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.

My home style: The flat 2013

Back in 2013 my flat was featured in the book ‘Style Your Modern Vintage Home’ by Kate Beavis which I was also the stylist on.  It is a fantastic book featuring peoples vintage inspired homes from the 1920’s look through to the 1980’s/90’s look and also includes advice on collecting vintage plus lots of styling tips in how to display your finds.  

I thought today I would share it with you to give you a taste of my personal home and interiors style…

All images courtesy of Simon Whitmore via F&W Media International Ltd.

I love to mix vintage and modern together so my home fitted the books brief perfectly.  As an ex window dresser and now stylist and style blogger how things look are so important to me. Am I fussy?  Maybe!  

I also wanted to show what could be done in a rented flat as so often interior books and magazines only show the most amazing, huge older houses – totally unrealistic for the majority of us.  Real life can still look fabulous. So take a look at the flat I lived in then…

The lounge – a fun mix of pop art, flashes of red and orange and retro 60’s styling.   

Table – original 1960’s Arkana, Artwork – John Lewis, M&S, Sofa – Harveys, Cushions – Matalan, Primark, Lamp – M&S, China Cats – Villeroy & Boch, Rug – vintage.

The kitchen/diner – a rented flats modern kitchen styled to feel different & quirky with a dining area designed to maximise a small space.

   

Table & chairs – original 1960’s Arkana, Artwork – vintage 1980’s, John Lewis, Fridge – Smeg, Glassware – vintage 1960’s, Kettle & Toaster – Breville, Clock – M&S, Accessories – Alessi, Matalan, Vintage

The hall – Fun vibes with a practical need.

Side table – original 1960’s Arkana, Lamp – Dwell, Clock – vintage 1990’s Swatch, Chair (just seen) – original 1960’s Arkana, Trimphone telephone & telephone book – vintage 1970’s

And finally some of the styling details – 

        

It was a great exerience having my home, as it looked in that moment in time, immortalised in a book! 

I have since moved to a new house that needs work, so look out for blog posts showing my home styling there. A bigger space will be much more fun and now thst we are not renting anymore, we can change what we want!

‘Style your Vintage Modern Home’ by Kate Beavis is available from Amazon – here 

All images courtesy of Simon Whitmore via F&W Media International Ltd.

Lets hear it for coral!

The sun is shining and *sings* I’m feeling gooood!!! One of the best things for me as the weather warms up is the opportunity to wear more colour.  I love bright colours and always feel confident and happy wearing them.    

Todays outfit is all about the colour coral.  Coral is a great colour to wear for Spring and Summer as it is bright but not over-powering, is super cute and feminine and is flattering to most skin tones.  And here I am wearing a shirt, jumper & skirt combo embracing the hue.

coral preppy spring primark & per una look 1 via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

I love a full skirt and this one with pockets from my favourite haunt Primark, is just perfect – and it’s so flattering.  You put it on and feel like you should be in an episode of Mad Men, all cinched waist and shwoosy hemline.  Plus it only cost me £5.00 in the sale! coral preppy spring primark & per una look 2 via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

coral preppy spring primark & per una look 3 via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

coral preppy spring primark & per una look 4 via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

I love to use a white shirt as a layering piece and think it adds a great preppy edge to what could be a ‘too pretty’ outfit.  Make-up wise I wore the coral lipstick I got recently from Poundlands Make-Up Gallery (blogged here). I’m definitely loving their bright lipstick colours and its adds that extra pop of colour!coral preppy spring primark & per una look 5 via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

And finally, gold pointed flats from Matalan complete the look.   Metallics are perfect with bright colour as wearing a dark shoe just looks odd.  I’m not one for high heels so a pretty, pointed flat gives me a feminine look without the discomfort (pain is not good when you’ve got a school run to do!)coral preppy spring Matalan gold shoes look 6 via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

This is one of my favourite outfits I’ve styled so far this year and it got a lot of great feedback via Instagram (follow my feed here). So, what do you think about coral – hot or not?    You know where I stand.

Shirt – Matalan

Jumper – Per Una @ M&S

Skirt – Primark

Shoes – Matalan

Pulling myself back together…

I’ve been ill. For two days I’ve felt terrible and then today a miracle – I woke up and I was well again! Now, Liz Taylor famously said “pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together” and thats what I was going to do…

For me fashion isn’t just about looking good on the outside, its about feeling good on the inside too. If you wear something you love you feel better, more confident and happier – end of. I personally need fashion to feel the full version of ‘me’.

So today I decided to dress myself to feel great and went for a silver foil print tulip skirt and statement long pearl necklace worn with a simple black polo neck and boots. I hadn’t worn make up for a few days so just doing my usual routine (I don’t wear a lot of make-up) made me feel so much better. Its interesting how a few little touches can make all the difference. The reflective silver in the skirt and the beauty of the Chanel inspired pearl and flower necklace all seem to lift my mood and I feel so much better.

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I think Liz would approve!
What do you do to feel great? Does fashion have the same effect on you? I couldn’t live with it and its effects.

Jumper – M&Co
Skirt – Be Beau @ Matalan
Necklace – Dorothy Perkins
Boots – Store 21

My skirt is better than your skirt…(sort of!)

Ok, its probably not – but let me start by saying I am in love with this skirt. Properly. Yes its a bit weird but I’m ok with it. Fashion is a love affair after all!!!

I bought this Kew skirt a few years back but have never been small enough to fit into it. But this year with my metamorphosis into a runner and some dieting, my body has slimmed down and finally I can get myself into a size 10 fixed waist…yay!!!

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Its a little tricky to wear for a petite girl so I co-ordinated it with a fitted white shirt, navy fitted jumper and Forever21 necklace. Its a heavyweight check with fringed hem in an A-line maxi shape.

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Its a perfect choice for Winter and I think I’m going to wear it quite a bit till Spring.

Shirt – Matalan
Jumper- BHS
Skirt – Kew (now part of Jigsaw)
Necklace – Forever21

Matalan Alphabet Charity Scarf

Its great when a charity item is also a desirable item. Matalan’s Alphabet scarf for Alder Hey Childrens hospital is just that. Priced at £10 for adults and £5 for a kid version all the profits go to the charity. Loads of celebs are wearing them too which is brilliant. I fell in love with mine when I saw an Instagram of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing my design.

I picked the pink and grey version for something a bit different and its a lovely long soft scarf with an appliqué felt initial.

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Since having my son, the idea of any child ill and in hospital, especially at Christmas just kills me and hospitals such as Alder Hey in Liverpool do an amazing job. I am more than happy to donate money to them and in a small way help a family in a terrible situation.

And here I am all alphabeted up!!!

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Scarf – Matalan
Jumper – New Look