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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Pieday Friday – Using herbs in juicing + mojito juice recipe

I think you can probably guess from my recipe posts this year that I’m getting into juicing. I’d love to say that it’s because I’ve decided to live a more healthy lifestyle and want to reinvigorate my body, but that’s not really the reason. It’s as simple as ‘I don’t like fruit’. Sure, berries and dried fruits are fine with me; I’ll pop a handful on my soaked oats in the morning and get a little dose of goodness that way. But ‘proper’ fruits, y’know, the ones you have to chew (apples, pears, pineapple, peaches, oranges, plums etc) I just don’t like. I think it’s the texture that puts me off. I don’t mind the flavour of these fruits but I don’t like to eat them. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. If you cook them, I’m quite happy. Apple pie? Yum! Stewed plums and custard? Yes please! ANY fruits in a crumble? Mmmm! But that’s not a healthy way to eat fruit, is it? With added sugar and a dollop of ice cream on the side, you can see why I enjoy cooked fruits so much. So my solution to get some much-needed vitamins into my body is juicing.

I’m happy to guzzle down juice all day long, but who knows what goes into the cartons you buy in the supermarket? I’d rather see the whole fruit go into the juicer and lovely fresh juice come out so that I know what I’m drinking, and I know that it’s good for me. I’ve been inspired by the #ExperienceFresh campaign and want to eat more raw and organic foods as a result.

Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Using herbs in juicing + mojito juice recipe” »


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My upcycled picture frame breakfast tray project is in Reloved Magazine!

I’m delighted to share with you some pics of my latest project in Reloved magazine. This month I made a breakfast-in-bed tray as a romantic treat for Valentine’s Day. What do you think??I upcycled an old picture frame and turned it into a breakfast tray by removing the glass, and decoupaging old book pages (a falling-apart copy of Jane Eyre and a Marilyn Monroe biography, if you’re interested!) onto the back-board. It’s a similar effect to the book-page feature wall I created in my bedroom – if you missed that blog post you can check it out here.I added a couple of decorative handles (taken off some old drawers that used to be in my mum’s kitchen!) and gave the whole tray a protective coat of sealing varnish.

The full step-by-step guide to making the picture frame tray for yourself can be found in Issue 39 of Reloved magazine, and if you’re quick you can still pick it up in the shops this week. The next issue comes out on 23rd Feb, so you’ve not got long to grab a copy!Here’s some photos of the magazine itself – I’m always SO thrilled to be featured in print and see my projects shared with so many thrifty readers. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing my name on the page as ‘the designer’ – eeee!

My one-cup teapot set is from The Caravan Trail – lovely bright colours for Spring!

The next of Reloved (Issue 40) is out this week and contains lots of lovely Spring and Easter-themed upcycling projects so be sure to check that out too!


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Pieday FriYAY – Energy boosting mocha smoothie

The summer holidays are drawing to an end and all that’s left is happy memories of melting ice cream, collecting shells, splashing in the sea, fish ‘n’ chips lunches, breezy promenades and fluffy candy floss on the pier. Yes, I have to admit that I’ve indulged a little too much during August, but haven’t we all? I blame ‘holiday spirit’ for encouraging us to wave thoughts of healthy eating aside as we buy a bag of sugary donuts from the beach kiosk and tuck into a full English breakfast in the hotel. If this sounds like you, I’ve got an easy way to get back on the healthy-eating wagon and it all starts with breakfast…healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolate-16 healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolate-20After needing to kick-start my healthy habits after a summer of indulgence I’ve come up with a quick and easy recipe for a breakfast smoothie. It can be prepared the night before (which gives the oats plenty of time to soak) or whizzed up in the morning. Take it with you on your commute to work or – if you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic – enjoy it after an early morning gym visit. It’s the perfect breakfast to fill you up without feeling stodgy and the caffeine from the coffee gives you a boost of energy, so it’s a great brunch treat too. Start your day with a healthy treat that feels rich and indulgent because this recipe contains everything you need to #MakeItAYayDay; bananas, soaked oats, coffee, almond milk, cacao and ice.healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolate-15healthy breakfast recipe inspiration friyay smoothie oats coffee latte banana chocolateIngredients (serves 1): One ripe banana, 100g oats soaked in around 200g almond milk (or normal milk if you prefer), a spoonful of cacao powder, 1 cup of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Strong Macchiato or Skinny Iced Coffee, a handful of ice.

  1. Soak the oats in the milk until they are softened and the milk has thickened. This should take about 30 mins in the morning, or you can soak the oats overnight.

  2. Add a ripe banana before sprinkling in a spoonful of cacao powder to your preferred taste.

  1. Throw in a handful of ice and pour over a cup of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Strong Macchiato or Skinny Iced Coffee if you prefer.
  1. Whizz all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

If you’ve got an early start in the morning you could prepare your breakfast smoothie in advance and keep it in the fridge ready to grab-and-go. Simply blend all the ingredients together but skip the ice as this will make the smoothie too watery if left overnight. The oats don’t need to be pre-soaked in this instance, you can put them into the smoothie dry. They will soak in the coffee and milk overnight and will be soft by the morning, ready to make any day a yay day for you!

Let me know if you have a go at making this energy-boosting breakfast smoothie yourself and I’d love to hear more ideas of ingredients to add to my morning oat smoothie so please get in touch by leaving me a comment below. And please tag me in your Instagram photos @cassiefairy with the hashtag #MakeItAYayDay so that I can check out your own breakfast smoothies and ideas for ingredients.

 

 

 


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Pieday FriYAY – Caramel Latte Breakfast Freakshake

What better way to start your weekend than with a HUGE breakfast freakshake? It’ll certainly give you that FriYAY feeling! With rich homemade caramel sauce, creamy vanilla ice cream, delicious chilled cappuccino, crisp waffles, indulgent mini-donuts and oodles of chocolate, it’s a belly-busting way to start your day. Sure, it’s not a recipe for every day but if you’re only indulging occasionally, it’s a great way to turn any day into a YAY day. I think it’s especially great for weekends, when you’re chilling out over a long lazy brunch. And if you’ve got guests staying, you can guarantee that a huge smile will spread across their faces when you hand over a giant iced coffee, loaded with naughty breakfast goodies! Here’s how I made my rich caramel sauce and how to #MakeItAYayDay with a step-by-step guide to making the ultimate freakshake:indulgent breakfast freakshake milkshake recipe friyay caramel sauce donuts waffles emmi caffe latte makeitayaydayIngredients for the caramel: 200g granulated sugar, 90g salted butter cut into cubes, 120ml double cream.

Ingredients for the freakshake: vanilla ice cream, Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Cappuccino iced coffee, whipped cream, breakfast waffle, mini doughnuts, chocolate flakes, chocolate sauce, caramel-filled chocolate buttons or other chocolate treats.

To make the caramel:rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_1. Having never made caramel before, I was very excited to try it out for the first time. I carefully weighed out each of the ingredients because the quantities are very precise when making caramel sauce. If you want to make a larger quantity of caramel, don’t double the quantities – make two batches instead. At all stages be very careful not to touch the sauce as it is burning hot.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-22. Use a medium saucepan over a medium heat and gently melt the granulated sugar. Stir constantly with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon until the sugar has entirely dissolved into a smooth golden syrup.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-33. Carefully add the pieces of salted butter to the pan. The sugar syrup is likely to spatter and bubble when the cold butter is added so take care! Stir the butter into the sugar until is has completely melted.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-44. Slowly pour in the double cream, while stirring the sauce. Again take care as it will probably spatter as the cold liquid reacts with the hot sugar syrup. Stir until completely combined.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-55. Allow the caramel sauce to bubble and rise up in the pan for a minute and then remove from the heat.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-66. Allow to cool completely before using it to coat doughnuts, pour into a jug to drizzle over ice cream, or even chill it a little so that you can spread it with a knife. If you want to make a chilled sauce more drizzle-able simply zap it in the microwave in 10 second bursts until it becomes runny again.

And now on to the fun part: constructing the freakshake. To be honest, anything goes. The bigger and more OTT, the better! As long as you end up with a drink that looks something like a firework has gone off in a chocolate factory, you’re on to a winner. It could have dollops of ice-cream floating in the milk, the coffee could be blended with ice, the cream could be whipped or poured, and the whole thing could be topped with cookies, fruit, donuts, cupcakes, banana chips, waffles, chocolates, even breakfast cereal. Here’s what I did to construct my personal favourite, a caramel cappuccino breakfast freakshake:

  1. Add three big scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream into a large mason jar mug.

  2. Drizzle on some of the caramel sauce.

  1. Pour a cup of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Cappuccino iced coffee over the ice cream and top up with a little extra milk if necessary.

  2. Pour plenty of caramel sauce around the rim of the mug, letting it drip down the sides, before sprinkling with chocolate flakes.

  1. Top with lashings of whipped cream and more chocolate.
  1. Spread a breakfast waffle with caramel sauce and sprinkle on more chocolate before wedging it into the whipped cream. Top tip: Cut a straight line into the waffle and hang it over the edge of the mason jar, just like a slice of lemon on a cocktail.
  1. Add caramel-dipped doughnuts, more chocolate treats and drizzle plenty of chocolate sauce on top.
  1. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

What do you think of my giant breakfast freakshake? I can promise you, it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. The cappuccino ensures that the sweetness of the caramel isn’t overpowering, the vanilla ice cream lightens up the heavy doughnuts and the waffle gives a crisp texture against the smooth cream. Do you think you’ll have a go at making your own freakshake? Whether you’ve got that FriYAY feeling, want to chill out with a lazy brunch on the weekend or need that hump-day treat to get you through the week, a freakshake will certainly help to #MakeItAYayDay! Let me know if you indulge by tagging me in your OTT freakshake photos on Instagram @Cassiefairy and including the #MakeItAYayDay hashtag so I can see your pics. And please do leave me a comment if you try the caramel sauce recipe, I’d love to know if it works as well for you as it did for me. Have an amazing FriYAY guys!


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Healthy Sunday brunch recipe – Fruity soaked oats

Sunday is the one day of the week when you don’t necessarily have to be up early, you’ve got nowhere to be rushing off to and you can take your time chilling out at home all morning long. For me, it’s my brunch day. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast every other day of the week, but Sunday is the day that I take more time over my food and come up with something a little different. It the day of the week when eating breakfast in bed is 100% acceptable, and enjoying a bowl of something on your lap in front of TV is perfectly fine. If you can’t have a little fun with your breakfast on a Sunday, when can you??sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7This week I’ve been blinging up my usual soaked-oats breakfast with some delicious fresh toppings. Here’s a little step-by-step of what I added to my overnight oats to make my healthy breakfast a little more exciting this Sunday morning:sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-8

  1. Soak your oats in milk for at least an hour, or overnight if you like to plan ahead.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe
  2. Peel and slice a fresh kiwi and layer around the edge of the bowl. I’ve used a Zespri SunGold yellow flesh kiwi to add a different colour to my usual bowl of oats.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-2
  3. Slice up plenty of in-season strawberries and add to the bowl beside the kiwis.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-3
  4. Drizzle an arc of golden honey around the bowl.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-4

5. Sprinkle on some good-for-you seeds – I’ve chosen some honey seeds from Munchy Seeds for my recipe but you could use any seeds that you like to add a little crunch to the dish.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-5You may remember that I’ve blogged some other breakfast recipes including my French toast waffles, a healthier breakfast wrap and an on-the-go breakfast smoothie recipe. I also wrote all about how cereal can improve your health earlier this week. So I think you can gather than I place a lot of importance on breakfast!sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-9 sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7Sunday is definitely the day of the week to try out something different so let me know what you would do to jazz up your breakfast on the weekends by leaving me a comment below.


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How breakfast cereal can improve your health

Did you watch Inside The Factory on BBC2 last night? I love programmes like this; finding out about the inner workings of factories that produce the products we use every day is fascinating to me. Last night’s episode was all about breakfast cereals and, as a serial cereal muncher, this was a total fangirl moment for me – who knew how many hours of processes go into making one cornflake? And the Coco Pops production line was almost too much excitement. I had to chill out with a bowl of Cheerios after the show.inside the factoryBut the main reason that I’m writing this blog post today isn’t because I want to rave on about how much I love breakfast, it’s because the discussion on Vitamin D was so interesting. I’d never considered the effect of Vitamin D in the past, and didn’t realise how important it was to us. Hearing Cherry Healy discuss the fact that people with good levels of Vitamin D in their body were 50% less likely to catch a cold was eye-opening. That, coupled with the fact that Vitamin D is important in keeping bone and muscle problems at bay, got me thinking about just how little Vitamin D I must have in my own body. inside the factory bbc 2Vitamin D can be produced in the body just by getting enough sunlight. But, as an office worker (who lives by the light of her laptop for around 10 hours a day), I’m pretty sure that my Vitamin D reserves must be running low. And even when I’m not in my office, I’m trying to keep out of the sun at all costs. I’m a pale-skinned gal who burns easily so I stick to the shade whenever I’m outdoors, and cover up with plenty of clothes and SPF 50. So how can all the Vitamin D from the sun’s ray get through to my body? It’s unlikely, isn’t it? Continue reading “How breakfast cereal can improve your health” »


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Pieday Friday – A weekend breakfast treat: French toast waffles

Weekends for me are precious. It’s not because I’m working in a job I hate all week long – far from it, I love my work – it’s simply the fact that the world seems to slow down for a couple of days. Weeks whizz by and there never seems to be enough hours in the day but weekends bring a wonderful break from the madness of day-to-day life. It’s the potential that those two days hold that I love so much about weekends. They can be filled with oodles of fun activities, you’ve got time to see friends and, if you want, it can be two whole days of complete relaxation to recharge your batteries before starting another crazy week.birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-10birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-9Sunday is also the only day of the week that I actually sit down to have a ‘proper’ breakfast and can enjoy cooking up a treat for the family. My daily bowl of bran flakes is cast aside as Sunday brunch comes calling. Hubby and I like to try out different brunches each weekend, and have been cooking up pancakes, full English breakfasts and lots and lots of eggs over the past few weeks. Again, this is probably the only day of the week that I eat eggs, so I like to incorporate them into my cooked breakfast each Sunday.birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-13 birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-11I love eggs and it’s definitely the season for it – my mum’s bantam hens are laying eggs like there’s no tomorrow. We’ve got about a dozen it the fridge at any one time and, other than in baking, we rarely get to use them up. Except for on Sundays. Whether scrambled, boiled, fried or poached, eggs are the ideal lazy breakfast food. They’re good for you, are a low-cost way to fill up your rumbling stomach and even come self-packaged in their shells!birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-3 birds eye breakfast waffles eggy bread french toast fruit breakfast brunch recipe-4Last weekend I using my eggs in a different way and thought I’d share this with you so that you can recreate it yourself this weekend. I made eggy waffles. Like eggy-breads, or French toast, but instead of dipping a slice of bread into the egg mixture I dipped a cooked waffle. How does that sound? It’s bloomin’ delicious, I can tell you! You end up with something like a cross between a donut and French bread – or if you use cinnamon waffles, you get a cinnamon Danish effect. It’s the ultimate base on which to stack lots of healthy berries, sliced fruit and yoghurt if you’re feeling hungry! Here’s how I did it: Continue reading “Pieday Friday – A weekend breakfast treat: French toast waffles” »


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Enjoy breakfast-in-bed this Valentine’s Day… & all year round!

Whether you’re loved up or single, why don’t you treat yourself to a lovely lie-in this Valentine’s Day? Seeing as V-day falls on a Sunday this year, it’s the ideal day of the week to spend some time chilling out at home and lounging around in bed for just a little longer than you usually would.DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-14 DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspirationOne of my favourite stress-free activities is having breakfast in bed. Okay, it doesn’t happen very often in the Fairy household because we’re always so busy working. But that’s precisely the point; breakfast in bed should be something special. A treat. Something that tells you it’s time to relax and that you’re not getting out of that comfy bed anytime soon!DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-10 DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-9It puts me in mind of Mother’s Days past, and I remember trying to make mum a tea-and-toast breakfast in bed while I was still in the single-figures age bracket. I even do it now as an adult, and occasionally hubby will get a tray brought to his lap with a coffee and cereal. Okay, that’s usually on his birthday, but that’s what I mean about breakfast in bed; it’s a special event. It’s completely out of the ordinary, yet it would be a lovely start to any day.DIY romantic breakfast in bed valentines day ideas inspiration-17Even if you’re going to be making breakfast for yourself and taking it back to bed, it’s the fact that it symbolises the non-rushed nature of your morning that makes it so enjoyable. You’ll probably even Continue reading “Enjoy breakfast-in-bed this Valentine’s Day… & all year round!” »


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My little vintage caravan ~ Weekend breakfast

Ever since I finished making the new table top for the caravan, the space has become my go-to place to eat meals. It’s especially lovely in the summer because the interior is warm and I can pop the window open to get a lovely breeze flowing through the caravan. I love taking meals outside because it feels like summery al fresco dining but without the risk of sunburn or, at the other end of the scale, getting rained on!

As you may remember, we only have a small dining table in our retro living room (and it was free – read about it here!) and although it folds out to give extra room, it’s still really only a two-person dining table. So when I have guests for dinner, I prefer to serve it in the caravan, because 4 of us can easily eat at the table and with the addition of a second fold-out table, we can even fit up to 9 people in for a meal. It’s definitely my favourite place to have lazy lunches with my husband and this weekend we made the most of our time off by having a chilled-out breakfast in the caravan.

My lovely crockery & melamine plates are from The Caravan Trail

We had such a lovely calm Sunday morning sitting in the sunny caravan with the radio on and a big pot of tea on the go. To make it more of a special breakfast, I laid the table with my new Riviera crockery, sliced up some fruit and put the jam and butter in little ramekins (I should have bought the matching butter dish!). I love bran flakes with banana, grapes, sultanas and a drizzle of honey and lingered over my favourite breakfast before popping indoors to put some toast on. It was lovely to spend a good hour over our breakfast, listening to the birds and munching on steaming-hot toast. It’s something that we never get time to do during the week and sometimes we don’t even eat breakfast at the same time, because hubby leaves for work and eats before 7am and I’m not always hungry at that time of morning. So it felt especially luxurious to spend time together without rushing, with nowhere to be and nothing to do.

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend and had the chance to linger over a special meal too!

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