The Fashion Magpie Glen Plaid


This is me, trying on that H+M blazer I’ve been blathering on about.  (I bought it.)  (This is THE trend for fall!)  A few other things on my mind lately…

Listening //

Ariana Grande’s album “Sweetener” is delightful.  Apparently she set out to create something sweet, light, and happy in the wake of the horrible shooting that happened at her concert last year.  A lot (though not all) of the album sounds like throwback Ariana — more Mariah Carey than uberpop2018.  Love.

On the podcast front — well, you know what I’ve been up to.  But I also listened to most of this Forever35 podcast featuring Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy and was completely in love with something Garbes said.  She noted that she has trained herself to always assume that mothers are doing the best they can.  I love that, especially in a world where strangers will offer unsolicited advice: “your daughter must be cold without gloves on!” (I know, thank you, we just went through a battle of the wills for ten blocks and then she threw them in the gutter…) and “she’s already drinking formula?” (oh God, if you only knew the struggle it took to get here) and so on.  I am going to adopt this slogan and, whenever I find myself judging or even sizing up another parent (not just mother!), interrupt myself with: we’re all doing the best we can.

Shopping //

Well, when am I not shopping?  Ha.  I did find an $8 broken-in white tee that fits OH SO WELL from one of J. Crew’s sales and have been wearing it constantly — with simple denim, underneath my favorite joveralls, etc.  (Speaking of joveralls, I know it’s the end of summer, but I love THESE — on sale in limited sizes here!  Imagine paired with this blouse?!) Anyway, my new white tee: it looks so fresh when ironed.  (I had been trying to hold out for the white tee from the SomethingNavy collection because I love the interest of that bold collar situation, but this will tide me over…)  I also found this Ulla Johnson-lookalike blouse at Madewell and HAD TO HAVE IT.

For mini: I made a huge haul of all the gorgeous fall goodness at Cecil & Lou.  I like a lot of their stuff but some of it is a little too frou-frou for my tastes, so I’m pretty choosy.  I had to have this and this and got a couple of things from their pumpkin patch collection in anticipation of Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Watching //

I just binge-watched the last season of Southern Charm (I’m woefully behind on TV) and OH.MY.GOD.  Epic!  My girlfriend Mackenzie and I legitimately spent a third of our dinner the other night attempting to understand why we were so sucked in and what makes this franchise superior to so much of the rest of the dross we call reality TV.  I must spend some more time thinking about this because it surely reflects something about me and this cultural moment.  Maybe its the outright old-fashioned-ness of the society depicted that sort of highlights or calls into high relief gender roles and norms?  Maybe it’s because everyone on that cast is so damned beautiful, it’s impossible to avert the eyes?  Maybe it’s because this show feels “realer” than the others — with Kathryn and Thomas actually having TWO CHILDREN TOGETHER and the gals seeming to genuinely have one another’s backs?

Mr. Magpie and I have also been watching Barry, an uber-dark comedy on HBO starring Bill Hader, and are laboriously making our way through Better Call Saul, which is excellent but painfully slow-moving, and we can’t tell whether the pace is intentional or not.  Or maybe it is intentional but we can’t tell whether it’s effective or not.

Finally, I’m going to write a more expansive post on this I think, but The Rider was one of the best movies we’ve seen this year.  It called to mind a lot of my thinking in this post.

Reading //

You know what I’m reading book-wise, but on the web — I appreciated this post, “Preparing for Dealing with Death: A Practical Checklist.”  I don’t mean to go morbid on you, but I’ve been thinking about this topic recently.  Death is a reality and, as the author contends: “Planning for your death is one of the most selfless things you can do; it means that your loved ones can mourn you without scrambling to guess your passwords and try to come up with the places you might have a bank account.”  Heart-wrenching, yes.  But also smart and generous to loved ones.  I followed the author’s instructions on setting an inactive account manager for my gmail account — basically, you set it up so that if something happens, a loved one will be able to access your account — and at one point, as I was designating Mr. Magpie, they presented me with the option to leave him a personalized note.  That was a bridge too far.  I swallowed, hard, blinked back tears, and went on with my day.

Cooking //

We have been a pasta house this summer.  I think we’ve made about 90% of the recipes from the “summer” section of Flour + Water, but when we’re less inclined to roll out fresh pasta, we like the dried pasta recipes from Sauces + Shapes — a book we simply refer to as “Oretta’s book,” as though we know the old Italian woman who wrote it personally!  Ha.  We also made pozole out of our new Nopalito cookbook and it was delicious although a bit suspect given how darn hot it was over the weekend.  (“You know what will taste good when it’s 100 degrees out?” “SOUP!”) More great cookbooks here.

KonMari-ing //

I love how many of you are into organization.  My mom called me the other day to say how in love she is with these and one of you sent me a picture of your closet after you’d used these tubs (my favorite for utility/spices/laundry/undersink/etc) and my beloved labelmaker.  YAS.  With the imminent arrival of cooler weather, I have begun to put together a craft corner in our home for mini that I plan to stock with tons of paper, crayons, fingerpaint, stickers, pipe cleaners, pom poms, etc.  There are so many cute art projects I’ve found on Pinterest that I’ll be undertaking with mini on many a cool day.  I’m considering these darling organizational cubbies for crayons/markers/brushes/etc and this mint green caddy for the rest.

Totally unrelated, but I am dying to upgrade my vacuum to this Miele.  We have no space for a full-size, so we use this one, and it’s both awesome and just OK.  On the awesome front: I like that it stands upright and has such a tiny footprint that it can be tucked into even the smallest nook of a closet.  It also does not have a bulky charger that takes up extra space — instead, you remove the battery in the front and can charge that by plugging it into a wall outlet.  It’s also super flexible so you can swivel to reach under couches/consoles and around corners.  Those are the amazing pros.  On the just so-so side, I don’t think it has great suction and the bag fills up in about 1.1 seconds, so I’m constantly emptying it.  I also find that hair/lint/dust bunnies can easily clog the machine so Mr. Magpie has had to entirely dissemble it to clean it on multiple occasions.  I’d love to own a powerful full-size vacuum but we simply do not have the space to house one.  Sigh.

Also, on cleaning: I love these to keep my GGs clean 🙂  I also use them on mini’s Native Shoes which tend to scuff up pretty easily.

Dog Parenting //

I was running into an issue where Tilly would grab mini’s toys and not let go of them in a desperate play for attention, and it was making me SO frustrated.  I finally decided to dog-mom HARD and read up on clicker training.  It’s completely changed the game.  I have taught her the command “give it” (full instructions here) and she actually listens.  We use these.  I’ve also bought her a few new toys — we love Fluff N Tuff stuffies, and this one had to happen.  I also find that these practice tennis balls tend to last a little longer than the other brands we tried!  (She’s a heavy chewer…)

Admin //

Embarrassingly exciting-to-me utility orders currently in my Amazon cart: Mrs. Meyers’ Apple Cider Counter Spray (I am such a geek but I look forward to their seasonal scents…); this Makeup Eraser washcloth, which gets really good reviews and reportedly does not need anything but water to remove all traces of makeup! — has anyone else used these?; velcro wrap ties to help with cord management around the house (who else hates the look of long dangling cords?); and — my most favorite thing — this compact outlet block, which I’ll be using on my bedside table, where I routinely would like to charge the monitor, my apple watch, my Kindle, and my iPhone.

P.S.  Super inspired by everything here (swoon) and 10 epic finds.

P.P.S.  Some of my favorite Amazon purchases EVER.


  1. We bought fluff n tuff toys for our puppy on your recommendation and I love them. Let’s be honest, she’ll play with anything that squeaks, but I love that they don’t fall apart, are washable, and cute! I was just on their website to buy one for a friend who got a new puppy, and saw that they’re running a holiday toy drive – if you tag an IG pic of your dog with their fluff n tuff toy with ‘#igiveafluff’ they’ll donate a toy to a shelter dog! Their website said they donated over 700 toys last year! It makes me love their toys even more!!

  2. We have one of the older Dyson stick vacuums. Love it – easy to charge (mounted the charging plate/holder to a wall inside our washer/dryer closet and it’s rather unobtrusive, though you don’t even need to mount it at all if you don’t have room), and it has a fair amount of suctioning power. I usually use it after the Roomba to clean up any areas the Roomba may have missed (or, of course, if there’s an impromptu spill), and it’s really been great. I read that the latest version (the V10, I think?) is so good that Dyson is going to stop making their regular upright vacuums and focus only on their sticks now.

    And I think Hanna is having a sale on pajamas this weekend? I popped by the store today but honestly haven’t been loving their patterns of late. I think it’s Primary for the next round for me, unless something else comes up.

    1. I’m with you — a little underwhelmed by the HA prints too. I wish they’d do more flowers and fruits like they used to! So cute. Good to know about the Dyson, too! I’ve heard good things about ALL of their products, their esteemed hair blow dryer included!


  3. A million years ago there was a good article in Lucky Magazine (RIP, Lucky) about the things we repeatedly buy. As in, you go into a store and just gravitate towards this category of item, even though you already have several like it in your closet. For me, I have three: wide leg/flare jeans (have always hated skinnies), shoes in all different metallic hues (love me a good gold or bronze flat, wedge, sandal, clog, etc.), and delicate frilly/feminine blouses in black or white. So as soon as I saw that Madewell eyelet blouse I knew I needed it in both colors — don’t make me choose!

    Better Call Saul – I have such a love/hate relationship with this show. It is brilliant but painfully slow, and yes, I do think it is intentional but not sure about effective. It’s one of the few shows my man-friend and I agree on and we tried a new strategy this season, we saved three episodes to binge rather than watching each week. Last night we got through all three and looked at each other screamed “Nothing happened! In three episodes, how can nothing happen?!” That’s a slight exaggeration but not much. It is fully season 4 and we haven’t really met Saul yet! People complained a lot about the pace of Sharp Objects and I agree it did move slowly, but it was a finite 8 episodes and we all knew we were going somewhere. BCS feels like being stranded on some (beautifully shot) endless road in the Albuquerque desert…

    Also, Southern Charm is…something. Ba-bah-doo!

    1. HAHA — Mr. Magpie and I have similar exchanges all the time about Better Call Saul. We both feel exasperated — it’s like, OK WE GET IT HOW MANY TIMES CAN JIMMY SHOW HE DOES THINGS THE WRONG WAY AND GET IN TROUBLE FOR THEM. Talk about beating us over the head. The plot line with Ermentrout (sp?) feels much better suited to our pace preferences, but even then — those long, tedious collages of him doing things, like looking for the tracker in his car, tailing people, etc? We’re always like rolling on the floor in exasperation. HA. And yet we come back. It is a really beautifully shot series and I respect the artistry they put into every single detail. I also think some of the dialogue — especially from Jimmy — is incredible. xoxo

  4. Great post – lots of good ideas! Kind of a random thing to comment on (of all things!) but I didn’t love Velcro cable ties as much as I thought I would, and went back to tried-and-true zip ties: cheap, not bulky, inconspicuous, don’t collect dust, trimmable ends, and allow me to get things TIGHT! I love me some cable management 😉

    1. Ooo good to know! (Good thing they’re cheap, too…glad I didn’t invest a lot in something I might upgrade from.) Thanks!

  5. I almost forgot about Southern Charm! Now that Younger (love that show) is over for the season, I needed a new one to watch until This is Us starts back up.

    Love all the organization products! I think I need a good shopping trip to the Container Store soon. I also ended up getting those little plastic baggies from Amazon – loved the idea of putting jewelry in them and placing in a box. There are about a thousand baggies in the package, though, ha!

    I’ve never used the washcloth, but have been using a heftier (?) mascara lately, and am having a hard time removing it all before bed. I usually just use Vaseline to remove eye make-up after I wash my face, but I’m not sure if I’m doing it all wrong? Solving this problem is not on my list of priorities at the moment, though!

    Speaking of recommendations – I actually really like Trunk Club! Once the stylist nailed down my preferences, it was worth it to receive styles I wouldn’t necessarily have picked out myself. A friend gets them monthly; I only signed up for quarterly. Any more often and I’d need closet organization tips 😉

    1. That’s great about Trunk Club — thanks for the DL. I’m sure other women on this blog will appreciate that tip, too…

      The baggies for jewelry is totally the way to go. I have the same issue — about 9433094809 baggies inside a box. It’s not too unwieldy, though, since all the bags are clear and you can easily sift through. Next level would be to then put all those baggies in some sort of organizer, but…one step at a time, people.


  6. I have a Miele vacuum (the maverick U1 dynamic) and love it! It is not small but the suction is amazing and the bag does not have to emptied often.

    1. Ugh, jealous! Never thought I’d get to a time in my life where I was envious of a vacuum but, well, here I am. Will definitely invest if we ever get more space! xo

  7. Hi

    I have that blazer in my cart. How is the sizing? And how is the quality for the money? Love……

    Your blog is one of the few I read daily.

    1. Hi Marianne! Thank you so much — I am so flattered I am a part of your daily routine, and so happy you’re here. So the blazer: I would say it runs fairly TTS. I took a 0 (big note: they just changed their sizing system; for years they started at 2 and the 2s were SUPER SMALL — like 00s, I think!) and it fits snug in the arm and is fairly long in length. In terms of quality: I think it looks really nice and feels good (decent amount of stretch), but a big note is that it is NOT lined, and I think that might turn some people off. (Not me.) Hope that helps!!! xo

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