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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Last minute wedding tips to help you enjoy your big day!

Bridezilla is a state that a bride may occasionally morph into under times of tremendous stress. Though seldom seen, when a bridezilla does make an appearance, bridesmaids, wedding planners, and even the groom take refuge. We’re all well aware of the stress that comes from planning a wedding; money, time, and the looming eternal commitment to another human make for a pretty potent concoction of stress. To decrease the odds of morphing into a bridezilla here are some tips for last minute wedding planning.wedding-planning-last-minute-ideas-inspiration

Keep all your plans together in one book so you can easily hand it over to someone else when needed!

Designate a point person

You’ve been preparing for your wedding for months. So, when the rehearsal dinner finally comes around you should have all your plans already mapped out. However, there are going to be plenty of people who aren’t privy to your very detailed plans. Instead of carrying the burden of your entire wedding plan, offload the plan to a friend who can then answer any questions your guests may have. Make sure your guests know that all questions should be directed towards your trusty sidekick.wedding-planning-bridesmaids-inspiration

Designate tasks to your bridesmaids – they want to help!

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3 cheap party ideas (for this bank holiday & beyond!)

If you love entertaining and organising parties, but haven’t currently got the budget to spend on a fancy dinner party or big blow out with drinks, decorations and entertainment, then that’s no reason to put your hosting skills on ice. Bank holiday weekends tend to have a party atmosphere (woo an extra night out!) and bring out a fun, cheeky side in everyone so it’s a great time to get your pals together for an impromptu party. There are lots of ways you can put together a fun gathering for your friends without spending much at all, and can be just as much fun as elaborate parties if you have some lively guests and keep everybody mingling. Here are three thrifty ideas for parties you could hold this bank weekend and beyond…

‘Pot Luck’ BBQ

Summer is coming, and this can only mean barbecues. Honestly, it wouldn’t be a bank holiday without someone dragging a BBQ out of the shed and getting all smoky with the sausages. Of course, buying all the food and other provisions for a good barbecue can quickly become expensive, so why not take the American concept of a ‘pot luck’ party? This is where everyone invited has to prepare and bring along a dish, and as it is a barbecue you can also give them the option to simply bring along some meat to cook. This can be a really nice idea if you have some friends who love to show off their cooking skills as they’ll bring something really delicious, but those who are less interested in the kitchen can just turn up with a pack of burgers or chicken for everyone to enjoy.pieday friday bbq flavoured olive burgers recipe

Check out my homemade BBQ burger recipe

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Tuesday Shoesday – Shoes fit for an awards ceremony

In case you didn’t already hear me bleating on about it on Twitter – I’m going to the UK Blog Awards! So basically, you’ll be treated to lots of preparation posts on the blog this week, showing you exactly what dress and accessories I’m going to wear, the make-up and skincare I’m using and, today, you’re going to see which shoes I’ve chosen to wear for the big event. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to hear about other people’s preparations for special occasions (yes, I am a nosy gal) PLUS it’s handy to have an idea of what my favourite bloggers will be wearing so that I can spot them in a crowd at the awards ceremony! So I figured, if I’M interested in this, maybe you’ll be interested to hear about what I’ve been getting up to in preparation for the UK Blog Awards…comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-2 comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-14 comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-4So, lets start at the bottom and focus on the shoes. Well, it IS Tuesday Shoesday after all. When it comes to choosing heels for any occasion I always head straight to Hotter. It’s literally the only place I can find beautiful heels that don’t hurt my feet. So when all your friends are hobbling home shoe-less after a night of wearing too-high shoes and you’re skipping along without a pinch in your comfy heels, you’ll be pleased that you chose Hotter shoes too! I can wear them all day at weddings, I can dance lindy-hop all night, and I’ve even worn a pair while waltzing on the dancefloor of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Love them for all occasions and events so, of course I’ve chosen a new pair for the UK Blog Awards too. comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-7 Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Shoes fit for an awards ceremony” »


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Ideas for a James Bond themed party

Organising a party that has an underlying theme to it can be a pretty difficult thing to do at the best of times, but if you are aiming to provide food that fits this theme then the task gets even tougher. The enduring popularity of the James Bond franchise, and the recent release of its latest smash hit – Spectre – have led to more people organising Bond themed parties. This lets people dress as 007 himself, or Bond girls, and enjoy casino themed foods – but how do you go about preparing these?james bond themed party decor ideas

Decorating ideas from ‘Catch My Party’ blog

Jam-filled playing card biscuits

It is not hard to see how these would be the perfect edible addition to a James Bond casino themed party and the great thing about them is that they are perfect for guests of all ages. Create the dough by sifting sugar into your bowl and beating together with lemon zest and butter until it is fluffy in consistency. At this point beat in egg yolk, salt and flour, before rolling the dough out and cutting it into roughly 7-inch rectangles. These should be frozen for half an hour minimum before being cut down to rectangles of around 2 inches each and baked for ten minutes. Once they have cooled, you cut the card symbols into them using cookie cutters and add the red or black jam to create the finished cards.playing card biscuits for james bond themed party

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How to re-fashion your wardrobe this weekend

What are your plans for the weekend? Not all that busy? Well I’ve just found out about something that I’d love you to get involved with. A series of special events is taking place in and around London this weekend and, if you’re anything like me, I think you’d love to go to some (or all!) of it.  Yes, if you’re a thrifty-minded soul with a love of fashion (and all things earth-friendy) I know you’re going to love this…Coloured threads Hands knitting_RefashionEastSo, what on earth am I talking about? Well, this weekend the social change charity Hubbub are teaming up with the fabulous gang at Rags Revival to host a series of re-fashion events. Any idea what that means? I had no clue until I started looking into it; the re-fashion events are a social experiment to encourage and help people extend the life of their clothes, through a series of exciting workshops and fun clothes-swapping events. The events will take place across the weekends of 23rd and 24th January as well as the 30th and 31st January 2016 and, best of all, the experiment is a success and enough people head to these fun activities, the re-fashion events will be rolled out nationally. Embroidery_RefashionEastswishing image 9 janThe fact that 1/3 of our wardrobes remain unworn is one of those ‘urban myths’ yet Hubbub has confirmed that it’s true! According to new research from Hubbub the underused clothing lurking in our wardrobes is worth £30billion, and that’s a figure that has really shocked this thrifty gal! I admit, I too have a few things in my wardrobe that I never wear so why am I hanging on to them when someone else could be enjoying them? I honestly don’t know! A clothes-swapping event would be ideal for having a clear out and getting some new outfits for the new year without exchanging cash. That’s especially brilliant considering that payday still feels far away!

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Tuesday Shoesday – Get your skates on!

If you don’t already know it, skating rocks! I’m sure that many of you have been roller skating as a teen, shuffled around an ice rink at a Christmas market or even grabbed a skateboard earlier in life. But to do it as an adult is a whole different experience. It’s actually fun. If you’ve not been skating in years, I’m here to change all that. I want to get you skating!

I probably don’t need to tell you that it’s great exercise, but I do need to tell you what a lovely idea it is to go on a skating date with your other half. You get to hold hands all day, enjoy the exhilaration of going a bit faster than you should, help each stay upright and ‘kiss-it-better’ if you fall down! And with Valentine’s Day coming up in February, what better excuse do you need to try out your childhood hobby again? Okay, my husband and I take plenty of walks, have fun dates and go to lots of events, but roller skating combines all of my favourite experiences and then adds music. That’s how cool it is. And speaking of cool…

Over Christmas my husband and I went ice skating at Somerset House. I actually had no idea that we were going to skate, we were just planning a day out in London to see the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy… or so I thought. We were visiting London just before my birthday and hubby had planned a surprise ice-skating session as a special birthday treat. After a big hug we skipped towards the festive rink, snapped some excited photos and buckled up our ice-skates.

Having only tried to ice-skate once before in my life (and not been all that great at it) my first few steps onto the ice were rather wobbly. I’m usually alright with roller skates, having done a lot of skating as a child (I was utterly fearless at the age of 10!) so feel at home skating around a roller rink. But ice-skating is a completely different experience. I think the slippery ice adds extra jeopardy to an activity that’s already throwing me off balance – you should see me hobbling across the carpeted area after I put my skates on. As accomplished skaters whizzed past me and nervous shufflers like me gripped the sides of the rink, I bravely stepped out onto the ice and immediately had to cling on to my husband to stay upright. Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Get your skates on!” »


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DIY Christmas drinks cart project

With the festive season just around the corner I’ve started to tackle some DIY projects to get ready for the big day in advance. After finding a cute little kitchen trolley at Wayfair, I was inspired to create a Christmas cart – a place to store all my festive ingredients for hot drinks and somewhere to serve up mulled punch all winter long! custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-16custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-27 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-14 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-21I wanted to give the simple white trolley a festive makeover to incorporate it into my Christmas decorating. So rather than just loading my hot chocolate, coffee and candy canes onto the cart, I decided to add a back-board to the trolley, which I’ve covered in pretty polka dot wrapping paper. It will look cute in the kitchen all year round and the red-and-white paper fits in especially well with my Christmas theme this year.custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-2 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-17custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-32 custom made DIY christmas drinks cart project mulled wine hot chocolate spied latte-28 I also added some mug hooks to the shelf in order to turn it into a dedicated drinks trolley and picked out a mulled wine pot with matching cups to help keep the drinks flowing. The fitted wheels mean that I can easily move it around the house, from the kitchen to the dining room, beside the Christmas tree, or wherever the best location is for it during my winter parties. Having all the ingredients for some seasonal hot drinks in one place allows my guests to help themselves to mulled cider, spiced latte or candy cane hot chocolates during every event.

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Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair

Sewing, paper craft, baking, upcycling, embroidery, felting, scrapbooking, jewellery, quilting, DIY, cake decorating, decoupage, knitting, art and teddy-bear making (my favourite!). And that’s just for starters. Yes, on Saturday I went to Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair on the green at Hampton Court Palace and have come away totally inspired. Who knew there were SO MANY crafts out there? So many projects, so little time…Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Fair 2015 photos DIY project cassiefairy blog-18 Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Fair 2015 photos DIY project cassiefairy blog-9 Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Fair 2015 photos DIY project cassiefairy blog-16 Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Fair 2015 photos_The sun was shining as my sister and I made our way to Hampton Court early on Saturday morning and when we arrived we were greeted by decorated marquees, colourful circus tents, giant pom-poms and bunting galore! Kind of what you would expect from a Handmade Fair, but I never imagined that all this craftiness would actually be there, all in one place. It was just like the prettiest wedding you’ve ever been to, multiplied by 100!

The organisers had got the tone of the fair just right; it felt like a local village fete crossed with a very chilled-out festival. Not too big, and not too small. Juuuuust right. There were plenty of free activities to get involved in, music performances in the vintage tea room and lots of space to chill out with a snack. Noone was in a hurry and it never felt overcrowded. I think the nicest thing about the fair was simply knowing everyone there had the same interests as you; even if you enjoyed different disciplines, the essence of your hobby was the same: creating something with your own hands.

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Why a day at the races should be top of your fun list

Seriously, just go for it. It’s an amazing day out. I’ve just about recovered from one of the best days that I’ve had this year and can’t wait to tell you all about it. In fact, I can do better than that; I can take you through my whole day in photos and you can see for yourself. Honestly, book tickets for your nearest racecourse now, you won’t regret it!newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-23 newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-11 newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-2 newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-5So, where did I go? The Jockey Club’s very own July Course at Newmarket. What did I do? Spent an entire day horsing around (argh, the puns have started already). Who did I go with? My husband, but next year I’ll be taking a whole group of friends too, I don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun! What did I see? One of the best live performances I’ve ever seen – and that’s saying something after watching Noel Gallagher at Latitude earlier this year. newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-35 newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-32 newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-31 newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-4 newmarket-racecourse-summer-saturdays-race-day-music-event-6 Continue reading “Why a day at the races should be top of your fun list” »


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Vintage and handmade hats for the races

It’s that time of year again. Just as you’re plucking up the courage to bare your faux-bronzed legs to the world, someone has invited you to the races. Those who’ve been to the races before will know that it can be a full on fashion parade, and finding something glam to wear can cost a fair amount. But fear not! There are some ways you can cut costs, starting with the most crucial part of any race-day outfit – the hat. Here are some ways to get yourself a fabulous hat for a fraction of the price.day at the races hat fascinator DIY

image by  Jennifer Su 

Create your own fascinator

If you love to get creative, you can also make your own fascinator (or head piece) from scratch. To start with, you’ll either need a ready-made base disc (ask your local craft shop or buy one online) or a piece of material called sinamay, which is very durable. The base disc can make a little round base for you to sew decorations onto, or you can use the sinamay to fold and iron into a decorative bow. Both of these, once embellished with your desired decorations or feathers, can be fixed onto a plain silver or fabric head band and there you have it – the finished fascinator! Continue reading “Vintage and handmade hats for the races” »

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