Getting Ready for Holiday

I have less than a month before I go on holiday and I think its fair to say I’m starting to get excited. This is our first family holiday abroad as a blended family, and my first resort holiday in quite a few years – we are staying in an all inclusive family friendly resort in Majorca.

Holidays are great but you know what I like as well? Holiday shopping!!! Have a look at what I’ve been buying for the beach/by the pool…and you know me, they are all bargains!!!

Bikini top – £10/George at Asda
Bikini bottoms – £6/George at Asda

Swimsuit – £12/George at Asda



Sunglasses – £3/Primark
Sunglasses case – £2/Primark
Hard Sunglasses case – £3/Primark
Earrings – £8.99/H&M


Sun hat – £8/TU at Sainsburys

Earrings – £3, Necklace – £4/Peacocks

Playsuit – £7/Primark


Leather sandals – £20/Peacocks
Straw bag – £32/Bohemia Design
Sunglasses – £9.99/New Look
Hard Sunglasses case – £3/Primark
Beads – £1 (vintage)/Cancer Research UK
Lipstick/lip pencil – from £1.50/Hema
Hair products – from £1/Tresemme 


Sandals – £4 a pair/Primark

Bikini bag – £1.50 / Primark

Straw bag – £9 / Primark

Bodysculpt control swimsuit – £12 / George at Asda

And of course a load of dresses etc for the evening but we’ll leave that for a different post!

Are you going on holiday this year? Have you bought some perfect pieces that you cant wait to wear in the sun? I’d love to know…

Palm Power

As it is now summer (hoorah!) its time to embrace all those colours and prints you wouldn’t normally wear any other time of the year.  There’s something about a tropical print that always feels really summery and I am quite the slave to the palm print in both fashion and home.  

So when this little gem caught my eye in the TU clothing department in Sainburys for just £20 I thought it was a really wearable summer staple and snapped one up.  

It is described as a jumpsuit but I would describe it more as a culotte dress. I’m 5’2″ and its length sits like a midi dress on me. It is a fitted shape with square neckline and short sleeves and zips up the back and for those who hate summer and the nightmare that is thigh rub this is the perfect solution!  Overall the shape is very retro and flattering and the wide cullottes balance out the fitted top perfectly.

Sainsburys TU palm tropical print jumpsuit culotte dress via Always a Blue Sky Girl Sarah Gorlov
I co-ordinated my new buy with some amazing OTT palm leaf acrylic earrings I got from New Look many years ago because, well, I love a Palm! I always wear these earrings in the summer and they have been a great buy.Sainsburys TU palm tropical print jumpsuit culotte dress via Always a Blue Sky Girl Sarah GorlovThe tie waist adds an extra flattering element meaning you can pull the waist in if you wanted a looser fit (I chose to wear mine quite fitted) and the fabric has some stretch to it as well as being a vibrant mix of greens, black and beige highlights.  I feel really great wearing this, have so far worn it to the office and can’t wait to wear it on holiday too.

Sainsburys TU palm tropical print jumpsuit culotte dress via Always a Blue Sky Girl Sarah Gorlov
Its available in store now but will sell out fast so grab one while you can!

Culotte Jumpsuit / TU at Sainsburys
Sandals / Primark (past season)
Earrings / New Look (past season)

#AD Skin Chemists Advanced Snail Duo Moisturiser

As you may know I am a Skin Chemists ambassador and I love to try their new (and always innovative) products. The first product I ever tried from their brand was their Advanced Snail Eye Serum (find the original blog here) and although initially I was a little squeamish about using a beauty product with snail secretions in it, I was really impressed with its effects.

This month I am trying another product from the snail range – Advanced Snail Duo Moisturiser.

Skin Chemists says Snail Duo Moisturiser is formulated using a range of regenerating and nourishing actives to help repair the skin from daily damage, whilst protecting against future environmental stress and leaving a mattified finish.  The main active ingredients include:

Snail Secretion – derived from the natural defensive liquid secreted by snails aims to delay premature ageing of the skin, whilst reducing visible age spots and providing protection from free radical damage.

Tiare Flower Extract is combined with light and silky coconut oil, working to hydrate, repair, soothe and purify the skin.

Vitamin E Acetate aims to leave the skin moisturised, whilst providing further protection against skin damage from environmental aggressors.

Creatine works to imitate an amino acid found naturally within the skin, it aims to revitalise cell energy metabolism, whilst hydrating and protecting the skin.

It’s worth doing a patch test if youre concerned you might be allergic to any of these ingredients. I did notice a very slight tingling feeling when I first started using it and although I didn’t have any type of reaction, I feel if someone had more sensitive skin it might be worth it.

Also if youre a bit worried about the whole ‘how do you get this from a snail’ part (which is quite understandable) be assured Skin Chemists are a cruelty free company and only use sustainable methods to extract snail secretion at no harm to the snail. Afterwards the snail is returned healthy to its breeding place – yay!


This product is easy to use in its pump action dispenser and smooths over the skin effortlessly, leaving a slight tackiness that sets quickly – you can even put make-up on over the top too if you use it in the morning which is great. On first use, what I noticed most was how a small amount plumped my skin almost immediately with a slight tingling feeling and after a few weeks of use my skin feels firmer, fine lines seem less and my skins imperfections have been reduced without making my skin greasy.  

Marble effect trays / H&M Home
Sunglasses / Depop
Sunglasses case /Primark
Earrings /Dorothy Perkins
Brooch / New Look
Eye Shadow / L’oreal

All in all this is another great product from Skin Chemists – I will be using the Duo Moisturiser with the Advanced Snail Eye Serum for a maximised effect and hope the reducing of my fine lines will continue! Oh and for anyone worrying it smells lovely too… 

Buy Advanced Snail Duo Moisturiser here.

Truly innovative products are rarely cheap, with this product retailing at £99.90, but Skin Chemists have been incredibly generous in giving readers of my blog the code SARAH1 for a whopping 80% off (making it just £19.99) throughout May.   Give it a go…what have you got to lose?

*I was gifted this product but all views stated are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer section.

The thing I fell in love with this week

H&M ❤ Coachella star earrings / £6.99

I love stars. Simple as. Oh and I love H&M. So when I saw these earring I just had to have them!  Statement earrings are back in fashion and these chandelier style earring definitely do that. They are lightweight and have a mix of black, glittery midnight blue and lilac in them which pretty much works with most outfits.

H&m coachella star earring Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blog BlueSkyGirl Sarah Gorlov
And finally the price – at only £6.99 they are an absolutely bargain. I have worn mine with my simplest outfits and they really take the outfit to another level. Grab a pair now before they sell out! 

Available in store now – £6.99
 

Me, my mental health and I…

Ostensibly this is a style blog – something to help you look and feel good, but in my experience neither is possible if you are not mentally healthy.  This week is Mental Health week, an awareness week supporting people to open up about mental health, fight some of the stigmas associated with talking about mental health problems and to seek help if it is required. This years theme is to ask ourselves if we are ‘Surviving or Thriving?’ and seeing that a mental health problem will affect 1 in 5 of us in our lifetime, this week seemed a good week to share a personal essay about my own journey with my mental health…

I was always a happy child but an anxious one – I was the oldest and an overachiever from the minute I could talk. I think anxiety is born into you – maybe even an inherited trait, as I remember worrying about lots of things as a child and already having a sense of wanting to be perfect. Nowadays theres is lots of talk about safeguarding children’s mental health but in the 70’s and 80’s that kind of thing was practically non-existent, however there was also not as much pressure on kids at an early age like there is now. For some reason though I put pressure on myself. I remember getting ‘nerves’ and being ill when worried (about a big event or test for example), getting headaches, being sick or having stomach problems – all classic signs of an anxiety disorder. By the time I was a teenager and was at a high pressure girls-only grammar school, this anxiety was exhibiting almost every day. Did I get help? God no, I just hid it…I hid it really, really well and so began a pattern of behavior that I followed for most of the rest of my adult life.

Hiding a mental illness is not uncommon. Why do we do it? Well mainly its the stigma of saying you are ill, but not properly ill, just ill in the head. This is a totally ridiculous view of course but this is how you feel – people tell you to ‘pull yourself together’ or imply you’re making a fuss about nothing. Feelings of shame overwhelmed me and I became very good at hiding my issues. By the time I was 16 eating disorders were common at my all girls school and something that the girls there encouraged each other to have. Having already developed an unhealthy relationship with food I was overweight so opted for Bulimia – it really was that simple.  I first foray into a proper mental illness – I crashed dieted then binged and purged… I lost weight and everyone praised me and told me how good I looked. It was a strange irony, I was ill on the inside but deemed as looking great on the outside. My periods stopped, the enamel started to come off my back teeth, I had a scar in my hand from making myself sick and when my parents at their wit’s end called out the doctor and I started to realise I couldn’t live like this – I was eating ice cream for breakfast and then not drinking a Diet Tango because it had 3kcals in it rather than Diet Cokes 1kcal.  Ultimately as a form of self-preservation I came to my senses and stopped the purging…it really is the most awful, destructive, disgusting illness but my issues with not feeling good enough, being anxious and my warped self-image never really went away.

After I left school I started working as a window dresser in London in a creative whirlwind of fun, partying and no real responsibilities. It was the early 90’s and we were fuelled by alcohol, ecstasy and the energy of youth. Ironically even with all this hedonism they were some of the happiest and least anxious years of my life – but then earning decent money and living at home, real life hadn’t really begun for me yet…its like I was playing at being a grown-up, but we all know those days cannot last. And they didn’t – by the time I was 21 life suddenly got very dark.

When I had my first panic attack I honestly thought I was dying. I had experienced the sudden death of someone very close to me and was deep in the confusion of grief, loss and utter devastation. There was help around me – my worried parents paid for private counselling, my GP offered me Prozac and Valium and friends rallied round me but I just wasnt ready to help myself. As I limped out of this terrible experience my anxiety gripped hold of me as it did again 3 years later when my father died suddenly and I headed through my 20’s and then into my 30’s suffering from different types of anxiety disorders. My reliance on food as a comfort continued too and my weight ballooned leaving me morbidly obese by the time I was 30. My mental health was all over the place – I gained and lost the same 3 stone at least 3 times each time not being able to keep myself on a steady path. I also became better and better at hiding the cracks in my mental health – I was always bubbly and confident, well presented, I held down a good job, was in a long-term relationship and created a beautiful home but on the inside I was fighting myself…and my panic all the time.

At 33 I had my son.  I desperately wanted a child and when he was born he was just perfect and I instantly fell in love. I was lucky, unlike many other mothers I didn’t suffer from post natal depression and recovered quickly from the birth. Having my son made me, probably for the first time in my life, put someone else first. He changed everything, because although I still worried (mainly about him) I couldn’t focus on myself all the time, over-thinking and obsessing, and slowly my anxiety started to dissipate. Back at work full-time with my husband staying home to look after our son I decided I wanted to start to take the control back in my life. Within a year or so, I had achieved everything I set out to do but something didn’t feel right and my old enemy, anxiety started to rear its ugly head again. Migraines, sudden sickness and panic attacks become a regular occurrence but you would never of known it. I knew in the back of my mind what was wrong but decided it was better to ignore it. It’s amazing how long you can ignore your own problems but ultimately in the end you realise it is killing you slowly and by the end of my thirties I realised I was wasting my life – I felt like a zombie. After much soul-searching, in quick succession I left my husband (it had been an unhappy and unhealthy relationship for some time), I took redundancy from my senior creative role and sold my house, downsizing my lifestyle considerably. I totally changed my life.


As I entered the most stressful stage of my life I had experienced so far, at the beginning panic gripped me everyday but I fought it and the mere fact I was creating positive change made it easier and easier to control. I removed toxic people from my life, simplified how I lived and I started exercising at the age of 40. Exercising has completely changed my mental health. Gone are the panic attacks, I still get anxious about things, sure, but exercising seems to quell my demons, helps me think and fills me with endorphins. After building up my fitness using the app C25K I now run 5k three times a week every week. I have a very loving, supportive new partner, a great work/life balance and finally the understanding that I must be proactive and responsible for my own mental health. No-one else can do this for me – I wanted to change my life so I did. It wasnt easy but it was worth it. 

I now know the warning signs when things are getting too much and I speak freely to the people around me about how I am feeling. If I’m getting stressed I tell my loved ones and seek their support. I refuse to be ashamed anymore – my anxiety disorder is just as much part of me as my green eyes are, but I will not let it own me. I control my life, I control my health and I control my happiness. I have made a conscious choice to be happy and I can say I am happy in my life now – truly happy.  However there is no real end to this story – I will live with my anxieties in some shape or form for the rest of my life but I will not be beaten by them.

Find more about Mental Health week here and find links to my other blogs on my mental health below, I hope you find some things in them that are useful –

My weight
My self esteem
Exercise
Being called ‘fat’

If you need help speak to someone – a friend, family member, your doctor or call one of the many helplines available. You are not alone.

THAT Next Peasant Top…

You might remember me saying I had treated myself to the Instafamous red Next peasant top as part of my birthday spending last month. I had seen this top on A LOT of bloggers and had fallen in love with it knowing it would be a great summer staple but also something that was a bit different from my other summer tops.

Now we all know seeing something on Instagram and wearing it in real life are two very different things. For a start I do not have the body of a typical Instafamous blogger type – I am over 40,  5’2″ and curvy so not all ‘it’ items work for me…in fact many dont 🙈.

So what did I think? Well I really like this top.  It is priced at £40 and well worth it in my opinion – it’s great quality (a thick, quite boxy, cotton) with lots of embroidery and a tassel tie collar.  The red is REALLY red and it looks great with denim (and hopefully a tan when I finally get one!).

Next red peasant blouse top Sarah Gorlov blueskygirlie Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blog blogger
A word of warning though – it is quite short in the body. I think it was designed to skim over the waistline, or be tucked in and for someone my height it hangs longer to my hips which works for me. But if you are taller you might want to size up.  The sleeves are also designed to be slightly shorter – a bracelet length but with them being bell shaped I think that looks ok.

This top comes in sizes S – XL and I went for a medium. It’s loose but not too baggy on me and has that bit of extra length to it.

Next red peasant top blouse Sarah Gorlov blueskygirlie Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blog blogger

Ultimately though, this top is all about the sleeves…the embroidery is really nicely done and you feel like this could be a designer top.  Its material has weight to it and the tassels are heavy making it feel very authentic.


For todays post I co-ordinated it with this bargain Primark sandals and bag combo  – the sandals are just £4 and I recently grabbed this red pair and a denim version in store. They are really comfortable with an elasticated back and wrap over fabric front. The cross body bag is just £7 and looks much more expensive – I love the navy and red strapping. Its a good size too if youre like me and carry far too much stuff with you!

Primark red £4 sandals Sarah Gorlov blueskygirlie Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blog blogger

Primark saddle bag and red sandals Sarah Gorlov blueskygirlie Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blog bloggerTop –  Next – available here.
Jeans – Very.co.uk
Sunglasses/Sandals/Bag – Primark

Oh and if you REALLY love this blouse but red is not your thing – it comes in blue too!


Youre welcome 😉

Birthday Bonanza 

So last month it was my birthday. Its lovely to receive presents particularly when most of the year youre spending your money mainly on other people (kids I’m looking at you). Want to see a selection of what I was lucky enough to get?

As a working mum/stepmum of three boys, doing up a house, with a foreign summer holiday on the cards, there’s nothing too extravagant here but have a look and hopefully get inspired for some present choices of your own…

V by Very colour block coat, V by Very embellished cross-body bag / Very.co.uk

I had been after this coat for a while and when it went 50% off in the Very sale pointed my boyfriend towards it. It is wool with different colour panels and really looks fab with just jeans and a t-shirt.

This bag was another item that went into sale, it was out of stock for ages but when a few appeared online I made sure one of them ended up as a birthday gift for me! The detail on the strap is just lovely and has got quite a few comments plus they go together nicely too!


Embroidered sleeve peasant top / Next

Everywhere on Instagram, this top will be a summer staple for me. Be warned though it comes up quite short so I went up a size to the medium. The detail is amazing though and it looks like a £300 top not a £40 one.

Love you to the moon and back artwork / Clintons


I am going to hang this within a collection of artworks on one of our feature walls – its a phrase my fiancé always says to me so has real meaning too.

Boho jacket, fluted sleeve jumper, assymetrical earrings / M&S


I had been given some money so put it to good use in good old M&S. The fluted sleeve ‘it’ jumper had been on my wishlist since Christmas so I decided to treat myself but instead of my usual grey I went pink!

Reasons I love you gift box / Not on the High Street

This was the cutest little birthday gift from my fiancé…there are 10 handwritten notes in this pretty box saying reasons why he loves me ☺️ I do love a personalised gift and a romantic gesture too. 

Bloom by Estee Lalonde/ Amazon


I was interviewed by Estee as part of the behind the scenes filming on the Garnier advert I filmed last December and was struck by her cool Canadian style. Her book has all sorts of tips and information in and I really like its relaxed but stylish vibe.

‘Hello Lovely’ hanging mirror plaque / Wilkinsons


Because if you can’t have a mirror tell you youre lovely then whats the point? This is really lovely and adds a feminine touch to my usually quite retro tastes.

Vintage 1980’s necklace / Vintage Fair


Ah my best friend knows me well! I will wear this with a black polo neck or t-shirt while channeling my inner Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl. I love vintage jewellery for its uniqueness and love this look.

And that is a selection of the bits I got!  I hope my presents gave you some style inspiration – its lovely to receive gifts you love and I usually set up a wishlist or ask for money to achieve just that. 

So I’d better start building it back up – its only 8 months to Christmas!!!

You can never have too much (bargain) Jewellery

They say accessories make an outfit and for me having a selection of different jewellery I can dip into to add to an outfit really helps me make a difference when styling my clothes.

Just want to wear a white t-shirt and jeans today? Add a fab necklace and it will take your outfit to the next level. The other bonus is costume jewellery is usually quite cheap so you can grow and a collection quite quickly without spending too much money. 

With jewellery I am quite a believer of quantity over quality and will happily rummage through the sale areas of high street stores to find some bargain bits!

In todays blog I’ll share with you some the pieces I have bought recently, none of which cost over £5…


Crescent moon necklace /Primark
3D ring earrings / New Look
Heart earrings / New Look



Silver hoop earrings / New Look
Ribbon corsage / vintage (charity shops can be great to pick up unique and bargain priced pieces)


Tassel earrings / H&M


Rose gold disc necklace / Topshop 

You’ll see these pieces appearing accessorising my regular outfits very soon! Who says you have to spend a lot to look great???

What bits have you got recently that you love?

The thing I fell in love with this week

Beach bag £14 – Matalan


I couldn’t resist this fabulous beach bag in Matalan on a recent visit. It cost just £14 but looks so much more expensive than that with some fantastic details. Plus its huge…you could easily fit your towel, book, suncream etc. inside – I mean, what more could you want in a summer bag?!?

Its detailing is really good (beading and thick embroidery) and there’s a matching tassel charm too!  


It is also lined in black cotton, with a magnetic fastening, zip pocket and additional phone size pocket. For me, these little details make it more versatile than a normal beach bag and therefore an even better buy.

I won’t just save this for the beach…I’m using it as a great ‘carry everything’ summer bag now.  

There’s quite a few different designs to choose from – find the full range here or pop into your nearest Matalan store.