The Best Champagne on a Budget

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, and for most of us over 21, that means a champagne toast is on the way as well! But bottles of bubbly can be expensive- and if you’re the host of your New Year’s Eve soirée, even just a couple of bottles for your guests can easily take a toll on your wallet.

Luckily, they don’t have to! Between myself and my (very cooperative) family members, we taste-tested and judged 3 budget-friendly bottles: all from Walmart, and all under $10. (Did you hear that? I think it was your credit card breathing a huge sigh of relief.) I also made sure they were all of the extra dry variety, just for consistency.

All 3 champagnes were judged appearance, their “bubbly factor”, their taste, and the overall rating (in case you have one category you’re partial to). Each champagne got very high and very low scores in each categories, but I have averaged all the votes so it’s easy to tell the results. If you’re interested in the voting breakdown, you can find the individual ratings here.

So, without any further ado, let’s get right into the reviews!

BOTTLE #1: Cook’s

Photo via Walmart.com

Price: $7.98/bottle
Appearance: 7.75/10
Bubbly Factor: 8.5/10
Taste: 5.125/10
Overall Rating: 6.625/10

A good portion of the room preferred Cook’s over the other brands. However, it tended to be the parents in the room compared to the Gen-Zs. It received the second highest average score overall. It scored the highest in terms of appearance and how bubbly it was, but scored the lowest for taste.

BOTTLE #2: Barefoot

Photo via Walmart.com

Price: $8.73/bottle
Appearance: 6.625/10
Bubbly Factor: 5.625/10
Taste: 5.25/10
Overall Rating: 5.75/10

No one preferred Barefoot over the other brands, which surprised me because the bottle said it was “most awarded,” and it was also the most expensive (if only by $1.) For being such an iconic brand in terms of cheap wine, I thought it would do better. It scored the lowest in almost every category, but it’s average score never dipped below 5, so it’s still decent.

Bottle #3: André

Photo via Walmart.com

Price: $4.98/bottle
Appearance: 7.375/10
Bubbly Factor: 7.125/10
Taste: 5.875/10
Overall Rating: 7.125/10

André was very polarizing. It had a lot of very high votes and very low votes, but still managed to come out on top for taste and overall. This was also the brand preferred by the Gen-Zs in the room.

OVERALL

While all the bottles were tasty, my personal favorite was André! At $4.98, you just can’t beat the price. If you need affordable champagne for your NYE party (or really any other occasion that calls for it), this is certainly my recommendation!

If you ever want to have your own champagne taste-test, this is the card I handed out to everyone!

Do you have any favorite bottles of affordable champagne? Please don’t hesitate to let me know- I’m always open to trying a new brand!

Happy (early) new year & stay warm-

-K

Hot Girl Scholar

The first week of my senior year is over, and I’m super optimistic about what’s to come this fall. Even for the first week, I’ve felt extremely busy- apparently, being a master’s student, undergraduate senior, resume design business founder, sorority publicist, blogger, and marching band member is hard work. Who knew?

Luckily, I love my schedule for this year. I was a little hesitant about only having classes on Tuesday/Thursday, but it’s been working out really well, at least for the first week. Only having to make the trek to main campus twice a week is allowing me to spend a lot more time at home, grinding on all my work (school related and not) on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. I don’t think I’ll get as lucky next semester, so I’ll definitely be savoring this one.

SHOP THE LOOK:

Top: Off-The-Shoulder Halter Top (similar)
Belt: White Belt (similar)
Shorts: Denim Shorts – H&M
Shoes: Gold Wedge Sandals (similar)

I’ve been having such a fun time finding cute little corners on campus to take my #OOTD pictures! Getting over the quasi-weirdness of people watching me take them is a little strange, but I’m having so much fun I really don’t mind. Be on the lookout for more soon!

-K

Stripes on Stripes

I’m ready for cooler weather, but summer in full swing means I can still get away with wearing crop tops to class. It’s super hot in Oklahoma, and that means I generally want to be wearing as little clothing as possible while still being classroom-appropriate.

As you all know, I love a good black-and-white look, especially when stripes are involved. I decided to try to play up the stripes look by coordinating my top with the stripes on my shoes and adding a belt (AKA one giant stripe) at my waist. Cute, classic, and casual for class!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Top: Striped Crop Tee (similar)
Belt: White Belt (similar)
Shorts: Cotton Twill Shorts – H&M
Shoes: Grand Court Sneaker – Adidas

Dear Oklahoma weather: I love you, but can we just cool it just a little bit? Like even a little? My closet would thank you.

-K

Museum of Memories

This weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Memories in Dallas! Museum of Memories is a quirky, nostalgic, Instagram-lover’s heaven. It’s completely inspired by scenes of the 90s and 00s, and has the playlist to match. I went with my friend Jaya and had such a fun time exploring the different rooms and being reminded of my childhood. I’m excited to share my favorite photos with y’all!

Jaya and I both loved the monochromatic dollhouse rooms. Jaya was partial to the kitchen (“I just love kitchens!” -Jaya) and we spent a good bit of time here. I loved the turquoise living room, complete with a corded telephone. They also had an all-turquoise Connect Four and chess set!

Next up, the cloud room. I had seen this one floating around Insta and was excited to see it for myself. It’s actually a lot harder to pose with clouds than you might think! They’re fluffy and glowing, so deciding the best way to photograph one was a bit of a challenge. I love the one of me hugging one! Truly a childhood dream, fulfilled. (On the way home, I couldn’t resist pointing at the clouds in the sky and remarking “we took pictures with those.” Jaya was only partially amused.)

My favorite room was the diary-inspired room! I had several diaries throughout my youth, so this was particularly nostalgic for me. I especially loved the Mean Girls reference with “That’s so fetch!” written on the pencil, although the pencil itself screamed “Clueless” to me as well.

The birthday room was also super cute! I loved the four-tier cake, complete with a plethora of birthday candles. To get some candid laughter, Jaya made sure to reference a joke from our high school days. No fake laughter required to get a super cute shot!

Since MoM is 90s/00s themed, they couldn’t have enough Mean Girls references! The monochromatic “you can’t sit with us” mural was the perfect excuse for Jaya and I to whip out our best RBF. (Are we intimidating yet?)

I’m a sucker for good Insta content, so this outing was the perfect afternoon adventure! If you’re in the Dallas area, I highly recommend giving this place a visit before it leaves at the end of the summer. All the artwork is hand-painted and is just as stunning in person! Make sure you go online to their website and buy your tickets in advance.

If you end up going, I would love to see your shots! Tag me or hashtag #selfiesandootds so I can see your take on the fun themes.

-K