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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My summer so far…

It’s only half way through the school holidays and I’ve already been having a wonderful summer break. I’ve been on a few day trips, I’ve visited a handful of places and got a few of my “to-do’s” done. If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, here’s the goss…summer holiday sunset beach huts seaside-2I went to the seaside. During the very first weekend of the summer holidays I organised to go away from Friday – Monday. It isn’t a long drive from here to the Essex coast, but it was a very hot one! We arrived for our yearly family holiday at around 9am and headed straight to the beach hut. We pretty much spent the rest of the day on the beach, throwing a giant frisbee that I’d bought ‘for the kids’ and tucking into traditional fish ‘n’ chips. The heat dictated plenty of trips to the swimming pool and lots of breezy walks along the promenade to cool off. We enjoyed a game of bowling on Saturday evening, and the bowl ‘n’ burger deal on the pier is always a winner – the burgers are huge! Sunday was a chilled out beach day and on Monday we visited the nearest ‘big’ town for more arcade fun and a trip to the Sealife Centre. A wonderful weekend.

I visited a museum. Ipswich Transport Museum to be precise. I’d never been before, despite growing up in Suffolk from the age of ten. It was a real surprise to find so many interesting exhibits in an unassuming old bus hangar. I’ll share more photos in a ‘proper’ blog post about the museum soon and give you my tips for visiting during the school hols. Another lovely day out with the family that didn’t cost a fortune, bonus!

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4 Low-cost + fun days out for the school holidays

We’re mid-way through the summer term and that means one thing – a sunny half term break with nothing to do! This is one of my favourite holidays of the school year, because it’s warm enough to get outside and enjoy last days of Spring, yet it’s not the over-priced days of the summer holidays when you’re likely to burn to a crisp if you venture out into the midday sun. I’ve shared a few ideas for fun days out on my blog this year so here’s my round-up of things to do during the half term holiday.Suffolk coastal travel guide southwold pier attraction-17Suffolk coastal travel guide southwold pier attraction-91. Go to the coast and enjoy some cheesy fun at the great British seaside. Eat ice-cream while sitting in a deck chair, feed 2ps into arcade machines and enjoy fish ‘n’ chips on the pier. Read my review of Southwold Pier and check out my ideas for a day out with the kids at Blackpool too.schol holiday ideas for half term summer 2015 blackpool travel tripsouthwold pier attraction suffolk seaside travel guide-162. Stay indoors on rainy days at a museum. Check out photos of my recent visit to the National Railway Museum in York and my tips for surviving a visit to the museum during the school holidays! If you’re planning to visit a museum during the holidays I’d recommend checking the website before setting off as they often plan special workshops for children during the school holidays and it can be a free way to get your kids interested in the exhibition. I visited the new ‘Shaping The Body’ exhibit at York Castle Museum and blogged about it at Easter. It’s a really fun exhibition (I loved the Victorian Street!) and they even having a dressing-up area for children.national railway museum york half term school holiday trip ideas and tips-6 york castle museum shaping the body exhibition exhibit school holidays day out trip

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Tuesday Shoesday – My 2016 Essentials (at the lowest possible price!)

When you’re a thrifty kinda gal who doesn’t really want to splash out her hard-earned cash on pricey pumps where do you shop for shoes? I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to spend less this year, (so that I’ve got more to save for the house of my dreams!) so now that I need some new shoes for the new year, I don’t want to blow the budget. Low-cost loafers are definitely ‘my bag’, people!

The trouble is, I’m also trying to clear out all the clutter from my tiny over-stuffed home. I want to streamline my wardrobe and clear out the 80% of things that hide at the back, never being worn (I wrote about my thrifty tips for making the most of your wardrobe last week). So that means that I don’t really want to be re-cluttering with a selection of shoes that I won’t get round to wearing either. No matter how much of a bargain a pair of pumps are, I won’t buy them unless they fulfil a need. I’ve got too many ‘pretty’ shoes sitting around that I’ve never worn but am completely lacking in terms of practical boots, trainers or wellies!countryside field muddy photograph tuesday shoesday welliesSo, that’s what I’ve been shopping for online this week. When you spot a gap in your shoe-wardrobe like that, you’ve got to fill it, right?! Living in a particularly muddy part of the countryside, I need wellies. If I want to go on any kind of countryside walks this year (and believe me, I do) I’m destined to come home with clods of mud stuck to the bottom of my pumps. Yes, this did happen to me at the weekend and the photo above is a footpath near my house. So wellies are clearly needed. They don’t need to be anything fancy, but they do need to be waterproof. I found the lowest prices for the wellies above at Brantano and I think I’m going to invest in these classic green Dunlop wellington boots. A timeless style and traditional colour won’t date so I can use them for years to come, and I especially love the £14 price-tag!tuesday shoesday coastal walks trainers pumps casual shoesI also managed to ruin my last pair of canvas trainers by wandering onto a muddy footpath. It looked fine at the start of the track, but ended up taking me across a very moist field. No amount of cleaning could remove the muddy tidemarks from my trainers. I don’t want to get put off walking completely, so now that I’ve got the wellies sorted, I’m sure I’ll be fine. But in the meantime, I need one pair of comfortable pumps for day-to-day wear; wandering around town and coastal promenades, that sort of thing. Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – My 2016 Essentials (at the lowest possible price!)” »


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Map Geek – Land by Anthony Gormley

I can’t believe it, we’re nearly at the school half-term holidays again! Where did the last 7 weeks go? If you’ve got children of school age you probably base your life around the academic calendar too and are looking forward to, or dreading (!), the impending half-term break. I thought I’d share with you a recent trip that we took to the Suffolk coast to give you a little inspiration for a day out during the holidays and, if you read on, there’s also a chance to nominate someone special to win a holiday to Majorca, but more about that later on!Antony Gormley LAND art exhibition sculpture for the landmark trustAntony Gormley LAND art exhibition sculpture for the landmark trust-9The reason for my recent trip to the seaside was to visit an art installation. To mark their 50th anniversary The Landmark Trust commissioned five art installations by Anthony Gormley as part of its LAND sculpture series. Each sculpture was created in response to the location and was installed on five different Landmark sites across the country. The sculpture that I visited was on the Suffolk coast so it was a fun visit to the seaside and an ideal day out for the school holidays.Antony Gormley LAND art exhibition sculpture for the landmark trust-15 Antony Gormley LAND art exhibition sculpture for the landmark trust-10 Continue reading “Map Geek – Land by Anthony Gormley” »


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Map geek – My guide to Southwold Pier

This week I took a trip to the Suffolk coast to enjoy a day of traditional seaside fun and, more importantly, to hunt out Southwold Pier. This hidden gem is a classic seaside attraction and I really can’t think of anywhere better to spend the day when the weather is as glorious as it has been over the past week. In fact, the pier itself is like a little micro-climate with the sea breezes keeping us cool on the hottest day of the year so it’s ideal for a summer trip. southwold pier attraction suffolk travel guide-4 Suffolk coastal travel guide southwold pier attraction-21 southwold pier attraction suffolk travel guide-5 southwold pier attraction suffolk travel guide-18southwold pier attraction suffolk travel guide-11Let’s start off by saying that I really, really like a good attraction map. I actually enjoy being handed a visitor’s guide when I arrive at a theme park, event, museum or visitor attraction. They are usually hand-drawn and often feature cute little comic characters and in-jokes that make me giggle.  I picked up the map of Southwold pier at a tourist information centre and immediately knew that I would enjoy visiting the attraction – it looked like lots of fun, with traditional penny arcades, tearooms and even a micro bandstand!

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Summer Essentials 2015

Now that we are well into the swing of June I can confidently say that summer is here. While the weather may not always be perfect, the season is undoubtedly the most anticipated of the year. 2015 summer holiday beach essential beauty fashion products-292015 summer holiday beach essential beauty fashion products-25It’s when most of us take a well-earned holiday, many of us finish our exams and lots of us head to the coast for that first ice-cream of the year. It’s a three-month period of non-stop barbeques, (almost) guaranteed sunshine and day trips. So today I thought the time was right to share with you my summer essentials; a list of things you’ll be sure to need this summer and everything I use to enjoy the sun safely.2015 summer holiday beach essential beauty fashion products-27 2015 summer holiday beach essential beauty fashion products-6

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Warm weather weekend ~ Boats & huts

Just a quick blog post today to share some photos that I’ve taken of my sunny summer adventures so far. I took a trip to out this weekend for a picnic on the shores of the river, where we enjoyed cream-cheese and cucumber sandwiches and a cup of tea. It was a lovely sunny day and the sky was beautifully blue so I snapped these photos of the sailing boats on the estuary.

Cassiefairys summer coastal river boat photos

I love to read the names of all the boats and always thought that there was some kind of art project to be done about boat names, but I’ll leave that up to my artist hubby instead! Along the side of the river (which has a sandy beach that you can walk along) there are lots of these little boat houses. I’m very jealous of anyone who owns one of these huts – especially because some of them are actually bigger and more luxurious than my house – some with verandas and hot tubs outside – very swish! However, this boat house was my favourite even though it’s being swallowed up by foliage. It looks so quaint and like the kind of place that would feature in a fairytale, so if I had to chose one – it’d be this little wreck!

Cassiefairys summer photos overgrown beach hut boat house suffolk coast


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We’re all going on a summer holiday…

This weekend I’m off to the coast for a cheesy seaside weekend with my brother and sister-in-law! I’m really looking forward to strolling down the pier (2nd longest in the UK apparently!), collecting tokens in the arcades and licking Mr Whippy ice-cream whilst sitting in a deck-chair. 

At least, that’s what the holiday looks like in my mind! In reality we’ll probably be stuck inside a grubby caravan while the rain buckets-down outside, but I’m optimistic! And fingers-crossed I’ll be able to slip on my nautical canvas shoes that I showed you last Tuesday Shoesday and skip down a sandy beach in the sun… I’ll let you know how I get on!

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