Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


Valentine’s gifts & an idea for a romantic evening at home

With Valentine’s Day coming up next week on the 14th February, I thought I would share some ideas with you for an inexpensive night in with your other half.If you want to avoid the crowds in busy restaurants and don’t fancy filling your home with heart-shaped mugs and pink teddy bears, this could be the solution to both your Valentine’s gifts and evening celebration. Read on to find out more and to enter my Valentine’s giveaway to win a fabulous prize bundle from Dartington Crystal and Bolsius candles. I’m talking about an at-home wine tasting. Or beer tasting. Or simply a mocktail evening, if that’s what you fancy. Pop on some music, light some candles and start sipping! The candles create a relaxed atmosphere and will transform your living room or kitchen into a cosy, intimate space for conversation to flow. Spending time together is the nicest thing about Valentine’s Day, so take this opportunity to have a good old catch-up without the distraction of the TV or internet. Of course, this type of evening in would be lovely whatever the occasion, whether it’s a birthday, your wedding anniversary or just a Friday night. Drinks-wise, you could treat yourselves to a bottle of wine, or go for the mini-bottles (like my tiny Prosecco bottle – just the right amount for two!) if you want to cut costs. This will also help to minimise wastage if you can’t drink a whole bottle on a school night..! Continue reading “Valentine’s gifts & an idea for a romantic evening at home” »


My new London Retro specs

I’m quite picky about the brands that I feature on this blog – I only ever talk about my favourites – and as a thrifty retail kinda gal, the products I share need to be the best bargains around. So when the lovely team at MyOptique got in touch with me last week offering all my readers the chance to win a free pair of their super-cool glasses, how could I possibly say no?! Not only is it a treat for you guys, but luckily, when I looked into their product range, I found a massive selection of über-cool designs at super-saver prices – I am officially a MyOptique fan and I’m not ashamed to say it!

my optique london retro glasses

As a glasses-wear since my teens, I’ve spent years wearing the wrong kind of glasses for me and have always been driven to contact lenses as a result. Every time I head to the opticians (usually a famous high street optician) I am always left slightly deflated by their product range and I find it really difficult to choose a pair of glasses at a price that I’m happy to pay. Lets face it, I’m never going to be the kind of person to spend hundreds of pounds on a pair of glasses – I know that I change my mind so often to I’ll probably be fed up with the design in a couple of months time, plus I am super-clumsy and am likely to sit on them and do them some damage! So it makes sense to me to shop as thriftily for specs as I would with any other piece of clothing. But with this ethos usually comes a lack of choice and I always have to allocate at least an hour to umm and ahh over the glasses and eventually chose a pair from the limited range. Thank goodness that I have now found MyOptique!

The designs on the website are very cool and exactly what I have been looking for all these years. Their London Retro range are fabulously well designed and do exactly what the name suggests – they are retro-style specs with a modern twist so I won’t end up looking like my grandma in an NHS pair! The glasses in this collection are named after iconic London stations and famous locations around the capital. I chose this pair of Carnaby glasses for their funky shape – I now feel like a trendy fashion blogger when I wear them! 😉 They were available in 3 colour choices but I went for red. I was delighted when they arrived looking exactly like the images online: a gorgeous deep burgundy red that would go with most of the clothing in my wardrobe – I’m a sucker for burgundy and can’t get enough of it! Plus these glasses come with a scratch-resistant and anti-reflective lenses (which I’d usually have to pay extra for!) as standard, which is great news for a clumsy glasses-dropper like me!

london retro glasses from my optique

So, on to the good news about the giveaway – one lucky reader will win their favourite pair of London Retro glasses from MyOptique but don’t worry if you don’t need prescription glasses – they can be made up as sunglasses too so will be great for everyone! It’s so simple to enter and there are no questions to answer. Just do the following:

  1. Like my Cassiefairy Facebook page
  2. Like MyOptique’s Facebook page
  3. Post on MyOptique’s wall “Enter Cassiefairy Blog’s Giveaway”

That’s all there is to it! The giveaway will run for 7 days ending on Wednesday 26th February at 23:59pm. The lucky winner will be contacted directly and please reply to the message within 48 hours, otherwise another winner will have to be chosen!

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Three hot summer sunglasses trends

In summer, we all take out our best attire from the back of the closet: those tiny swimsuits, those stellar heels, the raffia clutches and, of course, the craziest sunglasses. We’re entitled to: it’s festival season, it’s vacation season and it’s, ultimately, the hottest season. There’s no better excuse to wear the coolest stuff, those things that make us feel free and happy. And speaking of sunglasses, here are three of the hottest trends to wear this summer:

1. Blue mirror lenses

vogue paris sunglasses photo from glasses on web

Image ℅ Vogue Paris

Mirror lenses are a hit lately! We don’t just like them on sports sunglasses, for their high protection, but also on our everyday, urban shades. While yellow and green may still be around, it seems that blue mirror lenses are the most popular this season. Great news, if you’ve always wanted blue eyes! Plus, they don’t just look good with matchy-matchy looks like this one, but with almost every other summer trend, including neons and tropical style.

2. Neon pops

the glamourai glasses on web sunglasses trends

Image ℅ The Glamourai

One of the perks of summer is being able to wear bold colors. Neons are, of course, our favorites. Neon sunglasses look amazing, but it’s even better when they’re not entirely colored: the interior or just the arms can make them pop, while keeping a formal front. Kind of like the old saying: “business in the front, party in the back”. Get the exact same look of Kelly Framel (pictured) with the Ray Ban Clubmasters in top brown on yellow.

3. Embellished frames

dolce and gabanna glasses on web

Image ℅ Dolce&Gabbana

You’ve seen these around, you might have even DIY-ed a pair: embellished sunglasses. Anna Dello Russo made them wild in her H&M collection, putting animals at the corners of the frames, while other designers kept it light, with delicate flowers. Other possibilities include baroque embellishments, rock’n’roll studs and spikes, pretty pearls or glitter.

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Looking spexy Holly Willoughby

I don’t know whether she actually needs glasses to see, but I’ve spotted my favourite TV girly – the gorgeous Holly Willoughby – wearing specs recently and it has got me thinking about my own glasses and how I can make myself look as cool as she does in eyewear.

Image courtesy of Now Magazine

Image courtesy of Now Magazine

I’ve needed ‘optical enhancement’ in order to see properly since I was a teenager and I’ve made some pretty disastrous choices in the glasses department over the years. After my very first sight test (and being told I needed glasses as an already kinda nerdy teenager) I remember badgering my mum to buy me some funky (or so I thought at the time) Nike glasses with green frames and springs on the arms. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, they were out of our price range and I went home with a pair of specs that would rival NHS glasses in the style stakes. Needless to say, I never wore them, and struggled on squinting at the blackboard (yes, we still had blackboards in those days!).

Cassiefairy's glasses

I’ve never seen anything like those green glasses since, but I’ve forever been trying to make good eyewear choices and wear something that makes me look as cool and as secretary-like as Holly does in hers, but this has resulted in the selection of not-so-trendy choices of purple-and-blue frames, pink sparkly and half-rims in the photo above. I once ordered some red frames for my hubby but accidentally bought them in MY prescription by mistake – so he never wore them, and even though I tried to pull them off, red-rimmed eyes are not really the look I want to go for, so I never wore them either. The most recent pair I’ve bought are the black thick frames. I spent an hour trying on tons of frames in the shop and I think that my hubby was getting pretty impatient by the end when be told me to buy these black ones “which look great”. They are comfortable to wear (I’m wearing them right now) but they are not cool or spexy, and they are just a bit too pointy for my face – I look like I’m trying to be an extra in Grease

I’ve basically stuck to contact lenses all these years and envied girls like Holly who can make glasses look geek chic. So now I’m hunting around for a pair of ‘vintage’ style specs as my next too-cool-for-school eyewear accessory and I’ve come up with this wish list from Optical Express including Guess by Marciano colourful print frames, square Jimmy Choo glasses and ultimate-secretary style Dior specs and his-n-hers eyewear from Gucci. Now that’s what you call a shopping list!

Images courtesy of Optical Express

Images courtesy of Optical Express

Fair enough, if I actually ordered a pair and they were on my face, I’d probably chicken out and go back to the contacts, so it’s probably best if I stick with some cheap ‘n’ cheerful glasses to start with! But you can’t blame me for trying to look like Holly Willoughby, who wouldn’t want to?!

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