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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DIY Neon sign for parties & weddings

I’ve made my first ever neon sign. It’s going to take pride of place in my office in a few months time but I couldn’t wait for all the decorating to be done before showing you the project. It took just a couple of hours, a can of bright pink spray paint and a length of EL wire to create this unique sign. So simple, but really effective. The full step-by-step guide to making the neon sign can be found in my blog post for Make It Yours. It may look complicated, but it’s actually a really simple process that involves some easy drilling and a spot of hot-gluing. I got my EL wire from Ebay, but it’s also available on Amazon and in craft stores. It came with a battery pack and the glowing neon is powered by a couple of AA batteries. The wire has three settings – flash, quick flash and steady on. And if you’re not a fan of pink don’t worry, it also comes in blue, purple, green, red and yellow, so your sign could be any – or all – of the above colours.In fact, I think it’s such a simple enough process that I could happily knock up a sign like this for any occasion. How about a ‘just married’ sign for weddings, a ‘Ho Ho Ho’ for Christmas, a huge glowing ‘2018’ for New Year’s Eve or a ‘#girlboss’ sign for your office? If you can think up a phrase, you can make it in neon! The sign I made works great as a candy station for a wedding, anniversary party, hen do, birthday party or even for the upcoming Valentine’s day. Give it a try – I bet you’ll impress yourself with your neon-sign-making skills!

I’m kind of addicted to this technique now – I want to make all kinds of signs in neon and I can already imagine my Halloween decor! But this isn’t the only DIY guide I’ve shared on the Make It Yours website – check out my profile and have a look at my other projects including snowy window decorations, a festive chair, how to distress furniture and a vintage bike makeover. There’s plenty more coming over the next few months so keep an eye on the website for more easy, thrifty and colourful projects during the Spring.


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Pieday Friday – How to make crisps in the microwave + tasty flavour combinations

Oh my goodness, it’s Christmas next weekend. How did that happen? I feel like I’m not entirely ready for it yet so want to get a move on with planning my recipes for the festive period. I shared a round-up of my previous Christmassy recipes last week (including 2 types of gingerbread, coffee shop hacks and some Christmas cake ideas) but my favourite part of Christmas cooking is preparing snacks. I love to have hot crunchy savoury treats in the oven throughout the holidays (and mince pies too, of course) just in case a guest arrives. Surely, there’s nothing better than being welcomed into a home with a big plate of nibbles and treats, is there??pieday-friday-diy-low-fat-healthy-microwave-crisps-recipe-parmesan-paprika-salt-pepper-12I’ve made star tarts, pastry rolls, pizza twists and leftover pasties in the past but never have I attempted to make my own crisps. While I loooove crunchy crisps, I do worry about how healthy (or not!) they are, and I know that I’ll be tempted over Christmas. So when I began craving fried snacks I started to do some research into healthier ways to make my favourite treat. Let’s face it, I’m going to want to eat them all month long, and will definitely be dishing out bowls of crisps on New Years Eve too!pieday-friday-diy-low-fat-healthy-microwave-crisps-recipe-parmesan-paprika-salt-pepper-18It turns out that it IS possible to make crisps without a deep fryer, and all you need is a microwave. Considering that I got a new Panasonic steam combination microwave about three months ago, I was feeling very confident that I’d be able to pull off making my own crisps. It’s got a great range of power settings so knew I’d be able to adjust the power accordingly to get that perfect crunch. Well, noone wants a soggy crisp, do they? Here’s how I got on and the recipe for (wait for it…) parmesan and smoked paprika potato chips.pieday-friday-diy-low-fat-healthy-microwave-crisps-recipe-parmesan-paprika-salt-pepper-16Ingredients: Potatoes (1 ‘jacket’ sized potato will make a small bowlful of crisps), olive oil (or you could use Fry Light for an even healthier version), salt and pepper, dried parmesan and smoked paprika.pieday-friday-diy-low-fat-healthy-microwave-crisps-recipe-parmesan-paprika-salt-pepper-1

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Best wedding & party songs of all-time

Weddings and parties are wonderful occasions. If you talk to practically anyone about their favourite experiences the chances are, somebody’s wedding day or anniversary party will be on that list. I’ve been to a couple of weddings already this year and the best part was dancing the night away with my friends. And I cannot wait for all upcoming festive parties and New Years celebrations… bring it on!dacne with me

“Dance with me” DIY dance floor idea

Good weddings are magical occasions when everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a chance to re-connect with everyone, celebrate a marvellous event, create new memories, dress up, do something special and have a lot of fun. An important element of any wedding is the dancing.

There really is nothing quite like a buzzing dance floor full of family and friends having a great time. Unsurprisingly some records get everyone up dancing and enjoying themselves, whilst others do not really work for a wedding. The popular songs are the ones that you hear being played at every party you go to, and the ones that you’d be disappointed not to hear, like “Walking on Sunshine” or Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration”.

The list is long but here are the best of them, my floor-filling favourites:

water drinks station for wedding or party

I love this rehydration station idea!

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How you should’ve hosted your last New Year’s Party… and ideas for the coming year!

Did you successfully host a New Year’s Eve bash or did you feel that it was too chaotically thrown together at the last minute? With all the expectations surrounding it, sometimes it becomes overwhelming to throw the perfect New Year’s party. However, there are plenty of ways to host an easy, fun party that you and your friends will remember for a long time and you have almost another year to comb the internet and trade ideas with your friends – I’ve already been checking out Pinterest for fab party ideas for next year! From providing quality drinks, simple cuisine, and fun entertainment, plan an all-out bash with these easy tips.christmas new years eve party drinks bubbly

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Pizza twists recipe for your New Years party

I’ve been making these easy party snacks throughout the festive period and I thought I would share the recipe with you today so that you can make it yourself for any New Years parties you might be hosting or attending! As a guest it’s always a good idea to turn up with plateful of tasty treats and this one couldn’t be more simple to make. The pastry only has three ingredients, and you could even use ready-made pastry if you prefer – then it’s just a case of filling your pastry with delicious pizza flavours! Here’s the world’s quickest step-by-step on how to make this recipe:quick and easy pizza twists recipe_-8
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Festive drinks recipes round-up – including hot drinks too!

I’ve already posted a few recipes for making my favourite festive drinks and cocktails so I thought that I would compile each of these articles into one post so that you can find all the Christmas drinks recipes in one place! It’s not just boozy beverages that I’ve been concocting, but lovely hot drinks too so check these out to keep you warm this winter:

Christmas hot chocolate recipes – including boozy cherry, spiced and mint candy cane! 

cheeky christmas cocktails by cassiefairy ginger fizz with rum and lime

Christmas cocktails recipes including Christingle G&T and ginger fizz!

My top 7 cocktails for a Christmas Party

my retro living room autumn decor harvest floral arrangment and spiced apple juiceSpiced mulled drinks recipes

Let me know if you give any of these recipes a go and I’d love to see snaps of your festive hot chocolate creations so please tweet me a photo @Cassiefairy.


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New Years Eve ~ Thank you all for a wonderful year

It’s new years eve and I can’t wait for tonight’s party as the clock ticks over into 2014. I really like even numbers (don’t ask me why, I’ve always been like that) and especially the number 4, so I predict that this coming year will be one of the best yet! I always get a little more spy and emotional on new years eve, thinking back over the year and how things have changed. It’s also mine and my husband’s anniversary of when we first started dating so it’s an extra special day for us!

happy new year 2013

Image via Pinterest

I really want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support over the past year – it’s been a delight sharing my year with you and really getting to know my lovely readers. Without you this blog would just be me rambling on into cyberspace on my own, so I’m thrilled that so many of you stop by every day to check out what I’ve been making and talking about. It makes it all feel worthwhile to know that you’ve been enjoying what I write about and I hope you’ll continue to come back for more over the coming year. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us and I want to send you all my best wishes for a fantastic new year – enjoy yourselves and I’ll see you next year!


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New Years Eve party ~ in the pool!

Today’s blog post is by a guest blogger Carol Atkins who is sharing her plans for an outdoor new year’s party! It all sounds so fantastic that I’m beginning to wish that I lived in a warmer climate and would be able to recreate this party at home! Here’s Carol’s article on what she and her family will be getting up to for New Year’s Eve:

We enjoy having people over, so this autumn we accessorized our family swimming pool to make it more inviting for guests. Gene built an amazing, multilevel redwood deck around our pool, we put all new furniture on it, then accessorized with potted plants and new overhead lighting. We live in a warm climate, and my husband Gene and I agreed we didn’t want to wait until next spring to show off what we’ve done. He suggested a New Year’s Eve party, and we loved the idea, so we began to plan it.

new years eve pool party

Pool party image via Pinterest

Provide warmth. Even though we live in a warm part of the country, and the forecast is for lovely weather, it might get chilly for some people, so we want to allow for that. Gene found a place that will rent the most wonderful patio heaters – he arranged for 4 of them. They look like tall lamps, and the heater is on the top, so it is not like some heater blowing on the sidelines at a football game. He checked them out, and they will heat an area for about four to six feet around the base, so a whole group can stand near it and be warm. If we don’t need them, we just turn them down or off.

Seasonal refreshments. We plan to have the doors to the house open, and inside (where they will stay hot), we will provide eggnog and other hot drinks. We will offer plenty of drink choices at the open bar. There will be coolers on the deck, with plenty of cold beverages.  We’ll also provide a lot of food, because when we throw barbeques, our friends really know how to eat. Speaking of barbeque, Gene will have the grill going – another source of warmth – and I know what will happen. He and his buddies will gather around the grill drinking beer and talking – they really seem to enjoy watching burgers cook. The ladies will congregate at the new patio table and chairs, drinking and eating and chatting away.

christmas new years eve pool party

Gorgeous fairy lights via Pinterest

People will swim. Before the party, Gene will begin to raise the temperature in the pool. He has calculated how much to raise the temperature to make the pool feel like a sauna. We’ve told everyone to bring their bathing suits, and our adventurous friends have said they will be swimming for sure. They loved the idea – what a great way to welcome in the new year – standing in a toasty pool with a warm mug of cider! I suspect the pool will be full for most of the evening.

Additional lighting. Gene is having a holiday all his own with lighting the back yard. We have lights at the pool and on the deck, and they provide a nice warm light. But we want to make the back yard bright and festive, so Gene went to Poolcenter.com for ideas, and then found a place where he can rent the coolest lights. They are globe lights with hooks, and connected on a strong wire, so that you can put 10 of them from one place to another all over the back yard and the deck. I saw what he was thinking and I fell in love with the idea! We’ll have plenty of lighting so people won’t be trying to recognize each other in dim light. The pool area will have a tremendously festive atmosphere.

Our friends are all excited about our New Year’s Eve pool party, and Gene is now the talk of the community for having the idea. We can’t wait to have our friends over, and show off how wonderful our whole pool area looks!

Carol Atkins enjoys writing freelance articles for pool toy and games supplier PoolCenter.com.  She has 3 children with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely black Labradors.  When she’s not overseeing pool maintenance and adjusting chemicals, she spends hours at her family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs play and have fun.  She is also a dedicated runner, and diligently training for her first half marathon.


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My party dress

It was my birthday last week and I really enjoyed scoffing cake and celebrating with lots of girly fun! Most of all, I loved getting dressed up in this red lace dress – a special treat from La Redoute 🙂

my red lace birthday dress from la redoute

 

It’s a lovely shape, comfortable and perfectly fitted. The lace overlay is luxurious and it is definitely glamourous enough to wear to any special occasion. As I mentioned in my Tuesday Shoesday post last week, I wanted to wear it with hot pinks shoes to coordinate with my party theme and I’ll certainly be wearing it again on christmas day teamed with a green skinny belt – well, you’ve got to have a special christmas dress, don’t you?!  I feel very comfortable in this dress because it has a little extra stretch to it, (and there’s enough room for expansion if I have a massive Christmas dinner!) but don’t let the comfort fool you, it’s definitely high quality and pretty enough to stand out as a party dress – plus it makes me want to twirl, which can only be a good thing!

I actually couldn’t believe that La Redoute were selling this gorgeous dress at such a bargain price, and there are tons of glamourous party dresses in their festive sale section – I’m thinking of investing in a black version of this dress next as it will be perfect for every occasion, and if I place my order within the next 7 days it will still arrive in time for Christmas and more importantly I’ll have it in time for the New Years Eve party!

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