Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

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


My retro living room ~ adding a little sunshine for autumn

Just a quick photo today of the lovely bunch of sunflowers that hubby brought home for us this weekend. These bright yellow sunflower heads bring a much-needed injection of sunshine into our retro living room for autumn now that the weather is turning grey.

cassiefairys retro living room - autumn sunflower heads in hornsea vase

The flowers are arranged in our chunky Hornsea storage tub which has lost its lid and has been upcycled into a vase :)

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Get fit, look fabulous!

It’s that time of year again, when I’ve indulged over the summer holidays and need to get back on the healthy-lifestyle wagon. I’ve said “I’m on holiday” countless times during August as an excuse for scoffing ice cream and  BBQ treats, so now that I’m back into a normal work/life routine, it’ll be easier to settle into my usual healthy ways again! But what if you want to get in shape for all those Christmas parties? What do you wear on your feet (well, it IS Tuesday Shoesday after all!)? We’ve all been there – wandering around fitness footwear stores struggling to find a pair of gorgeous, yet comfy shoes that won’t leave your feet feeling hot and sweaty after a brisk walk.

tuesday shoesday brisk walk fitness for autumn

A brisk autumnal walk via Cassiefairy on Pinterest

Work-out footwear is often criticised for straying from the styles of the moment. We all know that ensuring performance for amateur and professional athletes comes first, but it would be nice to see our sport shoes combine beauty with functionality too. There are a couple of stunning fitness sandals that are gracing our stores this season; all maximising support for the wearer, while looking pretty on the foot.

Health and lifestyle magazine favourites, FitFlops, have been on the scene for a few years now but this BBC News article suggests that the shoes have come under scrutiny for being hard to style up. But as the brand’s competition hots-up, so are their trends! No longer are ladies relying on plain, simple and block colour styles to slim down this summer – the brand has launched a number of jewelled and flower-detailed sandals to capitalise from SS13 trends. Looking to see what the fuss is about and join the hordes of toned ladies? As it’s the end of season, many stores are offering their range of FitFlop sandals at discounted prices; the collection at Jones Bookmaker is available for £10 off, including the sandals below, for example.

 tuesday shoesday jones bootmaker fitflop fitness sandals

Hot on the heels of FitFlops are the fitness sandals from Birmingham-born tyre manufacturer, Dunlop. Compared to their arch-rivals, they offer a similar shape – a raised heel – and pair it with a range of metallic and sequin thong-style foot coverings. If you’re a fan of funky patterns and animal prints, then Dunlop’s fitness sandals are in pole position to give both your daytime dress and your fitness efforts a head start.

Sketchers have got a wedge of the fitness sandal market too, and have named their version “Tone-ups”. Emulating a wooden grain, their wedges still appeal to casual daywear over your Sunday best, but the earth-inspired colours and shoe design works wonders. There’s never been a better time to get fit and look fabulous!


DIY accessories ~ funk up your sunglasses for the last of Summer

If you’re getting a little bored of your sunglasses after wearing them all summer, or if you’ve picked up a bargain pair in the summer sales, maybe you’d like to funk them up with some cute appliqué accessories?!

I’ve spent an enjoyable hour gluing lovely things to my sunglasses and I’d recommend you do the same to breathe new life into your old accessories! I used a strong super-glue, but you can use a hot glue gun if you prefer, both of which will keep your buttons or bows safely attached. If you use the hot glue gun be very careful of the hot glue (which can burn!), but on the plus-side, your glasses will be ready to wear as soon as the glue has gone cold. The super-glue might take a few hours to set (aways follow the instructions on the pack & be very careful where you put it – you don’t want to get things stuck where they shouldn’t be!) so once it’s completely dry, you are free to wear your new sunglasses – any sooner and you’ll probably get your hair stuck in the tacky glue!

DIY fashion craft adding buttons and cabochons to sunglasses for summer 2013

I’d recently been given a box of buttons that a relative had collected over the years, so I chose some lovely old vintage buttons to create this first pair of sunglasses, mixing and matching the colours for a funky look. I also did a ‘classy’ version with black glasses and retro silver buttons. You can get similar buttons from craft and thrift stores or try shopping online. I got these resin bows below from Wholeport online and I love this for an on-trend look – these cute cabochons are everywhere this year!

DIY fashion craft adding buttons and cabochon resin bows to sunglasses for summer 2013

Really, anything you can think of can be added to your sunglasses – little trinkets, old earrings, artificial flowers, broken jewelry, ribbon bows etc. As long as you can still see out of your sunglasses, anything goes! Have a go for yourself and make your own unique sunglasses and when anyone asks where you got them, you can proudly say “I made them myself!”.


Thrifty fashion ~ Making denim look girly for summer

I don’t know about you, but I love denim for creating a cool, casual look – everyone has their favourite pair of jeans or denim jacket, but summer is a hard time of year to wear denim. Although it’s always comfy and practical (not forgetting always on trend!) it’s sometimes a little too thick or bulky to wear in this lovely hot weather. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a stylish summer outfit using your favourite denim wardrobe staples. When my family and I took a trip to the seaside last week, I decided that this would be my first outing in my new bonprix floral dress (yes, I know… I’ve been shopping at bonprix again!) and I dressed it down with my favourite denim jacket (also from bonprix!), my satchel (full of sunblock!) and a pair of my 1 pound pumps! My new dress was the perfect choice for such a hot day because the cotton fabric kept me cool and it was loose-fitting enough to let a breeze through! And when the wind picked up a bit, as it always does at the coast, I popped on my denim jacket and warmed up – whilst still looking suitably girly! Check out my photos:

cassiefairy lifestyle blog seaside fashion denim bon prix dress

In fact, I think I’ll be buying this same dress in one of the different colours (purple or black & red, which do you think would be best?) because it’s such a versatile dress – with the denim jacket, it looked girly and casual, but it can also be easily dressed up for a special occasion or posh afternoon tea with only a pair of cute heels. Let me know what you think about making denim work for summer – how do you wear yours??


Warm weather weekend ~ Boats & huts

Just a quick blog post today to share some photos that I’ve taken of my sunny summer adventures so far. I took a trip to out this weekend for a picnic on the shores of the river, where we enjoyed cream-cheese and cucumber sandwiches and a cup of tea. It was a lovely sunny day and the sky was beautifully blue so I snapped these photos of the sailing boats on the estuary.

Cassiefairys summer coastal river boat photos

I love to read the names of all the boats and always thought that there was some kind of art project to be done about boat names, but I’ll leave that up to my artist hubby instead! Along the side of the river (which has a sandy beach that you can walk along) there are lots of these little boat houses. I’m very jealous of anyone who owns one of these huts – especially because some of them are actually bigger and more luxurious than my house – some with verandas and hot tubs outside – very swish! However, this boat house was my favourite even though it’s being swallowed up by foliage. It looks so quaint and like the kind of place that would feature in a fairytale, so if I had to chose one – it’d be this little wreck!

Cassiefairys summer photos overgrown beach hut boat house suffolk coast

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Pieday Friday ~ summer couscous recipe

Sometimes you just don’t want a big filling dinner during the summer and I’ve got the perfect solution for days like these – a lovely summer couscous dish packed full of lovely vegetables and flavour!

You will need: Pack of couscous, mushrooms, red onion, spring onions, peppers, olives, coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

pieday friday recipe from cassiefairy - summer vegetable mushroom couscous

First chop and brown off the red onions in a large pan – fried in a little fry-light or olive oil if you prefer. Then add strips of peppers and sliced mushrooms and cook until softened. In the meantime, follow the packet instructions to make the couscous, adding the correct quantity of boiling water and stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice before waiting for it to be absorbed. Fork the couscous over and add to the pan of vegetables. Slice up the spring onions and olives and stir through the couscous mixture, adding chopped coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some lovely marinated chicken (see my recipe here!) for a lovely summer meal!

Let me know if you try this recipe out and tweet me with your photos of your cooking to @CassiefairyTutu.

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Traditional school summer fetes

I like a good school fête. True, it’s been many years since I last went to one  (because it’s a bit odd to go to a school event as an adult without an accompanying child!) but I remember the excitement of preparing for a fête as a child, setting out a games stall with my best friends and knowing that the event marked the start of the long summer holidays! 

summer fete school fair party moodboardSchool fête inspirations – via Cassiefairy’s Parties board on Pinterest 

Now, as an adult, I feel that same sense of excitement when I see banners going up outside the schools to advertise their summer fêtes. I’ve been to a couple of school fairs over the past few years (attending with friends who have children – my golden ticket!) and the tombola stalls are still there, raffle tickets are still being sold by the strip and children are still tending their ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ stalls. Not only do I enjoy the fiesta-like atmosphere of these events, but I like to support the community too and spend my money at the fair, knowing it will go to a good cause or the school itself.

This year I’ve contributed a raffle prize – the rainbow tutu below – to the local high school, and I’ve already heard stories of teen girls getting excited about winning it, so I hope it’ll help sell a few extra raffle tickets for the family support charity that the school is fundraising for! It’s just a shame that I can’t go to the event itself and enjoy a cup of orange squash and a mini-milk!

2013 cassiefairys neon ballet tutu raffle prize for school fete

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