Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Gathering garden inspiration from Jimmy’s Farm

This week I have been out and about in the Suffolk countryside getting inspiration for my own garden and veggie patch, and where better to start than at Jimmy’s Farm just outside Ipswich. Hubby and I took a stroll around the farm on a sunny day and I took a few snaps as a visual ‘sketchbook’ to remind me of ideas for planting veg and flowers in our own garden.

The whole farm is full of wonderful views and I especially enjoyed looking at the kitchen garden to see what was being grown and to get ideas for my own planting. I really like the alternating lines of plants and using herbs with different coloured leaves would help me achieve this very neat look at home. There were also plenty of other flowers and plants to admire, which has got me thinking about the types of foliage and blooms I’d like to have in a flower bed in the future.

We also came across this amazing mud-hut-esque building on the farm. It’s made of logs stacked end on within a kind of clay/mad wall. I love the quirky additions of stained glass windows of different shapes and sizes, plus it was really cosy yet cool inside. The roof was covered in grass and as the whole building was constructed using wood and earth, it was probably one of the most eco-friendly houses I’ve ever come across. It certainly gave my husband some ideas for building himself a ‘man cave’ and we’ve already allocated a spot for it in the garden!

Jimmy’s farm makes for a very relaxing day and we stopped to have a cup of tea before browsing the shop and butchers and buying a few of the farm’s famous pork sausages to take home with us. It was a lovely day out and I’d recommend going for a visit when there’s an event on, such as the regular farmers markets or food festivals so there will be even more to see and do!


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My day out at the Vintage Festival & D-Day Celebration

Last weekend I had one of the best days out ever: I visited the Mid-Suffolk Vintage Festival on Sunday so I thought I’d share my photos of the event this Sunday. Hubby, mum and I headed to the Mid-Suffolk Showground unsure of what we’d find at this brand new event and was pleasantly surprised. It was a fantasic event with vintage cars, military trucks, family-friendly war re-enactments (no loud bangs or gore!), vintage shopping, platoon softball games and displays of original militaria.

The marquee played host to an authentic fashion show, demonstrating the uniforms and outfits that would have been worn at the time – from Land Girls to Naval Officers and American Squaddies. But the vintage fashion didn’t stop there: everyone we met was wearing stunning 40s and 50s outfits, military uniform and original dresses. It made me wish I’d dressed up a little more and worn my vintage handbag and tea dress – so that’s a must for next time!

Taking place just after the 70th anniversary of D-Day and buoyed up by the celebratory nature of the event we all threw ourselves into celebrating D-Day and enjoyed watching the gorgeous singing, dancing and tap group My Favourite Things. The girls looked like true war-time pin-ups and we found ourselves transported back to that very day 70 years ago as they sang all the original hits in perfect harmony. After watching lots of the crowd swinging and jiving on the dance floor, hubby and I decided to go to the afternoon dance class to learn a few moves so that we could join in with bopping along to the vintage tunes that the DJ was spinning.

After stumbling our way through a dance class and discovering an extra left-foot that I didn’t know I had (!) more treats arrived in the form of afternoon tea and a big slice of Victoria sponge: my favourite. We watched the softball game and cheered along with the crowd and the military wives cheerleaders, before taking a stroll around the stalls and viewing an amazing Women’s Land Army collection from Cherry Betty Vintage – check out her Facebook page.

The lovely sunny day and hazy afternoon certainly added to the jubilation of the event, and everyone I saw had a massive smile on their face. I certainly felt the same way and had aching cheeks by the end of the day from all the smiling I’d been doing :D I left the event with an invitation to a local dance class and hubby has been conscripted into the nearby softball team, the Mustangs, so it looks like our vintage festival experiences won’t be over anytime soon!

Cassiefairy National Blog Awards 2014 Highly Commended in Retail & Fashion


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My amazing night at the National Blog Awards

Have you ever spent years dreaming about an event, months working towards it, weeks planning your movements, days deliberating your outfits, hours getting ready, only to find yourself minutes before the big moment with your heart pounding, palms sweating, wishing that you’d stayed at home hidden under the duvet? This pretty much sums up my experience of the National Blog Awards except that seconds later it became the greatest night of my life!

I know I’ve made you wait two days, and I’m three hours late publishing my daily post after uploading all the photos, but I can’t keep it to myself any longer;  I won the Highly Commended Award for Retail & Fashion at the National Blog Awards 2014!!! Scream!

Cassiefairy National Blog Awards 2014 Highly Commended in Retail & Fashion category

I hope you can imagine what an unbelievable, surreal and shocking moment it was for me - a girl who works alone, spends 12 hours a day writing and has dedicated the last 3 years of her life to creating (soon-to-be) 1000 blog posts – to be judged by the best in the business, to have industry professionals reading my blog and to be recognised by editors and marketeers as being top 2 in the country in my sector. shakes head in disbelief. Amazing.

I’ve put together some galleries of the goings-on at the National Blog Awards event at The Grange Hotel, St Pauls, London so that you can get a flavour of the evening and meet some of the fabulous bloggers I encountered at the big event. My husband was my official photographer so there are lots of photos of me, I’m afraid! We arrived at the very swish Grange Hotel and were whisked off in the glass elevator to the Wren Suite for the big event. I posed for a snap beside the glowing column with rotating National Blog Awards logo and grabbed a glass of bubbly on the way in. After checking whether my bestie Jenna from Glitter Daze blog had arrived, my husband and I had our photo taken in our his ‘n’ hers Joules outfits before heading into the glamorous hall, where we were amazed by the scale of the event.

A real red carpet had been laid and Oscars statues stood either side of the stage (of course I posed on the red carpet in my New Look dress & accessories!), and in true Hollywood style there was even a popcorn and candy floss stall for us to snack on during the ceremony! We chatted to lots of other lovely bloggers and enjoyed the canapés that came past us on regular intervals throughout the evening before heading to the Luma touch-screens to make my own ‘Glitter is my favourite colour’ canvas bag.

After my pal and fellow finalist Jenna arrived, we grabbed a couple more glasses of champagne before getting stuck into a graffiti session on the huge Luma ‘YrWall’. We used real spray cans to digitally tag our ‘Glitter Daze hearts Cassiefairy’ wall and the kind folk at Luma even printed the design onto a bag for each of us! As we stepped away from the wall, some gorgeous (and delicious) cupcakes were offered in our direction so we took our dessert to enjoy while we checked out the competition in our awards programme. We made our predictions and I’m pleased to say that my chosen winner did come out on top in the awards, but more of that later! The seats started to fill up with bloggers and guests so after a quick touch-up with my new make up from Click Fragrance we settled in for the awards ceremony, hosted by the fabulously funny founder of MediaCoach, Alan Stevens. After a lovely welcome by Gemma Pear and Becki Cross, the organisers of the National Blog Awards – who snapped an Oscars-esque selfie on stage! – and a captivating talk by sponsors Content Click, the awards ceremony commenced.

Hubby was particularly excited when the original Stig from Top Gear, Perry McCarthy presented the award in the Automotive category to Danny Hewitt from Motortrades Insight and I was delighted when the first award in the Arts & Culture category went to a lovely blogger that I chatted with during the evening Hayley Flynn from Skyliner. All the winners and highly commended awards can be found on the UK National Blog Awards website so please have a look and check out all the fabulous finalists! When the time came for the Retail & Fashion awards I was excited but not too scared because I’d already looked at all of my competitors’ amazing blogs and knew that my chances were slim (especially when compared with the perpetually fabulous Bambella Blog – my predicted winner). Hubby filmed the announcement and when my blog photo was beamed onto the big screen as the Highly Commended blog in this category you can hear the loudest gasp from me! I couldn’t believe my blog had made it into the top 2, it was so unexpected but will certainly go down as one of the best moments of my life.

I was equally delighted when Alex from Bambella Blog – a fantastic fashion blog that I’ve been reading ever since discovering her at the Company Blog Awards last year – was announced as the winner and I couldn’t wait to congratulate her and grab her for a photo with our awards. That’s the lovely thing about bloggers; they are always so happy for and proud of each other’s achievements and just being together at an amazing event like this – one that celebrates blogging talent & shares our private efforts with the world – is magical. I just can’t wait for next year’s blog awards now!

My outfit for the UK National Blog Awards 2014


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What to wear to the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’?!

If you’ve not heard me shouting about it already, I’m a FINALIST in the National Blog Awards 2014! I’m going to the awards ceremony on Friday night and it’s been described as the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’ so I’m expecting a fabulous night out in London and looking forward to meeting lots of glamourous bloggers. My best friend Jenna from Glitter Daze blog will be among them, as she has been shortlisted in the Wedding Blogs category, so it will be amazing to catch up with my Northern buddy after a few months apart! After my initial excitement, my thoughts obviously turned to what I should wear (I am a retail and FASHION finalist after all!) and of course I had no idea. Jenna always looks super-fabulous with just the right amount of glitz and glam in her outfit choices so I’ve been discussing my dress plans with her and have finally settled on this…

ladies joules tweet jacket with pink detailing and bird lining

My first choice was this blazer from Joules. I’d had my eye on it for while because the cut is beautiful, the tweet is such great quality with pretty rainbow colours subtly sprinkled throughout and I wanted to wear something smart as a nod to the importance of the event. Plus, when I tried on the jacket I needed a SIZE 8 (there is no way that’s right!) and that made me feel good ;) I think it’s because it’s such a fine piece of tailoring that it fits me so well in the smaller sizes and it looks great left open (although it does button up too, honest!) so my dress will still show beneath it. Which leads me on to my next choice:

ladies fashion look for spring 2014 with pink new look dress and joules tweed blazer

I am in love with this New Look dress. I have honestly looked at every single dress online and visited the store 4 times this month to try on dresses before I took the plunge and went for this ‘online exclusive’ pink lace dress. The A-line cut is really flattering and I think I’ll be able to fit in quite a few desserts before the dress starts to bulge! I also love the cute sweetheart neckline which doesn’t feel too revealing because of the layer of lace over the chest. I also like that the dress covers up my arms because I’m more likely to take off my blazer if I have a little arm protection beneath! I love the fit and style so much that I’ve since ordered it in black as well and got a bargain because it was reduced online, yikes! As you can see from the photos, the dress picks out the pink elements of the Joules blazer (the collar even has pink velvet underneath) and when I turned back the cuffs, the lining was also pink so I think I’ll wear it like this – Wham! style ;)

My outfit for the UK National Blog Awards 2014

I’ve instagrammed my accessories choices last week and here they are – a pair of black suede wedges and a gorgeous envelope clutch bag, both from New Look. I’m not sure if I’ll be in black tights or nude (I guess it depends on the weather and how brave I am feeling) but I think that the bag and shoes will go well with either, and they look great with the black & gold belt that came with the dress. Plus there’s plenty of room for business cards in my clutch for all the networking I’ll be doing ;)

So now I just have to get my face and hair sorted and I’ll be ready for the big day! What do you think of my outfit choice? Any ideas for how I should wear my hair? Are you going to the National Blog Awards too? I’d love to hear from you so please tweet me @Cassiefairy

 


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My little vintage caravan ~ Pink party inspirations

My birthday is coming up soon, and what with the Christmas celebrations, I often overlook it myself! I get too excited about the festive season and forget to make any plans to celebrate my birthday. This year, I thought I’d treat myself to a little pink-and-red party in my vintage caravan so I’ve been looking around Pinterest to get inspiration for decorations and themes – check out my Parties Pinterest board for all the image credits. Here’s my party ‘moodboard’ and some of the decoration ideas that I’m hoping will make it onto my party table:

red and pink themed birthday party

I’ve got some white and pink spotty doilies and polka dot paper from Wholeport, and have unpacked my vintage tea set with pink retro design, so I’ve got the basics sorted! Just need to get on with crafting some decorations and preparing my caravan to receive guests – at least there’s somewhere to sit now! I’ve also started thinking about foodie treats for my party, so I’ll share more of these with you soon!