Harry Potter Christmas Ideas

It’s officially November, does that mean I can put my Christmas tree up yet?!? While Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, Christmas is my favorite holiday to decorate for. Actually, who am I kidding…Christmas is the only holiday I really decorate for! This year I have a feeling that a lot of our Christmas gifts will be themed. When my kids like something, they go all in with it. Right now my daughter is obsessed with Harry Potter. Here is how you can do a Harry Potter Christmas!

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harry potter christmas

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Are You Obsessed with Harry Potter?

Harry Potter is one of those characters that I think will always be popular. I remember when the books came out. My husband and I literally each bought a copy of it because we didn’t want to wait for the other one to finish before we could start!. Our daughter is now 12 years old and she is currently obsessed. In fact, a lot of her presents for her birthday recently revolved around Harry Potter and Hufflepuff. She will be having a Harry Potter Christmas, for sure!

Harry Potter Complete Book Series Special Edition Boxed SetHarry Potter Complete Book Series Special Edition Boxed SetHarry Potter Complete Book Series Special Edition Boxed SetHarry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: The Official Playscript of the Original West End ProductionHarry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: The Official Playscript of the Original West End ProductionHarry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: The Official Playscript of the Original West End Production

Getting into the Holiday Spirit with Harry Potter

I don’t know about you, but we like to get into the holiday spirit with various traditions. One of those traditions is to make gingerbread houses. Last year, we did a “boys against girls” competition. While I have yet to find a Hogwarts gingerbread house (and I am not good enough to make my own kit), you can buy Harry Potter candyharry potter christmas to decorate your gingerbread house!

New York Puzzle Company - Harry Potter Christmas at Hogwarts - 500 Piece Jigsaw PuzzleNew York Puzzle Company – Harry Potter Christmas at Hogwarts – 500 Piece Jigsaw PuzzleNew York Puzzle Company - Harry Potter Christmas at Hogwarts - 500 Piece Jigsaw PuzzleMorphing Mugs Harry Potter Hogwarts Magical Marauder's Map Heat Reveal Ceramic Coffee Mug - 11 Ounce (Parchment Paper Reveal)Morphing Mugs Harry Potter Hogwarts Magical Marauder’s Map Heat Reveal Ceramic Coffee Mug – 11 Ounce (Parchment Paper Reveal)Morphing Mugs Harry Potter Hogwarts Magical Marauder's Map Heat Reveal Ceramic Coffee Mug - 11 Ounce (Parchment Paper Reveal)Funko Advent Calendar - Harry PotterFunko Advent Calendar – Harry PotterFunko Advent Calendar - Harry Potter

Other traditions that are great to get in the holiday spirit are Advent calendars. The Harry Potter Advent calendar is super cute. I know my daughter would be so excited to receive something like that. If your family is like mine, then doing puzzles is something you enjoy! While you sit and put together this “Christmas at Hogwarts” puzzle, you can enjoy hot chocolate or coffee in these super cute Harry Potter themed mugs!

Harry Potter Christmas Ornaments

Every year, my husband and I get each other a Christmas ornament. I always try to get an ornament for him that sums up the year. He always gets me a camel ornament (I collect camels). I joke that one day my goal is to have a Christmas tree filled with nothing but camel ornaments! We also try to get the kids an ornament too. I can tell you right now, this year, my daughter will be getting a Harry Potter ornament. I’m sure she would love to have a Harry Potter themed Christmas tree!

Hallmark Warner Bros. Harry Potter Christmas OrnamentsHallmark Warner Bros. Harry Potter Christmas OrnamentsHallmark Warner Bros. Harry Potter Christmas OrnamentsHarry Potter's Hogwarts Tree OrnamentHarry Potter’s Hogwarts Tree OrnamentHarry Potter's Hogwarts Tree OrnamentTrend Setters Harry Potter Sorting Hat Gryffindor Personalized Hanging AcrylicTrend Setters Harry Potter Sorting Hat Gryffindor Personalized Hanging AcrylicTrend Setters Harry Potter Sorting Hat Gryffindor Personalized Hanging AcrylicHarry Potter Christmas Ornament Ollivanders Wand Shop Hallmark Keepsake OrnamentHarry Potter Christmas Ornament Ollivanders Wand Shop Hallmark Keepsake OrnamentHarry Potter Christmas Ornament Ollivanders Wand Shop Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

Aren’t the ornaments cute?!? I would love to get my daughter the set of Hogwarts house crests! She would love hanging them on the tree, as well as her own tree one day!

For the last 14 years (yes…my oldest is 14), I have said that I wanted to get a set of matching Christmas stockings. Here I am, 14 years later, and I am still trying to get my matching stockings! These Harry Potter themed stockings are super cute and they match (bonus)! If you are looking for some last minute gift ideas, these are it!

Kurt Adler Personalized Harry Potter Magical Marauder's Map Christmas Stocking - 18 InchesKurt Adler Personalized Harry Potter Magical Marauder’s Map Christmas Stocking – 18 InchesKurt Adler Personalized Harry Potter Magical Marauder's Map Christmas Stocking - 18 InchesLEGO 75954 Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit - 878 PiecesLEGO 75954 Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit – 878 PiecesLEGO 75954 Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit - 878 PiecesNorthwest Harry Potter House Crests Silk Touch Throw 50Northwest Harry Potter House Crests Silk Touch Throw 50Northwest Harry Potter House Crests Silk Touch Throw 50

So…did you find any amazing ideas for an epic Harry Potter Christmas for the obsessed fan in your house? I hope you did! If you have any other ideas, other than what you see here, please leave me a comment. Like I said, my daughter is currently obsessed and I don’t see that obsession going anywhere anytime soon!


Best Advent Calendars of the Year

When I became a parent, there were certain things I wanted to make sure I did when it came to Christmas. First, I wanted to make sure we ALWAYS had a live Christmas tree and that we strung popcorn on it. We’ve had a live Christmas tree many years, but we have yet to string our own popcorn garland; second, I wanted to have cute, matching stockings with all of our names on them. We still have a hodgepodge set of stockings; and third, I wanted to get my kids awesome advent calendars every year to count down the days to Christmas. We’ve had them a few times.

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advent calendars

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I wish I could say I was better about doing the Advent Calendars with the kids, but the only thing I can say is that time of year is always crazy busy and I end up forgetting about it. The only calendars left are the kind with the not so good chocolate inside. But, nonetheless, I pick those up. That is why I am writing this now…this way you can quickly order a cool one on Amazon before they are all gone!

Lego Advent Calendars

These calendars were ALWAYS on my list to buy for my kids. My son, especially, was addicted to Legos, like all kids are, and he especially loved the mini figures. Your kids will go nuts for this Lego Advent Calendar!!

LEGO City Advent Calendar 60201, New 2018 Edition, Minifigures, Small Building Toys, Christmas Countdown Calendar for Kids (313 Pieces)LEGO City Advent Calendar 60201, New 2018 Edition, Minifigures, Small Building Toys, Christmas Countdown Calendar for Kids (313 Pieces)LEGO City Advent Calendar 60201, New 2018 Edition, Minifigures, Small Building Toys, Christmas Countdown Calendar for Kids (313 Pieces)LEGO Star Wars 75146 Advent Calendar Building Kit (282 Piece) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)LEGO Star Wars 75146 Advent Calendar Building Kit (282 Piece) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)LEGO Star Wars 75146 Advent Calendar Building Kit (282 Piece) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)Lego Friends - Advent Calendar 2017Lego Friends – Advent Calendar 2017Lego Friends - Advent Calendar 2017

Don’t they look cool?!? I honestly would not even worry about whether or not the calendar is the 2018 version or not. The kids won’t care. They all have the same amount of little windows to open up!

Calendars for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Don’t fret! There are some really adorable themed calendars for your toddlers and preschoolers. My son was OBSESSED with Thomas when he was little. He would have loved that calendar. My daughter would have loved the Little People Advent Calendar. She loved her Little People!

Fisher-Price Little People Advent CalendarFisher-Price Little People Advent CalendarFisher-Price Little People Advent CalendarVTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Advent Calendar Amazon ExclusiveVTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Advent Calendar Amazon ExclusiveVTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Advent Calendar Amazon ExclusivePaw Patrol Advent Calendar with 24 Collectible Plastic FiguresPaw Patrol Advent Calendar with 24 Collectible Plastic FiguresPaw Patrol Advent Calendar with 24 Collectible Plastic FiguresThomas & Friends Fisher-Price Advent CalanderThomas & Friends Fisher-Price Advent CalanderThomas & Friends Fisher-Price Advent CalanderHot Wheels Advent CalendarHot Wheels Advent CalendarHot Wheels Advent Calendar

The Best Chocolate Advent Calendars

If you are going to get a chocolate Advent Calendar, get one with GOOD chocolate in them. No sense in spending money on something with yucky chocolate that you end up throwing away each day. That’s pointless!

New - Lindt Bear Advent Calendar 250gNew – Lindt Bear Advent Calendar 250gNew - Lindt Bear Advent Calendar 250gGodiva Chocolatier Advent CalendarGodiva Chocolatier Advent CalendarGodiva Chocolatier Advent CalendarCadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar 90gCadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar 90gCadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar 90gMadelaine Chocolates Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar, Filled With Solid Premium Milk Chocolate Presents Hiding Behind Victorian Village Toy Shop - 1 PackMadelaine Chocolates Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar, Filled With Solid Premium Milk Chocolate Presents Hiding Behind Victorian Village Toy Shop – 1 PackMadelaine Chocolates Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar, Filled With Solid Premium Milk Chocolate Presents Hiding Behind Victorian Village Toy Shop - 1 PackFerrero Kinder Maxi Mix Advent Calendar 2018 351g (Styles May Vary)Ferrero Kinder Maxi Mix Advent Calendar 2018 351g (Styles May Vary)Ferrero Kinder Maxi Mix Advent Calendar 2018 351g (Styles May Vary)

I don’t know about you, but I love Cadbury chocolate, so that would be on my list to get!

Reusable or DIY Advent Calendar

Don’t want to buy a new Advent Calendar every year? That’s OK! These reusable calendars are adorable and something your kids will look forward to year after year. You can even add something small like a Tootsie Roll or a Starburst to each pocket as a little treat!

Aparty4u 1-24 DIY Felt Christmas Advent Calendar Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar with Pockets for Kids Christmas DecorationsAparty4u 1-24 DIY Felt Christmas Advent Calendar Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar with Pockets for Kids Christmas DecorationsAparty4u 1-24 DIY Felt Christmas Advent Calendar Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar with Pockets for Kids Christmas DecorationsC&F Home Plaid Snowman Calendar 28C&F Home Plaid Snowman Calendar 28C&F Home Plaid Snowman Calendar 28Kubla Crafts Nativity Fabric Advent CalendarKubla Crafts Nativity Fabric Advent CalendarKubla Crafts Nativity Fabric Advent CalendarBucilla Felt Applique Advent Calendar Kit, 14.5 by 18-Inch, 86540 SantaBucilla Felt Applique Advent Calendar Kit, 14.5 by 18-Inch, 86540 SantaBucilla Felt Applique Advent Calendar Kit, 14.5 by 18-Inch, 86540 Santa

Aren’t they cute?!? If you are looking for something a little lower key, this count down to Christmas printable over at Mommy Musings is right up your alley!

Whatever route you choose, when it comes to an Advent Calendar, it will be so much fun for your kids and a tradition that they will look forward to year after year!

25 Pieces of Advice for my Younger Self

Getting older has never bothered me at all. In fact, I embrace it and enjoy each year older I get. Now that I have a son in high school (9th grade) and a daughter in middle school (6th grade), I’ve started thinking about all the things I wish I would have known then that I know now. Since I can’t go back in time, nor would I want to, what I can do is compile this list of 30 pieces of advice for my younger self and make sure I teach these things to my kids.

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advice for my younger self

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If you have kids, you know what it’s like to try and give them advice and have them basically (or literally) tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about. We can’t make them listen and take our advice. All we can do is continue to be open and honest with them and hope that someday they will remember the things we tell them and it will finally sink it. So, for that reason, I have compiled this list of 30 pieces of advice for my younger self that I would like my kids to know.

Coutgo Womens Funny Graphic Tees Sleeveless Sports Tank Tops with Sayings,be You do You for You (L, Grey)Coutgo Womens Funny Graphic Tees Sleeveless Sports Tank Tops with Sayings,be You do You for You (L, Grey)Coutgo Womens Funny Graphic Tees Sleeveless Sports Tank Tops with Sayings,be You do You for You (L, Grey)Be YOU - A JournalBe YOU – A JournalBe YOU - A JournalDare To Be Yourself TshirtDare To Be Yourself TshirtDare To Be Yourself TshirtBe Yourself everyone else is already taken wall quote wall decals wall decals quotesBe Yourself everyone else is already taken wall quote wall decals wall decals quotesBe Yourself everyone else is already taken wall quote wall decals wall decals quotes

  1. Be yourself. Know that who you are is enough. If someone doesn’t like you for who you are, then they are not worth your time.
  2. Set goals for yourself and work to achieve that goal. If it seems like you will never meet that goal, it’s OK to reevaluate and change your goals a bit.
  3. Don’t make up excuses. Own your mistakes; learn from your mistakes; and move on from your mistakes.
  4. Surround yourself with people that boost you up. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with those that cut you down.
  5. You are responsible for YOU. Choose to be happy.
  6. Be kind to others. Especially that person others don’t seem to be kind to. People may not remember all of the mean things said to them, but they will aways remember when someone was nice to them.
  7. You will ALWAYS learn more from listening than from talking. So listen more.
  8. Don’t let failure hold you back. Pick yourself back up and try again.
  9. Always be grateful. Be grateful for what you have; focus on the good; let go of the bad.
  10. Try really really hard not to be so gullible. It’s OK to trust, but you need to learn to verify things. You do not want to be known as a gossip that spreads lies.
  11. Step out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Be curious.
  12. Learn to forgive. You may not ever forget, but forgiveness is good for the heart.
  13. Stop thinking you’re fat. Eat healthy, get exercise and you will be just fine. The number on the scale and the number on the tags is just that…a number.
  14. Change is good. Embrace change. Don’t fear change.
  15. Pay attention in school. School is your job. Treat it like a job.
  16. Respect others. There is nothing worse than a disrespectful person.
  17. Respect yourself. If you want others to respect you, you need to respect YOU.
  18. Write things down in a panner for school. Trust me. Your brain may be capable of remembering your reading assignment now, but things won’t always be that way. Train yourself to write things down NOW!
  19. Friends will come and go. The one thing you will always have is your sibling(s). Remember that.
  20. It’s fun to have boyfriends and girlfriends, but those relationships don’t always last. Everything will be OK if and when they don’t last.
  21. Curfews are there for a reason. Follow it. Know that it is not easy for your parents to let you go out, especially at night, alone. Save them headaches and worry by coming home on time.
  22. Learn to take compliments and say thank you. Don’t feel like you need to cut yourself down because someone paid you a compliment. Just say thanks!
  23. When it comes time for college, pursue your interests. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
  24. Being “cool” is just a matter of opinion.
  25. Saying “no” is fine. Learn the word. Don’t let others pressure you into saying yes for something you don’t want to say yes to.

What are pieces of advice would you give your younger self? I’m curious. Leave me a comment and let me know. There are so many times I hear myself tell my own teenager things that I then sit back and think, “wow. I wish someone would have told me that when I was his age”. So as you can imagine, when I was writing this list of advice for my younger self, I did so with my own kids in mind. Everything on this list is something I have said to them or will say to them at some point.


Reading Bucket List

Less than a week ago, I had knee surgery. So…right now…I am sitting around with my knee propped up, watching WAY too much Netflix, Little House on the Prairiereading bucket list on the DVR (don’t judge), and reading. Reading is one of my favorite things to do. When I knew I was going to be having knee surgery, I decided to put together a reading bucket list.

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reading bucket list

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Like I said, reading is one of my favorite things to do. I like it so much, I started a book review blog called A Real Page Turner. Go check it out! I read a wide variety of genres. My favorites are mystery and suspense, thriller, young adult and true crime. I will read cheesy romance novels from time to time, but only when I need a brain cleanser from something totally creepy and scary I just read!

Reading Bucket List

Juror #3Juror #3Juror #3

James Patterson is my favorite author. I have been reading his books FOREVER. This particular book is about a black man in Mississippi that is being accused of murder. His lawyer is a total newbie that has never tried a criminal case. Will she get him off or will he get the death penalty?

Educated: A MemoirEducated: A MemoirEducated: A Memoir

Educated by Tara Westover is a memoir that was recommended to by a friend. It is about a girl that was kept out of school that made the decision to leave her family. She heads out into the world, attends Cambridge University and earns herself a PhD!

We Were Mothers: A NovelWe Were Mothers: A NovelWe Were Mothers: A Novel

This book was a FREE Amazon First Reads book. Typically I like the Amazon First Reads books. We Were Mothers by Katie Sise caught my attention because the description said this was a novel full of twists and dark secrets. Missing woman; unfaithful husband; I was definitely intrigued!

A Killer's Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery)A Killer’s Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery)A Killer's Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery)

Serial killers, the FBI, missing people…that’s the type of books I like to read (and scare myself with). If it is part of a series, EVEN BETTER! A Killers Mind by Mike Omer is about a serial killer that embalms their victims and poses them as if they are still alive. Not only that, but the FBI agent on the case, starts receiving envelopes that reveals a connection to killings from her childhood!

To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and MurderTo the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and MurderTo the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder

This book may be a little difficult to read. It is a true story about a mom that dropped her kids off a bridge into the Willamette River. Miraculously, one child survived. Nancy Rommelmann embarks on a journey to discover what drives a mother to murder her own children.

Other Books Waiting to be Read

Other books on my Kindle Paperwhitereading bucket list are:

  • Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
  • The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent
  • The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • A Shade of Vampire #64 by Bella Forrest

Matchmaking for Beginners: A NovelMatchmaking for Beginners: A NovelMatchmaking for Beginners: A NovelThe Thinnest AirThe Thinnest AirThe Thinnest AirThe Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s TaleThe Handmaid's TaleA Shade of Vampire 64: A Camp of Savages (Volume 64)A Shade of Vampire 64: A Camp of Savages (Volume 64)A Shade of Vampire 64: A Camp of Savages (Volume 64)

Have you read any of these books? What’s on your reading bucket list?

Must Watch Fall TV Shows

Hi! My name is Leah and I am a TV addict and I totally blame my husband for my TV addiction! With him working out of town most weeks, once the kids go to bed, I have nothing else to do. Sure I could clean something. There’s always something to clean, but that’s not fun! So I feed my TV addiction and watch every show I can. My DVR gets a major workout every single night! So…what are the must watch fall tv shows?

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fall tv shows

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I love the fall. Not only does the weather get cooler, which means jeans, hoodies and boots, but all of my favorite TV shows, plus all the new shows, start. Shoot…a few family members and I love This is Us so much, we have a group chat going where we discuss each episode. If you happen to get behind on an episode, you could end up with close to 100 missed text messages!

 

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So what are the must see fall TV shows?

The shows I looked forward to returning most are:

  • This is Us
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Law & Order SVU
  • The Good Doctor

Those four shows are my favorite, by far. The writing for This is Us will amaze you. Just when you think you’ve figured things out, they throw something else in. That show gives you all the feels.

Other shows I look forward to that I totally recommend you check out are:

  • 9-1-1
  • The Resident
  • Station 19
  • Will & Grace

 

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As you can see, I really like doctor shows! 9-1-1 is an intense show. Not in a bad way. I really like it a lot, plus it has Peter Krause that plays Adam Braverman from Parenthood and I LOVED Parenthood.

New shows that are just coming out that I have on my DVR and am really enjoying are:

  • FBI
  • New Amsterdam
  • Manifest

The first episode of FBI was a bit boring to me, but I decided to stick it out. I am currently watching the second episode and I am beyond hooked. New Amsterdam is like This is Us…it gives you all the feels. It also makes you wish all doctors were like Dr. Max Goodwin!

Of course, that’s not all. My guilty pleasure TV (I probably shouldn’t share this) is reality TV. I think it drives my husband crazy to see all the reality TV saved on the DVR. My favorites are:

  • Married at First Sight
  • Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
  • Keeping Up with the Kardashians

I can’t help myself when it comes to reality TV. I especially like reality TV shows that are SO far from my life. It’s interesting to me how people can marry someone they don’t know. When it comes to Jersey Shore and the Kardashians…I honestly have no words. They are just entertaining to me.

If you are looking to binge watch something on Netflix, check out this post on my favorite, binge-worthy Netflix shows!

What are your must see fall TV shows?