My Wishlist (for friends & family & others like me)

I always feel like a brat when I make these posts but A) it’s a collection of cool stuff I think people like me might be interested in and B) when family & friends ask about birthday/Christmas gifts it’s SUPER easy to point them in the direction of posts like this…

SO without further ado… here are some things I wouldn’t mind getting for my birthday next month ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, the asterisks (*) are notes to family members.

Clothing.

Thanks to Erin, I now know of animalhearted.com

link lrg| link lrg

More good stuff (all size lrg)…

link | link | link

And these…

link | link | link | link

Books.

First things first… the newest illustrated HP book! โšก๐Ÿ–ค
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (released 10/3)

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (pre-order for release 11/7)

Other stuff.

Kindle Paperwhite
Right now I use the Kindle app on my iPad sometimes, but it strains my eyes. I know Kindles have come a long way and I get a free book monthly with my Prime account, so I’d really like one of the middle-of-the-road tablets. *I’ve mentioned this to Kyle

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
I don’t play video games as often as I used to… but I still keep my DS on my nightstand ๐Ÿ™‚ I love these games!

Nintendo Switch
Have these been restocked yet? Lol. I’d also like this game ๐Ÿ˜

Some may call it fate… Pottery Barn Teen just released their new HP line ๐Ÿ˜€

One of these and one of those and these, too! | *These prices are ridiculous. No one get me this stuff.

I mean… new house new decorations, right? I’m sure K will be on board ๐Ÿ˜‰

ETSY for the win…

link | link (a+k, any colorย ๐Ÿ–ค, and two paw prints)

I love these so-freaking-much:

In order of most-love to love: link | link | link | link

I am forever obsessed with artwork…

link | link | link | link

Ok, I’m done.

Actually… one more thing. A new president would be awesome. Preferably one that cares about equality, unity, safety, and people in general. Maybe one that tweets less and worries more about violence toward citizens, the health of citizens, and the overall lives of citizens (even the ones way out on an island THAT IS A PART OF THE USA).

K. Done.

*I just realized I could link up for Add It To My List with Lauren and Bre!

 

Advertisements

Thoughts While Rereading Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone

As I’ve mentioned, I’m rereading all the HP books as they’re illustrated & released. I started this task a few weeks ago (even though I got SS and CoS as soon as they were released… Yay for October releases and an October b-day!). Since PoA comes out this year I decided I should start reading.

Going home to Hogwarts and revisiting these books fills me with so much joy. I love reading them as an adult because I take away something totally different than I did as a 5th grader. Also, when Harry and Ginny meet or when other characters make statements that come back to bite them in the butt I just get so giddy.

*There really aren’t spoilers, but there’s some alluding. Just FYI

Anyway…. here are the thoughts I had while rereading Sorcerer’s Stone:

I can’t spell “sorcerer” save my life. It’s a simple word but my fingers never type it correctly.

Vernon Dursley is a terrible human in the movies, but he’s 100xs worse in the book. I want to punch his fat face.

source

The line is actually: “Harry – yer a wizard.”

I got real, tangible goosebumps when Harry entered Platforms 9 & 3/4 for the first time. It was wonderful.

I wish Fred & George’s first interaction with Harry had made the movies. The twins will always be two of my favorites.

Neville was actually with the trio when they discovered Fluffy. I can’t believe I’d forgotten that. Neville misses a lot of action in the films ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Harry & Draco’s hatred for one another isย immediate in the book. Malfoy is a nasty little human.

“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.” โค๏ธŽ

During the broomstick jinxing on the Quidditch pitch F & G were circling under Harry to catch him if he was de-broomed. Have I mentioned how much I love them…?

Totally forgot about the scuffle that Ron and Neville started with Malfoy in the stands. I love Neville so much.

Compared to the movies, Neville trying to stop Ron, Harry, and Hermione in the Gryffindor common room makes so much more sense in the books. He’s with them for almost every out-of-bed, middle-of-the-night adventure.

The points awarded to him in the end make much more sense, too ๐Ÿ™‚

Firenze is such a great character. I think the forest scene is so well written.

I love the first time Ron and Hermione tell Harry that *of course* they’re coming with him- why wouldn’t they be? It’s like the theme of their friendship from here on out.

When Hermione forgets she can make magic with a wand (because she’s muggle born) ๐Ÿ˜‚

Harry and Hermione’s friendship is my favorite. I feel like the Snape task (which doesn’t make the movies ๐Ÿ˜ ) is their first real moment in their relationship.

I 100% cried when Dumbledore explain the power of Lily’s love to Harry.

Then Hagrid’s photo album gift made me lose it all over again 10xs harder…

The book was better… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was scrolling through the reviews on GoodReads and saw this:

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me laughing out loud.

What I Read… vol. 9

Best blogging day of the month! Let’s get to the books!

What_I_Read_blog

If you’re new here, this is how the review goes:

Ok! On with the show!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Summary: With Congress gone and the Constitution suspended, American men and women are forced into new relationships and roles. | Why I Read It: Everyone has or is reading it (I was 78th on the library waitlist- it took 2 months to get) & it filled a spot in Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: This book was like nothing I’ve ever read. I have so many thoughts but at the same time I’m speechless over it. It’s so relevant and scary and foretelling… especially for being written in 1985. It read like an actual retelling and it ended so vaguely. I think that the reader is meant to walk away with their own epilogue depending on how you felt by the end- you might have some hope for Offrend and think that she’s going to be alright but you might be feeling completely hopeless and beaten down by the end, in which case you probably imagine the worst for her. Also, I wonder what it would’ve been like for Offred if she’d have been in a different position of power or even a different part of the US or a different relationship when the changes started…. I don’t know… this book was eerie and engrossing and unique.
You should read it because… you’re a reader. If you are someone who enjoys reading I think you should give this book a try.

The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver | โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
*ARC provided by Ashley Weaver (but it’s available now!)
Summary: Summoned to France by Milo’s childhood nanny, Amory and her husband find themselves in the middle of another high society death. Was it an accident or something more sinister? | Why I Read It: I like this series & it worked out with Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: First of all, I’mย so happy I got my hands on an ARC. Sometimes all you have to do is ask and an amazing author says “yes” ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the high society and historical vibe in these novels. This one was no exception as it introduced the Ames duo to the French Belanger family, master perfumers. With the recent loss of their patriarch, the company, fortune, and family are in a state of covert disarray. While I enjoyed Milo and Amory’s strengthening relationship, I felt like his secrecy and lying were serious (& annoying) setbacks. Also, Milo’s effect on women was a little overstated. That said, I still loved their chemistry and I’m liking Amory’s backbone as it grows a little in each novel. I think my favorite parts were Milo’s reaction to men flirting with his wife. He’s much less of a cool cucumber than Amory in those situations.
You should read it because… you’ve read the first three books and/or you enjoy historical murder mysteries.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman | โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Summary: New to town and already bored with her home and routine, Coraline decides to explore the dark mysteries of her new home. | Why I Read It: It’s been on my TBR list forever because I thought it looked spooky and entertaining. | What I Thought: For whatever reason, it took me over 2 months to finish this book. It was enjoyable, but it was easy to pick up other books instead of this one. I liked Coraline very much. She started off with a pretty decent level of maturity but by the end she’d become very wise and clever and brave for her age. I’ve read that this book is creepy and scary for adult while children tend to find it more empowering and encouraging. I can see that. The villain (“the other mother”) was delightfully terrible. I think there were many details hinted at by Gaiman that weren’t blatantly explained and I enjoyed that. It was a very descriptive and visual book- perfect for a fall afternoon.
You should read it because… you enjoy spooky, contemporary tales of evil and trickery (defeated by clever, good little girls).

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator) | โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…/5
Summary: (Really?) After 11 years with his abusive aunt and uncle, a young boy is suddenly immersed in a world of witchcraft and wizardry, trolls and dungeons, unicorns and werewolves. | Why I Read It: No one needs an excuse to read HP. That said, I’m rereading all the books as their illustrated versions are released. I’ve had this one for a while now and finally cracked it open. | What I Thought: Bloody hell. I didn’t think there were any Harry Potter stones unturned. If you haven’t gotten your hands on the illustrated novels then you need to do so right now โค๏ธŽ I’ve heard that the Kindle/ebook versions are animated! I’m ashamed that it’s been so long since I’ve read this magical book. Next week I’m dedicating an entire blog post to it so stay tuned for that ๐Ÿ˜‰
You should read it because… it’s one of the greatest series and stories to ever grace the literature world. #fact

DNF: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart
*I didn’t finish this book this month and I ran out of renewals (because I got it at the beginning of the summer and kept putting it off). I fully intend to re-borrow this book and finish it, but I’m taking a break for a few weeks and giving it back to the library for now ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s a quick challenge update:

|5 points| Freebie: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
|10 points| Starts w/ โ€œBโ€: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
|10 points| Yellow cover: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
|15 points| An animal on the cover: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Published in 2017: The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
|20 points| Compass/cardinal direction in title: West With the Night by Beryl Markham
|25 points| A most commonly banned book in America: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
|30 points| About mental illness: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
|30 points| Non-human main character: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
|35 points| A Disney movie /book/ based on a Disney movie: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

I have 105 points now.

Not a bad month for reading ๐Ÿ™‚ What’d you read this month?

Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!

Life According to Steph

The Boy Who Lived… โšก

The stress levels around these parts are unreal. If you follow me on IG, you saw we listed our house last week. We got an offer within 2 days of it being online and we accepted it on Saturday. We’re pumped, but also stressed because inspections/appraisals/financing/buying a new home/money/moving/packing/fencing/fees/etc./etc./etc.

Also, as I mention all the time, summer is our busy season professionally. *groan*

So today I’m doing something fun that I can’t believe I’ve never done before: A Harry Potter Tag. (Thanks to Stephanie and Jenn for the questions!)

1. What is your favorite book?

The Prisoner of Azkaban. (& the Deathly Hallows)
2. What is your favorite film?
Order of the Phoenix. Although I think the Half-Blood Prince is hilarious up until the cave scene.


3. What is your least favorite book?
Goblet of Fire. I feel like most people say this one or OtP.
4. What is your least favorite film?
Probably Goblet of Fire, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen it.
5. Parts of the books/films that made you cry?
Probably every other scene for some reason or another. Molly v. Bellatrix, Hedwig’s final scene, the death of the twin, Dudley and Harry’s goodbye, Narcissa protecting her baby bear Draco & lying to Voldy. Also, Harry rescuing Ginny in the 2nd book always gets me since I know their end story ๐Ÿ™‚ There are many, many more moments.
6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?
Movie George Weasley. Book Lupin. (Is that weird…?)


7. Who is your favorite character?
Book Ginny. Movie Molly. I like the twins, Luna, and Tonks in both forms, too.
8. Who is your least favorite character?
Umbridge is garbage. Duh.
But also Dumbledore. (Go ahead, burn me at the stake.) Snape also never won me over. And Wormtail creeped me ouuuuut.
9. What is your favorite quote?
I can’t even begin to answer this- book or movie quotes.


10. What is your least favorite quote?
“I must not tell lies.” (Crazy bitch…)
11. What would your Patronus be?
Pottermore said a basset hound, but I think it’d be a fox ๐Ÿ™‚ Or a hawk.
12. What would your Boggart be?
A dinosaur riding a giant horse.
13. What would you rather have – the elder wand, the resurrection stone or the invisibility cloak?
The cloak.ย  Duhhh.
14. Which house would you be in?
Ravenclaw. (When Pottermore was revamped it re-housed me into Gryffindor. But nah.)


15. If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would you play?
I think chaser. Or I’d chill in the stands ๐Ÿ˜‰
16. Which class would be your favorite?
Either Transfiguration or Care of Magical Creatures.
17. If you could bring one character back to life, who would it be?
Do Tonks and Lupin count as one…? (Sorry Hedwig/Fred/Dobby) I freaking hate that they died. Or maybe Sirius. He still had a lot of fight in him.
18. What would your job be in the magical world?
I think I’d want to be a professor at Hogwarts.
19. If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?
Dame Maggie Smith & Emma Watson. I typically consider people to be people regardless of their “job”, but those ladies are so badass I think I’d faint.
20. Were you happy with the ending?ย 
Yes. But I hated the spin “The Cursed Child” put on it. I refuse to believe Ron and Hermione had such a common and predictable love. And Ginny is better than that play gave her credit for.

Annnnd there we have it.

Movie Yays and Nays

I saw Tanya and Erin do this fun little questionnaire. So now I’m doing it, too!

Most Hated Movie of All-Time: Django Unchained, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last Airbender
Movie I Think is Overrated: Shawshank Redemption (it actually ties for “most hated”)
Movie I Think is Underrated: Field of Dreams
Movie I Love: Clue
Movie I Secretly Love: Inglorious Basterds (even though I hate violent movies)
Favorite Action Movie: The Mummy
Favorite Drama: Ocean’s 11
Favorite Horror: The Grudge or Gothika (is that horror?)
Favorite Comedy: Talladega Nights
Favorite Disney Movie: The Lion King or Aladdin or Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Favorite Sci-Fi Movie: Star Trek (2009)
Favorite Animated Movie: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Favorite Superhero Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy or X-Men: First Class
Favorite Musical: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Favorite Western: Rio Bravo (1959)
Favorite Martial Arts: Ummm… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a martial arts movie
Favorite Indie: I guess Juno… independent films are always so dang depressing
Favorite Bad Movie: Alice in Wonderland (1999)… it was made-for-TV, but I don’t think it’s bad
Childhood Favorite: Billboard Dad
Favorite Franchise: Harry Potter & X-Men
Best Trilogy: LOTR (or the original X-Men)
Guilty Pleasure: Napoleon Dynamite… so bad, yet so good
Favorite Director: Wes Anderson and David Yates
Favorite Actor: Chris Pratt or Jon Hamm
Favorite Actress: Jennifer Lawrence or Olivia Munn
Favorite Foreign Film: Water (2005)
Favorite Movie this Year so Far: I’ve only seen Beauty & the Beast this year…
Worst Movie so Far this Year: -nothing-
Movie I Have Seen Recently: We’re the Millers
What I Thought of It: I’ve seen it before but it was on TV recently. I actually think this is a hilarious movie. Stupid and cheesy, but comical.
Most Anticipated Film of this Year: Guardians of the Galaxy 2!!
Favorite Movie of All-Time: It’s a tie between HP, Alice in Wonderland, & X-Men

What movie do you hate? What’s your favorite Disney one?

A Fantastically Magical Review

Hello, lovelies. I have a “wishlist” that I need to post for family members, but I just saw the newest wizarding film this weekend and I wanted to gush about it while it’s still fresh in my mind.
Look for the wishlist on Wednesday.

*No spoilers here!ย I would never ruin the magic for anyone! โค๏ธŽ

Fantastic Beasts ANDย Where to Find Them

fantastic_beasts_and_where_to_find_them

Movie Summary: Set in 1926, Newt Scamander arrives in New York City with a suitcase full of fantastic creatures and a mission. Unfortunately, times are tense & suspicions are high, and MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA) has their hands full with a mysterious destructive force at work in the city. Meanwhile, the wizarding world is panicked by the sudden disappearance of the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Newt finds himself (and his creatures) in the middle of the turmoil along with the former Auror Tina, her sister Queenie, and a No-Maj (American Muggle) named Jacob. (Read the complete story on the official website!)

So… let’s go at this movie review like an interview.

What did you think of the film overall?
“Loved” isn’t a strong enough word. The new screenplay for The Cursed Child fell flat for me and I was concerned this movie franchise would lack the magic of the HP world in which I grew up. I was wrong- this film was glorious. It didn’t touch or tarnish the ‘original’ story at all but it still tied into the world I know and love.

Do you have to be a Potter Head (i.e. well-versed in Harry Potter) to enjoy it?
I would say no… though having knowledge of A) the wizarding world and B) the HP details makes this film infinitely more fun.

How does it relate to the Harry Potter story?
While there’s no mention of Harry, Ron, or Hermione (obviously- their parents wouldn’t even have been alive), they do reference Dumbledore. Also, hardcore HP fans will recognize Grindelwald’s name. A few eyebrow-raising names are dropped (that are the ancestors of familiar characters) and we get to see the early years of wizards and Muggles/No-Majs, pre-Wizarding Wars.

Favorite character?
Queenie was probably my favorite. As suspicious and private as New York and MACUSA were, Queenie was full of love and acceptance- for all types. I also loved her relationship to her sister- they were never competitive or demeaning, even though they were totally different people with different personalities.

Favorite scene?
Ah, SO MANY GOOD MOMENTS. There’s a very short scene right in the first 30 minutesย that gives a little nod to Hermione & Ron- I loved that. I think my favorite scene was probably 3/4 of the way through when Queenie had a moment to shine and help her sister and Newt. I won’t say any more than that, but I thought it was funny and action-packed and clever.

Would I watch it again?
I think I have to. I was telling K that I love the HP movies because there’s an even more intricate (and sometimes entirely different) world of wizardry in the books. ‘Fantastic Beasts…’ doesn’t have that book element. All the subtle references and foreshadowing can only be found in the movie- which means I need to readย all the articles and rewatch the film a million times to fully scrutinize it.

If you haven’t picked up what I’m putting down then I’ll just say it bluntly: Go see this film- especially if you are a fan of Harry Potter. It’s everything we’ve been waiting for โค๏ธŽ

audielou.com_signature

A Life Inspired | 12 Months of Bliss

We’re so close to fall I can feel it! (Actually, it HAS been pretty chilling in Ohio this week and I am definitely not complaining.) Today wraps up month #3 in the 12 Months of Bliss challenge (hosted by the lovely Emily at Ember Grey) and I absolutely feel inspired & refreshed.

This month’s challenge was a creative and a personal dare. Participants were tasked with creating a physical inspiration board (no Pinterest!) filled with comforting, motivating, inspiring things! The board could be a cork bulletin board or an 8 x 11 paper- just so long as you filled it with quotes, pictures, & trinkets that inspire you! If you need some inspiration for your inspiration montage my friend Dana at the Creative Beastie gives some great advice on creating a “Vision Board.

IMG_1974

I’ve been meaning to make an inspiration board for so long, but this challenge finally inspired me! (Hehe!)

IMG_1975

I love cork board so I found this 17 x 23 board on Amazon for less than $15! My inspiration board includes my favorite quotes and Bible verses, pictures of foxes (always) and a thank you note from my best friend Erica sent after her baby shower in January. All these things make me feel happy and blessed every day.

IMG_1976

Of course I have a few specific “pins” as well.

I pinned a photo of Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!) because I’m already in the Halloween-zone and I’m totally feeling a Tim Burton-y party this year. (Check out last year’s bash!) Honestly, there is no better Halloween-esque movie than Beetlejuice. (Harry Potter doesn’t count because the plotย spans the entire school year and because wizards/witches aren’t just for Halloween.)

IMG_1977

Enzo’s first collar is also hanging on the board because it reminds me of how adoption and rescue can save so many lives. I can’t wait to make more of a difference and open a shelter someday!

The Deathly Hallows (from Harry Potter) represents my love of reading and writing- which I credit to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone… since I was 11-ish when Harry first got his letter to Hogwarts. (Yep, yep. I am the realย Harry Potter generation! These teenie-boppers don’t know nothing! Hehe.)

Ginnifer Goodwin is only on my board because I’m channeling that hairstyle when I head to the salon on Saturday! I can’t wait!

Last but not least, the comic on the right side of my board has been hanging on my wall/fridge/bulletin boards for a very, very long time. (You can see how the paper is yellowing.) It’s been a constant reminder that A) the planet is a precious, precious gift that we shouldn’t take for granted and B) though we may have opposable thumbs, we are not above other humans or animals in the grand scheme of things.

IMG_1978

I love that I finally have an inspiration board hanging in my office. I feel so awesome when I look at it!

What would/will be on your inspiration board? Want to join in for these last 9 months? Please do!
Check out the June & July challenges as well!

-Louise

EG's Twelve Months of Bliss