Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-12

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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside! DIY sewing project: towels for the bathroom

Yes, I do know that it’s possible to buy towels and I’m honestly not buying towelling fabric and making my own. But what I have been doing is sewing a little extra trim onto my old towels to make them fit in better with the whole look of the new bathroom. In truth, I had some fabric left over from making the blinds and I wanted to use it up rather than throw it away. I did a couple of sewing projects for the kitchen with it (I’ll share these soon) but I still had a few lengths left and wanted to include them in the bathroom. There’s not much call for soft furnishings in a bathroom, so apart from the blind I was a little stumped about how to use this fabric. Then my eye settled on my old beige towels. The ones we’ve had for years and that I’d earmarked for throwing out to make way for new towels that would match the beach hut theme.

It’s absolutely not like me to throw anything away and of course, these old towels would have probably been turned into kitchen rags or polishing cloths rather than being chucked out, but now I was looking at them with a glint in my eye. Could I make them into something suitable for my new bathroom? The beige colour was starting to look like sand to me, and the leftover lighthouse fabric was just screaming out to be used. So I spent an hour at my ironing board, making a thick bias binding from the lighthouse fabric and I stitched it onto the ends of the old towels. I’d previously learnt how to make bias binding from a tutorial online so how I did it in case you want to stitch a towel makeover for yourself:

Cutting: Cut a length of fabric which is three times the width that you want the finished trim to be and a little longer than the width of your towel. I chose to make a 3 inch trim so I measured 9 inches of fabric and cut out this strip. DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels

Ironing: I then folded it in half with wrong sides facing and ironed a crease into the middle of the strip. Then, to turn it into a bias binding, I turned 1.5 inches over at the top of each side and ironed these edges too.

Sewing: I placed the edge crease 3 inches from the hem of the towel and pinned the binding strip to the towel with wrong side facing up. I straight stitched with a sewing matching along the crease. DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-5Folding: I then folded the binding strip over the edge of the towel so that the right sides are out and pinned the folded edge crease to the towel before sewing along this edge with straight stitch to seal the binding.

Finishing: At the ends of the strip, I folded the excess under the binding and then hand stitched the opening closed.DIY sewing bias binding project for bathroom towels-8

I repeated these steps for the second towel and after only an hour and a half I had ‘new’ custom-made towels that matched my blind and fitted in with my new seaside bathroom theme perfectly! I am so pleased that these towels were saved from the brink of the bin and have now been upcycled into something that I won’t find anywhere else.

The trouble with doing a makeover in your home is that no sooner than you have fixed one problem – the wall, the floor, the storage – another essential DIY project raises its head. Maybe it just because the whole bathroom is looking so fresh and new that I’m now looking at the other problems with more critical eyes. Whatever the reason, I have noticed how bad my bath actually is and that I could definitely do with a more efficient ventilation solution from Rocburn to remove the damp and steamy air from the room - the existing vent goes into the loft and does nothing! In terms of the bath, I think it’ll have to be a replacement rather because I don’t think I’ll be able to repair it.

It’s an old steel bath that was already here when we moved in and to be honest it had already seen better days back then; it has cracks in the enamel and some chips are actually rusting through. It’s been a battle of the bleach to keep it clean and no amount of scrubbing has brought those tarnished taps back to life. So I’m going to do some research and see whether it is even possible to get a replacement bath on my tiny budget. To be fair, it’s only a tiny bath too – we have less space than the standard 1700mm bath – so surely that’ll mean a cheaper bath, right? At the very least, I would like to replace the taps because not only are they really badly corroded, but at the moment the paddle-handle means that our cats sometimes turn the tap on by themselves. I don’t know how they do it, but sometimes the tap is mysteriously running after our cats casually saunter out of the bathroom. Plus, we have no shower so we’re currently using the old pound-shop solution of a push-on-the-taps-and-hope-it-doesn’t-leak shower head. And yes, it sprays everywhere! So a mixer tap with shower head attached would be a dream.

I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress and post all about any new projects for my bathroom soon.

2014 bargain make up review max factor and elizabeth arden-4

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Best face forward for the Cosmo Blog Awards

It’s coming… the biggest event in the blogging calendar is less than a week away. Yes, the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards are next Tuesday evening and I cannot wait to get there. Despite my excitement, I’ve been surprisingly relaxed about getting my outfit sorted and in truth the event has rather snuck up on me. My shoes were delivered earlier this week – did you see my Tuesday Shoesday blog post about them? But that’s pretty much all I’ve got so far. It’s very unlike me to leave it to the last minute but so far I still haven’t got a dress, jacket, handbag or accessories sorted for the big event so let’s hope I have an outfit to show you by next week!2014 bargain make up review max factor and elizabeth arden One thing I have organised is my make-up for the event, because I was getting dramatically low on foundation and my mascara was getting a little old and clumpy so it was a good excuse to stock up. After having such a great experience while shopping with Perfume Click in the past, I decided that this would be the best place to start looking for the products I need. I always always choose waterproof mascara so the first item in my basket was this False Lash Effect mascara from Max Factor in waterproof black. The wand has loads (I would even say hundreds) of tiny tiny bristles on it, which grab hold of pretty much all of my eyelashes. I think this is what helps give the impression of false lashes, as every single eyelash seems to get coated with the mascara. The formula wears well, makes eyelashes looks natural rather than clumpy and it doesn’t crumble off at the end of the day.2014 bargain make up review max factor and elizabeth arden-3 For my face, I wanted a fuller-coverage than usual so it was a toss up between Revlon Colorstay foundation (I’ve used their mineral foundation before) or Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish foundation. It was the first time I’d thought about using an Elizabeth Arden product so I read a lot of blogger reviews online to make sure it would give me the coverage that I wanted. After a lot of research, looking at before/after photos and checking colour swatch charts, I decided to go for it. After all, this is a special event so I can justify spending the extra money on the Elizabeth Arden foundation. I treated myself to the sponge-on cream foundation in Porcelain Beige 04 and I was really pleased when it arrived. The palette is quite big, so that means it has a massive mirror in the lid – definitely big enough to use when applying a full-face of make up! I imagine that the foundation will last me a long time because a little goes a long way. I always thought that a sponge would use up more of the product than I usually like to, but it actually blends it out and makes a small amount go a lot further than I’d imagined. The foundation gives good coverage without masking my freckles, and it actually makes my skin look a naturally peachy colour – I’d call it a ‘healthy glow’ compared to my usual translucent blue skin tone. The only thing that I am not sure about is the scent of this product, it’s much stronger-smelling than any other foundation I’ve used, and sort of smells like floral and antibacterial at the same time but after a while you get used to it and can’t smell it as much any more.2014 bargain make up review max factor and elizabeth arden-5 The same can be said for the powder that I’ve chosen; it’s got quite a strong scent but it’s a really low-cost translucent powder so at only £3.85 I really can’t complain! Plus, this is a truly translucent powder and doesn’t colour my face at all, just sets my make up. The application sponge gives a thicker coverage than I’d like, so I just use a large powder brush to swirl the powder onto my face, although I did use the pad for touch-ups while dancing and it kept my make up in place all night. The product is Lentheric Feather Finish compact powder and I’ll definitely be buying it again.2014 bargain make up review max factor and elizabeth arden-2 Finally, and saving the best until last, is the lipstick. I decided that a new lippy was in order for this special occasion and I always struggle with finding a good lipstick that lasts long enough without drying out my lips. It’s such a problem that I usually skip lipstick altogether, or if I really feel like I need a little colour on my lips I’ll use a tinted lip balm or a chubby stick. That said, I decided to try a Max Factor Colour Elixir lipstick in 715 Ruby Tuesday and I’m so glad that I did. Red lipstick is one of the make up items that I’d always wanted to wear but each time my choice of lipstick has failed me. However, this Max Factor formula actually stays put! It lasts for ages, and even after it wears off a little your lips are still stained red so look like you’re still wearing the lipstick – in a good way! I need to touch up much less often and barely have to check myself in the mirror because I know the lipstick will still be there. I can eat and drink and dance the night away and my lips still look great! I have actually never been more happy with a lipstick and I now want to buy all the colours in this range because I don’t think I’m ever going to find a better, more hard-working lipstick in my life!2014 bargain make up review max factor and elizabeth arden-4 So that’s it for my beauty haul, and I’m all set for the Cosmo Blog Awards on Tuesday – really looking forward to showing off my new look!

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!