5 Reasons Why I Love the world of Harry Potter #Potterweek

Greetings, muggles and magic folks alike! This post is brought to you by a glorious week we’re in the midst of celebrating – #Potterweek! Originally started by Common Room, a blog and podcast by my pal Hadas and her comrades, Potterweek is a celebration of all things Hogwarts. While today’s prompt is #PotterHouse, I’m a crazy pixie who does what she wants, so I’m going a bit more generalized with my Potterweek post. I’ll be running down a list of 5 reasons why I love Harry Potter, and all that the universe entails.

So many small and mischievous creatures and critters!
Merlin’s Pants! So many adorable creatures to choose from! I have always been fan of small, mischievous, and magical beings in books and movies. My favorite champs in League of Legends are Yordles, I am obsessed with garden gnomes, and the Asura in Guild Wars 2 totes claimed my heart. In the Harry Potter world, we have House-Elves, goblins, and even pixies! Rowling’s world contains many fantastic races, as do many fantasy books. Of course you have your big and tall, like giants and dragons, but you totally have to balance this out with your stubby and small! My favorite creature character from Harry Potter is Winky, a House-Elf from the books (but sadly left out of the movies). Heck – I’d even give Kreacher a fair shake… the little jerk.

It’s easy to imagine yourself being sorted, selecting a wand, getting an animal familiar, and making friends.
Admit it – when you read the books or watched the movies, in the back of your mind you were choosing what path you’d go down. Rowling outlined so many ways that readers could imagine how they would integrate into the world of Potter. We guessed where the Sorting Hat would put us. We fantasized about what our wands would be made of, and the stories behind them. We figured out which animal familiar we’d have. And we totally knew which gang of friends we’d want to hang out with in the halls of Hogwarts. The characters are all so interesting and diverse, so it’s easy to pick a favorite that you can relate to. (For the record, I’d be a Hufflepuff with a Toad familiar, chilling with Luna Lovegood after classes.)

Rowling teaches us about social injustice and issues that are applicable to the real world.
Social injustice and real world parallels exist in spades in Harry Potter’s world. The oppression of the enslaved House Elves is one of the first civil rights issues we encounter in the world. Well, Hermione, sign me up for SPEW, because this part of the books and movies totally put a beetle in my witch’s hat. Free the House Elves! Rights for House Elves now!!! *hops off soap box* Rowling also teaches us not to blindly trust authority, the news, or people in power, but to question them and think for ourselves. The Ministry of Magic certainly had its own dirty laundry, as did the cult of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Additionally, we all learned to keep our friends close – the themes of the importance of friendship in the books and movies are some of my favorite, second to My Little Pony of course. I found this Buzzfeed article pretty spot on in its listing of social injustice lessons Harry Potter taught us.

Villains are loved almost as much as good guys.
Good guys have bad sides, and bad guys have good sides. Even characters we think are perfect and flawless, (such as Dumbledore, or Harry’s dad) aren’t as perfect as we think. Likewise, those who are evil grumpy nastypants (such as Snape and Malfoy) actually have depth to them, and are pitifully seen in some ways as products of their environments. These portrayals are realistic and show us that people we perceive as good or evil can sometimes be both at different times. Nothing is black and white, least of all not people. Not to mention… some of the villains are just loveable, despite being bad to the bone. Bellatrix Lestrange, anyone? Yeah, she’s awesomely evil. This post has a few of your favorite baddies doing what we love to hate them for.

It’s Harry Potter, dammit. It’s beautiful and perfect and lovely and you love it. YOU LOVE IT.
Talk to the wand, because I don’t need a 5th reason. The world of Harry Potter is a magical place and everyone wants to be there, save for a few cranky squibs. It’s laced with magic (like you’ve never looked up all the Harry Potter spells before), wonder, surprises, fun, adventure, and so much more. We have the Wizarding World theme park and Pottermore, the amazing interactive website and reading experience to prove just how much its fans love it. The universe is so well-developed, immersive, and believable. The characters and their relationships are so beautiful and addictive. The overall storyline, as well as the smaller storylines in each book, are so well thought out and totally flawless. In short, JK Rowling, you’ve bewitched us all, so please have a Butterbeer on us, because this Potterhead ain’t goin anywhere.


Wanna hear me talk a little bit about Potter things with my Charmbomb girls? Check out this special mini-episode of Charmbomb!

Do you have 5 reasons you love Harry Potter? Post them in a comment or your own blog post. Be sure to use #Potterweek to share the love!

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My Fictional BFF’s

Ya I know, it’s Monday. But trying to keep up on these 5 Fandom Friday posts is clearly pointless, so the posts are just gonna kind of happen, randomly and magically, like most good things. Having fandom characters you love and worship is part of the geeky package, and the characters you want to spend time are so much fun to fantasize about. So it’s time to go to the movies, or out for some drinks, or to the movies while smuggling in drinks, with my besties. Here are my top 5 fictional BFF’s from fandoms.

1. Luna Lovegood

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Luna Lovegood by leelakin

Luna Lovegood is the quirky and slightly kooky blonde Ravenclaw from the Harry Potter series. Yeah, she’s fruity as a bat, but I love her. Luna is brutally genuine, honest, and perceptive – qualities that would be perfect in a best friend. She can’t be anyone but herself, and she makes no effort to try to hide her personality or weirdness from anyone. She think it strange anyone would do that, strange as she is. She just is, and that’s the way to be. Surrounded by someone like her, I’d be unafraid to be my weird self as well. We’d spend our time talking about the interesting things we’d read in the Quibble, practicing for our Potions finals, or tagging along on fun adventures with Harry, of course.

2. Betty Cooper

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Betty Cooper is a teen girl from Riverdale, and an amazingly sweet character from the Archie Comics universe. True blue, and an all-American nice girl, Betty would be loyal to the end. She’s got a “Captain America” style charm about her. She’s kind, thoughtful, caring, and super nice. Plus, she loves having fun and getting out there! I think lots of people in the Riverdale universe would make fun and entertaining friends, but Betty has some seriously great friend qualities that are impossible to ignore. She would be there through thick and thin, I could just tell! We’d spend our time gossiping at Pop Tates over chocolate shakes and studying for Miss Grundy’s math tests after school. Who knows, maybe we’d even have a friendly fight over who’d be going out with Archie that night >.>

3. Noodle

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Noodle is the 13 year old guitar player from the Gorillaz, oh, and a secret government experimental combat soldier. And thanks to Ocean Bacon (the verbal command which put Noodle’s fighting rampage into a state of amnesia), we can be the best of friends, and play loads of video games all the time!! Besides having a front row seat to any Gorillaz’s concert, we’d eat sushi in Japan, beat up on Murdoc, and play pool with 2D. Sounds like a blast to me! <3

4. Tank Girl

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Tank Girl by BlitzCadet

Tank Girl is a fabulous comic book character who makes things go BOOM and then has a cold beer when it’s all over. Sometimes she’s a little gross, or vulgar, or horny, but hey, who isn’t? There wouldn’t be a boring day ever if she was around. We’d drink beers and smoke cigars with Booga, decorate tanks and other artillery vehicles with fun stickers and graffiti, and play with all of our talking stuffed animals of course, like Mr. Precocious and Camp Koala. I am SO ready to go hop on board the tank for some fun adventures!

5. Pinkie Pie

pinkie-pie

Pinkie Pie is the perky party princess of Ponyville, from the My Little Pony fandom. Clearly, a good friend must be entertaining, and Pinkie Pie would just go go go without stopping. She tells great jokes, she’s full of energy, and she loves to squeal. Qualities any good friend should have. Especially the squealing part. Toothless, her super cute pet alligator, and my dog Couscous would be fast friends. And I’d love to help the ponies on their missions to find the elements of harmony, or to help Twilight Sparkle learn a lesson about friendship, or even just in the planning of some incredible parties in Ponyville! PARTY TIME!

*BONUS* 6. Lurch

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Lurch is the faithful household butler of the creepy and the kooky Addams Family. And something tells me, in my heart of hearts, that Lurch would be a fabulous BFF. Sure, he’s quiet, a little stoic, and kind of a servant in the Addams home, but he does the sweetest things for them, and I would imagine his friends. He is tolerant and puts up with a lot of silliness and nonsense – 2 qualities that are pretty essential for anyone who is going to be my friend. In our spare time, we could practice ballroom dancing, chase spiders, or play hide and seek in the marvelous Addams mansion. I know I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Wednesday or Pugsley for the day as well, providing they keep me out of that electric chair. -.-

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Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own

This week’s edition of 5 Fandom Friday celebrates Fandom Accessories. Accessories are the little things in our life that make it easy to incorporate our love of our fandoms fully into our world. Every where you look – in your kitchen, on your desk, in your jewelry box – the joy is everywhere! I had a hard time choosing just 5 (well, I picked 6 actually) but these are the 5 accessories I chose!

1. Tina Ring from Nerd Burger


Cazz of Nerd Burger is just one of the very best – she’s an awesome girl from Australia who makes fantastic geeky jewelry! She was kind enough to send me a Tina ring, which of course, is awesome. Bob’s Burgers is one of my all-time favorite cartoons, and Mark and I even got tickets to go see Bob’s Burgers live in March! Thanks Cazz <3

2. Barbie Shoe Necklace

barbie-shoes-necklace
I adore this Barbie Shoe necklace from Pixier and Pixier! It’s so fun, whimsical, and just a little creepy! I love the colors (of course), and the fact that it’s Barbie shoes. Weird and wonderful. Something Luna Lovegood would wear, for sure.

3. Wonder Woman Converse

wonder-woman-converse
I am so glad my friend @thedesignergeek suggested that I get these amazing Wonder Woman converse, because I LOVE them – they’re a perfect compliment and geek chic accessory to so many outfits. I first wore them to the Geekie Awards when the IGGPPC was up for a Geekie! They’re comfy and the artwork on them is just gorgeous. Wonder Woman is such a badass!

4. Lilac Wand from Gipson Wands


I’m a Potterhead and magic lover through and through! Scott of Gipson Wands designs carefully crafted magical wands, complete with unicorn hair and phoenix feathers. (alight, maybe not those!) I have a wand in Lilac wood. A favorite of the forest nymphs, Lilac is sacred to the Greek Twins Gemini. It promotes love and romance <3 <3 <3 Swish, and flick!

5. Monsters Inc Disney Parks Official Mug

monsters-inc-mug
Disney Parks Authentic gear is the best! It always reminds me of my trips to Disney World, and of course, you are only supposed to be able to get it in the parks! I bought this Mike Wazowski mug when Mark and I went on our first vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida! It’s one of my absolute favorite memories – Mark and I had SO much fun! I drink coffee out of this adorable Disney mug every day at work. Disnerds, unite!

*BONUS* 6. IGGPPC embroidered pin by Sarah Synapse

iggppc-pin
Of COURSE I love repping my Iggles! This fabulous hand embroidered pin by Sarah Synapse is just too cute! And it comes in a multitude of colors! You can get your own pin here!

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New Years Fandom Resolutions

It’s back, another awesome 5 Fandom Friday post! You can learn all about the origins of this great project here. The general goal of this fabulous experiment in blogging is to smash creative blocks, crash into other geek bloggers online, and have a bash with all the nerds out there, fangirling and fanboying over their respective fandoms. Here are my New Years Fandom Resolutions.

1. Sell Word To Your Unicorn stationery and sticker at a table at a convention.

artist-comic-con-table
Source: chkimbrough at Kamicon
It would be amazing to be able to “do the con” without having to do the con, if you know what I mean. They are so exhausting! You have to walk the floor, fight the crowd, get exhausted, and have no where to rest. When you buy a table at a con, the con comes to you! You can see a parade of all the fabulous costumes, chit chat and socialize with people, and make money doing it! My dear friend and co-staffer at the IGGPPC, Sparkles, is a lucky and talented girl who does this very thing, and it would be a dream of mine to find out how she does it – maybe even share a table with her someday! Oh dreams… maybe someday the joy of geeky and kawaii stationery sold in real life can be real!
word-to-your-unicorn
Someday my little store, someday…

2. Grow the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club website to 30,000 registered members and reach 100,000 hits a month average site views.

world-domination
I have some specific number goals for the IGGPPC, and with the popularity of the club steadily increasing day by day, I think this goal is attainable. We hit a whopping 85,000 website hits in August during our Geekies Award fame, and I’m hoping for something equally as awesome to happen to us next year, if not even greater! The IGGPPC has also revamped its system a bit for 2015, and we have some exciting new features and projects in store for Iggles. You can read all about it in this blog post. PS: We’re hiring staff, so please, apply!

3. Everyday Cosplay/Disneybound every Friday.

fluttershy-yay
My friend and co-worker Daina and I have been talking about doing Disneybound Fridays at work for some time now. But I just keep forgetting, or things come up… but not this year! 2015 is going to be the year of the Everyday Cosplay and the Disneybound. I will be posting them every Friday under the #Stewiebounding – so stay tuned. You can expect Fluttershy, Rocket Raccoon, Captain America, Elsa, Anna, and so much more.

4. Take a trip to see Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and of course, Disney World.

Via PopSugar
Source: PopSugar
I hope if I type this resolution out, that we will magically have loads of money to make this happen. They opened Diagon Alley in July, and I have been dying to go see it ever since! With an immensely immersive Hogwarts Express, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and even Celestina Warbeck with a live performance, I would sooner kiss a mandrake before I would miss it. And of course, my love of Disney knows no bounds. I would love to get back to EPCOT for the Food & Wine Festival and Halloween, 2 of my favorite times at Walt Disney World. And I would consider seeing what they have done on the grave of Maelstrom, not that I’m happy about it. #SaveMaelstrom

5. Attend a few Geek Girl Brunches, wherever I live.

geek-girl-brunch
Source: The Crazy Bat Lady
Mark and I had planned to move to NYC in the spring, but now we just don’t know where we will end up. It’s between Philadelphia and NYC but all things depend on Mark getting a job. Once he gets an offer, we will probably take it – so the sky is the limit. But once we find our next home and settle in, I am planning on having some serious bonding time with my fellow Brunchettes in my local chapter of Geek Girl Brunch. Fancy drinks and fandoms? Count me in.


What do YOU plan to do in the new year? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Hoofing it through Hogsmeade: The Incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter

hogsmeade-sign

hogsmeade-wizarding

“Hogsmeade looked like a Christmas card; the little thatched cottages and shops were all covered in a layer of crisp snow; there were holly wreaths on the doors and strings of enchanted candles hanging in the trees.”

There are not many moments in my life when I am so excited that I squeal, jump up and down, and run around like a 5 year old girl who is meeting Santa Claus on Christmas Day. But this was one of those days. Mark and I got a chance to tour the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, on our vacation this year. As we entered Hogsmeade, we immediately took note of the sign above the entryway: “Please respect the spell limits.” The first thing we noticed were big wooden carts selling Butterbeer in the streets, and the Hogwarts Express, complete with the conductor.

conductor-hogwarts-express

wizarding-world-harry-potter-signs
1) Honeydukes, the sweets shop. 2) Zonko’s Joke Shop. 3) The Owl Post, where wizards and witches can mail their letters. 4) Dervish & Banges, reparation of magical instruments.

What incredible attention to detail! From the signs, to the shop windows, to the sound effects, this was a very immersive experience. They truly recreated Hogsmeade as you could imagine it in the books and movies. We passed a window with a crying mandrake in it. I wanted to cuddle the poor guy! There was also a “Wanted” poster, with moving Sirius Black on it, acting crazy as usual. We attended an incredible “Wand ceremony,” where someone at random in a crowd of 30 is selected to test out a wand in Olivander’s shop… and they get to keep it! Some pretty interesting things were happening in that store…

hogsmeade-honeydukes-spiral

honeydukes-candy-hogsmeade

By far, the best store there has to be Honeydukes. You are surrounded by Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, and Jelly Slugs! Mmmm! The colors and sweets in the store are a treat for your tongue as well as your eyes. And all of the shop clerks were dressed in appropriate Hogsmeade garb, despite the 90 degree temperatures. I felt kind of bad for them, they must have been extremely hot.

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dragon-skeleton-butterbeer-spectrespecs
1) Dragon Skeleton from The Forbidden Journey. 2) Butterbeer is just as good as they say. 3) Many of the props around the park come to life. For example, these Gilderoy Lockhart books in the window have an actual moving Gilderoy on the cover! 4) Adorn yourself with a pair of Spectrespecs, as seen on Luna Lovegood!

By far the coolest ride is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It’s a mix of a twisty turny roller coaster, and a 3D movie experience. The ride takes place inside the Hogwarts castle, and the queue is styled like the Hogwarts greenhouse. The line for the ride isn’t boring at all, as you pass through the dark halls, several looming statues of famous witches and wizards, Dumbledore’s office, and talking paintings. It’s incredible!

broomsticks-potages-wizarding-world
1) Three Broomsticks Inn was quite a hopping place, with ceiling to floor decor. 2) I thought these were Pensieves. They are just water fountains. 3) Make sure to meet the students from Beauxbatons Academy Of Magic and Durmstrang Institute. 4) Potages Cauldron shop had a big stack of cauldrons next to the door, and a very fancy sign. And of course I would want a self-stirring cauldron.

I can’t wait for the expansion of this world and the addition of Diagon Alley. I could think of a lot of things I would have liked to see in addition to what was there, but I know the park, small as it is, has taken loads of time and money thus far. I hope in the future, they bring out more dressed characters, including the more well known characters like Harry, Luna and Dumbledore. I also hope they include more magical experiences that aren’t necessarily thrill rides, but subtle magical encounters that are interactive. I know I would love a chance to throw on a cloak, break out my wand, and make some magic of my own.

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My tips for myself the next time I go: The Butterbeer is SUPER sweet. Drink it when you’re really thirsty. Wear a hat or bring an umbrella for shade while waiting in lines. Eat at the Three Broomsticks.

Until next time readers, mischief managed.

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