• History Love,  Life,  Travel

    The One Where Magpie’s Getting Married

    Yup, you heard that correctly: Jim and I are finally going to tie the knot. The big news broke on my insta-story the day it happened, but Jim has officially popped the question, and after almost 8 years together, we can now officially say we’re engaged. And yes, you read that right: 8 years. We’ve been getting a lot of “OMG FINALLY” reactions from those around us – to be expected after such a long time and since we own both a house and a dog together – but we did what was right for us, in our particular situation, on our own time, and we couldn’t be happier. So…

  • Life,  Pet Related Posts,  Tutorials and Tips

    A Letter to First Time Puppy Owners About Housebreaking

    Dear First Time Puppy Owner, You must be so excited to finally have puppy home. If you’re anything like us, that first day was preceded by months of research and looking at breeders and adoption agencies as you tried to find the right little puppers for you and your family. Then weeks of nesting as you try to accumulate all the supplies you’ll need. The toys, the collars, the treats, the bowls… And now finally… finally puppers is home. They’re sniffing around, exploring their new home. Playing with all those new toys with the enthusiasm and exuberance that only a puppy can really muster. And then, pee. It may be…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

    Empire of Storms is the fifth installment in the Throne of Glass series, and like its predecessors, it has its strengths and its weaknesses. However, in the end it was a quick, fun read overall. It is much more quickly plotted than Heir of Fire or even Queen of Shadows, and that movement is really one of its biggest redeeming traits. Empire of Storms really is a race to the end, rarely devoid of action or forward movement, and it kept me riveted even through the parts I still personally find distasteful. The Romantic Dynamics Are Still Mega-squicky Warning: Spoilers ahead. Skip to summary to avoid. I’ve written a few…

  • Lists,  Pet Related Posts,  Tutorials and Tips

    Tips for Surviving Puppy’s First Few Weeks at Home

    Raising a puppy is some exhausting business, let me tell you. Haruka has officially been part of the family now for about a month, and I am tired, constantly smell like puppy kibble, and am covered in itty bitty puppy bites. It is as demanding as it is rewarding, but I wasn’t expecting it to be such a wake-up call for me. I’ve helped raise puppies before, and so I thought I knew what to expect. However, while this may not be my first puppy rodeo, I don’t think I ever realized exactly how challenging it is when you’re doing it relatively on your own. All my puppy experiences before…

  • Life

    Halfway Through – 2018 So Far

    Today marks the first day of summer, and as we’re also right around the halfway point for the year, I feel like it’s time to do a little goal check-in and assessment of how things have gone so far – particularly since I haven’t been keeping up with my monthly goal and wrap-up posts. 2018 has been a bit of a rollercoaster in a lot of ways. Emotionally, I’ve been pretty all over the place. On a personal level, I can’t deny that it’s been a pretty great year. Jim and I are finally settling in our own home, and the difference that shift has made in me finally feeling…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: A Court of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    A Court of Thorns and Roses is not a book I expected to like. Honestly, I had been avoiding the series almost purposefully after falling into the Throne of Glass series last year (reviews on the last two books there are still pending!). Now, why would I do that? I like the Throne of Glass series, and I generally have fun with Maas’ stories, so why would I be so skeptical about this? Well, because despite the constant feedback from everywhere telling me, “If you like Throne of Glass you’ll love this!” everything I had picked up about the series seemed to me like it just took the parts of…

  • Life,  Pet Related Posts,  Photography

    Meet Haruka

    World, meet Haruka. Jim and I have been talking about expanding our little fledgling family with a furry addition basically since we moved into the house. The past few years of being out on my own have frankly been difficult without the companionship of a dog under the same roof. My apartmentmate had Olive the cat – but as much as I generally like cats, it’s just not the same. And while I was able to get my weekly dog-fix by visiting Hilde and Linde at my parents – again, it’s still not the same. And so after some deliberation and some waiting for my schedule to hit its summertime…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

    So, Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, was quite a bit better than it’s predecessor, Heir of Fire. This was honestly kind of a relief for me, all considered, but in the end Queen of Shadows was still a little bit of a let-down. It just doesn’t live up to the bar set by the first two books in the series. Heir of Fire had some pretty big pacing problems, but character development still rang very true. For Queen of Shadows, it was like the problem flipped, and ultimately we’re denied the kind of well-rounded narrative that we got in Crown of Midnight. Before we…

  • Blogging,  Life

    The One Where Magpie Begins Emerging From A Funk

    Oh, hey. It’s been a while, world. I’m still slowly emerging from my funk, but overall I’m glad to be back. Glad to be putting fingers to keyboard and writing again. Although, I must admit to still being a bit at a loss for what to write about. I don’t have any clever beauty advice to share, or new book review to post. No academic advice or fun finished creative projects either. At least not right this moment. Really, right now I’ve got nothing to offer except for… well… me. And I’m not sure when that became something so scary. Particularly when this whole blogging hobby of mine was started…

  • Blogging,  Life,  Magpie Writes

    The One Where Magpie Is Angry

    So January and Feburary haven’t quite gone as planned. You can probably figure that out based on the quietness here. Nothing about the last two months has been the way I expected. January this year was… weird. I generally spend a good deal of the month working from home. Because of that, January is usually one of my most productive months of the year in terms of blogging and prep work thanks to the lack of crazy commutes to eight different places. It’s always easier to get stuff done when you’re not spending half of your day living out of your car, after all. But this year I just really…