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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Tuesday Shoes – Springtime pumps with a sporty sole + WIN any pair of Strive footwear!

My spring essentials are pumps. I’ve lived in my tan brogue boots and my hiking trainers all winter but now that the weather is warming up and the clocks have gone forward I’m confident that it’s time to switch over to springtime shoes. So that’s what I’m talking about in today’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post, plus I’m giving you the opportunity to win ANY pair shoes from StriveFootwear.com in my giveaway so read on to find out how to enter this fab giveaway..!Now it’s not yet time for summer sandals, but my usual boots are too heavy for this transitional season; what I really need is a pair of pumps. I usually live in flats throughout the spring and summer, so over the past few years I’ve got through countless pairs. You know the type; cheap, flimsy and prone to holes! Okay, I haven’t spent much money on these budget shoes (thank goodness, because I’m getting through the like a packet of biscuits) but ideally I’d like a pair to last me a season and save me the effort of taking regular trips to the shops.After wearing Strive trainers in my day-to-day life, I concluded that the brand might be the solution for my spring/summer pumps too. I knew they make comfy sandals but I hadn’t ever investigated their shoe collection. Thankfully, the brand didn’t disappoint and I managed to find a pair of Hampton flats in the new season collection.

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Tuesday Shoesday – 100 years of Converse All-Stars

Did you know that 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the famous Converse All-Star high-top trainers? I didn’t either until I started Googling “Converse” when I was looking for a gift for my husband. A quick search not only brought up a whole host of classic designs to choose from but also a whole lot of history about the brand itself. I’m such a geek when it comes to gaining knowledge about the things I buy so I delved deeper to find out more. Read on to find out what I discovered about Converse…Let’s take it back to the very beginning; The Converse Rubber Shoe Company (to give the brand it’s full, original title) opened its doors back in 1908 in the US, making all kinds of athletic shoes before specialising in tennis shoes in 1915. This early success led the company to develop new styles of sports shoes with rubber soles… I think you know where I’m going with this! It was in 1917 that the Converse All-Star Basketball shoes were introduced. And when basketball player Chuck Taylor put his name behind the brand in 1920, the high-top style really started to take off. It was no longer just a shoe for playing sports in. Oh no.
Over the years the iconic design has become the footwear of choice for off-duty fashionistas and is the ultimate in casual cool. Fans started customising their All-Stars to make them their own and the style was reproduced in countless new fabrics, patterns and colours. Nowadays you can even have your own design made just for you by Converse using the customizer tool on their website.

Enter my £50 giveaway below…

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Tuesday Shoesday – No shoes, but a new satchel

I’ve decided to write about my new handbag for this week’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post. Okay, I know it’s not strictly a shoesday post without any shoes, but the handbag did come from shoe brand Hotter, so I think it’s the ideal time to talk about handbags.handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-1-of-3Now, I’m not someone who will buy a new handbag just because I like the look of it, or because it matches an outfit or follows a new trend. In fact, I don’t buy bags very often at all. I don’t have a different bag for every occasion or for different seasons. Nope, I tend to choose one bag and that one bag will do me very nicely until it falls apart. And that’s when I’ll buy another one.handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-2-of-3You may have guessed from this that I don’t see handbags as a fashion accessory. I see them as purely practical; something to carry my important stuff from one place to another. I’m not saying that it doesn’t matter at all what the handbag looks like, because I have my preferences in the looks department too. But most important is that it can fit everything in, with lots of pockets and is easy to carry. handbag-wine-burgundy-satchel-bag-retro-school-crossbody-3-of-3My last two handbags have been Disaster Designs satchels. The first one I tried was the best. I really liked how it looked, with a map-print design and brown faux-leather flap. It was big enough to fit in everything I needed to carry, even notepads and ipads could fit in there. In fact, it was a little too big at times – if I only needed to carry a purse, it seemed to get lost in the vast space inside the bag, swishing around like a teabag in a bucket. But it lasted for years. I’m taking maybe 2-3 years before it finally started coming apart. I’d already ruined the lining with a leaky pen and plenty of spilled makeup by this point, but I was still sad to see it go.Whats in blogger Cassiefairys handbag-1

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Tuesday Shoesday – Blue suede boots for autumn

I’ve never seen an autumn like it. There are so many leaves on the ground at the moment that you can’t really see the grass anymore. The colours are so vibrant and I’m sure there are more shades of orange, red, green, yellow and brown in this year’s fallen leaves than ever before. And with a garden covered in beautiful autumn leaves like this, who wouldn’t go outside for a spot of leave-kicking at the weekend? Well, that’s what I did anyway!autumn-shoes-blue-suede-boots-kicking-leaves-fashion-trend-winterMy husband did the most adorable thing and raked the leaves into the shape of a heart. And then even went to the trouble of spelling out the word autumn across the middle. He’s a creative sort and knows how much I love this time of year. I’m pretty sure that’s why he did it, and not just to get a great Instagram photo for himself. Anyway, after he’d finished taking some snaps, I had the best fun kicking my way through the words and destroying the whole thing, bwahahahha!autumn-kicking-leaves-gifAs it’s Tuesday Shoesday I felt it would be appropriate to share some snaps of my new autumn boots at the same time. After my trusty brown boots finally crumbled after two years of constant wear, I decided it was time for a new pair. I wanted them to last me well, but look a little more cool than I usually choose. Plus, I needed my shoes to come in under my £20 budget too. That’s not too much to ask is it? Well, apparently yes, it is.autumn-shoes-blue-suede-boots-kicking-leaves-fashion-trend-winter-8I had trouble finding a pair of boots that did everything I needed. I mean, I just wanted some boots with a small heel, speedy zip fastening (I’ve no time for laces these days), in lovely faux suede or leather, and in this year’s hottest colour navy blue. After shopping around it started to look like my thrifty budget wasn’t going to stretch to a new pair of boots for me this year. However, when I hopped onto the Deichmann website I found rows and rows of shoes and boots, with most of them priced at £20 and under.autumn-shoes-blue-suede-boots-kicking-leaves-fashion-trend-winter-4I perked up a bit at this point and clicked through out their most recent collection for Autumn/Winter 2017. Wahey! Boots! Wedge boots, Chelsea boots, ankle boots and knee-high boots. And not just boots; my favourite shoe style brogues were available in patent navy blue too. But that’s not what I was there for. I stuck to my shopping list and looked only at the ankle boots section. My will-power is strong.autumn-shoes-blue-suede-boots-kicking-leaves-fashion-trend-winter-3 Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Blue suede boots for autumn” »


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Tuesday Shoesday – My week in #FloorSelfies

When I first heard about the #FloorSelfie challenge, I found myself getting a little excited. Not only do I love a good photo challenge, but I also love shoes, and taking photos of my feet for a week sounded like great fun. No need for any special equipment to get involved with this challenge; I simply charged up my phone and snapped a photo whenever the thought entered my mind. By the end of the week I’m pretty sure that I’d started to search out more interesting floors with fun colours or patterns, or maybe it was simply the fact that I was noticing the floor more often . How often do we look down, really? We’re missing interesting designs and even art by keeping our heads up. Anyway, enough rambling – here are my favourite shoe photos from the week and little bit about the location to go with them:

Excuse the pun but I ‘kick started’ my week of #FloorSelfies with a day out at the seaside. And we enjoyed ourselves so much that we actually went back to the coast the day after too. I snapped some photos on the beach and almost soaked my toes by trying to get the Tuesday Shoesday snap above when the tide came in. The traditional walk along the promenade followed, with me dribbling over beach huts that I could never afford, followed by a big hot chocolate to warm up. The second day we went to Southwold Pier and had fun playing air hockey and winning 2ps in the arcade. Something I hadn’t noticed before was that the pier has footprints painted on the deck all along the length of the pier. Don’t follow them though – some of the footprints head right off the side of the pier! I found a set of flipper footprints and snapped this fun #FloorSelfie.

One of the most exciting thing to happen to me this week was something that I couldn’t really photograph. My husband had been picked in a ballot to go to a recording of a TV special in Elstree Studios. With the performance being ‘top secret’ and absolutely no cameras allowed, it was hard for me to get a photo but I wanted to record the day out nonetheless. Here’s the fabulous wooden floor in the entrance to Elstree Studios and it’s the very same spot where I later met Tim Peake and Professor Brian Cox. Yes, I got a selfie with an astronaut! Best. Moment. Ever. And I managed to give Brian Cox a pair of ChattyFeet’s Prof. Brian Sox socks, which he found hilarious. Oh, you’ll notice a different pair of shoes in this shot – they are my favourite Hush Puppy flats the rub a little on the heel so aren’t great for wearing all day long. The following day we took a walk in the countryside and noticed just how autumnal everything is – leaves are turning brown and conkers are falling. Must remember to go blackberry picking this week before it’s too late.

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Tuesday Shoesday – Comfort shoes for a more active life

Whenever September rolls around I get that ‘new-term’ feeling. Even though I’m no longer a student, when you add up all the years that I have been studying in one way or another (yes, I’m even counting primary school), we’re looking at upwards of 20 years in education. So it’s no wonder that I still see September as the start of a new chapter – and still use an academic diary! I see it as a time to kick off some resolutions. In fact, it’s probably a better time of year to make resolutions than January, as you’ve got the end of the year as a marker for quantifying your goals. Whether it’s learning a new language (yes, I’m trying to learn Spanish this year), getting fitter, changing your working habits or improving your savings, I think that September is a great time to start.health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-5So, why am I talking about new goals on a Tuesday Shoesday? Surely this blog post is about shoes, right? Right! But my new shoes are linked to my new-term resolutions, and here are the reasons why: I took a bit of time off over the summer and it was only when I got back into the swing of full-time work that I realised just how bad my back and neck is. I went for physiotherapy earlier this year to correct a neck problem (caused by a historical whiplash injury over 10 years ago) and I thought everything was getting better. Over the summer, I barely noticed anything wrong with my neck and all those headaches were gone. However, as soon as I got back to my desk it became obvious what the problem was – my working environment. All the aches and pains came rushing back and it was difficult to get through a full day of work. So here’s my solution, and how it links to the shoes:health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-7I’m now a standing worker. I realised that sitting down all day was causing a lot of problems; heavy legs, pins and needles, bad back and strained neck. No matter how ergonomic my desk set-up was, I needed to get up off my bum and work standing up. So I gave it a go by moving my computer onto a higher work surface for a couple of days to see how I got on. It worked miracles. No problems at all. Apart from one small thing; my feet ached. My cheap flat pumps were clearly NOT made for standing all day! It reminded me of working in hospitality jobs when I was running around all day and really needed a foot massage at the end of the day. So one problem solved ended up causing another problem, but there was something I could do about that…health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-12

If you need new sports clothing I think that Fabletics (designed by Kate Hudson) can’t be beaten for style and performance.

I’ve reviewed comfort shoes on my blog in the past and I discovered that, for heels, Hotter cannot be beaten. However, I’ve always struggled to find a decent pair of comfort shoes that are also a little more on the sporty side. Most flat comfort shoes are a little bit too ‘old lady’ for me (no offence) and I’ve shied away from them, preferring basic low-cost pumps when I want to wear flat shoes. I read some reviews about sports shoes and zumba shoes online (read the article at NicerShoes.com) and now I’ve finally found a pair of comfort shoes that I want to show off – they’re sporty, available in great colours and are SO comfortable it’s unreal.health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-10health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers-2 health-active-sports-shoes-walking-running-cycling-trainers

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Tuesday Shoesday: How to dye your shoes – step by step video tutorial

When you really love a pair of shoes, you find yourself wearing them at every opportunity. Perhaps they are the comfiest shoes you’ve ever worn, maybe they are the coolest colour or are an on-trend shape, or it can be as simple as ‘they go with everything’. Whatever the reason, it’s really sad when they come to their end of their wearable life. Fabric fades and scuffs appear, and they get relegated to the back of the wardrobe.blue suede shoes shoe fabric dying makeover before afterThis is especially true for suede shoes, which need a lot of looking after to stop them from looking worn. So if (like me) you’ve been a little too lazy to waterproof your suede, or haven’t given them a daily brushing, and you didn’t not wear them on rainy days, then you might have a pair of rather poorly-looking suede shoes under your bed. When hubby’s favourite suede trainers ended up faded, mucky, scuffed and stained, I knew it was either time to throw them out… or do something about it.renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-9I hopped online and googled “shoe dye”. It turns out that it IS possible to give his old shoes a new lease of life with dye, and I picked up this Dylon navy blue shoe dye for less than £4 on Ebay. The bottle of dye comes with instructions and a small brush and can be painted onto onto any shoes that need a makeover. The colours of shoe dye tend to be quite dark, so you can easily go from blue to navy, or something like green to black. If you want to dye your shoes to refresh them year-on-year just go one step darker each time, so red shoes could be dyed brown and next time they could be painted black. Okay, you’ll end up with much darker shoes than before, but they’ll look good as new and you already know they’re comfy!renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-3 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-4 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-5 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-7 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-8 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-10Check out my step-by-step video below (it’s only 3 mins long) to find out how to bring your shoes back to their ‘box-fresh’ best with fabric dye (or view it on my YouTube channel here):

 

I hope this helps you refresh your own favourite shoes so that you can keep wearing them for years to come – and save cash on replacing them! My husband was really chuffed when he found out that I’d dyed his shoes and that he could carry on wearing his favourite comfy trainers. And when he ruins them again (on more off-road walks!) this year, I’ll simply dye them again. Good plan, eh? Let me know if you have a go at dying your own footwear, and any tips you have for looking after suede in general – it’s pretty obvious that we need some advice on this (!) so please leave me a comment below.


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Tuesday Shoesday – ‘Soled’ out, vintage style

You know the story – you are looking for that perfect pair of shoes for that perfect outfit, but the high street stores just keep coming up short. Heels are too high, too chunky, and actually in general, colours are a little muted. So what’s the next step (pardon the pun) to finding that idyllic pair of shoes that combine both incredible individual style along with supreme comfort? Well the answer could very well lie in choosing vintage. Made in an era of assured quality with longevity of use in mind, the vintage shoe is far from being a cheaper option, but is more of a wise move for those who want incredible style with that unique touch.retro vintage 80s 1980s court shoes footwear heels tuesday shoesdayColour Pop wow!

The 1980’s were famous for bright colours that had no respect for matching, a look that has returned to the fashion world recently, making these shoes ahead of their time. The advantage of a vintage pair of shoes can often be the condition. Bought in an era where you often bought shoes with the sole purpose of matching a certain outfit, this means they can have minimal signs of wear, just as with these suede shoes in red and purple. With a lower heel that makes longer wearing a breeze, a coloured sole that screams designer and an overall look that is sure to make a positive style statement, they are pretty much shoe perfection. Yet, by buying vintage, these shoes come at a fraction of the cost you would expect from buying a new pair.colour block retro vintage 80s 1980s court shoes footwear tuesday shoesdayQuality wins out

There is no denying that leather shoes, as with many leather products, can improve with age. Not only does it provide a look that develops over time but in terms of comfort the shoe will start to adapt to your foot shape. With vintage, the advantage is that often you have cut out the middle-man as it were, meaning that the shoes are already supremely comfortable from day one. These iconic courts are a modern day office dream, exuding the professional working look. Dated to the 1960’s, the buckled look has not aged and reflects current trends perfectly. The burgundy/brown colour means they will match almost any outfit whilst still creating a bit of a shoe buzz.work heels buckle burgundy retro vintage 80s 1980s court shoes footwear tuesday shoesday

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Tuesday Shoesday – Those “other” accessories…

It may be Tuesday Shoesday but today I’m doing things a bit differently. Instead of focusing on beautiful shoes and fabulous bargains, I’ve decided to check out that ‘other’ all-important accessory instead: the handbag. It’s equally as important as shoes – you probably don’t ever leave the house without it – and it can have so many uses that it’s hard to know where to start when you’re shopping for a new one. That’s where I come in. Today’s blog post is a wishlist of handbags for every occasion and all purposes. Plus one of these bags is an absolute steal and I am definitely buying it! Can you guess which? Let’s get started…handbag satchel clutch bag school work wedding spring summer 2016 shoppingFirst up is satchels. I carry a satchel myself most days. They’re small enough to carry without putting too much of a strain on my arm or back (yes, I love a cross-body strap) and they’re big enough to hold everything I need day-to-day. They can look rather cool in a back-to-school kind of way too, and remind me of my college years. I posted a photo of my own satchel on Instagram recently for a ‘what’s in my bag’ tag, so you can have a nosy at my tiny little everyday satchel if you like. It’s embossed leather and deep blue so goes perfectly with most of my autumn/winter wardrobe. I’d quite like to have a brighter, summer version of my satchel to migrate over to during the warmer months.handbag satchel school work yellow spring summer 2016

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Tuesday Shoesday – Sun, sea & shoes

The school half term holidays are over and we’re finally entering the last term of the year. That means only one thing; the countdown to the summer holidays has begun! The last week has been rather grey and drizzly here but, as if by magic, today the sun is shining and it’s the warmest weather we’ve seen in weeks. It’s as if the world knows that summer is on its way and is making us all look forward to our impending holidays.2015 summer holiday beach essential beauty fashion products-29I’m really looking forward to the summer this year. I’m hoping for lazy walks along the coast, delicious fresh lunches and lots of excuses to wear floral dresses and pretty pumps! In fact, the new season has inspired my blog post today because I’ve been searching for the ideal summer shoes. I want just one pair that will go with everything. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable with that request – I simply want a pair of shoes that I can slip on every day and don’t have to think about what to wear so I can spend more time outdoors enjoying my summer. But is it possible? Let’s find out…2015 summer holiday beach essential beauty fashion productsSo the shoes need to be 1) comfortable 2) low cost and 3) on trend. They also need to look great with dresses on sunny days and look equally as good with a pair of jeans when the sun goes behind the clouds. The trouble with the Great British Summer is that I can’t guarantee that we’ll have any good days of weather, and it would be just typical if the time I’m taking off work would be one of those grey weeks! Having recently chatted with my friend about her sun-drenched honeymoon (and becoming more and more envious as I heard where she’d been and what she’d been up to!)lace espadrilles summer shoes sandals tuesday shoesday Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Sun, sea & shoes” »

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