Showing posts from February, 2014

The Socio-Economic Tyranny of Expert Advice

Humor my  little rant here. I will admit it is possible I am sometimes part of the "Expert Pressure" problem. After all, I'm one of those people who tells you how to live, what to buy, etc. At the same time however I acknowledge (at least I hope I do) that we can't all realistically afford every "should" we are told we can't live without. I'd like to think I suggest more than insist, and give airtime to the tough decisions we have to make when buying within a tight budget. I don't have a limitless pile of funds with which to live the exemplary life, and most of my readers don't either. (At least I think they don't? If I am mistaken, feel free to get in touch and I'll let you know where to mail that Gucci bag. How nice of you to offer!) Seriously though, I have a bee in my bonnet today over all the well-meaning advice experts dispense with the air that by not following their advice you are somehow letting yourself down. If one express…

Shoestring Reads: Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

Greetings Shoestringers! It has been a while since I've done a book review so I thought I best get on it. Thus far I have only reviewed reads obtained from my local library, a thrifty and fabulous source of entertainment. Shoestring Sally loves libraries! Bookworm that I am I typically have 3 books going at one time but Below Stairs by Margaret Powell is the one I just finished; since I often ponder the social and consumer aspects of our haves & have-nots society this classic memoir of life "in service" seemed tailor-made for Sally's literary microscope.

Margaret's Story & My Take:

Margaret Powell wrote several memoirs of her life in service at wealthy English households, first as a kitchen maid and then as a cook. Below Stairs is the first installment published in 1968, a time when Powell could reflect openly on the injustices servants suffered in the earlier half of the 20th century. She began working in 1921 at the age 14: her first job was in a laundr…

Happy Hearts Make for a Happy Day!

Red roses are fragrant,  Diamonds delight indeed! But your Beloved's the best gift 'Cause love's all you need!

Sliding Down the Shoestring Soon...


Shoestring Confession: Barbie Does Not Make Me Feel Bad (And She Never Did)

Ok so this may seem like an odd thing for me to write about. It isn't exactly my usual subject matter... well sorta. I do like writing about what makes one feel good, look good etc. so why not spend a few moments pondering something that is said to have a lot of influence over how women think they should look: the Barbie doll.

You see, I just realized that as an adult I've taken it for granted that Barbie is a destructive symbol of society's unrealistic standards of beauty. Of course, I reasoned, she only serves to diminish girls' and womens' self-esteem! That's what you always read, right? And yeah her proportions are physiologically impossible (or they used to be, I know they've tinkered around with her a bit in recent years). But tonight I stumbled upon this article by Louisa Peacock wherein she reflects on how Barbie is not to blame for any body issues she may have. Recently an executive at Mattel, the makers of Barbie, said the great big unspoken "…