The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

pendleton mill washougal washington made in usa

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. Especially after the series finale of Mad Men last night, I find myself daydreaming about going back and needed to finally share my experience.

mothers day brunch vintage goodwill

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!

watermelon margaritas with jalapeno infused tequila

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 summer in Austin, and we will throw down like Pleepleus. Cheers with us from a far, tomorrow night or any time this summer, with these fun little recipes for watermelon agua fresca and jalapeno infused tequila, which together make a mean Spicy Watermelon Margarita. If you really want to turn up the heat, make some of my DIY sriracha salt and crush it up for the rim. Salud!

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!

thrift store DIY succulents goodwill austin

TGWIF: Succulents + Thrift Scores

Sometimes, a trip to the garden center and digging your hands in the dirt is just what the doctor ordered. Last week, I did just that, in the name of journalism and this week’s post for Austin Goodwill, and bought up dozens upon dozens of delightful little succulents, potted them in upcycled thrift store vessels in the name of Earth Day (hello, pineapple colander!) and had the funnest photo shoot with the lovely Chelsea Laine Francis.

thrifting austin with goodwill boston

TGWIF: Thrifting Austin with Goodwill Boston

When I left Boston for Austin, my dear friend (and former partner in crafts at DIY Boston) Tara took over my social media partnership with Goodwill Boston, so of course we had to do the full tour of my favorite downtown Austin Goodwill stores while she was here in Texas. (And other secondhand and vintage shopping of all kinds!)

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.

pro tips SXSW shopping style 2015

Pro Tips: SXSW Eating, Drinking + Style

It’s official: the madness of SXSW has begun! To kick things off, Nordstrom included #ProTips from me and about a dozen other local bloggers/social media experts in their SXSW guide to eating, drinking + style today. Check it out, or in true Throwback Thursday fashion, give these posts from SXSWs past a read.

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.

goodwill irish fisherman sweater

TGWIF: Sweaters, Somerville + UNH Skating

Thank Goodwill It’s Friday! Last night, I made it home to the arctic tundra of Boston, and y’all: They ain’t lying. The struggle is real. Snow is EVERYWHERE. It’s well below freezing with the wind chill. Luckily, I found the most amazing and fortuitous ($4.99) score at the South Lamar Goodwill before leaving Austin: a pure lambswool vintage Irish fisherman’s sweater that is quite literally saving my life.