Harry Potter Haikus

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‘Tis a wonderful thing when the planets align and creative inspiration flows.  This most recently happened to me last week in the Lowe’s parking lot, where I had pulled into a spot to eat my Steak ‘n Shake drive thru meal and kill time until Ginny’s ballet class was finished.  Somehow or another I had the idea to write Harry-Potter inspired haikus and the ideas just started flowing!  I’ve been trying to be more consistent about carrying my Planner Pad with me and fortunately this was one of the times when it was in my bag.  I grabbed it and began writing.

getting out of bed haiku

 

Below is what I came up with.  No, they aren’t totes amazeballs, but, to have just come up with the idea and to have written them all out one after the other in the space of about 10 minutes, I think they are kinda cool.  What say you?  Do you have an HP Haiku (or any other, for that matter, I love haikus!) to share?  Tweet me @realmugglemom

 

I hear the whispers

And scream as I watch you fall

Away behind the veil

Hermione weeps

Her heart is torn asunder

Ron kissed Lavender

Harry’s bones are gone

His arm is now like rubber

Uh-oh, Skele-Grow

Luna is special

She sees things others cannot

Thestrals and Nargles

Harry is chosen

The Tri-Wizard Tournament’s

First Fourth Champion

Something slithering

Through the innards of Hogwarts

Its a basilisk

Moaning and crying

Inside the bathroom plumbing

Its Moaning Myrtle

Dumbledore’s office

Portraits, spinning things

Thoughts in the pensieve

On the Quidditch pitch

Dementors oughtn’t to fly

They’re cold and scary

Clue: The Golden Egg

When opened a horrid screech

Song of the mer-folk

Draco is trying

To travel between cabinets

Letting in evil

 

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For the First Time in Forever — Follow Up Friday

small_3397858623Why yes, it has been a while since my last post.  What better way to jump back in than with a “Follow Up Friday” post so I can follow up on previous posts and catch you up a bit on what-all has been going on with me.

First, regarding previous blog post subjects:

  • Hermione the bread starter is no longer.  I had a bunch in the freezer but ended up throwing it out in a big clean-out.  I would like to maintain another starter someday, not necessarily the Amish Friendship Bread, but right now I feel like I have enough other things to take care of!blogging word cloud
  •  I still plan to finish my series about our Barking Mad Harry Potter Weekend because it is still fresh and beautiful in my mind and something I will always remember!
  •  I also plan to finish my series about training for my first 5K.  *Spoiler Alert* – I completed the 5K, in a time I was pleased with, even!  Unfortunately I never did start to like running but for a reason which shall be revealed, last month I completed another 5K AND a Half Marathon!  What the what?!
  • We sold our cluttered house and bought what is pretty much our dream house (not necessarily in that order …).  Lots more deets to follow on all that.
  • Since we moved I haven’t been shopping at ALDI very often
  • I’m not sure where my french Harry Potter book is

In addition:

  • I am now working outside the home part-time as an inventory auditor
  •  I have become a “Hunger Games” fan
  • We adopted two cats, adorable solid black brothers we named Toby and Tolkien, aka The Chocolate Drops.  You can see a picture or two of them on my Instagram and on Crookshank’s (might as well call him by his real name now that we have more than one cat! = Teddy) Twitter account, @Teddy0605.  The kittens are so cute and entertaining that I’m working on a new blog about them that I hope to make live soon.
  • Not to brag, but I have over 1,000 Followers on Pinterest — would love for you to join us!
  • I have a precious nephew, “Teddy Lupin,” who turns two tomorrow
  • Time marches on!  Ron is now 17, Ginny turns 13 next month, and Muggle Man and I celebrate our 25th anniversary this year!

What caused this sudden re-emergence into blogging?  An opportunity to write reviews for a website which required samples of my writing.  I sent a link to my blog, which of course I “keep meaning” to update.  As I looked back over old posts, I came across this one, and it was such a wake-up call and reminder of why I started my blog in the first place (I really should print it out and post it for frequent reference!).  My blog needs me, and I need it!

(All aboard The Feels Train)

feels train

Thanks for checking on me, as always please Tweet me @realmugglemom

 

 

(skeleton) photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/3397858623/”>Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

(blogging cloud) photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barnett/2836828090/”>Kristina B</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

(Feels Train) http://www.funnyjunk.com added by poxitorium at Zombie Master

 

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Butterbeer Cupcakes

Butterbeer

Image by jenni from the block via Flickr

(aka Part 2 of my Barking Mad Harry Potter Weekend)

In the week leading up to the “Deathly Hallows” premiere,the subject of  Butterbeer Cupcakes arose on Twitter.  This sounded like a recipe that I really needed to try.  Obviously premiere weekend was the perfect time to give it a go.  Friday afternoon I made sure that I had all of the needed ingredients.  Saturday after the movie I pulled up the recipe on my notebook computer, tied on my apron, and got to work!  Ginny started out helping me but somehow ended up drifting out of the kitchen.

I used this recipe, which looked easy enough but did prove to be a bit of a challenge for someone who has never filled cupcakes before.  Everything went smoothly (and, being a batter-eater, I must note that the batter is SO GOOD!)  until it was time to fill the cupcakes with the Butterbeer Ganache.  The recipe suggested doing this using a squeeze bottle.  I’ve seen empty squeeze bottles for sale, but when it came time to purchase one, I went to three different stores and couldn’t find one!  I decided that I would just use my  Tupperware Pastry Bag decorating kit -  which I had never used before (Danger, Will Rogers, Danger!!)

Unfortunately, I assumed that I was supposed to insert the pastry tip into the bag, then fill the bag with the ganache.  Actually, you are supposed to screw the tip onto the outside of the bag.  So, when I poured the ganache into the bag, it immediately started running out of the tip AND out from around the sides of the tip.  What. A. Mess.  I managed to insert the tip into the cupcakes but the whole process was really messy, drippy and sticky.  Maybe I should have waited until the ganache had cooled some?  I had expected it to make a little “filling” in the center of the cupcakes but it pretty much just got absorbed into the cupcakes, I’m not sure that it was even worth all the trouble.  Never having made ganache before or filled cupcakes before, I don’t have anything to go on.  If I made the cupcakes again I’d be tempted to skip this step, though I now have a squeeze bottle and would like to try again, using the squeeze bottle and a cooler ganache. 

After the ganache fiasco, I frosted the cupcakes and then drizzled more ganache over the tops of the cupcakes.  I did not think this procedure through beforehand and as I prepared to drizzle I realized that the cupcakes were on my cooling rack, meaning that any ganache that dripped off would be dripping right onto my counter (which already had enough ganache on it from the “filling”).  I’m not a good “clean as you go” cook/baker so I did not have much counter space available and decided to just leave them on the rack.  I put paper towels underneath to try to catch/absorb the drips. 

Here’s the finished product:

My first attempt
Muggle Mom’s Butterbeer Cupcakes
 
(Notice the ganache-drizzled paper towel underneath?  Ha ha.). Not works of art, but still visually appealing (in my opinion, anyway!).   Tastewise, they were quite delicious and everyone in the family loved them.  I’ll definitely make them again.  Also, there was almost  a cup of ganache left over and it tasted great warmed and drizzled over vanilla ice cream!!
 
PS – In case you’re interested, here’s my post about making Butterbeer:  http://realmugglemom.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/how-i-celebrated-harry-potters-birthday/

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Loved the look of Shell Cottage in the movie!

Image via Wikipedia

(aka Part 1 of My Barking Mad Harry Potter Weekend)

Like all Potter fans I had really been looking forward to seeing “Deathly Hallows Part Two,’ and when it happened, wanted to do it right.  I started by watching some funny parody videos on YouTube.  Here are my faves, Tweet me a link if you know of some other good ones:

Harry Potter Friday Parody  by The Hillywood Show

Hallows Harry Potter Parody by iMandy

Like a G6 Parody (Like It’s Quidditch) by The Station (I think?)

I would have loved to have seen Part 1 in 3D immediately followed by Part 2 in 3D.  However, this option was only offered starting at 9:00 PM.  I wanted to be fully awake and alert for my viewing and preferred to go during the day.  Of course I pre-ordered our tickets – three (for Muggle Man, Ron, and myself) for Saturday afternoon.

Thursday I started a movie “countdown” by watching my “Order of the Phoenix” DVD.  Friday morning I picked up our tickets and that day I also watched “Half Blood Prince” and made sure I had all the ingredients to make Butterbeer Cupcakes.

Saturday morning Muggle Man and I watched “Deathly Hallows Part 1″ on DVD.  Ron and I donned our RIPT Apparel Limited Edition ‘Horcrux Collectors Club” Tees.”  We’d been saving them to wear to the movie!  I also had some Harry Potter-shaped 3-D glasses that I had ordered from the UK off eBay. 

Cute glasses, too bad they didn't work
Purely decorative “3-D” glasses

Unfortunately, when I tried them out at home they did not work.  I stuck them into my purse just in case, though. 

Our tickets were for the 2:00 3-D IMAX show.  We arrived at the theater about 1:15 PM.   There was already a line outside the IMAX theater, but at that point it wasn’t too bad.  There were maybe 30 people in front of us?  The way the line wrapped around, we were positioned in line right outside the theater door, with the first people in line between us and and the entrance.  I heard those people say that they had arrived at 12:45.  Several people commented on Ron’s & my T-shirts, and/or asked where we had gotten them.

A little after 1:45 they started letting people into the theater.  We tried to figure out the best spot to sit.  We knew we wanted to be in the middle but weren’t sure how far up or down to go.  The people who had been first in line were slightly to the side on one row so I suggested that we sit in the middle of that row,  next to them.  I figured if they had stood in line that long to get those seats they must be good, he he.  I was very interested in experiencing an IMAX movie since I’d only seen a couple before, at science museums.

The screen lit up with the first of a couple of trailers.  They were SO LOUD I could not believe it.  I would have brought ear plus if I had known.  Poor Ron, who is very sensitive to loud noises, had his fingers in his ears.  I remembered that I had some ear plugs in my purse from the Taylor Swift concert Ginny and I had attended recently so I gave them to Ron (wishing that I had more for me!).  Thankfully once the actual movie started, it was not quite as loud (or maybe my ear follicles had been dulled enough by then that it didn’t seem as loud?!).  I put on my British fake 3-D glasses just to be sure they didn’t work.  Nope.

The movie kept me enthralled the whole time (didn’t check watch, etc.).  The only distraction was the kid next to me wh osqueaked his drink straw up and down almost the entire frickin’ movie (grrrr  — Silencio!”).  The audience was pretty quiet for most of the movie, one funny incident was the first time Lord Voldemort appeared on the screen and a little voice said, “Got your nose!” 

 I was glad that I had remembered to stick some tissues into my purse as I spent at least the half hour of the movie blowing my nose and dabbing at my eyes.  I really liked Part 1 and had been worried that Part 2 would somehow be a letdown.  I think I also was worried that the majority of the movie would be a violent, bloody battle.  I was not disappointed at all and I thought that overall the battle was portrayed very well.  I really want to go see it again!

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A Barking Mad Harry Potter Weekend

Sign of the Deathly Hallows

Image via Wikipedia

The weekend of the “Deathly Hallows 2″  premiere was a big weekend for many Harry Potter fans, and I was no exception.  Here’s how it went down:

What a weekend!  It was so awesome that I feel each event deserves it’s own blog post — Coming Soon!

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Wordless Wednesday

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Use What You Have Cooking

this is a picture of self made pesto in a mortar.

Image via Wikipedia

Inspired by this post from Carrot’s ‘N’ Cake’s helpful “Grocery 101″ series, one of my goals is to get back into meal planning (more on why I stopped another time).  I want to focus more on using items that I already have on hand, rather than choosing recipes for which I have to purchase all-new ingredients (my usual modus operandi).  As I recently posted on Tumblr,  I started by going through my pantry and making a list of on hand items that might be used for recipes.  The items were:

Pesto

Tomato Sauce

Chocolate Syrup

Sundried Tomatoes

Artichocke Hearts

Canned Pumpkin

Various Pastas

Rice

Mini-Cheese Tortellini

Orzo

Oatmeal

Dates

Nutella

This afternoon I purchased some boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I was planning to bake them but wasn’t sure exactly how.  I think in the back of my mind I was thinking of using the artichoke hearts in a recipe that calls for baking chicken breasts & artichoke hearts in balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  However, I didn’t have, nor did I purchase, the dressing (go figure?!).

I visited my favorite online recipe source, FoodNetwork.com.  The site has a feature where you can type in (an) ingredient(s) and it will suggest recipes.  I wasn’t sure how many ingredients you could put in, so I figured I’d start with several and shorten if necessary.  First I typed: “chicken pesto sundried tomato artichoke” and it took me to a recipe for crab cakes (?).  Next I tried “chicken pesto sundried tomato” and it gave me the previous recipe plus two more, neither of which contained chicken.  “Chicken pesto” provided a better list of results (so, I’ll be sure to just input one or two ingredients in the future). 

One recipe that caught my eye was “Gordon and Gary’s Pesto Chicken Quesadillas.”  I remembered that I had a pack of whole-wheat tortillas in the fridge, and I also had finely shredded parmesan cheese.  Since it was getting late and it was eleventy-billion degrees outside, I didn’t want us to have to grill the chicken.  BUT, I had some leftover chicken that was already cooked, seasoned, and cut into bite-sized pieces. 

I thought the quesadillas turned out really nicely.  The pesto, chicken and cheese tasted good together and the quesadilla added some textural interest.  The children didn’t seem to care for the quesadillas/pesto but they ate the chicken.  Muggle Man LOVED them and even Tweeted “Awesome dinner tonight” to me.  WIN!

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Wordless Wednesday

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Je commence `a lire Harry Potter en français

Platform 9-3/4 Entrance tribute to Harry Potte...

Image via Wikipedia

Harry Poter a L'Ecole des Sorciers

The cover of the French version of Harry Potter

One item on my 43 Things list is to read Harry Potter in French (the first book, possibly the whole series?). A while back I purchased a copy of Harry Potter A L’Ecole des Sorciers but, as with many other things that I *wanted* to do (vs. things that I felt that I *should* do), I never got around to reading it. Now that I am working on doing things for me (rather than doing things because I think it’s what someone else wants or needs me to do), it’s time to start reading.

So far I’ve read the first chapter, Le Survivant (The Survivor – which seems to be the French equivalent to “The Boy Who Lived”). It’s pretty cool to read the book in another language, like getting a fresh look into a story that I already know so well.

Since I’m translating as I read I really have to pay attention to what I’m reading. There are quite a few words that I’m not sure that I remember correctly (it’s been a loooong time since I did much reading in French!), have to guess at, or don’t know at all. I’ve decided that I will read through each chapter once to get the flow of the story, then go back through and look up words that I’m unfamiliar with or want to double check. I’d like to keep track of these words so that I can have a little Harry Potter French-English Reference Sheet.

I’m also planning to record my progress in my blog – how much I’ve read, comparisons between the two versions, and any other comments I care to make. I’ll also note names and terms that are different from those used in the English books. For example, in the first chapter I found the following:

  • Le Survivant = (The Survivor, aka The Boy Who Lived)
  • Vous-Savez-Qui = You-Know-Who
  • Les Moldus = Muggles
  • l’Eteignoir = The Deluminator
  • Madame Pomfresh = Madame Pomfrey

Another noteable difference is the name of the book. Rather than the British “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” or the American “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone,” the French title translates to “Harry Potter at the School of Wizards.”

Have you read Harry Potter or any other favorite books in more than one language? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @realmugglemom.

Related content:

Review by someone else who read the book

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Running Red-Faced: Rosacea

Rasacee couperose zones

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t have an official diagnosis of Rosacea, but I learned about it when my mother was diagnosed several years ago and I decided that I probably have it, too.  It didn’t bother me much other than the occasional flushing after drinking a glass of wine.  However, last year as I got into a fairly challenging TurboKick class at my gym, I found myself getting rather red-faced during class.  It would last for a while after class, sometimes for several hours, and sometimes I’d have burning and/or itching and/or tingling on my cheeks throughout the day afterward.  After reading up I started taking breaks during class to wet a paper towel with cold water from the water fountain and wipe off my face and the back of my neck.  This seemed to help enough to keep my face from getting too red, and to keep the effects from lingering.

However, once I started training for my 5K, the problem flared up again (no pun intended!).  Once I started running more than 1/2 a mile at a time, my face would get very hot, beet red, and stay that way for quite a while.  I found a couple of things helped.  One was to choose a treadmill where one of the ceiling fans was blowing directly onto me.  We have a few leftover “chill towels” from one of my husband’s sporting events and I would wet a couple of them and put them in a plastic zipper bag with some ice cubes.  As I started to get warm, I would hold one of these against my face and/or hang it around my neck.  After my workout I would hold one up to my face for a while in addition to washing my face off with cool water.

After my post-workout shower I would lightly moisturize my face with Artistry Essentials Soothing Creme.  According to the Artistry website the creme features:

  •      Exclusive Artistry Soothing Complex featuring Black Bamboo, Licorice, and Blue Lotus Flower to soothe, quiet, and address the visible signs of irritated skin and maintain skin’s normal moisture barrier function
  •             Vitamins A, C, E, and B5 nourish, fortify, clarify, protect and balance skin
  •             Chia and Borage supplement the skin with essentials fatty acids
  •             Works day and night to optimize moisture balance
  •             Ideal for all skin types and safe for sensitive skin

This is a very lightweight cream and I liked the way that it hydrated my skin without feeling thick or greasy or causing any more “trauma” (for lack of a better word for the redness, stinging, etc.).  It didn’t automatically make the redness and discomfort go away but gently applying it did feel soothing.  I’ve been using and selling Artistry products for over 20 years so I felt safe applying this to my face.

Recently I purchased a product called “Ultracalming Mist.”  It is made by dermalogica and I purchased it at Ulta.  According to the label it is “Recommended for sensitized, reactive and recently resurfaced skin.”  It is described as:

A soothing and hydrating mist that quickly relieves sensitivity while helping to calm redness, stingin and aggravated skin. Our exclusive UltraCalming Complex contains Oat and botanical actives that work below the surface to interrupt inflammatory triggers that lead to sensitization, while helping to minimize discomfort, burning and itching.  Oat and Giner actives combined with Bisabolol and Boerhavia Root Extract work synergistically to relieve and restore skin while fighting future flare-ups.  Soothing Aloe helps calm while correcting the moisture level imbalance that can provoke sensitized skin. 

I haven’t been running recently so so far I have just used the mist when I’ve been hot from just being outside, it feels refreshing but I don’t know if it’s really had any “effects.”  I’m planning to start doing some running again, though, so I’ll report on whether or not the mist seems to help.

I hope that this information will be helpful to others who may be experiencing these issues.  I’d love to hear any tips others might like to share, please Tweet me @realmugglemom.

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