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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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside ~ bathing beauty

My new bath has arrived! This week I took delivery of a new bath and I am so pleased with the product that arrived. I know that I needed to replace my old enamel bath because it was chipped and cracked and parts of it were rusting, but I also didn’t want to spend a small fortune on a new bath – especially when all the other elements of my thrifty bathroom makeover have been found in skips or eco-friendly options. I therefore decided to shop online at Bella Bathrooms where I found out that I could get exactly the right bath for my needs for a fraction of the cost, phew!

new bath and taps from bella bathrooms

I chose a low price acrylic bath and hoped that it would be sturdy enough when it arrived. I was not disappointed! Gone are the days of flimsy wobbly acrylic baths – this one is reinforced with fibreglass and seems to be just as strong as my old enamel bath. The benefit of choosing an acrylic bath is that it is easy to clean, will keep the bath water warmer for longer as it’s not coming into contact with a cold metal bath, and it won’t chip and rust like the old one did. I was also able to find a slightly smaller bath that fit the exact dimensions of the space – while measuring up I found out that the width I have for my bath is 10cm shorter than any ‘standard’ bath – but luckily it only cost a couple of pounds more to get this non-standard size.

new bath and taps from bella bathrooms-2 new bath and taps from bella bathrooms-3

I also chose a more narrow bath than my old one, so it fills up with water more quickly and uses less water to get a good depth of bath water – another eco-friendly feature in my bathroom! In terms of taps I went for a set of taps with a shower mixer attachment as we don’t have an electric shower in out home and it would be much more convenient than the ‘push-over-the-taps’ shower head from Poundland that we’ve been using until now!

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Bath taps with shower mixer from Bella Bathrooms

Today is that day that we’ll be fitting it in the bathroom so I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result and taking a relaxing soak in my new bath. I don’t quite know how the installation will go – we’ve got the get the old bath out first, eek! – but I will be sure to let you know how I get on and share photos of the finished room soon!


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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?

 


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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.

butternut-squash-and-stilton-soup-recipe-on-cassiefairys-pieday-friday-cookery-blog

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!

fish-pie-recipe-admiral-oceans-mashed-potato-cod-pie

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

Jewellery

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!