Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Back to school

I’ve always been one of those people who love ‘back to school’ time. I’ve not been at school for many years now, but I still remember getting excited about choosing my new pencil-case and buying stationery supplies ready for the new term. In fact, I think that’s the reason that I stayed at uni for so many years – I just loved to excitement of a new semester, with new notepads and folders, and the chance to be a new you! I am certain the ritual of going to the stationery shop to choose my academic diary and highlighters made me a better student each year – more organised and more committed than the previous year. It’s about starting off determined to improve myself and getting the essential items to do so is equally as important (in my eyes) as actually doing it.

This year however I am not a student, for possibly one of the first times in my life. What will I do with all this free time? (free time, ha whats that?). So what am I to do about not starting “school” in September for the first time in years? Yes, I will go out and buy schools shoes, that’s what!

tuesday shoesday back to school shoes from new look

Just as important as a new pencil-case, the new shoes for a new term are essential for all children, teenagers and adults alike. I love a new pair of sensible shoes and luckily for me these little beauties are bang on trend for autumn/winter. I accidentally bought these shoes yesterday when I popped into New Look to try on a leather jacket just to see if it suited me. Then out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a SALE sign. One of my favourite signs ever in New Look. So I casually wandered over, being careful not to up  my pace and look too wild-eyed. I was determined that I wasn’t going to buy anything today. However…

These little leather New Look shoes jumped out at me. Cute, ankle-skimming black school shoes. They instantly reminded me of the shoes I used to wear as a teenager: they have a small heel (2 inches was allowed at my high school, 3 inches meant detention), pretty pattern in the leather and lace-ups. I accidentally tried them on. They felt familiar. And so comfortable. What’s wrong with a 2 inch heel these days anyway? I looked in the mirror and my teenage legs were reflected back at me, albeit a few years older. And these shoes were on sale. Sold.

tuesday shoesday back to school black leather ankle shoes from new look

Remember I blogged about the cheapest way to buy shoes recently? Well this is another example of where shopping in the children’s department is a money-saving option. These shoes were eight quid and the teenage shoes go up to a size 6 so who can resist a bargain from the kids section? During the autumn/winter little pumps will replace my suede ankle-shoes that I bought from the children’s range earlier this year so I won’t ruin the suede in the wet weather – yet another reason that popped into my head to justify the purchase yesterday lunchtime. Plus I thought it’d be retro-cool or ironic-chic to wear school shoes as an adult. As long as I don’t start eyeing up tartan pinafores, I think I’ll be okay.

Let me know what you think about back-to-school and getting new shoes for the new academic year – what do you remember getting at the start of a new school term? Please leave me a comment below or tweet me @cassiefairy


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ I finally found the ideal summer wedges!

Do you remember that last month I was on the hunt for the ideal pair of summer shoes? Although I managed to pick up a pair of comfortable mint-green wedges from the carboot sale, I wasn’t any closer to getting my ‘ideal’ pair that I discussed in this blog post. My requirements are a pair of high heels that aren’t too high to be comfortable, a neutral colour that would go with anything and a style that can be worn all year round. So really, I wanted some non-strappy nude wedges with a small platform sole.

I wore my carboot sale shoes a lot during the last couple of weeks and my search for the perfect summer shoe was looking more and more unlikely to come to fruition. I’d tried shop after shop, but all the summer shoes had massively high chunky wedges and would be pretty-but-painful after a short walk. But then I remembered that my new favourite carboot shoes were originally from Next and why shouldn’t there be a similar pair in the Summer sale this year? So I headed to Next and can you believe it, there they were – the ideal summer shoes.

tuesday shoesday nude peep toe wedge heel summer shoes 2013 from next

They have a nice cork wedge heel but it’s balanced out with a chunky platform sole, which makes me taller but in reality I’m only walking on heels about 2 inches high thanks to the platform and the balls of my feet will be all the more comfortable for it.  The patent nude colour is exactly right for my skin tone, so it will elongate my legs when I’m going bare-legged in the summer and can even be worn with footless tights in the autumn. The style is summery enough with the peep-toe, but I am certain that I will be able to wear them with any outfit and at any time of year too. These shoes are still available in the summer sale for under 15 quid and come in black patent too, so maybe I’ll be going back for another pair…


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Summer footwear

Last week I spent ages searching online for the perfect pair of summer shoes – something that would go with bare legs and pretty dresses – in a colour that would be neutral enough to look good with a whole range of prints and colours and could be used later on in the year too.

summer shoes new look matalan asos wedge heels laura robson jennifer aniston cheryl cole kelly brooke kate middleton summer footwear

I decided on second pair of bargain wedges above from New Look so I took myself off to the high street at the weekend to buy these pretty little shoes in time to enjoy them for the rest of the summer. However, I couldn’t find them in-store anywhere! The New Look in my local town is a pretty big store with a massive footwear department and I must have looked at over 100 styles of shoes but they simply weren’t there! Were they so popular that everyone else had snapped them up for summer too?! Were they an “online exclusive” and not available in-store? Were they limited edition? I hope not!

I decided to shop ‘in person’ rather than online so that I could try them on for comfort (I will be walking in them a lot this summer) and to make sure the height is okay before making my purchase, but my plans were scuppered! Oh well – I’ll have to order them online and hope that the wedge isn’t too high for me to walk in!

Tuesday Shoesday Turquoise and tan summer wedge shoes from Next

In the meantime, I found these pretty turquoise wedges from Next at the car boot sale – hardly worn and in my size – fantastic good luck! So I’ve been wearing these over the weekend and they are super-comfortable. Although the turquoise is a bit brighter than the nudes that I’d originally planned to buy, it goes well with a couple of floral print dresses I like to wear. Plus the tan ankle strap coordinates with a plaited belt I already have so I can wear the two together and make almost any dress work with the shoes!


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Tuesday Shoesday – Fill the whole world with a rainbow

Taking inspiration from the weather is rarely something that I do, but we’ve been having lots of those changeable weather days recently, when its sunny one minute and throwing it down with rain the next. Pretty bad for making suitable coat decisions, but great for making gorgeous rainbows! I’ve seen loads just recently and I’m getting inspired to focus my shoe search on rainbows this Tuesday Shoesday.

My brother posted this photo of a stacked rainbow platform on my Facebook feed earlier this month (is he trying to say I’m short??) so I’ve used it as a starting point to go looking for other multi-coloured footwear on the high street and here’s what I found:

tuesday shoesday - rainbow shoes and high heels for summer 2013

Let me know what you think about rainbow shoes; do they go with everything or is it more the case that they match nothing?! Either way, I’m a fan of anything bright and colourful, so I’m going to be saving up for these sparkly beauties that I found on ebay – I have a big anniversary party coming up and I think they’d be just right!

ebay rainbow shoes

More Tuesday Shoesday articles


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Pretty pumps

This week my big winter boots have been left firmly on the shelf, as everyday (even on the bank holiday!) was lovely and sunny. It was therefore time to crack out the summer skirts and choose some suitably cute summer footwear to go with them. I’ve tried out my Jamhill sandals (that I reviewed last week) a few times while visiting the beach, but it’s not quite flip-flop weather yet, so I’ve needed to look for a pair of in-between pumps for spring/summer days.

Tuesday Shoesday ipanema flip flip sandals from jamhill

So, I took myself off to Primark this week and visited their shoe department hoping to get a pair of plain white pumps – my staple summer shoe, that I’ve bought for the last few years in a row. But this time I found these cream and pink beauties (with the cutest palm-tree print on the inside) instead – for the same price as the basic white pumps!

tuesaday shoesday - cream and pink primark pumps three quid bargain

And on my way out, a pair of pretty floral print shoes (below) leapt out at me and I didn’t hesitate in snapping them up too (you know how much I love a rose pattern!). So in one shopping trip I found two pairs of perfect pumps that will do me well for all my summer wardrobe needs, as they will go nicely with jeans, skirts and dresses. I wasn’t planning to write about these shoes on a Tuesday Shoesday blog post, but they are so nicely designed and such a good price that I couldn’t help but share. So I snapped a couple of photos (before I messed them up!)  and my cat Muffin sneaked into a pic too!

tuesday shoesday - navy and pink floral primark pumps three quid bargain

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ High heels: show-stopper or back-breaker? Famous falls in skyscraper heels!

Wearing sky high heels may make you feel on top of the world, but as these celebrities highlight, there is a long way to fall when strapping on your favourite Christian Louboutin’s. So here are a few examples of why it may be best to play is safe with a pair of stylish but comfy women’s shoes on a day to day basis;

Catwalk models are seasoned pros in the stiletto department, however, Prada’s Spring 09 shoes proved too much for three of the models.  In particular, it’s hard not to squirm as you see the strains Katie Fogerty’s ankles were going through as she tried to keep her balance. This ending with her unzipping the gorgeous designer shoes before they caused her any serious injury, might be best to keep these as ornaments rather than footwear!

Similarly, Agness Deyn has also had her fair share of bumps and bruises on the runway falling twice in Naomi Campbell’s Fashion For Relief Haiti Benefit. Luckily, her upbeat charm managed to laugh it off and take a curtsey to hide the embarrassment and later tweeting about the falls hurting her knees.

Some of our favourite performers have also fallen with a thud in fast paced dance routines. Owning the stage in platforms is not as easy as celebrities make it look; Beyonce, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez have all suffered heavy falls on stage from a slip of the heel. This is due to excessive pressure being placed on the foot whilst it is in an unnatural position which can cause sprains as well as long term damage to your feet, legs and back.

One star who is famous for her love of outlandish outfits is Lady Gaga. She has experimented with sky scrapers as high as 10 inches (and who can forget her Alexander McQueen specials!), but even her avante garde style has left her head over heels when she took a tumble on stage as this video shows;

She shows true showmanship and springs back up carrying on with a seamless performance. That is not to say that this hasn’t caused personal injury or upset to others in the past, celebrities are prepared to power through painful falls but they can easily cause muscle damage as the pressure on the knee is heightened.

So, is it really worth it? Carol Vordaman’s recent fall down several steps face first left her with a broken nose that had to be reset after she was rushed to hospital.  She counted herself lucky that the injuries were not more serious after her ankle boots left her more vulnerable. Ouch!

Overall, it’s a tough sacrifice admitting defeat from your favourite pair of toe-tappers, but if they are causing you serious pain and you are clinging onto friends or furniture for extra support then they may not be worth the long term injury. Bunions, sprains and more seriously, osteoarthritis, are all side effects from the added pressure to the inside of the woman’s knees caused from extensive heel wearing. Therefore, it is important to ensure that on a day to day basis your shoes are comfy and sensible, and perhaps save the stilettoes for a special night, that way we can ensure that shoes remain a lady’s best friend.


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Tuesday Shoesday – So many shoes, so little space!

If you love shoes the way that I love shoes, you’ll be experiencing the same dilemma that I am. As the shoe ‘collection’ grows and the wardrobe stays the same size, I’m struggling with finding places to stash my footwear. So that’s what this week’s Tuesday Shoesday is all about – sensible storage for not-so-sensible heels!

Let me take you back to the 90s, when it seemed that every girls’ magazine was telling us all to store shoes in their boxes with a little Polaroid photo on the front – ‘it’s so easy to find the pair you want to wear at a glance’. Seeing a neatly organised pile of white shoe boxes, carefully labeled (such as in the photo below) was such an enticing proposition. But did those fashion mag editors really think about the danger of collapsing piles when you reach for the pumps at the bottom of your well-organised stack? And did they consider the ongoing issues of spilled-out tissue-paper, cardboard-corner-tears and the confusion when shock-horror the photos fall off the boxes and your favourite red wedges can only be found by emptying 10 boxes all over the floor..? Plus, my shoes never came in the same matching boxes, and mix-n-matching boxes from Stead and Simpson and Dolcis (remember them?!) meant that I never really achieved that swish, well-organised look.

Closet Fix by Zanellieinbloem Blog shoe boxes with polaroid pictures

Closet Fix from Zanellieinbloem Blog

So, I’ve been looking around for a modern solution to an age-old problem and of course, I turned to Swedish storage specialists Ikea. I always shopped with them as a ‘poor student’ because I lived close to a huge Ikea megastore, I could always find the piece of furniture that I needed, and I could actually afford it with my tiny budget! Well, that budget hasn’t really changed since leaving university, but I have found that I need more storage to make the most of the space in my tiny home. At the moment, my pride-and-joy shoes are dumped in big plastic tubs and hidden away under my bed (and a few are stashed loose under drawers and in the bottom of the wardrobe – not good for scuffs). I always had a dream of having my special heels (the ones that are too pretty and too painful to wear) on display in an illuminated glass cabinet! Well, maybe it’ll come true this year! 

Ikea must be the place to get your storage sorted because I have found this video of trainer company owner Jess, who has had a makeover of her existing ‘hit-and-miss’ storage for her online business. This is exactly what I’d like to happen to bedroom so that I have the perfect storage solution for my Tuesday Shoesday babies!


I can tell you now, I am SO jealous of this lovely lady for getting such an amazing result. I need this kind of storage; not only for my shoes, but definitely for MY online business too! Since I moved house last year, all my sewing stuff, fabric and tutu stock has been packed away and piled up, so I’m still feeling quite unsettled about not having a space to sit down and work, with everything in its rightful place. I don’t think I get half as much work done when I have to unpack it all in the morning and then put it all away again at the end of the day. So I’m going to be sorting out a dedicated studio space for myself over the coming months and I have already been pouring over the Ikea catalogue to find decent drawers, filing cabinet (I’m in love with a red one!) and shelving. So watch this space to see how my own makeover comes together! And in the meantime, check out Ikea for your own footwear-organising projects and tweet me photos of how you keep your shoes super-neat at @TuesdayShoesday using #TuesdayShoesday

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