Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


Inspirations for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration

St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching on the 17th March and whether or not you have Irish heritage in your family or have a bunch of friends from Ireland, you can still decorate your home with Irish themed decorations and even host a fun St. Paddy’s Day party!

Traditionally, green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day (the saint himself is depicted wearing green!) so get out your green throws, cushions and tablecloths to make your home a little more Irish for the day! The shamrock is also an iconic symbol of any St. Paddy’s celebration, so craft your own shamrock bunting banner or wall-curtain decoration just like the images below. When your home is nicely decorated you can invite your family or friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and let the festivities commence!

 StPatricksDayGlitterPhotoProps from liagriffith

Fun St Patrick’s Day party props by Lia Griffith

To really get your guests in the party mood, there’s nothing better than adding a little dressing-up fun for children and grown-adults alike. You don’t need to spend a fortune on shop-bought costumes when it’s just as easy to create your own themed fancy dress props! Simply cut out shapes and glue them to straws, chopsticks or even lollipop sticks. Use glitter card and coloured paper which can be bought from the scrapbooking section of any craft shop and cut out your shapes with scissors before taping or gluing to a stick on the back. Let you guests choose their props and have fun snapping photos of your pals wearing their moustaches and leprechaun hats!

shamrock pinata

Tutorial for making a mini St Paddy’s Pinata

You could entertain your guests at your Irish-themed celebration with a shamrock pinata. Fill it with chocolate coins from the ‘pot of gold’ and get your guests to take it in turns to be blindfolded and try to break the pinata with a stick. It’s a classic party game that all your friends and family can join in with and is so easy to make yourself – simply cut shamrock shapes from cardboard and cover with green tissue-paper strands.

To keep your guests hydrated at your party why not serve drinks in bottles with custom-made labels for St. Patrick’s Day such as these lucky Irish tags below? You can use bottles of juice or pop for the younger members of the family so that everyone can be involved in the festivities. Add green paper straws decorated with more shamrocks and you’ve got the party started!

 St_Patricks_Day_Labels from liagriffith

Drinks labels printables by Lia Griffith

I hope that these crafty ideas have given you inspiration for your own Irish themed St. Patrick’s Day decorations and if you have a party celebration perhaps you’ll make use of the printable labels and DIY pinata instructions in the links above to create your own custom-made party decor! Above all, drink responsibly and have fun with all your friends and family!

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Inspiration for a Burns Night celebration

Tonight is Burns Night – the yearly celebration of the life and literary works of great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). People all around the country will be celebrating with a Burns Supper which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the reading of works by the poet – including the famous poem Alde Lang Syne that we were all singing less than four weeks ago. I have never been to a Burns night celebration myself but I think I would enjoy it – anything where food and drink is a core part of the celebration sounds good to me. Anyway, Burns Night has inspired me to do some research online and I have created a moodboard of fabulous ideas for creating a decadent Scottish themed party.

Burn Night scottish celebration moodboard

For all the image credits please check out my Special Holidays board on Pinterest. I’d love to have a themed part like this and I think it would be especially good for a Christmas or new years eve Hogmany celebration so I’ll be revisiting this again at the end of the year to inspire my festive decorating. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying some shortbread tonight and raising a glass of whisky to Robert Burns.


Some amazing news & special occasion dresses

This week I got some amazing news: my best friends announced that they would be getting married this year! It will be a summer wedding and I can’t wait. Another of my best friends is also getting married this year in April (you may remember I talked about her hen party here) so this Spring and Summer will be a whirlwind of travel, ceremonies and good ol’ knees-ups! I love weddings and seeing as these are of two of the most important people in my life, it makes the occasion even more special – and it makes me even more emotional – bring on the waterproof mascara, that’s all I can say! I like to think that my husband and I are good wedding guests – in fact, we’re great at any party; anniversaries, proms, engagement parties, fundraisers etc – we arrive early, help out with anything that needs doing, we chat to parents and grandparents, we are always first on the dance floor and, most importantly, know when to leave! Plus, hubby looks great in a suit and it’s pretty exciting for me when I get to wear something a bit special and out-of-the-ordinary. We’ve all got special occasion dresses in our wardrobe, but a wedding or prom is definitely a good enough reason to go shopping for something new!

So of course I’ve already been scouring the online fashion retailers’ special occasion departments and have come up with an amazing selection from the prom department of New Look. They have gorgeous glitzy dresses that are perfect for prom parties, and therefore weddings! There’s something for every shape and size so I thought I would turn this blog post into a bit of a ‘dressing for your body shape’ article and hopefully this will help me to choose something suitable to wear for these special occasions.

new look long maxi prom dresses for weddings

If you’re tall, a prom or wedding is the perfect excuse to wear a long, glamourous maxi dress and get really dressed up. I’d suggest checking what colours your friends will be wearing to the prom so that you don’t end up looking like a girl-band and if it’s a wedding, make sure you know what colours the bridesmaids will be wearing – you don’t want to look like you’re trying to join in with the bridal party! Also, always stay away from white, ivory or cream if you’re wearing a long dress to a wedding, otherwise a short-sighted aunt might mistake you for the bride!

new look short structured prom dresses for weddings

I’m more vertically challenged in terms of height, so I’m going to stick to a shorter dress for these special occasions – but not too short! I want to be able to dance and be comfortable all day, so a mini-dress might not be suitable for a special occasion. Also, if you’d like to look a little thinner and more petite than usual (and who doesn’t want to look their best when they’re going to be popping up in photographs?!) opt for a dress with a little structure which will help to put your curves where you’d like them to be!

new look short curve prom dresses for weddings

And finally, if you want to add curves, pick a dress with gathers, ruffles and embellishments such as these above, which will add bulk in a good way and enhance your shape – plus they will look great when you’re dancing! One final tip is to not go too glitzy, because you don’t want to look like you’re trying to up-stage the bride, so perhaps all-over sequins are off the menu! But if it’s a prom you’re dressing up for – you can go all out with glitter, feathers and diamante – this is your big day after all! Here are some of the best super-star prom dresses from New Look that I really want to buy, just to sit around the house in!

new look long and short glitzy dresses for weddings

I really love the purple lace dress and the monochrome dress above, so maybe one of these will be the dress for me! All the prom dresses on the New Look website are on sale at the moment so I’m going to research the colour themes of the weddings I’m going to and will make my final choices soon. I’ll let you know how I get on :)


New Years Eve party ~ in the pool!

Today’s blog post is by a guest blogger Carol Atkins who is sharing her plans for an outdoor new year’s party! It all sounds so fantastic that I’m beginning to wish that I lived in a warmer climate and would be able to recreate this party at home! Here’s Carol’s article on what she and her family will be getting up to for New Year’s Eve:

We enjoy having people over, so this autumn we accessorized our family swimming pool to make it more inviting for guests. Gene built an amazing, multilevel redwood deck around our pool, we put all new furniture on it, then accessorized with potted plants and new overhead lighting. We live in a warm climate, and my husband Gene and I agreed we didn’t want to wait until next spring to show off what we’ve done. He suggested a New Year’s Eve party, and we loved the idea, so we began to plan it.

new years eve pool party

Pool party image via Pinterest

Provide warmth. Even though we live in a warm part of the country, and the forecast is for lovely weather, it might get chilly for some people, so we want to allow for that. Gene found a place that will rent the most wonderful patio heaters – he arranged for 4 of them. They look like tall lamps, and the heater is on the top, so it is not like some heater blowing on the sidelines at a football game. He checked them out, and they will heat an area for about four to six feet around the base, so a whole group can stand near it and be warm. If we don’t need them, we just turn them down or off.

Seasonal refreshments. We plan to have the doors to the house open, and inside (where they will stay hot), we will provide eggnog and other hot drinks. We will offer plenty of drink choices at the open bar. There will be coolers on the deck, with plenty of cold beverages.  We’ll also provide a lot of food, because when we throw barbeques, our friends really know how to eat. Speaking of barbeque, Gene will have the grill going – another source of warmth – and I know what will happen. He and his buddies will gather around the grill drinking beer and talking – they really seem to enjoy watching burgers cook. The ladies will congregate at the new patio table and chairs, drinking and eating and chatting away.

christmas new years eve pool party

Gorgeous fairy lights via Pinterest

People will swim. Before the party, Gene will begin to raise the temperature in the pool. He has calculated how much to raise the temperature to make the pool feel like a sauna. We’ve told everyone to bring their bathing suits, and our adventurous friends have said they will be swimming for sure. They loved the idea – what a great way to welcome in the new year – standing in a toasty pool with a warm mug of cider! I suspect the pool will be full for most of the evening.

Additional lighting. Gene is having a holiday all his own with lighting the back yard. We have lights at the pool and on the deck, and they provide a nice warm light. But we want to make the back yard bright and festive, so Gene went to for ideas, and then found a place where he can rent the coolest lights. They are globe lights with hooks, and connected on a strong wire, so that you can put 10 of them from one place to another all over the back yard and the deck. I saw what he was thinking and I fell in love with the idea! We’ll have plenty of lighting so people won’t be trying to recognize each other in dim light. The pool area will have a tremendously festive atmosphere.

Our friends are all excited about our New Year’s Eve pool party, and Gene is now the talk of the community for having the idea. We can’t wait to have our friends over, and show off how wonderful our whole pool area looks!

Carol Atkins enjoys writing freelance articles for pool toy and games supplier  She has 3 children with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely black Labradors.  When she’s not overseeing pool maintenance and adjusting chemicals, she spends hours at her family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs play and have fun.  She is also a dedicated runner, and diligently training for her first half marathon.

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My party dress

It was my birthday last week and I really enjoyed scoffing cake and celebrating with lots of girly fun! Most of all, I loved getting dressed up in this red lace dress – a special treat from La Redoute :)

my red lace birthday dress from la redoute


It’s a lovely shape, comfortable and perfectly fitted. The lace overlay is luxurious and it is definitely glamourous enough to wear to any special occasion. As I mentioned in my Tuesday Shoesday post last week, I wanted to wear it with hot pinks shoes to coordinate with my party theme and I’ll certainly be wearing it again on christmas day teamed with a green skinny belt – well, you’ve got to have a special christmas dress, don’t you?!  I feel very comfortable in this dress because it has a little extra stretch to it, (and there’s enough room for expansion if I have a massive Christmas dinner!) but don’t let the comfort fool you, it’s definitely high quality and pretty enough to stand out as a party dress – plus it makes me want to twirl, which can only be a good thing!

I actually couldn’t believe that La Redoute were selling this gorgeous dress at such a bargain price, and there are tons of glamourous party dresses in their festive sale section – I’m thinking of investing in a black version of this dress next as it will be perfect for every occasion, and if I place my order within the next 7 days it will still arrive in time for Christmas and more importantly I’ll have it in time for the New Years Eve party!


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


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Birthday shoes

It’s Cassiefairy’s birthday during the first week in December and you’ve probably seen all of my plans for my pink-and-red themed birthday party on the blog :) I’m really looking forward to it and have an outfit planned, which includes this dress from La Redoute:

la redoute dress1

I absolutely love the bright red colour and lovely lace overlay, not to mention that it’s my favourite skater-dress style! When I was looking for a party dress, first and foremost I wanted it to be a good fit and the fact that the colour coordinates with my party theme is just great fortune! I feel very comfortable in this dress, but also it’s pretty enough to stand out as a party dress – it makes me want to twirl! So now that I’ve got the dress sorted, I need to organise my footwear and these are my footwear options:

tuesday shoesday cassiefairy birthday shoes

Of course, the birthday girl should always wear the prettiest shoes, whether they are practical or not! And in particular I think that birthday shoes should feature glitter, bright colours, bows or gold – if you can’t wear super-glamourous high heels on your birthday when can you?! So my favourite shoes are the silver sparkly above, which will look very festive my red dress :) plus I have a New Look gift voucher to spend, so I will invest wisely in a lovely pair of impractical shoes! I think this whole outfit might be reworn again on Christmas day this year, so watch this space! Let me know what party dress and shoes you would choose for your birthday celebrations – leave me a comment below or tweet me pics of your last birthday outfit to @Cassiefairy.


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