Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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

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Top Winter Hat Tips – We’ve Got You Covered

It’s time to bundle up for winter but first use your head about what’s covering your head. All winter gear isn’t created equally. Here is what you need to know to help you stay snug and warm this winter. Whether you want to keep warm during casual trips to shops, while exercising outdoors, or are addressing a special need like hats for thinning hair, here is what you need to know to keep warm and cosy this winter.pom-pom-hat-beanie-knitting-pattern-mollie-makes

Knit your own with this bobble hat pattern by Mollie Makes

Fit for winter

Headwear can make a huge difference in keeping warm during the winter. Even if you are simply dashing between your car and the store or from one heating building to another, staying warm is important. Even indoors drafts and irregular heating can make it important to keep your head warm. A large portion of your body heat can be lost through your head.

If you’ll be outside in the cold for more than a few minutes, it’s important that your headwear covers your ears. Ears are thin but have a relatively large surface area. This increases the risk of heat loss and even frostbite.

If you’ll be enjoying outdoor sports this winter, it is important to get the appropriate headwear. Hats for running, hiking, and skiing and other outdoor sports need to combine comfort, fit, warmth, and an ability to handle sweat. Choose a longer style hat that will cover your forehead and ears without riding up as you run. You want to make sure the headwear is snug enough to stay in place while you exercise without being too tight or creeping out of place. If you’ll be out in extreme conditions, consider wearing a balaclava. This style of knit cap covers most of the face and neck as well as the head. It can even be worn under a hat or beanie for added warmth. crochet-bobble-hat-pattern-mollie-makes-45

Here’s a Mollie Makes crochet pattern to make your own slouchy hat

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Tuesday Shoesday – No shoes, but a new satchel

I’ve decided to write about my new handbag for this week’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post. Okay, I know it’s not strictly a shoesday post without any shoes, but the handbag did come from shoe brand Hotter, so I think it’s the ideal time to talk about handbags.handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-1-of-3Now, I’m not someone who will buy a new handbag just because I like the look of it, or because it matches an outfit or follows a new trend. In fact, I don’t buy bags very often at all. I don’t have a different bag for every occasion or for different seasons. Nope, I tend to choose one bag and that one bag will do me very nicely until it falls apart. And that’s when I’ll buy another one.handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-2-of-3You may have guessed from this that I don’t see handbags as a fashion accessory. I see them as purely practical; something to carry my important stuff from one place to another. I’m not saying that it doesn’t matter at all what the handbag looks like, because I have my preferences in the looks department too. But most important is that it can fit everything in, with lots of pockets and is easy to carry. handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-3-of-3My last two handbags have been Disaster Designs satchels. The first one I tried was the best. I really liked how it looked, with a map-print design and brown faux-leather flap. It was big enough to fit in everything I needed to carry, even notepads and ipads could fit in there. In fact, it was a little too big at times – if I only needed to carry a purse, it seemed to get lost in the vast space inside the bag, swishing around like a teabag in a bucket. But it lasted for years. I’m taking maybe 2-3 years before it finally started coming apart. I’d already ruined the lining with a leaky pen and plenty of spilled makeup by this point, but I was still sad to see it go.Whats in blogger Cassiefairys handbag-1

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How to create a farmhouse feeling in your home

I don’t know why, but autumn always makes me want to start nesting. My thoughts turn to cosy farmhouses and blazing fireplaces in country homes. It’s in complete contrast to my usual love of bright airy spaces and colourful mid-century modern accessories, but I love it nonetheless and start pinning tartan blankets with abandon at this time of year. It’s almost as if I NEED two homes; a fresh white summer house and dark, rustic winter home. With an emphasis on folk art, craftsmanship, and simple yet strong architecture, country farmhouses are just the place to snuggle up in the autumn and winter. So if you are looking to add a bit of rustic charm to your home this autumn, take a look over this list of the best ways to make your house more “country”.cosy-country-home-interior-design-decorating-farmhouse-style-diy-thrifty-accessories

Lots of layers & textures create a cosy country look

Layer up

I think the reason that country homes like this look so welcoming is because of all the layers of soft furnishings. Blankets, cushions, rugs, throws and pouffes almost shout “put your feet up and snuggle down”. It’s a really relaxed look, so feel free to drape as many blankets over your sofa as you like! Just imagine how warm you’re going to be this winter if you’ve got a lovely snuggly throw to curl up under. Experiment with textures too – baskets, knits and hessian all add to the typical ‘country’ look.


Create a Cotswold farmhouse look with handmade pieces

Decorate with vintage and handcrafted pieces

The first, and possibly easiest, step to achieve a country farmhouse look is to shop around for secondhand and crafted items for your house around the country theme. You can find a treasure trove of authentic country decorations at secondhand shops and in charity shops, though this method usually requires some digging to find the right items. Another possible idea is to take a trip to a local arts and crafts show, and pick up some real handcrafted accessories made by local craftspeople. This not only fills your house with personal and unique decorations, it also keeps money in the community!

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My outfit for the UK blog awards

Okay, it’s my last ‘preparing for the UK Blog Awards’ post of the week and I’m sharing a snap of the outfit I’ve finally decided on for the big event. I’ve also shared photos of my shoes on Tuesday Shoesday and my make-up choices yesterday so now it’s time to show off the pretty dress I picked up from Boden.outfit for awards ceremony boden dress clutch bag hotter shoes-3Just how lovely is this swingy dress in classy monochromatic hues? I chose it for two reasons: Firstly, it fits me really well and the skirt is exactly the right knee-length for my height. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s the kind of dress you want to twirl around in! The swishy skirt flares out beautifully thanks to the woven fabric and the tripes really accentuate the shape of the dress. It’s really comfortable to wear too, the knitted material is soft and drapes perfectly. I was also chuffed to bits that my dress is half the usual price because the Beatrice Knitted dress has been reduced now – so if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the main collection, a thrifty tip is to browse the clearance section too! I’m so happy with it and can’t wait to wear the on the big night.outfit for awards ceremony boden dress clutch bag hotter shoesI already showed you some snaps of my Hotter shoes earlier this week so you won’t be surprised by my decision to pair this monochrome dress with bright pink shoes. What may surprise you is my choice of red clutch bag, also from Boden. Okay, I know that matching your shoes and handbag is the kind of thing my nan would do, but I still feel a bit odd wearing pink shoes with a red bag. But I needn’t have worried because, when the bag was delivered, I discovered that it has a pink lining inside the flap of the clutch. The tomato red and cerise pink look gorgeous together – and really rather opulent. This slightly-oversize clutch is plenty big enough for everything I need to take with me to the UK Blog Awards (the blogger’s essentials: phone, camera, tickets and business cards!) and the pockets inside will keep everything organised. I’m ready for the event now – bring it on!outfit for awards ceremony boden dress clutch bag hotter shoes-4

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Glam up a simple gown for a special occasion

So you have a dress for prom. It’s a straight-forward little black dress or even a plain, but gorgeous, floor-length gown that fits like a dream. But it’s just too simple for you. It is one solid colour; or maybe the cut is just really basic. You really want to glam it up. Make it a little dressier, a little sparkly or perhaps a whole lot more glamorous.getting ready for prom

Get ready for prom with these thrifty tips!

Well if you’re off to your college prom, or any another dressy occasion – such as a wedding or awards dinner – and want to glam up your gown, here are some simple, fool-proof and affordable tips for taking your gown from plain to dazzling.

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Tuesday Shoesday – Accessories to revive your summer wardrobe

Nobody wants to wear the same clothes, day in and day out. It’s way too boring. Unfortunately, though, investing in a whole new wardrobe every season is a costly exercise and unless you are made of money, not practical. But there is an alternative. With the aid of a few handy (and stylish) accessories it is very easy to revive a tired looking wardrobe. And if you are really clever, everyone will think you are wearing a whole new outfit!summer accessories ideas and tips

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Accessories are more than just a space-filler. The right accessories can transform a lack lustre outfit into something amazing. You don’t even need to spend lots of money on expensive accessories, although if you can afford to splash out on a statement piece of jewellery, it won’t be a bad investment. Scarves, costume jewellery, shoes, and hair bling are all useful to have around if your wardrobe needs an overhaul and you don’t have the spare cash to buy new garments. So if your wardrobe is in need of some CPR, here’s how to give it the kiss of life. Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Accessories to revive your summer wardrobe” »

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Winter warmers ~ cosy accessories for your home

Even though I’m bursting to get out the Christmas decorations and fill my house with festive cheer, I agree that it is still a little too early to be hanging wreaths and stringing up the tinsel. However, it’s never too early to inject a couple of seasonal accessories here and there to make your home into a cosy winter retreat. Here are some ideas for including a little bit of Christmas in your home this November without going OTT.

Firstly, you’ll want to make your home feel cosy during the cold, dark winter nights and one way to do this is to invest in some fluffy throws and autumnal cushions in your living room. I don’t mean you have to hide away all your normal cushions and accessories, but you can add a couple of new ones to your existing collection to create a sofa that just cries out to be snuggled up on. I love the entire collection of Christmas cushions at John Lewis so take a look on their website for inspiration. As far as I’m concerned, the more blankets and throws, the better!

In order to make your home a welcoming Winter haven for all your guests, a change of bedding might just make all the difference to the  atmosphere in your guest room (or in your own bedroom for that matter!) so invest in some warm and cosy flannelette sheets in a subtle tartan pattern. This will make the room feel snug and festive, and this pattern of bedding can be used all year round, not just for Christmas! To make the room feel even more festive for visitors in December, add a couple of faux-fur accessories like these cushion covers, throws and even a snuggly stocking for Christmas guests.

I already have some lovely striped sheets that you may have spotted in my previous blog post, so I’m taking inspiration from this image below for my own bedroom and am planning to add one or two cute stag cushions to bring a rustic charm into the room. I already have a knitted throw to make my bed look snuggly so I’m planning to string up some warm white fairy lights to cast a cosy glow around the bedroom.

All of these little additions to your home don’t need to cost a lot but can make a big difference to the atmosphere. Stacks of cushions, layers of blankets, fairy lights and fluffy textures can help to make your home feel festive but not OTT Christmassy and will create a cosy ambience that guest won’t want to leave! Let me know what you’ll be doing to prepare your home for Winter and send me your photos if you try out any of these ideas, I’d love to hear from you 🙂


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A watch for all time

A watch should be an investment piece. This is especially true if you don’t have the cash to go around buying a new one every time you see a pretty one – which is certainly true for me! Making sure that your watch lasts a long time will save you money (on buying a new watches that is!) in the long run. You also need to bear in mind the style of the watch – you’re less likely to wear if it doesn’t really go with your outfits, so you want it to me timeless (excuse the pun!), simple and elegant. Here are some helpful tips to make sure that your watch stands the test of time!

Your Style

A watch isn’t just a way to tell the time, it’s a style statement, too. So when you go looking for a new one, you need to make sure it complements you and your style. If you feel like you don’t really have a style per se, think about how you dress on a regular basis: is it casual, glamorous, sporty? This will help narrow down the type of watch that will go with your natural style.

fashion ideas for wearing watches this summer 2014

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Your Lifestyle

You should also take in to consideration your lifestyle. If you’re often riding a bike or you’re always running for the bus, then you’ll probably need something a little bit more robust than a regular fashion watch. If you want something that will help you time stuff if you’re particularly sporty, then you could go for a digital sports watch.

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Thrifty ways to make your house a home with only a few accessories!

As an avid interiors blog reader and the world’s most addicted Pinterest user, I love to drool over images of gorgeous homes, and I regularly have my head turned by new design trends. Now, I can’t afford to redecorate my home every time I see a new trend that I like – in fact I’ve not yet finished decorating since moving in two years ago – and who actually has the time to empty out a room for a full blown paint-job? It’s just not practical, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to update my home and put my own stamp on it. So I’ve been researching ways to personalise my home using the latest colours and funkiest designs but without spending a fortune. And that’s where the supermarkets come in…

I’ve been scouring the home departments of the online supermarkets and have found plenty of inspiration for design makeovers on a purse-friendly budget. I especially love the new George at Home range from Asda which has designs that follow all the latest interiors trends and will allow me to personalise my home while I do my weekly shop! I’ve created a little mood board of one of my favourite looks from Spring/Summer 2014 – nautical. Not just a clothing trend, the coastal look is everywhere for homes this year, with blues and greys being very popular colours for decorating with at the moment. I’ve been thinking about painting my hallway grey for a while now, but it’s difficult to get the right shade of grey so that it doesn’t make the space look to dark – you can imagine how many tester pots I need to try out before making that decision!

nautical interior design trend for spring summer 2014 from george at asda

I really like the nautical look and although I’ve pinned photos of a living room and bedroom to my moodboard above, it’s actually my kitchen that I’d like to give a seaside makeover. I’ve already got some light-house fabric for my blinds (I’ll share more about this soon) and I’d like to try out blue walls to brighten up this small room. I’m taking inspiration from retro postcards and I really like the design of the ice cream placemat above – especially as it’s only £1! The blue bowl is also an absolute bargain at £2 – I’ve seen very similar bowls in interiors shops with considerably higher price tags – I could get 5 bowls from the supermarket for the price of one designer dish! So it will be easy and cheap for me to add a nautical feel to my kitchen. I just need to choose which tester pot of blue paint to use… 😉

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Shortlisted for a Fashion Blogger Award – I just had to tell someone!

I know I don’t usually blog twice a day but I’ve just had some amazing news and I have to tell someone or else I’ll just pop! I just received an email from Hannah from John Greed Jewellery with the fantastic news that this blog has been shortlisted for a JGJ Fashion Blogger Award! I couldn’t believe it when this email dropped into my inbox – what fantastic news for a weekday afternoon!


Hannah says “We came together and decided we wanted to say thank you to all the fantastic blogs that we read on a daily basis as a source of creativity, innovation and sometimes just for fun. So, we (John Greed Jewellery’s design/buying/marketing/social media team) decided to say thanks in a really special way by hosting our own blogger awards online and showcasing our favourite blogs.

Cassiefairy outfit for style blogger awards from Apricot and New Look

While I’m always looking ahead at the latest fashion trends, I am also an advocate of wearing ‘proper’ jewellery and choosing classic pieces to finish off an outfit. I love adding my own personal jewellery collection into my blog posts – above is my outfit for the Company blogger awards (see post here) which included a custom-made necklace that my fabulous friend Claire had made for me for a ‘significant’ birthday. The envelope contains a tiny wooden letter with ‘Cassiefairy’ etched into them, so it’s extra-special to me. I’m very minimal when it comes to accessories, preferring quality over quantity so I’m even more delighted that a professional design team likes what I’m doing – I can’t be getting it that wrong then, phew!

gcse results jewellery gift spark jewelry gold necklace

I’ve been shortlisted in their Best Fashion & Jewellery Blogger category along with lots of super-cool bloggers – including loads that I already read and adore – gulp! Stiff competition! Hannah tells me “It means we’ve judged your site to be regularly posting engaging articles highlighting various fashion trends, great use of jewellery in outfits (which is all too often forgotten about) and we love the way you write and help companies like us up to date on the latest news and trends”. It’s amazing just to get this kind of feedback: I love fashion and love jewellery but had no idea that I was actually inspiring others with my articles and that really makes it all worthwhile. So I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the judges like what they see on the blog and I will bring you the results when they are announced at the end of the month. I’m one very happy blogger, sat here with a big smile on my face right now!

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