The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

  • shoestring DIY door headboard austin restore habitat reveal featured after

    DIY Repurposed Door Headboard with Habitat ReStore

    Making a headboard out of an old door is something that I've always wanted to do, since way way back in the pre-Pinterest days when we still used to tear sheets out of magazines…

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    The Fine Goods Pop-Up

    Tomorrow, just in time for Thrift Score Thursday, I'll be at the first-ever Fine Goods Pop-Up by The Distillery here in Austin with a table, selling off a collection of thrift…

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    MAKER MOMENT: Hester van Overbeek, Furniture Hacks

    When I first was introduced to Hester van Overbeek, author of Furniture Hacks and DIY maven behind the popular British home decorating blog Hester's Handmade Home, I was also…

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    Homemade Chamomile Lavender Baby Wipes

    earlier this year, with several baby showers imminent, I decided to do a (very scientific) Facebook survey of all my friends with kids in order to find out exactly what it was…

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    Side Hustle: 6 Pro Tips for Reselling Thrift Scores

    Fellow Boston to Austin writer Courtney Mirenzi and I have a long shared history of scouring thrift stores in search of stylish treasure for cents on the dollar. We now have a…

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    TGWIF: How to Shop Goodwill Online Auctions Like a Pro

    After a few year's hiatus, I recently started shopping ShopGoodwill again & was thrilled to find that not only is the online Goodwill auction site as good as I remember, it's even…

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    Goodbye Twice, Hello eBay Valet

    Just like the clothes they sell, Twice — one of my favorite online consignment shops — will be getting a second life and a new home. In an announcement to customers this week,…

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    Sore Muscle Bath Soak + Reusing Tequila Bottles

    To inspire me (and my house guests) to enjoy more health-boosting baths, I like to package my recipe for homemade sore muscle soak in pretty containers just like I would if I were…

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    New England Heart: Nautical Guest Bathroom Reveal

    To celebrate Thrift Score Thursday, and my first official day back at work after vacation, I thought it was high time I shared the secondhand styled, seaside-loving "after" to my…

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    Drink Local: 14 Awesome American Wines for 4th of July

    This 4th of July weekend, let's celebrate the best hidden gems and big-deal American wine producers by drinking local, independent, small-batch wines or supporting a local winery…

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    FlipKey Summer Travel Twitter Chat

    I'm stoked to join my fellow FlipKey travel experts for a Summer Twitter Chat today! I'll be sharing more about all my favorite New England summer escapes & we'll also be chatting…

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    Maker Monday: Slavonk + Hortus

    If you spend any time at all following design trends, then you know people have gone absolutely cuckoo for cocoa puffs for succulents and terrariums. Maybe it’s because…

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    Consigned to Addiction: Uptown Austin

    I've been buying and selling at Uptown Cheapskate Austin every week since they opened last year, and recently celebrated their 1st birthday with them (and Chelsea and Catelyn) at…

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    South Awesome: Love Ding

    Tucked into a generic row of warehouse spaces just after popular, sprawling Way South Austin (aka SoChaca) nightlife destination Moontower Saloon sits Love Ding, an unassuming…

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    $30 Date Night Challenge: 12 Ideas

    Last week, on June 10th, officially marked 12 years since my husband and I first went on our first date and shared our first kiss. Now that we’re married almost half that,…

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    DIY Pendleton Stripe Mail Sorter

    In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, I wanted to finally share this DIY project I created for Home Depot & Crafty Allie over the winter. It's been so hard keeping this one under…

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    Keep it Local with Austin Passbook

    Austin Passbook is like 12 of my favorite things in one: buy one, get one free (BOGO) deals to get out & explore ATX with a friend, whether you live here or just want to have one…

  • 6 copycat chinese takeout gluten free vegan recipes

    6 Copycat Chinese Takeout Recipes

    Whether you or someone you love has food allergies, you just want to control the quality of ingredients in the things that you're eating, or you want to shave some serious cheddar…

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    The Pendleton Mill Factory Store

    That's right: Pendleton has a factory outlet. And you can go on a tour of the mill itself, right where Western dreams have been made, right here in the U.S., for over 150 years.…

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    Spicy Watermelon Margaritas with Jalapeno Infused Tequila

    Tonight, just like last year, Ginger and I will be some of the first to arrive at the La Condesa Street Party for Cinco de Mayo, which I now treat as the official kick-off to…

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    My Writing Shirt

    The daily life of a writer is so often isolating, and I still finding it's hard to block out the noise of social media and the world at large, focus on my own unique voice, and…

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    The Truth About Pet Food + Wellness TruFood Review

    Between scary pet food recalls and reports that the pet food industry is now charging up to 50 percent more for lower quality versions of human foods, it’s hard to know what to feed your beloved pets. Since we’re all about paying the grocer rather than the doctor, or in this case the veterinarian, the whippets and I took one for the team and tried out a new highly-rated organic dog food called Wellness TruFood for this review. Plus my top tips on how to find reliable ratings and research on other dog and cat food brand safety before forking over big bucks!

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    MAKER MOMENT: Chelsea Laine Francis

    You may have noticed a big shift on Shoestring these last four months: the posts are maybe a bit more frequent again; the mood might be a little more upbeat; and, of course, you may have noticed a visual shift from getting-the-job-done to gorgeous. All of that is thanks to our new staff photographer, the relentlessly positive and boundlessly creative Chelsea Laine Francis.


    TGWIF: My Summer Uniform

    I brought dozens of souvenirs from home to tide me over until my next trip back in the fall, but by far the best of them all was this perfect summer uniform, thrifted from Goodwill and Uptown Cheapskate with a pair of totally destroyed DIY denim cutoffs tying it all together, and it works for the Cape, the lake, the city, the humidity, and the blazing sun.


    Shop Local: Bolt Fabrics Summer Sale

    If you’re looking for material, or need inspiration, for projects to keep you sane during these dog days of summer, head over to Bolt Fabrics this weekend for their clearance sale! Everything in store is 15% to 65% off (though a little bird tells us some fabrics may be more than 65% off!) now through closing on Saturday, including deep discounts on ready-made pillows, like these perfect poufs made from Texas tea towels.

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    FlipKey by TripAdvisor Travel Expert

    I’m so thrilled to announce that I’m dusting off my passport, gassing up the car for road trips, and sanding the rust off my travel writing lockbox as a newly minted travel expert for Flipkey and TripAdvisor, sharing my secret spots in Boston and Austin – and also mean many, many more travel stories, new adventures, and past sojourns revisited, here on Shoestring soon.

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    TGWIF: White Chucks + Dresses

    In my mind, Chuck Taylors are a timeless classic that go with pretty much everything, and are always appropriate no matter the occasion. I’ve loved them my whole life, putting them in the Shoestring logo for a reason. But what I really love is that Chucks (and classic street sneakers of all kinds) are having a major moment in fashion right now — especially with dresses. Or at least that’s the case here in Texas.

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    TGWIF: Texas Summer Style, DIY Denim Cutoffs + Vintage Kimonos

    One of my favorite 2015 summer trends is layering a breezy vintage kimono over a great pair of shredded cutoffs and a slouchy cotton tank, and thankfully my (dear friend and) fearless beach babe of a model, Catelyn, also happens to be the owner of a drool-worthy vintage shop that currently has a duo of vintage Japanese kimonos in stock. Plus all the best tips for making DIY denim cutoffs, all in one place.

    TOMS one day without shoes 2015

    One Day Without Shoes 2015

    What kind of difference can a single purchase seriously make? PLENTY. If that purchase is a pair of shoes from TOMS the answer is global impact. Today, until midnight EST tonight, you can provide TOMS Shoes for up to 1 million more people around the world WITHOUT EVEN BUYING ANYTHING. All you have to do is take a photo of your bare feet and post it to Instagram to raise awaress for One Day Without Shoes.

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    Vintage Mikasa + Brunch Ideas

    This year, I thought it would be really fun to poll my mom friends on Facebook and find out, in a very real and crowdsourced way, what mothers actually want for Mother’s Day. Find out what else they said in this pretty, thrifted Mother’s Day guide for Austin Goodwill I wrote this week, including some of my favorite Mother’s Day brunch ideas from the Shoestring archives!

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    Whippet, Whippet Deux

    It should surprise no one that when it comes to dogs, like most other things in my life, I’m a huge fan of finding them secondhand: adopting them and giving them a good home after others have discarded them (usually through no fault of their own). When the time is right to find a new furry friend, we always look first to shelters and breed rescues, and are happy to introduce Jack, our newly adopted whippet brother for Pixie!