Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

using vegetales from our garden for chicken and veg pasta recipe-5

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Pieday Friday ~ Chicken & garden vegetable pasta

Earlier this month I mentioned how quickly the courgettes in our new veggie patch were growing and that we’ve been eating them continually for a couple of weeks now. Last week’s recipe was for roasted courgettes and this week I’ve decided to include them in a chicken pasta dish. So put your favourite pasta on to boil and follow this recipe for a lovely sauce packed with veggie goodness!

Fry diced chicken in Fry Light until golden then add in an onion and ribbons of courgette (created using a potato peeler down the length of the courgette). Fry for a couple more minutes with a minced clove of garlic and a sprinkling of mixed herbs before adding half a pint of chicken stock and throwing in the extra veg – I’ve used the purple mangetout that we’d ‘accidentally’ been growing in the garden (see my blog post here!) and broad beans from our neighbours. To thicken the sauce mix up a teaspoon of cornflour in a tiny amount of water until it has dissolved then pour into the pan. Stir the sauce, which will thicken as it bubbles away, then add a handful of frozen peas a couple of minutes before serving with your favourite pasta.using vegetales from our garden for chicken and veg pasta recipe-5

This recipe can easily be converted into a vegetarian option – just remove the chicken and change the chicken stock for a vegetable stock cube.

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Design inspiration ~ Amazing shipping container homes

Today I wanted to share something that I have a great interest in; converting shipping containers into homes. With George Clark’s Amazing Spaces back on our screens last week and the second episode airing tonight, it’s got me thinking about tiny homes and using different materials to create low-cost housing solutions. Hubby and I have always said that if we were ever to build our own home the design would be based around shipping containers so I’m sure George Clark would approve.

I love the way that these industrial storage and transportation containers can be renovated, kitted out and reconfigured into a small home. In fact, it doesn’t need to be a small home, as cutting through the metal and welding containers together can make all kinds of unusual and useable spaces. I would definitely consider using them as a building material and at the very least a shipping container garden office is certainly something that we’ll be working on in the future!


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I’ve been inspired by a number of amazing projects and I wanted to share these with you. The yellow container above looks ideal for a garden office and I would be very happy to have this in my garden – if only there was enough room left after planting up my veggie patch!

shipping container house

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Gorgeous blue shipping container home – I would definitely choose this colour! I love how the exterior still looks just like a stack of shipping containers but the interior is sleek, modern and full of light. I like the way that the roof light section has created additional space by connecting the two otherwise narrow containers.

container house garden office

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This mini container home is in Manhattan, New York and I expect that would be the only way I would ever be able to afford to live there haha! Even so, the width of the two containers together would certainly be enough room to live in and I like the way that this container has been clad in wood to make it look more like a standard home rather than a shipping container.

shipping container terrace house

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And if you’re going to build a container ‘house’ why not go the whole hog with a three-storey town house? This large home sits comfortably beside a normal row of houses and I actually prefer the modern look of the container home to the standard house. The design of shipping containers also lends itself to having large windows at the ends of the container and this is ideal to create a spacious home flooded with light.

What do you think of these houses? Are you interested in usual buildings? Would you live in a container?? Let me know and leave me a comment below!



avon nail polish pumpkin halloween nails bonfire christmas orange art glitter


Spooky ideas for DIY Halloween nail art

It’s at this time of year that I start to go a little crazy with my nails. I pick out the darker colours and I load up on glitter. I love a bit of simple nail-art as much as the next girl so I like to get my pens out and get creative. And what better excuse to go wild with your nails than Halloween?! It’s almost expected that you’ll have crazy nails for Halloween and I even love to wear a little ghoulish nail art during the day to get into the spooky spirit in the run up to the Halloween party on Friday. avon nail polish pumpkin halloween nails bonfire christmas orange art glitterHere is one of my more ‘subtle’ looks for Halloween and I call them my pumpkin princess nails. It’s a couple of coats of bright orange polish with a little gold glitter over the top. I think this looks like a candle twinkling inside a pumpkin and it’s an easy way to wear a Halloween look on your nails without going all-out crazy!


A bit more interesting but equally easy are these ghoulish designs. I’ve simply painted all my nails in plain white or orange and then drawn on devilish designs using permanent marker pen. I love the pumpkin faces and enjoy thinking up different scary expressions for each finger. I think that these are ‘friendly’ so designs are fun to draw and they cheer up everyone I see! I’ve gone for a selection of spider, bat, ghost and skeleton images on the white background.

Firework nail polish varnish opia eyeko models own disco mix avon gold purple silver blue bonfire night

And when Halloween is over, I’ll be immediately moving on to these firework fingers! Each nail is painted with a metallic midnight blue base coat for the night sky and then different glitter effects and colours are applied to each finger to look like different firework explosions!

Let me know if you try out any of these looks for Halloween and I would love to see you photos so please tweet me @Cassiefairy :)

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Four Roots of Wisdom: The Tarot – Sioux Connection

As you know, I’m in the process of ‘enjoying’ a week off during half term. Of course, in reality, this means getting lots of jobs done that I’ve managed to put off for the last 7 weeks! Luckily enough, I have another fabulous writer friend who is willing to fill in for me again today so that I can continue doing all my chores around the house. In honour of Halloween and to bring a touch of spirituality to the blog I’ve asked Heather Jackson to write a piece for me because she is fascinated with all things Tarot.  While I know next to nothing about this subject, she enjoys writing about what she has learned in an effort to help others discover the magic of Tarot, just like she has. You can find her fascinating articles mainly on Tarot and psychic websites and here are the insights that she has shared with us today:

tarot cards

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If you study tarot long enough, you begin to think that you live in an isolated world. But, the tarot, and its suits, share some commonality with ancient Indian practices – Native Americans that is. The North American Medicine Wheel is something that comes from the Sioux Indians and contains four quadrants that sort of resemble the four suits of the tarot.

The Yellow : Wands : Fire Suit

This colour/suit is a real tribute to the east. It represents the warmth of the sun and fire. It also represents your own divine spark, creativity, and passion. It informs you of the potential in life that you never knew you had. In this spiritually-driven quadrant, your intangible self lives on and calls to you with ancient wisdom. For example, it may tell you about the passions in life you have that are undiscovered. That hobby of yours might be a distraction or it might be something you need to spend more time focusing on. Maybe your love life needs some tweaking.

tarot deck

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The Black : Pentacles : Earth Suit
Continue reading “Four Roots of Wisdom: The Tarot – Sioux Connection” »


DIY glitter pumpkins for Halloween

Yes, I grew these pumpkins in my garden. Can you believe it? I’m still surprised myself! I want to use them to decorate my home for Halloween but I’m really rather poor at pumpkin carving so I thought about other ways that I could inject a little ‘Halloweeniness’ and I came up with this glitter pumpkin DIY.happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorialI tried out a few methods of applying the glitter so that you don’t necessarily need to have to the same ‘ingredients’ as me to get a similar effect. I started with what I found to be the easiest method, which was using used a spray adhesive to spray the top of one of my pumpkins so that the glitter would stick, then I simply sprinkled on some very fine gold glitter (which I picked up from Hobbycraft) all over the top.

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This gave a lovely even coverage and it looks like quite a glitzy glamorous pumpkin. I think this effect would be best for dinner party table decorations as it’s quite classy and simple, and you could also spray the adhesive all over the pumpkins for a complete coverage which would twinkle in the candlelight.

DIY glitter pumpkins for halloween - step by step tutorial-9 DIY glitter pumpkins for halloween - step by step tutorial-8

For a more traditional Halloween party pumpkin I’ve used PVA glue to paint the words ‘Happy Halloween’ on to the largest pumpkin. I first used a market pen to write the lettering and then I used a small paint brush to apply the PVA glue over the lettering. I then sprinkled all over the letters before the magic moment of blowing all the excess glitter off the pumpkin to reveal the greeting.

happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorial-2 happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorial-9 happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorial-10 happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorial-12DIY glitter pumpkins for halloween - step by step tutorial-10I also decided to decorate my last pumpkin with PVA glue and I simply squeezed the glue onto the top of the pumpkin and let it run down the sides for a ‘drippy’ effect. Actually, this was a very messy process so I’d recommend doing this on top of newspaper and when there are enough drips covering the sides of the pumpkin you can sprinkle on more glitter. Blow off the excess again and leave it to dry completely before moving it into position – I got a couple of glittery PVA drips on the sideboard , whoops!

happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorial-6 happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorial-7 happy halloween DIY glitter pumpkins step by step tutorial-8DIY glitter pumpkins for halloween - step by step tutorial-7These last two pumpkin designs could be completed using a glitter-glue pen or you could vary the design to use different colours of glitter or even different quotes such as ‘beware!’ or ‘be very afraid’ and so on. I arranged my pumpkins together with some oranges and a few candles which really made the glitter sparkle in the flickering light.

DIY glitter pumpkins for halloween - step by step tutorialDIY glitter pumpkins for halloween - step by step tutorial-6

What do you think of my DIY decorations? Will you have at go at making them for yourself? Any suggestions of how I could have made this a less-messy task?! Please leave me a comment below and I’d love to see your photos if you try it out for yourself!

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