Thursday, 27 July 2017

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Since my last post we've celebrated four of our childrens' birthdays, including a first birthday and naming day celebration, two more parties and a half birthday! I should, of course, have blogged about those - and I do intend to - but if there's one thing that always motivates me to find the time to post it's celebrating the birthday of our family's favourite literary character.
Next Monday - July 31st - is Harry Potter's birthday. If you've been following my little blog for a while (like, back when I did actually blog regularly!!!), then you'll know that it's our tradition to read one Harry Potter book a year and follow that with a little party on his birthday while we watch the movie version.


This year we finished the book earlier than usual and the boys were so excited to have our little party we decided to do it before the 31st. This also meant that we avoided school nights, rugby playing nights, rugby watching nights and that Michael could join us while he was here on holidays!

They were so excited by this book that there's been a lot of imaginative play stemming from it. We've also been exploring Pottermore - getting sorted, choosing a wand and discovering our Patronus. We read about the Ilvermorny school too which meant they understood the reference in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (because we had to watch that too!)

The boys decided they wanted to make their own wands, so that became a school holiday project. There are heaps of wand making tutorials on Pinterest but all you really do is decorate a chopstick with hot glue (we used some braided cord as well to help make them look like our Pottermore wands)...
Then paint them...
They turned out really well and there have been a lot of duels going on since. I regularly find myself saying "NO Unforgivable curses in this house, please!" Lol! 
For our party I printed a few free book covers (via Pinterest), lit our 'magic' candles and hung our Hogwarts banners...
In the book we read this year, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry arrives at The Burrow late at night and is served a warming bowl of Mrs Weasley's onion soup. I'm convinced she must use this English Onion Soup recipe from Jamie Oliver because it is amazing! Pictured here without the little drizzle of Worcestershire sauce that takes it to another level...
After dinner we had a few classic wizarding world sweets. Chocolate Frogs...
...and Every Flavour Beans. I didn't order the special ones this year but did find some Gourmet Jean Bean "Bean Boozled" packs at the grocery store. We kept them separate from the regular jelly beans because they smelt disgusting! The idea of these is that each colour bean could be either a delicious flavour like chocolate pudding, peach or strawberry smoothie OR they could be dog food, vomit or dead fish. They were SO SO gross and I can't believe I bought them again but the boys thought it was hilarious and they loved sharing the 'fun' with their biggest brother.
Cloaks and wands are essential...
Quidditch is always their favourite parts of the books and we're always disappointed that it gets left out of the movies. I made a few tiny golden snitch cupcakes because my favourite part of this book is what happens after Ginny catches the snitch for Gryffindor!
The gluten free biscuits were a bit too crumbly to make good wings but I thought they were pretty cute...
We had a box of Chocolate Cauldrons too, thankfully without the disastrous side-effects like in the book!
And washed it all down with a delicious Butterbeer...
Because we found the last batch of Butterbeer way too sweet, I kept it simple this year and just popped some whipped cream (canned) on top of some Creaming Soda. It's even more delicious stirred through - like a spider. Yum!
Oh, these boys! I love them so. I also love making a little magic for them too.

Liam has been so taken by the storyline - and devasted by the end of this book - that he asked to read the next book straight away. My reluctant reader has hardly but it down since! Looks like we'll be having another Harry Potter party later this year.

What's your favourite Harry Potter book? 

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