Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


The last day of my Dryathlon

Today is that last day of January, and therefore it’s the last day of the Dryathlon. And I’m pleased to report that I haven’t touched a drop of drink throughout the whole month! Okay, I’ve still got half a day to go, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to resist reaching for a glass of wine until tomorrow. In case you missed my blog post about the challenge at the start of the month, I’ve been taking part in the Dryathlon and staying away from alcohol throughout January in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK. And honestly, it’s been more difficult that I’d imagined. Let me share my  link before I start rambling on, in case you want to donate ;-)dryathlon

So as someone who doesn’t really drink that much, is always happy to be a designated driver and doesn’t go too mad when she is on a night out, I thought that this would be quite a simple challenge for me. But it actually wasn’t as easy as I thought. There were a few occasions over the month where I actually had a drink in my hand but I stopped just before taking a sip. Yes, I’ve been sniffing other people’s drinks and whimpering a little when my friends enjoy a glass of wine. Even so, I’ve said no to every drink I’ve been offered, and have even passed on the chocolate liqueurs leftover from Christmas and avoided amaretto flavour hot chocolate in case it was cheating. Yay me!you booze you lose

Now that the month is almost over I can admit that it’s been much more difficult than I imagined and I’m sure that I’ll be having a drink tomorrow to celebrate. Okay, I’ve already arranged to meet friends for a lunchtime drink and I am sooo looking forward to that glass of wine! So with only a few hours left and half of my fundraising target reached, I want to ask you to please please please donate to my JustGiving page or text “FAIR77 £1″ to 70070 to donate £1 to my TextGiving page and make this month worthwhile! I’m SO grateful for every donation, it has really kept me going this month so thank you all very much!

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How to find the best gifts for Valentine’s Day – Guest post

Valentine’s Day is almost here and along with it comes the opportunity to surprise the one you love. It’s a great excuse to show your feelings of true love and appreciation for your partner, here are some tips to help you choose the perfect Valentine’s Day present! And by “perfect” we mean original, stylish, memorable, but also practical and affordable. Everybody is on a budget nowadays so it’s essential to find the best gift ideas at the most tempting prices. is ready for Valentine’s Day and awaits you with free voucher codes for all the best gifts to celebrate with the person you love! Valentine Gift Tags

Beautiful gift wrapping ideas & free printable tags at

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Smoothie recipes for a healthy start to the year

I know it’s pretty much the end of January already but I wanted to share the delicious smoothie recipes that I’ve been enjoying this month. These recipes have kick-started my healthier living plan and I will definitely be continuing to blitz up smoothies throughout the year – they are really filling and packed full of delicious fresh ingredients – so they are ideal for a healthy lifestyle. Today I’m sharing a couple of my favourites and I’ve linked to many more below, so please check them out for more smoothie inspiration too.healthy smoothie recipes-2So I’m starting off with my absolute favourite smoothie of all time – a Cherry Good Banana Smoothie. I got this delicious recipe card from Cherry good and I’m sharing it below, along with a recipe for a Triple-Berry Cherry Good Smoothie.Download the recipe PDF by following this link – Cherry Good Recipe Card – and keep it stored in your iBooks app ready for the next time you want to make a smoothie. My favourite recipe is as simple as pouring Cherry Good juice over a banana and blitzing up with milk and ice cubes. It makes the coolest, thickest smoothie ever and it is delicious! Continue reading “Smoothie recipes for a healthy start to the year” »

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Making plans for a Valentine’s Day to remember

This week I’ve started planning a special Valentine’s trip away with my husband and we are getting more and more excited about it each time we add a special meal or activity to the plan. It all started with the idea of making a visit to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, which came about after we started taking dance lessons last summer. Well now we have finally booked in for a romantic afternoon tea at the stunning venue and I’m so excited about the thought of my husband twirling me around the world-famous dance floor like a princess. I could cry with happiness just thinking about it! Blackpool Tower Ballroom Afternoon Tea

image from The Blackpool Tower website

Of course, I’ve kick-started my preparations by doing a little shopping – well, I can’t dance at the tower ballroom without a  swirly dress, now can I? – so I hopped onto the Debenhams website and picked out the dress I’d been admiring for months.

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The best time of year to buy a Christmas tree

Okay, I know it’s not a traditional time of year to be shopping for Christmas accessories but right now is precisely the best time of year to purchase a new Christmas tree. And that’s exactly what I’ve done this week! Yes, my brand new Christmas tree was delivered yesterday and I’m so pleased with the bargain prices available at this time of year that I just had to share it these deals with you.mountain pine christmas tree

If you’re looking for something a bit special, or have been lusting after a tree that is totally out of your price range, try taking a look a specialist retailer’s website this January where great discounts are available at this time of year. I checked out Christmas Tree World and couldn’t believe how much prices have been slashed after Christmas – now my dream Christmas tree was available at a price I could actually afford so I snapped it up and it arrived by courier delivery soon after. Continue reading “The best time of year to buy a Christmas tree” »


Tuesday Shoesday – Pantone’s colour of the year 2015

Each year I get excited about the announcement of Pantone’s Colour of the Year. I know how much these selected shades influence the world of design and I find it really interesting to keep to see how it infiltrates into every area of life. Not just a guide for fashion looks, the Colour of the Year informs interior design, packaging, graphic design, home furnishings, beauty, web design, fabrics and even food, so you can imagine how important this announcement is every year for anyone working in a creative to wear pantone colour of the year marsala spring summer autumn winter fashion trend

The colour that Pantone announced for 2015 is ‘Marsala’, a dusky burgundy shade. Based on the tones of fortified wine, this warm earthy shade is perfect for creating a feeling of luxury and is the ideal ‘in-between’ seasonal shade – not overpoweringly bright nor oppressively dark. It looks great with fresh pastel colours and floral motifs so it is ideal to combine with the tones and textures of Spring. Which brings us nicely on to fashion choices that follow this trend for Tuesday Shoesday.

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Pieday Friday – Simple shortbread recipe for Burns Night or Valentine’s Day

Today’s recipe is a double-whammy celebration treat for Valentine’s Day OR Burns Night. Yes, I’ve been baking shortbread and I can’t believe how easy it has been. In truth, I’ve actually been rather worried about baking shortbread and I’ve put it off over the years, believing it to be a difficult process. And the silly thing is that I love shortbread; it’s my all time, absolute, ultimate, top of the list, number 1 favourite biscuit ever. So why did I get it into my head that it was so difficult to make? I can honestly say it’s no more difficult than making pastry, and I do that all the time.quick easy scottish shortbread biscuit recipe for valentines day or burns night-10 quick easy scottish shortbread biscuit recipe for valentines day or burns night-11

I decided that I couldn’t put off making shortbread any longer, what with Burns Night coming up this weekend and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. It’s a traditional Scottish delicacy – at least, all the shortbread I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime has come in tartan packaging! – so it’s ideal for enjoying with a cuppa to celebrate Burns Night. As I was cutting out my shortbread biscuits, I decided to make this into a Valentine’s Day post too, so I cut some heart-shaped cookies and decorated them by dipping in melted white chocolate and sprinkling of red sugar. So cute!

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Interior inspiration for a Georgian home – Modern greys & retro pops of colour

Today I’m taking inspiration from interior designer Gabrielle Blackman and I’m sharing a tour of her Georgian home in Bristol. Famous for creating classy interiors on DIY SOS, she’s a designer after my own heart, describing her style as “eclectic, relaxed, with pops of colour” so I wanted to check out the way that she has styled her own home in order to pick out some trends for the coming year.   retro modern interior design trend

Citing David Hicks as her personal inspiration for his bold use of colour and crazy geometric pattern Gabrielle’s home reflects this through a combination of neutral greys and bright retro-modern accessories. Retro style and giving old furniture a new lease of life in the 21st century is certainly a continuing interior design trend for 2015, which is clear through the designers decision to use mid-century pieces alongside antique furniture and Georgian features.

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6 steps to setting up your own online clothing store

Clothing and fashion have always been lucrative markets and, despite a dip in high street sales here in the UK, the online clothing trade has remained fairly buoyant. And it seems that more and more people are realising that they too could be part of this online market. If you love fashion magazines, enjoy researching the latest trends, spend most of your life on Pinterest and can’t help sharing your #ootd photos, this could be an ideal career for you! fashion business career ideas

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As an online fashion retailer, you’d be able to get your hands on latest trends by purchasing your own selected ‘collection’ of high quality fashion items and accessories from wholesale merchants such as Eles Clothing and you’d always be the most fashionably dressed person in the room! But how do you go about setting up an online store? Here are 6 ways to turn your passion for fashion into a successful business. Continue reading “6 steps to setting up your own online clothing store” »

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Tuesday Shoesday – Recurring trends from Hollywood

After last week’s Tuesday Shoesday spotlight on the Golden Globes, and the gorgeous strappy shoes worn by Jennifer Aniston, J-Lo and co, I realised that this trend popped up around this time last year. Yes, I browsed back to my blog post about footwear trends from the 2014 Oscars and there they were; minimal heels with delicate straps. Okay, they were all black last year, and the 2105 nominees have chosen slightly more sparkly shoes but the straps remain the same. This made me think about other footwear trends that have lasted from season to season or year upon year and I decided to check out photos from last year’s Golden Globes ceremony to see how much fashion has changed since last January.NBC's "71st Annual Golden Globe Awards" - Arrivals

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I quickly spotted a footwear trend amongst the actresses who had decided to go for slightly shorter outfits; softly pointed toes.  This style has definitely continued into THIS years awards season and I’ve found a number of Hollywood stars who are rocking the look at the 2015 Golden Globes too. My first stop for fashion is always Zooey Deschanel; her styles are always full of personality yet consistently on trend, so I love to check out what she is wearing to get inspiration. Her choice of softly pointed, beaded heels for the 2014 awards ceremony were cute and Cinderella-esque, and looked great with her fairytale Oscar De La Renta gown.

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