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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Top 3 dress trends for spring/summer 2017 and how to wear them + underwear giveaway!

The sun is out – hip hip hooray! For me this means the start of the spring/summer season and that means a slight shift in my wardrobe. It’s no longer the weather for woolly jumpers and thick jeans – which can only mean one thing; dresses are back! Today I’m sharing my picks of the spring/summer collections on the high street and tackling some of the more difficult styles to wear. Plus, there’s a giveaway to win TWO go-with-everything Kissbobo invisible bras – read on to enter the competition today!

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If you’re going to any kind of event this year, you’ll probably want to invest in a new dress. I’m not necessarily giving you permission to buy a new outfit for every occasion but do think that one fabulous new dress could see you through all the hen parties, work events, weddings, christenings, days at the races and dinner parties you’ve got planned this season. But which one dress will cover all eventualities? And what kind of underwear will you need to wear with these off-the-shoulder styles styles? Here’s my top 3 dresses for S/S17 and how to wear them… 

The cold shoulder midi

This classy cold shoulder dress is the perfect spring/summer outfit for special occasions. It’s just landed on the New Look website and already I’m a fan. With a floaty floral fabric it’ll keep you cool in the warm weather. And when there’s a breeze in the air it’s long enough to cover your knees, and the sleeves will give your arms a little protection from the cold. It can be dressed up with heels or kept casual with a pair of trainers so it’s a wear-all-weekend piece. LOVE the yolk yellow colour! It’s got a slinky low back and thin shoulder straps so finding the right underwear might prove tricky; the Kissbobo invisible bra would do the job perfectly. It’s an adhesive gel bra so there’s no straps to worry about – no chance of your underwear peeking out from below your pretty dress in any of those wedding photos!

Two prizes to be won in my giveaway – enter competition below…

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Where to find bedding in mid-century colours

Hurrah! We finally have some new bedding for our new bedroom. After weeks spent stripping off wallpaper, days painting layers and layers of while emulsion to cover up bright peach walls, and even more hours spent laying beautiful laminate flooring, I think it was about time that we got a little reward for all our hard work. And what do you want when you’ve just turned a room into a perfect white cube? Colour, that’s what! Looking back over my last few home blog posts, I think you can tell the direction in which I’m heading with my interior decor. In fact, it’s no secret that I love mid-century modern design – I’ve had teak furniture and geometric patterns in my home for years. But this time, I’m taking the OTT garishness down a touch. I’m pairing simple white walls with natural textures, so that my mid-century design pieces really stand out and take centre stage. The bedroom is no exception. Where we previously had an eye-catching DIY feature wall made from the pages of old books, I’ve now decided that the bed itself should be the feature in the room. I’ve bought a sleek Hygena bed from Argos (which will take another month to arrive) and it’s undeniably mid-century in design. So I already had this in mind when it came to choosing some new bedding.

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6 Crafty ways to preserve your family’s most precious memories

Family memories come and go so quickly. Even when you wait months for a big occasion – marriage, graduations, 1st birthday parties – the time goes by in a blink. You can make the occasion memorable with some of the party tips I shared on the blog earlier this week, but it’s the reliving of these precious moments in the future that gives me the most happiness. And with a bit of craftiness it is so easy to preserve these memories so that you can enjoy reminiscing time and again. 1. Create holiday jars

Holidays provide the best source of memories. We tend to do things out of the ordinary on holiday – fun activities, enjoying a special meal, or hiking to a beautiful spot – but it’s no good having photos stored on a memory card somewhere. Remembering these moments can help to keep us going when we’re feeling under the weather or sat at our desks while it drizzles outside. “Vacation jars” do just that. They’re so easy to make – all you need is a jar – and the rest of the items you can pick up along the way. Put anything in your jar that reminds you of the last holiday you took, including:

  • Small souvenirs
  • Pine cones or shells (depending on the location you visited!)
  • Pictures (real-life printed photos)
  • Postcards and leaflets
  • Maps and travel tickets

I also made myself a ‘little jar of happy’ which contains anything that has made me happy. If my niece or nephew says something funny I’ll write it down. When I get positive feedback on my work, it goes into the jar. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and it always puts a smile on my face remembering the good times. 2. Family yearbooks

Why not create yearly yearbooks that show some of the year’s best pictures? Over the past year I actually got some photos printed and it was lovely to have ‘real life’ photos in my hands. We are all taking more photos than ever thanks to camera phones but we rarely ever print them out. If you do a little audit of your photo albums every 3 months and send a few to print, you create your own yearbook for the family to look back on, and if you’re happy to do some scrapbooking (one of my favourite things to do) you can add in a few extra bits alongside your photos such as:

  • Event tickets
  • Birthday cards
  • Newspaper clippings

If you’ve got photos and souvenirs to hand, you could even use screen printing to transform t-shirts into wearable collages of your images if you want to make a lasting, wearable memory. Imagine wear a Christmas jumper this year that has photos of the fun you had last Christmas printed on it! Photos also work great as ‘bunting’in your office or the kids’ bedroom – here’s how to make Polaroid bunting at home.

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The next big interior design trends for 2017

The New Year is a great time to think about freshening up our homes with new indoor furniture, updated colour schemes and a few of the hottest accessories in line with the latest trends. It’s also the time of year that trend forecasters pull out their crystal balls and announce the home décor trends coming up in the year ahead.
I’ve had a look at all the predictions and here are my picks of the top eight interior themes we can expect to see in 2017.

A photo posted by coshliving (@coshliving) on


Super Natural
As technology becomes more and more integral to our daily lives and developments such as artificial intelligence and 3D printing look set to cause greater disruption, people are looking to nature and natural materials to provide balance. A strong desire to bring nature into our homes and workplaces will see interiors filled with greenery, from hanging pots, to hydroponic indoor gardens planted with vegetables and herbs. Sustainable and recycled materials will also feature strongly, with worn or aged furnishings and accessories. Sofas and designer furniture will be made from sustainable materials;  designers are even beginning to experiment with algae and fungi to develop new products. Key colour for this trend is Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2017 ‘Greenery’, a bright and powerful green hue.pantone-greenery-colour-pop-interior-design-trend-2017Nordic Influence
Scandinavian style continues to exert a strong influence on interiors with abundant natural light, a sense of space and simple well-designed furniture using natural materials. Natural textures and materials – such as wooden furniture, fur and shearling throws, hides and cork – ensure this look never appears cold or sterile. Bold fabrics and handcrafted accessories are also key elements. Key colours to recreate this look in your own home include white and soft gray with primary coloured accents.sideboard-sandinavian-danish-colour-pop-chair-mid-century-modernRaw and Industrial
The raw, industrial aesthetic is also still a strong influence, with concrete, clay, steel and glass forming the main materials. Again, this suits the trend for upcycled homewares as older items with rust spots, faded colours and patina fit in perfectly. If you’re lucky, you could give your home an industrial look for only a few pounds if you’re able to find disused shop/factory fittings, wooden pallets and rusted metalwork. The key colours for this look are gray, beige, off-white, yellow, white, walnut brown and glints of gold and copper.industrial-interior-design-trend-2017Reflective
For enthusiasts of contemporary furniture and décor, this design theme could be for you. The atmosphere here is soft and friendly, without being overly romantic and sweet. Modern materials and indoor furniture will feature cool mirrored, transparent effects. Look out for iridescent lamps, overlapping coloured glass shapes, shiny glazes, copper finishes, faceted shapes and reflective surfaces. These modern effects are contrasted with the tactility of handmade knitting and crochet to create a very livable theme. Choose muted key colours such as nude, blue, lavender, yellow, rose, turquoise, yellow-green, pastel yellow, peach, mint, lilac and pink.pop-of-colour-yellow-interior-design-trend-2017Pops of Strategic Colour

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How breakfast cereal can improve your health

Did you watch Inside The Factory on BBC2 last night? I love programmes like this; finding out about the inner workings of factories that produce the products we use every day is fascinating to me. Last night’s episode was all about breakfast cereals and, as a serial cereal muncher, this was a total fangirl moment for me – who knew how many hours of processes go into making one cornflake? And the Coco Pops production line was almost too much excitement. I had to chill out with a bowl of Cheerios after the show.inside the factoryBut the main reason that I’m writing this blog post today isn’t because I want to rave on about how much I love breakfast, it’s because the discussion on Vitamin D was so interesting. I’d never considered the effect of Vitamin D in the past, and didn’t realise how important it was to us. Hearing Cherry Healy discuss the fact that people with good levels of Vitamin D in their body were 50% less likely to catch a cold was eye-opening. That, coupled with the fact that Vitamin D is important in keeping bone and muscle problems at bay, got me thinking about just how little Vitamin D I must have in my own body. inside the factory bbc 2Vitamin D can be produced in the body just by getting enough sunlight. But, as an office worker (who lives by the light of her laptop for around 10 hours a day), I’m pretty sure that my Vitamin D reserves must be running low. And even when I’m not in my office, I’m trying to keep out of the sun at all costs. I’m a pale-skinned gal who burns easily so I stick to the shade whenever I’m outdoors, and cover up with plenty of clothes and SPF 50. So how can all the Vitamin D from the sun’s ray get through to my body? It’s unlikely, isn’t it? Continue reading “How breakfast cereal can improve your health” »


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Urban or rustic – what’s your garden style?

It’s that time of year again. Whether it’s the weather, having more time during longer days, or the summer break you’ve booked off work. Whatever the reason, July and August seem to be the months of the year that we spend the most amount of time in our gardens. So today I’m sharing a quick garden quiz to help you find out your own creative ‘garden style’, plus there’s a chance to enter a competition with Furniture Village to win a designer rattan garden chair worth £1395 so read on to find out more..!Garden Quiz - Copy (2)Even year-round allotment gardeners can be found putting even more effort into their veggie patch at this time of year – pruning, sowing, harvesting, fertilising and netting. And fair-weather gardeners like me finally find the time to step outside and do a little bit of weeding. The mowing needs to be done regularly – it seems like the grass grows at lightening speed during August, and returns to its original length only days after being cut. There’s so much maintenance that could be done in the garden but all we really want to do fire up the BBQ and lie back on a sunlounger with a Pimms. Or maybe that’s just me?? Continue reading “Urban or rustic – what’s your garden style?” »


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Free weekend activity – Wild flower walk

Can you guess what we’ve been up to recently from the title of this blog post? Last weekend my husband and I set off on a lovely weekend walk in the countryside, planning to find a bluebell wood which (having googled it) we knew was nearby. After a long period of cold wintry weather in April, the sun was finally out so we wanted to make the most of this lovely spring weekend and get outside. We pulled on our boots, packed up our gloves (just in case the wind picked up) and even took a snack with us to nibble on at lunchtime. We were ready to head out into the great outdoors, to breathe in the fresh air, get a bit of exercise after a week cooped up in the office, and drink in the glorious views. Little did we know that all – and I mean ALL – the spring flowers had finally come into bloom. day out wild flower walk spring day out wild flower walk spring-4 day out wild flower walk spring-2 Our amble through the countryside had quickly turned into a botany trip. Spotting different flowers as we strolled along the footpath became a competition between us, almost like ticking off the flowers in an ‘Eye Spy’ wildflower book. Luckily, we’d brought the camera with us in anticipation of getting some pretty shots in the bluebell woods, so we began taking photos of all the flowers we saw on the route. We had soon photographed more varieties of flower, blossom and ‘weed’ than we could count, and that was before we’d even found our way into the wood.day out wild flower walk spring-20 day out wild flower walk spring-29day out wild flower walk spring-28When we arrived at Reydon Wood the route had been marked out by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust as a dedicated ‘bluebell walk’ so we strolled through the first part of the wood, still gathering photos of other varieties of flower, and hoping to round a corner and see a swathe of bluebells. You won’t believe it, but as we wandered along the path, the clouds burst open and it started to hail! Luckily, the canopy of the woodland protected us from being pelted with hailstones but we could see it coming down against the sunny backdrop of fields. Could a hail storm produce a rainbow, we wondered? Would it be solid? Thankfully, it was just a quick shower of hail and soon the blue skies were filled with fluffy clouds and sunshine again.

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How to style a space-saving side table

If you’re like me, anything and everything that has to do with decoration is fascinating regardless of the price (a girl can dream, right?). As you might have read by now, I’ve recently moved into a new home which is always the chance to start off fresh and combine existing furniture with some new stylish eye-catching pieces. Regardless of whether or not moving house is on the horizon for you, it’s nice to add some changes to your home to give your interior an extra sparkle. After all, we spend a good chunk of each day in our living nests so it’s only logical to create an atmosphere that you’re excited to come home to.diy copper side table styling a beautiful mess

Create a minimalist copper side table with this DIY project from A Beautiful Mess

When people think of redecorating, they often think of it as a complete makeover process, where overspending is the key that guarantees the best outcome. Being a fan of simple yet creative solutions, let me tell you there are ways to make it work without over splurging and draining your bank account. Just pick a few unique furniture items and watch it all fall into place. A good place to start is with side tables.side tables circular and square wood and metal styling inspiration

You can combine different shapes of side tables in one room

Predominantly, living rooms lend themselves to the “gather around the coffee table” set-up, making the coffee table the focal point of the room. If however minimalism resonates with you, you’ll already know that less is more. Consider removing your coffee table and replacing it with a side table. Or maybe two? If you just need somewhere to put down your cuppa, a side table will do the job and you can always pull it into the centre of the room to use as a coffee table when you have guests visiting. Not only will you amp up the room’s stylishness with some minimal pieces, but you’ll also gain some more space in the room. As side tables come in all kinds of shapes and sizes – from tall and sculptural to low and wide – these pieces of furniture can do wonders for your décor and give your interior a drastic change. You can experiment with materials too when you’re investing in such a small piece of furniture so imagine a style and go for it!repurpose old crates for a diy side table idea

Repurpose old boxes to create a DIY side table space

The material that a side table is made of is more important than meets the eye. More traditional households might match well with an elegantly crafted small wooden table. My suggestion would be black pine as it gives off a sense of elegance. Wooden designs are a way better option than glass if you have kids, especially toddlers – safety first! Some of my favourite sophisticated home-styles express their individuality with a blend of materials, such as wood with stone or brightly painted metal and glass combinations. An oak and marble duo is both sturdy and sleek and works well with any print – think mixing it up with a nice set of patterned curtains and a rug.funky gold side table

You can be adventurous with the design of your side table

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Tuesday Shoesday – Shoes fit for an awards ceremony

In case you didn’t already hear me bleating on about it on Twitter – I’m going to the UK Blog Awards! So basically, you’ll be treated to lots of preparation posts on the blog this week, showing you exactly what dress and accessories I’m going to wear, the make-up and skincare I’m using and, today, you’re going to see which shoes I’ve chosen to wear for the big event. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to hear about other people’s preparations for special occasions (yes, I am a nosy gal) PLUS it’s handy to have an idea of what my favourite bloggers will be wearing so that I can spot them in a crowd at the awards ceremony! So I figured, if I’M interested in this, maybe you’ll be interested to hear about what I’ve been getting up to in preparation for the UK Blog Awards…comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-2 comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-14 comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-4So, lets start at the bottom and focus on the shoes. Well, it IS Tuesday Shoesday after all. When it comes to choosing heels for any occasion I always head straight to Hotter. It’s literally the only place I can find beautiful heels that don’t hurt my feet. So when all your friends are hobbling home shoe-less after a night of wearing too-high shoes and you’re skipping along without a pinch in your comfy heels, you’ll be pleased that you chose Hotter shoes too! I can wear them all day at weddings, I can dance lindy-hop all night, and I’ve even worn a pair while waltzing on the dancefloor of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Love them for all occasions and events so, of course I’ve chosen a new pair for the UK Blog Awards too. comfortable classy stylish shoes fashion trend for blog awards ceremony from hotter-7 Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Shoes fit for an awards ceremony” »


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Tuesday Shoesday – How to make your footwear last forever..!

With wet weather comes muddy boots and just having tidemarks from tiptoeing through puddles is enough to make you feel like a right mess, even though the rest of your outfit is perfectly clean. So if you find yourself caught in an April shower, just take a moment to give your shoes a quick wipe with a damp cloth when you get home. This simple action could be enough to lift your spirits on a grey day – and it might make you feel better about the way you look – as looking after your garments when you get home guarantees you’ll look your best the next time you head out the door.polishing shoesLeaving mud to dry on leather is pretty bad, and can actually damage your boots, creating cracks and horrid stains. So whether you’ve spent a fortune on those leather boots or have even just picked them up from a car-boot sale it makes sense to prolong their life by giving them a quick polish.IMG_6334You don’t need any special equipment; just one pot of clear shoe polish will clean up every pair of shoes you own. You can buy a brush if you wish or just use a soft nail brush or even an old toothbrush to apply the polish. Spread it all over your footwear and pay attention to any faded or well-worn areas. Now here’s another money-saving tip…How to polish your new leather shoes to keep them protected and clean Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – How to make your footwear last forever..!” »

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