Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


Tuesday Shoesday – Those “other” accessories…

It may be Tuesday Shoesday but today I’m doing things a bit differently. Instead of focusing on beautiful shoes and fabulous bargains, I’ve decided to check out that ‘other’ all-important accessory instead: the handbag. It’s equally as important as shoes – you probably don’t ever leave the house without it – and it can have so many uses that it’s hard to know where to start when you’re shopping for a new one. That’s where I come in. Today’s blog post is a wishlist of handbags for every occasion and all purposes. Plus one of these bags is an absolute steal and I am definitely buying it! Can you guess which? Let’s get started…handbag satchel clutch bag school work wedding spring summer 2016 shoppingFirst up is satchels. I carry a satchel myself most days. They’re small enough to carry without putting too much of a strain on my arm or back (yes, I love a cross-body strap) and they’re big enough to hold everything I need day-to-day. They can look rather cool in a back-to-school kind of way too, and remind me of my college years. I posted a photo of my own satchel on Instagram recently for a ‘what’s in my bag’ tag, so you can have a nosy at my tiny little everyday satchel if you like. It’s embossed leather and deep blue so goes perfectly with most of my autumn/winter wardrobe. I’d quite like to have a brighter, summer version of my satchel to migrate over to during the warmer months.handbag satchel school work yellow spring summer 2016

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How to be a good bridesmaid


Your bestie finally asked — you’re going to be a bridesmaid! The next few months (or even years) are going to be a whirlwind of planning, preparation and parties. If you’re going to go down in history as the best bridesmaid ever, you’ll need to up your game. While I’m away for the last of the school holidays (and I’ll report back on what we got up to next week!) House of Fraser has been kind enough to write a guest post for me, sharing their tips on being a good bridesmaid:bridesmaid dress house-of-fraser-brocade1.     Wear the dress

The most important part of your role in the wedding is the bridesmaid dress, so you’re naturally going to have some opinions and preferences around what you would like. By all means tell the bride what style suits you and which colours you like but when your comments start to turn into diva demands, it’s time to stop. Remember, it’s not your wedding, so if the bride has settled on a bridesmaid dress that may not be to your taste, bite your tongue and wear it.

2.     Make sure you’re 100% invested

As we’ve already mentioned, there’s more to being a bridesmaid than following the bride down the aisle. Rather, you’ll dedicate months — maybe even years — of your life to wedding planning, dress fittings, hair trials and hen parties. If you can’t commit to all events, you should consider whether you should be a bridesmaid in the first place.

house of fraser bridesmaid dresses

Cobalt blue bridesmaid dresses from House of Fraser

3.     Start saving in advance

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. If the bride and groom need to reign in their spending, you may be asked to buy your own dress or shoes, or pay for your own hair and makeup. Throw in a wedding present and hen party spends and the costs can quickly mount up. Start saving as soon as you’re asked to be a bridesmaid, so you won’t be strapped for cash in the long run. Continue reading “How to be a good bridesmaid” »

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Mary Queen of Strops

Why is Mary Portas mooching around London with a face like a smacked backside? Watching her show Mary Queen of Frocks last night, I was disgusted by her stampy-footed demeanour – this is a grown woman who has been handed everything she ever wanted on a silver plate yet continues to throw her dummy out of the pram whenever she doesn’t get her own way.

House of Fraser have taken a risk on an unproven retailer and have given her a massive department in their Oxford street flagship store for free, yet Mary pouts like a kid outside a sweet shop when they refuse to let her sell dildos in a family store. International fashion designer Antonio Berardi is creating her every whim in fabric, again for free, and Mary throws the strop of the century when House of Fraser want a few of their own designers’ clothing which she has approved in her store – sorry, their store.

And to top it all of, the moody madam doesn’t want to be associated with the brand at all. Mary doesn’t want her face on any of the advertising, yet the store is called ‘Mary’ and her mannequins are Portas-a-likes with bright orange bobs. The woman has used her ‘celebrity’ to get the whole project done, and I don’t believe for a second that she didn’t realise that House of Fraser would quite rightly want to use her face to sell the stock and attract the customers, when they have invested £3million in the project. Yet tantrums galore ensue and I turned off the TV with a look fo disdain on my face. Where have I seen that look before Mary..?

Here’s what Mary Portas discussed in the Channel 4 chat interview following the show:

Question: Why did you allow your face to be used in the marketing campaign when you were so against it?

Mary Portas: Because whilst I own my business and I lead my business in fashion and in my agency, I still believe in the democratic opinion of my people, and I was simply outvoted. I don’t like it but it was used just the once, on the escalators – the rest were all my campaign. With business and partnerships there’s always an element of compromise. People think I bulldoze but I don’t, I really do listen.

Question: Why didn’t you open a shop of your own rather than use House of Fraser to launch your store?

Mary Portas: I will open a shop of my own, for sure, but I had a tight timescale to create this – I only had nine months, which was the filming schedule, and I would not have been able to achieve that and get the infrastructure together in my own shop. I also wouldn’t have been able to create the depth of the collection on my own. I looked at it every which way but this was the best solution. But I WILL do one on my own!

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