Saturday, July 22, 2017

Accio Hogwarts' Cinematic Yearbook!

Look what I found! This absolutely stunning and super cool Hogwarts' Cinematic Yearbook!
It's full of magic, I tell you, it really is! I fell in love at first sight and even got a couple bucks off it thanks to a discount at Target. Of course Abbie was the whisper in my ear that said, "TAKE IT!" Though I have a feeling I would have brought it home even if she hadn't encouraged it! It is just so AWESOME! Let me show and tell now!

The instant you flip it open you are STUNNED by the gorgeousness!

Classic, isn't it? This is one of the first few pages of the book! I can't wait to write my name there!

Drooling uncontrollably already and this is just the beginning. These are sixty pages of magical awesomeness and I obviously won't be showing off the entire book so here are the best parts! 

Before I do show it off let me tell you something super cool Abbie suggested. So while I was standing there in the aisle drooling over this book and convincing myself that I don't need to take it home Abbie comes along. She tells me I should get it and I give her a list of nine and three quarters of reasons why I shouldn't spend money on it. One of my reasons was that there were sketching activities in the book and let's face it, my drawing is as bad as Hagrid's cooking skills. It was then that Abbie suggested a genius idea: Use it like a scrapbook, print out pictures of our Wizarding World memories, and stick them in here. Sold! She'd coaxed me into buying it with her brilliant idea! So that's the plan now! There are so many awesome spots in here that can be a great place to stick all my beautiful memories and pictures in ... it feels like they'd designed the book so that Saraallie could convert it into the coolest Harry Potter scrapbook one day!
Each page in the book is a separate theme from Harry Potter. Take this one for example which shows scenes from Diagon Alley. There are short and pretty descriptions of some of the scenes alongside as well and each page is designed in this super beautiful way so it feels very scrapbookey. Look at the page on the right for example. It says, "Use this page to sketch what you would buy if you were to visit Diagon Alley," and then it as names of four of the shops and the beautiful empty white space for me to fill. Normally, people would sketch stuff here as asked but my plan is to print out pictures I've taken in each of those shops at the Wizarding World Orlando and stick them in right here!

There's also this little Hogwarts Diary section inside the book which is really awesome. There are lots of little descriptions about some of the main scenes from the movies in here. Each page that you turn shows off beautiful pictures from those magical films. There are fun activities and even post cards that you can actually rip out, cut up, and use as desired. It's all really cool! In the picture on the left it says, "Record your first-year memories in your very own Hogwarts diary. Use the fold-out pages to imagine what it would be like to experience Hogwarts for yourself. Think about what you would pack in your trunk. Would you want your friends to ride on the Hogwarts Express with you?" And what follows after this page is page upon page of such questions which let you imagine the perfect life at Hogwarts - a life which, lets just admit it, all of us Potterheads have imagined a million times in our heads over and over again!

Another gorgeous fold out page from the book which has so many possibilities of printing and sticking memorable pictures on to. Look at the gorgeous frames on the right. I'm totally imagining sticking some of the selfies Abbie and I have taken with Hogwarts in our background inside those frames. They'd look so cool!

This page is themed 'The Great Hall' and has the gorgeous page on the left which I'm planning to load with pictures of all sizes! I'm thinking pictures I've taken at the restaurants at the Wizarding World would go so well here. Or maybe just more selfies taken sipping Butterbeer and eating the ice creams at Florean Fortescues. Or maybe ... maybe ... aaaaaah so many possibilities!

Check out this super fun page that features Ron and his Howler moment. *laughs* The page on the right asks you to come up with your own Howler! FUN!

Now look at all of this brilliance. This is all Quidditch themed and those are cut outs on the right side! Beautiful! Bloody brilliant!

I'm imagining a newspaper style scrapbook page here! These pages let you write your own Daily Prophet for a day. I could actually print out pictures of our shenanigans at the parks and then write some news-style paragraphs alongside. It would look SO cool!

Dobby and Kreacher! This one's themed after the House Elves. I'm eyeing the gold frame where I can totally imagine the picture Abbie and I have taken against Grimmauld Place! Aaaaaaaah, love it!

Look! It's that Monster Book of Monsters! Watch out!
This page has a beautiful mirror frame too. It asks me to imagine what I might see in the Mirror of Erised. So what's the one thing my heart truly desires above all? Vacationing with Abbie! Perfect picture sticking opportunity!

Okay, EEW! I hate spiders and yes that includes Aragog! This activity asks me to sketch Aragog in that empty space. Well, absolutely not. I'm totally printing out some seriously awesome pictures (the kind that cancel the spider effect) for this page!

Isn't that one super cool book? And isn't Abbie's idea of turning it into a scrapbook absolutely genius? I just can't wait to begin working on it! The best part is that when I do start working on this I get to enjoy looking at all our Harry Potter parks' pictures again. Beautiful memories ... some of the best I've made in all my life so far! AAAAAHHHH SO SO SO EXCITED! Just thinking about it is making me super happy!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Surprise Harry Potter Package

The doorbell rang one day and my brother stepped out to attend to it. A few minutes later he came back with a package in his arms. It was big and surprisingly addressed to me. Me? Wait, what? I'd just moved to the United States of America and hadn't made any contacts - let alone friends who'd send me packages and that too of such a size. It couldn't have been from my university either because why'd they send something? I hadn't ordered anything either. Then how was this happening? I was way above the age of eleven so it couldn't even be a surprise parcel from Hogwarts and I had no Sirius Black of a God Father who could send me anything either. Who'd sent me a package? Why? Most importantly what was in it?

The only wild guess I had in mind was that it could be something from Dad. However, it was a really really wild guess. Think a crazy mad wild monkey kind of wild guess. I'll admit it was kind of creepy to receive a parcel in my name and open it without knowing what could turn out but once I found out I was ECSTATIC! I cut open the tape that sealed the parcel close and then pulled out of the box what was going to be a cherished possession forever. The Harry Potter books were staring back at me. The American version of the books in a beautiful boxed set! I couldn't believe my eyes. I really really couldn't.

Let me rewind a bit so all of this makes more sense. When we were moving from Pakistan to the United States of America we were moving our entire house's stuff. It was a lot and we had limited space. So while deciding who could take what in their suitcases and which stuff would be shipped later Dad forced me to leave my Harry Potter books behind. I'd argued over a lot of things and suitcases were full of my stuff but still I didn't want to leave my books behind - the idea vexed me severely. I wanted to take them with me so I'd have them as soon as I landed in the USA - so I could know they were near me even while I flew. I protested too but Dad told me he would be shipping lots of stuff anyway so he'd send my books later too. Trust me, I tried to beat sense into everyone all day but nothing worked. I agreed in the end but I made sure I showed Dad how deeply upset I was *laughs* ... I'm such a drama.

He knew how much my Harry Potter books meant to me and so a few days after I landed he sent me this absolutely beautiful boxed set of my beloved books. I instantly sent him a message and he said, "Here's your American version now that you're in America!" Please imagine the tears I'd have had in my eyes. This was beautiful! Oh and unreal!

So while the entire house had our stuff strewn all over I carefully ripped off the plastic cover over my new boxed Harry Potter books' set, pulled the first book out, and found a cozy spot on the sofa to read. I knew that the books were the same, the story was the same, yet it felt like reading Harry Potter all over again. It felt like reading it for the first time. I thanked Dad over and over again and to this day the boxed set is displayed with pride on my Harry Potter shelf! Thank you to Dad for this totally unreal present! Love at first sight!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Wacky Finds Series ~ The Harry Potter Special Volume 27

It's time for Volume 27 of The Wacky Finds Series!
These are a monthly series I started out of sheer awe of how crazy things around me are! Here's what this is about ... Ahem Ahem: When my awesome self steps out of my bed each morning I meet a world of crazies. People, things, phenomena, and acts of nature which are simply too unusual to miss and not record! The Wacky Finds Series will cover all the weird stuff that I find along my way; good weird, awkward weird, bad weird, I-totally-don't-get-this weird .. all kinds of weird shall be recorded and snapped without any discrimination!

SPECIAL NOTE! Since I'm celebrating a Harry Potter July this month's Wacky Finds' Volume is all Harry Potter themed! I've collected a few of the wackiest finds from our trips to The Wizarding World in Orlando. These are all from the Diagon Alley side of the parks at Universal Studios! Oooh and unlike all other volumes I'm posting TEN finds instead of only five. Bonus! Harry Potter themed bonus!

I'm going to start with the beginning and that is the wacky entrance to Diagon Alley! The brick entrance that withholds the magical world of Harry Potter concealed to perfection. The picture above is one of our most memorable ones. We took this picture when we first touched the bricks of Diagon Alley's entrance. These are our hands - Abbie's and mine - right before the magic consumes us. Let me tell you something ... this picture always brings tears of happiness to my eyes!

The second wacky find I have today has got to be THE wackiest feature of Diagon Alley in Orlando. THE FIRE BREATHING DRAGON! The mighty dragon perched atop the rickety Gringotts building is STUNNING. It is majestic and glorious and I think I am in love with it beyond understanding capabilities. It breathes fire every few minutes - like actual fire - and that is one huge OMG moment!

Next up I have something that some people have actually claimed to have missed out when they visit the WWOHP. How do you miss something? *confusion* When we're there we literally stare at every inch of the place to make sure we get the maximum magical experience possible. But then again, the park is so intricately detailed I guess it is possible to miss out on stuff. This picture above is a dark tattoo place which can be found inside Knockturn Alley. It isn't accessible so basically you get to view it through a glass window but it's pretty cool. It has this dark and evil look about it and the tattoo drawings displayed on the walls are the creepy kind to. You'd think you could get a Dark Mark replica tattoo from here!

Guess what this is? The insides of the Knight Bus parked at the London area outside Diagon Alley! Again, this is something people miss because they don't know that the bus is actually accessible from the back door. When I first visited it was peak season and I couldn't get a chance to step inside so I experienced this on my second visit. The bus actually has the insides seen in the movies too. It has the same feel about it like a cramped up space but still larger than what could normally fit inside a bus this size. Peak inside and you can even see the top floors! LOVE how wacky this one is!

Of course while you're there there is the wacky experience of the delicious Butter Beer which you just can NOT miss. I always get my Butter Beer frozen, Abbie and I always share so we can enjoy without getting too guilty about the calories, and I always have to make my Butter Beer mustache - another little wacky experience you gotta do!

And it's not just the Butter Beer, the ice cream at this place is super delicious and very wacky! Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream shop is itself super wacky and a very adorable place. The ice cream flavors are wacky too - like the Chocolate Chili which is actually spicy and sweet! Abbie and I crave the Salted Caramel Blondie - I think that's my favorite one!

Of course when we're talking about wacky there is no way we can forget the Weasley twins! Fred and George's shop Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes is such a happy sight! This is the first you see when you enter Diagon Alley to your right and the wacky display outside the shop sets your happy mood in an instant. Oh and wait till you go inside - WACKIEST place on earth! *laughs*

Now if I were to start showing off every single wacky product available inside the shop I'd probably take days or this entry would become too long. So I just chose one which I absolutely do not understand. This ... err, chicken. Please explain this to me! *laughs*

Check out how wacky the park itself is overall. Every single one of the buildings is crooked or shaped all wacky so that overall it gives this crazy magical look. I love looking everywhere. In fact, Abbie and I have been found just sitting and looking around us for long periods of time. We love this place - it's our peaceful spot on this earth!

And I finally conclude with one more wacky experience you've got to enjoy while in Diagon Alley. Talking to the sulky goblin at the Money Exchange. He is seriously in a bad mood ALL the time and annoying him is sure to make your day! *laughs*

That's all folks! Until the next five Wacky Finds, have a wacky day!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Harry Potter Tea Cups!

We bought Harry Potter tea cups! TEA CUPS with a Harry Potter theme! SO AWESOME! It keeps getting awesomer and awesomer, doesn't it? They keep coming up with gorgeous merchandise and Abbie and I keep losing our self control and indulging and then we keep on getting more and more excited. It's a never ending cycle of magic and no I am not complaining at all! I say this with a giant uncontrollable smile on my face - imagine a wide Cheshi Cat grin that stretches from ear to ear and hints at protruding outside my face's width. I THINK I AM GOING TO GO MAD WITH EXCITEMENT THANKS TO ALL THIS HARRY POTTER MERCHANDISE IN THE WORLD AROUND ME!

The gorgeous Tea Cup Set came in a beautiful HP box which Abbie's going to be keeping. I already have HP boxes from other merch indulgences so she takes this one! Now, this isn't the original way in which the tea cups were placed inside the box. When I put the tea cups back in to snap pictures for my blog I switched the plates' places ... oops! But doesn't matter - let me get to the important part!

GORJABULOUS!!! Okay I am seriously experiencing an increased heart rate right now. I think originally the yellow cup and plate were supposed to be a set and the reds were to be another but Abbie and I have chosen to flip it up and pair a yellow and red together. Basically, we are going to divide the tea cups set into two - Abbie keeps one in her room and I display the other in my Harry Potter shelf in my room. So when we looked at it we saw that the yellow cup had the Marauders Map design but the red plate was the one with the same design instead of the matching yellow. Same with the other set ... the red cup was Platform Nine and Three Quarters but the yellow plate instead of the red had the Hogwarts crest on it. So long story short we switched it up and ended up with a yellow and red tea cups set each!

The first tea cup and plate is Marauder's Map themed. The gorgeous yellow and red is simply magical. It has this stunning appeal and looks so awesome I think I might just not stop looking at it for days.

The cup itself has a gorgeous Marauder's Map design on its front in a super vibrant red color over a yellow background. The Hogwarts castle is stunning and goosebumps-causing as usual!

Inside the mug - and I love this part so much - it says Mischief Managed. SO cool! It wouldn't have been as awesome as it is if they hadn't printed this inside the cup! It perfectly captures the wackiness of the Marauder's Map.

The red plate which (we thought) should go with it has more Marauder's Map on it. It even has the classic footprints all around and you can spot faded words like 'Wormtail ... & Prings ... proud to present." IT IS SO COOL!

This is the other side of the plate with another Marauder's Map logo or design on it and more wacky footprints. It's so beautiful!

The other tea cup is this very gorgeous Nine and Three Quarters themed one. I love how BOLD and awesome this one is!

On the cup itself is a big, bold, and beautiful Nine and Three Quarters logo. It stirs up all of the beautiful memories I've made with Abbie at The Wizarding World in Orlando. I swear I can actually feel that excitement of getting in line to board the Hogwarts Express when I look at the logo on this tea cup!

Just like the other cup this one too has a cool little detail inside. It says Hogwarts Express in red and yellow and looks absolutely gorgeous.

I love love love love loveeeeeeeee the yellow plate. It has the gorgeous Hogwarts crest on it which makes it super cool!

LOOK! Told you it was super cool! I love how Gryffindor-ish this one feels! These tea cups really are so beautiful I can't stop looking at them. Every time I look I see something new and end up falling more and more in love.

So who keeps which one? Oooooh the big decision. Since I have this 3D Platform Nine and Three Quarters Prop that Abbie had made for my twentieth birthday we've decided that Abbie gets to keep the Platform Nine and Three Quarters tea cup and I can keep the Marauder's Map.

Abbie owns this absolutely stunningly magically gorgeous GORGEOUS Marauder's Map mug already so this tea cup obviously gets to be mine. Now I'm off to rearrange my Harry Potter shelf a little so I can display this new bit of magic!

Monday, July 10, 2017

My Favorite Quotes & Moments From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

There are so many hidden treasures in the Harry Potter books that you can literally write another entire book just containing quotes and lessons from J.K. Rowling's writing. She really is such a talent. She knows what to say and just the right way to say it. Although all the Harry Potter books are magical there is something special about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Maybe because it is the first in this epic saga. Or maybe because this is where the magic all began. Maybe because this is where I was first introduced to the Wizarding World. Maybe. Just maybe ... Whatever the reason be, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is my favorite - both the book and the movie as well. Here are some of my most favorite moments and quotes from the first in the magical series.

"You're a Wizard Harry," ... "I'm a what?"
The moment of revelation for Harry Potter was so perfect. It was like this was the moment when J.K. Rowling welcomed me into her Wizarding World. Almost like I had been told I was going to Hogwarts. So magical. Oh and special thanks to her for letting Hagrid be the one who delivered the news. I can't imagine anyone else to have done it. Hagrid is the most family-like person in the entire book for me and him delivering the news was like family welcoming Harry into their home. Perfect. So perfect! Extra points for giving Dudley that tail too! *laughs*

I still remember the excitement I'd felt when I'd first read the part where the trio meets for the first time. There was this strange excitement inside me. I was meeting this funny boy called Ron Weasley and then this bossy girl called Hermione Granger. Harry Potter was making the first friends of his life and I was making the most loyal friends of my life. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have stayed with me my entire childhood and to this day they're the friends who never leave my side. They are always there when I need them - always. *Read that in Snape tone*

"He'll be famous - a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!"
This quote from Professor Mcgonagall must be printed in gold lettering, framed in a gold frame, and gifted to J.K. Rowling with a thank you note. When she'd written this first I'm sure she hadn't read it the way she must be reading it now. This was like a forecast of the future! Every child in our world knows the name Harry Potter today. He is undoubtedly a legend and yes we celebrate Harry Potter days. I think Harry Potter is the best fandom in the world! Really. Can somebody PLEASE take me to J.K. Rowling so I could hug her and thank her for the magic she has blessed my life with!!!!!!!

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
Albus Dumbledore - the wise guy who always had a great quote to deliver throughout the books. This one's a favorite of mine from the first book/movie. Oh and the mirror. Such a cool thing! I wonder what I would have seen in it ... There should have been a way to find out!

"Books and cleverness ... there are more important things: friendship and bravery."
You got it Hermione. You always do! You can be a know-it-all and a star student yet if you don't have friends and courage inside of you nothing matters. Hermione thought she only had her books and cleverness in the first book and movie but by the end of the magical saga I thought she had it all; she had her books and her knowledge, she was the greatest witch of her time undoubtedly and she also had the best of friends and immense courage even in the most challenging of times. J.K. Rowling has created such a fabulous character in Hermione which every single girl should look up to! I love Hermione!

Okay favorite moment alert! *laughs*
"It's LeviOsa, not LeviosAR!"
Seriously, this was like THE moment. Ron and Hermione were just meant to be since this very instant. You can't just go through a Charms lesson like this one and then not end up getting married years later. *laughs* FAVORITE scene ever! Hermione's got such sass! Love it!
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