aka the adventures of blueskygirlie: I'm a part-time marketing consultant/social media content creator, a part-time style blogger and a full-time fashion obsessive! I am also a seller of fabulous vintage treasures via Etsy, a mum to a blended family & here to help to prove you can be over 40 & still look great! I dropped 5 dress sizes between my 30's and my 40's and now run 5k 3 times a week. I changed my life and this blog helps me to share what I'm discovering along the way…
Regular readers to this blog will know I’m quite a fan of Very. I have been a customer for a long time now and as well as loving the ranges I also like, as a online catalogue, you can have an interest free account and pay your balance in 3 parts using their ‘take 3’ option. This can be quite useful to spread the cost of things across 3 paydays or split a bigger purchase such as a leather jacket into more bitesize pieces. And then theres the sales…
Have a look at what I bought recently –
Definitions asymetric tunic – £9.75 (from £25) – the coral colour sold me on this top and its such an easy summer wear with leggings and sandals.
Vila suedette and stripe breton top – £16 (from £22) – I loved the updating of the classic breton with the suedette top and it works perfectly with the South boyfriend jeans – £15 (from £32) – distressed jeans look great in the summer rolled up with sandals and the dark wash on this pair is just perfect and looks really premium.
Shoe box lace up flats – £10 (from £20) – I’ve been seeing lace-up flats on fashion bloggers everywhere and at this price I couldnt resist!
River Island bib collar – £6 (from £16) – OK, OK its clear I love a collar! I find them so versatile and love the look they create without ruining the line of your clothes.
South skinny cropped jeans £11 each (from £20) – not the most exciting items in the world, but these will become a wardrobe staple and with their tight capri leg and high waist suit my figure perfectly.
All items available at Very.co.uk now while stocks last. New customers can open a Very credit account and get £30 off your first £60 spend using code FDNWW.
Over Easter myself and my boyfriend travelled to Hungary for a 4 day city break. We had not been there before and were bowled over by the city.
So what to do when youve got time on your hands, no kids, a centrally located hotel room and some holiday cash?
Well firstly Hungary is not an expensive country! Food and drink is cheap and many of the attractions were free (or only a few pounds). We arrived with Euros but quickly changed them to HUT as paying in Euros works out very expensive (plus a lot of places wont take them). Be ready to feel like youre spending loads though as 1000HUT is worth about £2.50!
My top things to do…
Cruise the River Danube – the river splits Buda and Pest and is breathtaking. Take a romantic stroll or a riverboat cruise. We did both – a cruise works out about £15 a person and really lets you see the city along with learning the history too. We loved it!
Top Tip – book your cruise ahead at one of the tourist information points instead of being hassled at the waterside by the many different reps who may try and overcharge you.
Be in awe of the architecture – Budapest is a visually stunning city. Out of all the amazing buildings the Parliament buildings are iconic and usually what you see on postcards etc.
Top Tip -it is a working building with armed guards to the front as well as sculptures and fountains but it looks best viewed from the water.
Get sporty on St Margarets Island – Ok, we are a bit annoying as we are both regular runners and like to do a 5k in cities that we visit…its a bucket list kinda thing. I know, I would hate us too if I didnt think we were awesome! St Marys Island is a car-free purpose built island in the middle of the Danube for sports and leisure. You can bike around it, canoe around it, play sports, visit the petting zoo or like us run round the 5k running track. It was full of locals when we were there and Budapest seems a very healthy city generally.
Top Tip – if you have room in your case pack some sports clothes – whether its a run, the hotel gym or finding somewhere to swim, its great to have the option to exercise available.
Get steamy at the Széchenyi Thermal Baths – A bit further out of the city (we had to take a short bus ride) is probably one of my favourite things I have ever done. A huge purpose built stunning building thats over 100 years old – you can swim in the thermal springs, get a massage, enjoy hydrotheraphy, sauna or just chill out on sun loungers.
Top Tip – book a cabin for a private changing room experience and pay to put your valuables in their safe boxes for extra peace of mind.
Ride the Castle Hill Funicular – so everyone wants to pretend theyre in a Wes Anderson movie dont they? This just sums up the whimsical charm of Budapest. The views as you go up and down are stunning too…
Top Tip – at the top discover the Hungarian National Art Gallery and see the changing of the guards outside the Presidents house
Explore the unique Buda –
Budapest really is a tale of two cities. The old town on the Buda side is unlike any place I’ve visited – very medieval feeling, quaint and unusual. It gets busy with tourists but we loved it.
Top Tip – if you visit St Mathius’ church book the cheaper bell tower tour rather than the full church tour – the climb will tire you out but the views are great.
Visit St Stephens Basicila Cathredral – this is one of THE landmarks of the city and the ornate interior has to be seen to be believed. Entrance is by donation but spend a bit more and climb the 363 spiral steps to the dome balcony – the views are fabulous and theres even an art gallery on a hidden level!
Top Top – Afterwards, chill out on St Stephens Square where there are lots of pavement cafes and bars…
Ride on the trams – public transport in Budapest is cheap and relatively easy to use – we travelled on a bus and metro transfer from the airport (for about £4.00 each) and then used the metro and trams when things were a little too far to get to on foot.
Top Tip – the older yellow trams on the Pest side are adorable and you feel like youre in a 1950’s movie riding them. Buy a daily travelcard and enjoy!
Buy a rose shaped ice cream delight – there are lots of great food in Budapest but my favourite of the trip? It had to be these beautiful handmade rose ice creams made from 3 flavours of ice cream from Gelarto Rosa.
Top Tip – avoid the queues of the main shop which is nearest St Stephens Square by heading further down the street where you will find a second branch!
Dress up and eat out – when on holiday it has to be done! I’ll be honest, as a fussy eater I struggled with the hearty Hungarian food – however for lunch Goulash in a bread bowl made an interesting change and theres plenty to choose from. Food and drink is very reasonably priced with a 2 course meal with alcohol for 2 in a good restaurant easily managable on a budget of £50.
Top Tip – a 12.5% service charge is always included in the final bill in Hungary so dont add anything else on.
Leave a Love Lock – this has become something of a traditional for us. After a romantic break its lovely to think they’ll be a part of you left there after you leave – last year we left one in Copenhagen at the spot where my boyfriend proposed to me. In Budapest they have metal ‘trees’ created for this purpose in Eserbet Tér (a large park in the centre of the city) so you know youre not vandalising anything or they’ll just be cut off a month later!
Top Tip – plan ahead and make one before you go using a cheap brass padlock. My boyfriend engraved it himself creating a lovely personal touch.
Budapest is a definitely ‘recommend’ from me! We flew to Budapest via Ryan Air from Stansted and stayed at the President Hotel in the centre of the city. Flights start from around £60 each way.
So, I don’t wear an activity tracker when lots of people do. You know why?
Well its simple – they look awful. I dont care how beneficial they can be I can’t wear an ugly bit of plastic/rubber round my wrist all day, every day. I know I’m fussy but I plan my outfits with precision…and a FitBit (or similar) just doesnt work for me style-wise.
Then I saw this advert…
This is what the website says –
“Swarovski and Misfit joined forces to bring the most advanced tracking technology into beautiful Swarovski jewelry. The Swarovski Activity Crystal is designed to be always on — it has a six-month battery life and is water resistant. And it is designed to help you look great throughout your day, whether playing sports or celebrating a special occasion.”
This is how it works…
OK, thats made me fall in love a bit, it looks great but lets be honest Miranda Kerr could make anything look amazing…
Choice wise the look is luxe and sparkly. You can get different options with studded and diamante straps, a leather watch style strap, matching bracelets and bangles and even a pendant necklace!
But the real question is does it work well as an activity tracker or is it all style over substance?
You don’t need to charge it just relace the battery every 6 months or so. You can improve and track your fitness via the app where you can view your activity or sleep history by day, week or month with graphics to show number of steps, calories burned, distance travelled etc and how many points you earned towards your goal. For sleep tracking, you can see how much sleep you’ve had and how much of that was deep sleep. There’s also the usual notifications for personal bests and the option to connect your account to Facebook.
Plus its not just an activity tracker – the Swarovski Activity Crystal pairs with the app to become a smart button that can interact with connected devices. You can take a picture or selfie or control your music…now this function I really like!
Whether you think the options are gorgeous or garish, one thing’s for sure – this is a blueprint for invisible wearable tech that fits into our stylish, fashionable lives. The future is now!
The tracker is available in stores and online starting at £129 with extra straps available at £59.
It is designed to be compatable with iPhone 4s/5/5c/5s/6/6 Plus, iPod Touch 5, iPad 3/4/Air/mini, Samsung Galaxy S 4/5/6, Samsung Note 3, Google Nexus 4/5/6 and Android 4.3 BLE devices and above.
So what do you wear when you cant be bothered to style?
Black. No brainer.
Of course when I say ‘no styling’ I of course mean minimum styling, as if you love fashion like me, you’ll find it hard not to try and make every outfit, even lazy day ones, a bit more stylish!
All black is super easy to work with though and I like to make it a bit more intetesting by adding different textures and a stand out accessory such as a necklace or as I have done in todays outfit, some statement earrings. After a few hot days its now pouring with rain so the summer dresses have been put on hold for now…
I recently bought myself a few new black jumpers as they are do easy to just throw on. This one is from H&M and is currently in the sale reduced from £19.99 to just £7. It has a turtle neck and is made from a textured knit that is ever so slightly see through. It is cut to be oversized so I went for the smallest size (XS/extra small) and it is still quite roomy on my size 10/12 frame.
I co-ordinated it with a pair of wet look leggings which I wear quite a lot especially as an alternative to skinny jeans. They are super comfy too! The shiny look adds an extra element that plain black would not of, plus they make you feel kinda sexy… As I mentioned the only real accessorising to this outfit was a pair of statement earrings, plus my trusty black leather Converse. When I bought them I was a bit worried they might not get worn as much as my other 1000 pairs of Converse (a slight exaggeration but not much) but they are the perfect shoe for when you want a more dressy trainer. I just love them.
Welcome to a new semi regular blog! As you may know I run a business on Etsy selling vintage items and often end up keeping things I fall in love with.
In these blogs I will share what I’ve bought and why (hopefully) it was a good buy!
Todays item is a dress I just fell in love with the minute I saw it. Made in the Netherlands in the late 1970’s/early 80s it is by the brand Suku San and is in a bold colbalt blue polyester crepe. At the same time I also picked up an unusual twisted vintage belt so the outfit is full on vintage which is unusual for me.
What I loved the most though was the draped front and split sleeves. Its so stylish and feels great on, plus the whole outfit cost me less than £5! Comfort and style…hoorah!
What do you think? Its definitely going to be one of my favourite dresses in my wardrobe.
Dress & Belt – Tomorrows People charity shop
(Tomorrows People is a charity in Kent that helps unemployed people get work experience and become confident to find a permanent job)
What bargains have you found recently in the world of charity and vintage shops? I would love to know…