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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Amazing decor ideas for your thrifty wedding

Getting married should be the most exciting time of your life, but if you’re living on a fixed income or a strict budget, weddings can be stressful. The pressure of the trimmings of a wedding and the expectation that your wedding should be a big event can take its toll and make you feel like your wedding is unworthy. It’s a sad situation and the way around it is to simply not care! You and your husband-to-be need to choose wedding things based on what you want, rather than what people expect. Yes, weddings are a huge business but that doesn’t mean that it’s essential you buy into it.

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A beautiful wedding is made that way because of the care and thought that goes into it. Yes, there will be costs for the venue and the ceremony, and you can’t help those, but is there really any need for a ten-foot ice sculpture of swans? Probably not! Instead of pinching the pennies to make everything stretch, it’s time to get creative with the budget you have rather than the budget you wish you had. It’s also important to remember that a wedding on a budget does not mean one that looks cheap, in any sense of the word. There are some beautiful wedding ideas out there that are classy and elegant and have been pulled off inexpensively. With these thrifty decorating ideas, you can transform your venue into one that looks like it’s fit for a queen.

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Lighting. Wedding lighting, especially for outdoor weddings in venues such as Adlington Hall is going to be something you need to think about. For most larger venues, lighting and heating are included in their package prices, but if you can’t manage an outdoor wedding package like that, lighting will be down to you. As the evening draws in, the sun goes down so you need sufficient lighting for people to be able to continue their fun. Using white Christmas lights like these in place of huge, beaming lampposts is going to give your wedding an ethereal look. If you opt for the battery-operated lights, you can hang them from the ceiling, around pillars and around each table to give the whole room a magical look.

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Which wedding traditions can you do without??

Weddings are traditionally quite formal affairs in which strict protocols need to be followed. People wear certain things, it happens in a particular place, and there are traditions that must be upheld. Of course, some of parts of wedding must happen, otherwise the marriage wouldn’t be legal, but we have recently seen a move towards more customisation with engagements and weddings. Doing away with some of the more stuffy traditions leaves a little more room to make these events work best you as a couple, so read on to find out which traditions you can personalise…

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Engagement

Of course, before you can get married you need to get engaged. Traditionally this is the time when the groom asked the bride’s father for her hand in marriage and then surprises her with an engagement ring to seal the deal. Now you may want to keep some or all of these elements when you get engaged but don’t forget that this is not the only way it can happen. For example, the proposal does not have to be a surprise. Indeed, many couples discuss this event beforehand to ensure that marriage is what they both want. Also, you don’t have to be surprised – there’s no problem in choosing a ring for yourself. And you can stick to your own personal style in this area too – you don’t have to choose a diamond if you prefer rubies! Of course diamond engagement rings are still the most popular choice, because of the symbolism of lasting commitment associated with them.

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Getting married locally

Another popular tradition that isn’t happening as much as it used to be is getting married in the local church. While it is still a popular choice for many folks, a lot more people are deciding on a destination wedding instead. Get married abroad, or even just a special place in the UK that provides the perfect backdrop to their day (on the beach or in woodlands, for example), can help to make the wedding a little more special and personal to them. For many couples it can help them get away from the stresses and strains of the expectations of a traditional wedding.

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How to make your party memorable

We all love to party and have fun with our friends and family, but sometimes events can be bit of a chore. We eat the same foods, do the same things for entertainment and see the same faces. Eventually, it’ll just get boring and we’ll probably stop going to as many parties as we used to — but that’s no fun! I love going to parties, and blogger events are the best. I’ve been inspired by some of the fab blogger events I’ve been to recently and have come up with a list of things you can do to turn a party into a truly memorable occasion. Here are some tips for doing away with those boring generic parties – spice it up with a couple of these fun ideas.

Make it an occasion

There’s nothing wrong with looking for a reason to have a party. Perhaps you have an upcoming anniversary, maybe it’s just an end-of-the-month party, or perhaps there’s a big sports game coming up soon. Whether or not you watch sports or care that it’s the end of the month, that doesn’t mean it’s not an occasion to have a party! When you plan an event to coincide with something else, it’s usually easier for the people you invite to remember it and, despite being something trivial, it could turn into a much more meaningful party.

Theme your parties

Always try to mix it up and have parties with different themes. Maybe you could have a fancy dress party one week and then a more formal dinner party another night. Perhaps you could theme a child’s party around their favourite superhero or cartoon character, and maybe you could have a cheeky night in with your friends to watch a film, play some games or do something creative together. Perhaps you could create some DIY neon signs like my ‘Candy’ one above to add to a colourful theme, or perhaps invest in some props to decorate your home with.

Check out my I Heart NY party and Galentine’s party ideas.

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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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My new Christmas decorations theme – Blush pink & oodles of glitter

So now that bonfire night has exploded all around the country last weekend, I think I can safely move on to Christmas. That’s the rule, is it? Halloween? Check! Bonfire night? Check! Christmas? Ohhh yeaaah! Here it comes! Which is precisely why I’ve waited until now to show you my new festive decorations. I’ve been shopping this week (can you believe how many shops are full of festive stuff already?!) and was easily tempted to pick up some new bits n bobs.christmas-decorations-pink-heritage-vintage-glittery-trend-winter-2016-baubles-decorations-xmas christmas-decorations-pink-heritage-vintage-glittery-trend-winter-2016-baubles-decorations-xmas-8In fact, the prices of my new decs were so good that I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer, because I know that some of you will be the same as me and will be hunting out your new decorations for this year’s theme soon and I want to help you get a bargain. I usually stick to the same colours every year and have plenty of baubles that I’ve collected over the past decade that must go on the tree. But this tree is going to end up in the bedroom so I wanted to go for a different look this year.

As always I was inspired by Pinterest (here’s my Christmas board if you want to take a look) and I found myself pinning more and more handmade baubles and ballerina pink hues. Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without oodles of glitter so discoball-esque decorations were definitely on the cards. I found the exact dusky pink shades of Christmas decorations that I wanted on the Homebase website but decided to go along to the shop to buy them ‘in person’ so that I could see the size of the baubles and how they looked side by side.

I found so many more options in store that I didn’t even notice on the website so I picked up a few more packs than expected. Even so, I didn’t spend more than £14 on ALL these decorations. A full 1.8m tall tree was covered in this pretty pink theme (including two very special handmade baubles at £2 and £2.50 – my showstoppers!) for this low price. The mini baubles were only £2 for a pack of 20, can you believe it?

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Thrifty Wedding Inspiration – Homemade cake buffet

Wedding food can take up a hefty chunk of any wedding budget, so it’s important to consider plenty of different options when you decide how to cater for your guests. After lots of research (on Pinterest, naturally) I began to think that dessert + after-dinner truffles + wedding cake + tuckshop + ice cream cart might be a little bit overkill for the average wedding. Sure, these are all really lovely parts of the wedding reception and if you’re known for your undying love of ice-cream then go for it! But if you’re on a budget, it’s not a problem to play around with the wedding breakfast format a little and same some money at the same time.L&A-LowRes-539After checking out these images of fabulous dessert buffet tables I learned that IS possible to cut back on some of the food at your wedding without disappointing anyone. To be honest, a slice of cake at the end of the night won’t really be missed, and serving up your wedding cake instead of a dessert is a perfectly acceptable money-saving option too. Why not ask guests to compete in a ‘bake off’ and bring a cake that they have baked at home. This would fit in perfectly with a village fete themed wedding and allows guests to be a part of the event. All you’d need is some serving plates and a big rosette for the ‘winner’ of the bake off. And I’m sure all the guests would all enjoy tucking into the huge variety of cakes that end up on the bake off table.L&A-LowRes-538 L&A-LowRes-540Laura from no-nonsense wedding blog Devine Bride says; “We tried to be creative with our wedding to make it more unique to us, but also to try to save some pennies along the way. My sister is a bit of a foodie and ended up having two wedding cakes at her wedding, however everyone had such a good time that that they forgot all about the cakes and we were still eating them for 3 weeks afterwards! We decided to reabsorb our wedding cake budget, removed our dessert course from our menu, and asked all of our local friends to bake us a cake instead of bringing us a present. We ended up with a massive Pudding Garden dessert buffet! It was a massive hit with our guests and it meant so much to us that our friends had contributed to our day.”L&A-LowRes-254 L&A-LowRes-543I think that these buffet tables all look so inviting, and the variety of cakes that guests could bring to your wedding is unlimited. I would personally love to be asked to bake a dessert, and would hand over my cupcakes with pride! I also think that guests would be more happy to tuck in when there’s a cake buffet on offer, as nothing is too precious to slice up (unlike a traditional wedding cake). Of course, if you want to ‘cut the cake’ you could always stack up a number of Victoria sponge cakes to create one large tiered cake, or could ‘cut the ribbon’ instead to declare the dessert buffet open!L&A-LowRes-285 L&A-LowRes-541 L&A-LowRes-271Let me know if you’ve decided to do something a little different for your own wedding by leaving me a comment below and I’d love to see your own wedding ideas or cake photos so please tag me on Instagram @Cassiefairy. And be sure to stop by Laura’s blog Devine Bride for plenty more wedding inspiration, advice and fantastic ‘real life’ wedding photos.

 


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Ideas for a James Bond themed party

Organising a party that has an underlying theme to it can be a pretty difficult thing to do at the best of times, but if you are aiming to provide food that fits this theme then the task gets even tougher. The enduring popularity of the James Bond franchise, and the recent release of its latest smash hit – Spectre – have led to more people organising Bond themed parties. This lets people dress as 007 himself, or Bond girls, and enjoy casino themed foods – but how do you go about preparing these?james bond themed party decor ideas

Decorating ideas from ‘Catch My Party’ blog

Jam-filled playing card biscuits

It is not hard to see how these would be the perfect edible addition to a James Bond casino themed party and the great thing about them is that they are perfect for guests of all ages. Create the dough by sifting sugar into your bowl and beating together with lemon zest and butter until it is fluffy in consistency. At this point beat in egg yolk, salt and flour, before rolling the dough out and cutting it into roughly 7-inch rectangles. These should be frozen for half an hour minimum before being cut down to rectangles of around 2 inches each and baked for ten minutes. Once they have cooled, you cut the card symbols into them using cookie cutters and add the red or black jam to create the finished cards.playing card biscuits for james bond themed party

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My little vintage caravan ~ My pink & red birthday party

A couple of weeks ago I started planning my birthday party. I usually completely overlook  my birthday because I get too excited about Christmas. But this year I have my little vintage caravan, which seems to be the perfect venue to celebrate my getting a year older! I have already shared my initial ideas for food, drinks and decor via  my Pinterest moodboards and have had a fun week of crafting DIY pom-pom decorations and paper cones. I’ve also made a lovely red velvet layered birthday cake (check out my pieday friday post!). So today I wanted to share with you photos of my little pink and red birthday party so that you can see how all my ideas turned out:

pink party afternoon tea and cherry milkshake cupcakes

I wanted to create an afternoon tea atmosphere, so I stacked up sandwiches on my old floral stand and presented my red velvet cupcakes on mini cake stands from Wholeport. I layered up my favourite poppy petal crockery with red napkins and used pink spotty doilies as placemats.

pink and red party theme afternoon tea milkshake and popcorn

 

My favourite drink ever  is strawberry milkshake so I used 1/3 pint bottles and striped straws from the DotComGiftShop to serve my drinks and I after lunch watched girly films with a bucket of popcorn – what a great way to round off the afternoon. I baked a red velvet cake (here’s my recipe) smothered in buttercream, pink sprinkles and whipped cream, mmm yum! I topped it off with a little cake candelabra that I bought specially for the occasion (again from the DotComGiftShop) and felt like a proper disney princess as I blew out my candles and made my birthday wish!

pink birthday cake disney princess candelabra

Red velvet birthday cake recipe

I had a lovely day on my birthday, full of surprise treats and lots more presents than I could have hoped for! I now have a couple of good books to read over the coming weeks including my the books of my favourite films, Julie & Julia and the new Bridget Jones’ novel. I also received a couple of hats, so this may be the start of a new look for me – plus it’ll keep my roots covered until I can get to a hairdresser! Lots more accessories, beauty treats and choccies meant that I felt totally spoilt and couldn’t keep the smile off my face all day 🙂

More caravan articles


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Our Anniversary Party ~ Fill the whole world with a rainbow

party venue village hall decorating wedding planning

So you may remember that I had the dull and tired hall venue above to dress up ready for our 10th wedding anniversary party and I’d been looking around Pinterest at ideas for decorating the hall on a budget. I knew I wanted to continue the rainbow theme of our invitations, cupcake bouquets and the jam-jar tealights, so I decided that the best way to make a big impact was with bunting.

So I ordered packs and packs of cheap plastic bunting from a party shop online (the lowest price I could find!). I wasn’t worried about the bunting looking plasticy; although fabric bunting would have been a little more glamourous, I would have blown the whole party budget on just the bunting. Plus, I figured that I would rather have more quantity of cheaper bunting, which would create a bigger impact on the room as a whole, rather than a few strands of better quality bunting. In this case, quantity definitely won out over quality! Here’s how the hall turned out:

casssiefairys anniversary party rainbow venue decor bunting decoration

This was thanks to 3 of my lovely friends helping out with stringing it all out – in all, we had about 250 metres of bunting inside and outside the venue, so it looked amazing! It was really colourful and filled the ceiling space perfectly – it certainly made the venue look much nicer than when we arrived to decorate it in the morning! I made the spotty rainbow tablecloths above by sewing together 2 tea-towels that I’d bought in pairs from the poundshop – so that’s only 1 quid per tablecloth for real fabric! As we were having a band to play in the evening, I decided to give them a glamourous backdrop with a rainbow shimmer curtain – this width used three curtains, so this decoration cost under ten pounds! Plus we made a few multi-coloured paperchains for around the walls using sheets of sticky wristband (the type that you get on your wrist when you go to a gig or event). It’s easy to make the paperchains this way because the ends are already sticky and it’s a cheap option because printing companies often have leftover end-of-pack sheets that they can’t use. Or try the good old fashioned method of using strips of coloured paper and a stapler! Anyway, let me know what you think of my cheap and very cheerful decorations for the party, leave me a comment below or tweet me photos of your own party and bunting at @Cassiefairy 🙂


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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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