Showing posts from May, 2012

Free Fitness: The City is My Gym

I can't afford a gym membership. Well, no, that's not exactly true. If I really wanted to go to the gym, I would find a way to make room in my budget for it. But I know I wouldn't go and that equals wasted money no matter how good a deal I might find. I do love to swim. Maybe one day I'll join a place with a pool (though I prefer the seaside), but in general going somewhere to work out? Just not my style. I am however getting a work out and I am excited to say the pounds are dropping and the waist is shrinking --and all for free because I have made the city I live in my gym with 4 simple moves.

Elizabeth Taylor: Shoestring Style? Really?

The Fairest Flower, The Brightest Jewel by shabbychicstyle on Polyvore
You may be surprised that I would post my latest Polyvore collage, a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, here on Shoestring News for La Liz's style is synonymous with wealth, luxury and opulence. She's the star who drenched herself in the finest furs and mega-carat diamonds. But that is precisely why I love this picture of her. Stripped of her diamonds and designer duds she is radiant, more radiant than all the fripperies she is so famous for. The vast majority of jewelry pictured in this set are pieces she actually owned, yet her natural beauty outshines them all. There is a profound lesson to be learned here, Shoestringers: 

Shoestring Shame! (A Long Overdue Thank You to Free Mass Media)

Well, I was shocked to see that I have let a whole week go by without a new post! I also neglected earlier this month to give a SUPER SHOESTRING SHOUT OUT to Free Mass Media for featuring my post Go Boho on a Hobo Budget on their super cool Facebook Page  --and for that I hang my head in Shoestring Shame! I will most definitely have to write a more in-depth post about this up-and-coming alternative news site but for the time being just know Free Mass Media is epic --and check it out!

Also I'd like to draw your attention to a recent posting on Free Mass Media: Going Coconuts! with Cher Kore, all about the myriad uses of coconut oil and milk. Cher, you've read my mind! For I, always on the hunt for natural beauty treatments & wellness-promoting goodies, have been researching coconuts this past week and they truly are a miracle fruit...or a nut? Anyway --they're just plain swell. And so is Cher's post, so hurry up and finish reading this and click on that link!

And n…

Summoning Inspiration on Zero Cents: Summoning the Spirits

Well, Shoestringers, I am in the debit dumps! I've been going over my checkbook (oy!) and counting down the days until my next paycheck (this evening included: 17 - double oy!) and the verdict: I have just a couple dollars more to play with between now and my next check than I had for the infamous 18-Day Spending Challenge. What does this mean for my prospects of arriving at pay day without having to dip into June's rent money? It can be done. Sadly, what does that also mean? I got to do it. Thus here I sit, sore pitiful and not exactly penniless but feeling that way. 
And yet, I started this post because I wanted to share with you my latest Polyvore collage "Summoning the Spirits". Time and time again, art has sustained me in a way my salary cannot. In the past year, making collage art online has proved to be both a creative outlet and a major stress reliever. I've said before how much I love it because it is like virtual art class and you don't have to spe…

Sweet Inspiration: Shoestring News Salutes Diane McNease

I had already put the blog to bed for the night when I came across this amazing story on Yahoo! --and I just had to share it with you, Shoestringers!!! Diane McNease is a Michigan teen who went to the prom this year in a dress that has a bodice made up of approximately 18,000 Starburst wrappers! The delicious deed was done on a dare. It took over a year to collect the wrappers (she didn't eat all the candy herself, thank goodness) and 5 months to construct. Just think of that next time you feel like there's no way you can't make your own clothes/accessories!

To read more about McNease and her unconventional project, check out the article by Yahoo! blogger Sarah B. Weir.

My Breasts Have Dissociative Identity Disorder: The Quest For An Affordable, Well-Fitting Bra Continues

Dissociative Identity Disorder, otherwise known as having multiple personalities ala The United States of Tara, is an apt description for my girls --they can't seem to stay one stable entity for long, at least size-wise that is! Let me elaborate.

The sun has finally deigned to shine on Haute Hooverville and yesterday I wanted to venture out in a ruffle-sleeved sundress. I ended up safety pinning my bra to the sleeves. Yup. Stay Classy, San Diego! I decided, despite my truly abysmal bank balance, I would have to fork over the green for a strapless bra that fits my doesn't want to fit into the crowd breasts. Macy's had failed me. Discount stores like T.J. Maxx had failed me. It was time to go to the local specialty lingerie shop and I don't mean Victoria's Secret. I mean the sort of place where old ladies armed with a matter-of-fact look and a well-worn tape measure thoroughly molest you in the name of mammary science.

And guess what I am? Not a B40 or B42 necessaril…

Go Boho on a Hobo Budget

Below is a collage I made & published on some time ago, but like the collage, I shall be "Bohemian Forever!". The shabby-fab boho style has been hot for some time, drawing on everything from flower-child chic, art deco, and perhaps in more recent years, the Steampunk aesthetic. Of course with popularity comes commodification which = high price tags. So today, let's review a few ways to cut corners when crafting this look without scrimping on style.
Bohemian Forever by shabbychicstyle on Polyvore featuring boho jewelry
1. Raid your grandparents/parents' cast offs & hand-me-downs for vintage loot. Jewelry, knick-knacks, random gadgets & gew-gaws, dishes, wall-hangings etc. Mix and match with more modern pieces, or, if the item is not a beloved heirloom, think up ways to recondition/reuse it. Does a picture need a new frame? Can you get the funky fab lamp that no longer works rewired? 2. Assign a prosaic use to something somewhat valuable. For yea…

Looking for a New Attitude in Old Clothes

In yesterday's post I laid bare my struggles with emotionally-motivated shopping and how current troubles have caused my spending to skyrocket. Today I looked at my Macy's card balance: it was not pretty and thank God the money isn't due til June!!! The numbers made me feel powerless and overwhelmed. But slowly I'm beginning to rally. I restocked my coffee supplies; I had fallen out of the habit of brewing my own but with the month still so new and my account so depleted I must tighten the ol' java belt. I also stopped myself from buying a new pair of jeans --I do need jeans as I've worn most of mine literally to tatters, but I did not need that particular pair of jeans from that particular store. They were too expensive. Then I realized later that a practically new, but egregiously too short after the first wash, pair I was planning to foist on Goodwill can find new life cuffed. I don't care if that's in style still or not for a loose, low-cuffed jean …

What Lies Behind the Hunger to Spend

Today we get Shoestring Serious; on this blog I like to reflect upon the many roles money, style and my desire for beautiful things play in my life. Usually I keep it light, have a laugh or simply give myself the freedom to indulge in my aesthetic and material daydreams, promote the good life to be found amongst the drudge  --but it hasn't been a light, laughter-filled time in my life recently, as evidenced by my infrequent posting. Indeed, I've been struggling on many fronts and during this time one thing has become apparent to me: I am shopping to dull the pain. I am shopping out of a desperate desire to still the grasping claws of stress, self-doubt and frustration that tear at my self-esteem. I am wiping my tears with dollar bills that don't really exist and stuffing the wholes in my heart with shopping bags fulls of false hope. How many of us are doing that? Spending out of loneliness or fear or anger over the fact that we have too little to spend? It is a monkey'…