The Magpie Collective

23 August 2013

As you may have noticed, I been extremely absent from The Secondhand Magpie for the last few months. 

I have been grappling with a nasty case of Bloggeritis, better known as Blogger Burnout. It led to a slow deterioration of my motivation and creativity with outfits and posting in general. As my life/priorities/focus shifted, I found myself pigeonholed with the notion of a blog existing based solely on my tendency for being thrift minded. I realized I didn't have the time or funds to continue thrift shopping, as we were saving for our first home. 

In a lame attempt to stay relevant in social media, I Instagrammed and Pinned my daily happenings as a form of micro-blogging. I figured it would suffice until I knew I was fully committed to the responsibility of maintaining a blog with quality content. But I knew better. I started blogging to really connect with others, to share and learn from other women who loved everything creative and wanted to share their experiences like I did.

If I am going to continue to blog, I need a platform that allows me to fully expound on who I am, what I love, and why I love it. Stocking my closet and home with thrifty finds is a huge part of my life, but not all of it. I don't plan on sharing every nook and cranny of my life here, but giving a more well rounded view of life as I know it. There have been so many things that I have wanted to share, but was afraid it didn't fit my niche in blogging, so I left it behind. 

In keeping with the true Magpie spirit of things, going forward, the blog will be named The Magpie Collective. It embodies more of my life, as I am still that little bird flitting from thing to thing, store to store, activity to activity. I just have a bigger nest to fill, and want you guys along for the ride. It's about a life eclectic, a life full of an assortment of material possessions, shared experiences and stories.

So, in closing I suppose I should say, Welcome to The Magpie Collective.

Glad to have you.


05 August 2013

Big, big changes are underway for Secondhand Magpie. 


Starting in September, I will be re-branding the blog with an evolved version of the current setup. I am currently in the process of a redesign, as well as a reformatting and re-branding of the existing Magpie theme I have going. My life is changing and expanding, and I feel like my blog should reflect that. With a blog that focuses so narrowly on secondhand living, I feel that a lot of content that I'd like to share isn't relevant in the current setup.Secondhand shopping will always (and is always) a big part of my life, but there is more I find myself wanting to share and wanting to learn, and I believe my blog should be a reflection of all of those things and more! 

So, I am not gone. Just in hibernation, waiting for the big new change starting in September. 

Stay tuned.

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Closet Hillbilly

08 May 2013

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in Texas is... southern. I happen to be one of them. I am mercilessly teased about not eating red meat (read: anything with eyelashes). I do not in fact know how to do the Boot Scootin Boogie. I rode horses all throughout my childhood, but it involved a riding jacket, crop pants and equestrian boots. Not a cowboy hat in sight. There is, however, a little bit of yeehaw way down deep in my soul. 
{Top} Thrifted  {Jeans} American Eagle  {Belt} Forever 21  {Bag}  Coach
{Sandals} Target  {Sunnies} Ray Ban  {Necklace} Lala Crystal on Etsy
For one, I love me some bull riding. Put a dirty, bowlegged cowboy on the back of a half ton animal with a rope tied around its most sensitive bits, and I suddenly become a whoopin' and hollerin' Child of Dixie. I have no idea where that comes from. I believe it's one of those 'stand there and look pretty' kinds of things where you aren't really interested in the man per se, but just the idea of it all. The behavior itself is inexcusable.
I also have a sick, sick obsession with a little show on the History Channel called Swamp People. Again, real life people in the USofA hunting alligators in canoes, eating squirrels and requiring the use of subtitles for their butchering of the English language manage to keep me riveted to the TV for an entire hour a week. A real life gator hunt has even made its way to my bucket list.
And by real life, I mean in a separate, non canoe boat many, many feet away from the actual gator killing. Very hands off.

How to Catch a Chicken

01 May 2013

Yeah, I don't know how either. I did however, have to learn.

Dare I say, "On the fly."

A few weeks ago on a Thursday morning I was backing out of my driveway for work and glanced at my mirror in time to something red run out from under my car. I did a double take and realized I was looking at the back end of a chicken running across the street. Now, my everyday life doesn't normally include close interactions with barnyard life, so chicken wrangling isn't on my list of have-dones. In fact, it was on my list of hope-to-nevers.
As I continued to back out, I realized that the poor guy was probably going to get run over or poached by one of my rather aggressive cats, so I felt it was fate that I ended up spotting him on the one morning I was running a little ahead of schedule. Figuring he came from the neighbor's chicken yard, I got out of my car, strolled over to the neighbor's and bent over to help my new friend over the fence. Lesson #1: Chickens aren't fond of being handled. I was met with severe clucking, wing flapping and talon thrashing. I also found that this particular chicken was freakishly fast. Before I could grab on, the bird took off on a death run with in my opinion, excessive amounts of directional changes and head bobbing. 
Once I realized this wasn't going to be a walk in the park, I devised a strategy. I would use some chicken wire that was lying in the yard and lay it against the fence, creating a tunnel to herd the chicken into, and then placed a large empty trash bin at the end to act as the receptacle. My plan was to swiftly grab the trash can and dump the little red bastard over the fence. What I didn't plan on was the chicken exiting the tunnel early. Lesson #2: Chickens will peck the hell out of you. 
{Tee} Gap Outlet  {Skinnies} Rue 21  {Flats} Target  {Bag} Coach 
{Scarf} Forever 21  {Sunnies} Ray Ban  {Watch} Target
After multiple laps around the yard and a few attempts to scare it back over the fence, I had really had enough. Here I am trying to spare this tasty idiot back into a yard that I had no business being in in the first place. I decided to try the tunnel experiment one more time before giving up and saving myself some money on cat food for the next few days. I shooed him back into the tunnel, and as he popped out the other side, I grabbed him around the middle and in true shot-put style chucked that mother clucker over the fence in one fell swoop. 

Brittany: Wife, therapist, blogger, chicken wrangler.

Quirky Quickie

24 April 2013

Sorry for the blog silence. We are currently in the throes of the Austin housing market. We jump up and run to a new listing within an hour of it hitting the market. We don't sleep after putting in offers. We have been competing against at least 10 other offers per house. I'm fried. I don't have a lot in my brain today, so I thought I'd post some unnecessary facts about me. Because this is a most pressing issue.

  1. When stressed, I revert to childhood and lock myself in a room and watch shows from my childhood. On my Top 5? The Little Mermaid, The Jetsons, Golden Girls, Cosby Show and I Love Lucy.
  2. I have enormous tonsils, making swallowing pills hard. Solution? I eat gummy vitamins instead. When I drink water, Micah likes to say I swallow like a baby cow.
  3. I hate ice in drinks. Yet I refuse to drink hot drinks. I will happily guzzle room temp or even warm has-been-sitting-in-the-car water. No ice, no steam.
  4. Velvet and corduroy give me the creeps, and make my hands itch.
  5. I may or may not still sleep with my newborn blanket wrapped up in my pillowcase. 


17 April 2013

Perception is powerful. Words are powerful.  Our perception of ourselves can be a strong influence on the way we treat ourselves, and the way we speak of ourselves.

I ran across this video the other day and found myself greatly impacted by the words of these women, and how powerfully their words altered their image to a stranger. My heart wrenched for women, these women, as they were described so beautifully by those who were strangers merely moments before.

We as women and bloggers find ourselves in constant comparison with one another. So many colors, shapes, sizes, styles, ages, etc. We compare our looks, our pants size, our hair, skin and clothing. We nitpick photos, zapping them with photo retouching, Photoshopping our perceived imperfections at 75% zoom. What would we say about each other? How would we describe each other in the eyes of another woman, another blogger?

I think this video sends a powerful message, one that bloggers resonate with. We follow along with each other, cheering each other on, supporting the ventures and aspirations of our virtual friends. We feel so much a part of each other's lives, spreading a net of support wide across the interwebs. The support and camaraderie that we share is enviable, something of dreams to find so many women willing to support each other without ever meeting.

I hope this serves as an encouragement to us all, to continue to love and support each other, as well as ourselves.

Temporary Nest

29 March 2013

Plenty of life things have been happening in the absence of my blogging. Big ones. 

We recently met with a mortgage broker to get an idea of what we need to save/spend in order to end up in our first home. It looks like we have to do it fast. The time to buy in Austin is yesterday, and every few months home prices rise 10%. The market here is saturated in the summer, which is great considering that on average, homes get snapped up within 48 hours of hitting the market and buyers will put an offer on anywhere from 3-6 homes before they actually end up with a place to live. This gives us a better chance of finding something within our budget that we can get in before someone else. Also, our realtor has told us to write a 'love letter' to the home owners with information on us and why we want this home. 

Seriously? This is what home buying has come to? It's an inappropriate joke, but it feels like trying to adopt an American blonde haired, blue eyed baby. 

All of the home buying process aside, the idea of moving out of our little bungalow is hard for me. Yes, home ownership allows me to do bigger projects that make our home more personal. Yes, we build equity and have a return on our investment. But a starter home in Austin will not be our little urban rental, chock full of character in our ideal neighborhood. It will be a fixer upper miles away from everything we love. 

I have poured a lot of love into a rental. I know that may be a mistake, but I have to nest where I land. And so far, this is has been my most favorite nest. My first real big girl house that I've been able to spruce up with my big girl paychecks. It isn't exactly ours, but it sure feels like it. And it sure doesn't feel great to leave it. 

Maybe once we see other houses and I combine my own ideas with my Pinterest boards, I can get more behind this idea. Time will tell.
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