Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


Latitude Festival’s dance & theatre line-up just announced!

It’s International Dance Day today and to celebrate Latitude Festival have just announced the dance and theatre line-up for this year’s festival. I’ve been looking forward to this announcement ever since the details of this year’s festival emerged earlier this year because it’s specifically the theatre, dance and comedy that I love most about the festival. Of course, the music headliners are amazing this year – including The Maccabees, The National and New Order – but when the line-up for the other stages start to be announced is when I really start to get excited about the Festival. I can begin planning my visit now! Oh and if you don’t already know, Latitude Festival is being held from 14th-17th July 2016 at Henham Park in Suffolk so investigate the line-up and get your tickets now! Here are some of my snaps from last year’s Festival and read on to hear more about the newly announced line-up!Latitude festival photos 2015-12Latitude festival photos 2015-10 Latitude festival photos 2015 Latitude festival photos 2015-32The newly announced line-up includes Sadler’s Wells presenting Hofesh Schechter: tHE bAD, Botis Seva (a 24 year old rising star from Dagenham), Hoh Vamos Cuba, Gogo Pengiun & Lynne Page, Richard Alston: Stronghold and NYDC: In-nocentes. I’ve saved my favourite performers until last because these are the ones I’m most excited about seeing – the New English Ballet Theatre (let’s hope for something amazing like last year’s Swan Lake performance) and the fun-tastic Swing Patrol. If you’ve been reading my blog over the past couple of years you’ll know that I’ve been learning lindy hop so I certainly don’t want to miss out on the chance to see Scott Cupit and the Swing Patrol pros in action!

There were also some exciting extra names announced in the theatre line-up this morning, including one of my favourite British actresses Jane Horrocks & the If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me Band, Theatre Ad Infinitum with their show Bucket List. I’m hoping she’ll be doing a spot of singing too, fingers crossed! And it’s not just the best of British taking to the stage at Latitude; international companies Familie Flöz (from Berlin) are presenting Teatro Delusio at the festival and Svalbard (from Sweden) will be presenting All Genius, All Idiot.

One more addition that I’m really excited about is that Lavish Design will create a new hybrid two-part art and performance project for Latitude. Old school friends Adam Buxton and (my hero!) Louis Theroux will discuss their work in the film and music area. And on top of all this, most of my dream comedy acts are performing too including Nick Helm (who I managed to grab for a cuddle last year), Joe Lycett, Sara Pascoe and SO many more. I. Can’t. Wait.


Let me know if you’ve already got tickets to the festival and leave me a comment below to let me know what artists and performances you are looking forward to at this year’s Latitude festival.

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Tuesday Shoesday – Oscars 2016: Get the look for less

Each year it gets harder and harder to pick out the hottest shoe trends at the Oscars. Why? Because of all the floor-lengths gowns, of course! Those award-winning actresses are doing a grand job of picking out the perfect pair of shoes to complement their outfit and then hiding them away underneath their drag-along-the-floor dress. Next year, could we all pleeeeease embrace the 60s miniskirt look instead? That would make my job much easier, thanks!

oscars 2016 silver shoes louis vuitton dressAlicia Vikander in a custom Louis Vuitton gown. REX Shutterstock.

Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that I HAVE been able to find some glamorous glimpses of footwear on the red carpet. So today I wanted to share with you some of the lookalike versions of these very glitzy heels, so you can get the look for less yourself at much more purse-friendly prices.silver shoes asos oscars 2016 lookalike heelsThe first pair that caught my eye was worn by award winner Alicia Vikander who sported a pair of metallic silver sandals with a clear block heel on the red carpet. She later scooped the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Danish Girl so I bet she was thrilled to be wearing a princess-style Beauty And The Beast-esque gown and matching silver accessories while the whole of Hollywood watched. The metallic lookalike shoes I found for this look are from ASOS (currently half price at only £19) and will be a wardrobe staple this year. Strappy metallic shoes were spotted time-and-again on the red carpet – Rachel McAdams wore a similar pair below – so are definitely a solid trend for eveningwear in 2016.rachel mcadams oscars 2016 silver shoes green dress

Rachel McAdams also wore a similar pair of strappy silver heels at the 2016 Oscars. Rex Shutterstock

Kerry Washington popped a cheeky foot out of her daring leather Atelier Versace gown as she posed on the red carpet. I guess she wanted to show off those classy Gianvito Rossi heels, and who wouldn’t want to? They are the kind of shoes that would go with any outfit so would be a good investment for special occasions. Of course, there are ways to get a pair at a lower price – shop on the high street!

2016 kerry-washington-in-atelier-versaceKerry Washington in Atelier Versace with Gianvito Rossi pumps. Rex Shutterstock

I found these timeless black court shoes in New Look for just £17.99 and I think that the suede finish and supportive strap (missing from Kerry’s red carpet look – she must have been hobbling a lot!) are just the thing for wearing to special events. Even though they are a classic style, that doesn’t mean they’re boring shoes – these heels cover just the toes and expose a lot of skin, so they’re a rather slinky option too!new look shoes oscars 2016 black trendAnother actress who proved really helpful in my search for shoes was Lily Cole. This good ol’ gal picked a dress with a shorter hem at the front so there are tons of photos of her feet out there on the internet. These strappy gold sandals contrast with her silver Vivienne Westwood dress, whichwas actually made from recycled plastic bottles. Loving the idea of sustainable fashion like this on the red carpet – go for it Lily!

lily cole oscars 2016 silver dress gold shoesLily Cole in Vivienne Westwood. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

It’s been rather hard to find a similar pair of gold-leaf heels on the high street but when I turned to the internet I found plenty. There were actually TOO MANY pairs of glitzy gold shoes to choose from but I finally decided to pick this pair. My dupes for this look are from ASOS at £25 and are ideal for recreating that gold-shoes-and-silver-dress look for yourself. I think these shoes would be good ‘wedding guest’ heels for the summer as well as for nights out.asos gold shoes strappy heels oscars trend 2016

What do you think of the lookalike shoes that I found this year? I love checking out the red carpet looks from the Oscars because it usually gives a great insight into what trends will be hot during the coming year. Which looks will you be recreating at home yourself during 2016? Let me know by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me photos of your Oscar lookalike shoes to @Cassiefairy.

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Tuesday Shoesday – My 2016 Essentials (at the lowest possible price!)

When you’re a thrifty kinda gal who doesn’t really want to splash out her hard-earned cash on pricey pumps where do you shop for shoes? I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to spend less this year, (so that I’ve got more to save for the house of my dreams!) so now that I need some new shoes for the new year, I don’t want to blow the budget. Low-cost loafers are definitely ‘my bag’, people!

The trouble is, I’m also trying to clear out all the clutter from my tiny over-stuffed home. I want to streamline my wardrobe and clear out the 80% of things that hide at the back, never being worn (I wrote about my thrifty tips for making the most of your wardrobe last week). So that means that I don’t really want to be re-cluttering with a selection of shoes that I won’t get round to wearing either. No matter how much of a bargain a pair of pumps are, I won’t buy them unless they fulfil a need. I’ve got too many ‘pretty’ shoes sitting around that I’ve never worn but am completely lacking in terms of practical boots, trainers or wellies!countryside field muddy photograph tuesday shoesday welliesSo, that’s what I’ve been shopping for online this week. When you spot a gap in your shoe-wardrobe like that, you’ve got to fill it, right?! Living in a particularly muddy part of the countryside, I need wellies. If I want to go on any kind of countryside walks this year (and believe me, I do) I’m destined to come home with clods of mud stuck to the bottom of my pumps. Yes, this did happen to me at the weekend and the photo above is a footpath near my house. So wellies are clearly needed. They don’t need to be anything fancy, but they do need to be waterproof. I found the lowest prices for the wellies above at Brantano and I think I’m going to invest in these classic green Dunlop wellington boots. A timeless style and traditional colour won’t date so I can use them for years to come, and I especially love the £14 price-tag!tuesday shoesday coastal walks trainers pumps casual shoesI also managed to ruin my last pair of canvas trainers by wandering onto a muddy footpath. It looked fine at the start of the track, but ended up taking me across a very moist field. No amount of cleaning could remove the muddy tidemarks from my trainers. I don’t want to get put off walking completely, so now that I’ve got the wellies sorted, I’m sure I’ll be fine. But in the meantime, I need one pair of comfortable pumps for day-to-day wear; wandering around town and coastal promenades, that sort of thing. Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – My 2016 Essentials (at the lowest possible price!)” »

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I’ve been shortlisted for ‘Most Innovative’ blog in the UK Blog Awards!

I still can’t believe it. I have actually been shortlisted in the UK Blog Awards. And for the ‘Most Innovative’ blog category. There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now. Thrilled, delighted, amazed and shocked just doesn’t do it justice. Thank you, thank  you, THANK YOU for voting for me. You did this. YOU put this smile on my face!
I've been shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards 2016 Final.I actually didn’t find out myself – I was working hard on an article when the ‘you’ve made the shortlist’ email came through – so I only found out when my friends and family started getting in touch to congratulate me! I was all like, eh? And then I checked my email. I logged on to the UK Blog Awards website. I double-checked the categories. I sat open-mouthed for a few minutes until the news sunk in and a smile spread across my face. And it has seriously not left my face ever since!

As the UK Blog Awards are totally down to reader votes, I honestly couldn’t have got anywhere in the competition without YOU. You have made my day, my weekend, my month and my year. You’re the best and I can’t thank you enough. Cheers to all who have supported me and helped my little thrifty lifestyle blog to get to the finals of a national competition. Wow. Have an amazing weekend everyone!


Start your 2016 in style – Tips for looking great on a budget with #WomanKind

In honour of the new year and with the aim of making positive changes to my life, I’ve decided to get involved with a really important campaign; #WomanKind. The campaign carries a simple message that is so easily overlooked; care for yourself. With a recent survey by WeightWatchers showing that 88% of women wouldn’t criticise others the way they criticise themselves, I think it’s high time that the tables were turned. We need to start being kinder to ourselves and, in the spirit of the #WomanKind ethos, I aim to share lots ideas over the coming month to help us all to live well, feel amazing and look stylish, no matter how tight our budget is!thrifty wardrobe makeover tip money saving inspiration hack-5You may have already seen the hashtag pop up on social media and have joined in yourself but for those of you who don’t know what it is (I didn’t know until a couple of days ago!) here’s a video about the campaign. I agree that it’s much easier to love and care for other people than it is to love yourself, and I can easily believe the 89% of women who say that they compliment friends and family in ways that they would never compliment themselves. I’m definitely someone who gives out love unconditionally but am rarely as kind to myself as I am to others. Thankfully I have a wonderful group of loyal friends and family who shower me with love but the true message of the #WomanKind campaign is to not rely on others to make you feel important – you are important and deserve to treat yourself well. womankindTo kick-start this campaign, I wanted to share some of the techniques I personally use to live well while being thrifty and stylish during the long day winter months. You can read by Q&A about why I’m getting involved in this wonderful campaign on the #WomanKind blog. Today I want to start by looking at fashion hacks you can use to make yourself look good on the outside and styling tips that will leave you feeling great on the inside.thrifty wardrobe makeover tip money saving inspiration hack-3Tip 1: Tidy up your wardrobe

Over the last year I’ve noticed that of the key factors that stops me from being pleased with how I look is simply not being able to find the clothes I want. Often I’ve chosen an outfit that I’m happy with and I know I’ve got the perfect cardigan to go with that cute tartan skirt but I just can’t find it. It’s not in the wash and I’ve not chucked it out so where on earth is it?! This puts a stop to me wearing my preferred outfit and I have to settle for second best. Sound familiar?

January is the ideal time of year to have a wardrobe clear-out. And yes, I mean pull everything out of your wardrobe, dump it on the bed and don’t give up until its neatly back in the wardrobe on the right hangers and organised so that you can easily find the things you want to use. If you want to get rid of anything you’ve not worn in a while to make space for new purchases, now is the time to take a bagful to the charity shop. And for the coming year try out the trick of putting all your hangers the same way round and, after wearing an item, replacing the hanger the opposite way round. This will let you see what clothes you haven’t worn all year and that you probably don’t need = more space for the things you love that make you feel great.thrifty jumper makeover tip with razor money saving inspiration hack idea thrifty jumper makeover tip with razor money saving inspiration hack-3Tip 2: Make repairs Continue reading “Start your 2016 in style – Tips for looking great on a budget with #WomanKind” »

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