Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


My little vintage caravan – I’ve been featured in Caravan Magazine!

Did you know it’s World Smile Day today? I can’t think of a nicer event! It’s got me thinking about the things that make me smile and, aside from my family and friends of course, this includes my caravan, sunny days and beautiful flowers. So I’ve nipped out to my caravan to take some photos of my latest projects and to share the things that make me smile on World Smile Day.vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-11vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-10vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-22vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-16vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-25I also wanted to share the awesome news that my very own little vintage caravan has been featured in Caravan Magazine! A double-page spread, no less. Pretty cool, huh? I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Ben Hackney for the magazine earlier this year and couldn’t wait for the article to be published. It’s in the September issue of Caravan Magazine on page 44 (yes, I’ve memorised it!) and they’ve made the photos of my caravan look amazing – check out all those fabulous cut outs; I need a design team like that for my blog! vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-24vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-18vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-20vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-23It is such an honour to be featured in this wonderful UK publication and I am so pleased that people are interested to read about my caravan antics. I proudly showed off the article to my family and have even sent a copy to my nan and grandad! To say I’m rather delighted with the article is an understatement! While reading through, it got me thinking about all the other projects I’d love to do in my caravan so I started making a list of things I can work on this autumn, including a door makeover and adding more fairy lights (absolutely necessary for Christmas!).

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A beautiful bouquet for the holidays

It’s half term this week and I’m taking a little time off with my husband. We having a lovely break, full of days out and delicious meals, and I’ve just received a gorgeous bouquet – I’m one lucky lady! This beautiful bunch of blue hydrangea and roses arrived at the start of the bank holiday weekend so I lovingly arranged them in my favourite tin jug and have been enjoying the beautiful scents all week.flower bouquet inspiration blue hydrangea and rose_-5Both my husband and I love having fresh flowers in the house so its a real treat to get a bouquet at the start of the holidays, along with a bottle of wine and a nice box of chocolates; each of these little treats really mark the beginning of a holiday for me and helps me to feel like all the hard work has been worth it!

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Cleaning my caravan & beautiful spring flowers

April was a good month for getting things done. There were equal numbers of bright days to grey days so everything in out home got sorted out, both inside and out. It’s such a lovely feeling to tick lots of chores off our list and I’m going into May with a big smile on my face, knowing that I have a home and garden that I can enjoy through the spring and summer. vintage caravan spring cleaning_-5Of course there’s plenty more jobs to do – a thrifty gal’s work is never done! – but most the horrible ‘pile of rubble’ unappealing tasks have been sorted out, or at least started on, last month and I feel like we’re getting somewhere. summer flowers hyacinth roses tulips-6Also, it’s the time of year when plants start to grow and blossom blooms so my life has been full of spring flowers this month too. The garden is FULL of primroses in all different colours – I never knew there were so many in our garden and I love them – it’s such a pretty spring flower and I’d love to grow even more next year. We decided not to mow the lawn in order to keep the primrose display in the spring flowers_-2 Continue reading “Cleaning my caravan & beautiful spring flowers” »


My little vintage caravan – Bargain hunting & a beautiful bouquet

Happy Wednesday everyone! We’re halfway through the week and hasn’t it been a glorious one? We’ve been enjoying lovely weather here all week and have been able to get out into the garden to spruce up the veggie patch (blog post coming soon, promise!). Whenever the sun is shining, I head out to my little vintage caravan so I think you can probably guess where I’ve been working from this week. And of course, I always get distracted by all the fun things I can do in my caravan, so I’ve been snapping some photos rather than slaving over my laptop and wanted to share these with you today.roses bouquet of flowers vintage caravan_At the weekend I received a beautiful bouquet of roses from iFlorist. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened up the delivery box and such a huge bunch of gorgeous blooms emerged. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many roses in one bunch before!

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Festive flowers

Last week I had a gorgeous bouquet of Christmas flowers delivered to my home. I was having a pre-Christmas party with my family at the weekend and I wanted the place to look as festive as possible to really evoke the feeling of Christmas, despite it still being November! So when Debenhams Flowers offers me the chance to review one of their seasonal bouquets, I jumped at the chance and here are the gorgeous blooms that arrived:debenhams christmas festive flowersThe delivery was arranged in advance so that the bouquet would arrive just before my weekend party, ensuring that the blooms looked their absolute best ŵhen my guests arrived. The fact that my festive floral arrangement was taken care of a couple of weeks before the event was definitely a benefit of the service as it meant that I could forget about it and concentrate on the important last minute preparations, such as food!

When the ‘Designer Velvet Rose’ bouquet arrived, it was safely packaged in a sturdy box, with plenty of water to keep the blooms looking fresh. I unwrapped the bunch of beautiful velvety roses, rich red oriental lilies, and delicate pink ‘grandprix’ roses and I didnt even need to do anything to arrange the display – it was all perfect arranged with stems of berries and silver birch – so I simply popped the whole bunch into a vase and set them on the sideboard.

The roses were beautifully scented and the gentle scent filled the room. I got a lot of comments from my guests about how gorgeous the flowers were and I only wish that they could have lasted longer (about 7 days in a warm house before the petals started dropping) so that I could have enjoyed them for even longer!debenhams christmas festive flowers-5I will definitely be reordering another of Debenham’s luxury bouquets to arrive in time for Christmas and I’ve got my eye on a snowy selection of white roses and silver eucalyptus for the big day itself. I’d also like to order some for my family in far-flung places that I won’t get to visit in person over Christmas so that they know I’m thinking of them.

What about you? Have you ordered from Debenhams Flowers before? What did you think of the bouquets? Or if not, would you consider booking in your delivery in advance so that you have fresh flowers in your home for Christmas to create a hassle-free display? Let me know and leave me a comment below 🙂

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Using garden pumpkins for my autumn display

This week I decided that it was an appropriate time of year to create my annual autumn flowers display in the living room. It’s usually more of an October thing, but I’ve been feeling decidedly autumnal after kicking up the leaves last weekend, writing about my favourite autumn colours and textures on Tuesday Shoesday and blackberry picking (which resulted in a yummy blackberry tart). The squashes that we’ve grown in the garden played a big part in my decision to bring autumn indoors, because they have finally ripened and hardened so were ready to pick.

Growing pumpkins and squashes for autumn

I want to share some photos of the growth of the squash because I really couldn’t believe my eyes when this tiny plant took over the garden, with it’s tendrils travelling all the way to the back fence, sprouting small yellow balls as it went. In the end the plant produced about 30 potential mini-squashes, but the seed packet told me that the plant should only produce 2-3 fruits. I was confused about why my plant was doing so well, but decided to I leave it to do it’s thing and grow as many as possible. Only a couple of weeks later I found out that it had self-selected 4 balls to grow into mini-pumpkins, while all the other fruit balls shrivelled up. Amazing really! Here I’ve used the squashes in my tablescape along with a massive marrow – the courgette that hid away under a massive leaf and managed to grow itself to it’s full potential! Growing pumpkins and squashes for autumn-3 Growing pumpkins and squashes for autumn-6

I decided to go in search of some suitably autumnal flowers to complete the display and I found this ‘Autumn Fields’ bouquet from Debenhams Flowers (use discount code BLOGG33 for 33% off if you want to get your own bouquet for an autumn display!). I was pleased to find the bouquet packed full of orange gerberas, purple phlox and even orangey ‘cherry brandy’ roses – what a great colour combination for September/October and it’s these colours that really recreate the feeling of autumn for me. These really are luxury flowers and it made my sideboard look fantastically to create an autumn floral tablescape display Autumn tablescape display - flowers and pumpkins-2I will probably add to the arrangement as I collect more conkers, autumn leaves and berries on my countryside walks, but for now I think it adds a lovely splash of colour to the room, and it definitely creates a feeling of warmth. It’s at this time of year that I really appreciate our mid-century modern living-room décor, as the teak furniture, leather sofa and orange wallpaper work together to ad warmth to the home and it really does look as autumnal indoors as it does outdoors.

Let me know if you enjoy creating floral displays in your home and get in touch if you’ve ever had an out-of-control plant in your veggie patch – I’d love to hear about it! Please leave me a comment below 🙂

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10 unusual circumstances when flowers might be the answer…

If there ever was a gift that is welcomed in almost any circumstance it is flowers. I love being handed a bunch of flowers and it’s especially nice when it’s completely out of the blue and for no real reason! You can probably tell from all the photos of flowers that I share on my blog just how much I love them and I’m pleased to have an excuse to repost these images today, haha. A nice bouquet can smooth over many arguments, cheer up friends in most occasions and mark any special event. Just this weekend I took a nice autumnal display of orange gerberas and lilies to my mum, just because they looked so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist treating her to them. I’m amazed by the ability of flowers to brighten up any home, make any meal into a special occasion and genuinely lift your spirits.

Thinking about it, and considering how much I enjoy receiving a bouquet, I really should send flowers to my friends and family more often. Really any excuse is a good excuse but I’ve come up with a few of the more unusual reasons that could call for a floral gift:

  1. “Hope you soon get over your hangover”. Or any illness, ailment or even blisters from running the marathon. Some things will take time to get over but a gesture to let them know you care will help.
2. “I bought a Groupon for flowers before thinking it though” – So what if I’m impulsive and love a deal? Someone I know will be delighted that I’m such a bargain-hunter when the bouquet arrives at their door!
pretty summer flowers - roses and lillies - by cassiefairy blog 2014
3.  “Congratulations on gaining 1,000 Twitter followers” – Order the flowers next day delivery and get them sent to your friend at work to give them the perfect opportunity to boast about their latest online achievement
4. “Sorry, you lost 15 Twitter followers” – On the other and, some colleagues might not enjoy the boasting 😉
5.“I’m sorry [insert favourite TV series] has finished” – Some things will take time to get over but a gesture to let them know you care will help. I was so inconsolable when Friends finished (did you know it actually started 20 years ago this week?!) that a bunch of flowers would have definitely cheered me up!
Hydrangea flowers-2
4. “Thank you for not mentioning the drunken nonsense I talked at you the other night” – Show your appreciation of your friend’s steadfast willingness to stick to unspoken social convention. In fact, any support from your bestie should warrant flowers to celebrate your fabulous friendship.
5. On the anniversary of a friend smashing their (uninsured) phone screen – Show you care by remembering the little traumas which will stay with your friend even if they are inconsequential to most. Okay, maybe the phone screen is going a little far – just any time your pal needs cheering up.

6. “Sorry, your new dog is crazy” – If your friend has wanted a new dog for years and finally gets one which turns out to be a furry wrecking ball. A bunch of boldly coloured flowers will brighten up a smashed up house. Just make sure they put them in a high place.

  1. “I don’t know when your birthday is … Yes, I’ve known you for over 20 years” A tricky question to broach – so say it with flowers and hope that you’ve at least got the right month!
10. On the anniversary of Dirty Dancing or just to say “Thank you for watching Dirty Dancing with me for the 14th time” – because it’s not the same alone and looks loads better on your friend’s massive flat-screen TV than on your 15 inch 😉

Let me know if you can think of any other unusual but totally legitimate reasons for sending your friends an unexpected gift and leave me a comment if you’ve ever done something like this for your friends or family. Get in touch via Twitter @cassiefairy or email me chat to you soon!

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Are these the most garish flowers ever?

Blimey, these flowers are bright! How do they even make flowers in these colours? You can’t pull the wool over my eyes: I’m suspicious that they aren’t naturally bright blue and violet…

Hubby brought these flowers home for me recently and they really brightened up my day. By which I mean they made me laugh out loud. His reason for buying them were that ‘they looked so horrible and garish’ plus ‘they were reduced to 61p’. That makes them the perfect bunch of flowers in my opinion! Honestly, these photos don’t do justice to just how bright and lurid these flowers are.

I’m even more pleased that they matched the lilac and blue bobbly jumper I was wearing at the time, although they rather overshadowed my outfit! But how did these flowers get their colour? I’m pretty sure it’ll be some sort of dying through absorbing coloured water or something similar.

Anything as delightfully tacky as this is a good purchase in my opinion and they are still keeping me smiling – these crazily-coloured flowers have lasted for ages!


Colour-changing flowers…

Does anyone know anything about plants? Hydrangea bushes, in particular? It’s one of the few plants that was already living in our garden when we moved in two years ago and I really like it. I’ve been delighted with the sheer volume of flowers it produces each year and I love bringing them indoors for a summery floral display.


The thing that has confused me about the plant is that they flowers seem to have changed colour. When we first moved in, the bush produced lilacy-blue flowers. Last year hubby gave it a strict pruning and when the flowers have bloomed this year they are all different colours; pink, blue, lilac and all shades in-between. Is this typical of a Hydrangea or have we done something wrong? Either way, I’m pleased with the variety of colours and it’s created a lovely display this year.

Hydrangea plant

There are so many flower heads on the bush that even after I’ve taken a big bunch of Hydrangea flowers to my mum yesterday there are still about 50 more flowers blooming in the garden. It’s definitely one of my favourite flowers and I’d love to grow some more Hydrangea plants – does anyone know whether I could take a cutting from my existing bush? And does anyone have any idea about why the flowers have changed colour? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Hydrangea flowers-2

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Roses and Lilies

Today I just wanted to share a photo of a beautiful bunch of flowers I’m enjoying at home. There’s nothing better than having fresh flowers in the house; they brighten up the space, bring a focal point to the room and the smell of these roses and lillies is amazing!

pretty summer flowers - roses and lillies - by cassiefairy blog 2014

Hubby brought home the roses for me to celebrate my appearance in the local paper (see my blog post about it here) and a few days later he returned from picking up milk and bread at the supermarket with these lilies – which were reduced, despite the fact that most of the buds hadn’t even opened yet! That’s the kind of gift I like to receive from hubby – something thoughtful but thrifty! The roses had been marked down too, so my perfectly colour coordinated flower display only cost less than £4! They have already lasted a week and after a water change and stem trim, they are still blooming nicely. How silly that shops would think that flowers are ‘past it’ if a couple of buds have opened up, but how great that I can enjoy fresh flowers in my home for a tiny price! I’m always going to check the flower section in the supermarket from now on to see if I can find any more fresh floral bargains.

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