Life's Sweet Journey: Harry Potter
Showing posts with label Harry Potter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harry Potter. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Non-Chocolate Advent Calendars on Amazon for All Ages

These non-chocolate advent calendars from Amazon are a great way to create some holiday cheer!

The holiday season is upon us! Even as an adult with no kids, I LOVE ADVENT CALENDARS! Advent calendars are a fun way to stay festive and savor the season, even amid the rush. Candy advent calendars are easy to find, but not everyone wants chocolate every day. Here are some awesome non-chocolate advent calendars from Amazon for 2022!

Harry Potter Advent Calendars

Non-Chocolate Advent Calendars on Amazon

Make the holidays just a little more magical with exciting treasures for those of us who love the Wizarding World! There are quite a few options for wizards looking to count down to Christmas. This 24-day countdown comes with fun Harry Potter themed trinkets. There is also a 12-day countdown Harry Potter charm bracelet set and a sock surprise box for those looking to free the house elves! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#TravelTuesday 18// 5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip

Happy #TravelTuesday fellow adventure lovers!! 
It's time for another link up (join at the bottom of the post)!!

I have been all over the road lately, so I figured I would take today to share some of my favorite items for passing the time on a road trip! 

Ways to Have Fun on a Road Trip

This post comes at a perfectly fitting time too, because I have been road trip crazy lately! First, we are trying to plan (and then fully execute) our big getaway, in which life will become one never-ending road trip, but secondly, we have been road tripping from Florida to North Carolina- and then between NC and Tennessee- for the last three weeks. On Sunday we will be loading up again and heading back to Orlando. I would like to think I have this road trip thing down pretty well! Maybe it was because my parents started us out with time on the road from a young age, but I LOVE a good day in the car and have found many ways to make the time more fun! 

Here are some of my favorite ideas for enjoying a road trip to the fullest... 
1.) A Whole Heap of Great Books! 
This is first and foremost my ultimate happiness on the road; give me a good book and endless hours to read and I will be in absolute bliss-mode! Here are my top 10 favorite road trip titles: 

10 Great Book Titles

- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- My number 1 recommended book, no matter what list it is! Such beautiful imagery and imagination!  
- Unwritten by Charles Martin- Really anything by Charles Martin, but this one- a story all about redemption and finding a way back to yourself- is my favorite of his.
- The Winter People- I actually haven't read this one yet, but I LOVE Jennifer McMahon for when I am in the mood for anything spooky! Bonus: It's currently on sale for less than $6!
- The Nightingale- For if you are in need of a good cry! Kristin Hannah is another favorite author of mine and, while I don't usually like historically based novels, this one was drew me in from minute one. I read it on one of our very first RV road trips and Babe literally had to pull off at the nearest rest area, because I was just sobbing like a baby by the end of the book and he wasn't sure what to do with me! 
- The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani- A fairy tale series for younger readers, these books are filled with so much fun and adventure that even older readers stay hooked! This is a series all about friendship and finding out who you truly are. Also, I thought it was just a three book series, but when looking it up to add here I found out there is now a 4th. I guess I know what I will be reading on my next road trip!!
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- Combining my love for honey and bees with a beautiful story of the things that bring people together, this is a definite must read!
- Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen- Another favorite author, I love the touch of magical realism she throws in her books. They are easy reads, and sweet stories, perfect for finishing in just a day's drive!
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- While I am not usually a memoir reader, this one was chosen for book club and had me hooked from start to finish. It's also set to be a movie, released in theaters soon, so if you are a "must read the book first" type of person it would be the perfect time to read it.
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- I haven't read this one yet either (or watched it), but I am super intrigued.
- The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling- I would be remiss if I didn't include my favorite of all time favorites ever! While I know the entire world knows of Harry Potter and has either chosen to read it or not, if you are the latter, I just have to say "please give it a try!" I swore up and down I wasn't jumping on the bandwagon, but now, 10 years after I first did, I have read the series multiple times and am now currently listening to it on audio book!!

**Audio books are another great  road trip go to, especially for when you are driving it solo! While Babe usually listens to music while I read we sometimes like to listen to a book on tape (dating myself haha) together. Right now, anyone who signs up for a free Audible trial for the first time, can get two free books instead of one! 

2.) Fun Road Games!
We play these, especially when we take my nieces and nephews with us (once a year, 10 hours, 4 kids!); our go-tos are...
* The Grocery Store game- one person starts as "it" and they say "I'm going to the grocery store and I am going to buy something that starts with the letter ____". The rest of the car plays against each other to figure out what the person is buying. For example, it could be something easy like carrots, in which case that usually just gets guessed without any clues and the first person to say it gets to be "it". Usually though we try harder things (anchovies is a good one) and then people ask yes or no questions to get clues ("is it a meat?" "Do you find it in the produce section?"). If no one can guess it and everyone gives up the person who was it wins and gets to go again.
* 21 Questions- Someone picks a category (Person, place or thing) and something that falls into that category, without telling anyone what it is, and then the rest of the car works together to figure out what that person is thinking of by asking 21 yes or no questions. If the car figures it out within the 21 questions they win, if they don't the person wins and gets to go again. (A really great option for trying to stump the car- Rubber Cement)
* The Movie Game- Everyone goes around saying titles to movies, but they have to use the last letter of whatever movie was said prior as the first letter of their movie. For example, if the last movie said was Jaws then the next movie has to start with letter S. Movie titles can not be repeated and if someone gets stumped and can't think of a movie (or repeats one) then they are out. This continues until only one person remains and they win! To make it easier, if you have little kids, you can also include books and TV show titles.
* The Question Game- This is perfect for a car trip for two; you basically just go back and forth asking fun questions that you both have to answer. It's a great "get-to-know-you-better" or "what-if-daydreaming" option. Babe and I also play this on long hikes and ask things like:
- Would you rather live on the beach or in the mountains?
- If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
- If all jobs paid the same, what would you most want to do?
Most of our questions somehow circle around to being about travel, but hey, can you blame us?! Each person answers the questions, even their own. If you have a hard time thinking of new things to ask we love Table Topics card sets! They even have a Table Topics: Road Trip edition!

*When we take the kids we also grab some board games that are easily played in the car, to keep them occupied so that we can enjoy some quiet time while he drives and I read (we love TroubleGuess Who, and Connect 4 because of the minimal amount of pieces that could get lost)

3.) Yummy Snacks!
We typically load up a cooler for the car; it saves us stopping more often, as well as spending too much at the gas station when we do stop! I have been loving Amazon lately for stocking up on snack items. It beats grocery store prices and saves me a trip to the store. You can typically find my Amazon guy delivering boxes of Vita Coco coconut water and KIND Bars (less than $1 each?! Yes, please!)!

4.) Pretty Places to Stretch your Legs!!
5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip
Some days we are really just having to book it but, when we can make it happen, finding a nice place to stretch your legs, even for just 5 minutes can make a huge difference! Usually before a road trip I will try to research road side attractions that are a quick in-and-out or look for any outside areas that might be nearby. Keep an eye peeled for signs too and then use your phone to see how far off the exit they might be. On this most recent trip we saw a sign for High Falls State Park and lucked out with it being not even a 5 minute drive off the highway!! We were there just long enough to get in a bathroom break and then walk around admiring the falls for a few minutes, but it gave us a chance to get out of the car and get the blood pumping again!

5.) Good Jams!
I am all about a good road trip sing along!! Babe may roll his eyes to most of my singing, but I think he secretly loves it!! I'm usually jamming to country, but sometimes we like to mix it up a little. What is are your go to tunes on the road?!

And those are 5 of the ways we pass our road trip time! 
Any tips from any other road warriors out there? 
Share them or any other fun travel posts in this month's link up! 

Link up below and let's travel together!! 
A Travel Blogger Link Up from Life's Sweet Words
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest account. 
~Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Not many other rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. June's fave was from The Urben Life, because I am all kinds of itching to get to Yosemite NP and Jenna's pictures from her First Timer's Guide to Yosemite just spurred on my desire to get there ASAP! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Words For Wednesday: Happiness and Light

I took this picture the other night on an evening stroll with Babe and it reminded me of one of Albus Dumbledore's most famous quotes. It may not be the very best of pictures, it may be grainy and dim, but that's kind of how it works isn't it? Happiness doesn't always come wrapped up in the prettiest package or riding a gleaming white horse. It comes in the smallest moments, that build upon each other, until they shine with a brightness, that even the darkest of nights can't snuff out. 

So here's to happiness and Dumbledore and all the hearts that still believe in the magic of a story! Oh, and Harry Potter! Illustrated!! People, have you heard?! There is a new illustrated edition of The Sorcerer's Stone! I don't have it yet, but my friend does and she brought it by for me to see. Y'all, it is glorious and wonderful and one of those little happiness things! We are really working hard to save money this month or it would already be in my hot little hand, but it is on my Christmas list for sure. Dear Santa, hint, hint... 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My 5 Cruising Essentials

Going on a boat, going on a boat... 
The excitement in our house is building!! Or at least mine is. Babe is currently doing his typical 'clean-the-house, going-on-a-trip' prep. I won't mention the fact that I actually cleaned (alert the media) on Tuesday and though he was proud of me, he was apparently not that impressed, because he is cleaning everything I already cleaned. I think it calms his nerves. I don't get it, but I guess that's what makes us work. He's the ying to my yang, what can I say? So while I do my nails and finish the rest of what I consider actual cruise prep, he is prepping the house (ok, I get it, people are staying here while we are gone. But they are family and the house looks great... in my opinion). Since I am currently stuck at the computer while the floors dry I figured I would finish up my 5 cruising essentials. 
1.) Devotions!- I love my devotion time on a cruise! There is so much more of it. At home I read Jesus Calling each morning. I always intend to do more, to at least jot down some of my 1000 gifts. But the time just goes so quickly in the morning. I know I need my one-on-one God time, but God doesn't seem to mind that most of it happens while I shower. As soon as they invent a waterproof book and pen set I will be golden!! I started keeping a list of my own 1000 gifts right before our cruise last year. I am now up to 200. At home this seems to get neglected. I will sit down every so often and put down ones I had been trying to keep track of in my mind. But with all the time I have in the mornings to sit in the sun, eat my grapefruit and loaded down plate of pastries, I am able to write down all the little ones that have gotten past over in the rush to get out the door: "I will miss yous" from Makaylin, sister time, best friends, fires on a cold night... I am also SOOOOOO so very excited that The Jesus Storybook Bible is going to be part of my mornings on this trip. I have been wanting to read it FOR-E-VER and figured this was the perfect opportunity!! 

2.) Sun Basking Reading Material!- This is a crucial point as I plan to be doing a whole lot of nothing! But I can not do nothing without a book. I have been wanting to read Harry Potter on a cruise since we started cruising a few years back, so I am going to be one excited reader on this trip. Reread the entire HP series again form start to finish and it couldn't have fallen at a better time! 

3.) Sunless Tanner- I love my Sunless Tanner from Rodan and Fields! I never believed in sunless tanner before I found this. I tried multiple tanners and nothing worked, so I gave up. I gave it another try when a friend put me onto Rodan and Fields. This is my jam!! It started with just my legs and then when I saw pictures with my legs looking like I lived in Hawaii and my body looking like I lived in Forks I braved doing my arms and was so satisfied with how streak-free it came out that I did my face the next time. It was great! No splotches, sun-baked-skin and no harmful, wrinkling rays! The perfect companion for cruising! 

4.) Face Protection- I love my MBS hat!! I may be biased, but I think it looks pretty spiffy and it keeps the sun out of my eyes while I read. So very proud of my Daddy and the men behind Mind, Body and Soul Surfing Company.

5.) Bucket List Check-off plans!- When we cruise we don't go through the ship for our excursions. Yes, it can be a little more risky. But...
a.) It saves money, a lot of it usually. The cruise gets a nice cut of the money for the excursions you book through the boat. They often use their own guides and they set up all of the arrangements. It also insures that the boat will not leave you if something happens during the tour (hopefully this will never come back to bite us in the fanny). 
b.) You get a more local, off-the-beaten-path experience. This can also be risky, but totally worth it. The cruise ship excursions all tend to be packed with people from any number of cruise ships docked at the same port. The beaches they may take you to are so full you can't find a spot for your stuff. We like to research where we are going and see if there is any thrill seeking, local, hidden spots we can find. This trip? Cliff diving in Curacao and/or the Dominican Republic, swimming in the natural pool in Aruba and lighthouse exploring in Grand Turk!! 

Any other cruisers out there? I love hearing tips about cruise experiences or any excursions that people would recommend. 

Linking up today with the lovely ladies of the 5 on Friday

Friday, October 24, 2014

While the Husband's Away the Wife Will Play...

While Babe is away, the wife will play... 
loads and loads of movies on Netflix!! 

She will also consume copious amounts of popcorn!! As in, I ate it every night for a week, save one when I went to dinner with my sis-in-law (for all intents and purposes). And I was NOT sad about it. 
Don't get me wrong, I miss him when he is away, but I also LOVE the hog all the bed space and covers to myself  (each morning you could have found me cocooned like a papoose), love the ability to have no shame in eating said popcorn and love that I get to choose movies without the consideration for mankind in my household. Here was what I chose for my viewing pleasure this week: 

1.) The One: I am loving Anne Hathaway lately, after her performance in Les Mis. So when I saw this on the Netflix feed I figured I would give it a go. Two seconds in I was about ready to turn it off. Lots of cover-your-eyes scenes, lots of English (like the proper kind from across the sea) talk that I didn't quite grasp and I could kind of tell it was going to be a movie that I typically don't like. Mostly because I could tell it was going to be somewhat realistic and tragic and I usually like my movies to take me outside the realm of "this would actually happen in life." I'm a Breakfast at Tiffany's meeting Hunger Games type girl. However, this movie somehow kept my interest and I was unable to turn it off. I just had to see if my predictions were correct. And while they mostly were (I am usually pretty spot on at movie predictions) I found that I was glad I watched it. May or may not be your cup of tea, but I think if you are in the mood for a good rainy, wallow day you could give it a try. 
2.) The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: So I found this one when scrolling through Netflix for Rex Harrison movies. It is an old black and white, in which Rex plays the role of a ghost. He is the ghost of a sailor that haunts the seaside house he once owned. When a widowed woman moves in with her young daughter he is determined to scare her away like other occupants who tried to purchase his home, that is until they form a friendship that goes deeper. I watched it in two parts, started it at night and finished in the morning because some parts were slower. Overall though I thought it was a sweet film that is worth a go. 
3.) My Fair Lady: I don't really think I have words for this. If you have seen it, you understand why and if you haven't? Well, what are you waiting for?! I LOVE this movie!! It is the reason I was searching for Rex Harrison. His combination with the always wonderful Audrey Hepburn makes for a perfect movie night. 
"Let a woman in your life and you invite eternal strive..." and then that closing scene?! Oh! It gets me every single time!! 
4.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Also in need of no explanation, other than I was able to watch it without having to hear, "Not again!" In his defense, he has watched those movies with me probably over 50 times, maybe even nearing 75. It's a problem I may need to get looked at, but I will wait until I can find someone to invent a charm for that- and there are far more important things that one may need a charm for, like finding out how I can get a Dobby! Just want to squeeze him and give him hugs! 

5.) Scandal: My new found Netflix show that I am not sure if I should keep watching (I can not start another show)... I started watching season 3 with a girlfriend this afternoon, as we cleaned out my closet (she made me remove 30 items!! It is so bare, but she was under the impression that clothes owned for over 10 years should be gotten rid of. Crazy girl!), and I was hoooked!! Hooked!! Granted, this is probably a show Babe would also enjoy so now that I am four episodes in he may have some catching up to do. 

What about you? Watch anything noteworthy lately? 

Linking up with Christina and the other lovely ladies of the 5 on Friday! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Self Portrait Inside and Out

I am counting today's post as a 2-for-1! I found it fittitng for the self-portraits to got right along
with the personality test. There has always been something about these photos that I have
loved (even though they are a tad old). Maybe because I find them so me? 
I'm posting... and it's not a Saturday.  Saturday's post got started but never happened.  On Saturday I planned to take this fun personality test for Blogtember, which I did. And then I planned to post the results, which I didn't.  So here they finally are.  

I am an ENFJ. And here is some of what the results said (most of them are pretty fitting)... 

"ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are. (Yes, this I know is very true. I enable, but I have learned to see if in a different light.) 
ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. (The new j-o-bs are teaching me how very true this can be) Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability. 
ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization (ummm? Organization?) and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs (oh, makes a little more sense now). Their offices may or may not be cluttered (cluttered, definitely cluttered), but their conclusions - reached through feelings- about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.
ENFJs know and appreciate people (people have been my saving grace in many ways lately). Like most NFs, and Feelers in general, they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people (Oh heck! Not sure how fitting I find this but I guess my trust in people has been known to hurt me in the past). ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear."

There was a little more information given but I thought the first main portion was the most fitting. It was interesting to me to see certain things in a different way.  When it first said organized I figured something had to be wrong. When I kept reading though and understood what was being said, I realized how fitting it was and was also quite proud to thing of myself as an organized person (even if it is only internally).  

I also found it fun that Oprah was also an ENFJ (I love me some Oprah)! And based on the match up  that Jenni found, Dumbledore would also be an ENFJ. That he was my match was a little surprising, but rocked my Harry Potter loving socks! 
"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Smart man that Dumbledore!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

All Domesticated Like, Just Read My Walls!

My post title has domestic in it... call the presses and alert the news!

I don't know where it came from but this last week had found me with a 'crafty, clothe-my-naked-walls' hair in my rear end. Considering it has been two and half years since we moved in and two and half years since I so much as placed an item on a shelf to look somewhat decorative you should probably not expect too many of these posts.  This mood may have come about because my dear friend Kalee was in town visiting from her new home in Birmingham. She is so good at all that 'planny, arrangey' type stuff and some of it may have rubbed off while she was here. Whatever the reason, since I have been in said mood lately I will share with you my fond little corner! My walls are so happy not to be naked anymore. Come and read them for yourself!!

I finally made the book wreath that I had found the idea for here.  Check Christina out if you want to know how to make it because, well, my step-by-step process talk would give you a whole lotta nothing! I could barely figure out how to roll the cones the right way. It took a handful of tries before Wally (who was helping me) finally figured it out and then a bazillion how-tos for me to finally catch on.  This is what finally began to commence after that tutorial.

It all started with a few ripped out pages. This part was the hardest thing for me to do! You do not rip books around this girl!!  Books are like babies, they need to be treated gently. I can get all kinds of be-nice-to-that-book crazy, but I felt that given the cover and the amount of love this book had seen it was time to be recommissioned for a higher purpose.

And that is when the pile began to grow...

and grow... (plus you can't beat some time with my main man Tim McGraw and the ever wonderful Sandra Bullock)

And grow! Until it was this glorious pile of Harry Potter happiness just waiting to be put together to adorn my wall.  It was actually pretty neat seeing the book piled up on my table like that, with the pages spread out and the cover atop them all.

And then all of those cone pages became this. It took the first movie (The Blind Side) to cone everything and then the second (Bedtime Stories) to get everything glued down properly.  I used a 12 inch wreath instead of 16 because I wasn't sure the book had enough pages to fill the bigger one up. 

Then the next day, in all the remaining crafty steam of the day before, I finally decided to display wedding photos.  And this was born!

I was so happy with myself for these little projects that I did a little jig (or two)! Babe has only been hinting for me to clothe our walls for what seems like years now (maybe because it actually has been).

I also figured I would share with you a lovely sandwich Babe and I ate when we went to dinner at a friends parents one evening. I now dub this sandwich the "Mr. Beaver" in honor of our sweet host (though he did get the idea from a sandwich shop somewhere in St. Pete)!

It is sandwich consisting of grilled tuna steaks, egg salad (made by a sweet friend I call Beave) and avocado. Considering I am not a huge fish eater (though I do love meatier fish such as tuna) and I do not typically like egg salad, I would say anyone should try this sandwich.  You will love it! It is so yummy! I loved each and every last morsel of it.  So, so very delicious!

Now that you have made it through my rant of domesticated, craftiness how has your summer kick-off been? 
Any sandwich ideas you love that I could try out this summer? 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Albus Dumbledore, Oprah and the Dalai Lama

I knew that Jenni's topic from day 4, your favorite quote and what you love about it, was going to be a tough one for me when it came to making a decision.  So... I decided not to.  Rebel, I know!  I have two books full of quotes and while there are some I love more than others it could take me hours upon hours to figure out which ones I really wanted to share. I am excited to read others posts and add great finds to my books.  

While these aren't necessarily my favorite quotes I thought an easy place to start would be with one from my favorite books first (or book series anyways).

Albus Dumbledore is one smart man!
I love the above quote but I think I love this one more, 
"The truth.  It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution." -Albus Dumbledore, via J.K. Rowling
This one speaks to me on so many levels.  I am a firm believer in what I don't know can't hurt me.  If the truth is something that won't do anything (change the situation, help the situation, or change my viewpoint) but bring hurt in the moment, then I would prefer to just be left in the dark.  The truth can be freeing but it can also be damaging and destructive.  It should never be treated with anything but caution.  The truth is words and words have power; be careful with them.

In skimming my books for more Harry Potter wisdom (which I couldn't decide between and thus decided to save for a later date), I stumbled across this one that jumped out at me.  It is fitting for my current state of mind.  

"Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck." - Dalai Lama
At this time in my life I have been trying not to focus on the what-ifs.  I am where I am in my life and there is a reason for it.  When I think back on some of the things I had wanted, or even the things I still want but had wanted at the wrong time, I can't help but be in awe at how blessed I am that I didn't get them.  My entire life would be completely different.

Here are some more snippets of wisdom from others that I found while scrolling my time away on Pinterest (which I enjoy, wholeheartedly).  I have also gone ahead and attached my Pinterest account.  It is still a pretty unorganized mess of all my mind comes across (most things are just liked not pinned) but I am working on making it a little more spiffy~ Enjoy!

And I just had to share this because it is oh so perfectly me...