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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Suffolk’s “social media stars” – and I’m on the list!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when a friend tweeted me recently to tell me that I was in the local press. I had no idea! Within a couple of minutes I was on the newspaper’s website and was reading through the article.

Thankfully it was for good reasons – I’d been included in a list of “Suffolk’s social media stars”! This must be what it feels like to be Beyonce 😉 Along with 8 fantastic bloggers and instagrammers (many of whom I know and actually follow myself!) my little blog was included in this ‘top 9’ list.  Continue reading “Suffolk’s “social media stars” – and I’m on the list!” »


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The ergonomics of working from home

If you’re a full-time freelancer like me, or someone who works just one day a week out of their home office, this is the blog post for you. That’s because I’m sharing some research I’ve done about the ergonomics of setting up a home workspace and I’m sure that it’ll help you enjoy working from home even more than you already do!

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If you’ve been making do with sitting at the kitchen table to do your work, or balancing your laptop on the arm of the sofa, or (like us bloggers occasionally admit) never even leave your bed, you won’t need me to tell you that it’s not the best way to work. You’ll ready know it yourself thanks to the numb bum, crick-in-the-neck and sore back you get at the end of the working day.

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Why don’t you have problems like this when you’re working at the office? Because most businesses have ergonomically designed desks and chairs, perfectly set up desks and monitors at just the right height. They need to provide a healthy working environment for their workers, and don’t want to have staff absences because a dodgy office chair caused spine problems for their employees.

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So the solution to having a more comfortable working environment at home is to replicate ‘the office’. I know it might seem dull (and you’ve only just got away from that bloomin’ office!) but you’re going to have to set up a proper desk, get a great office chair and stop working on that laptop. This guide below explains the best way to arrange your desk to make it ergonomically correct. And, most importantly, you’re going to have actually USE your newly arranged desk to do your work. No matter how tempting the sofa looks!

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Continue reading “The ergonomics of working from home” »


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AMAZING news – my blog won the award for Best Homes & Interiors Blog 2017

I’m SO excited to tell you the wonderful news that my thrifty little lifestyle blog has just been announced as the winner of the Best Homes and Interiors Blogger Award 2017!! I still can’t really believe it and I’m grinning like the cheshire cat right now!The news has just been shared by the award sponsor Tile Trader and it’s already made the headlines on the East Anglian Daily Times website – here’s a screen shot and link to the article if you’d like to have a read.Thank you all for voting for my blog in the competition, I really appreciate you taking the time to support me and it’s all for a fantastic cause – the prize is a donation of £200 to a homelessness charity in the winner’s local area. I’m delighted to be able to use my little blog to boost the funds of a brand new support service in Suffolk “The Bus Shelter”.

Beautiful photo of the bus renovation project by Jane Gould, image from The Bus Shelter Facebook page

The charity is currently renovating a donated double-decker bus to turn it into a safe space for rough sleepers to stay. But ‘sleep is just the beginning’ (the charity’s motto) as the bus will also offer advice, cooking and washing facilities, and ongoing support. It’s a truly inspirational charity and the project is in progress right now so please get involved if you can – all donations really do make a difference and will help to get The Bus Shelter on the road sooner. You can read more and donate on their Facebook page here.

Thank you all once again for voting for my blog – it’s made a huge difference to a local charity as well as made me indescribably happy! I’m super excited  that I also receive a commemorative plaque for the award to put on the mantlepiece woo, can’t wait for that to arrive in the post – I’ll be sure to share a photo of it on Instagram @cassiefairy when it’s delivered. Thank you for continuing to support me and helping to put Suffolk blogs on the map in this national award competition 🙂


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I’m a finalist for the Best Homes & Interiors Blogger Award

It’s been a really exciting weekend here at Cassiefairy HQ because I’ve been shortlisted for an award! I’ve been chosen along with 19 other fabulous interiors blogs (many of which I read myself!) to be put forward for the Tile Trader Best Homes and Interiors Blogger Award and I’d love it if you could vote for me to win!Local journalist Megan Goodwin got in touch for an interview on Friday and by the afternoon an article about the award nomination was already published on the East Anglian news website! The write-up was really kind and supportive, and thankfully they used a fairly nice photo of me – phew!And the following morning things got even more exciting when a friend texted to tell me that I should check out the local paper. It was so weird to see my picture published on page 10 but I was delighted that the East Anglian Daily Times are supporting me in the blogger awards and they even urged their readers to vote for my blog. Fingers crossed!I thought I’d share a quick post today so that you can see the article yourself and to ask you to vote for me in the blogger awards by following this link here. I’m in the list of finalists on the blog award page so it should only take 30 seconds of your time to give me a quick vote! So far I’ve got 20 votes so a big thank you to everyone who already voted. I’d really love to do well in this competition because the winning blogger gets the chance to donate £200 to a homelessness charity. This is a subject that has been close to my heart for many years and I really want to be able to help those fantastic services out there that support the homeless. Thank you all so much for helping me out in this competition – it means a great deal to me 🙂


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I’ve been nominated in the Interior Blog Awards 2016!

I was SO chuffed when I heard that I’d been nominated as best DIY & Craft Blog in the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2016! I can’t believe that my lovely readers took the time to nominate me for one of the most prestigious awards in the country – I hope that this means you’ve been enjoying my crafts and have been inspired by some of the projects I’ve been DIYing! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be included in the awards this year and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll help me reach the finals by voting for me. Furniture Makeover Project Rust-Oleum paint retro conservatory chair_-24The voting for the awards opened last week (if you’ve been following my Instagram stories you’ll know that I’ve been visit the lovely Kent coast) so this is the first chance I’ve had to share the great news with you! I’ve actually got my own profile page on the Amara Interior Blog Awards website and I’m thrilled to be included alongside hundreds of other fantastic interior design blogs – I’m totally inspired by them all!

The competition is really stiff, with over 30 fantastic blogs included in my category, so I’d be SO grateful for if you’d vote for my little blog here. I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to be a finalist! And please let me know if you do vote by tweeting me @Cassiefairy so that I can say thanks!

Since I was nominated for the Amara Awards I’ve had a look back over the DIY interior projects that I did in my little bungalow. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of those blog posts today, just in case you need any encouragement to believe I’m a thrifty DIYer!kitchen DIY furniture Makeover project bake station - storage cooking baking tutorial-6My mini kitchen makeover + chalkboard wallMy last summer holiday was spent painting my tiny kitchen in a rich duck egg blue colour and I gave it a thrifty DIY makeover with secondhand storage, a repurposed bathroom cabinet and lots of magnetic chalkboard paint! I stitched up a peg bag and a carrier bag dispenser using the same striped fabric as my tiny blackout blind. It was a fun makeover that only took a day to finish but made the kitchen look a whole lot better.diy book pages and sheet music wallpaper to decorate bedroomnatural textures and colours in this bedroom makeover-5My bedroom decorating project was probably the cheapest DIY I’ve ever done! At the time, there was a power cut in our home so it was a good excuse to do something practical rather than sitting in front of the TV. I invested a whole £2 in a sachet of wallpaper paste and started slapping book pages on the walls. My feature wall behind the headboard is made up of a Marilyn Monroe biography, a horticultural book about roses and sheet music and a few vintage postcards. It was so simple yet really made a difference to the room, in only about an hour’s worth of decorating.diy painting and installing small shed - duck egg blue beach hut in garden-3 diy painting and installing small shed - duck egg blue beach hut in garden-20I’ve always loved mid-century design and I set about making my own 60s/70s inspired living room. Taking inspiration from some old record boxes, I used orange, olive green and bright blue hues to decorate my living room. I photographed the floral pattern of the boxes and printed it onto fabric in order to make some brightly coloured matching cushions to dress my basic leather sofa. When I needed a desk to do all my blogging from, I found a £5 set of drawers and added a piece of wood (painted in 70s orange, of course) to turn the top shelf into a desktop. An old telephone table got the same spray-paint treatment and is the ideal space to store my pens and thingmebobs.

The bathroom was a big project for us; it needed a new bath so my husband and I watched some YouTube tutorials before attempting to do the work ourselves. Thankfully, everything went well and we continued the project by using pressure-treated wood that we rescued from a skip to make a bath panel, clad the walls and create a storage unit. And to top it all off my little bathroom project has since been featured in Style at Home magazine – so proud!using recycled wood from a skip to make a beach hut bathroom floor and storage-11 DIY bathroom roman blind-1

I hope you can spare a minute to vote for me in the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015 – it really would be a dream come true to be a finalist! My voting page is here and I am eternally grateful for every single vote, thank you!


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Top 5 inspirational Instagrammers

Here’s a helpful guest post by Victoria from Apartment Number 4, while I’m taking a little break. I hope this’ll help you to discover some new accounts to follow on Instagram and provide an endless source of photographic inspiration. And don’t forget to follow Victoria’s gorgeous Instagram account too @victoria_aptno4 – Enjoy!victoria apartment number 4 instagram feed inspirational bloggerAlthough it’s still a toss-up between Pinterest and Instagram as my favourite social media tool to use, I definitely think Insta’s becoming a daily source of inspiration for me. From gorgeous interiors, to the perfect mirror selfie, there are so many ‘grammers killing it right now with their themed feeds. Today I wanted to share five stylish women who inspire me with their perfectly shot Insta’ feeds. Pictured below is pastel beauty Alyssa Garrison of Random Acts of Pastel. Without being massively “girly” in day-to-day life, I’m still a huge fan of anything pink, especially in interiors. This Instagrammer manages to capture those bright candy moments perfectly. I need those lip prints along her staircase! Every time I see a Random Act of Pastel picture, it always manages to brighten my morning up. You can follow Alyssa over at @RandomActsOfPastel.instagrammers inspirational photosI know some people have strong views about Instagram losing it’s original feel of “shot this with my phone and uploaded it within 30 seconds” reality, but I’m all about aesthetics so couldn’t care less if someone is just showing me the best part of their life. I do exactly the same. Why would I show my bin overflowing and the crap beans and toast I had for dinner? I want to show the pretty mint lamp I just bought, styled perfectly in a place where it’s actually not going to stay because it’s not practical in real life! instagram inspirational photography

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Book Review: Dream Decor by Will Taylor

It’s finally arrived! After months of waiting for the latest interior design book by Will Taylor to hit the shelves (and putting my name down for a copy really early) I was already too excited when the delivery finally dropped onto the doormat. Unwrapping the parcel felt like Christmas and, having avoided reading any other reviews or peeking at the pages, I had no idea what was inside. Cancel all my meetings – Dream Décor was finally in my hands and I was ready to read.dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-24 dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-12This book is the second publication by Will Taylor of interior design blog Bright Bazaar. I’ve been a fan for years and this inspirational site is one of the first places I go for new season design ideas and makeover projects. I loved the colour-packed pages of Will’s first book Bright Bazaar: Embracing Colour For Make-You-Smile Style so I was confident that I’d enjoy reading Dream Décor just as much. I snapped some photos before I’d even opened the book – I think you can tell from the photos just how keen I am to flick through it – and then I settled down for an afternoon of browsing through Will’s latest release.dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-25 dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-17I’d spotted a few news updates online about the launch of the book, which took place on 12th May at West Elm London on Tottenham Court Road, and I SO wish I was the type of blogger to get invited to these kind of events! I noticed a few of my blogging pals posting pre-release photos of the book on their Instagram and I wondered how they got hold of them. Jealous, or what?? Even so, I still managed to get my copy of book on the very day it was released. Dream Decor: Styling a Cool, Creative and Comfortable Home, Wherever You Live hit bookshelves all around the country on 17th May and I can’t believe it’s taken me nearly a week to write this little review for you. dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-26 dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-18So let’s start with the cover. It’s beautifully adorned with one of my favourite interior design trends of the year – watercolour stripes. It looks fabulously nautical and hints at the content to come; there are plenty of pages of coastal inspiration inside the book and it even kicks off with a photoshoot of Will’s own seaside-esque home office. With photography by Andrew Boyd and beautiful real-home locations from around the globe, you can tell that this book had a higher production budget than the first. I know that an interior design book should have lots of gorgeous photos but oh-my-goodness this book is bursting with hundreds – I might even say thousands – of beautifully styled décor photos. dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-19 dream decor will taylor interior design book review_-14

Continue reading “Book Review: Dream Decor by Will Taylor” »


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UK Blog Awards 2016 Most Innovative Blog – And the winner is…

For the first time in almost 10 years of blogging I don’t know what to write. I finally understand what people mean when they say they are speechless – but I am wordless. I’ve never sat in front of a blank page and not known what to write. But today is different. Today I should be writing something important, meaningful and… well, I don’t know. But, so far, words escape me. I’m thrilled, chuffed and living in a dream. I literally woke up this morning and couldn’t be sure if it all really happened. But all the wonderful messages of congratulations that I scrolled through on twitter this morning confirmed it. I had won!uk blog award winner 2016 most innovative cassiefairy-3 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-29You see, yesterday was the UK Blog Awards 2016 and (after a long day at work) hubby and I had driven to London to attend the glitziest of awards ceremonies. Sponsored by Odeon cinemas and held in the ultra-swish Park Plaza hotel in Westminster, it was the most amazing event I’d ever been to. Themed around the magical story of The BFG by Roald Dahl, the venue was beautifully dressed with blossom trees and jars full of dreams. The BFG himself was even wandering around the venue, photo-bombing bloggers wherever he went. It honestly felt like I’d stepped into a dream, and that’s probably why I find it so hard to believe that my dream became a reality last night.uk blog awards ceremony 2016-14 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-11 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-8 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-6 Having already chosen ‘my winners’ for each category in the awards, I knew that I was up against the stiffest of competition and most inspirational of blogs. I knew I didn’t stand a chance of scooping an award so I was simply there to soak up the atmosphere, meet some of the wonderful women that I’d been collaborating with over the past year and to seek out some of my blogging inspirations. So you can understand my wordlessness when the opposite happened and judge Sandra Donskyte – my business hero – announced me as the winner of Most Innovative Blog. I was hoisted from my comfy “I’ll just sit here and watch” seat and gently encouraged onto the stage by my husband, where I whimpered (and probably swore!) my way through collecting the award. Thank goodness Sandra and Kate Russell were there to hold me up!uk blog awards ceremony 2016-18uk blog awards ceremony 2016-20 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-21 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-26There is no word to describe that moment. Nor any moment since. I guess that word hasn’t been invented yet because I can’t seem to find any word even remotely suitable in my vocabulary to tell you how I felt. So, in the absence of words (I honestly thought this blog post was going to be blank when I sat down to write a few minutes ago!) I’m going to have to let our photographs do the talking.

My swishy dress & red handbag are from Boden, my pretty (and all-night-long comfy!) pink shoes are from Hotter and my make-up is from Lookfantastic.com

I met SO many wonderful bloggers last night and I had the chance to chat ‘in real life’ to many of the folk I email on an almost weekly basis. It was the chance to meet face-to-face that really made the night special and I loved every minute. I’m hoping to collaborate with many of the bloggers I met, so I’ll be sure to introduce them to you soon. Even now I keep asking my husband whether I did actually win; I’m worried that I went up on stage and collected someone else’s award! But no, it DOES have my name printed on it, so (as long as I keep it nearby so I can continue checking) I’ll start to believe it soon.uk blog award winner 2016 most innovative cassiefairy uk blog awards ceremony 2016-19 uk blog award winner 2016 most innovative cassiefairy-2 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-29Thank you all so much for the years of support, for reading my blog, for sticking with me, for commenting, for tweeting and for being my friends. You guys rock!


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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!


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An exciting start to 2016 – I’ve been nominated for a UK Blog Award!

I had some fantastic news over the Christmas break. My blog, my simple little thrifty lifestyle blog, had been nominated for the UK Blog Awards 2016. I don’t know who put my blog forward for an award or even whether more than just one person popped my name into the ‘hat’ but to whoever did nominate me, thank you so much! It means that I’ve been added to the list of blogs for the public voting stage (which is now open!) and I’m in with a chance of getting through to the next stage. SO exiting and I’m so grateful that I have been nominated. What a great start to 2016!Cassiefairys free pieday friday recipe book blurb ebookSo now I’d love to share details of how to vote with you, just in case you wouldn’t mind stopping by the UK Blog Awards website and giving me a quick vote.
Go to my profile page on the UK Blog Awards site, where you can vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category and for the ‘Most Innovative’ blog award. And as a thank you I’d love to send you a free PDF copy of my ‘Pieday Friday’ Ebook with lots of yummy recipes for dinner, dessert and snacks, so please leave me a comment below this blog post to let me know if you’ve voted! 😉

Vote for me now in the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16It’s especially exciting for me to have been nominated because I missed out on so many blog events last year due to 2015 being particularly tough on this side of the screen, so it’s a really great start to the new year and I’m so optimistic about what this year has in store for me and everyone I love. The chance to win a UK Blog Award would be the icing on the cake and I’m thrilled that someone even nominated me! Please do stop by my profile page and give me a vote, and let me know if you DO vote by leaving me a comment below and I’ll email you a free copy of my recipe Ebook as a thank you and send loads of virtual hugs too!Cassiefairys free pieday friday recipe book blurb ebook cookbookLove and hugs to everyone who reads my blog and supports my thrifty lifestyle, you guys are the best!

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