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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Help motivate your fellow #WomanKind

How have you been getting on with your #WomanKind journey so far this year? I want to chat through my own progress with you today, and please read on to enter my amazing hamper giveaway including £100 John Lewis vouchers (and there are TWO of these amazing prizes up for grabs)! You may remember that I started blogging about this inspirational campaign back in January and have been sharing my own ideas of ways to be kind to yourself. I began by writing about my wardrobe, and the ways that I planned to revamp my look for a stylish 2016. This blog post included ideas for tidying, organising, repairing and investing in my clothes to make them last longer and help me look better all year round. I also wrote about the research I’d read into the lives of women, and discovered that 88% of women criticise themselves in ways they would never consider doing to other women.prize hamper giveawayThe results of this survey (and the #WomanKind video) really inspired me plan to treat myself with the same kind of care and compassion that I treat others with and got me thinking about ways of living well. Of course – as a die-hard thrifty gal – I had to think about ways of doing this on a budget, so I went on to share ideas for finding amazing party shoes without splashing too much cash on payday. Yes, it CAN be done, ladies! And if you shop smartly you might never need to buy any more party shoes again, sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well, it IS possible so check out my Tuesday Shoesday blog post to find out how!prize competition giveaway hamperOf course, I couldn’t talk about being kind to yourself without discussing healthy living, so last Pieday Friday I shared lots of delicious (and good-for-you) recipes. I also discussed some of the things I do to live a healthy life while still eating meals that aren’t dull. Check out my mealtime (and treat!) tips in this blog post and join me as I kick-start my healthy eating plan for 2016. And before you head off to get started, why don’t you enter my amazing giveaway of prizes worth over £100? Read on to find out how to enter…prize john lewis vouchersAll you have to do is share your top tips for being #WomanKind. This could be the things you eat, the activities you do, the treats you buy or the clothes you wear. It could be your favourite ways to relax, money-saving ideas, DIY projects or tips on spending quality time with friends. It could be a motivational quote, something you’ve read that inspires you or song lyrics you love. In fact, it can be ANYTHING that you want to share with other readers to help make them (and yourself) happy.prize win competition gift voucherThere are no limits to how many ideas, tips, quotes or activities you want to share via social media – just make sure you include the hashtag #WomanKind and let me know when you’ve tweeted, commented, facebooked or instagrammed your tips by using the Rafflecopter widget below to record your entry.

This unbelievable prize hamper includes the following:

  • £100 John Lewis Voucher
  • Weight Watchers Recipe Book
  • Weight Watchers – Pasta, Pasta Sauces & Snacks
  • 3 months free at Weight Watchers

And to top it all off, there are TWO prize hampers up or grabs! Yes, two of you lovely people will win a hamper each just for helping to inspire others! Now that sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?! And as it’s a leap year this year, you’ve got one extra day to enter on the 29th Feb too. Don’t delay – enter the giveaway now!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK readers only, runs from 22/02/2016 to 29/02/2016


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Her stocking ~ Gifts for the Girls

Last week I wrote about gifts for the guys, followed by a quick gifts for your pets post, but this weekend I’m tackling one of the more tricky gift guides: gifts for the girls. This is basically what I want for Christmas, which I hope will give you some inspiration for the ladies in your life when you head out to the shops!

I don’t dare suggest personal gifts such as perfume or beauty products, as every woman has their own preferences, instead my gift guide is a mixture of pretty things, lovely dresses and, of course, sparkly shoes – so there really should be something for everyone. Lets hope so!

etsy gifts

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Be inspired & make it happen – my update.

I don’t know if you remember, but back in June I wrote about a piece of research I’d read about the career and life goals of women. It seemed to be talking directly to me as it looked into the dreams of the participants and gave an insight into the timescale that women today aim to live their lives by. After reading that three-quarters are women are dissatisfied with their achievements I began thinking about my own life and the things I want to achieve. It gave me a renewed vigour and I wrote about how I wanted to develop my writing career and branch out into new areas, such as writing for different types of websites, magazines and newspapers. So I wrote this ambition, along with a personal goal of learning to swim, on a Post-It note and stuck it to my dressing table mirror so that I would see it every day. I hoped that this would keep me on track as I started working towards these goals and now I want to report back about how I got on.

inspiration for aims dreams and goals 2014-1

Well, this week I started on a journalism course. Yes, I signed up, I went ‘back to school’ and I took my first class towards getting a journalism qualification. But that’s not all I’ve been doing towards my goals over the summer; I’ve studied on an online community journalism course and I’ve been writing lots more copy than usual – making sure that I write something every day. I’ve written a couple of articles for other blogs including a more technical piece than usual for The Fairy Blog Mother and a careers article for EventManagementStudent.com. Also, I’ve been SO lucky to be shortlisted for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award! And next week on Tuesday the 7th October I’ll find out how I got on in the Best Lifestyle Blog category.  Just knowing that some more readers might be stopping by my blog as a result of this has made me up my game and be certain that I am completely happy with my articles before they are published. In the past I’ve been a little slack with my proofreading but now I make sure I double-check my spelling and grammar. It’s amazing how often I’ve found mistakes such as duplicate words and misplaced hyphens in my work! When I got the news that I’d been shortlisted, I decided to write an article about why I started my blog in the first place and even writing the this post made me realise just how much I want to achieve this goal and follow my dream. Having that Post-It note reminder has definitely helped me to stay on track so far!

I actually entered the competition by Post-it (who commissioned the research report that I originally read) and encouraged my friends to do the same. The prize is £1500 and it’s called the ‘Make It Happen’ campaign: it’s as simple as writing your dream on a post-it and uploading a photo of it to the website, or even just typing in your goal online here: http://makeithappen.post-it.co.uk and use the Twitter hashtag #postitbrandhappen. I found out that the competition will continue to run until the end of November so there is plenty of time to get your entries in! I checked out the previous winners (one each month so far) and here are some quotes from The Thinking Woman’s Coach and Post-it® spokesperson Jessica Chivers about why they won:

Winner One: “I’ve chosen Caroline Collins who would like to take 48 Raft Foundation volunteers to Kew Gardens. Caroline’s ‘Make it Happen’ is about doing something for others who are in turn doing something for others in their community. There’s so much good feeling being spread here. I wish them a terrific day at Kew learning things relevant to Raft Foundation’s “Grow Wild” project.”

Winner Two: “I would like to select Mark Stapleton who wanted to take Stacksteads Band to the final of a competition in Cheltenham. Music gives pleasure to so many and the band is very active – I think it would be great to fund their ongoing success and wish them well in the competition.”3M
Winner Three: “I’d like the winner to be Samuel Fairman who looks as though he wants to make it possible for him to go sailing in a wheelchair. I loved his creative ‘ask’ for the money – the Post-its shaped into a boat and a wheelchair in the picture, and the sense of positive resolve to carry on striving and achieving even when things might not be so straightforward.”

I’m carefully avoiding telling you how I got on with my personal goal of learning to swim, and that’s probably because I didn’t do much towards it since June. Okay, I went swimming a couple of times and I practiced a little more underwater swimming than usual. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I usually need a nose-clip and goggles to be able to swim, but this year I learnt how to put my face underwater and swim without a nose-clip. For someone who has never ever put their head underwater in the bath before last year, I think that’s not too bad. I’m getting better at swimming, and practice makes perfect so I guess I’ll just carry on swimming whenever I get the chance and stick at it. One day I’ll be able to do those Olympic turns at the end of the pool!

Have you been learning any new skills recently? What would you like to achieve between now and the end of the year? Let me know in the comments below. And have you entered the Make It Happen competition yet? If not, do it now because it’s so simple – just one sentence could change your life! Good luck with it and with following your own dreams too 🙂Comp Image 2

 


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1940s fashion for men

If you’ve been reading my blog over the past few months (and even earlier this week, because I mentioned it again in my dancing shoes blog post!) I’ve been getting very ‘into’ the 1940s scene and swing dancing. It started when I went to the Mid-Suffolk Vintage Festival back in June for the D-Day celebrations and I couldn’t keep the crazy grin off my face all day. We met a few members of the local lindy dance group there and they invited us along to a dance class the following Friday. Thankfully we decided to go and we’ve barely missed a lesson since!Vintage Festival and D Day Remembrance 2014-9 Vintage Festival and D Day Remembrance 2014-20 Vintage Festival and D Day Remembrance 2014-10

Luckily, there is a thriving 40s culture in East Anglia and I am never short of events to attend – in fact, there are sometimes too many and only next week I have three dances to choose from! I can’t keep up with getting different 40s outfits for each event and I find myself desperately coveting my friends’ circle dresses and tweed jackets.  I’ve shared a few of my photos from recent events and I’ve been particularly interested in what the men are wearing…

I think that finding period outfits for men is more difficult than it is for women – there are plenty of 40s and 50s replica dress companies out there for us and a thriving vintage online market. But there are less specialist retailers out there for men’s vintage clothing, especially as my husband doesn’t fancy going for the whole military get-up. So far he’s been looking rather swish in brogues and braces but I’d like to invest in something a little more ‘dressy’ for the evenings. And that’s where scarves come in!vintage mens fashionI really like the idea of buying my husband a silk aviator scarf from classy menswear brand Knightsbridge Gentleman’s Neckwear and I’ve nabbed a couple of photos from their website in order to show you the type of classic men’s fashion I’m talking about. I’m sure you will agree that it would fit in perfectly with the 40s style we are trying to incorporate into our dancing wardrobe. I also love the combination of braces with a bow-tie so there might even be a bow-tie in hubby’s Christmas stocking this year! I think he wears the look really well and he’s even started wearing braces in ‘everyday life’ so I’m hoping that this smart look might be here to stay 😉


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The weekly roundup

Today I am again following in the dainty footsteps of my friend and blogger La Vie Sophie  and am blogging about what I’ve been up to this week.  Sophie has provided headings to prompt us bloggers to think about what we’ve been inspired by each week – food, places, music, books – anything! 

Sophie says “I would really love it if other bloggers would like to get involved and just spend that five minutes on a Sunday thinking about what they’ve done in the last week. Please feel free to use the graphic below!”

theweeklyroundupgraphicPS

Ate… Lots of local cheese at a wine tasting evening at our local pub. It was a great night, hosted with the pretence that we would be helping the pub to choose which wines to stock in the future, but really it was just a great excuse to drink wine and eat cheese! It was especially nice to get to know some of the other regulars; we see them all the time, but have never really talked to them, so it was a good way to get us all chatting and now we have a mini pub community!

Watched… Loose Women everyday with my lunch. I’ve been rubbish at taking a proper break from writing at lunchtime and I know it’s important to look away from the screen every now and again, so I’ve been forcing myself to have a proper lunch break away from the computer, just like people with ‘normal’ jobs do. I used Loose Women as a timer to let me know that it’s time to stop and time to start up again – I may not concentrate on watching the show while I’m making and eating lunch, but at least I’m stepping away from the laptop and having a rest.

Listened to… I bought two new albums on Ebay this week – new to me, but not ‘new’ new – one was Smash Hits 1995 with all my childhood classics on it, and the other was to replace the High School Musical CD that I’d lost (I suspect that it was in the CD player of a car we’d sold last year – the buyer got themselves an extra treat!).

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It’s International Tiara Day!

I’ve just heard on Radio 2 that today is International Tiara Day!

After a quick Google I’ve found out that this is the 2nd Annual Tiara Day from ‘The Secret Order of the Tiara’  and it aims to mobilizing women around the world to embrace and celebrate their powers of leadership in their own lives; “International Tiara Day celebrates women everywhere who have struggled to find their own path to success and have made it. It encourages women to listen to their heart and create the life they want. Real or virtual tiara-wearing is optional.”

HM Queen Elizabeth II

International Tiara day also celebrates the launch of the group’s first book, Become Your Own Great & Powerful: A Woman’s Guide to Leading Your Real, Big Life. That sounds like a must-read to me… Amazon here I come!

                

Check out their homepage http://www.seasonsofsuccess.com/tiaraday.html where you can download printable tiaras and become a member!

I can’t believe that I’ve nearly missed my chance to legitimately wear a tiara all day (and be a princess like Kate Middleton and Diana)! Now where’s my tiny crown..?

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