Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


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The only tights you’ll need this year

Quite a bold promise I know, but honestly you really won’t need any more pairs of tights that these two! I spend my life in one or the other of these tights (depending on the weather!) so I know how useful they are for all weathers and all seasons. If you buy these tights (I don’t mean just one pair, you can have more than one of each!) you will never need to go looking for a suitable pair again. Here’s why they are my favourites:

1. Silky Textures 140 Denier Thermal Fleece Tights - these are the best ever winter tights. And I mean EVER. That’s because they are thick opaque tights (as we all know black tights go with any outfit to turn a summer outfit into a winter look!) that don’t run and don’t get holes in them, thanks to the double layer of fabric – they are silky soft tights on the outside but are fleece lined on the inside. You can imagine how toasty you’ll be in these tights – they are practically a fleece jumper for your legs! I’ve been wearing and washing a few pairs for the past 6 months and they still are showing no signs of holes, runs or pulls. The only downside was that the silky side got a little bobbly after lots of machine washing but I could pull off the bobbles without making runs in the tights (same as pulling bobbles off a jumper) and when I needed a quick solution, I simply turned the tights inside out so that the fleece was on the outside. The fleece has no bobbles (and they don’t really look like fleece at all) so the tights still looked great in spite of months of wear. I’ve just got some of the Pretty Polly chocolate brown fleece tights (below) so I’ll let you know how I get on with these too! Please be careful not to confuse these tights with the Silky Textures Acrylic tights which were much more woolly and less long-lasting.

winter thermal tights and toeless summer pantyhose review

2. Charnos Simply Bare No Toe Tights - the ultimate spring and summer tights. When it’s a little too cool for bare legs but you don’t want to wear black tights I’d definitely recommend these. I am a lifelong hater of getting my legs out in the summer but these tights allowed me to bare my legs with pride because they provide a natural tan colour to your legs that is so sheer that even up-close my friends and family couldn’t tell that I was wearing tights. Not only is it the sheerness of the 7 denier tights (with the strength of 15 denier) that tricked them, but it was the fact that they are no-toe tights so I could wear flip-flops and sandals without anyone suspecting that I had a pair of tights tucked between my toes! Unlike other no-toe tights that I’ve tried (which tended to roll up under my foot) these have a toe loop which keeps the tights in the right place by anchoring them to your big toes. As long as you have a thin strap on your sandals across the toes, no one will ever see the join and will be sure that you’re rocking bare tanned legs with confidence. If you’re worried about being too hot in tights during the summer these have “climate control technology” which let your legs breathe – I never once felt too warm wearing them throughout the whole of last summer. As you can see I have stocked up for this summer already even though I have 2 pairs in my underwear drawer that are still going strong from last year!

You can buy both of these brands (along with loads more bargain pairs of tights in different styles and thicknesses) at UK Tights and now I never buy anything else. Sure there might be cheaper options available but in this case you really do get what you pay for – and that’s hard for me to say because I’m such a spendthrift! I know that I’m actually saving money when I spend out on these tights because I can wash and wear them time and again and that I can get a whole season’s use out of them rather than struggling with laddered tights after one use. Plus I usually keep an eye out for special deals from this website because they always have a couple of brands on offer so I make my purchases while there is a discount on ;)

One final thing – and probably the most important factor of all – these tights don’t slip down while you’re wearing them. For me there’s nothing worse than penguin-waddling after your tights have come down a little and having put up with the discomfort until you get the chance to hoist them back up when no one is looking! Let me know what you think of my choices and tell me what you usually wear on your legs throughout the year – can you recommend anything for me? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy :)


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Weekend fun at a classic car rally

What did you get up to at the weekend? It was a surprisingly sunny day here on Saturday – almost like the height of summer – so some friends and I headed out for the day to make the most of the gorgeous weather. Our pals are classic car enthusiasts and invited us out to a rally. Gorgeous cars, beer tent and BBQ lunch – that sounds like the recipe for a good Saturday to me! Our friends kindly chauffeured us to the event in their 70s Superbird; a bit more of a suitable ride than my Skoda! When we reached the event we discovered that there were two elements of the event: classic and vintage cars. Who knew there was a difference between classic and vintage? It looked to me like all the vintage cars were like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and ‘classic cars’ covered everything from Minis to military jeeps. I’m not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to cars - classic or otherwise - but I know what I like so I really enjoyed looking at all the shiny classic cars  in practically mint condition.  I hope you enjoy looking at some of the photos we took at the event:

While walking around the show with a glass of cider, I learnt a lot from my friends who answered my silly questions (almost without laughing!) and patiently told me the colour of the car they were talking about, knowing that I wouldn’t have a clue if they only said the name! What interested me most were how some of these old vehicles could even be on the road any more. Some didn’t even have headlights or windscreens so I wondered how they could ever get motor trade insurance, let alone breakdown cover if their ancient engines gave up during a journey, yet it IS possible and another thing I learnt during the day was the existence of a ‘daylight MOT’! smiling car classic rally

This was my favourite little car – just look at the smile on it!

I’ve been to a few vintage car rallys over the years (usually having stumbled across them by accident!) and you’ve probably seen my posts about the VW Campervan shows I’ve been to in the past, both as a spectator and as a trader. This day out was great fun and I’m certainly broadening my horizons and learning something new! I’d love to go to more events like this, especially when the weather is as lovely as it was this weekend: sounds like a good way to spend the summer, doesn’t it?! Let me know if you’re a classic car fan and it’d be great to hear about other fun events that I can enjoy at the weekends – car-related or otherwise! Drop me a line cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or tweet me @cassiefairy.


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My retro living room ~ adding a little sunshine for autumn

Just a quick photo today of the lovely bunch of sunflowers that hubby brought home for us this weekend. These bright yellow sunflower heads bring a much-needed injection of sunshine into our retro living room for autumn now that the weather is turning grey.

cassiefairys retro living room - autumn sunflower heads in hornsea vase

The flowers are arranged in our chunky Hornsea storage tub which has lost its lid and has been upcycled into a vase :)


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Get fit, look fabulous!

It’s that time of year again, when I’ve indulged over the summer holidays and need to get back on the healthy-lifestyle wagon. I’ve said “I’m on holiday” countless times during August as an excuse for scoffing ice cream and  BBQ treats, so now that I’m back into a normal work/life routine, it’ll be easier to settle into my usual healthy ways again! But what if you want to get in shape for all those Christmas parties? What do you wear on your feet (well, it IS Tuesday Shoesday after all!)? We’ve all been there – wandering around fitness footwear stores struggling to find a pair of gorgeous, yet comfy shoes that won’t leave your feet feeling hot and sweaty after a brisk walk.

tuesday shoesday brisk walk fitness for autumn

A brisk autumnal walk via Cassiefairy on Pinterest

Work-out footwear is often criticised for straying from the styles of the moment. We all know that ensuring performance for amateur and professional athletes comes first, but it would be nice to see our sport shoes combine beauty with functionality too. There are a couple of stunning fitness sandals that are gracing our stores this season; all maximising support for the wearer, while looking pretty on the foot.

Health and lifestyle magazine favourites, FitFlops, have been on the scene for a few years now but this BBC News article suggests that the shoes have come under scrutiny for being hard to style up. But as the brand’s competition hots-up, so are their trends! No longer are ladies relying on plain, simple and block colour styles to slim down this summer – the brand has launched a number of jewelled and flower-detailed sandals to capitalise from SS13 trends. Looking to see what the fuss is about and join the hordes of toned ladies? As it’s the end of season, many stores are offering their range of FitFlop sandals at discounted prices; the collection at Jones Bookmaker is available for £10 off, including the sandals below, for example.

 tuesday shoesday jones bootmaker fitflop fitness sandals

Hot on the heels of FitFlops are the fitness sandals from Birmingham-born tyre manufacturer, Dunlop. Compared to their arch-rivals, they offer a similar shape – a raised heel – and pair it with a range of metallic and sequin thong-style foot coverings. If you’re a fan of funky patterns and animal prints, then Dunlop’s fitness sandals are in pole position to give both your daytime dress and your fitness efforts a head start.

Sketchers have got a wedge of the fitness sandal market too, and have named their version “Tone-ups”. Emulating a wooden grain, their wedges still appeal to casual daywear over your Sunday best, but the earth-inspired colours and shoe design works wonders. There’s never been a better time to get fit and look fabulous!


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DIY accessories ~ funk up your sunglasses for the last of Summer

If you’re getting a little bored of your sunglasses after wearing them all summer, or if you’ve picked up a bargain pair in the summer sales, maybe you’d like to funk them up with some cute appliqué accessories?!

I’ve spent an enjoyable hour gluing lovely things to my sunglasses and I’d recommend you do the same to breathe new life into your old accessories! I used a strong super-glue, but you can use a hot glue gun if you prefer, both of which will keep your buttons or bows safely attached. If you use the hot glue gun be very careful of the hot glue (which can burn!), but on the plus-side, your glasses will be ready to wear as soon as the glue has gone cold. The super-glue might take a few hours to set (aways follow the instructions on the pack & be very careful where you put it – you don’t want to get things stuck where they shouldn’t be!) so once it’s completely dry, you are free to wear your new sunglasses – any sooner and you’ll probably get your hair stuck in the tacky glue!

DIY fashion craft adding buttons and cabochons to sunglasses for summer 2013

I’d recently been given a box of buttons that a relative had collected over the years, so I chose some lovely old vintage buttons to create this first pair of sunglasses, mixing and matching the colours for a funky look. I also did a ‘classy’ version with black glasses and retro silver buttons. You can get similar buttons from craft and thrift stores or try shopping online. I got these resin bows below from Wholeport online and I love this for an on-trend look – these cute cabochons are everywhere this year!

DIY fashion craft adding buttons and cabochon resin bows to sunglasses for summer 2013

Really, anything you can think of can be added to your sunglasses – little trinkets, old earrings, artificial flowers, broken jewelry, ribbon bows etc. As long as you can still see out of your sunglasses, anything goes! Have a go for yourself and make your own unique sunglasses and when anyone asks where you got them, you can proudly say “I made them myself!”.