So this is me in my pink jumper.  Pretty non-descipt…  
And this is me wearing the collar.    

What do you think?  I think its a great way to update an existing top or create a shirt effect when it might be too warm to wear two layers.   And all at a bargain price too – and that seems like a winner to me!

Find similar items from eBay here

Copenhagen H&M shopping haul

I recently blogged about a great trip I had to Copenhagen, Denmark.  I love fashion and I love H&M and the stores out there (being Scandinavian) were amazing!  In fact there were about five different ones in the city centre alone!

Today I thought I’d share with you what I bought… 

I love a dress and ended up buying a few, plus a top, jewellery and accessories.  Danish Krona equates to about 10: £1 and although the items weren’t hughly cheaper than the UK a lot of items that have only just launched in the UK were heavily reduced in their sale.h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Jewel Print dress – £5.00 (reduced from £29.99). I have loved this jewel print range and seen pieces on other bloggers but not been able to track any pieces down. This is a mini dress/tunic top with wide 60’s sleeves.  I wore it out recently with wet look leggings and heels and felt very ‘Megan Draper from Mad Men’! The print is just gorgeous.  It is a loosish fit and the size 8 (H&M size 34) fitted me perfectly.h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog   

Palm detail dress – £5.00 (reduced from £39.99).  This is a heavyweight lined cotton mesh dress and very unusual – I love the french knot embroidery detail and its casual fit.

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog Striped top – £17.99 – an absolutely classic, elegant look with a high turtle neck.  I’m planning on teaming it with white trousers or wide leg jeans.h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

H&M loves Coachella lace dress/cover up – £14.99. The minute I saw this on the mannequin I knew I had to have it. I thought it was a total bargain at £15 and the bright coral crochet lace is very nicely done. It can be worn as a beach cover-up but I will wear it with a slip underneath as a short summer dress.  On my boyfriends advice I went for a size small for a more fitted shape. h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

And then the accessories…

Divided Keys necklace & padlock earings – sale price £2.50 for all.  I have worn this necklace loads since we’ve got back and absolutely love its uniqueness.

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Blue necklace – £2 (reduced from £9.99), star keychain – 50p (reduced from £4.99), starburst earings – £2 (reduced from £6.99)h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Gold earings – £3.95.  Wanted some simple drop studs for ages (where part hangs under your ear) and these were a total bargain.

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog Lips purse £2 (reduced from £10) and lips cosmetic bag £2.99 h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

If I’d of paid to store my luggage in the hold I would of bought even more!   Many of these items are instore now at H&M UK.  Look out for them all in future outfit posts.

Visiting Copenhagen

My partner and I have made a promise to ourselves to see a new city and do a new thing every year and this Easter was the turn of visiting a new place. 

I’ve wanted to visit Denmark for a while.  Its one of the most stylish places from a design perspective, is a totally different experience from travelling in southern Europe, embraces English as a language and is said to be one of the happiest place to live.

I instagram’ed A LOT while there so let me share with you what I saw, discovered and felt…

The airport – yep, Denmark scores high in the design department, even the airport is stunning.

Tourist attractions – theres so much to choose from but heres a few I loved…

There are a lot of royal palaces to visit as various ones were built, burnt down or replaced since the 1700’s. The current royal family live in two modest palaces (similar to an English stately home size) protected by Bearskin wearing guards not unlike ours. 

The Little Mermaid has to be THE thing to visit while in Copenhagen.  It can be reached on foot and is quite amazing to see in real life. Hans Christian Andersons legacy can be seen all around the city and gives it a magical air. I have to say I got quite emotional seeing it in real life.  There is also a ‘Big Mermaid’ to visit further up the shores edge where you can also do watersports and sail.

Copenhagen is quite unique as it has a theme park right in the middle of the city. Tivoli Gardens was founded in 1843 and has become one of the cities biggest attractions. Hans Christian Andersen visited many times, as did Walt Disney who was said to of used it as inspiration for Disneyland.  Part of Tivoli Gardens’ secret is that there is something for everyone – the scenery is beautiful with exotic architecture, theres fantastic food and drink, it has historic buildings and of course the famous gardens. At night, thousands of coloured lights create a fairy tale atmosphere that is completely unlike anywhere I’ve ever been to. It is quite expensive if you want to go on all the rides and eat dinner but its definitely worth it.  I will never forget how magical it was.


For a great view of the city visit the Rundetårn (The Round Tower) which is a 17th-century tower built as an astrological observatory. It is most well known for its corkscrew style path instead of stairs leading to the top, and for the great views over Copenhagen.  We liked the glass floor where you could look down and see how high you were plus we got to do one of our holiday traditions of kissing at the highest point we can find in the city!


  Food and drink – 

Denmarks food is fresh, simple and tasty. Copenhagen is expensive to eat and drink so it was great to have a good breakfast at the hotel before we started our day. Hot breakfasts arent really a thing in Denmark so expect boiled eggs, breads, meats to make sandwiches, yoghurt and many types of pastries.  Open sandwiches with variations of salt beef, roast beef, fried eggs, beetroot, herring, liver paté and rye bread should definitely be tried for lunch.  And for dinner?  Well I loved their steaks…

  Nyhavn – 

If you picture Copenhagen you will probably picture the postcard prettiness of Nyhavn (New Harbour).  Bright coloured buildings line the side of the canal with lots of beautiful boats moored there.  Its a great place to eat and drink or take one of the sightseeing boats round the city – we did both.  Absolute holiday perfection.

Love Locks – 

Last year we visited Barcelona and left a engraved padlock there and it has now become a holiday tradition to do so.  This years padlock is now happily amongst the others on the bridge at Bryggebroen where you will find hundreds of other peoples padlocks too. 

If you don’t know the idea, also seen in many other big cities, it is that couples come and lock their padlocks (decorated with their names, dates and other messages) to the wires of the bridge, then throw the keys to the water below as a sign of unbreakable love. Pretty romantic, eh?  See our love lock below…

Modern Architecture – 

As well as the old, Copenhagen also has some amazing modern architecture.  It really takes your breath away as it is such a stylish place. My favourite was the ‘Black Diamond’ building (seen below with us reflected in it) built to reflect the water all around so ever shimmering like a gem and close second was the Opera House (seen after). 
Shopping – 

I did some shopping of course!  Strøget, the main shopping street in the city is Europe’s longest pedestrianised thoroughfare, running for well over 1,000 yards.  The selection of designer homewares is amazing with recognisable Danish brands everywhere plus lots of antique shops.  There’s also a real ‘healthy’ feel to shopping with the biggest selection of fitness clothing across different shops that I’ve ever seen including specific departments just for kids.  Clothing wise, H&M rules the high street and its not hard to see why.  Look out for further blogs on what I bought there!  My partner loves Lego and he was not dissapointed either.  Made in Denmark its presence is strong in department stores, toy shops and its own stores and it looks great.


Bikes – 

Continuing the healthy feel, there are so many people riding bikes.  It is a very ‘green’ city and you can hire bikes and park them pretty much anywhere.  This leads to a very laid back vibe, with the streets clean and quiet. 

We found everything really easy in Copenhagen. You can fly there cheaply (our flights only cost us around £50 each return and that was during the Easter break), the people are very friendly, everyone speaks English and signs/announmcements are all in both languages. The weather in April was warm and not that different to the UK.  Its easy to get from the airport to the city centre (about 20 mins on the train) and the city can be navigated easily on foot or by metro/train.  It has definitely become one of my favourite places and I would highly recommend a visit.

Its the perfect city break!  

I am a runner, hear me roar!!!

I am a runner.  I run 5k (3.5 miles ish) 3 times a week. Not a big deal?  Actually it is.

Two years ago I couldnt run for 5 minutes. And 5 years ago I was more than 90lb heavier than I am now. So to me its a huge deal…and I’m very proud of myself.

I run obsessively.  I rarely miss a run and run regardless of weather, illness or date (I even ran on Boxing Day). Me and my fiancé even do runs on our holidays – we’ve done runs in France, Spain & Denmark so far!!! It has changed my life…as well as my body – in the last year my weight hasn’t changed much but I’ve gone from a UK 12/14 to a size 10.  My anxiety (which I’ve suffered from for as long as I can remember) has pretty much disappeared and I feel for the first time, totally in control of my body and health.

But today lets talk clothing – what to wear for running when you love your clothes.  Fashion is one thing but running gear needs to be fit for purpose, so I stick one one brand – Karrimor.  I buy it via Sports Direct where it is greatly reduced and in my opinion its just great – many runners swear by the brand.  Its tight fitting but great! 

On my feet I wear Puma Descendent’s – I have 2 pairs I alternate, one older black and pink pair and a newer white and pink pair (more for summer) plus supportive/padded running socks.


Fitted long sleeve running top – this is great as a base layer or as a top when its a bit colder. For summer, short sleeve versions are available (plus vests for the 3 days in the year its hot enough 😄).  Whats great about them? Bright colour and reflective stripes for visibility, mesh panels to help the body breathe and a tight fit that wont stretch or go out of shape. 

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

Running tights – yes they are a bit scary if you have a few lumps and bumps you want to hide, but my view is, if anyone dared to make a comment youre the one running and theyre the ones sitting on their lardy asses! They are strangely flattering actually and where they are tight they act like shapewear.  Whats great about them?  Zipped back pocket, reflective details, zips at ankles.

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

Hat and headband –  whether is cold or hot these do the job.  A hat is imperative in the winter and I love the headband to cover my ears on windy days when my hair is tied back. Whats great about them?  Reversible hat (pink is great for visibilty), a tight fit that wont stretch or go out of shape. 

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Underwear – you definitely can’t start running without a sports bra!  That and trainers are the two things you can’t do without. I personally find Berlei bras really good and use a non wired version that you can also wear as a crop top. High impact is definitely the way to go. Obviously depends on your bust size but as I’ve still got D cup boobs I need them contained! Pants wise I’m still working on finding the perfect solution LOL. Some runners adocate going commando but I’m not so sure.  My view currently is to wear seamless high waist pants that wont ride up or be too fussy – not sexy but hey, youre working out.  Plus your bum is going to look a lot sexier in the long run!!! 

Vest & cropped leggings – in the summer I go lightweight as I can’t stand being too hot. Capri leggings or shorts are perfect and a vest replaces my normal runnung tops.

Whats great about them?  Breathable panels, zipped back pocket.


 Trainers –  Puma Descendents.  Whats great about them?  Lightweight, supportive, breathable mesh toe section.

Puma Descendent trainers via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

Puma Descendent trainers via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog 

Fitness clothes do not have to be expensive – my last pair of trainers cost less than £20 and the running pieces start from around £4 at Sports Direct.  A word of warning though, once you buy a few bits you just cant stop building up your running wardrobe!

If I’ve inspired you to try running at all I’d recommend the c25k app which trains you from walking to doing a full 5k run (and beyond).  I was terrified but it really works. Give it a go, it might change your life!

All clothing – Karrimor via Sports Direct

Sports bra – Berlei 

Trainers – Puma