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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Stop complaining! How to avoid guest gripes

Weddings are beautiful, special, romantic and joyous occasions that publicly celebrate a couple’s love. However, while everything is about the two of you, you’re also the lead hosts of a lavish event. All your loved ones have been invited and this leads to certain expectations. I’ve already blogged about which wedding traditions you could do without, but this post is different. It’s about avoiding guest gripes before they arise to make sure that everyone is happy on your big day. Well, you don’t want a whingeing sister ruining your special day, do you? Nope! Here’s how to keep the grumbles to a minimum and it starts with choosing the ideal date…Save The Date

It’s a rare occasion where everyone invited to a wedding can attend, but it does happen so be prepared to accommodate every RSVP. However, there are some dates that picky guests will moan and groan over including anything near Christmas, New Year or even the summer holidays! It’s also best to keep your wedding away from anything too commercial like Valentine’s Day because lots of couples like to book mini-breaks and getaways at that time of year too. It’s not only cheaper to get married out of season; you’re more likely to have the number of guests you wanted as people tend to see the autumn and winter months as downtime and their social calendars are less busy.

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5 things to think about when planning a loft conversion

Creating that much-needed extra space in your home can be achieved by creating a brand new room out in your unappreciated attic. Whether you live in an old Victorian semi-detached or a mid-terrace home; a loft conversion could be your next step in home improvement. I definitely want to convert my own attic in the future and so I’ve been doing my research in order to plan ahead. I’ve found a few useful tips on how to plan for a loft extension (and what not to do!) so I thought I would share these with you today. 

Minimalist style and a wall of storage – what more do you need?

An additional room in your home could be necessary for an endless number of reasons. You could create a new, cosy bedroom for the youngest family member. You might want to take your DIY hobbies into your own little indoor workspace. You can opt for some cool lighting, your favourite interior colours and patterns, windows that let the sunshine in throughout the day, built-in wardrobes and so on..!

The main thing to consider when dreaming up a loft conversion project is budget – planning and estimating what kind of loft conversion your building will allow for. As new additional rooms can only be done properly by professionals; it’s important to work with a company that you really click with and who understands what you want to achieve.

Escape to the loft to work in your own home office

After finding the loft conversion company you want to work with, there will be some rules and limits on how you can add this exciting new room to your house. Before jumping into paying a deposit to any designer, architect or a building company make sure you read the specific loft conversion regulations that apply to your property. You don’t want to end up having to pay for something you might not be eligible to get after all. Continue reading “5 things to think about when planning a loft conversion” »


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Getting the best from your DSLR camera

In terms of making an investment in technology for the long-term, Digital SLR cameras are definitely the way to go. They are able to capture moments for you in ways that your smartphone simply can’t. And (even though there are upgrades available) if you have a decent camera then you can stick with it for life.

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A new camera can generate hobbies, careers and even a lifestyle choice for you. Where you point your camera can be a massive reflection to others of the life that you are currently leading. Here’s how to get ahead and make a good use of your new toy – or how to blow the dust of a DSLR that you haven’t thought of picking up in ages…

Join a photography club

There are so many photography clubs around, you simply have to look online for the one which is most local to you. Here you will be able to listen to talks and show your photography to like-minded people. You will be set challenges each week under a theme, and each week you can present your interpretation of said theme to the other members. The theme could be a place, a person, or something abstract – the sky’s the limit and it’s an amazingly creative way to get your cogs whirring with your camera.

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Get tips from the experts

Going to a seminar or a talk on cameras, or even enrolling on a course to learn more about them will certainly pique your interest. There’s so much more to photography just pressing down a button and hoping for a good shot; the angles, settings and lenses that you uses are all crucial components to getting a great photo. Once you know the basics and how to put them into practice, you’ll be a lot more confident.

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4 budget-busting tips for your wedding day

Put the word ‘wedding’ in front of anything and suddenly the cost goes up. It’s insane to think how much the average wedding costs. In the days when I got married 14 years ago, there wasn’t half the choice there is now. Then again, the services that were available didn’t cost half as much as they do today! But, your big day doesn’t have to mean big bucks. On the contrary, even the most thrifty of brides can have a day fit for a princess without having to break the bank. After all, a wedding is just one day; marriage is for a lifetime. So, if you’re a bride on a budget, how can you make sure that your day is one to remember without having to splash out? Let’s find out.

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Go DIY

The DIY bride is now a big thing with more and more people taking the plunge in creating their own wedding accessories. From invites, to bouquets to decor, most brides are now popping along to their local craft store to find out what they can make themselves. If you’re something of an expert baker, you could bake your own wedding cake. Unleash your inner creativity – not only will you save money, but you will also have a thoroughly personal wedding. After all, who wants something that everyone else can have? It’ll be utterly bespoke and personal to you.

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Students – Tips for improving your essay writing

We’re only one month into the new year and I bet that you college students out there will already have a stack of assignments to catch up on. I remember that my university tutors all used to set their essays, reports and presentations within the first couple of weeks of term, so by now I would already be worrying about writing them. Would my research be strong enough and would my writing skills be good enough to get the debate across? After a lot of practice and many many years of being a student I finally worked out how to breeze through essays and assignments, so if you’re feeling concerned don’t worry – there are plenty of ways of improving your grammar, choice of words, structure, etc and here’s how:

Quick tips to improve your writing skills

All students have problems with  written assignments from time to time as they demand thorough research and take lots of time to pull together into a structure that reaches a decisive conclusion. But all that work isn’t in vain – developing your writing skills in this way is useful when you’re studying at a higher level in the future or even in your future job. Here are some tips that will make your life much easier:

  • Make sure that every paragraph has main idea
  • Pay attention to sentence length: short ones are used to emphasize ideas and longer sentences are used to explain, define, or illustrate
  • Key words and ideas should be placed at the beginning or end of the sentence
  • Use different types of sentences: simple, compound, and complex sentences
  • Dynamic verbs in active voice are important – don’t overuse the passive voice
  • Avoid using too many unnecessary words
  • When you’re reviewing your essay, read it aloud –  you will hear any grammar problems
  • Don’t be too lazy to proofread and edit your work before submitting it
  • Don’t be embarrassed to use a dictionary or synonyms 

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How to put aside a little extra cash for Christmas… starting now!

If you’re already thinking about Christmas, you’ll probably be wanting to find a few extra pennies for your festive shopping. When money is already tight it can be hard to imagine how you can save anything between now and Christmas but believe me when I say it can be done! And here’s how:budgeting money saving finance tips for university freshers students_-2Earlier this week I actually visited the Planner Wealth blog (yes, even thrifty bloggers like me need advice sometimes!)to find out some ideas for making even more savings than I usually do each month. I watched a really handy video with 5 helpful tips to show us where we can cut corners and save a little extra money here and there. I’ve embedded the video below so that you can watch it and make use of the advice for yourself.

I totally agree with the advice about saving money on food in this video. I’m such an advocate of cooking from scratch and making “tumble-down” meals with leftovers – have a look at my Pieday Friday category for 100s of thrifty recipes, all super easy to make and simple enough to be cooked with the kids too! A simple fuss-free savings idea is switching everything in your weekly shop over to ‘own brand’ versions.budgeting money saving finance tips for university freshers students_

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Personal Development – How online learning can help you achieve your career goals

If you’ve been looking for a way to reach your ultimate career goals, why not consider starting an online learning programme? Designed to help you achieve your employment objectives, these courses could open up new doors for you when it comes to your progression at work. If you’re unsure how online learning could aid you, here are a few benefits to consider.achieving-career-goals-online-learningIt’s a great way to get ahead

Whether you’re looking to go further in your current field of work or you want to completely change the direction of your career, online learning can help you learn something new as a way of getting ahead. From acquiring new skills to becoming more knowledgeable in a certain area, e-learning gives you the chance to set yourself up for bigger and better things when it comes to your career. However, you’ll only succeed if you enrol on a course that’s specifically going to help you reach your end goal in your industry. personal-development-studying-learning-industry-accreditation-degree

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Personal Development – Here’s my card… the importance of networking

Welcome to the weekend everyone! It’s time for me to remind you about work on Monday morning and let you know what you can do right now to help you achieve your career goals. After all (I’ve seen this quote literally everywhere last month) ‘dreams don’t work unless you do’. Okay, I know you just want one day off but I promise it’ll be worth it if you do a little hustling on the weekends too. Here’s why it’s good to network and what you can do today to get started:how-to-network-like-a-proIt’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Honestly, most of the best opportunities I’ve worked on have come from knowing the right people. Okay, maybe I didn’t know that they were the ‘right’ people when I met them, but when the time came for them to commission a new project, I was the girl they called! Am I just lucky, being in the right place at the right time? No! I actually had to get up, go to events, meet people, chat in real life and maintain those relationships. Thankfully for me, it’s not a chore; I love finding like-minded souls and catching up with them on a regular basis, because the life of a self-employed gal can be quite a lonely one. Having that human connection makes me happy and, honestly, most of the people who started out as business acquaintances are now good friends.tips-and-hacks-how-to-network-like-a-pro-things-you-need-for-networking

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Guest post: 3 ways to free yourself from debt for good

For many people, getting into debt is a necessary evil. With the cost of living constantly on the rise, the majority of people these days are finding it impossible to buy things such as houses, cars, and more necessities without first borrowing money. Although the ability to borrow money when needed can be extremely helpful, having a lot of debt can often cause more problems than it is worth. Once you are in debt, it can be very difficult to get out of it, especially if you are paying interest and other fees each month along with your repayment. If you’re looking to free yourself from debt for good, here are some of the best methods of doing so.gold glitter piggy bank savings

DIY this piggy bank with instructions from Dwellings by Devore

 1. Pay off More
If you’re in debt and not particularly struggling with it, paying off more than the minimum payment can help you to clear your debts for good as quickly as possible. Rather than putting spare money towards savings, it actually makes more sense to make payments towards clearing your debt. The more that you pay towards them, the less that you will have to pay in interest. Even if you can only afford to pay just a few pounds over the minimum payment each month, doing so can certainly pay off in the future and enable you to clear yourself of debt as soon as possible.gold glitter piggy bank savings money

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How to be a good bridesmaid

 

Your bestie finally asked — you’re going to be a bridesmaid! The next few months (or even years) are going to be a whirlwind of planning, preparation and parties. If you’re going to go down in history as the best bridesmaid ever, you’ll need to up your game. While I’m away for the last of the school holidays (and I’ll report back on what we got up to next week!) House of Fraser has been kind enough to write a guest post for me, sharing their tips on being a good bridesmaid:bridesmaid dress house-of-fraser-brocade1.     Wear the dress

The most important part of your role in the wedding is the bridesmaid dress, so you’re naturally going to have some opinions and preferences around what you would like. By all means tell the bride what style suits you and which colours you like but when your comments start to turn into diva demands, it’s time to stop. Remember, it’s not your wedding, so if the bride has settled on a bridesmaid dress that may not be to your taste, bite your tongue and wear it.

2.     Make sure you’re 100% invested

As we’ve already mentioned, there’s more to being a bridesmaid than following the bride down the aisle. Rather, you’ll dedicate months — maybe even years — of your life to wedding planning, dress fittings, hair trials and hen parties. If you can’t commit to all events, you should consider whether you should be a bridesmaid in the first place.

house of fraser bridesmaid dresses

Cobalt blue bridesmaid dresses from House of Fraser

3.     Start saving in advance

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. If the bride and groom need to reign in their spending, you may be asked to buy your own dress or shoes, or pay for your own hair and makeup. Throw in a wedding present and hen party spends and the costs can quickly mount up. Start saving as soon as you’re asked to be a bridesmaid, so you won’t be strapped for cash in the long run. Continue reading “How to be a good bridesmaid” »

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