Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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

party recipe for cheese and ham pastry canapes


2 Comments

Pieday Friday ~ Cheese & ham pastry rolls

Does anyone else feel like there’s a celebration on the horizon? Perhaps it’s the school holidays or the long Easter weekend, or maybe it’s hubby’s birthday, my impending 1000th blog post or the May bank holiday? Whatever it is, it’s making me want to invite the family over and bake party food! I’ve just got that urge and I had to give in to it this week when I made one of my party favourites – cheese and ham pastry rolls. These little bites of joy are my festive speciality and they are great for taking on picnics or for light lunches too. They are super-easy to make and might be good to try out over the Easter holidays if you’ve got the children at home because they can help you sprinkle the cheese and roll up the pastry.

It’s a little too simple to call a recipe really  because I like to buy ready-made puff pastry – and if you’re feeling super-lazy, you can even buy ready-rolled like I have! – but feel free to make your own rough-puff pastry if you prefer. So here’s what I do:

  1. Roll out the pastry on a sheet of baking parchment (this will make it easier to roll up into a tube).

pieday friday blog receipe for cheese and ham snack rolls

  1. Spread the pastry with cream cheese before laying out slices of ham all over.

  2. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese all over then lift the baking parchment and use it to roll the pastry into a tube lengthways.

recipe for making cheese and ham puff pastry rolls

  1. Slice the long roll into bite-size pieces and place onto a greased baking tray.

  2. Brush with a little milk before baking in the oven according to the pastry instructions

party recipe for cheese and ham pastry canapes

 

Ta da! Impressive ‘homemade’ party snacks made in minutes! Let me know if you have a go at making your own pastry rolls and tweet me a photo @Cassiefairy.

One more thing - I have a Freebie Friday giveaway running on Twitter today to win this gorgeous Bon Prix dress in navy chiffon (worth £29.99) to add to your Spring wardrobe! Click here to see the competition tweet and enter by simply RTing & following me :)

frebie friday navy dress giveaay pic

 


Leave a comment

Ideas for a Monday night in with the girls

As much as I’m looking forward to this weekend, I just want to say that Monday nights suck – that’s official. The weekend is all done and dusted and already a distant, wine-fuddled memory. The next weekend is far, far away. You’ve already had one day back at work, and Monday morning is the worst working morning, unless you’ve got a job taste-testing Belgian chocolates! Monday nights should be banned – they are far more hazardous to your health crossing the M1 blind-folded! So we have got to do something about it…

big_bang_theory playing twister

The ‘Big Bang Theory’ girls playing Twister

I yapped about my horror of Monday nights with my gal pals and I discovered all my buddies were kindred spirits. We all hated Monday nights – so, we resolved to do something about them. Monday night became ‘Monday Night In With The Girls’ night! We have chick-flick-a-thons, Come Booze With Me evenings (although we do drink responsibly, after all, we’ve all got jobs to go to in the morning) and Board/Bored Games sessions. However, whenever it comes to my turn to host, my rather illicit love of card games is allowed to shine with my patented Casino Nights. I thought about hosting a poker evening but most of my friends found it either a bit too complicated or a bit too boring. Blackjack was deemed ‘too repetitive’ but finally we landed upon a diversion that gave rise to the least amount of moaning – roulette!

friends playing poker

Remember the episode of Friends where the girls learn to play poker?

I managed to grab a cheap-ish roulette set off Amazon; it’s an easy game to play and you can play it in your own style. And it’s really easy to pick up the rules, see the roulette section at Full Tilt. I’ve one friend who solidly and resolutely just bets on her favourite number – 23 – time and time again. We used to tease her mercilessly when the little silver ball evaded the number 23 slot spin after spin – until it finally came up twice in a row. She hadn’t moved her winnings from the previous spin so won something like 1,200 chips – which was a shame really as the set only came with about one hundred. At the end of the evening the person with the most chips is declared the winner. There’s no prize as such, just the momentary glimpse of fame and fortune that comes with winning. It certainly livens up our Monday evenings and makes them so less depressing.

Now all we have to do is work out how to make Tuesdays evenings more bearable..!


2 Comments

Inspirations for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration

St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching on the 17th March and whether or not you have Irish heritage in your family or have a bunch of friends from Ireland, you can still decorate your home with Irish themed decorations and even host a fun St. Paddy’s Day party!

Traditionally, green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day (the saint himself is depicted wearing green!) so get out your green throws, cushions and tablecloths to make your home a little more Irish for the day! The shamrock is also an iconic symbol of any St. Paddy’s celebration, so craft your own shamrock bunting banner or wall-curtain decoration just like the images below. When your home is nicely decorated you can invite your family or friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and let the festivities commence!

 StPatricksDayGlitterPhotoProps from liagriffith

Fun St Patrick’s Day party props by Lia Griffith

To really get your guests in the party mood, there’s nothing better than adding a little dressing-up fun for children and grown-adults alike. You don’t need to spend a fortune on shop-bought costumes when it’s just as easy to create your own themed fancy dress props! Simply cut out shapes and glue them to straws, chopsticks or even lollipop sticks. Use glitter card and coloured paper which can be bought from the scrapbooking section of any craft shop and cut out your shapes with scissors before taping or gluing to a stick on the back. Let you guests choose their props and have fun snapping photos of your pals wearing their moustaches and leprechaun hats!

shamrock pinata

Tutorial for making a mini St Paddy’s Pinata

You could entertain your guests at your Irish-themed celebration with a shamrock pinata. Fill it with chocolate coins from the ‘pot of gold’ and get your guests to take it in turns to be blindfolded and try to break the pinata with a stick. It’s a classic party game that all your friends and family can join in with and is so easy to make yourself – simply cut shamrock shapes from cardboard and cover with green tissue-paper strands.

To keep your guests hydrated at your party why not serve drinks in bottles with custom-made labels for St. Patrick’s Day such as these lucky Irish tags below? You can use bottles of juice or pop for the younger members of the family so that everyone can be involved in the festivities. Add green paper straws decorated with more shamrocks and you’ve got the party started!

 St_Patricks_Day_Labels from liagriffith

Drinks labels printables by Lia Griffith

I hope that these crafty ideas have given you inspiration for your own Irish themed St. Patrick’s Day decorations and if you have a party celebration perhaps you’ll make use of the printable labels and DIY pinata instructions in the links above to create your own custom-made party decor! Above all, drink responsibly and have fun with all your friends and family!


Leave a comment

Inspiration for a Burns Night celebration

Tonight is Burns Night – the yearly celebration of the life and literary works of great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). People all around the country will be celebrating with a Burns Supper which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the reading of works by the poet – including the famous poem Alde Lang Syne that we were all singing less than four weeks ago. I have never been to a Burns night celebration myself but I think I would enjoy it – anything where food and drink is a core part of the celebration sounds good to me. Anyway, Burns Night has inspired me to do some research online and I have created a moodboard of fabulous ideas for creating a decadent Scottish themed party.

Burn Night scottish celebration moodboard

For all the image credits please check out my Special Holidays board on Pinterest. I’d love to have a themed part like this and I think it would be especially good for a Christmas or new years eve Hogmany celebration so I’ll be revisiting this again at the end of the year to inspire my festive decorating. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying some shortbread tonight and raising a glass of whisky to Robert Burns.


5 Comments

Some amazing news & special occasion dresses

This week I got some amazing news: my best friends announced that they would be getting married this year! It will be a summer wedding and I can’t wait. Another of my best friends is also getting married this year in April (you may remember I talked about her hen party here) so this Spring and Summer will be a whirlwind of travel, ceremonies and good ol’ knees-ups! I love weddings and seeing as these are of two of the most important people in my life, it makes the occasion even more special – and it makes me even more emotional – bring on the waterproof mascara, that’s all I can say! I like to think that my husband and I are good wedding guests – in fact, we’re great at any party; anniversaries, proms, engagement parties, fundraisers etc – we arrive early, help out with anything that needs doing, we chat to parents and grandparents, we are always first on the dance floor and, most importantly, know when to leave! Plus, hubby looks great in a suit and it’s pretty exciting for me when I get to wear something a bit special and out-of-the-ordinary. We’ve all got special occasion dresses in our wardrobe, but a wedding or prom is definitely a good enough reason to go shopping for something new!

So of course I’ve already been scouring the online fashion retailers’ special occasion departments and have come up with an amazing selection from the prom department of New Look. They have gorgeous glitzy dresses that are perfect for prom parties, and therefore weddings! There’s something for every shape and size so I thought I would turn this blog post into a bit of a ‘dressing for your body shape’ article and hopefully this will help me to choose something suitable to wear for these special occasions.

new look long maxi prom dresses for weddings

If you’re tall, a prom or wedding is the perfect excuse to wear a long, glamourous maxi dress and get really dressed up. I’d suggest checking what colours your friends will be wearing to the prom so that you don’t end up looking like a girl-band and if it’s a wedding, make sure you know what colours the bridesmaids will be wearing – you don’t want to look like you’re trying to join in with the bridal party! Also, always stay away from white, ivory or cream if you’re wearing a long dress to a wedding, otherwise a short-sighted aunt might mistake you for the bride!

new look short structured prom dresses for weddings

I’m more vertically challenged in terms of height, so I’m going to stick to a shorter dress for these special occasions – but not too short! I want to be able to dance and be comfortable all day, so a mini-dress might not be suitable for a special occasion. Also, if you’d like to look a little thinner and more petite than usual (and who doesn’t want to look their best when they’re going to be popping up in photographs?!) opt for a dress with a little structure which will help to put your curves where you’d like them to be!

new look short curve prom dresses for weddings

And finally, if you want to add curves, pick a dress with gathers, ruffles and embellishments such as these above, which will add bulk in a good way and enhance your shape – plus they will look great when you’re dancing! One final tip is to not go too glitzy, because you don’t want to look like you’re trying to up-stage the bride, so perhaps all-over sequins are off the menu! But if it’s a prom you’re dressing up for – you can go all out with glitter, feathers and diamante – this is your big day after all! Here are some of the best super-star prom dresses from New Look that I really want to buy, just to sit around the house in!

new look long and short glitzy dresses for weddings

I really love the purple lace dress and the monochrome dress above, so maybe one of these will be the dress for me! All the prom dresses on the New Look website are on sale at the moment so I’m going to research the colour themes of the weddings I’m going to and will make my final choices soon. I’ll let you know how I get on :)