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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Have a Harry (Potter) Christmas

You didn't think that you'd get to the end of the year without another Harry Potter post, did you? Well, with my love of the Boy Who Lived, there's no way folks, especially after this last month. While in Vegas in July, we went to Potter Plays, which consisted of 6 mini plays based on fan fiction. It was short, but it was fun and affordable, which is where you're getting this cool fireplace main pic.

This is giving me strong Severus Snape vibes. I love it and the little Dobby is the cutest. This was the first time we'd gone downtown for a show and it was in a tiny theater that made it easy to see everything super close. Only about 100 audience members could fit. I loved it.

You probably already saw my Harry Potter party pics from August. It was a Quidditch World Cup theme, so everyone dressed as Wizards trying to look Muggle. It was hilarious. Here was my Portkey drop station.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time reading, crafting, planning and prepping. It was not disappointing though, except for my lack of chairs, which I have solved for this coming year - a Triwizard theme.

My goodie bags had mini pennants for cheering on their favorite QWC team, their Patronus, Leprechaun coins, the must-have chocolate frog, other candies, and a little something for home Divination.

Our guests got INTO this party and made it way more magical. I was told that my trivia was crazy hard (win!), people inhaled food and we raised money for the Harry Potter Alliance through fun Harry Potter merch raffles that I collected throughout the year. I even ended up with some gifts of my own in honor of Harry's day. My friends are amazing, you guys.

That brings us to December and Yule Ball. Another event put on by the wonderful people of the Harry Potter Alliance in Portland. I can't say enough good things about them, because they outdid themselves with this event and we're already looking forward to next year's Yule Ball. They raise money for various local charities, and they raised thousands of dollars for ChickTech and Girls Build, who teach girls to use technology and power tools respectively. How cool is that?

Tickets went on sale in September and sold out in a matter of days. Like 3 days. I knew it was going to be a hit, so I bought mine as soon as they went on sale as a birthday gift to myself. First round tickets included a sit-down feast. I didn't blink before handing over $75 a ticket. My money was going to charity and a fun time for myself. Once we arrived, I knew that I wasn't going to regret spending any of that money, or the money I spent at the bar or the money we spent at the raffle table.

We dressed as Slytherins, because they don't get enough love. We are a Ravenclaw (me) and a Hufflepuff, but are all for House unity/equality. I had another dress idea that was going to showcase my love of Ravenclaw House, but it fell through, so I put together something quickly that matched Eric and I can't even tell you how many compliments I got on this skirt that had a tulle overlay that I pinned twinkling lights under. It was so easy, but made a big impact. I'd definitely wear it again for other events.

To top it all off, I won this amazing raffle prize that matched my look. It's a Slytherin fascinator hat, a green wrap and a set of lovely perfumes inspired by Slytherin House. What an awesome birthday gift, right? 

But wait! I forgot to talk about the food! It was so good, I can't even explain it. I really felt like I was at the Hogwarts feast: Roast beef (eat your heart out, Ron), roasted potatoes, a winter vegetable salad, warm couscous, a green salad and hot buttered rolls. Everything was served family style, so we spent time eating and chatting with those at our table, oohing and aahing over everyone's magical outfits. It was a good time, and people went all out dressing for this event. I was so happy with all the eye candy. After dinner, we all noshed on Butterbeer cupcakes, because yaaaaasss! I even had an adult Butterbeer during dinner. How can you not?

And now for the crowning jewel of my birthday month. I've been wanting a tattoo for at least a decade, but had no idea what I would love forever. I turned 40 this year. That's a milestone, so I knew this was the year. And I finally knew what I wanted it to be. Behold my new Elder wand. I still can't believe I did it, but I'm so happy with it. I have a genuine wand arm now.

And that's been my life this year. Now I'm looking forward to 2018, where there will be another Harry Potter party, Yule Ball, possible Potter Con, and that Harry Potter festival in Pennsylvania. There will be more visits to Bad Owl Coffee - they'll have a new location in March - in Vegas, too. I can't wait and I'll definitely be sharing it with you all. Happy Holidays to everyone and I hope you have a 2018 full of awesome travel in your future.

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