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Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Thrifty fairy lights for Christmas AND Halloween!

I know I sometimes go on about Christmas a little too early but this time it’s for good reason: If you get your fairy lights for Christmas sorted out now, you can make the most of them by using the lights to decorate Halloween too! I’ve already got a few packs down from the loft – especially some red and green ones that I picked up in the sale last year – and I’m planning on stringing them up outside my house ready for Halloween.

Scary window display & red berry lights from John Lewis

Using fairy lights is a great way to make your home look inviting when you want to welcome families of Trick Or Treat-ers to your door; you could line your windows with lights and stick some spooky silhouettes to the glass. It’s good to put out the traditional lit pumpkin too, but fairy lights can even help to illuminate your path if you spread them out along the ground or attach them to poles to create a twinkling rope fence. The lights will give an eerie glow on the approach to your house and will be especially scary in red!

illuminated trees & colourful outdoor lights from John Lewis

Weaving fairy lights around your trees in the garden is especially good if you’re having a Halloween party as it will provide another ‘room’ for party-goers as they spill out onto your patio and will keep the party going outside as well as inside. You could also use traditional white fairy lights to wrap around pumpkins or to fill jars and lantern, and place these around the porch or even indoors on the dinner party table.

I think these are fabulous ways to create a scary decor for Halloween and wouldn’t you agree that buying your Christmas fairy lights now is a thrifty way to make the most of your purchase?! Plus you’ll be ready to decorate your Christmas tree and home as soon as December 1st arrives, haha!

hairstyles for halloween


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Halloween hairstyles

Halloween is my favourite time of year. I love getting dressed up, covering myself in fake blood and putting on those all-important cat ears which, if I’m honest, have seen a lot of wear over the years. However, not everyone is a fan of fancy dress and some people can feel a little bit embarrassed when walking down the street. Luckily for you, I’m here to help.

This time of year always brings back those styling tricks and tools that you had almost forgotten about. From serious backcombing to old school crimping, there are so many different types of hairstyles to choose from to help bring out your darker side. halloween hairstyles 1

To achieve extreme, hair-raising volume, all you need is some hairspray and a comb. Start to segment your hair and backcomb each section at the roots. Don’t be afraid to be as messy as you want. To get an even more terrifying look, why not backcomb the whole length of your hair, or add some hairspray into the roots to make your hair stand on end. This is an extravagant look and works perfectly for Halloween. You could also add in a few curls or create an oversized quiff or updo for your fright-night look.halloween hair

I’m sure many of you still have crimpers hidden away somewhere (I know I do), so delve into your drawers and give them a quick dust off. You never know, it may be the perfect hairstyle for your Halloween costume and you may even thank me for it!

Being artistic with your make-up is another way to get that unearthly yet chic style. Try framing your eyes with dark shades of brown, green or purple eye shadow, extending your eyeliner beyond your lid and shading in your eyebrows to deepen your ghoulish look. Ghost white complexions are almost a must on Halloween, so apply plenty of light powder or white face paint to create this effect and finish with nude/light pink lips.hairstyles for halloween

So, what do you think you will be dressing up as this Halloween? Have you thought about what you will do with your hair? Let me know in the comments below!

John Frieda have kindly offered Cassiefairy readers the chance to win some fabulous Sheer Blonde Go Blonder products and YOU could win the kit below for yourself by entering my competition on Twitter – simply follow @Cassiefairy and retweet the competition tweet – click here to enter !

Sheer Blonde Competition


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Cherry good cocktail recipes

At this time of year I really enjoy having nights in with my friends, watching cheesy Saturday-night TV and enjoying a good home-cooked meal. We also like to mix up the occasional cocktail and this week I tried out a new ingredient for our evening cocktails: cherry juice. When I picked up some cocktail ingredients at the supermarket, I came across Cherry Good and my mouth started watering! I was sure it would go nicely with the limes, lemons, juices and mixers in my trolley so when I got home I looked up drink recipes on their website and tried out a few.

The first recipe I tried was a cherry sour, because whisky sours is one of my favourite drinks ever and I wanted to know how it would compare if mixed up with cherry juice. Thankfully it was delicious and I tried a couple more of these cheeky cocktail recipes over the course of the weekend. Here they are, and I hope that you’ll enjoy them too:cherry sour cocktail recipe using cherry good juice cherry sour cocktail recipe using cherry good juice-2

Cherry Sour: 2 measures vodka, 6 measures cherry juice drink, 1 measure freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 measures lemonade, garnish with a fresh cherry on a stick or a slice of lemon. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over vodka, Cherry Good and lemon juice. Shake to mix and chill. Pour into a tall glass with ice and top up with the lemonade. michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice-2 michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice-3 michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice-5

Michigan Impossible 2 measures whisky, 4 measures Cherry Good juice, 1 measure freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 measure sugar syrup and optional 2 measures of lemonade to make a taller drink with ice. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over whisky, cherry juice, lime juice and sugar syrup. Shake to mix and chill. The lemonade is optional, to make a longer drink in a taller glass with ice. Sugar syrup is easy to make, by dissolving sugar into water (50/50) and heating it. Even simpler is pouring boiling water onto sugar and stirring, but make sure it’s cool before you use it!cherry and honey non alcoholic juice cocktail recipe cherry and honey non alcoholic juice cocktail recipe-2

Non-alcoholic cherry and honey: 200ml Cherry Good cherry juice drink, 100ml water, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons honey, a pinch of salt (preferably unprocessed sea salt) Mix all the ingredients together, until the honey is dissolved. Add the salt last and adjust the amount to suit your own taste – not too salty.

These recipes are fast becoming my firm favourites and I will definitely be adding these to my Christmas party cocktail list too. Let me know if you give them a try and remember to drink responsibly! I also tried mixing up my own cocktail using the juice and here’s what I came up with:cherry apple juice cocktail recipe michigan impossible cocktail recipe using cherry juice

Cherry Apple 1 measure apple schnapps, 2 measures Cherry Good, 2 measures apple juice.  Fill a tall cocktail glass with crushed ice and pour in the ingredients and stir to mix.

 


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Top 7 cocktails for a Christmas party with Social & Cocktail

Today I am lucky enough to share a special blog post all about mixing famous cocktails, which has been written for me by my lovely friends over at Social and Cocktail. I hope you enjoy their ideas for creating cocktail classics for your Christmas party – and no, it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas!

With the popularity of cocktails exploding in recent years, they have now made their way into many Christmas parties across the country. Cocktails are a perfect option for any Christmas party, as they are fun, colourful plus there is a huge variety to cater for all tastes, be they sweet, sour, fruity, bitter or spicy.

If you are thinking of offering cocktails at your Christmas party, you can either mix up your own batch of cocktails (we advise you to trawl the web for cocktail recipes) or you can book a cocktail package from a variety of cocktail companies which have popped up over the last few years. Such companies will cater for all types of events, such as Office Christmas Parties Birthdays and Garden Parties. These companies will normally offer a mobile cocktail bar, bartender (trained in mixology), glassware, cocktail master classes and cocktail ingredients.

We have chosen fantastic 7 cocktails that we guarantee will be a hit at any Christmas Party.

1) Orange Chocolate Dream

Everybody remembers getting a Terry`s Chocolate Orange for Christmas, well, now you can have it in a glass…with alcohol.

The Ingredients: 45 ml White Chocolate Liqueur, 30 ml Bailey`s Irish Cream, 20 ml Orange Liqueur, 2 Teaspoons Cocoa Powder, 1 Teaspoon Bar Sugar, 1 Orange Twist

How to Make:

  • Mix the cocoa powder and sugar on a small plate.
  • Dampen the rim of a martini glass and swirl in the powder mixture to rim.
  • Add the chocolate liqueur and Baileys to a cocktail shaker filled most of the way with ice and shake for about 20 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a martini glass and float the orange liqueur on top.
  • Garnish with an orange twist.Orange Chocolate Dream

2) White Lady

The White Lady is a clean-tasting classic cocktail, perfect choice for the gin lovers at the office Christmas party.

The Ingredients: 50 ml Gin, 25 ml Triple Sec, 25ml Lemon Juice, Lemon Rind

How to Make:

  • Mix the ingredients in a shaker which is half full of ice.
  • Strain and serve in a sugar-rimmed glass.
  • Garnish with a strip of lemon rind. 

Continue reading “Top 7 cocktails for a Christmas party with Social & Cocktail” »


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Thrifty fashion for BBQ parties

With Summer in full swing and lots of lovely weather to look forward to, you’d probably be heading outdoors and spending a lot of time in the sun, and if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a BBQ, even better! But what should you wear for an al fresco event? It’s difficult to predict the weather at times so it’s best to be protected against the sun whilst being prepared for all eventualities! Here’s my guide to dressing for summer and enjoying your BBQ in style:

  1. Choose an outfit you’re comfortable in. It may seem obvious, but you’ll want to feel free if you’re running around the garden with the kids, moving food around or lying on a sun lounger, so it’s best to choose an outfit that isn’t too short, too revealing, or likely to fall off!
  2. Loose clothing will help keep you cool by letting the breeze through your layers. Cotton or linen will also help to maintain a cool temperature when the sun is shining, so a linen skirt or loose cotton shirt would keep you comfortable on a hot day.
  3. Take a cardigan! If the skies cloud over you’ll be able to slip it on to stop the shivers, and if the temperature is soaring you can throw it over your shoulders to protect yourself from burning in the midday sun. Similarly, a thin pashmina scarf (like mine below from New Look) would work well as a sun cover-up and something to keep you warm. BBQs often carry on into the evening so you’ll be glad of this extra layer when the sun goes down.

sunglass junkie black wayfarer sunglasses 2014

  1. Always wear a hat when outdoors – it will keep the sun off your face, stop you from getting a red nose and ears (the most regularly burnt parts of our bodies!) and will protect your scalp from sunburn. Plus you’ll look glamorous and be following one of the top trends of Summer 2014!

5.Likewise, sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from UV rays so wear them whenever you’re outside.

You’ll easily be able to cope with whatever the weather throws at you during your BBQ party and will stay safe in the sun. I know I say it all the time, but it’s so important to me: don’t forget to wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and keep an eye on your friends and family – especially the children – to make sure they are staying in the shade, wearing high SPF and drinking plenty of water. Enjoy your day of al fresco fun and dining!