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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It’s National Experience Week – what would you do? + giveaway

Ever fancied driving around the Grand Prix track at Silverstone? Have you thought about learning a new skill? Or do you just like the idea of trying out a new restaurant for dinner? Just what would you choose if you could try out ANY new experience? It’s #NationalExperienceWeek and this has got me thinking about my own dream destinations and new things I’d love to try out so today I’m sharing what I would do if I could do anything at all. And the good news is that it IS possible to kick-start your bucket list this month thanks to Into The Blue, who are running a giveaway to win any dream experiences worth up to £1000 so check out their competition page now.

National Experience Week runs from 17th – 26th April so it’s the perfect excuse to get over those post-bank-holiday blues by trying out something you’ve never done before. The ethos behind this week-long celebration is that everyone should have an exciting day out every once in a while, especially with big celebrations like Christmas and resolution-building New Year so far behind us. It’s a great excuse to treat yourself, have a little fun and try something new. Here’s what I’m planning:Segway Adventure

Okay, okay, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve tried out segway-ing (is that the correct term?) at Thetford Forest in the past. I can’t explain how amazing it was to be whizzing through the woods with the wind in my hair; I loved every second of it and have been bursting to go on another segway adventure as soon as I can. But this time, I want to do extreme segway. It’s faster, rougher terrain and I can’t wait to swerve and jump around an extreme course. Plus, I’ve just discovered the possibility of going on a trek with an all-terrain segway – bring it on!

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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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Tips for a healthy summer holiday with the family

How are you enjoying the school summer holidays so far? We’ve already enjoyed a few days of sunshine and got stuck into our favourite outdoor activities, such as swimming, walking and going on bike rides. I think that the school holidays is a great time of year for the whole family to make a change towards living a more healthy lifestyle. It’s easier to feel motivated to get outside and be active while the weather is lovely. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce the kids to the idea of eating more healthily too, with plenty of salads, pasta and couscous on the menu during BBQ season!homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-18

Check out my healthy coleslaw recipe on the blog – no mayo in this dish!

With that in mind, I wanted to share something with all you mums and dads out there, to help you with some fun ideas for the school holidays that will also help your family to live a more healthy life. As part of National Childhood Obesity Week, which rans from 4th July 2016, NRS Healthcare launched a digital Healthy Living Family Pack to help families with children who may be experiencing issues with overeating, inactivity or poor nutrition and it contains useful ideas on how families can pull together to become more active in their daily lives.day out wild flower walk spring-2

A wildflower hunt is a free activity that gets the kids moving – read about my recent countryside walk here

What does the Healthy Living Family Pack include?

The digital Family Pack is available to download for free from the NRS website and the pack contains useful information and ideas for parents, coupled with an interactive star chart for children to track their activities in a fun, informal way. Families can learn more about childhood obesity and how to actively approach the subject through the pack contents, which include:

  • Family Activity Cards
  • A Family Day Out Wish List
  • Daily Chores Calorie Counter (for parents)
  • A Chore Chooser Star Chart (for children)blue suede shoes - his n hers brogues_-4

Find ideas for low-cost and fun days out for the school holiday on my blog – here

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4 low-cost rainy day activities for the summer holidays

After waiting all year for the summer holidays to arrive, it’s unfortunate when the weather forecast looks gloomy. Even though we’ve been having lovely sunny days here recently, it’s almost inevitable that a couple of days will be drizzly during the long summer break. So what can you do with the kids when they’re stuck inside on grey days? I’ve come up with a couple of ideas to keep little ones entertained but that don’t cost a fortune.Easy recipe for baking cheese, fruit and cherry scones

Cooking

I love to bake with my niece and nephew and try to do it as often as I can. It’s so lovely to watch them get stuck into stirring up a recipe and see the concentration on their faces as they follow the recipe instructions. Add the ingredients to your weekly shopping in the run up to the summer holidays and you could have everything you need in the cupboard, ready for a rainy day. You can mix up a simple can’t-go-wrong recipe for milk loaf with the kids in the morning, and they can turn it into sandwiches by lunchtime. Baking scones or cornflake cakes during the afternoon guarantees a calm tea-time as they sit down to enjoy the treats they made.

Build a den

Remember how much fun it was to build a den when you were little? It costs nothing to make – you just need some sheets, pegs and bits of furniture. Use a drying rack to prop up blankets as a roof, and throw duvets and cushions on the floor for comfort. And when your den is complete, take some snacks and treats (perhaps something they’ve baked themselves) inside it to enjoy an indoor picnic, or get out the colouring books.rainy day activity summer holidays scrapbook craft

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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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A romantic tour along the Amalfi coast

For romantic couples all over the world, the Amalfi coast has always been a favourite destination; not only because this region attracts the crème-de-la-creme of high society and offers a glamorous opportunity to mingle with the rich and famous (experience a chic and luxurious holiday even if you are on a budget!) but also due to its breathtaking natural scenery and cultural heritage. Today I’m pleased to bring you a fabulous guest post all about touring the Amalfi coast, and I hope it’ll inspire you to make some plans this summer, just like it has inspired me too!amalfi-coast-sunmaster-holidaysDesignated by UNESCO as “an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and scenic values,” it was added to the list of protected world heritage sites in 1997. The coast has had the privilege of being home to many famous artists, painters and writers over the centuries who found it to be a perfect place for inspiration during their travels. These include the likes of the 14th Century writer Giovanni Boccaccio, the famous 19th Century composer Richard Wagner, the 20th Century playwright Tennessee Williams and many movie celebrities.villa rufolo italy amalfi coast tour

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Why catching the bus is the thrifty travel option

Did you know that 4th-10th July is “Catch The Bus Week”? As a thrifty gal who likes to save money on travel this really interested me. Other than using park-and-ride services to travel into big cities like Cambridge and Norwich (which is a really thrifty way to park in cities like this, not to mention avoid sitting for hours in traffic!) I’ve not really been on a bus for quite a few years. But I remember it being a fun thing to set off on a trip by bus – especially when we were students – so ‘Catch The Bus Week’ (and the twitter hashtag #CTBW) really caught my attention and I wanted to investigate further.catch the bus weekWhen you consider the cost of owning a car (yes, those payments for insurance, car tax, MOTs and maintenance all add up!), combined with the fuel needed to make the trip, parking costs and the time it takes to sit in slow-moving traffic as busses zip past in the bus lane (time is money, my friend), I can’t believe that I hadn’t realised the thrifty nature of bus travel until now. It’s like having a pay-as-you-go vehicle, which totally makes sense to me – you only pay when you actually use it! And when I looked up bus fares this week I actually think that the price is less than I remember.biobusAnd I’ve not even mentioned the ecological benefits of only one vehicle travelling with numerous passengers. It would mean that roads are less congested, fewer emissions will be polluting the air in cities AND it rush hour will become a thing of the past. Okay, maybe I’m getting carried away here but travelling by bus is definitely something worth considering. I know that some regions have less-than-reliable bus services (we’re very rural here and catching a bus would be difficult) but there are lots of places you can easily travel by bus. Check out this interactive map to see some of the areas Stagecoach operate in.addenbrookes

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