The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

Posts from the ‘Life’ category

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!

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!

jack whippet austin howdy y'all chelsea laine francis

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!

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 get in the zone to put my valuable, personal insights out there into the universe. And that’s where my writing shirt comes in.

DIY Lighting Upgrade Swap Out Builder Basics

DIY Lighting: Swap Out Builder Basics for Under $100

For my latest collaboration with Home Depot, I shared expert lighting tips I’ve picked up over the years working with renown interior stylists on how to swap out builder basic light fixtures (friends don’t let friends live with boob lights!) Before & after inspiration, easy tutorials for DIY lighting upgrades that can be done in a day, and options for light fixtures that are well under $100.

saving on your wedding budget

Planning a Budget-Friendly Wedding

I’m just excited that my dear friend Lisa Rowan decided to include a few of my tips in her guide, “101 Creative Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding,” this week over on The Penny Hoarder. Check it out (yes, moissanite really does sparkle like real diamonds!), and also have a peek at a few more of my most popular budget wedding-related posts here and here on Shoestring.

ca$h in your life reality show casting

Cash in Your Life: The Reality Show

If being a reality TV star is YOUR dream, then you should apply to be on Ca$h in Your Life — a new show “seeking out couples and families for a chance to cash in their lives for a fresh start. Maybe your real calling is to open up a bed & breakfast, a boutique, or run a yacht charter. Whatever your dream may be, we are ready to pull out the stops, appraise your life, and offer you a check to cash in and start the life you have always wanted.”