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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Tips for a day out at Ipswich Transport Museum

If you like buses, trams, motor bikes, old trucks and fire engines (or lawnmowers, for that matter) this is the museum for you. It’s packed full of vintage vehicles and, while it looks unassuming from the outside, it’s like a tardis inside. There are plenty of additional display that lead off from the main bus station hanger, and you can even see inside the workshops where restoration projects are ongoing. But it’s not just an interesting history exhibit – there are plenty of interactive displays too. With opportunities to hop aboard retro buses and trams, it’s simply fascinating for the little ones. Plus, they can even have a go on the fire engine! Here are some snaps from my visit to the transport museum and my tips for making a visit.day out ipwich transport museum school holiday trip-8 day out ipwich transport museum school holiday trip-12 day out ipwich transport museum school holiday trip-10day out ipwich transport museum school holiday trip-11Parking – While I didn’t spot a dedicated car park, there’s plenty of parking space available beside the industrial road which runs alongside the museum hangar. And there’s no charge to park.

Food and drink – The Sunbeam Tea Rooms offers food and drink at reasonable prices, or you could take a picnic to enjoy on the grassed area outside the front of the museum. We popped in and out of the museum all day long, so readmission is possible.

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DIY project – How to sew a campervan playhouse

I’m taking glamping to the next level. Yes, I’m talking about camping indoors. Okay, maybe this playden for the little ones isn’t quite waterproof, so it’s not really festival-friendly. And it’s more a playhouse than a stayhouse. Even so, it’s something that my nephew really wanted – his very own campervan, just like daddy. One sunny afternoon I set about making a mini-version of a VW camper especially for him, and actually stitched it up in my own caravan workshop. How many caravans went into making this playhouse? At least two! Read on to find out how to make a mini camper den for your children, your friend’s little ones or your nephews and nieces.

The campervan den is actually a table cover. Its frame is created by the dining table so the first step is to take the measurements of the table you’re planning to use. It could be a fold out picnic table, a 8 person dining table, whatever kind of table you have at home is fine, as long as the kids can sit underneath it. The table will determine the side of the playhouse you’ll be able to make so measure the top and each side so that you have the measurements you’ll need to cut out a cover from fabric.caravan campervan playhouse playroom den wendyhouse sewing project diy step by step tutorial_-3 I used the measurements to make a paper template of all four sides and the top. I then divided the sides into thirds, cutting the top section out of strong white fabric, and the bottom two-thirds from green canvas. The top was the same white fabric and I simply cut one of the longer sizes in half to create a door entrance. If you want to create a VW campervan effect on the front of the cover, cut a ‘V’ shape at the bottom of the white fabric to extend into the green area. I drew the symbol on the fabric using a permanent pen, but you could sew on the shape at this stage if you prefer.caravan campervan playhouse playroom den wendyhouse sewing project diy step by step tutorial_Use a cereal box to make a template for rounded window holes. When you’re happy with the size of the windows, trace two holes onto the front white piece of fabric, two on the side piece, one on each ‘door’ and one window on the back piece. Cut out the holes and then – the fun part – I used some sparkly silver tulle to cover the windows.caravan campervan playhouse playroom den wendyhouse sewing project diy step by step tutorial_-4

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Tips for a healthy summer holiday with the family

How are you enjoying the school summer holidays so far? We’ve already enjoyed a few days of sunshine and got stuck into our favourite outdoor activities, such as swimming, walking and going on bike rides. I think that the school holidays is a great time of year for the whole family to make a change towards living a more healthy lifestyle. It’s easier to feel motivated to get outside and be active while the weather is lovely. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce the kids to the idea of eating more healthily too, with plenty of salads, pasta and couscous on the menu during BBQ season!homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-18

Check out my healthy coleslaw recipe on the blog – no mayo in this dish!

With that in mind, I wanted to share something with all you mums and dads out there, to help you with some fun ideas for the school holidays that will also help your family to live a more healthy life. As part of National Childhood Obesity Week, which rans from 4th July 2016, NRS Healthcare launched a digital Healthy Living Family Pack to help families with children who may be experiencing issues with overeating, inactivity or poor nutrition and it contains useful ideas on how families can pull together to become more active in their daily lives.day out wild flower walk spring-2

A wildflower hunt is a free activity that gets the kids moving – read about my recent countryside walk here

What does the Healthy Living Family Pack include?

The digital Family Pack is available to download for free from the NRS website and the pack contains useful information and ideas for parents, coupled with an interactive star chart for children to track their activities in a fun, informal way. Families can learn more about childhood obesity and how to actively approach the subject through the pack contents, which include:

  • Family Activity Cards
  • A Family Day Out Wish List
  • Daily Chores Calorie Counter (for parents)
  • A Chore Chooser Star Chart (for children)blue suede shoes - his n hers brogues_-4

Find ideas for low-cost and fun days out for the school holiday on my blog – here

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4 low-cost rainy day activities for the summer holidays

After waiting all year for the summer holidays to arrive, it’s unfortunate when the weather forecast looks gloomy. Even though we’ve been having lovely sunny days here recently, it’s almost inevitable that a couple of days will be drizzly during the long summer break. So what can you do with the kids when they’re stuck inside on grey days? I’ve come up with a couple of ideas to keep little ones entertained but that don’t cost a fortune.Easy recipe for baking cheese, fruit and cherry scones

Cooking

I love to bake with my niece and nephew and try to do it as often as I can. It’s so lovely to watch them get stuck into stirring up a recipe and see the concentration on their faces as they follow the recipe instructions. Add the ingredients to your weekly shopping in the run up to the summer holidays and you could have everything you need in the cupboard, ready for a rainy day. You can mix up a simple can’t-go-wrong recipe for milk loaf with the kids in the morning, and they can turn it into sandwiches by lunchtime. Baking scones or cornflake cakes during the afternoon guarantees a calm tea-time as they sit down to enjoy the treats they made.

Build a den

Remember how much fun it was to build a den when you were little? It costs nothing to make – you just need some sheets, pegs and bits of furniture. Use a drying rack to prop up blankets as a roof, and throw duvets and cushions on the floor for comfort. And when your den is complete, take some snacks and treats (perhaps something they’ve baked themselves) inside it to enjoy an indoor picnic, or get out the colouring books.rainy day activity summer holidays scrapbook craft

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Weekend DIY project – Welly boot plant pots

Everybody knows wellington boots are an amazing accessory for any wet day, but unfortunately we tend to find ourselves only wearing them a handful of times throughout the year. As a result of this, especially with the little ones, the next time you go to pop them on they’re too small. Well, if you find this to be the case then don’t worry, you can make yourself some welly planters! What better way to not only add a little fun to your garden, but to recycle too! Here’s a guide on how you can make your wellies into fun little plant pots and add a little extra colour to your garden.welly boot DIY project_-9

Make your own DIY planter from recycled wellies!

Before you begin making your welly planters, there’s a few things you’ll need:

  • Wellington Boots
  • A Drill
  • Compost
  • Seeds
  • Watering Can
  • Stones or Pebbles
  • Waterproof labels (if you wish to label your plants)

Now you have everything you need, you can get started. Make sure you wash your wellington boots with warm water and a little soap, just to give them a freshen up. Dry them off with an old tea towel and then you’re good to go. You can use new wellington boots if your current ones still fit, that’s up to you, but I’d recommend going rummaging at the carboot sale to pick up a used pair for pennies! Next, remove any insoles or liners that are inside the wellington boots, as we need as much space as we can get.

Hold the wellington from the bottom, sole facing upwards (and use a clamp on a workbench to hold it in place!) while you drill a few small holes around the edges of the boot and a couple on the sole. This will make sure that when you water your plants, the water drains out evenly and the compost will be able to breathe. Fill the bottom of the wellington with some stones or pebbles, this is to weigh the welly down so that if there are any blustery days, your new planter will be less likely to fall over. Also, having stones at the bottom will make it that little bit easier for the water to drain out, as there will be room between the compost and the holes.

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Looking forward to Easter – Mini-eggs, toys and outdoor fun

With the big Easter holiday looming at the end of the month (and a bit of time off, phew!) I’ve been busy making plans for Easter fun with the family. We all love to get together at some point over the four-day holiday and enjoy a meal together, as well as organising an Easter egg hunt around the garden. It’s always great fun entertaining the little ones at this time of year, as they love to run around the garden, ride on their toy tractors and spot the daffodils coming up.easter eggs baked chocolate cheesecake recipe-7Having already had a trial run of my Easter cheesecake recipe, and with lots of bags of mini eggs rattling around in the cupboard I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to make Easter cornflake cakes and I wanted to make them now! So I’ve actually already been making super-cute Easter cakes with the smallest members of my family this week. And it was an very enjoyable cooking session indeed, not least because I got to take a tray of cornflake cakes home with me to scoff all week long!recipe cooking with children easter inspiration recipe ideas Continue reading “Looking forward to Easter – Mini-eggs, toys and outdoor fun” »


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Spruce up your garden in time for Easter

Believe it or not, winter is almost over! It’s nearly time for those lighter evenings and sunny mornings and I actually cannot wait. This does mean that the long awaited (by children mainly) Easter holidays are creeping up on us, and we can almost hear the cry of ‘I’m bored’ in the background. There are so many ways in which you can utilise your home and garden to get the best from it without having to spend a fortune. Here are a few ways in which you can make the most out of your garden for both yourselves and your little ones.diy painting and installing small shed - duck egg blue beach hut in garden-20Garden TLC

First things first, your garden will probably need some tender loving care. We’re all guilty of neglecting our gardens when those blistery winter days set in and the rain doesn’t stop for weeks, however now that the days are getting brighter there’s no better time to get outside and have a little tidy. Decide what you want to get from your garden, how much space you need, things you might want to add etc. My husband and I actually dug over the veggie patch last weekend, so it’s already ready for the seeds to be sown. If you have decking or patio space and want to host a few ‘get togethers’ over the summer then give it a quick clean, get rid of any little weeds that have settled in over the winter and then you’re good to go!summer party - garden table and chairs in wild flower meadow-9

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Tuesday Shoesday – Fit for a Prince

When I wrote about my new Crocs sandals a couple of months ago I got loads of replies from surprised Instagrammers, tweeters and bloggers who couldn’t believe that my sandals were made by this brand. They looked nothing like the chunky Crocband clogs that have been so popular over recent years and the funky jelly design of my sandals certainly turned a few heads. I loved my rainbow Crocs at first sight and I’ve seen lots of fashionistas sporting these pretty and comfortable sandals since – including Ree Ree Rockette looking gorgeous in the wedge version (next on my list!). kate-george-crocs

Image: Rex Features/Associated Press

Well it turns out that we bloggers are quite the trend-setters; now even Prince George has been spotted wearing the famous brand. I like to think that the Duchess of Cambridge read my blog post and decided that if Crocs were good enough for me, they were good enough for her son too. Yes, that’s probably what happened.

(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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Dream a little dream… big boys beds

You may remember that I shared a blog post about cushions with you and promised that I’d be having a go at sewing my own accessories over the weekend? However, it’s now Wednesday and my cushions are still not completely finished. They are in progress though – I’ve cut the fabric, chosen a suitable backing fabric for the cushions and have decided on a simple pillowcase opening at the back of the cushions. The only thing left to do now is to actually sit at the sewing machine and stitch them together. It’s just that I’ve struggled with motivation this week and would really rather be playing around on Pinterest! Oh well, the cushions are coming soon – I promise! Here’s a photo of my striped fabric and the red-rose cushions are the ones that will be re-covered (although I will keep the red rose covers to use in  my caravan!) – see how close I am to getting them done?!

dream a little dream cushions for bedroom makeover

In the meantime, another special person in my life is having a bedroom makeover – my nephew. He has finally grown out of his cot and a new big boys bed has been bought for him. I wondered how he would handle the transition into a big bed, but his parents have been excellent at introducing the bed slowly – putting him in it when he has fallen asleep for his afternoon nap and then he’s been waking up in the bed so he’ll slowly get used to it. My nephew even took me to his bedroom to show me the new bed and I was so impressed when he hopped into bed and pulled the duvet up over him – now I think that’s a good sign and hopefully he’ll be a child who won’t have any trouble moving into his big boys bed!

steens for kids midsleeper bed from childrensbedshop

Steens midsleeper beds for girls and boys

I’m already thinking about the next step and what my lovely nephew will be sleeping in next and I think these Steens for kids high sleeper beds are excellent for growing boy and girls. A small bed turns into a cabin bed as he gets older and will certainly make the most of the space in his little bedroom by allowing room for storage and playspace underneath the bed. Pretty cool, huh? See, I told you I was spending too much time ‘researching’ bedrooms online rather than finishing off my own bedroom makeover! But I will get back to it soon, honest 😉 In the meantime, here are links to my other bedroom makeover articles so you can catch up with any you’ve missed:

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