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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Household goals – keeping my home neat & organised

Starting the new year with the intention of keeping my home clean and organised has been very motivating goal for 2017 so far. A jolly good tidy-up at the start of January really helped, as did finding a home for all the lovely gifts I received over Christmas. However, I’ve found that after just a few weeks of trying to keep up with all the mess, it has become difficult to do and I often ‘forget’ about it. Then I find that even more stuff has piled up on top of the original pile. Uhoh! The trouble is that I haven’t really got round to sorting out any specific strategies or routines for organising my stuff. I can’t fight it any more. I need new storage, and that’s all there is to it. There are a whole range of different products that I could buy, systems that I can put in place and even new routines that will help me to have an organised and tidy home, yet I’ve resisted so far. But not any longer – so today I’m sharing a few ideas on how to can introduce certain things to your home to help clear the clutter!

The Kitchen

I’ve found it’s best to focus on one room at a time, as different rooms will require different processes and organising strategies. That sounds so official, doesn’t it?! The kitchen is a great room to start with, as it can often be the one room that needs the most work when it comes to getting organised. My kitchen is one of the most used rooms within the home; not just for preparing and cooking meals, but dining, socialising and even working too. One of the best ways to start a kitchen de-clutter is to give your fridge and cupboards a deep clean. Throw away any items that are past their use-by date, wipe the surfaces clean and add some kind of sorting system. Having certain cupboards for specific foods or products will make your life much easier (eg, pans in the cupboard nearest the oven), as well as making the kitchen look much neater.Recycling is another task you can incorporate into your kitchen to keep your home organised. We go through so many plastic, glass and cardboard items every week, and having a recycling system in place will help you filter through these items neatly, whilst keeping the kitchen organised too. There’s nothing worse than a build-up of glass bottle on the side, waiting for that fortnightly trip to the tip!

DIY Peg bag sewing project + carrier bag dispenser

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Guest post – Cluttered home? How to put it right…

Pieces of Lego are strewn; shoes are littered; food spilled; furniture stained. Clothing is scattered. Pens, pen lids, crayons and felt-tip pens sprinkle surfaces. Toys are disassembled; old batteries discarded; former favourite toys abandoned. Combs and hair clips accumulate in corners and on staircases; footprints mark shiny floors; scribbles, notes and doodles gather on tables, desks and chairs. Packets of biscuits are in with the fresh foods; milk is without purpose and outside the fridge; finger prints smudge cupboards, walls, doors and windows. It wasn’t always like this. Something changed. It’s the school holidays! The truth is that you may never achieve again the calm and harmony that prevailed throughout the pre-kids era, but that isn’t to say that at least a semblance of planning and regulation cannot be brought back into the home. So put a lid on the chaos, put that disaster away, and take heed of these top tips for tidying up and keeping it that way:personalised labels storage

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Hen party series ~ Planning a vintage hen party

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been running a series of articles on hen parties – and with the summer wedding season fast approaching, I’m glad to be able to bring you some top-tips from lots of my fellow bloggers. Ellen previously sharing her article on personalising a hen party  and last week we had a guest blog on hen party activities. I’ve discussed 50s and his ‘n’ hers party themes and over the coming weeks there’ll be craft tutorials, ideas for games, budget planning and costume sewing tips from Kat. Today my friend Claire from LaceyinPlaces blog is sharing her tips for creating the perfect hen do, starting with the subject of planning:

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After ten years together my very good friends Becky and James have decided to get married! She gave me the very special honour of being her bridesmaid – which means I got to play a key role in planning her hen do yaaay! I’ve been to a several hen dos over the years but was feeling nervous as want to make sure both Becky and the hens have an amazing time. To get inspiration I started to do research by speaking to friends with Mary Poppins-like hen party arranging powers and also turned to the power of Google. After a couple of hours searching, I became frustrated as I realised there was no one-stop-shop for inspiration and tools to use to plan a hen party.

So I’m going to change that – over the course of the next few weeks I’m going to take you step-by-step through the planning for Becky’s hen and provide you with lots of ideas for running your own glam and tasteful hen party – but not too tasteful as there will be naughty things and a few other surprises along the way!  I’m going to provide you with everything from templates for emails to hens, hen activity and budget tracker for you to download and customise, to lists of games, decoration ideas, mementos and most importantly cake ideas. 

So don’t panic, sit back and relax while I guide you through the plans… 

Week 1 Planning – The who, what, where, when of the hen

I had two months to organise the hen so had to get things moving quickly, especially as the hen party was due to take place on a Bank Holiday weekend therefore I was concerned accommodation and activities would be getting booked up. The first thing I did was sit down with Becky and the other bridesmaid along with speaking to her close friends to gather ideas. I then drew up with Becky a list of the four ‘w’s as follows:

  • Who to invite.  A list of hen party attendees – she underestimated how popular she was as rather than her original estimate of eight hens this doubled to 16
  • What she would like to do:
    • Duration of the hen– in this case a minimum of two nights
    • The theme – We discussed a range of options from Barbie to bananas – but decided on Vintage as she is a classy lady
    • Activities – she is a super thoughtful person so wanted everyone to take home a memento. Make sure her stomach is lined for hard core drinking later and to have plenty of time to speak to all the hens. To go dancing.
    • Boundaries – how much naughtiness, she opted for a tasteful amount and specified  no oiled-up men
  • Where would she like to have her hen party. UK-based and, in turn, affordable, so as many people as possible could attend. She was torn as to where to hold the hen to make it as easy as possible for people to attend as half her friends are in London the other in the West Country. As she is based in Bath and wanted her fellow colleagues to attend I took the executive decision to hold the hen in Bristol.  Conveniently one of the hens lived in Bristol who proved an invaluable source of knowledge as to what activities to do. 
  • When the hen party would be: over a bank holiday weekend when everyone has time off work on the Monday to recover!

Now that I had an outline of the basic plan and a rough idea of numbers attending, I was able to start provisionally booking activities, looking for accommodation and organising a budget for the whole weekend, including food, transport, decorations – everything! In next week’s hen party blog post I will share a spreadsheet for you to download and use for your own hen party to work out a cost-per-head for each of the guests AND I’ll share a party invitation template that you can send my email and it will help you get a quick response from the hens!

Claire’s top tips

  1. Agree what’s in and out of scope for the hen do– Sit down with the Bride to find out what she would like to do and to ensure she is not out of her comfort zone if you provide her with a troupe of strippers for example!!
  2. Pick a fun creative theme everyone will love – to make sure they all feel special and have a good giggle.  It also allows you to get your crafty gloves on and have lots of giggles – plus allows you to save lots of money. 
  3. Delegate and take up offer of support – Don’t try to do everything. If a hen/s have said they are happy to help take them up on the offer and delegate activities.  The Bristol hen was a super star in going to scope out venues/activities to report back on whether they were suitable.  Two hens was super creative so wanted to sort out Becky’s dress and another hen loved to bake so offered to make a cheeky cake. 
  4. Find out what everyone can afford – get their opinion on the costs and activities from the word go. It is difficult to please everyone but it is important to consult with the hens and make them appreciate that you have tried to plan the most fun and best value hen to the Bride’s specification
  5. Set firm deadlines and get the money upfront – You need to know who’s in and who’s out to finalise hen plans and also to pay the bills for activities.  Get people to commit, as I’ve heard so many stories of the hen party organiser being left out of pocket. 
Hen party series articles

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