Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??

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Loud living room decor

I love a bit of colour in my life, so for today’s post, I thought I would show you all some Pinterest worthy living rooms that introduce some colour into the area without being too out there. Combining neutral tones like browns and greys with some liveliness really can take an area to the next level. Here are a few of my favourite finds:

grey living room with yellow

via Renters Pages

This one isn’t so much loud in colour, but more loud in design, if that makes sense. This one combines a pretty neutral colour palette, with some pretty interesting design elements. A few bright and cheerful yellow throw pillows alongside black and white damask and cow print? Sign me up!

living room decor

via Flickr

The neutral colour palette with bright accents is pretty much the easiest way to bring a bit of colour into your living space, and is turning out to be the main theme of this post! Here we have an old-fashion looking Chesterfield (I think!), with some gorgeous 60s-inspired throw pillows. The clash of colours really works out well for the look!

bright modern living room

via Decoist

Even with the pillows and bright red chair, the colour palette in this living room remains quite muted. But the thing that makes the area really pop with originality is the large print on the wall. The pillows on the sofa take their cue from the colours within the painting, while still allowing the artwork to be the main attraction in this living room.

yellow living room colours

via Digs Digs

This one is admittedly the loudest of the lot – but those yellow curtains are to die for! Something bright and cheerful like those beauties would be the perfect fit for any sort of room. If you wanted to do a monochromatic look with greys, whites and blacks, this would be the perfect pop of colour, or if you wanted to, you could do something like the image above with bright accessories thrown into the mix

What do you think? Are you into the bright look or would you rather something more muted?



Pieday Friday ~ My ideal Halloween dinner party

I would invite all the deceased greats to my spooky Halloween dinner party; Elvis, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and Frank Sinatra, along with some of my favourite fictional folk; Casper the Friendly Ghost, the Genie from Aladdin and Plop, from The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark book. My Halloween shindig is a looking a little male-heavy at the moment so I’d also invite Marilyn Monroe, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Amy Winehouse and Mildred Hubble from my favourite kids’ book The Worst Witch to sit around my scary dinner table. It’s a mixed bunch, but I’m sure we’ll all have a fantastic time – especially with these Halloween-inspired recipes for dinner:

pieday friday halloween chocolate cornflake cakes with iced cobwebs and dead flies sultanas

I can never get enough of cornflake cakes so I’ve made a batch with cobwebs piped onto the top. Even though I know that it’s an icing spider, I’m still too scared to eat it so I’ll go for one of the uninhabited cakes instead! Check out my recipe for this easy-peasy spooky snack.

cassiefairy pieday friday recipe for spiced caramel apple autumn cake

These are my favourite fruity treats for my Halloween dinner party; spiced caramel apple cupcakes with cream-cheese icing. It’s somewhere between a carrot-cake and a toffee apple so it’s ideal for this time of year – plus it would be easy to hand these around at the party while my guests are mingling.

Step by step recipe for GBBO schichttorte-5

Earlier this month I made a schichttorte while baking along with The Great British Bake Off and I think that this would be an impressive desert to service to my ghoulish guests. Have a look at the recipe and I’ve even shared details on how to create cobweb icing which would look great on any cake!

chocolate apples recipe for national chocolate week pieday friday for halloween 2013

For a slightly healthier option for young dinner party guests, I’ve coated apples with a little bit of tasty chocolate decoration which makes them look spooky and spidery to fit in with my Halloween dinner party theme – here’s my blog post all about making these chocolate apples.


I think that’s enough sweet treats – dessert is definitely covered! – but what else will we be eating at my disgusting dinner party? I thought that butternut squash soup would be a suitably seasonal starter along with a cheeky cheesy stilton crumble on top – so yummy!


And my main course would be fish-eye pie. Okay, maybe there’s no actual fish eyes in this traditional admiral pie but it does taste good and will be filling and warming so that my guests can head out into the cold night air without a shiver.

skull bowl

After dinner the whole gang would retire to my imaginary cinema room and we would watch a scary movie – probably Ghostbusters, as I get very easily scared and any of the traditional serial-killer films would be too gory for me! I will of course be serving popcorn and snacks in this scary skull bowl that I found on Etsy.

diy skeleton header image

I will be wearing this homemade skeleton outfit to my dinner party so that my zombie guests will feel at home and I’ll be sure to add a few decorations around the home including some pumpkin carvings, candles and seasonal displays.

harvest floral arrangment table display orange pumpkin retro living room

I hope this blog post has given you a little inspiration for creating your own Halloween dinner party so please let me know if you try out any of these recipes for yourself this October!

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Thrifty fairy lights for Christmas AND Halloween!

I know I sometimes go on about Christmas a little too early but this time it’s for good reason: If you get your fairy lights for Christmas sorted out now, you can make the most of them by using the lights to decorate Halloween too! I’ve already got a few packs down from the loft – especially some red and green ones that I picked up in the sale last year – and I’m planning on stringing them up outside my house ready for Halloween.

Scary window display & red berry lights from John Lewis

Using fairy lights is a great way to make your home look inviting when you want to welcome families of Trick Or Treat-ers to your door; you could line your windows with lights and stick some spooky silhouettes to the glass. It’s good to put out the traditional lit pumpkin too, but fairy lights can even help to illuminate your path if you spread them out along the ground or attach them to poles to create a twinkling rope fence. The lights will give an eerie glow on the approach to your house and will be especially scary in red!

illuminated trees & colourful outdoor lights from John Lewis

Weaving fairy lights around your trees in the garden is especially good if you’re having a Halloween party as it will provide another ‘room’ for party-goers as they spill out onto your patio and will keep the party going outside as well as inside. You could also use traditional white fairy lights to wrap around pumpkins or to fill jars and lantern, and place these around the porch or even indoors on the dinner party table.

I think these are fabulous ways to create a scary decor for Halloween and wouldn’t you agree that buying your Christmas fairy lights now is a thrifty way to make the most of your purchase?! Plus you’ll be ready to decorate your Christmas tree and home as soon as December 1st arrives, haha!

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What to wear to a winter wedding 2014

We all know I’m a fan of a good dress. Any time that I’m shopping online or in the stores, I always head straight to the dress section and simply cannot resist a well-fitting, figure-flattering dress. There are so many different lovely styles you can choose from and they work well in a variety of situations, from nights out clubbing to formal work socials, the dress is the perfect opinion for any situation. Now when it comes to weddings it normally pretty set in stone what the bride and her bridesmaids are going to be wearing, but this begs the more difficult question of what should you wear as a guest? The answer is simple really, a dress of course! There are a number of different options to go for and numerous other things you can add to your outfit to make it look even better, just don’t out-do the bride, haha!

Keep it simple

Everyone knows that the little black dress has been a staple in many people’s wardrobes for a great number of years and for good reason. The versatility of the dress makes it a must-have fashion item, it’s easy to dress up for a formal work event or business attire and is just as easy to dress down for a casual night out with friends. When it comes to weddings the little black dress is a safe choice that will always look good, just add some ornate jewellery and a clutch bag to complete the outfit. The contrast of the between your black dress and the brides’ white dress will make you look even better, and help make the bride stand out even more, which is definitely important at their wedding. I really love my midi wrap-dress below for weddings because it’s more than just a little black dress – the floral pattern really makes it a dress for all seasons and it’s a very demure, classy style. Just remember to not wear a dress that is too short or low-cut and make sure you look presentable as you don’t want to ruin the wedding photographs!

A LBD & my favourite wedding dress from House of Fraser


The bride has numerous tools like the budget trackers, seating planners and guest managers, all of which are available at Wedding Site, that help her add the finishing touches to her wedding. Similarly, jewellery is one of the many extra tools you have available to you to add those ever so important finishing touches to your own outfit. The use of jewellery can add so much to an outfit if used correctly and with a wedding it is normal to go all out with necklaces, ear rings, bracelets and rings. Remember to compliment your clothes with your jewellery, choose a small necklace and a more ornate bracelet if you’re wearing a medium or high-neck dress with no sleeves, or go for a bigger necklace and some dangly ear-rings if you opt for a more low-cut, thin and long dress.

Complete your outfit with a big coat

One of the most important parts of any winter wedding outfit is some form of jacket or coat to accompany your evening wear. The winter period is a favourite for weddings due to the tranquil scenery and seasonal festivities but, of course, the weather much colder, so it is important to wrap up warm to be ready whatever the weather. A nude tailored coat is ideal choice for any smart occasion and neutral colours will work well with any outfit, giving you the freedom to experiment with your choice of dress and shoes. Pastel colours are also ideal for weddings and a classy coat will keep you warm and comfortable during the day while letting the rest of your outfit shine later in the evening.

Turn heads with a midi dress

Obviously it is important to not steal the show from the bride on the biggest day of her life but surely you can you can turn a few heads? Midi dresses are becoming increasingly popular as guest attire for a winter wedding, granting the perfect combination of boldness and sophistication, with the added warmth that the extra length gives you. During the day accompany the dress with a chic jacket or cardigan. A bright colour really suits the long, flowing style of the dress and will make your dancing look even better (and let’s be honest, some of us need all the help we can get!).

A fabulous midi dress & I can dance all night in these peep-toe wedges!

Wear some hard working heels

A part of your outfit that is just as important as the dress are the shoes that will be keeping you up for the entire day and night. A classic style of shoe and comfort are the most important things to consider as you will be standing during the ceremony, mingling during the reception and dancing the night away. Open-toe heels are always a good choice at weddings, looking chic yet smart and sophisticated if paired with a nice dress, also giving your feet room to breathe with dancing. Obviously whatever feels comfortable for you is the best thing to go for, just remember as the ideal wedding guest you will have to dance no matter how much your feet are hurting!


How to increase the amount of space in your home

For the first time in years, new research has revealed that space has overtaken location as the first and foremost concern for British homeowners. In a survey of 2,000 homeowners, bigger rooms topped the list of the most important criteria when shopping for a new property, and one in six people admitted to being dissatisfied with the size of the rooms in their current home.

So what can you do? Rather than move, homeowners should look at maximizing space and adding value to the property they already have. If you need more space, but can’t afford or don’t want to move, here are some top tips for increasing the space available in your home.

loft conversion

image source

Get a Loft Conversion

Start by making use of every available inch of space. For example, do you have a loft that could be converted in order to make it habitable? Making changes will require some capital, but a loft conversion tends to be quicker, easier and cheaper to obtain than its alternatives because it involves using space that’s already there as opposed to creating more. To help you finance the change, special loans are often available, such as the loft conversion options offered by Nemo Loans. However, secured loans are only to be considered by those who can comfortably afford the monthly repayments, or you could risk losing your home. A Nemo loan is secured on your home.

Build an Extension

Well-planned extensions will not only add space, but may also add value to your home. To get an idea of how much capital another bedroom will add to your property before you pay for it, take the time to look at house prices in your area. If an extension will cost more to install than it will add to the price tag, consider how much you really want the extra space.

conservatory ideas for a kitchen

 image source

Add a Conservatory

A conservatory is another great way to add extra space to your property, and is usually quick to build, boosts your home’s appeal, costs far less than other options and doesn’t require planning permission.

Make Some Internal Changes

Before you hand over the money for an extension or loft conversion, think about whether you could increase the space and potential of your property simply by changing the internal layout. Taking out or repositioning internal walls can significantly increase the space available to you – just refrain from reaching for the sledgehammer until you’ve ascertained that your target isn’t a load-bearing wall!

One other thing to consider before you embark on a large number of changes to your property is whether planning permission will be required. The costs and time around this should also be factored into your project timelines and budget.