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 decoupage Easter egg project was featured in Reloved magazine!

Am I ready for Easter? You bet! I’ve been DIYing Easter projects for a couple of months now and the great news is that two of my projects have been published in my favourite magazine Reloved.The first project was turning some very old books (you know the kind, where loose pages flutter out as soon as you open it) into a traditional flower press. Do you remember pressing flowers as a child? I’m sure we just put them between the pages of books, but this projects takes it one step further with bolts that screw down to compress the flowers.Using a flower press actually makes the pressing process so much quicker – my little daffodil heads were pressed within a day or so! They were ready to be used to make Easter cards, decorations and to decoupage some egg shells. You can find the step-by-step instructions for the flower press in Issue 40 of Reloved – if you haven’t already got a copy, you can order a back-copy or check out the website.These eggs were laid by my mum’s bantam hens so I wanted to preserve the tiny egg shells to use in my easter decorating projects. I used tester pots of matt emulsion paint to give them a pastel colour and then glued the flower heads on with PVA glue.I popped the eggs back into the egg tray and they sit among the freshly laid eggs to decorate the kitchen for Easter. Let me know if you have a go at making these eggs (or the book press, for that matter!) for yourself. And I’d love to see photos of your own DIY easter decorations for inspiration so please tag me in your instagram pics @Cassiefairy.


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More than chocolate eggs – Easter gifts ideas + win £40 of jewellery!

With Easter fast approaching, my thoughts have turned to chocolate eggs and rabbit-shaped iced biscuits. I love making marshmallow ‘nests’ with my niece and nephew, and an Easter cheesecake is a must in our household. But this year, I thought I’d consider some Easter gifts that are more than just edible treats. I’d love to receive something that costs the same as a chocolate egg but that will last me all year instead so I’ve shared my ideas in this blog post. PLUS you could win £40 to spend on anything you like at JewelleryBox.co.uk. Considering that they’ve got a fantastic under £5 section, you should be able to stock up on a few beautiful things for yourself too!

image by Popcorn & Glitter

This year I’m saying ‘no thanks’ to the chocolate (okay, maybe a handful of mini-eggs, but that’s it…) and yes please to some alternative gifts. In particular, I quite fancy getting some new jewellery this year. It doesn’t have to be Easter-themed (although the selection of fun Easter bunny earrings start at £4.95) and I’d be happy with any of these cool stacker rings or ‘love’ bangles.


One of my favourite pieces on the site is this honeycomb design. It’s available as a necklace, bracelet or earrings in 9ct gold, sterling silver or rose gold. It feels really spring-like without being OTT on the rabbits and flowers. Although I’m not a huge wearer of jewellery, I do like to wear the occasional special piece and I love the rose gold pieces I discovered. At least know where I want my birthday present to come from anyway!

I’ve also been looking on Etsy for some non-food related gifts for the little ones (and us bigger crafty folk too!). This Easter bunny kit looks like great fun for a start. It contains everything you’d need to make an adorable little soft rabbit – wouldn’t that be fun to make over Easter? It’ll keep the kids entertained for a little while at least! I also LOVE this cross-stitch kit for older kids, aunts and grandmas alike. It’s a skill I wish I could do, and I’d love to give this colourful spring sewing project a go.

Or if you fancy baking an Easter gift for your friends and family, why not try out some of my recipes? Cupcakes, meringues and iced biscuits all make lovely presents when presented in lovely wrapping. You could make fresh blueberry and lemon muffins in cute paper cases to hand out to the little ones. My dark chocolate meringue cookies look lovely when packaged in greaseproof paper and tied with a pretty ribbon. At the very least, you could make a batch of these recipes to share as part of your Easter Sunday dinner.And now, on to the part you’ve been waiting for – the giveaway. I’ve chatted to the wonderful people at JewelleryBox.co.uk and they are delighted to provide a prize for Cassiefairy.com readers. One lucky winner will be given £40 credit to spend on ANY jewellery they like! The giveaway runs until the end of Easter Monday so you could win a lovely Easter gift for yourself. There are plenty of ways to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below so enter now- good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only, competition runs from 7th April 2017 – 17th April 2017, winner will be chosen at random from all entries via Rafflecopter and contacted via email. The winner will need to provide a UK delivery address to receive their prize.


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York Castle Museum – Shaping the Body exhibition

The eagle-eyed of you may have spotted that I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I was away on holiday in Yorkshire last week. So this week I wanted to tell you all about my trip to York and share some photos of a fantastic exhibition that I went to. It was in York Castle Museum and I was temped to visit the exhibition after spotting a rather eye-catching image online last month.kim kardashian bustle photo york castle museum vintage retro shaping the body exhibitionRemember Kim Kardashian’s infamous champagne bottle photo that ‘broke the internet’ recently? Well, the York Castle Museum has recreated that image to coincide with their Shaping the Body exhibition, which launched on 25th March this year. Pretty cool, huh? It just goes to show that displaying a rounded rump has been a fashion staple for centuries!york castle museum shaping the body exhibition exhibit school holidays day out tripyork castle museum shaping the body exhibition exhibit school holidays day out trip-2york castle museum shaping the body exhibition exhibit school holidays day out trip-9 york castle museum shaping the body exhibition exhibit school holidays day out trip-14I was expecting a very corsetry-focussed, undergarment-based exhibition for adults but, in fact, the Shaping the Body exhibit was also about outer-garments throughout the years, clothing trends and construction methods. As I wandered through the halls, two further parts of the exhibition were revealed to me; learning about how food and lifestyle shapes the body too. These sections included kitchen scenes of the past century (including a very 80s-looking kitchen that I swear could have been my own childhood home at some point!) and the foods that we eat, plus an exhibit on professions and how work has shaped people over the years too. Very interesting indeed.

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Easter Inspiration – My DIY & baking blog post round-up

ESo we’re already in the middle of a lovely 4-day break over Easter and I thought I’d better share a quick round up of all my Easter-related blog posts for you. I really feel like I have lots of spare time over Easter and it allows me to make some easy weekend craft projects and lets me spend time creating something fun with the little ones. I’ve made some simple Easter pudding recipes that would be great for Easter lunch, and some classic cornflake cakes you can make with the kids too. Get your crafting stuff together, pull on that apron and start creating! Here’s some inspiration for you to get started:easter eggs baked chocolate cheese cake recipe

Baked vanilla cheesecake with chocolate ganache and tons of mini eggs – a great Easter pud!

diy spring wreath project for easter

DIY Easter Bunny wreath to hang on your door

recipe cooking with children easter inspiration recipe ideasCornflake cakes – Fun to make before, during or after Easter – and you can use up all that chocolate too!

summer fruit punch recipe cranberry raspberry fizz for easter-8A non-alcoholic summer fruit punch to accompany your Easter mealpieday-friday-easter-chick-cookies-iced-cute-bunny-rabbit-biscuits-recipe-cassiefairy

Iced biscuits recipe that the kids can decorate with sprinkleschocolate fudge cake for easter celebration dessert pudding

Chocolate fudge cake decorated for Easter lunch

 What do you think of these quick and easy DIY projects and recipe ideas? Check out each of the step-by-step tutorials by clicking on the pink links above. What do you like to do over the Easter weekend? I hope you all have a lovely break and I’ll catch up with you next week!


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Fruity spring punch recipe

With Easter coming this weekend you may, like me, be planning a gathering of festive proportions. Yes, Easter is often the first opportunity that the family has of all getting together post-Christmas so I like to make a big deal out of the 4-day holiday and make something special to eat and drink. As you can probably guess from the title of the blog post, today’s I’ve mixed up a fruity (non-alcoholic, good for all the family) cocktail that’s just right for a enjoying with a Springtime gathering. Plus, I’m hosting a massive giveaway to win over £100 worth of crystal from Dartington Crystal (the lovely people that I got my jug and tumblers from) so that you can recreate this recipe at home. Read on to enter..!summer fruit punch recipe cranberry raspberry fizz for easter-8But first up, is my spring punch recipe. At this time of year I want something fresh, fruity, sparkling and a little bit chilled. Yes, I’m hoping for sunny days and hot weather over Easter weekend (however unlikely that may be) so I’ve stocked up with ice and frozen fruit for my fizzy fruity spring cocktail. Here’s what you’ll need to mix up the same recipe at home:summer fruit punch recipe cranberry raspberry fizz for easter-5

Ingredients: 1 carton of low sugar raspberry and cranberry juice, 1 litre of sugar free lemonade, a punnet of frozen mixed berries (the type you’d use in a smoothie or crumble filling), a squeeze of fresh lemon and lots of ice.

Get out your biggest jug – mine is from Dartington Crystal – and pack it full of ice and frozen fruit. Pour over the fruit juice and top up with as much lemonade as needed. Add a squeeze of lemon and stir the ingredients together. As the fruit defrosts into the drink it will release even more fruity flavours. Pour over ice in tumblers and add a cute paper straw, and perhaps some more fresh fruit.

My jug has one of those pinched lips so that the ice in the jug can’t plop into the glasses so it keeps splashes to a minimum. This is a bit of a godsend because I always spill. Whether I’m dealing with ice or tea, you can guarantee it’s going to end up all over the table. But not anymore with my new jug! By the way, if you’ve ended up with too much leftover punch, you can decant it into a bottle and drink another day.

Now here’s your chance to win a set of 4 Shine On Tumbler Glasses (worth £15) and a fantastic Large Cooler Ice Lip Jug (worth £89) from Dartington Crystal so that you too can enjoy a rather posh glass of punch this Spring. There are plenty of ways to enter the competition via the Rafflecopter widget below – simply share on social media and leave me some comments to earn as entries as you like. The winner will be picked at random once the giveaway closes and you’ll be sent your very set of crystal tumblers and stunning serving jug straight from the Dartington Crystal glass blowing works.dartington crystal jug and tumblers
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition open to UK residents only.


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Weekend DIY project – Welly boot plant pots

Everybody knows wellington boots are an amazing accessory for any wet day, but unfortunately we tend to find ourselves only wearing them a handful of times throughout the year. As a result of this, especially with the little ones, the next time you go to pop them on they’re too small. Well, if you find this to be the case then don’t worry, you can make yourself some welly planters! What better way to not only add a little fun to your garden, but to recycle too! Here’s a guide on how you can make your wellies into fun little plant pots and add a little extra colour to your garden.welly boot DIY project_-9

Make your own DIY planter from recycled wellies!

Before you begin making your welly planters, there’s a few things you’ll need:

  • Wellington Boots
  • A Drill
  • Compost
  • Seeds
  • Watering Can
  • Stones or Pebbles
  • Waterproof labels (if you wish to label your plants)

Now you have everything you need, you can get started. Make sure you wash your wellington boots with warm water and a little soap, just to give them a freshen up. Dry them off with an old tea towel and then you’re good to go. You can use new wellington boots if your current ones still fit, that’s up to you, but I’d recommend going rummaging at the carboot sale to pick up a used pair for pennies! Next, remove any insoles or liners that are inside the wellington boots, as we need as much space as we can get.

Hold the wellington from the bottom, sole facing upwards (and use a clamp on a workbench to hold it in place!) while you drill a few small holes around the edges of the boot and a couple on the sole. This will make sure that when you water your plants, the water drains out evenly and the compost will be able to breathe. Fill the bottom of the wellington with some stones or pebbles, this is to weigh the welly down so that if there are any blustery days, your new planter will be less likely to fall over. Also, having stones at the bottom will make it that little bit easier for the water to drain out, as there will be room between the compost and the holes.

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Looking forward to Easter – Mini-eggs, toys and outdoor fun

With the big Easter holiday looming at the end of the month (and a bit of time off, phew!) I’ve been busy making plans for Easter fun with the family. We all love to get together at some point over the four-day holiday and enjoy a meal together, as well as organising an Easter egg hunt around the garden. It’s always great fun entertaining the little ones at this time of year, as they love to run around the garden, ride on their toy tractors and spot the daffodils coming up.easter eggs baked chocolate cheesecake recipe-7Having already had a trial run of my Easter cheesecake recipe, and with lots of bags of mini eggs rattling around in the cupboard I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to make Easter cornflake cakes and I wanted to make them now! So I’ve actually already been making super-cute Easter cakes with the smallest members of my family this week. And it was an very enjoyable cooking session indeed, not least because I got to take a tray of cornflake cakes home with me to scoff all week long!recipe cooking with children easter inspiration recipe ideas Continue reading “Looking forward to Easter – Mini-eggs, toys and outdoor fun” »


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Spruce up your garden in time for Easter

Believe it or not, winter is almost over! It’s nearly time for those lighter evenings and sunny mornings and I actually cannot wait. This does mean that the long awaited (by children mainly) Easter holidays are creeping up on us, and we can almost hear the cry of ‘I’m bored’ in the background. There are so many ways in which you can utilise your home and garden to get the best from it without having to spend a fortune. Here are a few ways in which you can make the most out of your garden for both yourselves and your little ones.diy painting and installing small shed - duck egg blue beach hut in garden-20Garden TLC

First things first, your garden will probably need some tender loving care. We’re all guilty of neglecting our gardens when those blistery winter days set in and the rain doesn’t stop for weeks, however now that the days are getting brighter there’s no better time to get outside and have a little tidy. Decide what you want to get from your garden, how much space you need, things you might want to add etc. My husband and I actually dug over the veggie patch last weekend, so it’s already ready for the seeds to be sown. If you have decking or patio space and want to host a few ‘get togethers’ over the summer then give it a quick clean, get rid of any little weeds that have settled in over the winter and then you’re good to go!summer party - garden table and chairs in wild flower meadow-9

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DIY Easter bunny wreath for spring

How will the Easter bunny know where to deliver your chocolate eggs if you don’t hang a spring wreath on your door?? The whole Easter bunny thing is like Santa, right? Well, I don’t want to risk missing out on my chocolate goodies so I’ve been DIYing a wreath for spring this week and I’ve hung it on my caravan door already, just to be sure.diy spring wreath easter bunny diy spring wreath for easter caravan by cassiefairy Continue reading “DIY Easter bunny wreath for spring” »


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Thought-provoking artwork on the landscape of waste packaging

I went as far East as possible yesterday. That IS what Easter means, right? 😉 I headed to the East coast in East Anglia and braved the coastal winds to enjoy a walk along the seafront with my family. I enjoyed a traditional fish and chips lunch and a cup of afternoon tea before walking the promenade and ogling all the gorgeous seafront properties with much jealousy. One of the more interesting buildings on Aldeburgh seafront is the South Lookout Tower, an art space owned by Caroline Wiseman Modern & Contemporary which plays host to artists-in-residence and presents engaging exhibitions.

Aldeburgh beach south lookout tower gallery

This weekend’s art offering included seascape photography in the very top of the tower (for those who could brave that spiral staircase in blustery winds!), an installation in the middle of the tower to represent how writer Laurens van der Post had used the lookout Tower in the past to write, and a though-provoking exhibition entitled Void – The landscape of waste packaging in the gallery space. The artist invited holiday-makers, visitors and locals to join in with the creation of a ‘landscape’ of waste by bringing their own used packaging to the exhibition in order to have it cast in concrete. The resulting sculptures formed an industrial landscape which grew over the course of the artist’s Easter residency and joined the existing waste landscapes that the artist had previously cast, painted and photographed.

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