• Baking and Cooking

    Magpie’s Pinterest Test Kitchen: Beefy Tomato Soup via Mantitlement

    Now that we have our own house, I’ve begun to get back into cooking again. Not that I didn’t love our apartment kitchen, but I just got a bit out of the habit over the years, since the type of cooking I love to do is big batches of stuff, but there’s only so many leftovers I’m willing to eat (I often couldn’t share them with the apartmentmate because he’s vegan). Additionally, sometimes because of my schedule I wouldn’t want to do a lot of dishes right away because I’d be exhausted, and leaving them around is just rude when you’re sharing the kitchen with someone else. So I just…

  • Blogging,  Home Dec Love,  Life

    August/September Wrap-Up, or, “Why Magpie’s Been Away for Three Weeks”

    So, big news here in Magpie land. I’ve been pretty absent from the interwebs for the last few weeks, and I’ve teased on twitter a number of times that it’s because of some serious life changes happening in the background, but never really specified exactly what was going on. Well, it’s finally time to specify: we bought a house. So yea, kind of a big deal. It’s an older house, and some of the floors are a little tilty, but other than that it’s in great shape (the previous owners took such amazing care of it) and we love it already. To be honest, the journey to this point has…

  • Book Love

    Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

    So after how much I absolutely loved Crown of Midnight, and after what a cliffhanger it left off on, I was super excited to start Heir of Fire. Annnndddd…. It started off pretty disappointing. Where Crown of Fire seemed to hit the perfect balance between developing nuanced characters and weaving their growth in with a fast-paced, exciting, and steadily forward pushing plot, Heir of Fire, well, didn’t. It’s a Little Bit Wibbly-Wobbly. In terms of pacing, this book felt very unbalanced. It starts off slow. Very slow. And then somehow gets slower. Even as it introduces a new character who should be a thrilling addition (I mean an ancient, full-blooded,…

  • Book Love

    Book Review: Abhorsen by Garth Nix

    So, I sort of let this review linger in the “unfinished” post pile a little too long, given how hard I came down on the previous book in the series, Lirael. I read this not long afterwards, and honestly was so amazed at how much better it was than its predecessor – and how much better it made its predecessor retroactively, that I sort of struggled to put it into words. And so I put off writing this review for a while. And then I just kind of forgot about it. But I finally got the other Old Kingdom books, and so I better get my shit together and get…

  • Blogging,  Life,  Magpie Writes

    On Blogging Seriously (and Being Seriously Overwhelmed)

    I’ve wanted to blog seriously for years. Honestly, 10+ years ago when I first discovered bloggers like Alicia Paulson of Posy Gets Cozy and Jane Brocket of Yarnstorm it quickly instilled in me a nagging want. To be a blogger. To take this seriously. To make this world of creativity a serious part of how I lived my life and made my living. But there was always something holding me back. Lack of time, lack of inspiration, lack of money, lack of my own space, an overabundance of fear… the excuses were and are many. First I was in college and had classes and trying to graduate a year early…

  • Life,  Lists,  Travel

    July/August Wrap-Up and September Goals

    The last two months have been just an absolute whirlwind. There’s some pretty big and significant life-changes that have been going on behind the scenes here at Magpie over the last few weeks that have been simultaneously super-exciting, and absolutely terrifying. I won’t say too much about it all on here until all is said and done, and everything is finalized, but it has certainly contributed to the overall chaos that has been the last two months. As a result of everything that’s been going on, many of the goals that I had originally set for July ended up put on the back-burner for much of the time since I…

  • Lists,  School School School

    Tips for Emailing Your Professors – From a Professor!

    In recent years, one of the most common things I’m asked about by students is email. Specifically, how to email your professors. When I first started getting this, I was a little confused by it – until I realized that we’re at the point where none of our traditional students remember a world without IM or texts. For the current batch of college students, communication has always been getting increasingly informal, and increasingly instantaneous, and so it seems that many find themselves anxious about saying “the right thing” when sending a formal email to a professor for the first time. So I’ve decided to compile some tips about how to…

  • Book Love

    Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

      Crown of Midnight was an exceptional follow-up to Throne of Glass. The pacing problems of the first book were pretty much non-existant, and the combination of a more mature narrative with far more effective character development makes for a riveting read from start to finish. Celeana as Unlikeable Still Isn’t Actually Unlikeable. As I mentioned in my Throne of Glass review, many of the criticisms often hurled at the character of Celeana are criticisms that I found to be valid points, but are ultimately traits that make her character feel more real. To be honest it’s kind of fun for me to read a character who, while a decent…

  • Lists,  School School School

    12 Tips for Adjusting to College from a Student Turned Professor

    This year marks my 7th year teaching college. It’s an absolutely CRAZY thing for me to think about, since it seriously just feels like yesterday that I was receiving my MA. But time marches ever forward, and with seven years of teaching under my belt, in addition to the five years I spent in higher ed. as a student, I feel like I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade along the way. Between the mistakes I made and lessons I learned as a student myself, and the years I’ve spent watching class after class of new freshmen arrive (and then graduate!) – here are the top twelve tips…

  • Life,  Lists

    Liebster Award and Blogger to Blogger Personal Tag

    It’s been a very hectic week here at Magpie Making Do (for a variety of personal reasons that I’m not going to get into here, including a death in the family), and I’ve noticed myself feeling very guilty about not posting in more than a week and a half – which is nice, because it’s been a while since I had even enough energy to feel guilty about my absences. The guilt makes me feel like I’m FINALLY getting back into the swing of consistent posting! But anyway, I don’t have a huge amount of time this week, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve done a “get…