Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


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DIY Project – Make your own personalised wedding bouquet

One of the key things that a bride-to-be should consider for her wedding (besides her wedding dress of course!) is the wedding bouquet. Any bride would want to be sure to choose the most amazing, beautiful and unique flower bouquet on her wedding day, but simply choosing beautiful blooms is sometimes not enough. Some flowers have different symbolism (older generations may point this out!), some may not withstand a whole day of carrying, while others may cause hayfever outbreaks! So it’s important to consider which flowers would be best for you on the big day and one sure-fire way to get the beautiful bouquet your heart desires is by making your own. And that’s where today’s guest post comes in..!Customized bouquetWhile I’m away for the half term holiday I’ve asked the specialist team at FreshFlowers how to make a special, unique, and thrifty bouquet at home. Thankfully they were able to help and have come up with a DIY wedding bouquet project that you can follow step-by-step. This way you will be able to carry a beautiful personalised bouquet down the aisle, while also saving money. So for those women out there who are starting to plan for their weddings, here is the tutorial (with handy photos) that you can refer to in the run-up to the big day.Step 5First of all, here are some of the things that you need to prepare to make this DIY wedding bouquet: Continue reading “DIY Project – Make your own personalised wedding bouquet” »


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3 cheap party ideas (for this bank holiday & beyond!)

If you love entertaining and organising parties, but haven’t currently got the budget to spend on a fancy dinner party or big blow out with drinks, decorations and entertainment, then that’s no reason to put your hosting skills on ice. Bank holiday weekends tend to have a party atmosphere (woo an extra night out!) and bring out a fun, cheeky side in everyone so it’s a great time to get your pals together for an impromptu party. There are lots of ways you can put together a fun gathering for your friends without spending much at all, and can be just as much fun as elaborate parties if you have some lively guests and keep everybody mingling. Here are three thrifty ideas for parties you could hold this bank weekend and beyond…

‘Pot Luck’ BBQ

Summer is coming, and this can only mean barbecues. Honestly, it wouldn’t be a bank holiday without someone dragging a BBQ out of the shed and getting all smoky with the sausages. Of course, buying all the food and other provisions for a good barbecue can quickly become expensive, so why not take the American concept of a ‘pot luck’ party? This is where everyone invited has to prepare and bring along a dish, and as it is a barbecue you can also give them the option to simply bring along some meat to cook. This can be a really nice idea if you have some friends who love to show off their cooking skills as they’ll bring something really delicious, but those who are less interested in the kitchen can just turn up with a pack of burgers or chicken for everyone to enjoy.pieday friday bbq flavoured olive burgers recipe

Check out my homemade BBQ burger recipe

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Pieday Friday – Minted pea pasta with chargrilled chicken

We’re all hoping for a sunny bank holiday weekend right? And what better way to spend the long lazy weekend than with a spot of al fresco dining, eh? I’ve got the ideal recipe for you to try out this weekend; it’s really fast, super-easy and uses just a handful of ingredients that you’ve probably already got at home. Whether you fresh fancy a change from your usual heavy Saturday night takeaway or you’ve got the family round for a light Sunday lunch, this recipe is a great healthy choice for any meal.minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-23 minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-25With fresh vegetables, light protein in the form of skinless chicken breast and low-fat wholewheat dried pasta, this recipe will quickly become your ‘go-to’ dish for weekday dinners. Let’s face it, you’ll probably always have a stock of these ingredients in your cupboard and freezer so can fall back on it time and again. I find it so reassuring to have a quick and healthy dinner available, even when I haven’t had time to get to the supermarket. I’ve always got a bag of Field Fresh peas in my freezer, using a handful here and there to accompany a fish dish or to pop into a shepherd’s pie, so I know that this sauce is only a few minutes away from being stirred through my favourite pasta after a long day at work.minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-27 minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-31minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-26It’s also a great dish for impressing friends during al fresco ‘supper club’ meals. The dish looks like you’ve spent hours preparing it and tastes delicious. It’s light enough to serve in smaller portions as a starter, or you could use the pea puree to drizzle over a fresh salad with parma ham, so keep it in mind for special occasions too. Here’s how to make it yourself… Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Minted pea pasta with chargrilled chicken” »


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Wear your support with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

Can you believe that Fashion Targets Breast Cancer has already been running for 20 years?! I remember being a teenager when this ground-breaking campaign first launched – where have those years gone? Nonetheless the 2016 campaign has launched and is celebrating 20 years as the nation’s most powerful fashion movement.fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-2Running until the end of May, the campaign calls on British shoppers to buy something stylish from their 2016 fashion collection. Your support raises important funds for Breast Cancer Now’s vital research into breast cancer so what better excuse do you need to do a spot of shopping this month? fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-3The exclusive fashion collection is available at some of the high-street’s best loved retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, River Island, Topshop, Laura Ashley, Simply Be, Hush, The Fold, SVP and Blow Ltd. Over the past two decades shoppers have raised over £14 million to fund pioneering breast cancer research simply by shopping! Whether you’re investing in a whole new wardrobe or buying a piece of jewellery to show your support (such as my gorgeous bracelets from River Island), you can make your money really count by choosing items from the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer collection. Just check out fashiontargetsbreastcancer.org.uk/lookbook where you can browse through the collection. Here are just a few of my favourites:

image001The collection celebrates the best fashion moments from the past decades and includes some ‘throwback’ styles (I thought this was worth a mention, seeing as it’s Thowback Thursday today!) such as spaghetti strap tops, bodies and cropped tees, which remind me of the 90s when the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign first launched. But it’s not all ‘gimmicky’ fashion – there are plenty of casual staples, glamourous knock-out pieces and plenty of inspiration for Spring/Summer outfits. Most importantly, every single item guarantees a minimum 30% donation to Breast Cancer Now. Prices start at a thrifty £2 (again, my bracelets are a good example of this) so it’s easy to ‘Wear Your Support’ no matter what your shopping budget is. fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-4fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-6Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity. They have already made incredible advances to combat the disease, and today more women beat breast cancer than ever before. Every penny donated to the Breast Cancer Now goes towards reaching the target that, by 2050, no woman will die from breast cancer. I am delighted to be working with them to tell you all about this thoroughly worthwhile campaign. I’d love you all to head out to the shops this weekend and treat yourself to something new from the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer collection – just one purchase could make all the difference. Thanks for reading guys, and let me know if you buy something from the range by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @cassiefairy. fashion targets breast cancer 2016 charity campaign breast cancer now bracelets-5


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Grand Designs: Flooring trends for summer 2016

After my visit to Grand Designs Live last weekend, I’ve been spending time researching the new interior trends, building materials and home design ideas that I spotted at the event. With sections on building, interiors, tech, gardens, kitchens, bathrooms and life-in-general, the exhibition was packed full of inspiration and I’d love to share some of the ideas I noted down with you today. In particular, I’d like to discuss Summer 2016 interior design trends and today I’m focussing on flooring. Wait – it’s more interesting than you think!laminate floor wood tilesNew trends in flooring – Laminate tiles

I come bearing great news about a new type of flooring; laminate tiles. No longer is laminate flooring the reserve of rental properties; it’s now stronger, better and more on-trend than ever. And the growth of in the trend for laminate flooring designs is thanks to the introduction of laminate tiles. Rather than using cold hard stone on your kitchen floor, you can now enjoy flooring that runs seamlessly throughout your property and will be suitable for all kinds of uses. These tiles have a high-resolution photographic top layer – where you’d expect to find a wood-grain effect in traditional laminate floor planks – but this time, the image is of beautiful sandstone, slate or marble. So you can have almost any tiled effect you wish, without the massive expense of tiling a great expanse of floor. I love any money-saving ways of ‘getting the look for less’ and these tiles definitely achieve the desired effect without costing the earth.stained blue flooring wooden floor a beautiful messNew trends in flooring – Feature floors

I first spotted the trend for feature floors a little while ago on A Beautiful Mess.com. This project was the first time I’d seen a coloured stain on floors but, ever since then, I’ve seen a massive increase in coloured flooring options. Bright golden hues, deep inky blues, fresh whites and everything in between seem to be available now. This trend is based around making the floor the main feature of the room, so you must keep walls and decor neutral so that the floor really stands out. Continue reading “Grand Designs: Flooring trends for summer 2016” »


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How to put your best face forward even when you’re short on time

With us women being busier than ever as professionals, mothers, wives, friends, supporters, CEOs – and just plain amazing human beings – it can be tough to make time for ourselves. However, we can all agree that when we look our best, we feel our best. That said, I’ve gathered some expert tips together for today’s blog post on how you can look and feel your best even if you’re short on time.

Gucci Westman at New York Fashion Week

Makeup artist Gucci Westman at New York Fashion Week

Makeup

Whether you dabble in makeup here and there or wear it faithfully every day, when it’s time to put your best face forward there are some tried and tested tips you can fall back to get a great look every time – even when you’ve got NO time to spare! Professional makeup artist Gucci Westman says exfoliation is key to a luminous face, so add a deep cleansing scrub to your skincare routine. Then start your makeup routine with a primer to give your makeup staying power and to minimize imperfections like fine lines and large pores. Use foundation only where you need it, curl your lashes and add mascara. Put some colour on your cheeks and swipe brown eyeliner along your bottom lashline. Finally, add a lip colour of your choice. If you’re heading somewhere after work, add a red lip to quickly add some evening glamour to your look. Continue reading “How to put your best face forward even when you’re short on time” »