What happened to Valentines Day?

Ok, lets get this out the way…I HATE the modern day version of Valentines Day.

I bet you’re thinking – well I guess she’s some super grumpy, unromantic person who hates all this love and fuss stuff? Ironically that couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me explain…

In an age before the internet, social media, Tinder, non stop advertising and the media trying to convince us we should all live/look/spend like the rich and famous whatever our income; a pretty paper card sent anonymously to a loved one was an adorable way to show that you loved/liked/wanted to court them. It was personal and coy and sweet and seemingly now something of a time gone by…Let me tell you a bit about me – I would describe myself as a very romantic person. I tell my fiancé lots of times through the day I love him (as he does to me), send romantic messages and notes, go on date nights, take time to look after myself and look nice/wear pretty lingerie etc (because it makes me feel good – making my boyfriend smile is an added bonus), spend time cuddled upon the sofa in the evenings and generally make time to do things that will make him feel loved, appreciated and wanted. I love being in love and couldn’t imagine living any other way. I don’t dislike the idea of Valentines Day…I hate what marketing and the media has made the day become.

I think because I am a romantic person who loves to make a fuss of the people I care for, it makes me hate the whole concept of the modern day Valentines Day even more. Let me tell you why…

Its fake – So who was St Valentine? The saint of Beekeepers and Epilepsy amongst other things. Why do we celebrate Valentines Day? Well that one is full of debate. One thing is for sure – the whole thing is a mix of other celebrations and twisted to fit in with a modern day event created to sell stuff.

It encourages people to spend money have on things they don’t need – Valentines Day is a marketing dream (I should know, its what I do!). Adverts begin weeks ahead, stores replace their Christmas stock with Valentines stock, magazines tell us instead of a £5 box of chocolates and a card, we should buy the person we love a £200 designer watch because bigger is better and we start to get brainwashed by it all.

A whole industry has emerged created fun ‘novelty’ gifts no-one in their right mind would want – Everyone loves a teddy with a heart on, pair of fluffy handcuffs or fabric rose don’t they? Oh right, they don’t. And don’t get me started on things like chocolate body paint…

There’s some women who use it to make other women feel like lesser beings – There’s always those people who want to show you their huge bouquet of roses, heart shaped balloons, diamond earrings etc. Good for them…but show offs are never fun to be around and there’s a competitive, nasty side to it that I just don’t like. Ladies we don’t need to be like this!

Men generally don’t like it – You know when another ‘special’ day exactly a month later is created (it involves steak and other things men love – see the cheeky details here) by men for men, that Valentines Day is not a thing men on the whole want to be forced to do. There is of course, lots of romantic men out there but who wants to be told when and how you should be romantic?

Its creates ‘the pressure’ – The pressure to buy gifts, the pressure to book an expensive restaurant, the pressure to send flowers, the pressure to have sex that night whether you want to really or not, the pressure to out-do your friends. If you’re single there’s pressure to be in a relationship as that’s what society tells us will make us happy…well, I know quite a few people in relationships who seem utterly miserable. Anything to do with love should feel free, not forced.Whether you are single or in a relationship we all know the truth – we are being manipulated. Don’t be told when to be romantic – in fact if you’re anything like me make an effort of be romantic EVERY day…and don’t expect a present because of it. Do it because you want to. Do it because being in love compels you to do so. For me that’s what true love should do…and the rewards are much better than getting a gift you’ve guilted your other half into buying you.

Personally this Valentines Day, I will choose a card, write a heartfelt message and that night have dinner, watch TV, kiss and cuddle and then go to bed with the man I love just like I would any other night.And you know what? Life is about freedom of choice – if you truly love the whole idea of Valentines Day then go for it – the candlelit dinner, expensive gifts, rose petals on the bed, slow-mo sex; whatever says ‘love’ to you!

But do it because you want to…and don’t share it all over your social media for the attention and likes – the odd pic might be cute but your whole evening?  Intimate moments of love should be for 2 not 200. True love is the most precious thing we can have in our lives – lets not cheapen it – its worth far more than that.All photos via my Instagram – to follow me (its not all romance I promise!) click here.

Uniqlo/Marimekko collaboration

Sometimes theres just a coming together of two favourite brands that you cannot ignore. This happened recently when Uniqlo announced that their next designer collaboration would be with Finnish design house Marimekko.

For those not familiar with Finnish design house Marimekko, their style is bright, fun and vibrant and having started in the 1950’s has a very retro feel.  They create fashion and homewares and their fabrics are often used within interior and retail design projects.

The collaboration itself is a range of 6 different prints repeated into dresses, tops, trousers, bags and shoes with all the price points sitting within Uniqlo’s affordable set pricing structure.

After visiting the store and trying on a few pieces (being a Japanese brand I find Uniqlo clothing can come up a little on the small side) I settled on two t-shirts and a dress. I could of bought lot more but was strict on myself as my wardrobe is already bulging at the seams.

This is what I bought…

Dress – £19.90

Uniqlo Marimekko fashion range via www.AlwaysaBlueSkyGirl.com / Blueskygirlie

The print itself is named Polle (Horse) and is based on an image the Marimekko design team took of what they describe as the “round hoof prints left by a plump small pony.” so I’m already in love this print!  This is a comfortable slightly A-line fit, t-shirt dress and I went for a small which would fit a 10-12 fine. Its sizes run XS – L, is 100% cotton and costs just £19.90. Oh and did I mention it has pockets!!!

T-shirt – £12.90

Uniqlo Marimekko fashion range via www.AlwaysaBlueSkyGirl.com / Blueskygirlie

A boxy shape, I went for a size medium for a slightly roomy fit. It has all its print to the front, is available in sizes XXS – XL, is 100% cotton and costs just £12.90.  The Pompula (pompom) pattern depicts flowerpots. According to Marimekko, its been used as flowers are a warm way to remember friends, family and loved ones on different occasions.

T-shirt – £12.90

Again a boxy shape, I went for a size medium for a slightly roomy fit. It is white with just the print on an oversized chest patch pocket featuring that aforementioned plump pony print! It is available in sizes XXS – XL, is 100% cotton and costs just £12.90. Perfect with jeans and trainers I loved the cute simplicity of this tee.

All the items are all beautifully made and fantastic quality for the price.  Sizing can be a little confusing and I’d recommend a try on session but as ever Uniqlo has come up trumps.  It even comes in its own lovely paper carrier bag…

The range is available now in selected Uniqlo stores now and online here.

COLOUR POP: Red & Pink

When I saw this blouse in Zara the other day, displayed with a whole red and pink theme I just had to have it. Its rare I feel like that while shopping these days so didn’t hesitate in buying it.

Blouse/ £25.99 Zara

From the Zara Basic range it is made from a lovely silky material, with a hidden placket front, shaped shoulder pads and cuff button detail. At £25.99 it is a complete steal and looks so much more expensive than it was. Their VM fuelled my already slightly obsessive love of red and pink together and I also picked up a pair of pink Zara cropped wide leg trousers for £29.99 (although I think a pair of red peg leg trousers may be next on my shopping list – the Zara ones the model is wearing were about 6″ too long, so searching the petite ranges it will have to be!).

So instead heres how I styled it…

Size wise, I went for a small in the blouse and it fits well – fitted on the shoulders but loose enough on the hips to be worn longer with jeans. I was feeling smug about buying the small at Zara but had to size up to a large in the trousers as they are a pull on style so that soon put me in my place! Urgh, Zara sizing…

To complete the look I added some bright red sling-back flats from Primark…

…as well as a bright pink lip colour.

I really loved this outfit and will definitely wear it both for the office and with heels and tassel earring on a night out. I have SO many different red and pink items in my wardrobe this blouse has encouraged me to mix a few of them together. I cant wait to see what looks I can create next – I really think its the perfect bright colour combo for Spring/Summer!

Not quite your style? Heres some more red and pink Zara shopping inspo….theres something for everyone!

Red blazer /  trouser  Sleeve detail top  Ribbed t-shirt

Two tone bodysuit  Flower earrings    Floral wedges

Blouse / Zara (in store now)
Cropped trousers / Zara (in store now)
Shoes / Primark (old season but similar available in store now)

Getting back into watch wearing

I used to wear a watch.  In fact I wore a few.  I had Swatch watches in the 80’s and 90’s, a G-Shock in the 00’s and by my thirties I had worked up to designer brands.

And then I got a smart phone. 

Technology is great, and yep, your phone tells the time but its usually in your bag, or the batteries dead or (worst thing ever) you’ve left it at home. I am forever asking my boyfriend (who sensibly wears a watch) what the time is and I realised that smart or not, my iphone was really not doing it for me anymore.

Step in Plus Watches.  After a quick look round their website I fell in love with a gorgeous, classic watch which I thought had a timeless style and would go with anything. It was from the Marc Jacobs section, a brand I have always loved and thought suited my style (which has evolved slightly since wearing a Casio G-Shock back in the day, thankfully).

It was gold with a off-white dial, a real leather strap and said ‘designer’ without screaming it. Understated style with a luxury feel – thats what I wanted in a watch so I picked this Marc by Marc Jacobs beauty…

Find it here

It was a bargain too – reduced to £112.99 from £199.00 which I thought was a really good price for a watch of this quality.



Delivered really quickly and securely (and for free – I do love free delivery!) it arrived in a lovely gift box which would make it perfect as a gift too. It has a Quartz movement and is water resistant to 5ATM (50m), but the thing I liked the most about it is its tan pigskin leather strap.  I have really small wrists and most watches swamp them or if they have link straps have to have links taken out. With this being a traditional style strap, it fitted my wrist perfectly…and didnt look out of proportion either.  Its perfect.


With it being quite neutral in its colour mix, it goes with so many of my other accessories particularly things I like wearing in the Autumn. I will layer gold coloured jewellery with it to create a strong Autumn/Winter look.  By Christmas I will add brooches too all with the same golden theme.


I have hardly took this watch off since I received it.  I have worn it most days and it really has gone with everything I’ve worn. 

I guess I’m back in love with wearing watches!

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Marc by Marc Jacobs watch / via Plus Watches.

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

July Favourites

July has now come to an end…want to know what I fell in love with, bought and found so far this summer?

Of course you do!!!

Jumpsuits
I have worn a lot of jumpsuits so far this summer. Being 5’2″ I often have to have them shortened but its definitely worth it. I find them really flattering for my curvy figure and like dresses they are simple – they are all you need for a complete outfit.

Tassel earrings
Tassel earrings have been everywhere this summer and they are a great statement piece. I have bought them from all kinds of places the cheapest being shipped from China via ebay for less than £2.50. My favourites have to be the now iconic H&M ones – I have them in a few colours and they make any outfit feel special. They are just £8.99 a pair so if you see them in store grab a pair!

Coconut hair products
I love the smell & taste of coconut and have fallen in love with these hair products. The Inecto Naturals range is a low price but extremely good organic coconut oil based range and if you have hair that needs taming it is AMAZING! I also struggle with shampoos making my thick, wavy hair fluffy and unmanageable but since moving on to a low shampoo (find the review here) have found my hair much better. The new Garnier Ultimate Blends are silicon and paraben free and although don’t foam up as much as some shampoos (don’t be fooled, the foaming does little to actually clean your hair) have made my hair feel soft, managable and smelling great. They will now be a regulars on my bathroom shelf.

Basket bags
Summer means the beach and hopefully a holiday and I always find I start to use different bags day to day once the sun comes out as well as packing one for my holiday. These type of bags make you feel so summery, don’t cost that much and I managed to buy 3 this month!

HEMA
HEMA is a company I have only just discovered. Originally from the Netherlands, its a Tiger/Ikea/Paperchase hybrid and as well as all the cute homewares, stationery and food it has a really amazing make-up range! I bought a fab orange/red lipstick and lipliner for under £6 for the 2 and I havent stopped wearing them! The beauty range is huge, is great quality and very well priced. Currently mainly located in London main train stations go check them out if you’re travelling anywhere.

Primark £4 cross-over sandal
Sometimes you find something simple yet stylish that you just love. My advice? If it comes in other colours buy them…you’ll regret it later if you dont. These sandals by Primark have been a fabulous find for this summer and now I have them in 4 colours – and at just £4 a pair you can afford to buy multiple pairs.

Pineapples
OK its bordering on an obsession, but theres just something about a pineapple design that makes me so happy. I love to eat them, look at them, wear them and have them around me!  The homewates were bargains from Asda and Aldi, the necklace was from Peacocks and the shirt was from one of my favourite stores, Zara.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
This stuff is the bomb! You can cleanse your face plus remove any make-up (inc eye make-up) and it softens your skin too. Micellar water is made up of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in soft water. The idea is that micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, so they are able to draw out impurities without drying out the skin, therefore, it can be used as a facial wash, makeup remover and moisturiser all in one. It looks like water but when you put it on your finger and feel, it has a different texture than water – I just love it!


Slogans
I do love a cheeky slogan and couldn’t resist this sun hat from Tu at Sainsburys and these adorable pumps from H&M. Both were under £10 too…

I’m off on my holidays now and I’m sure you’ll see a few of these pieces popping up in my Instagram photos.  Finding things you love brings you joy…simple as!  

Enjoy the rest of the summer xx

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)

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
 

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!!!