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 shopping – for the first time in my life!

Plumbing, heating, bathrooms and kitchens. It’s amazing how different my internet browsing history is these days. No longer am I visiting of pet sites and shoe stores, oh no. I’ve got a whole different kind of shopping to be getting on with now that I’m planning to buy a house and it’s all very DIY-focussed. I figured it would be useful to make a list of the things I would need when we start work on our new home, and where better to do that than on my blog??

Heating

I’ve literally just discovered that there’s more than one type of boiler in the world, and now I’ve got to consider radiators and pipework too. Thank goodness for YouTube, otherwise I’d never know how the hot water flows around my bathroom! At the moment, my research is focussed on heated towel rails for the bathroom and I’ve been investigating super-stylish radiators. I’m completely fascinated with pinning photos of loft apartments with Victorian cast iron radiators – dream on, eh? Even so, I’d love to get have that kind of detail in my home in the future.

For the bathroom I specifially want a heater that can keep the bathroom cosy all the time, look really lovely and still be used to warm my towels. I love that cosy feeling when you’re wrapped in a warm towel straight out of the bath, can’t wait. Just give me a heating catalogue and I’ll be happy for hours!

Hot water

On the subject of bathrooms, I never knew that choosing plumbing supplies could be so much fun. Okay, the pipework itself might be a little bit confusing at the moment but at least I’m learning something new with all my household DIY research! The bathroom sale adverts that have been running on the TV throughout January have been luring me in and the Tile Trader website is a permanently open tab on my iPad. Yes, I’ve even found myself browsing the local branch of Wickes. That is SO not like me. But things like mixer taps and fixed shower heads are just so beautiful and sculptural that I just can’t help getting carried away. And who doesn’t want to have a rain effect shower head, eh??

Even the kitchen sink

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Last minute wedding tips to help you enjoy your big day!

Bridezilla is a state that a bride may occasionally morph into under times of tremendous stress. Though seldom seen, when a bridezilla does make an appearance, bridesmaids, wedding planners, and even the groom take refuge. We’re all well aware of the stress that comes from planning a wedding; money, time, and the looming eternal commitment to another human make for a pretty potent concoction of stress. To decrease the odds of morphing into a bridezilla here are some tips for last minute wedding planning.wedding-planning-last-minute-ideas-inspiration

Keep all your plans together in one book so you can easily hand it over to someone else when needed!

Designate a point person

You’ve been preparing for your wedding for months. So, when the rehearsal dinner finally comes around you should have all your plans already mapped out. However, there are going to be plenty of people who aren’t privy to your very detailed plans. Instead of carrying the burden of your entire wedding plan, offload the plan to a friend who can then answer any questions your guests may have. Make sure your guests know that all questions should be directed towards your trusty sidekick.wedding-planning-bridesmaids-inspiration

Designate tasks to your bridesmaids – they want to help!

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Personal development – Which career is right for you?

It’s all about careers on the blog this week – did you spot my article last weekend all about learning as you earn?? I think it’s the whole ‘back-to-school’ feeling I get in September that makes me want to think about jobs, studying, careers and personal development. So today we’re finding out how you can tell if a job is right for you and whether or not you should pursue it as a future career. personal-development-career-quiz-dream-job-girlboss-inspirationFinding the right career is always a challenge, unless you make a clear plan to help you achieve your goals. It is important to find out what job will make you happy as well as successful. It is also helpful to know what types of jobs will match your skills and what is best suited for you. You can take tests to find this out or use a job search engine such as Jobrapido to help you in your job search and give you some ideas of jobs you might never have known existed!

One important thing to remember is that although your career is a set of plans and ideas, it’s not realistic to think of it as a linear path. Often we feel like we need to find our dream career straight away but most of the time different jobs will take us to our dream career. display-272270

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Hen party series ~ Crafty fun – making decorations for the hen do!

In this hen party series, we have been spoiled-rotten with lots of lovely articles sharing ideas for party themes (check out the links below!) and how to plan the perfect hen do. In her article last week, Claire from Lacey in Places  shared her top tips for planning a hen party (read the article here) and very kindly shared her downloadable budget spreadsheet and invitation templates! Today she continues to share her experiences of organising a vintage hen party for her friend Becky and discusses crafty ideas for hen party decorations and getting all the hens involved in the party prep:

The hen Becky loves a bit of crafting, so I thought I’d make it extra special by making homemade special decorations for the hen and also to save the pennies, so today I’m going to show you how I spent the grand total of £7 to make decorations for the apartment we were staying in.

In my previous blog I mentioned quite a few of the hen party had offered to help, so I thought I’d kindly take them up on the offer by hosting a crafting evening with my lovely fellow hens Joey, Katie and Sarah. The crafting night gave me the chance to get the opinion of the hens, save time and money, and most importantly have fun! I visited my local 99p discount store to get all the materials for the hen, which cost me the grand total of £7!! As we were planning a vintage hen do, we decided to make the decorations in the colour theme of Becky’s wedding, pink and orange. Also Becky had recently got her first cat – Mr Bigglesworth – who she absolutely adored, so I decided he would make a ‘guest’ appearance over the weekend.

DIY craft making straw labels for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Straw name tags
I knew we were going to be having a few drinks during the hen party, so may become forgetful about which drink belonged to who so thought it would be a good idea to make name tags to hang from our straws, so we could keep track of our own drinks! What you’ll need: Scissors, felt tip pens and a hole puncher, ribbon, stickers (kitten stickers in this case), cardboard (I took a page out of Becky’s memory book to save money)
1. Cut the cardboard into a shape of a luggage tag and hole punch the top side
2. Using the kitten stickers I purchased for £1 (the grey ones look like Mr Bigglesworth) stick these to the cards and write each hens name on the card – make sure you make an extra large one for the hen
3. Finally inset the ribbon through the hole and attach it to the straw
4. Ta-dah – you have your vintage looking personalised tags for your straws!

Tissue paper pompoms – makes approximately 10-15 dependent on the size you choose

What you’ll need: Scissors, jewellery plastic wire or string, pack of tissue paper (20 sheets) = Grand total £2

  1. Put together at least 6 sheets of tissue paper and cut all the sheets into a square
  2. Concertina or fold the tissue paper into a fan, once done trim the edge of each tissue paper into a round shape
  3. Then tie a long piece of the wire and string around the middle of the folded paper (make sure it is nice and long as you will also be using it to also hang the pompom up
  4. Carefully fold them away flat to take to the hen (if you fold them out before you go they’ll get squashed enroute)
  5. Once at the destination pull the layers of tissue paper out layer by layer until it is in a ball shape – then hey presto you have your pom pom!!

making tissue paper pompom decorations for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Doily Bunting

What you’ll need: Scissors, glue and a large marker pen, sequin string (£1 for 15meters from pound store), pack of doilys (£1 for 50 doilys from the pound store) 

  1. Fold your doilies in half, then fold them over the string
  2. Glue the two halves together
  3. Add the remainder of the doilies to the string and leave to dry
  4. You may wish to write some letters or draw on the doilies like we did

Simple, cheap, quick and effective to do!

making doily decorations for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Mr Bigglesworth Kitten masks

I enlarged a photo of Mr Biggles and used my printer to print out a mask for all 16 hens, including Becky.  My mum very patiently and kindly cut out the masks for me – bless her!! So when Becky walked in to the apartment blindfolded she was confronted by a nest of kittens crouched in the corner – after initially jumping it did take her a few seconds to realise it was Biggles!! You could make similar masks using the faces of the beloved pets of the bride – or perhaps even a photo of her hubby-to-be! Which leads us nicely on to…

making cat masks for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces 

Inflatable Jim

We were concerned that Becky may miss Jim over the course of the weekend.  I therefore ordered a 4ft inflatable man – who turned out to only be 1ft big so a bit too small for Becky to cuddle at night… So we quickly improvised with a balloon and cushion.  Heloise, Jim’s sister then bought some of this clothing.  Here is substitute Jim waiting for her in Becky’s bed for the weekend!! We also through in a photo of Jim above her bed incase she forgot what the real Jim looked like.

making the groom for a crafty vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Next time, I’ll share more ideas about how to make extra special gifts for the bride, including a tip jar and hen book, but in the meantime, check out the links below for more fun articles from the hen party series!

More hen party series articles


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Hen parties on a budget – 5 essential tips

It’s that time of year again – Christmas came and went taking most of our bank balances with it and a year full of money-demanding events lies ahead. However, never fear – if you’ve been given the heady task of organising a hen party then you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive affair. The most important thing is to spend a bit of time with your girlfriends and make sure you send the bride-to-be off in style!

On that note, here are five ways you can be a bit thrifty with your hen party planning… 

1. Pick a creative theme. By having a theme you’re already guaranteed a few giggles and it allows you to get your crafty gloves on which saves money on an expensive outfit and dinner. One idea is a festival theme – make your own funky clothing and headpieces, create a killer playlist on spotify and BBQ some traditional festival food!

festival fairies hen party campervan tutu pettiskirt ruffle petticoat dress costume fancy

2. Find out what everyone can afford in advance. It’s good to have a budget to work to, and you won’t be giving the invitees any nasty surprises further down the line. Be firm but fair when it comes to taking budgets into account – you can’t all give up a weekend away because one person can’t afford it, but by the same token it may be an idea to go somewhere closer to home and save on travel costs.

3. If you’re looking to do anything involving activities (day or night) and/ or accommodation then book through a tour operator. Hen party companies get huge discounts which they pass on to customers, so most of the time it actually works out much cheaper than going direct to the supplier. There are also usually package extras, such as free club entry thrown in

4. Pick a cheap location. If you’re looking at going away then Eastern European destinations are great value for food and drink, and flights are usually pretty cheap. Prague, Budapest and Ljubljana all tend to be good value if you’re heading abroad. As a general rule flights are cheaper the further in advance you book them so stay organised and book early.

5. Don’t book expensive accommodation. If you’re planning a party with your girls then it can be tempting to push the boat out (after all hopefully you’ll only getting married the once.) However, what you should bear in mind is that you won’t be spending very much time there – it’s really only a place to leave your bags and lay your head at the end of a great night! So save a bit by staying in cheaper accommodation and you’ll have more to spend on shopping and drinks!

Most of all just remember to enjoy yourselves – one of the main benefits of a hen party is that you can put all the things you love doing into one memorable weekend with the girls and once the planning’s out of the way you’re free to have an incredible time!

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