Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


Leave a comment

Getting the best from your DSLR camera

In terms of making an investment in technology for the long-term, Digital SLR cameras are definitely the way to go. They are able to capture moments for you in ways that your smartphone simply can’t. And (even though there are upgrades available) if you have a decent camera then you can stick with it for life.

Image Source

A new camera can generate hobbies, careers and even a lifestyle choice for you. Where you point your camera can be a massive reflection to others of the life that you are currently leading. Here’s how to get ahead and make a good use of your new toy – or how to blow the dust of a DSLR that you haven’t thought of picking up in ages…

Join a photography club

There are so many photography clubs around, you simply have to look online for the one which is most local to you. Here you will be able to listen to talks and show your photography to like-minded people. You will be set challenges each week under a theme, and each week you can present your interpretation of said theme to the other members. The theme could be a place, a person, or something abstract – the sky’s the limit and it’s an amazingly creative way to get your cogs whirring with your camera.

image source

Get tips from the experts

Going to a seminar or a talk on cameras, or even enrolling on a course to learn more about them will certainly pique your interest. There’s so much more to photography just pressing down a button and hoping for a good shot; the angles, settings and lenses that you uses are all crucial components to getting a great photo. Once you know the basics and how to put them into practice, you’ll be a lot more confident.

Continue reading “Getting the best from your DSLR camera” »


2 Comments

10 Interior design tips & tricks to maximise your space

We all strive for more space in our homes (just so we can buy even more stuff to fill it!) and it can be an expensive and time-consuming option to move house to get that extra space. I always seem to run out of space – no matter how much decluttering I do! So, what can you do in your home to create more room without having to actually buy or rent a bigger house or build an extension? Here are ten interior design tricks which can really help to maximise the space in your property.

1. Wall space is underrated but people just aren’t making the most of shelving. Shelves can be a lot more stylish than your standard plywood and metal shelf – you could go down the glass route or alternatively, and far trendier, are the rustic floating timber shelves. Build shelving into alcoves (or even put them above doorways – as I did in my last home!) to really make the most of every inch of space.

2. Get rid of any bulky furniture that doesn’t fit flush to the walls – things like dressing tables and standalone furniture that you could definitely live without. House Beautiful recommends that you opt for made-to-measure fitted furniture to maximise your storage and make rooms look cleaner, tidier and much brighter.

3. Downsizing your bed may seem like a disastrous idea but not many bedrooms in a smaller house have the capacity for a king size bed. Switching back to a double will enhance the space in your bedroom. You can still use your cosy king size duvet cover and squishy cushions though, so you don’t need to buy new bedding – just a double fitted sheet for your new mattress.

4. Transform all the seating in your home into storage. We’re talking benches that can open – window seats, ottomans, chests, and more. You can really make the most of where you’re sitting if you just turn it into useable space.

Continue reading “10 Interior design tips & tricks to maximise your space” »


38 Comments

Cruelty-free Laundry

In my quest to live a cruelty-free life, there was one thing that I hadn’t really thought about: Laundry. When you think about cruelty-free, you tend to think about make-up, haircare, lotions and potions and all kinds of beauty products. But an animal-tested industry that is often overlooked is household cleaning products. After finding out just how many products ARE tested on animals, I was absolutely adamant that all of the cleaning products in my cupboards will 100% cruelty free. And the good news is that yours can be too, with a massive bundle of Astonish products in my giveaway – read on to enter..!cruelty free cleaning products laundry cf leaping bunny animal testing washing_I’ve touched on the types of cleaning products I’ve been using in previous posts when I gave my mum a big batch of non-animal-tested cleaning products to get her started on her CF journey and also when I wrote about products I was already using that happened to be cruelty-free. I’ve already blogged about my favourite (and the cheapest!) CF cleaning products on the market in my cleaning hacks blog post last month. But today I’m going to focus on laundry products and washing your clothes the animal-friendly way.cruelty free cleaning products laundry cf leaping bunny animal testing washing_-8Powder or liquid, whichever you prefer to use, there’s a cruelty-free alternative out there that won’t break the back and will clean your clothes just as well as all the other animal-tested products. You can find low-cost Astonish laundry liquids in places like The Range, Savers and sometimes even on the market. Supermarket shoppers can pick up washing powder from Waitrose or the Co-Op and be sure to check out their ranges of fragranced fabric conditioners too. I’ve been using Waitrose’s own brand of non-biological powder and it’s been fantastic. The lavender and ylang ylang scent of my Astonish super concentrate is like summer in a bottle.cruelty free cleaning products laundry cf leaping bunny animal testing washing_-4cruelty free cleaning products laundry cf leaping bunny animal testing washing_-2If you’re looking for effective stain removal solutions there are plenty of cruelty-free options out there. The Astonish Stain Bar is just like the old classic stain remover bar that you mum has had in the cupboard for years but it’s 100% cruelty-free. Rub it on, or use a soft brush to apply to stubborn stains to minimise them before the go into the wash. I’ve been using the Waitrose Pre-Wash Stain Remover Spray to quickly treat larger stained areas (just when did I spill that tea down my top?). I’ve also been adding a scoop of Astonish Oxi Magic to the washing machine drum to lift stains within the wash (I’m taking no chances!) and it’s also good to chuck in with a light wash too, just freshen up pale colours.

I recently found out that Cussons is a cruelty-free brand too, so I picked up a box of Morning Fresh non-bio washing powder in Mandarin and Lemon from – wait for it – Poundland! I’ve also seen it in QD too, so check out your local discount sores to stock up on Morning Fresh. And don’t forget that Cussons make lovely handwash (in large size bottles) and washing up liquid too, so it’s a thrifty alternative to Ecover and Method.

Pretty much everything you would need for laundry can be found as a cruelty-free product, you just have to know where to look. I can recommend Astonish for the low, low prices and uncompromising performance. Most of the CF products I’ve mentioned in today’s blog post can be found in high street shops so keep an eye out and stock up your laundry cupboard whenever you come across these brands. And for convenience, you can’t beat picking up cleaning products from supermarkets such as Waitrose and the Co-Op with your weekly shop.06.17.16 Astonish Summer PackAnd now, on to a fantastic giveaway to get your started on your Cruelty-Free cleaning adventure! The lovely people at Astonish spotted that I’d mentioned them in my previous posts on CF cleaning products and wanted to give something back to my blog readers. So they put together a huge bundle of their best-selling cruelty-free cleaning products just for you. It contains everything you need to give your home a jolly good clean this summer, including specialist kitchen cleaners, their famous laundry products, window and floor cleaners, dishwasher tablets and even a feather duster! They are plenty of ways to earn entries via the rafflecopter widget below so do it now, and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only, must be over 18 to enter, giveaway runs from 16th August – 4th September 2016.
The products included in the prize package are as follows; Oxy Plus Stain Remover, Stain Remover Target Spray, Fabric Refresher, Clean and Protect Hand wash, Oven and Cookware Paste, Grease Lifter Tablets, Daily Shower Cleaner, 4 in 1 Disinfectant Spray, Window and Glass Cleaner, Fresh Sea Mist Floor Cleaner, all in 1 Dishwasher Tablets and the Dust Buster.


Leave a comment

Say goodbye to mouldy paint & my other favourite life hacks

It’s always the same at this time of year. I start looking around at my home after the winter hibernation and realise that it’s time to make some changes. Whether it’s simply an early spring clean or (in my case) tackling a bigger decorating project, this is when I start gathering together my cleaning products, paint and tools and begin using my weekends to update my home. You may remember that I wrote about my horrible damp windows back in the autumn and how I kind-of solved the problem with some thermal blinds. Well, now the condensation has arrived elsewhere – in the bathroom – and has resulted in mouldy, furry and down-right gross bathroom walls. Needless to say this is the area that I’m going to be attacking first! So my life hack number 1 is for clearing mould and flaky paint:

DIY life hack tutorial to get rid of mould flaky bathroom paint

Yes, the damp has got under the paint in the bathroom and big chunks are falling off the walls. Couple this with spots of mould all over the walls and I’ve got one manky bathroom. So here’s how to tackle the mould and stop it coming back – whilst making your walls looks like new again!

1. Scrape off the flaky paint using a cheap stripping knife or a triangular shavehook. Be sure to scrape all the crumbs away, brush down the walls, then vacuum them up so that they don’t stick to the new paint! It will look a lot worse to start with but I promise it’s worth it!

life hacks how to get rid of mould in bathroom

2. Mix up a solution of 2 parts bleach with 10 parts water in a spray bottle (an empty cleaning spray bottle will do) and spritz the bleach water onto the walls to kill the mould. This is exactly the solution you’ll find inside pricey mould-killer products so just mix up your own, but be very careful when spraying because any splashes back on your clothes will bleach them – you might want to wear something old that you don’t mind ruining!

3. Allow this to dry thoroughly (probably overnight while you have a good rest after all tat scraping!) and all the mould will have been killed off. Then paint the walls with two coats of satin soft sheen paint such as diamond eggshell – never use matt – which will resist the condensation in future and any moisture will simply run off the walls or can be easily wiped down with a cloth or old towel.

Simple huh? Not only have you killed the mould and stopped it from coming back, but you’ve also got a nice newly painted room!

DIY life hack tutorial to get rid of mouldy paint

While I was doing my decorating I thought I’d get involved in Most Wanted magazine’s life hacks project to share my top 5 thrifty life hacks with you. So number 1 was getting rid of mouldy paint and here are the rest:

2. If you have rust stains on metal-work (on the car or caravan for example) use a whitening toothpaste on a toothbrush to scrub it off – the whitening toothpaste is a little bit more abrasive than a normal toothpaste and should work a treat!

3. Instead of buying those stick-on masks for French manicures, just wrap an elastic band around the nail to mask off the area above the tip and paint it as normal.

4. Make your own firelighters – used dried orange peel to get a sweet-smelling fire started, or make wax firelighters by putting lint/fluff from the tumble drier into egg boxes and pouring over melted wax and wait for it to set. You only need to use one egg-holder per fire. Lint stuffed inside empty toilet rolls also works great!

5. Clean your make up brushes every month in a homemade solution made from a squirt of hair conditioner, a cup of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Mix this all together then allow the brushes to soak, without rubbing the bristles which might damage them. After half an hour give them a rinse in cold water and allow to air-dry until completely dry.

And here’s the part where you can get involved yourself – there is a competition running on Pinterest, where my fabulous thrifty readers can be in with the chance of winning a £50 voucher for Amazon! So it’d be great if you could share your own life hacks and thrifty projects on Pinterest with the hashtag #VCLifeHacks. Most Wanted lifestyle magazine will pin their favourites onto a dedicated life hacks board and select a winner from there – so share away and best of luck!

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close