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 – 100 years of Converse All-Stars + £50 voucher giveaway!

Did you know that 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the famous Converse All-Star high-top trainers? I didn’t either until I started Googling “Converse” when I was looking for a gift for my husband. A quick search not only brought up a whole host of classic designs to choose from but also a whole lot of history about the brand itself. I’m such a geek when it comes to gaining knowledge about the things I buy so I delved deeper to find out more. Read on to find out what I discovered about Converse and to enter my giveaway to win a £50 shopping voucher for Mainline Menswear!Let’s take it back to the very beginning; The Converse Rubber Shoe Company (to give the brand it’s full, original title) opened its doors back in 1908 in the US, making all kinds of athletic shoes before specialising in tennis shoes in 1915. This early success led the company to develop new styles of sports shoes with rubber soles… I think you know where I’m going with this! It was in 1917 that the Converse All-Star Basketball shoes were introduced. And when basketball player Chuck Taylor put his name behind the brand in 1920, the high-top style really started to take off. It was no longer just a shoe for playing sports in. Oh no.
Over the years the iconic design has become the footwear of choice for off-duty fashionistas and is the ultimate in casual cool. Fans started customising their All-Stars to make them their own and the style was reproduced in countless new fabrics, patterns and colours. Nowadays you can even have your own design made just for you by Converse using the customizer tool on their website.

Enter my £50 giveaway below…

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How to create 2 (very different!) flower arrangements using gerberas

Today’s rather cheerful blog post comes to you courtesy of fabulous florist Paula Pryke OBE. I’ve asked this inspirational designer to share her tips for creating displays using colourful gerberas. I’ve found it difficult to work with gerberas in the past  because their stems sometimes go floppy but today Paula is sharing two easy step-by-step guides to create gorgeous displays using gerberas. Plus, you can win a copy of her newly launched book Floristy Now in my competition. I’ve got two copies to give away so read on to find out how you can enter this fun giveaway..!

These happy flowers come in an array of eye-catching and joyful colours. At one time you could only get the regular large size, but over the years some very passionate gerbera growers have produced smaller ones to suit hand-tied bouquets and now you can get many exclusive varieties. There is the double-flowered small Pomponi gerbera and the shaggy Pasta or Springs large-flowered varieties, which are the novelties at the moment. Gerberas have hairy stems and so they don’t like to be placed in deep water as the stems can become waterlogged and soggy. They are very susceptible to bacteria, and so they benefit from having scrupulously clean containers and a drop of chlorine bleach is a good idea. Flower food is also essential for these versatile flowers.How to create a structured gerbera display

Gerbera United are a Dutch company with the vision to breed and produce new and unique gerberas. Their Ambition specials feature spidery-looking gerberas – some were originally called Pasta and some Springs. For this I chose to use their Pink Springs, Orange Springs and the red Pasta Romana varieties. I adore the intense colour of gerberas and over 30 years they have appeared in many of my designs. Now I mostly include them in gift work and contract work, but their colour range makes them useful when flower supply is not so plentiful – they can make a huge impact in autumn and winter. In the main I am a black centre fan, and tend to specify varieties with black eyes.

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Map Geek – Make it personal with romantic maps

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know what a geek I am when it comes to maps. Old, new and anything inbetween – maps are intriguing, enticing and informative. I’m the kind of person who wanders over to information maps on footpaths or in city centres and looks like a total tourist, but really I’m just interested in the map itself. Why is it here? What’s nearby? Any special information? Someone has taken the time to make that map and put it there, so surely there’s a reason that’s worth investigating. So it probably comes as no surprise that I also love to have maps in my own home too, and that’s where Mapify comes in. Read on to find out more about my Valentine’s map and how you can win your very own personalised map created just for you by Mapify in my giveaway – and there’s THREE prizes to be won!Thankfully, my husband is equally interested in maps, so when there’s an museum exhibit of old relief maps in the Lake District, or an exhibition of Max Gill’s famous street maps at The Lettering Arts Centre we are first in the queue to see it. I guess we’re well suited to each other, eh? So what better gift could I get for my husband this Valentine’s Day than a personalised map? Well, I’m pleased to say that it IS possible to create your own map of any location throughout the whole world, and have a fantastic quality print on your wall in a matter of days. Mapify is the serviceI used to make this special gift, and here’s how I did it.

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Tuesday Shoesday – Summer Holiday Fashion Essentials

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting rather excited about my summer holiday starting soon. For many of us our summer break means some much-needed time off and a chance to recharge our batteries with a spot of sunshine. Today I’m sharing some of my top thrifty fashion picks for summer 2016, I’m showing you where to find an amazing voucher code that’ll get you £20 off your new holiday wardrobe AND I’m giving you the chance to win 1 of 3 spa experience vouchers to really kick-start your holiday in style! Read on to find out more and how to enter this fabulous giveaway…tuesday shoesday shoes sandals flip flops espadrilles fashion summer 2016 holiday inspirationWhether you’re going to some luxurious far-flung destination or are enjoying a relaxing staycation here in the UK, it’s simply the chance to check-out and rest that makes summer holidays so appealing. And, of course, there’s no better time to treat yourself to a spot of holiday shopping too! Glancing through my wardrobe earlier this week I realised that, apart from a couple of floral t-shirts, I’m seriously lacking in any holiday attire. I have no flip flops, no beach cover-up and not one single pair of shorts. It was time to shop!fashion trend summer 2016 espadrilles denim white blue

I wrote about espadrilles as the ultimate summer shoe on Tuesday Shoesday last month

But, as you may have gathered, it’s rather unusual for me to go shopping for anything new. I’m a thrifty gal, and those money-saving habits die hard. I decided that shopping online for my holiday wardrobe was the way to go, as I could browse plenty of shops all at once and could do my favourite type of filtering: “order by lowest price”! I also knew that I wasn’t going to get sucked into paying all kinds of delivery costs, so my first stop (before I even began shopping for clothes!) was searching for money-saving vouchers and discount codes.tuesday shoesday shoes sandals flip flops espadrilles

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Create your own personalised room fragrance

What better way to start the week than with a giveaway, right? And how better to lift your spirits and ease those Monday morning blues than with a bit of pampering? Yes, I think you all deserve a little bit of luxury this week so when the very kind folk at Bolsius Aromatic got in touch to offer some fabulous prizes for my lovely readers, I jumped at the ,chance. And that’s exactly what I’m sharing with you today, so read on to find out how you could win 1 of 2 luxurious prizes… scented candle wax melts room fragrance-12scented candle wax melts room fragrance-10The treat I’ve got in store for you is something to indulge your senses and fill your home with a little bit of luxury. We’ve all picked up scented candles in Ikea haven’t we? And we’ve all tried wax melts to fill our home with festive smells at Christmas, right? But the product I’m talking about today is something I’ve never seen before. It’s both of these things and neither at the same time. Creations is a scented wax melt kit that allows you to make an entirely customized scent for your home. In the same way that you might mix a handful of Jelly Beans to make a flavour, these melts allow you to adjust the scents to your own liking, and create a personalised room fragrance just for you.

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How to get glamorous curls

Today I have two fabulous things I want to share with you. Firstly, I’ve got a great step-by-step tutorial for creating glamorous curls at home. And secondly, I’m hosting a fun giveaway in conjunction with John Frieda so that you can win a Frizz Ease styling kit to recreate this smooth Hollywood-inspired look for yourself at home. Read on for top tips on styling from the John Frieda professional and to enter my competition.rita ora glamorous curls hair style diy tips

I love Rita Ora’s side-swept curls

Whether it’s a night out with the girls, a wedding or even date night, nothing says glamour more than voluminous, frizz-free curls. To help you achieve the look, here’s some tips on how you can turn up the volume and stand out from the crowd with some big, bouncy, beautiful curls.

Step 1 – To achieve perfect curls, it’s important to first prep your hair with the right products. To ensure hair is left looking smooth, wash your hair with a shampoo and conditioner designed specifically to combat frizz.

Step 2 – Next add a small amount of mousse to your damp hair in order to make your hair more manageable in the styling process. At this stage you may even want to add a root booster product to ensure maximum volume is achieved.

Step 3 – Blow dry your hair using a round barrelled brush. Make sure you lift your hair up at the roots before smoothing your hair down at the tips.root lift round brush glamorous curls tips

Get lift at the roots with a round brush

Step 4 – Now, how you choose to add curls to your look is up to you. When using a curling tong, ensure all curls are created facing the same direction. Alternatively you can use heated rollers to achieve your desired big curls.

Step 5 – To secure the look in place, spray hairspray onto your locks. You may even want to keep a mini can in your handbag so you can keep your hair on top form for longer!

Step 6 – Finally it’s time to accessorise but remember to keep things simple. You don’t want to take away too much from the volume you’ve just created by wearing an oversized accessory. Instead, choose a delicate hair brooch or decorated hair pin, perfect for keeping those flyaway hairs in place whilst remaining stylish. styling kit prize john frieda frizze ease competition on cassiefairy blogNow here’s the fun part – you can win a styling kit from John Frieda to get this look for yourself at home. The prize includes 1x Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Shampoo, 1x Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Conditioner and 1x Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray. There are plenty of ways to enter via the rafflecopter widget below so grab yourself some entries into the competition below and keep your fingers crossed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway open to UK residents only and runs until 20th March 2016 – good luck!


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Win 1 of 5 pairs of tickets to the Ideal Home Show 2016

Fancy going to the Ideal Home Show completely free of charge this year?! Well, if you enter my prize giveaway you could win 1 of 5 pairs of tickets (worth £40 per pair) to the show for ANY day of the event. Browse the exhibition at London Olympia to discover this years trends, future interior design developments and get tons of inspiration! I’m certainly going to be there so I’d love you to enter and join me at the biggest interior design event of the year!THOMAS SANDERSON Shutters_Bedroom_High_Grey_003Excitement is building at Thomas Sanderson as their team of expert designers put the finishing touches to their show-stopping presence at this year’s Ideal Home Show (running from 18th March – 3rd April 2016 in London). Thomas Sanderson is the main sponsor of A Traditionally British Home, one of the full size houses within the show, which they’ve styled in conjunction with celebrity designer Linda Barker.Thomas Sanderson Orangery DuetteFive winners will win tickets to this year’s Ideal Home Show, where you can tour every room of the four-bed house to see stunning styling trends, be inspired by the hottest home colour schemes for 2016 and learn more about Thomas Sanderson’s stylish energy-saving solutions and home automation window blind products.THOMAS SANDERSON Bedroom main_RTTo find our more about Thomas Sanderson’s conservatory blinds, window shutters and window blinds, visit www.thomas-sanderson.co.uk/ideal

THOMAS SANDERSON BLINDS Living room PLANTATION SHUTTERS-60262Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win a pair of tickets (worth £40) to the Ideal Home Show for ANY day of the event (from 18th March-3rd April). I’ve got 5 pairs of tickets to give away and there are plenty of ways to gain entries via social media so enter now! Giveaway is open to UK residents only and runs until 13th March 2016. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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