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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Book Review + Interview – Upcycling by Max McMurdo

I can’t believe that it’s been a whole week since this book launched and I’m only now telling you about it. I’ve had my eyes on it for weeks and have been eagerly awaiting it’s release. Teaser tweets and Instagram posts by Max have got my excitement for this book bubbling up to a dangerous level. Combine that with my already OTT love of thriftiness and DIYing, and you’ve got one giddy girl on your hands. So you can imagine how quickly I tore open the packaging of my book delivery last weekend.gumtreebus-max-mcmurdoThankfully, it book itself didn’t disappoint. I knew it would full of Max’s trademark industrial projects and thrifty flips, but I didn’t realise just how comprehensive it would be. This isn’t just a ‘look at this pretty room’ design book. Oh no. It’s full of practical advice and step-by-step, photo-by-photo tutorials. It’s so detailed that even I feel confident about removing a drum from an old washing machine and turning it into an illuminated side table.max-mcmurdo-upcycling-diy-book-review-2With techniques for measuring and cutting, drilling and sanding, wiring and finishing, Max teaches you all the DIY skills you need to know in order to complete the projects in the book. If you want to know what a nylock nut is, Max’ll tell you. I thought I was alright at a bit of DIY. Good, even. But it turns out that there’s so much more I can learn. Thank goodness I’ve got this book to teach me the tricks of the trade. They don’t call me thrifty for nothin’ and if I’m going to upcycle, I’m darn well going to learn how to do it properly (and safely!).

Just before the book launched last week I had the opportunity to ask the author some probing questions so that I could share his answers with you today:max-mcmurdo-upcycling-diy-book-review Continue reading “Book Review + Interview – Upcycling by Max McMurdo” »


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Book Review – Inspiration for colourful outdoor spaces with “Happy Home Outside” by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau

It may be wet and snowing outside this morning but no amount of bad weather can dampen my mood. And that’s because I’ve been enjoying reading a particularly sunny book this weekend – Happy Home Outside by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau.happy home outside book review garden inspiration summer spring 16It’s an inspirational ‘exterior design’ book packed full of ideas for making your garden into a truly magical space. With sun-lit photos, bursts of fruity colour and want-to-sit-there locations throughout, it’s certainly been keeping me in an optimistic mood. In fact, it’s made me look forward to summer (as a winter baby I always prefer cooler months) and I can actually imagine myself sitting outside this year and spending some time in the sun (wearing SPF50, of course) thanks to the photos in this publication. happy home outside book review garden inspiration summer partyhappy home outside book review garden plants inspiration summer-2With a foreword from Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar – one of my favourite design blogs and source of many colourful Pins – this book kicks off with a rousing call to enjoy ‘The Outdoor Life’ this year; to seize the moment, to surround yourself with colour and nature, and to spend quality time with friends and family. I literally couldn’t agree more.HHO pg102 pic (c) Skovdal & Skovdal HHO pg 32 pic (c) Skovdal & Skovdal

From Happy Home Outside: Everyday Magic for Outdoor Life by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau. Picture credits: Skovdal &Skovdal. Published by Jacqui Small (£25).

Continue reading “Book Review – Inspiration for colourful outdoor spaces with “Happy Home Outside” by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau” »


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Help motivate your fellow #WomanKind

How have you been getting on with your #WomanKind journey so far this year? I want to chat through my own progress with you today, and please read on to enter my amazing hamper giveaway including £100 John Lewis vouchers (and there are TWO of these amazing prizes up for grabs)! You may remember that I started blogging about this inspirational campaign back in January and have been sharing my own ideas of ways to be kind to yourself. I began by writing about my wardrobe, and the ways that I planned to revamp my look for a stylish 2016. This blog post included ideas for tidying, organising, repairing and investing in my clothes to make them last longer and help me look better all year round. I also wrote about the research I’d read into the lives of women, and discovered that 88% of women criticise themselves in ways they would never consider doing to other women.prize hamper giveawayThe results of this survey (and the #WomanKind video) really inspired me plan to treat myself with the same kind of care and compassion that I treat others with and got me thinking about ways of living well. Of course – as a die-hard thrifty gal – I had to think about ways of doing this on a budget, so I went on to share ideas for finding amazing party shoes without splashing too much cash on payday. Yes, it CAN be done, ladies! And if you shop smartly you might never need to buy any more party shoes again, sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well, it IS possible so check out my Tuesday Shoesday blog post to find out how!prize competition giveaway hamperOf course, I couldn’t talk about being kind to yourself without discussing healthy living, so last Pieday Friday I shared lots of delicious (and good-for-you) recipes. I also discussed some of the things I do to live a healthy life while still eating meals that aren’t dull. Check out my mealtime (and treat!) tips in this blog post and join me as I kick-start my healthy eating plan for 2016. And before you head off to get started, why don’t you enter my amazing giveaway of prizes worth over £100? Read on to find out how to enter…prize john lewis vouchersAll you have to do is share your top tips for being #WomanKind. This could be the things you eat, the activities you do, the treats you buy or the clothes you wear. It could be your favourite ways to relax, money-saving ideas, DIY projects or tips on spending quality time with friends. It could be a motivational quote, something you’ve read that inspires you or song lyrics you love. In fact, it can be ANYTHING that you want to share with other readers to help make them (and yourself) happy.prize win competition gift voucherThere are no limits to how many ideas, tips, quotes or activities you want to share via social media – just make sure you include the hashtag #WomanKind and let me know when you’ve tweeted, commented, facebooked or instagrammed your tips by using the Rafflecopter widget below to record your entry.

This unbelievable prize hamper includes the following:

  • £100 John Lewis Voucher
  • Weight Watchers Recipe Book
  • Weight Watchers – Pasta, Pasta Sauces & Snacks
  • 3 months free at Weight Watchers

And to top it all off, there are TWO prize hampers up or grabs! Yes, two of you lovely people will win a hamper each just for helping to inspire others! Now that sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?! And as it’s a leap year this year, you’ve got one extra day to enter on the 29th Feb too. Don’t delay – enter the giveaway now!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK readers only, runs from 22/02/2016 to 29/02/2016


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DIY renovations that add value to your home

Whether you’re hoping to make your house more saleable for an imminent move, or simply wish add value to your home for the future, today’s blog post will hopefully give you some ideas for ways to improve your home whilst increasing its value. As you may already know, I’ve been fixing up my home over the past 3 years; improving the bathroom, DIYing the bedroom, decorating my living room in mid-century style, and now I’m working on the kitchen. So I’ve been doing some research into how my DIY renovation projects have added value to my home and what I’ve learnt has been really interesting. I found out lots of facts about the things you can do to increase the value of your home prior to a move and I wanted to share these with you today.house to home

Give your home ‘street appeal’

Decorating. It may seem simple, but a quick spruce-up of a room with a lick of paint can do it the world of good. As buyers typically make up their mind about buying a property within the first three minutes, a fresh coast of paint can be enough to grab a buyers attention. It can brighten up a room, makes the property look ‘cared for’ and is reassuring to buyers that the house has been well maintained. It also means that the buyer doesn’t have to do any of the DIY work when they move in, saving them time and money. And, interestingly, a freshly decorated home adds £3000 to the value of a house according to survey by UK Homebuyers so it’s well worth investing in a few pots of paint.

My bathroom before…

Bathroom. This room needs to be fresh smelling and hygienic looking, so it should be one of the first places you paint and clean if you’re trying to sell your home. If you want to add a few touches to the bathroom, mirrors will bounce the light around and help the room feel bigger, and fitting a ventilation fan will keep dampness at bay. If you’re up for a construction project, adding an en suite to a bedroom can as much as £30000 to the price of your home so it may be worth measuring up and seeing whether you can fit one into the master bedroom.

…and after!

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My little vintage caravan – I’ve been featured in Caravan Magazine!

Did you know it’s World Smile Day today? I can’t think of a nicer event! It’s got me thinking about the things that make me smile and, aside from my family and friends of course, this includes my caravan, sunny days and beautiful flowers. So I’ve nipped out to my caravan to take some photos of my latest projects and to share the things that make me smile on World Smile Day.vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-11vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-10vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-22vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-16vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-25I also wanted to share the awesome news that my very own little vintage caravan has been featured in Caravan Magazine! A double-page spread, no less. Pretty cool, huh? I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Ben Hackney for the magazine earlier this year and couldn’t wait for the article to be published. It’s in the September issue of Caravan Magazine on page 44 (yes, I’ve memorised it!) and they’ve made the photos of my caravan look amazing – check out all those fabulous cut outs; I need a design team like that for my blog! vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-24vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-18vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-20vintage retro caravan magazine diy carpet rug makeover project-23It is such an honour to be featured in this wonderful UK publication and I am so pleased that people are interested to read about my caravan antics. I proudly showed off the article to my family and have even sent a copy to my nan and grandad! To say I’m rather delighted with the article is an understatement! While reading through, it got me thinking about all the other projects I’d love to do in my caravan so I started making a list of things I can work on this autumn, including a door makeover and adding more fairy lights (absolutely necessary for Christmas!).

Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – I’ve been featured in Caravan Magazine!” »

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