• 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…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

    Can I just tell you how much I love Mary Roach? Because I love Mary Roach. I bought her newest book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War a few months back as a father’s day present for my dad. My dad an I share a common interest in military history, and this seemed like it would be right up his alley as well – seeing as how he is also a scientist. I’ve read a few of Roach’s books in the past (Stiff was particularly fascinating), and I knew I too would love this book. My original intent was to wait until it came out in paperback to…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

    You know, it’s about time I read this. I have seen the series a bunch of times (I’ve rewatched it more than once since my last big rewatch as a historian, which you can read about here), I’ve at this point read several of the guys’ autobiographies, with more of them on my TBR list – but I never actually bothered reading the source material. I went in kind of expecting the worst to be honest. I’ve read a number of online reviews of the book that hammer hard on the fact that Ambrose didn’t really seem to use much reference material beyond the company memory books, newsletters, and interviews,…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews,  Nerdery

    Mid-January Pleasure Reading Update

    So far so good on the whole “read more” goal. As of right now, I’ve already finished two books for pleasure this year (although technically the first one was started in the final days of 2015 – but I’m still counting it). I don’t feel like either book is really worthy of it’s own separate review post, as one was just kind of frivolous fun, and the other, well, wasn’t great… so I think mini-reviews will do the trick nicely. The first book is Stanley Weintraub’s 11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944. I bought this a couple of years ago after I read his Pearl Harbor Christmas,…

  • Archery,  History Love,  Life

    Bows and Arrows and Glitter, Oh My!

    So, last thing I need is another new hobby, yea? I mean, I can barely keep up with the ones I already have. Last time I finished a knitting project was literally last year, my photo albums have been sitting neglected for months, my sketchbook is frighteningly bare – as are my nails, and all I ever do is bitch about how little time I have to pursue anything “for fun.” So yea. Last thing I need is yet another hobby to complain about not having time to do. Well, I wish someone would tell my brain that. Because I guess I’m an archer now. Whoops. How did this happen?…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    God, I forgot how soul sucking this book was. I decided on a whim as Jim and I were perusing through the bookstore weekend before last to pick up a copy of All Quiet on the Western Front. I had read it in college as part of one of my core History classes – back when my head was filled with dreams of being a famous novelist and History was just something interesting and extra to fill spots in my course schedule – and had enjoyed it then. Even then I was drawn to the dark and brutal honesty of the prose. But once I was finished, I promptly put…

  • Graphics and Printables,  History Love,  Holidays,  Links

    It’s Armistice Day (aka Veterans Day, aka Remembrance Day)

    On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent. Today here in the US is Veterans Day – a day to celebrate, thank, and honor the men and women who have fought for our country. But it is also a much more specific holiday – and the holiday from which Veterans Day originally evolved: Armistice Day, which celebrates the ceasefire that brought an end to WWI’s Western Front. Here in the US, World War One doesn’t get too much attention, mainly because our involvement was so limited. But, particularly considering that this year is the centennial of the conflict’s start, I think that…

  • Book Love,  History Love

    Quickie Book Review: A Land As God Made It

    A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America is a book that I picked up on a whim about two or three years ago during the going-out-of-business sale at our local Borders. Jamestown is not necessarily a topic that I’m totally crazy about – in general early British colonization is not really my thing when it comes to reading for pleasure. But it was like, 75% off, and it is a topic I have to teach about every year, so I figured “why not?” Since then I’ve tried picking it up several times, only to get about 15 pages in before I put it down and…

  • History Love,  Links

    A Gathering of Rosies

    It’s no secret that I love Rosie the Riveter. I’ve been her for Halloween more than once, and have a large tin reproduction of the famous “We Can Do It” poster on my desk… although – fun historical tidbit here: though “Rosie the Riveter” has been around as a cultural icon since WWII, that poster is not actually “Rosie” and in fact didn’t become associated with the term “Rosie the Riveter” until the 1980’s when the poster was rediscovered. Until then the most famous non-photography Rosie image was a Rockwell cover for the Saturday Evening Post that most people probably wouldn’t recognize today. But anyway, maybe one day I’ll write…

  • History Love,  Life,  Nail Polish Love

    The First Accurate Mani Monday

    Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a difficult few days here at Magpie Making Do – my grandmother had some surgery (it was minor and went well, but there’s always anxiety when she has to be put under and stay in the hospital now that she’s past 80 years of age) and one of my parents’ cats, Genghis Khan (who really been “my” cat since we got him as a kitten 13 years ago. I was in 8th grade and he immediately attached himself to me and hasn’t let go since – and neither have I for that matter) is not doing well at all. My mom and I had a…