Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter-4

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ My shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards

The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards ceremony is one week away! Yes, this time next week I will be on my way to London to attend the biggest event in the blog world’s calendar and I’ve been worrying myself silly about what to wear. This is a super-fashionable magazine, and hundreds of on-trend fashion bloggers will be attending, so I’m getting all flustered about what to wear. I mean, what if someone photographs me? I’m quite happy to have no one seeing me on a day-to-day basis so to be seen in public is quite a big deal for me! So I’ve started from the feet up and have got myself some shoes ready for the big event. At least I know I’ll be comfortable when I walk into the venue in these little beauties.Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter-6 Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter-7

I first met Mel from Hotter shoes when she was a judge in my category at the National Blog Awards. She was kind enough to give me feedback on my blog after the event and I’ve since chatted with the whole Hotter team, so I knew that this would be a good place to start to get advice on what shoes would be best to wear to a dressy event, without being uncomfortable or toppling over (my worst nightmare!). So I got in touch and luckily they were able to point me in the right direction – right towards these gorgeous ‘France’ heels.Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter-4 Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter-5Seeing as I still don’t know what dress I’ll be wearing for the awards ceremony, I thought it would be best to choose a neutral shoe, and after finding lots of stunning shoes in taupe, tan and grey on the Hotter website, I asked for their expert help in choosing which pair would be best. Thankfully, they were able to help me whittle down my shortlist and suggested this pair of black, mid-heel shoes. And I have to say that I completely agree with their choice.Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter-3Not only are they a stunning black leather in an on-trend round-toe shape, but they are practical too: The t-bar strap will hold the shoes firmly in place to ensure that the shoes don’t go flopping off my feet, and this will help minimise rubbing on the heel when I walk. The soles have Hotter ‘Comfort Concept’ cushioning which keeps the soles of my feet from becoming sore during a night out and the mid-heel means that there will be less painful pressure on the balls of my feet. Shoes for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 from Hotter-2

All of this will ensure that I can carry on networking, partying and dancing throughout the Cosmo Blog Awards ceremony without wincing at my sore shoes. Now I can’t wait to get there!

fashion trend autumn winter 2014 stiletto boots


Tuesday Shoesday ~ A/W14 footwear inspiration from Fashion magazine

Over the weekend I added a great magazine to my apple newsstand – Fashion magazine A/W14 – which you can download for free. It offered some interesting insights into new season trends and I was especially keen to read about the footwear trends for today’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post.


The first Autumn/Winter trend that really caught my eye was pointed loafers. I’d never really considered them for this time of year, preferring to wear more sturdy, puddle-proof boots, but now that I’ve actually thought about it, loafers are the ideal shoe for those in-between days like today. When it’s cool enough for a jumper but not wet enough to need knee-high boots, or when a day starts off chilly and misty before making way for autumn sunshine, it makes sense to wear some equally versatile shoes. Loafers are the ideal accompaniment for trousers and skinny jeans, look classy with skirts and are a great accompaniment to a pair of thermal tights!

Fashion trend autumn winter 2014 pointed loafers

I’ve always thought of loafers as the grandparent’s choice but the trend this season is for pointed loafers which has brought the style up-to-date and even makes it wearable for nights out. Add to their fashion credentials the fact that they are comfortable enough for all-day walking, and you’ve got a pair of shoes that are equally suited to a working wardrobe, wearing to college or for casual days out. I’ve totally talked myself into it and now I don’t know how I’ve lived without loafers this long! What do you think? Do you swear by loafers for in-between days in Autumn and Spring? Which are your favourites?

fashion trend autumn winter 2014 stiletto boots

The second trend the John Lewis Fashion magazine identified is stiletto boots. Again, it’s another style that I’ve never worn before, believing them to be both impractical – let’s be honest, they are ankle boots with holes! – and uncomfortable – due to the height of the heel. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t look extremely sexy when worn on a night out or powerful as part of an office outfit. I struggle with any heel height about 3 inches, but I know that many of you can walk just as comfortably in stilettos or trainers, so it’s definitely a cool look for autumn/winter 2014. I think they would be a great shoe to transition from work-to-evening, so would be ideal to wear for the festive party season; they are stylish and dressy enough for a night out, but the muted dark colours are equally suited to wearing to the office. Again, they would be great with tights and trousers when the weather gets cooler, and some are already reduced to clear in the JL sale, so maybe they would be a good investment for A/W14?  Do you already have a pair of these sky-high boots? What do you think of them? Please get in touch and leave me a comment below!

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The language of love

Over the weekend I watched a video on YouTube that actually made me smile from ear-to-ear with happiness and I wanted to share it with you now. It’s a video called The Language of Love and it shows women being given a message in French (by a really rather dishy fella with designer stubble!) before receiving the translation from their daughters, partners and friends. Language of love_ Language of love_-3 Language of love_-7

It shows that expressing messages of love can often be lost in translation but it made me think that I’d really like to share my love and gratitude for my family, husband and friends and I can think of no better way of doing this than by showing you the artwork, quotes and images that I surround myself with every day.

Language of love_-4Language of love_-5Language of love_-10

These special items are all hanging around my home and they express how I feel about all the important people in my life and I’m so pleased that I have such wonderful family and friends who look after me and care for me. These are gifts that friends have given me along, with meaningful images that I’ve framed and photos that we have taken together.

Thanks everyone for being part of my life, you’re fab! Je t’aime!

cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-7


Vintage coffee on a lazy Sunday morning

Happy Sunday everyone! It already feels like one of those lazy days when you just don’t want to leave the comfort of your bed, the Sunday papers are calling, and the coffee is bubbling away on the hob. I actually had a rather late night out at a hangar dance last night, so I definitely need a lie-in today! It’s also a great excuse to try out my ‘new’ coffee pot…cleaning up a vintage coffee pot cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-2

Okay, it’s a very very old coffee pot, which my husband just picked up from the car boot sale. It was being sold on one of those stalls that I just walk past without really looking, thinking that everything there is too dirty and decrepit, even by my standards. But it’s always at these ‘emptied the attic’ car boot stalls that hubby always finds the best hidden gems, and the coffee pot was no exception. If it wasn’t for his eagle-eye and willingness to see beyond the dirt, we wouldn’t be enjoying a freshly percolated coffee today!cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-3 cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-5 cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-6

And boy did this coffee pot need a good good clean. I’ve taken some photos of it before the scrubbing commenced (in fact it’d already had two normal washes before these photos were taken!) then I set to work with a scouring pad and a heck of a lot of washing-up liquid. I figured that even using a metal scourer would make it look better than the years-of-coffee tarnished finish it was currently sporting. I’ve taken a photo of part of the pot mid-clean (above) so that you can see the difference it made. I didn’t mind the half hour of elbow grease it took to bring the coffee pot back to life because it looked SO much better up a vintage coffee pot-11 cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-8 cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-12

I don’t know why, but I originally thought that this might be a French coffee pot. The ornate decoration around the pot, the carved handle and the pretty pouty spout just looked French to me but after I cleaned all the years of hob gunk off the bottom of the pot I could see that the inscription on the base said British Made Diamond 143-S. I’ve Googled these details but even though I found lots of other types of coffee pots and cafetières, I couldn’t find the same one so haven’t been able to find out anything more about the age or origins of the pot. One thing’s for sure, I’m glad that my husband picked it up from that dusty car boot stall because I’m really pleased with how lovely my vintage made-in-the-UK coffee percolator is now that’s it’s been cleaned up a vintage coffee pot-9 cleaning up a vintage coffee pot-10 With a coffee pot like this, it requires course ground coffee, which sits in the drum at the top of the pot and the water boils up and bubbles up through it to percolate the coffee. I really enjoy watching the coffee blipping away in the ornate glass lid and seeing the colour of the water get darker as it percolates. But of course we couldn’t start brewing our coffee without the course-ground coffee itself. This was virtually impossible to find at the supermarket, and the closest thing we could get was coffee beans. Unfortunately, we don’t have a grinder yet, so it would have been a case of using the blender to grind up the coffee – is that a good way to do it, or not? In the end, we went to the only place that we knew we could get the correct level of grind for the pot, which was Whittard of Chelsea. making a caramel coffee in vintage pot making a caramel coffee in vintage pot-2 making a caramel coffee in vintage pot-3Since needing a specific type of coffee grounds for this pot, I’ve now discovered that there are many different types of grind; from whole beans, to cafetière grind, espresso grind, filter grind and finally Turkish grind. We chose an omni-grind Guatemalan coffee in a medium/dark roast. It was mostly because the name on the canister said Guatemala Elephant and that had me hooked! As you can probably tell from my all baking posts, I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth so while we were shopping I got some caramel and amaretto syrups to occasionally add to my coffee – the ultimate Sunday morning treat! I love having flavoured coffee when I go out for a drink in a coffee shop, so I’m really chuffed that I could recreate the same tastes at home with these syrups. making a caramel coffee in vintage pot-6 making a caramel coffee in vintage pot-7 making a caramel coffee in vintage pot-9

So you can imagine the scene in my home this morning, with coffee percolating away, the house filling with the aroma of fresh coffee, the radio burbling away in the background and a fluffy cat on my lap. Needless to say the coffee is delicious and I think that the times it takes to percolate only adds to the coffe drinking experience. I’m so pleased with the coffee pot and how well it works with the coffee grounds. Of course, my morning drink has been made all the more tasty with the addition of the caramel syrup and I want another one right now. I don’t think Sunday’s get much better than this! What are you up to today and what’s your favourite type of coffee? Leave me a comment below and we’ll chat soon :)


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Using garden pumpkins for my autumn display

This week I decided that it was an appropriate time of year to create my annual autumn flowers display in the living room. It’s usually more of an October thing, but I’ve been feeling decidedly autumnal after kicking up the leaves last weekend, writing about my favourite autumn colours and textures on Tuesday Shoesday and blackberry picking (which resulted in a yummy blackberry tart). The squashes that we’ve grown in the garden played a big part in my decision to bring autumn indoors, because they have finally ripened and hardened so were ready to pick.

Growing pumpkins and squashes for autumn

I want to share some photos of the growth of the squash because I really couldn’t believe my eyes when this tiny plant took over the garden, with it’s tendrils travelling all the way to the back fence, sprouting small yellow balls as it went. In the end the plant produced about 30 potential mini-squashes, but the seed packet told me that the plant should only produce 2-3 fruits. I was confused about why my plant was doing so well, but decided to I leave it to do it’s thing and grow as many as possible. Only a couple of weeks later I found out that it had self-selected 4 balls to grow into mini-pumpkins, while all the other fruit balls shrivelled up. Amazing really! Here I’ve used the squashes in my tablescape along with a massive marrow – the courgette that hid away under a massive leaf and managed to grow itself to it’s full potential! Growing pumpkins and squashes for autumn-3 Growing pumpkins and squashes for autumn-6

I decided to go in search of some suitably autumnal flowers to complete the display and I found this ‘Autumn Fields’ bouquet from Debenhams Flowers (use discount code BLOGG33 for 33% off if you want to get your own next day flowers for an autumn display!). I was pleased to find the bouquet packed full of orange gerberas, purple phlox and even orangey ‘cherry brandy’ roses – what a great colour combination for September/October and it’s these colours that really recreate the feeling of autumn for me. These really are luxury flowers and it made my sideboard look fantastically to create an autumn floral tablescape display Autumn tablescape display - flowers and pumpkins-2I will probably add to the arrangement as I collect more conkers, autumn leaves and berries on my countryside walks, but for now I think it adds a lovely splash of colour to the room, and it definitely creates a feeling of warmth. It’s at this time of year that I really appreciate our mid-century modern living-room décor, as the teak furniture, leather sofa and orange wallpaper work together to ad warmth to the home and it really does look as autumnal indoors as it does outdoors.

Let me know if you enjoy creating floral displays in your home and get in touch if you’ve ever had an out-of-control plant in your veggie patch – I’d love to hear about it! Please leave me a comment below :)