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…

  • furniture hacks shutters from old vertical blinds hester

    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…

  • vintage boy scout gear goodwill auctions

    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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    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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    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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

    my secondhand style ethical fashion closet thredup

    Confessions of an eBay Virgin

    When it comes to rehoming my stuff, I’m an equal opportunity reseller. In the last decade and a half since Craigslist first hit the interwebs, if there’s been an app or a marketplace in which you can list your stuff for sale, I’ve probably tried it at least once. That is, except the grandaddy of them all, that behemoth of all resale giants: eBay.

    shoestring krrb fine goods pop up austin tx needlepoint

    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 scores and vintage finds for the home, many of which you can preview now on My Corner on (and in this post) along with some freshly picked pieces and small handmade items that I’ve personally DIY’ed … though I’m sure any sales I make are just going to go straight into the pockets of the other vendors, all insanely talented purveyors of handcrafted furniture, organic beauty products, jewelry, prints, pottery and vintage fashion, home goods, and accessories.

    DIY baby wipes organic shoestring magazine chamomile lavender DIY home

    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 that made their lives easier in those first few weeks after welcoming a human cub into their world. The overwhelming top answer of meal delivery wasn’t that surprising, but the second most popular new-parent gift was: Baby Wipes. LOTS of them. so I decided to take to the kitchen and recipe test dozens of homemade, organic baby wipe recipes from Pinterest and elsewhere around the internets. I don’t think I’ll ever buy commercial wipes again, it was seriously that easy!

    6 pro tips resale thrifting courtney mirenzi

    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 weekly standing “picking” date at the Goodwill Outlet, and I love picking her brain for her pro tips on how she turns her like-new finds into funds to supplement her writing income through an eBay store and other resale avenues. It’s all about that side hustle! Read on for 6 of Courtney’s veteran experiences and pro tips.

    pixie whippet austin shoestring wellness trufood review dog food

    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!

    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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    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, the Twice co-founders shared the news that they’ll be winding down operations and joining eBay to power eBay Valet.

    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 in your home state. (Fact: No matter where in the US you live, there’s at least one winery in your state!) Not only will you probably save some major bucks, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint by choosing wines closer to home AND you’re contributing more back into your local economy with every dollar spent. Win, win, major win. ‘Merica!