Monday, September 17, 2012

Celebrate Harry Potter Month

On September 29th, my sister's birthday, my family will be in Harry Potter World, spreading part of my sister's ashes.

Jenna LOVED Harry Potter.

She read and reread the books, she listened and relistened to the audiobooks when she was studying, sleeping, or driving (something we both did), and watched the movies to an almost compulsive degree.

My next post will be about Jenna and her relationship with Harry Potter, but I still need YOUR help.  Please e-mail or post on the facebook page all your stories about Jenna and Harry Potter.  Little things are the best things - Favorite book, favorite character, etc.

In this post, I'm going to talk about how you can celebrate Harry Potter this month to honor Jenna's memory.  That's right, I've dubbed this month Celebrate Harry Potter Month!

Click here to read about what Harry Potter meant to my sister and what it means to me now

Click here to read about our trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

How You Can Celebrate

Read the books if you haven't already.
Seriously.  They are amazing.  You're missing out if you don't.  And before you start thinking you're too old, book three is when shit gets REAL.

I highly recommend borrowing the books from a friend or from the library, but if you're super cheap... Here are each of the books online for free.  

WARNING: While these sites did nothing to my computer, I have a Mac and don't know if they are safe for PC.  They probably are, but make sure your anti-malware software is up to date when visiting websites that promise ANYTHING for free, just in case.

Listen to the audiobooks.
The audiobooks are AMAZING and the best investment I've ever made.  Jim Dale is an award winning reader and truly brings the books to life with his many voices.  I've found that once I finished reading the books, I've truly enjoyed listening to these over and over again.

Purchase them legally here on Amazon as an early Christmas present to yourself

If you're feeling rebellious, you can download them at Pirate Bay.

If you're feeling cheap but NOT so rebellious, you can listen to them here on YouTube.  The reader is NOT Jim Dale.  I don't know if she does the voices like he does (I only listened to a snippet) but she has a lovely voice and it's free.  Download them as MP3s or have them up while derping around on the internet (possibly browsing for more Potter-related activities).

Watch the Movies

IMPORTANT NOTE: Watching the movies does not, I repeat does NOT COUNT as reading the books.  If you haven't read the books, READ THE DAMN BOOKS.
Anyway! You can rent them, buy them, or stream them online.  Or borrow them from friends.  If you don't have any friends who own these movies, you should probably rethink your life choices...

The easiest way to watch them online is rent them on YouTube for about $1.99.  Not all of them are available, however.

If you're really that cheap, message me and I'll send you links to my favorite streaming sites.  I'd rather not broadcast them here.

RE-read the books, RE-listen to the audiobooks, RE-watch the movies
No explanation needed.

Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
Never underestimate the power of a good Google search (I'm not doing ALL your work for you), but here are some great recipes I found to get you started.

First, WAKE UP!


My first go-to place for anything Harry Potter food related.

A much newer find for me.
Madame Rosmerta's Recipes also has a fantastic collection and is better organized.

Get Sorted
Knowing what house you would be in can make celebrating a lot more fun.  BE HONEST NOW!

Dress the Part

The basics of the Harry Potter world are as follows:
School Uniform chic - Pleated skirt, knee socks, ties, sweater vests, etc.  This goes for boys too... Though I don't recommend the pleated skirt or knee socks (unless you have the legs to pull them off of course). has some serious Potter-swag.  Type in the keyword and watch the magic.

Once you've been sorted, it's good to know your house colors:

At the very least, use your natural wardrobe to rock these colors.  Rock them hard.  Nail polish and scarves recommended.  Yeah, nail polish even for the boys.  Why the hell not?

And of course, the eyewear is essential.

You can also make them out of pipe cleaner!

If you're more into the extreme for eyewear, here's a great tutorial on how to make Luna Lovegood's Spectrespecs

Finally, your most important piece of your wizarding wardrobe, your wand.  Here's a nifty tutorial I found online.  I did my own variation with a girl I babysit and it was actually really easy and fun.

Get Crafty
This one was the best site I found for crafts of all levels.

Now... some of these are for advanced pinterest addicts only, but some are surprisingly easy.  For example, communicate with your roommates through Owl Post.  This can be done one of two ways:

The balloon method is pretty straightforward.  The paper airplane requires a bit of an explanation (click here for the how-to).

The wand making thing I listed in the previous section is really awesome too.

Party Your Ass Off
Jenna played almost as hard as she worked.  She appreciated the value of a solid night of getting fucked up with people she loved.  So do her proud.  RESPONSIBLY, DAMMIT.

First, here are some Classy Cocktails


With this fiery beverage comes great responsibility. Only it will know if you are prepared for the ultimate battle of wizardry. This spicy cocktail isn't for the faint of heart, only try it if you dare.
Serves 1
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 7 ounces Bloody Mary mix
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • A teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
  • A sprinkle of black pepper
  • Lime
  • Asparagus spears
  • High proof alcohol like 151 or Everclear
  1. Fill a glass with ice and add the ingredients to the cup. Garnish with lime and an asparagus spear.
  2. Drizzle with a high proof alcohol and light on fire. Don't attempt to drink your fiery drink until the flames have burnt out or you'll be expelled from Hogwarts.


This ghostly cocktail may seem sweet at first sight, but don't let it's invisible exterior fool you. The fizzy flavor will sneak up on you when you least expect it. The good news is you don't have to hang out in the ladies' bathroom to find this martini and you won't want to avoid it either.
Serves 1
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces white grape juice
  • Purple sugar
  • Optional: Dry Ice
  1. Pour a small amount of grape juice onto a plate and a small amount of purple sugar on a different plate. Dip the rim of the glass in the juice and then in the sugar until the rim is coated.
  2. Add vodka, white grape juice, and ice to a martini shaker and shake until chilled. Pour into the martini glass and add the chilled champagne.
  3. For a ghostly effect add a small piece of dry ice.


Celebrate the Harry Potter way with this adult version of one of the Hogwarts clan's favorite beverages. If this can quench the thirst of wizards, there is no doubt you'll love it too.
Serves 1

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 2 ounces cream soda
  • 1 ounce half and half
  • Butter
  • Sugar

  1. Melt a small piece of butter on a plate and pour some sugar on a separate plate. Dip the rim of your glass in the butter and then the sugar to coat the rim.
  2. Pour vodka, butterscotch schnapps, cream soda and half and half into a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake lightly until combined and chilled.
  3. Pour the mixture into the glass and serve.


Have your wands ready and start practicing your patronus spell! This creamy delight is evilly delicious and it will steal your soul with just one sip.
Serves 1
  • 1-1/2 ounce crème de cocoa
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 2 ounces of half and half
  • Cinnamon
  1. Pour a small amount of half and half onto a plate and some cinnamon on a different plate. Dip the rim of your glass in the half and half and then in the cinnamon.
  2. Mix the crème de cocoa, vodka, coffee liqueur, and half and half into a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake until it is combined and chilled.
  3. Pour into the cinnamon rimmed glass and serve.


Sip this if you dare but whatever you do, do not mention its name or you'll bring evil upon us all. You should avoid this mojito if you have a lightning bolt-shaped scar on your forehead.
Serves 1

  • 2 ounces clear rum
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 8 ounces club soda
  • Frozen raspberries

  1. Add rum, lemon juice, honey and fresh basil to a glass. Muddle the mixture with a pestle or spoon in order to crush the basil and blend the flavors together. Add ice, a small handful of frozen raspberries and fill the glass with soda water.

(Source for all these recipes)

Alright, enough of the pretense.  I know most of you don't have time for the fancy stuff.
Here are some "Potions" that mean business o_O

The Gryffindor Shot
1/2 part Cinnamon Aftershock
1/2 part Goldschläger Instructions:
'First layer the Aftershock, then layer the Goldschläger on top. It's best if you shake the Goldschläger first so you can get some gold flakes.'

The Hufflepuff Shot
1/2 part Creme de Banana
1/2 part Jägermeister Instructions:
'Add the creme de banana first then top with chilled Jägermeister.'

The Slytherin Shot
1/4 part Kahlua
1/4 part Green Creme de Menthe
1/2 part vodka Instructions:
'First add the Kahlua to shot glass. Mix the Creme de Menthe and vodka together and layer it above the Kahlua.'

The Ravenclaw Shot
1/2 part vodka
1/2 part Blue Curacao Instructions:
'Use the Blue Curacao as the base, then layer the chilled vodka on top of it.'

Butterbeer (Light)
1 part Schnapps, butterscotch
1 dash Schnapps, vanilla
7 parts cream soda Instructions:
'Add both vanilla and butterscotch Schnapps to mug. Pour in cold cream soda and stir very gently.'

Butterbeer (Dark)
1 part Schnapps, butterscotch
1 part Schnapps, vanilla
7 parts root beer Instructions:
'Add both vanilla and butterscotch Schnapps to mug. Pour in cold root beer and stir very gently.'

The Avada Kadavra
1 part Goldschläger
1 part Schnapps, sour apple pucker
1 part tequila, gold
1 part whiskey, scotch
1 splash lemon juice
2 dashes Tabasco sauce Instructions:
'Mix all ingredients. Serve in a shot glass.'

1 part Aftershock
1 part Jägermeister
1 part rum, dark
1 part Rumple Minze (peppermint Schnapps) Instructions:
'Mix all ingredients. Serve in a shot glass.'

1 part Everclear
1 part vodka
1 part whiskey, scotch Instructions:
'Mix all ingredients. Serve in a shot glass.'

The Dark Lord
1 part Schnapps, blackberry (Black Haus)
1 part vodka
1/2 part cranberry juice
1 olive Instructions:
'Mix all ingredients with ice. Strain and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a black olive.'

These are just some of many fairly easy and fun shots/mixed drinks on

So you've got your potions.  Here are some fantastic Harry Potter drinking games.

Click here for a zoomable version.

Click here for a zoomable version.

Finally, for the lazy/impatient:

  • Play Quidditch

You heard me.  You know the rules.  I made up my own version recently and it was AWESOME.  I'll link it here as soon as I get the pictures up, but I fully endorse you making up your own version.  ESPECIALLY after you've completed the previous section.

  • Watch AVery Potter Musical.
  • Then watch A Very Potter Sequel because it's even BETTER.
Trust me on this one.  These musicals are HILARIOUS.  It was written by a group of college kids and performed (low budget).  At first, it seems like they've never read the books, but the jokes get SO amazing, you know that nobody but intense fans could have produced this.Watch it when you're cleaning your room, when you have an afternoon with nothings better to do, or an afternoon with PLENTY to do that you'd rather blow off.  Just... Seriously.  Watch them.
NOTE: The musicals are divided up by scene on YouTube due to the time restrictions.  Just keep clicking.  Promise it's worth it:)

Don't have time for musicals?  Fine.  Just watch these.  Classics from back in the day:

  • Post your favorite quotes or Harry Potter pictures/memes to the  facebook page.

It makes me feel really wonderful to know you guys are right there with me.  So share your Harry Potter experiences - with Jenna and within your own lives.  I'd really love to hear it.

That's all for now.  Don't want to overload you.  Ha... Yeah too late.  I guess I just want this month to be happy.  Harry Potter has helped me through this loss quite a bit.  I will be posting more this week on just how much.  I also have some WONDERFUL artwork, written pieces, and other wonderful things in progress from some other people.  I hope to be getting even more from you soon!

Make sure to post to me how you're celebrating!

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