Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

DIY country floral bedroom ideas from House to Home


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Create a country cottage bedroom without breaking the bank

There’s no place more homely than a country cottage. A warm, crackling fire, soft sofas, refreshing scenes of nature all around you – it’s the perfect relaxing getaway. But what if you could have that snuggly cottage feeling all the time? Here are a few simple and easy ways to create the feeling of a country cottage in your very own bedroom, without breaking the bank.

Keep it Cosy
Fabrics are essential for a country cottage feel. Pick light colours and when in doubt, go for floral patterns. Even though some vintage fabrics can be pricey, they pack punch when it comes to design. To buy cheap, look out for damaged or stained materials that can be cut and shaped to what you need. You can never have too many cushions so consider buying curtain panels which should be able to make around three 20-inch pillows. You can even add cheaper coordinating fabric on the back to cut costs. Don’t forget a draped bed
skirt
 to add the essential cottage finish.

DIY country floral bedroom ideas from House to Home

Floral bedroom ideas from House to Home

Reuse Old Glass
Start collecting all those perfume bottles and jars that you’re done with. If you don’t go through many glass items you can buy them cheaply and in bulk either online or at car boot sales and thrift stores. You can use old glass containers for flower vases, sweets and treats or even shells and forest findings that bring nature indoors. By personalising and displaying these charming and handy pieces, you’ll add that personal, homely touch to the room.

DIY ideas for glass vase & perfume bottle display in country cottage room

Pretty glass display via Pinterest

Natural Style Wood
When it comes to furniture in a country cottage bedroom, stick to wood as your first choice. This can either be reclaimed wooden furniture or investment in a lasting solid oak piece that will be worth the initial price in the long run. You can easily personalise and dress up the items by adding your own customised knobs onto doors and drawers. Look out for quirky, vintage knobs at flea markets and thrift shops to fit onto your own furniture.

DIY furniture makeover tutorial for country cottage design - chest of drawers

Add country cottage style to drawers with new handles

Gingham and Buttons All the Way
Get crafty and upcycle boring cushions and lamps with essential country cottage trimmings. Gingham and buttons are fail-safe decorative elements that you can sew or glue onto the body of cushions or trim the edges of lampshades with. It’s a good idea to stick to a particular colour scheme that suits your bed covers and curtain material. Pastel shades of light blue or yellow work well but the pop of traditional red and white gingham can also work too, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

ideas for a gingham country cottage interior design from Country Living

Gingham accents from Country Living

Check out ideas online for the many kinds of country cottage bedroom designs and you’ll probably be spoilt for choice. Be sure to whittle down a clear theme that you would like to create and get thrifty to make your bedroom a cosy place of comfort that you’ll always enjoy. Please check out my series of blog posts on my very own bedroom makeover and check back for more updates soon.


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The only tights you’ll need this year

Quite a bold promise I know, but honestly you really won’t need any more pairs of tights that these two! I spend my life in one or the other of these tights (depending on the weather!) so I know how useful they are for all weathers and all seasons. If you buy these tights (I don’t mean just one pair, you can have more than one of each!) you will never need to go looking for a suitable pair again. Here’s why they are my favourites:

1. Silky Textures 140 Denier Thermal Fleece Tights - these are the best ever winter tights. And I mean EVER. That’s because they are thick opaque tights (as we all know black tights go with any outfit to turn a summer outfit into a winter look!) that don’t run and don’t get holes in them, thanks to the double layer of fabric – they are silky soft tights on the outside but are fleece lined on the inside. You can imagine how toasty you’ll be in these tights – they are practically a fleece jumper for your legs! I’ve been wearing and washing a few pairs for the past 6 months and they still are showing no signs of holes, runs or pulls. The only downside was that the silky side got a little bobbly after lots of machine washing but I could pull off the bobbles without making runs in the tights (same as pulling bobbles off a jumper) and when I needed a quick solution, I simply turned the tights inside out so that the fleece was on the outside. The fleece has no bobbles (and they don’t really look like fleece at all) so the tights still looked great in spite of months of wear. I’ve just got some of the Pretty Polly chocolate brown fleece tights (below) so I’ll let you know how I get on with these too! Please be careful not to confuse these tights with the Silky Textures Acrylic tights which were much more woolly and less long-lasting.

winter thermal tights and toeless summer pantyhose review

2. Charnos Simply Bare No Toe Tights - the ultimate spring and summer tights. When it’s a little too cool for bare legs but you don’t want to wear black tights I’d definitely recommend these. I am a lifelong hater of getting my legs out in the summer but these tights allowed me to bare my legs with pride because they provide a natural tan colour to your legs that is so sheer that even up-close my friends and family couldn’t tell that I was wearing tights. Not only is it the sheerness of the 7 denier tights (with the strength of 15 denier) that tricked them, but it was the fact that they are no-toe tights so I could wear flip-flops and sandals without anyone suspecting that I had a pair of tights tucked between my toes! Unlike other no-toe tights that I’ve tried (which tended to roll up under my foot) these have a toe loop which keeps the tights in the right place by anchoring them to your big toes. As long as you have a thin strap on your sandals across the toes, no one will ever see the join and will be sure that you’re rocking bare tanned legs with confidence. If you’re worried about being too hot in tights during the summer these have “climate control technology” which let your legs breathe – I never once felt too warm wearing them throughout the whole of last summer. As you can see I have stocked up for this summer already even though I have 2 pairs in my underwear drawer that are still going strong from last year!

You can buy both of these brands (along with loads more bargain pairs of tights in different styles and thicknesses) at UK Tights and now I never buy anything else. Sure there might be cheaper options available but in this case you really do get what you pay for – and that’s hard for me to say because I’m such a spendthrift! I know that I’m actually saving money when I spend out on these tights because I can wash and wear them time and again and that I can get a whole season’s use out of them rather than struggling with laddered tights after one use. Plus I usually keep an eye out for special deals from this website because they always have a couple of brands on offer so I make my purchases while there is a discount on ;)

One final thing – and probably the most important factor of all – these tights don’t slip down while you’re wearing them. For me there’s nothing worse than penguin-waddling after your tights have come down a little and having put up with the discomfort until you get the chance to hoist them back up when no one is looking! Let me know what you think of my choices and tell me what you usually wear on your legs throughout the year – can you recommend anything for me? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy :)

Easter chocolate fudge cake


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Pieday Friday ~ My favourite Easter recipes

Any excuse to make a sweet treat eh? And Easter is the perfect time to make something sweet for the family over this 4-day weekend. Here are my favourite Easter recipes that I’ll  be sharing with my family over the bank holiday and I hope you’ll have a go at making some treats for yourself too!

pieday friday easter chick cookies iced hen biscuits recipe by cassiefairy

Decorated sugar biscuits Ingredients: 125g butter, 125g caster sugar, 1 medium egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 250g plain flour

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and creamy then add the egg and vanilla extract and mix. Sift half the plain flour into the bowl, mix and then add the rest of the flour and mix into a soft dough. Knead the dough until smooth and wrap in cling film before chilling in the fridge for at least half an hour. When you are ready to make your biscuits, preheat your oven to 180 °C /350 °F and roll out the dough on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out any shapes you like and move onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or a baking liner. Bake Cook for approx 10-15 minutes until light golden brown – really keep an eye on them towards to end to prevent the edges of the cookies from getting singed! This is one of my favourite recipes for cute decorated biscuits – simply ice with a icing sugar  mixed with a drop of lemon juice and let the kids go crazy decorating them with chocolate sprinkles and hundreds-and-thousands!

Easter chocolate fudge cake

pieday friday easter chick cookies iced cute bunny rabbit biscuits recipe by cassiefairyChocolate fudge Easter cake Ingredients: 175g Self-raising flour, 200g Caster sugar, 100g Soft brown sugar, 100g Butter or Margarine, 3 Eggs, 4tbsp Milk, 6 tbsp Boiling water, 50g Cocoa powder

Fudge Topping Ingredients: 150g Chocolate (supermarket cheap stuff is fine, or if you can bear it, melt down your easter eggs!), 250g Softened butter or margarine, 275g Icing sugar, 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins. Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add all the other ingredients and beat again until combined. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.

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Topping: Melt your chocolate and whisk in the vanilla extract, icing sugar and butter. Work quickly as the topping mixture will start to set as it cools – sandwich some of the fudge mixture between the two cakes then spread the rest over the top and down the sides. Pile on mini eggs and chocolate coins to decorate, then fight over who gets to try the first slice! ;)

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I’m very excited to be sending my Easter recipes in to my favourite foodie blog The Pink Whisk who are running a bloggers Easter recipe challenge in association with Two Little Fleas – I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed until Easter that blog writer Ruth likes what she sees! :)

easter cookie cutters giveaway

fairy princess bedroom with drapes from Decoria blog


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A Fairy Bedroom in a Tiny Space on a Little Budget

Celebrate your little girl’s love of fairies and all things magical by turning her bedroom into a beautiful fairy cove, no matter what size the room is or your pocket. Here are a few simple ways you can add a touch of fairy dust and sparkle to your girl’s bedroom that she will love and cherish.

Drape, Drape, Drape

There’s no easier way to create a dreamy, soft atmosphere than to drape billowy, light fabrics around the room. Use cream or white coloured sheer fabric that you can buy cheaply to create curtains for windows or attach to the ceiling with simple hooks and string to drape over the bed. Your little one will love entering into her luxury little chamber at night with a simple draped covering.

fairy princess bedroom with drapes from Decoria blog

Fairy princess bedroom ideas from Decorica blog

Sweet Dreams

Speaking of beds, the sleeping space in a small room can often take over it completely. You can find plenty of affordable mid-sleeper beds for kids with perfect fairy themes that are often multi-purpose as they feature a desk, storage drawers or play spaces to boost the functionality of the room.

DIY fairy bed ideas for little girls bedroom

Fairy bed ideas via Pinterest

Crafty Ornaments

One advantage of your little girl being into fairies is that there are endless amounts of cheap and fun craft activities that they can do. Spend some playtime getting creative and making fairy-themed decorations for her room like fairy drawings with real flowers that you can frame and hang. Make simple hanging vines out of green string and tissue paper leaves or cut symmetrical butterfly wing paper shapes that your kids can paint or colour with their own designs (don’t forget the glitter!). You can either hang their crafted ornaments around the room or place them carefully on windowsills or surfaces. Another clever idea is constructing a toadstool seat out of reclaimed wood and an up-turned salad bowl!

DIY fairy mushroom toad stools and table tutorial from MummyMakesIt blog

DIY fairy toadstools tutorial from MyMommyMakesIt blog

Wall of Lights

No fairy bedroom is complete without soft, twinkling fairy lights. These can be bought cheaply, especially after Christmas time and why not create a fairy light wall by hanging the lights across in a zig-zag pattern with a couple of nails. You can even add tiny wooden pegs that they can use to hang their favourite pictures or some of their crafts up on the wall too.

bedroom-fairy-lights for childs fairy princess bedroom

Bedroom fairy light tutorial from Lights4Fun blog

Your little one is bound to love all of these additions to their room. Not only do they add to the enjoyment of their own space but it also shows how much you care about what interests them. It’s easy to go out and spend loads of money on expensive decorations and interior designs but by creating your own you can get your kids more involved in the process, adding that personal, heartfelt touch to your family home.


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Weekend fun at a classic car rally

What did you get up to at the weekend? It was a surprisingly sunny day here on Saturday – almost like the height of summer – so some friends and I headed out for the day to make the most of the gorgeous weather. Our pals are classic car enthusiasts and invited us out to a rally. Gorgeous cars, beer tent and BBQ lunch – that sounds like the recipe for a good Saturday to me! Our friends kindly chauffeured us to the event in their 70s Superbird; a bit more of a suitable ride than my Skoda! When we reached the event we discovered that there were two elements of the event: classic and vintage cars. Who knew there was a difference between classic and vintage? It looked to me like all the vintage cars were like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and ‘classic cars’ covered everything from Minis to military jeeps. I’m not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to cars - classic or otherwise - but I know what I like so I really enjoyed looking at all the shiny classic cars  in practically mint condition.  I hope you enjoy looking at some of the photos we took at the event:

While walking around the show with a glass of cider, I learnt a lot from my friends who answered my silly questions (almost without laughing!) and patiently told me the colour of the car they were talking about, knowing that I wouldn’t have a clue if they only said the name! What interested me most were how some of these old vehicles could even be on the road any more. Some didn’t even have headlights or windscreens so I wondered how they could ever get motor trade insurance, let alone breakdown cover if their ancient engines gave up during a journey, yet it IS possible and another thing I learnt during the day was the existence of a ‘daylight MOT’! smiling car classic rally

This was my favourite little car – just look at the smile on it!

I’ve been to a few vintage car rallys over the years (usually having stumbled across them by accident!) and you’ve probably seen my posts about the VW Campervan shows I’ve been to in the past, both as a spectator and as a trader. This day out was great fun and I’m certainly broadening my horizons and learning something new! I’d love to go to more events like this, especially when the weather is as lovely as it was this weekend: sounds like a good way to spend the summer, doesn’t it?! Let me know if you’re a classic car fan and it’d be great to hear about other fun events that I can enjoy at the weekends – car-related or otherwise! Drop me a line cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or tweet me @cassiefairy.