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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Tuesday Shoesday – My week in #FloorSelfies

When I first heard about the #FloorSelfie challenge, I found myself getting a little excited. Not only do I love a good photo challenge, but I also love shoes, and taking photos of my feet for a week sounded like great fun. No need for any special equipment to get involved with this challenge; I simply charged up my phone and snapped a photo whenever the thought entered my mind. By the end of the week I’m pretty sure that I’d started to search out more interesting floors with fun colours or patterns, or maybe it was simply the fact that I was noticing the floor more often . How often do we look down, really? We’re missing interesting designs and even art by keeping our heads up. Anyway, enough rambling – here are my favourite shoe photos from the week and little bit about the location to go with them:

Excuse the pun but I ‘kick started’ my week of #FloorSelfies with a day out at the seaside. And we enjoyed ourselves so much that we actually went back to the coast the day after too. I snapped some photos on the beach and almost soaked my toes by trying to get the Tuesday Shoesday snap above when the tide came in. The traditional walk along the promenade followed, with me dribbling over beach huts that I could never afford, followed by a big hot chocolate to warm up. The second day we went to Southwold Pier and had fun playing air hockey and winning 2ps in the arcade. Something I hadn’t noticed before was that the pier has footprints painted on the deck all along the length of the pier. Don’t follow them though – some of the footprints head right off the side of the pier! I found a set of flipper footprints and snapped this fun #FloorSelfie.

One of the most exciting thing to happen to me this week was something that I couldn’t really photograph. My husband had been picked in a ballot to go to a recording of a TV special in Elstree Studios. With the performance being ‘top secret’ and absolutely no cameras allowed, it was hard for me to get a photo but I wanted to record the day out nonetheless. Here’s the fabulous wooden floor in the entrance to Elstree Studios and it’s the very same spot where I later met Tim Peake and Professor Brian Cox. Yes, I got a selfie with an astronaut! Best. Moment. Ever. And I managed to give Brian Cox a pair of ChattyFeet’s Prof. Brian Sox socks, which he found hilarious. Oh, you’ll notice a different pair of shoes in this shot – they are my favourite Hush Puppy flats the rub a little on the heel so aren’t great for wearing all day long. The following day we took a walk in the countryside and noticed just how autumnal everything is – leaves are turning brown and conkers are falling. Must remember to go blackberry picking this week before it’s too late.

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A foodie day out in Cambridge & dinner at Jamie’s Italian

Over the weekend, hubby and I took a trip to Cambridge and it turned into one of those days of eating and drinking in a surprisingly foodie location. Our sightseeing journey around this historical city involved lots of walking, so we were guaranteed to work up an quite an appetite by the end of the day. Plus all the walking resulted in us needing to sit down and rest regularly and luckily for me there was always a café nearby! Here’s what we got up to and a little review of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant where we enjoyed our evening meal.

We took a trip into Cambridge on the park and ride bus and decided to hop off the bus early near the green.  Here we enjoyed a picnic lunch on a park bench that we’d bought from the bakery – a naughty pasty for me and a big pizza slice for hubby. After this lunch break with a lovely view of the rose garden we continued our trek into the city centre and browsed the shops. A couple of stores really sparked my interest including Tiger for it’s low-priced ethical shopping ethos and Hollister for its dark and gorgeously designed interior. We took a few photos so I’ll share these in a future blog post because this post is all about the foodie surprises that Cambridge has in store!

After a walk up to the colleges (which were all closed to the public, due to it being exam season) and spent some time admiring the ancient architecture, we wandered through the market square. I was surprised by the number of different cuisines available on the market’s food stalls and despite having only recently eaten lunch, (and having already walked away once!) hubby and I decided we really should sample some of the foodie delights so we went back into the market for a cheese and sour-cream flatbread. I think I was swept up by the feeling of being on holiday and I felt like I was at a Christmas market, but in the summer. Who could resist?? We shared the cheesy-garlicy dough, though I was defeated after only a few bites because it was a very strong flavour but hubby gallantly munched on and did us proud.

By now you can probably imagine that I was ready to pop, but more walking around the city centre ensure that I was soon ready to have a sit down and a cup of tea to boost my energy levels. Soon after we headed into the Cambridge Toy Shop to have a look at all the old toys we remembered from our childhood and even picked up a gift for our nephew’s birthday. Hopping in and out of all the lovely décor and book shops gave us inspiration for decorating our next interior project and plenty of ideas for DIY versions of the expensive-but-fabulously-designed furniture and accessories we saw during the day. I like to browse shops to get inspiration and to keep my mental moodboard ticking over. Sometimes I wish I could ‘pin’ the things I see in real life to refer back to in the future!

Finally, for our evening meal we headed for the brand new Jamie Oliver restaurant in Cambridge ‘Jamie’s Italian’. It serves a simple rustic Italian menu without any faffy complicated dishses and thankfully, without an inflated pricetag! I think the prices are better than some of the comparable Italian chains, with olives at £2, garlic bread at £3 and pizzas from £8 – and not much more on the menu to be honest! The restaurant has only been open a couple of months and is the first that Jamie Oliver has opened, so it was good to try it out and see what we thought of it for ourselves.

The restaurant promotes ‘messy-eating’ so hubby and I teared up our garlic bread starter and munched on a tasty plate of olives before our yummy main meal arrived. I was worried that the portions might have been a little small – I was imagining a ‘posh’ pizza – but when it arrived I couldn’t believe the size of my margarita pizza. My husband had a ‘white rocket’ cheese pizza (no tomato sauce) and he too couldn’t finish his portion! Luckily, the restaurant was happy to pack up our pizzas in a box to take home and enjoy for supper 😉

Despite the massive portions and incredibly rich starters, we still managed to squeeze in a dessert between us and shared two scoops of ice cream (it would be rude not to at only £1.50 each!) so we had chocolate and a yummy mixed berry crumble. Funny how you always have room for pudding, eh?! I really enjoyed our meal at Jamie’s Italian and had spent less than we normally do on a standard pub-grub meal but felt like I’d had a more enjoyable (and delicious!) experience for our money. In fact, I wish this restaurant was closer to home, but that would probably be dangerous because we’d be eating out there every weekend if it was! Still, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Jamie’s first venture into this rustic Italian pizza parlour at Cambridge will be a success and will lead to more of the same opening up around the country.

So, ready to pop and with our pizza box in tow we headed back out of Cambridge on the park and ride and set off home after a long day of food, drink, inspiration, more food and snacks – no wonder we slept well that night!


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Did you know you can go into the colleges at Cambridge?

Happy monday morning everyone! It’s half term and that means hubby has a bit of time off work so we will be super-busy this week but we’ve just got back from a relaxing weekend in Cambridge for our Valentines treat!

cambridge kings college river cam sweet shop

I’ve been to Cambridge a couple of times before, but never as a ‘proper’ visitor – only for work, so I really enjoyed seeing the city through the eyes of a tourist. It’s amazing how much more you notice as a visitor to a town and I liked looking at the ‘you are here’ maps around the city and realising that there was something impressive (a college or a museum) right behind me, that I would otherwise have missed. We took a stroll down the river and looked at all the punting boats, but decided against getting ourselves cold and quite probably wet boating down the river! Instead we spent a lot of time in cute tea shops warming up with a coffee and then heading back out into the wintry air to peep inside the historical colleges. I didn’t know that visitors could go inside the colleges and was amazed that there was a whole other world of hushed studies going on behind the stone walls lining the high street. It made me think of classic films like Educating Rita, and I suddenly wanted to start studying a PhD!

cambridge sedgwick museum kings college

I went to a few of the free museums in the city centre and looked at the ancient artefacts in the Sedgwick museum of earth sciences within the walls of another of Cambridge’s colleges. I need archive cabinets like these in my house! And I’m definitely coming back to see the choir perform at Kings College at Christmas, I expect the atmosphere would be absolutely magical during the festive period.

But our weekend away wasn’t just about the tradition and history of the city. We had specifically gone to Cambridge to see a comedy gig at the fabulously modern venue ‘The Junction’ at the city’s leisure park and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing ‘Chortle comedy award nominees’ Peacock & Gamble’s surreal comedy tour. We even got to hop onto the stage and meet comedians Ed and Ray after the show as they dismantled their set: Lovely guys and I’m certain that they will definitely be on the telly a lot more this year after appearing on Russell Howard’s Good News and Radio 4 last year!

cambridge sedgwick museum of earth sciences cat sculpture

So I’m tired out from all the excitement and my knees hurt from all the walking, but I’m so pleased that we went to Cambridge this weekend and would recommend it for all 🙂

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