Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


My bargain fashion haul

I’ve had a bit of a result this week while shopping online. I discovered a fabulous fashion store that combines the convenience of online shopping with low low high street prices, sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well, it IS true and my order from has just arrived to prove it!

I was initially looking for something to wear to my friend’s wedding next weekend and having exhausted my usual shopping haunts, I decided to widen my search and take a look online. I was surprised and delighted with the selection of reasonably priced dresses I found at and I managed to get my whole outfit sorted at once. I bought this royal blue maxi dress with a slinky knotted-front detail and it was under £15! See, I wasn’t kidding when I said it was great prices!! It’s like a sale is on all the time and as such, items sell out quickly so if you see something you like, I recommend you grab it straight away while it’s still in stock! I decided to pair the dress with a fresh white blazer and added this to my cart before having a little browse around the rest of the store to see what other bargains I could find.

I couldn’t resist snapping up this over-size t-shirt with fabulous Mean Girls ‘you can’t sit with us’ quote on it. I already have a cute tartan skirt that I bought in the winter sales, so I thought the two would look great together as a kind of teen-flick mash-up of Clueless and Mean Girls! The t-shirt was only £8.25 and that’s one of the more spendy tops on the website!

I also bagged this horse pattern knitted jumper. I know it’s sunny outside at the moment, but this item was new in and I know that it will have sold out by the time the autumn breezes arrive! So I’ve invested in the black version ready for A/W14, but I love the fit and design so much that I’m actually thinking about getting it in cream with black horses too because I already know I’ll wear it all winter long!

So what do you think of my bargain fashion haul? I’ve barely taken off my new slogan t-shirt since it arrived and am bursting to hop back onto the website and order some more low-priced goodies. I’m pleased that a thrifty gal like me has finally found somewhere to shop online that doesn’t break the bank, woop!Mean Girls t shirt

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Interior design inspiration ~ photowalls

When I wrote about the interior décor of Hollister stores last week it was pretty clear that I was really inspired by the design. Ever since my visit to the Cambridge shop, I’ve been trying to work out a way that I could inject a bit of Californian holiday atmosphere into my own home and I think I’ve come up with a plan…

The design element that most impressed me was the ocean view windows above. The ‘windows’ were made from screens which projected a wrap-around view of the ocean and coastline, giving the impression that you really were shopping in a tropical hut, possibly on a pier out in the sea. I loved the immersive atmosphere this created and I want to do something similar at home. Okay, I’m not considering installing a TV wall but I AM researching the possibility of including a photowall in my bathroom design.

I’ve gathered design inspiration and have researched companies that can print large-scale posters and I’ve decided to order from StressFreePrint. They are able to take a photo and divide it into posters which can over-lap and be pasted together to create an image the size of any wall up to 8m high! So my little 1.8m x 1.4m space above the bath should be no trouble at all ;) It’s basically like having wallpaper custom-made but without a hefty price tag.

There are different grades of paper quality available and the photos are printed with dry toner inks which are waterproof and UV stable so the image won’t run or fade - pretty good, huh? I’m still planning to varnish the wall after the posters have been hung, just to be certain that the moist bathroom environment won’t damage the image. Here are some interior spaces that have used a photo-wall effect to add a false window or to change the atmosphere of the room:

poster wall art ideas

So now all I need to do is choose an image. I want to use a photo of my favourite coastline, with beach huts and a gorgeous blue sky – but I’ll have to be there on the right day and at the right time to get the perfect weather conditions. I’d rather spend a bit of time creating an image that I’ll enjoy looking at, because it’ll be pretty hard to ignore once it’s pasted onto the bathroom wall! I’m hoping to create the illusion of looking into the distance so that the wall adds depth to the bathroom, rather than over-powering it. It’s a tough decision to make but I’ll share my chosen photos with you as soon as I send it to print!


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Freebie Friday ~ This month’s magazines

Don’t panic! Pieday Friday will be back again soon, but this week I wanted to share details of all the freebies you can pick up with this month’s magazines. I had a weekend away last week, and being away from home is the only time I ever get to read magazines. I’m sure you’ll recognise this too – if I’m at home I’m either working on my blog, writing and researching articles, or tidying up the house! At the moment there’s no time for relaxing with a magazine, in fact there’s barely time for dinner in the evenings, but that’s because I’m hoping to take a couple of weeks off over the school summer holidays and am trying to get all my work done in advance rather than letting anyone down! So when I get a rare few days away from home like I did last weekend, that’s when I can stock up on magazines and spend some time actually relaxing and reading my favourites.

august 2014 magazine freebies on cosmopolitan glamour and mollie makes

This means that I’ve picked up the current issues of Cosmopolitan, Company and Mollie Makes and the freebies on the packs were just too good to keep to myself! Cosmo is giving away New CID Lip & Cheek tints in a choice of two shades or a full-size black New CID mascara. I picked up the mascara ready for when my current one runs out. Glamour magazine’s amazing freebie selection on their August issue is a Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry or Whoppin’ Watermelon. The other Clinque goodies available are their famous High Impact Mascara or the ‘Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+’. I chose the Whoppin’ Watermelon Chubby Stick because it’s a great summery bright pink colour and I’ve really enjoyed wearing it. I know there are plenty of blog reviews out there for the Chubby Sticks but I’ve never tried them before, so having the chance to test this product out for free is a bonus, and now I’m hooked. Although I’m not keen on the scent of the ‘fragrance free’ chubby stick (it smells like a crayon to me!), I think the texture is great and it’s just like wearing lip balm, which I prefer to lipstick or gloss anyday. I’m now thinking about buying a second issue to get the other colour too!

Mollie Makes always has a fab craft giveaway on the front of the magazine and this months issue (number 42) has a simple sewing project: an ‘easy stitch anchor purse’. All the things you’ll need to make the purse are included in the pouch and it’s good to great a handmade result in a relatively quick space of time. I’ve not yet tried making the project but it’ll definitely be on my summer holiday ‘to-do’ list. These three are just the tip of the iceberg-sized pile of magazines in my living room so I’d recommend taking a look at all the other fabulous freebies that are available with this month’s magazines when you’re next browsing the newsstand – you could end up getting something you really want (like me with my Chubby Stick!) for free!

There was another reason why I bought Cosmo this month too… As you may have already head me shouting from the rooftops, I’ve been shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards!! I’m in the Best Lifestyle Blog category and I couldn’t be more thrilled that my little blog has made it through to the final round! I’d love it if you could spare a minute to vote for in the Cosmo awards – here’s the link to the voting page, thank you so much!! Fingers crossed, eh?!


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Finding your very own personal shopper

Everybody wants a celebrity wardrobe, but knowing how to go about achieving one can be quite tricky. Luckily, there are people who specialise in helping find wardrobe pieces that are stylish, flattering, and a perfect fit for your wardrobe. That’s right – personal shoppers. With services from personal styling and image consulting to revamping your wardrobe, personal shoppers are a great way to help you achieve that stylish wardrobe you deserve. If you are looking for the perfect attire but don’t know where to begin, check out these personal shopping services from a variety different stores: Continue reading

Garden makeover - new fence -4

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How does your garden grow? Making a start…

At the weekend I told you all about my plans for growing a garden that ‘Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary’ would be proud of and this week I wanted to share the first step in making our garden into the ‘outdoor room’ that I’d love for it to become. Essentially, we are overlooked by two neighbours, and an access path runs all the way around the outside of our garden, so anyone can walk-by our garden at any time and see what we are up to. Aside from neighbours wheeling their bins and bikes around the path, it hardly gets used, but even so there is a massive lack of definition in where our garden ends and the neighbour’s garden starts. In fact, when we first moved in the neighbours behind told us that they had no idea that there was even a back door on the house, because they had never seen anyone going into the garden, but could see us very clearly now that we had started to use it! So privacy is an issue – not least because the little girl seems scared to play out in the neighbour’s garden when we are outside too – and we’d like to enclose the space a little to make it safer for our cats to play outside and not get attacked by the neighbour’s “cat killer” dog.

Garden makeover - new fence -2

Garden makeover - new fence -3

So we have put up a thrifted fence. I say thrifted because we spotted it after driving home from the carboot sale. The fence was being taken down from someone else’s garden by a builder, so we stopped for a chat and he explained that the fence had been hit by a car and half of it was damaged so it was being replaced by the insurance company. The old fence was going to be scrapped and a lot of it was smashed up, but some planks were still sturdy enough to use so we politely asked if we could give them a new home. So it took a few journeys to move all the fencing to our house but we got it here in the end and measured it out in the garden.

Garden makeover - new fence -4

Luckily, there was enough of a useable run of wood to fence all the way across the back of the garden. So with the help of my father-in-law, my husband put up the frame and nailed the fence planks to it, and within a day the fence was in place. I’m not too keen on the reddish colour and the planks need treating again, so I’m going to buy some ‘forest green’ treatment and will paint it on myself.

Garden makeover - new fence -5

To celebrate the new fence, mum bought us some fruit trees that had been discounted from QD – pear trees, couple of apple trees and a cherry tree. They are small but sturdy so we have dug them into the corner of the garden, which we intend to become a ‘wildlife’ area of the garden. We may well choose to move the centre tree as it grows, but at the moment it was better to get them into the ground and growing rather than dying in their pots! So after one busy day, we have a back fence up and 5 trees planted and it makes quite a difference to the garden; we can really see what space we have now that a boundary is up! More updates to come next week so watch this space!