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 Shoesday – Bloggers’ shoes from the UK Blog Awards 2016

If you can cast your mind back to the last few times that I’ve been to a blog awards event, you might remember that I have a bit of a post-ceremony tradition. I love to share photos of the bloggers’ shoes in a Tuesday Shoesday post. Not only do I love chatting with all the fabulous writers and photographers that I meet at the event, but I’m also really interested in their outfit for the event and, in particular, their choice of shoes. Here are a few of my previous ‘Your Shoes’ blog posts after the Cosmopolitan blog awards and the very first UK Blog Awards back in 2014. Anyway, this year is no exception and no sooner had I arrived home from the event, I was tweeting my new pals to see if they wanted to get involved in my next Tuesday Shoesday post. Thankfully, all the bloggers I chatted to replied to my request and sent through photos of their own (rather fabulous!) shoes for me to share with you today. Oh and I’m thinking about compiling another ‘Your Shoes’ blog post for everyone to join in with so please email me cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or tweet me @Cassiefairy if you’d like to show off your shoes in my next post!

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The first bloggers to send me a snap of their shoes were the couple behind award-winning blog Hey! Dip Your Toes In. This inspirational website is packed full of glorious photography, appetising recipes and I-want-to-be-there-now travel posts, so it comes as no surprise that Eulanda and Omo won the award for Best Food & Drink Blog in the UK. They totally deserve this accolade – you can tell just how passionate they are about their blog and the experiential lifestyle they live. And it didn’t stop there; this fabulous duo made it a double-whammy by winning Highly Commended in the Travel category too!

I asked them to talk me through their footwear choices for the event and I’m pleased to report that they (like me!) cited comfort on the dancefloor as one of the main reasons that they chose these particular shoes; “We typically like to coordinate when we go to big fancy events, however, we’d just gotten back the day prior to the event from a 15 day press trip. With his in mind, we really couldn’t be bothered with making a fuss at coordination attempts. We knew there would be dancing, and rather than risk a night of tender toes and tears of regret, we opted for the old faithful shoes. Omo wore his wedding shoes, and I wore my graduation shoes. Both pairs are super comfortable, and have seen hours of fire on the dance floor! Our shoes happened to be the same shade of caramel, which is really our version of ‘nude.’ Honestly, there were no other options. Comfort rained supreme on this day, and we were able to dance for hours on end after the ceremony was over. A night well done for us!” And trust me, they sure did tear up that dancefloor – I’ve seen the photos! Congratulations again to Hey! Dip Your Toes In – you deserve to dance the night away after scooping two awards!laura devine bride shoesNext up are Laura from Devine Bride and Maggie from Planes & Champagne, the lovely ladies who sat with me during the awards ceremony and actually had to persuade me out of my seat when my name was called. Thank goodness they were there! Laura told me all about her plans for her gorgeous wedding blog while we chatted at the event and I can’t wait to work with Devine Bride in the future on guest posts and more. While Maggie was already off on another plane straight after the ceremony, Laura stuck around in London and was able to zip a photo of her classy black shoes over to me straight away. She told me that she decided to wear her bargain shoes over and above some much more expensive shoes in her collection because they’re super-comfy.

“I wore these shoes to the UK Blog awards last Friday as I was nervous about going and meeting new people, and these shoes never let me down! They are one of the cheapest pairs I own (£14.99 from New Look via ASOS last summer), but one of the best.  I have lots of more expensive shoes that I have blagged through various jobs in the past (Russell & Bromley and Louboutin, no less), but I always revert back to these. I love the heel height and the comfortable suede.  They are a simple classic court shoe and go with just about anything – I’ve even worn them with jeans.  I actually planned on wearing sparkly sandals to the UK Blog Awards, as I was a little intimidated by the attendee information stating that the dress code was formal/cocktail dress, but I had already ruined my wedding pedicure from the week before and was coming to the event straight from work.  I had a brilliant night and have put it down to putting my best foot forward, in my favourite (comfortable) courts.”

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UK Blog Awards 2016 Most Innovative Blog – And the winner is…

For the first time in almost 10 years of blogging I don’t know what to write. I finally understand what people mean when they say they are speechless – but I am wordless. I’ve never sat in front of a blank page and not known what to write. But today is different. Today I should be writing something important, meaningful and… well, I don’t know. But, so far, words escape me. I’m thrilled, chuffed and living in a dream. I literally woke up this morning and couldn’t be sure if it all really happened. But all the wonderful messages of congratulations that I scrolled through on twitter this morning confirmed it. I had won!uk blog award winner 2016 most innovative cassiefairy-3 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-29You see, yesterday was the UK Blog Awards 2016 and (after a long day at work) hubby and I had driven to London to attend the glitziest of awards ceremonies. Sponsored by Odeon cinemas and held in the ultra-swish Park Plaza hotel in Westminster, it was the most amazing event I’d ever been to. Themed around the magical story of The BFG by Roald Dahl, the venue was beautifully dressed with blossom trees and jars full of dreams. The BFG himself was even wandering around the venue, photo-bombing bloggers wherever he went. It honestly felt like I’d stepped into a dream, and that’s probably why I find it so hard to believe that my dream became a reality last night.uk blog awards ceremony 2016-14 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-11 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-8 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-6 Having already chosen ‘my winners’ for each category in the awards, I knew that I was up against the stiffest of competition and most inspirational of blogs. I knew I didn’t stand a chance of scooping an award so I was simply there to soak up the atmosphere, meet some of the wonderful women that I’d been collaborating with over the past year and to seek out some of my blogging inspirations. So you can understand my wordlessness when the opposite happened and judge Sandra Donskyte – my business hero – announced me as the winner of Most Innovative Blog. I was hoisted from my comfy “I’ll just sit here and watch” seat and gently encouraged onto the stage by my husband, where I whimpered (and probably swore!) my way through collecting the award. Thank goodness Sandra and Kate Russell were there to hold me up!uk blog awards ceremony 2016-18uk blog awards ceremony 2016-20 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-21 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-26There is no word to describe that moment. Nor any moment since. I guess that word hasn’t been invented yet because I can’t seem to find any word even remotely suitable in my vocabulary to tell you how I felt. So, in the absence of words (I honestly thought this blog post was going to be blank when I sat down to write a few minutes ago!) I’m going to have to let our photographs do the talking.

My swishy dress & red handbag are from Boden, my pretty (and all-night-long comfy!) pink shoes are from Hotter and my make-up is from Lookfantastic.com

I met SO many wonderful bloggers last night and I had the chance to chat ‘in real life’ to many of the folk I email on an almost weekly basis. It was the chance to meet face-to-face that really made the night special and I loved every minute. I’m hoping to collaborate with many of the bloggers I met, so I’ll be sure to introduce them to you soon. Even now I keep asking my husband whether I did actually win; I’m worried that I went up on stage and collected someone else’s award! But no, it DOES have my name printed on it, so (as long as I keep it nearby so I can continue checking) I’ll start to believe it soon.uk blog award winner 2016 most innovative cassiefairy uk blog awards ceremony 2016-19 uk blog award winner 2016 most innovative cassiefairy-2 uk blog awards ceremony 2016-29Thank you all so much for the years of support, for reading my blog, for sticking with me, for commenting, for tweeting and for being my friends. You guys rock!


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I’ve been shortlisted for ‘Most Innovative’ blog in the UK Blog Awards!

I still can’t believe it. I have actually been shortlisted in the UK Blog Awards. And for the ‘Most Innovative’ blog category. There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now. Thrilled, delighted, amazed and shocked just doesn’t do it justice. Thank you, thank  you, THANK YOU for voting for me. You did this. YOU put this smile on my face!
I've been shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards 2016 Final.I actually didn’t find out myself – I was working hard on an article when the ‘you’ve made the shortlist’ email came through – so I only found out when my friends and family started getting in touch to congratulate me! I was all like, eh? And then I checked my email. I logged on to the UK Blog Awards website. I double-checked the categories. I sat open-mouthed for a few minutes until the news sunk in and a smile spread across my face. And it has seriously not left my face ever since!

As the UK Blog Awards are totally down to reader votes, I honestly couldn’t have got anywhere in the competition without YOU. You have made my day, my weekend, my month and my year. You’re the best and I can’t thank you enough. Cheers to all who have supported me and helped my little thrifty lifestyle blog to get to the finals of a national competition. Wow. Have an amazing weekend everyone!


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An exciting start to 2016 – I’ve been nominated for a UK Blog Award!

I had some fantastic news over the Christmas break. My blog, my simple little thrifty lifestyle blog, had been nominated for the UK Blog Awards 2016. I don’t know who put my blog forward for an award or even whether more than just one person popped my name into the ‘hat’ but to whoever did nominate me, thank you so much! It means that I’ve been added to the list of blogs for the public voting stage (which is now open!) and I’m in with a chance of getting through to the next stage. SO exiting and I’m so grateful that I have been nominated. What a great start to 2016!Cassiefairys free pieday friday recipe book blurb ebookSo now I’d love to share details of how to vote with you, just in case you wouldn’t mind stopping by the UK Blog Awards website and giving me a quick vote.
Go to my profile page on the UK Blog Awards site, where you can vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category and for the ‘Most Innovative’ blog award. And as a thank you I’d love to send you a free PDF copy of my ‘Pieday Friday’ Ebook with lots of yummy recipes for dinner, dessert and snacks, so please leave me a comment below this blog post to let me know if you’ve voted! 😉

Vote for me now in the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16It’s especially exciting for me to have been nominated because I missed out on so many blog events last year due to 2015 being particularly tough on this side of the screen, so it’s a really great start to the new year and I’m so optimistic about what this year has in store for me and everyone I love. The chance to win a UK Blog Award would be the icing on the cake and I’m thrilled that someone even nominated me! Please do stop by my profile page and give me a vote, and let me know if you DO vote by leaving me a comment below and I’ll email you a free copy of my recipe Ebook as a thank you and send loads of virtual hugs too!Cassiefairys free pieday friday recipe book blurb ebook cookbookLove and hugs to everyone who reads my blog and supports my thrifty lifestyle, you guys are the best!


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Tuesday Shoesday – and the winner is..! UK Blog Award winners’ favourite shoes

Do me a favour? Have a look in your wardrobe and tell me which pair of shoes are your favourite and why? That’s exactly what I’ve asked my lovely readers to do over the past few months and I’m pleased to report that lots of you were able to tell me! I’ve written about bloggers and readers shoes in March and April (please check them out!) and this month’s Your Shoes article is all about the top shoes of the top bloggers in the UK – yes, it’s the turn of the UK Blog Award winners! I was thrilled to be among the winners when I was lucky enough to be Highly Commended in Retail and Fashion and it was lovely to chat to all the fabulous bloggers from all industries at the event so I made it my mission to get in touch with the winners to find out what their top footwear choices are and to share more about their blogs with you all. It’s been SO interesting to see how different their favourite footwear is and to read the reasons why these shoes have made the top of their list. If you’d like to join in with the discussion and be featured in next month’s ‘Your Shoes’ article, why not send me a pair of your favourite shoes and be featured in a future Tuesday Shoesday article? Email me Cassie@Cassiefairy.co.uk and in the meantime have a read of all these fabulous stories:

I’m beginning this blog post with the gorgeous Alex from Bambella Blog – the worthy winner of the Retail and Fashion category: ‘These beauties are my newest pair of shoes and are currently my absolute favourite! I wore them to the UK Blog Awards as not only are they absolutely amazing (just look at them!), but they go with everything, look a hell of a lot more expensive than they actually were (only £14.99!), and are so comfortable as, although they look deceivingly high, the actual high of the slope is hardly anything thanks to the platform!’ These shoes have appeared on Alex’s blog again in more summer outfit posts, so it’s clear to see that she loves them and will get a lot of use out of them. I think I could do with the extra height so I’m going to invest in a pair of platforms like this!

alex bambella blog awards night shoes

Top writer and the winner of the Organisation Automotive Award Danny Hewitt from Motoring Insight sent me a his ‘n’ hers photo of his favourite shoes; “On the left are my girlfriend’s suede ankle boots. They look warm and cosy! On the right, are my Hugo Boss shoes which I wear a lot. They’re so comfy and with the soft fabric, they give my feet so much freedom. I love them. They frequently accompany me on my journeys and they’ve even been on stage at the UK Blog Awards!” Danny collected his blog award from Perry McCarthy the original Stig from Top Gear (I was so excited to see The Stig!) and has now has other blogs and writing projects in the pipeline at BalletReview.co.uk so best of luck to him, and watch this space for updates!

danny motoring insight favourite hugo boss shoes

Busy journalist and blogger Annie from The OCD Squirrel blog told me that comfort is key and shared photos of her lived-in boots and long-loved trainers; “When it comes to shoes it’s all about comfort for me, so I practically live in boots and converse. I love scrawling through charity shops and fleamarkets, so you can I don’t like spending too much money on things, but to buy a good pair of boots, you need to spend a fair bit. I bought these boots a couple of years ago, and yes they look worn, because they are worn. I love the biker look with metal and buckles and straps, and haven’t found a pair of comfier boots ever. These did cost me a bit but have lasted for so long, which is what I want. And they never go out of style.  Converse are also a fave because they’re so comfy and go with anything, literally anything. I’ve worn them with black jeans, tartan trousers, skirts, dresses and even my pyjamas. You can tell from the two pairs of shoes I like the unpolished look, I’m not exactly girly BUT I do love heels, even if I can’t walk in them!” Writer Annie won the award for Most Innovative Blog and it’s not hard to see why – just check out her work!

annie from ocd squirrel blog favourite boots and convere

Next up is Kate from foodie blog Veggie Desserts, where stunning food photography and yummy recipes are combined. She sent me the cutest hers ‘n’ hers mum and daughter photo: “My beloved black brogues are so battered that they aren’t suitable for a close-up, so here are my leopard heels and my 2 year old daughter’s matching pair. Mini and Mummy – roar!” Kate won the top award for Food and Drink and quite rightly so – who would have thought there were that many ways to use vegetables in recipes?! I’m forever checking back on her blog for dinner ideas and there’s always something to inspire me!

kate at veggie desserts

Double-whammy award winner Alice Elliott from Fairy Blog Mother sent me a snap of her favourite heels; “I like them because they are purple, they can be adjusted for swelling feet and ankles because of the bow-tie, and they look nice when they’re on. I last wore them to Ascot where I backed the wrong horse and lost out on £600!” Thankfully this time she won big at the National Blog Awards, scooping the award for best Digital and Technology website and was also highly commended in the PR, Marketing, Media and Communications category. I have sought her jargon-free advice on blogging and expertise with WordPress on more than one occasion so please check out her site for all things blogging-related.

fairy blog mothers Shoes

It wouldn’t be right to have a blog post featuring the UK Blog Award winners favourite shoes without a mention of the fabulous women who launched and organised the awards and ceremony, so I was delighted when one of the founding partners of the National Blog Awards Becki Cross agreed to join in with this month’s ‘Your Shoes’ post and sent me a photo of her favourite glamorous high heels; “I am fairly tall (5’8″) but I still adore my heels, particularly these beautiful super high heels by Kurt Geiger.  They were a complete bargain.  I bought them for a friend’s wedding and passed the ultimate test – walking 20 minutes across central London in them between the church and reception venue!”  Check out Becki’s industry blog Events Northern Ltd and the UK Blog Awards website which she runs with fellow founder Gemma Pears.

Shoes becki cross uk blog awards

Fellow Highly Commended Retail and Fashion winner Carly from The Cupid Bow sent me this photo of her favourite Christian Louboutin trainers; “They’re my favourite because a) they’re the most expensive pair of shoes I own (obvs haha!) and b) I treated myself to them last year when I got a really positive appraisal at work and had been saving for a while so decided to splurge!” Her beauty blog is simply gorgeous, full of glamorous tutorials and is a fabulous resource for all things beauty-related. So if you want to know what products do and don’t work, this is the place to try before you buy and I urge you all to check out her blog and join in with all the ‘lipglossiping’!

the cupid bow christian louboutin trainers

Lovely blogger and winner of Best Travel Blog Denise from Around the World with a High Chair sent me a photo of a pair of heels that have remained her favourites over the years for sentimental reasons; “My favourite shoes aren’t fancy designer ones, they are the bright pink shoes I wore under my wedding dress when I married Mr ATWWAH.  They gave me much needed height but very sore feet by the end of the day after a night on the dancefloor!” I can certainly see why she chose these hot pink shoes to wear on her wedding day – they are gorgeous!

ATTWAH favourite hot pink wedding shoes

Event management student Caitlin Kobrak won the Best Event Blog award for her blog I’m a Damn Student, What do I know?  As a past event management student, I find her blog particularly interesting and was delighted when she agreed to join in with this Tuesday Shoesday blog post. She told me that comfy DMs are her favourites (same here!); “Surprisingly, at 5’1, I am not much of a heel wearer and do not own that many pairs of shoes. Which is why for 9 months of the year you will find me in a pair of my trusted Dr Martens! These shoes are ridiculously comfortable, are fantastic for the winter months and go with pretty much anything, plus who doesn’t love some floral print!” I’ve already fallen in love with this boots and I agree they are the perfect summer version of my big stompy DMs – I’d love to have a pair just like this!

shoes caitlin IDS

And finally, top design blogger Natasha from Graphique Fantastique and winner of the best Young Person’s Blog award sent me a photo of her favourite shoes this morning; “I basically live in my Chelsea boots. I wear them with everything from jeans and skater skirts to girly dresses with my leather jacket to add an edge. Also usually accessorised with ankle socks in an array of colours :)” Such a fabulously versatile pair of boots and again, it seems like comfort is important for us busy bloggers! Natasha is also going for the Cosmopolitan blog awards (like me – see my post here!) so please leave a nomination for her too for Best Careers Blog – she totally deserves it!

graphique fantastique favourite chelsea boots

Thanks to all the lovely blog award winners who’ve taken the time to send me photos of their favourite shoes and to tell me the stories behind them – especially because I know how busy you all must be after winning your awards! Best of luck to you all with your blogs, writing and business ventures and I’d love to hear more updates from you all and share your achievements on my blog so keep in touch! I hope all my lovely readers have enjoyed this insight into more bloggers’ favourite shoes and I’d love you to get involved too so please send me a photo of your faves along with a sentence or two about why you like them to cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk and I’ll be happy to share them in next month’s ‘Your Shoes’ blog post!


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My amazing night at the National Blog Awards

Have you ever spent years dreaming about an event, months working towards it, weeks planning your movements, days deliberating your outfits, hours getting ready, only to find yourself minutes before the big moment with your heart pounding, palms sweating, wishing that you’d stayed at home hidden under the duvet? This pretty much sums up my experience of the National Blog Awards except that seconds later it became the greatest night of my life!

I know I’ve made you wait two days, and I’m three hours late publishing my daily post after uploading all the photos, but I can’t keep it to myself any longer;  I won the Highly Commended Award for Retail & Fashion at the National Blog Awards 2014!!! Scream!

Cassiefairy National Blog Awards 2014 Highly Commended in Retail & Fashion category

I hope you can imagine what an unbelievable, surreal and shocking moment it was for me – a girl who works alone, spends 12 hours a day writing and has dedicated the last 3 years of her life to creating (soon-to-be) 1000 blog posts – to be judged by the best in the business, to have industry professionals reading my blog and to be recognised by editors and marketeers as being top 2 in the country in my sector. shakes head in disbelief. Amazing.

I’ve put together some galleries of the goings-on at the National Blog Awards event at The Grange Hotel, St Pauls, London so that you can get a flavour of the evening and meet some of the fabulous bloggers I encountered at the big event. My husband was my official photographer so there are lots of photos of me, I’m afraid! We arrived at the very swish Grange Hotel and were whisked off in the glass elevator to the Wren Suite for the big event. I posed for a snap beside the glowing column with rotating National Blog Awards logo and grabbed a glass of bubbly on the way in. After checking whether my bestie Jenna from Glitter Daze blog had arrived, my husband and I had our photo taken in our his ‘n’ hers Joules outfits before heading into the glamorous hall, where we were amazed by the scale of the event.

A real red carpet had been laid and Oscars statues stood either side of the stage (of course I posed on the red carpet in my New Look dress & accessories!), and in true Hollywood style there was even a popcorn and candy floss stall for us to snack on during the ceremony! We chatted to lots of other lovely bloggers and enjoyed the canapés that came past us on regular intervals throughout the evening before heading to the Luma touch-screens to make my own ‘Glitter is my favourite colour’ canvas bag.

After my pal and fellow finalist Jenna arrived, we grabbed a couple more glasses of champagne before getting stuck into a graffiti session on the huge Luma ‘YrWall’. We used real spray cans to digitally tag our ‘Glitter Daze hearts Cassiefairy’ wall and the kind folk at Luma even printed the design onto a bag for each of us! As we stepped away from the wall, some gorgeous (and delicious) cupcakes were offered in our direction so we took our dessert to enjoy while we checked out the competition in our awards programme. We made our predictions and I’m pleased to say that my chosen winner did come out on top in the awards, but more of that later! The seats started to fill up with bloggers and guests so after a quick touch-up with my new make up (from Click Fragrance) we settled in for the awards ceremony, hosted by the fabulously funny founder of MediaCoach, Alan Stevens. After a lovely welcome by Gemma Pear and Becki Cross, the organisers of the National Blog Awards – who snapped an Oscars-esque selfie on stage! – and a captivating talk by sponsors Content Click, the awards ceremony commenced.

Hubby was particularly excited when the original Stig from Top Gear, Perry McCarthy presented the award in the Automotive category to Danny Hewitt from Motortrades Insight and I was delighted when the first award in the Arts & Culture category went to a lovely blogger that I chatted with during the evening Hayley Flynn from Skyliner. All the winners and highly commended awards can be found on the UK National Blog Awards website so please have a look and check out all the fabulous finalists! When the time came for the Retail & Fashion awards I was excited but not too scared because I’d already looked at all of my competitors’ amazing blogs and knew that my chances were slim (especially when compared with the perpetually fabulous Bambella Blog – my predicted winner). Hubby filmed the announcement and when my blog photo was beamed onto the big screen as the Highly Commended blog in this category you can hear the loudest gasp from me! I couldn’t believe my blog had made it into the top 2, it was so unexpected but will certainly go down as one of the best moments of my life.

I was equally delighted when Alex from Bambella Blog – a fantastic fashion blog that I’ve been reading ever since discovering her at the Company Blog Awards last year – was announced as the winner and I couldn’t wait to congratulate her and grab her for a photo with our awards. That’s the lovely thing about bloggers; they are always so happy for and proud of each other’s achievements and just being together at an amazing event like this – one that celebrates blogging talent & shares our private efforts with the world – is magical. I just can’t wait for next year’s blog awards now!

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