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Unboxing My First Harry Potter Lootcrate! (September Box)

That Weird Girl Life
You guys, I did it. I finally broke down and ordered myself a Harry Potter Lootcrate box! (officially called J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World box, but I like calling it the Harry Potter Lootcrate box personally) I have always wanted to buy one, but since they're a tad expensive ($39.99 plus tax and shipping, so it came out to more like $50-ish) but once I heard about the theme of this month's box, Magical Must-Haves, I knew I had to order one, at least just once! (This may the closest we'll get to feel like we're living in the Wizarding World and that's a feeling I want to have at ALL times) I had subscription box envy for so long, especially after seeing all of these unboxing videos and blog posts about the Harry Potter Lootcrate boxes. And time had finally come. I got the box about a week ago, freaked out, opened it, freaked out more, then had a photo-shoot in the very crappy afternoon light. (So, my apologies for the quality of the pictures. Filters and editing can only do so much) Now, without further ado, here's September's Magical Must-Haves box!


That Weird Girl Life
First, here's the famous black Lootcrate box! Isn't it glorious in all of its black and silver-lettered glory?

That Weird Girl Life
And look at the sticker serving as the boxes' seal! It's the Muggle Worthy lock from Newt Scamander's suitcase from Fantastic Beasts! That's one of the reasons why I think this Lootcrate box is so cool. They not only include Harry Potter things, but everything from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. (so, let's hope J.K. keeps expanding that universe! We know she has more stories to tell!)

That Weird Girl Life
Ugh, how adorable is that?? I can just imagine a niffler trying to escape from the box. Great, now I wish that they'd include a toy niffler in every box...

That Weird Girl Life
Then I opened the box (and you know, trying not to destroy the Muggle Worthy sticker, which is probably the closest any of us are going to have to something as amazing as Newt's magical beast filled suitcase), and was pleasantly surprised to see that the inside was decorated in Ravenclaw colors! Before you buy your crate (you can either pick one, three, or six crates to buy at a time, three crates meaning you get one every other month for half a year, and for six you get a box every other month for a year). I just went for one since I was just trying it out. I mean, if I had the money I'd buy all six in advance, without even knowing the themes! (Oh, to be rich...) When you're ordering, they ask what Hogwarts house you're in and of course, I'm a proud Ravenclaw (with some Hufflepuff tendencies aka a Ravenpuff!) so the inside of my trunk came in my house's colors, blue and bronze. On the Hogwarts letter it came with (each box comes with a letter from Hogwarts with information about the box's theme and contents), states that this month's box can be folded inside out so it looks like a Hogwarts trunk! I haven't tried that yet, but here is the box without all of the Magical Must-Haves inside:

That Weird Girl Life
I love this option so much! Now it can be a decorative storage or display box to hold or show off all of your HP paraphernalia.

On the very top of all of the Magical Must-Haves in the box, was a Fantastic Beasts themed MACUSA office stationary set! It comes with a list pad featuring the MACUSA (the United States government, the Magical Congress of the United States of America) logo, sticky notes shaped like the Magical Exposure Threat Level clock, two paper clips shaped like triangles with eyes inside (which I could imagine could also be a book mark if you wanted them to be), and a file folder/folio with the MACUSA logo on it as well. As someone who loves office supplies for some odd reason, this was the perfect start to the box. I'm also imagining that the Magical Must-Haves theme also coincides with the start of school at Hogwarts, which starts in early September (hence it being for the September box) and what better way to start off the school year whether you're a witch, wizard, or Muggle, than with school supplies??

That Weird Girl Life
Right under the MACUSA office stationary kit was a Ravenclaw scarf! I have a few Gryffindor accessories (let's be honest, before Hot Topic was full on selling Harry Potter everything, it was kind of hard to find any house themed products other than Gryffindor) but none from my actual house of smart and unique Ravenclaw. (I'm a little biased, if you couldn't tell.)

That Weird Girl Life
I kind of wish the scarf was actually in the correct house colors (blue and bronze, rather than blue and silver) but other than that it looks incredibly well made, and seems pretty heavy so it will probably actually keep me warm when it's cold out. Plus, it's super cool and such a fun way to represent your house and is probably perfect for cosplaying when it's cold out.

That Weird Girl Life
Also, I can't tell if the mascot is an eagle or not. It doesn't look like the incorrect raven that is usually on every other Ravenclaw product, but it doesn't look that much like an eagle...? Are they trying to trick us with a hybrid???

Right next to the scarf was a freaking HONEYDUKES box! (You know, the candy store in Hogsmeade where all of the Hogwarts students get their sugar fix)

That Weird Girl Life
I got so excited thinking that there was possibly some Wizarding World candy in there until I saw this on the side:

That Weird Girl Life
Boooo! While I was slightly upset by this, my disappointment didn't last long once I opened the box. Because inside the box, perfect for the whole back to school thing, was a set of four erasers, all based on candy you'd actually find at Honeydukes!

That Weird Girl Life
The candy aka erasers feature a jelly slug, a cauldron cake, a sugar skull, and the ever popular chocolate frog. They really are so detailed and pretty that I don't even want to use them! Why ruin perfection? This was a case of kismet because I've been dying to make a little Harry Potter themed Christmas tree for a while now and these erasers would be perfect to make into ornaments for the tree! I'll just have to look into preserving them, since I know erasers dry out. Maybe add ornament hooks and then Modge-Podge all of them? If you have any ideas, let me know in the comments!

The erasers are super cool, but I think the box itself may in fact be better! It would make a cute trinket or memory box (or, let's face it: a treat box), with it's bright, fun colors. It honestly just makes me happy just looking at it! Plus, look at the adorable design at the bottom of the box. It's all of the Honeydukes candy but teeny-tiny! So cute!!

That Weird Girl Life
Can I have this design as my actual wallpaper for my room? I'm actually dead serious about this. Oh my god, this theme in a nursery?? Stop it!! Anyway...

The gifts kept on giving because the next thing I found was a small black Ollivander's box, that said Harry Potter Wand Pen on it. A pen that looks like Harry's wand! So when you write it just seems a bit more magical!

That Weird Girl Life
It looks exactly like Harry's wand from the movies, except in pen form. The thick handle of the wand comes off and basically is the cap, so the thinner brown end of the wand is the actual pen. The pen has some weight to it, but once you take the cap off, it's perfectly balanced and feels solid and well made. For some reason I couldn't get a good picture of the wand itself (my apologies, but you can see it in the blog header picture at the top of this page), but I did get one of me holding it like it was an actual full sized wand.

That Weird Girl Life
Basically, my hand probably looks like I'm a Hagrid sized giant holding Harry's actual wand in its original size. But you better believe I still waved that wand around and pretended to do some spells. Nothing happened, but that just means I have to practice more. 😉

And now we come to the sad part: the very last thing in the box. It's bittersweet, but at least they saved something very cool for last. According to some of the unboxing videos and blog posts that I watched/read, the Harry Potter Lootcrate boxes have been giving out a pin with each box, and the theme for all of the pins so far has been Horcruxes, i.e. every pin in each box is based on one of the Horcruxes. This month's was Slytherin's Locket aka the third Horcrux. I'm not that into pins, but I have to admit that this one is stunning:

That Weird Girl Life
Gorgeous, right? I love the green gems making an "S" and the pin is heavy and sturdy. It'd be perfect for flat-laying some fun Harry Potter themed photos, or for a cosplay accessory. Or just wearing it and representing that Harry Potter life!

All in all, I was very impressed by the Wizarding World Lootcrate box! I think my favorites were the Ravenclaw scarf and the Honeydukes box and erasers. I'm totally going to use the erasers as ornaments for my Harry Potter mini Christmas tree, so once I'm done with it (you know, sometime in the near or most likely distant future), I'll post all about it here! While it is fun to have a theme and have all of the items in it be a surprise, I definitely liked some of the items much more than some of the other things. If you're going to pay a pretty reasonable sum for a box fill with items from a theme you love, I'd want to love every single thing. I'm guessing some boxes are better than others, and this box was completely awesome, but I think it can be a gamble month to month with the different themes and the items included. In the perfect world aka if I had a ton of money, I would take that gamble and order all six for the year, but for now, I think I'll wait to see if I really like the theme before considering to buy that box. But I really am so glad that I splurged and got this box!


Did anyone else get this month's box? What did you think of it? Have any of you ordered the Harry Potter/Wizarding World Lootcrate box before? Do you have a full six month subscription? Do you love it and think it's worth it? And if you're a Potter fan and haven't ordered a Wizarding World Lootcrate box, would you consider it? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay Weird,

6 Easy Self-Care Tips We Should All Be Doing

Photo by Haley Powers on Unsplash
I don't know how you've been feeling lately, but I've been feeling very overwhelmed and very uninspired. I couldn't figure out why once I sat down on my laptop, bursting with ideas about blog posts to write, I immediately felt all of those brilliant thoughts seeping out of my ears. By the time I finally found the time to work on it, I was too tired to bother. I knew I needed this down time to just focus on me and to recharge, but after stretching myself too thin all day, instead of being something enjoyable, it was just another dreaded task to add on to my to do list of the day. It seemed like whenever I did have a moment to myself, something else more important would come up and needed to be done right then. I was so tired, sluggish, and started to snap at people more and more (sorry, everyone). I feel so ashamed as a bookworm to say this, but even reading didn't appeal to me! This change in my usual perky weird aka normal personality perplexed me for a few weeks until I finally figured out what was the matter: I wasn't taking care of myself, physically, mentally, or emotionally. I was putting other things (and people) first, and completely forgetting to take time out for me.

As an introvert, I feel the need to be alone a lot, just to catch my breathe and ground myself against the hubbub and swirl of people (even family and close friends sometimes) that can surround me, which is very draining for me. So what did I do to help change this pattern and get me back to my charming and lovely normal self? I remembered what literally every blogger posts and tweets about: self-care.

Now, self-care isn't just about face masks and taking the time to take a bubble bath with at least one Lush bath product (though if that's what you consider self-care, then honey, go for it!). It's literally taking care of YOU, and your physical, mental, and emotional needs. It's not a selfish thing at all and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. You're just as important as everyone else in your life and deserve to be taken care of too, especially by you. A lot of people tend to put others first, or are focused on work, school, family, or relationships and just forget to focus on themselves. Which is all well and good, but you can't forget about yourself and your health. I definitely was doing this and knew I needed to make some changes to get me back on track. I did some research and came up with six easy things that I need to do every single day to make me feel like I'm the best possible version of myself (or at least the prototype of what I could be one day).

Self-care should be something everyone is doing and I hope my tips can help you get started! (Or at least give you some ideas) ♥

1. Find At Least An Hour a Day To Do Something You Love

This is a big one and the one I feel is most important (at least for me). I love blogging, reading, and writing, but I had been feeling so stressed and busy with other things, that I didn't feel that desire to do what I enjoy doing. It seemed like my time wasn't my own anymore, so I came up with giving myself at least an hour (or hopefully more, especially if I'm reading) every single day, to do exactly what I love doing. Which is actually what I'm doing right now, by writing this blog post. I'm working on something that I want to do, that's just for me and no one else. So find the time (at least an hour or two) to do that one thing that you want to do, that's just for you and I swear you'll see a difference in your otherwise tired and crabby mood. (You know, as opposed to your usual lovely and delightful mood!)

2. Put Down That Phone

I know our current modern world revolves around technology and social media. I love social media and probably spend way too much time on it, which is why I'm trying to be on my phone less. As fun as it is to catch up on what your friends are tweeting or what pictures they're posting, social media is kind of a time zapper. You lose yourself in looking at post after post, than following some person with the super cute outfit and pastel tinted Instagram pictures and before you know it, it's three hours later, you're feeling depressed your life isn't as colorful and exciting as that beauty blogger's is and you've lost all of this time you could have been doing something for you and your well being. Try to limit the amount you check your phone and how long you're on it, and it's crazy the amount of time you'll have back. And sanity. There's nothing like falling down the rabbit hole of everyone's "perfect" life (I'm not going to lie, I've done this plenty of times. Especially at night when I'm tired and at my most vulnerable) to cause you to contemplate on why your life isn't like that for a few good hours (more time wasted!). So put down that phone and focus on you and only you. And honestly, it's almost a relief to get away from that glaring little screen and endless notifications. Enjoy your real life activities and hobbies and you'll probably forget about even having a phone before it dings to let you know seven people liked that picture you posted on your Instagram.

3. Drink More Water

This is probably one of the most obvious tips ever, but it's still worth saying. Besides eating well and exercising, staying hydrated is key. I always forget to drink, whether it's water, juice, or even soda and I've been paying for it lately. I've been more tired, my brain has been all foggy, my skin was dry, and it wasn't until I started thinking I needed to take care of myself more, that I realized I wasn't drinking nearly enough water. I wasn't even thinking about drinking water myself, I was just too busy and distracted with whatever to realize that I need to stay hydrated. Now I keep a water bottle beside me at all times and I feel a little proud every time I have to refill it. Do whatever you can to drink more water, whether it's by setting a reminder every half hour or so, or even just buying a cute new water bottle to use to motivate you to drink more (plus it's better for the environment than using those plastic bottles). You'll feel worlds better and your body will thank you for it. Drink up!

4. (Try to) Get a Full Night's Sleep Every Night

Sleep. It's something we all need but it's so hard to get. I've been having the hardest time getting to sleep. I'm a good sleeper once I go to sleep, it's just the actual falling asleep I'm having trouble with. And when I don't get around seven hours or so a night...whoa. I am not pleasant to be around. So for my sake and the sake of those around me, I've been trying my hardest to get a better night's sleep. I've started taking over the counter melatonin supplements to help start the process an hour or so before bed (they're gummy ones too, so it's like I get a treat before I go to bed!). I've also purposely stopped looking at my phone once I'm in bed, just so I won't become too distracted to sleep. And the best possible thing I've found have been videos on YouTube of hours and hours of thunderstorm sounds, the crackling of fireplaces, and any other kind of soothing soundscape you can think of. I love the sound of rain and thunderstorms, so falling asleep to the soft sounds of a distant storm (obviously I play the sounds very low. Can you imagine having a thunderstorm soundscape on full blast when you're trying to sleep? No thanks!) sounds like such a dreamy (get it? Sorry, I just had to) way to fall asleep. It's sad when you kind of forget what a good night's sleep feels like but the combination of taking the melatonin, putting down my phone, and listening to soothing sounds has helped my sleeping pattern so much and has let me remember just how awesome it is to sleep well and all night!

*And geeky bonus: there's this amazing channel called ASMR rooms that makes hour long videos based on a whole bunch of geeky things, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc. For example, she has soundscapes for all of the Hogwarts common rooms, with gentle sounds like the scratching of quills writing on parchment (I never knew I needed that sound in my life until I started listening to these videos), crackling fires, hooting owls, etc. These videos are great to fall asleep to and they're also perfect for background noise when you're reading or studying. Seriously, give it a try and you'll feel like you're in the Wizarding World or a hobbit hole (your choice!) and you won't want to go back to reality after listening to them.

5. Learn to Say "No" and Not Feel Bad About It

I'm a people pleaser, I'll admit it. I want to make people happy and that usually means saying yes when I want to say no. I never want to disappoint anyone, so I'll usually agree to go out when I'm too tired or do something I just don't want to do and have no interest in. And then once I do, I end up feeling resentful towards whoever invited me, which is dumb and not their fault, and mad at myself, for not being able to stand up for myself and say no. After years and years of this (aka my whole entire life), I've started to (slowly) start saying no. And it's so hard to do but so worth it. If you need that time to yourself by staying in, or if you're invited to do an activity you're just not interested in and you'd rather be doing something for yourself, then politely say "no thanks" or "maybe not this time." It's as easy as that. Be nice about it (seriously, don't be mean about it!), say you'll hang out or go out with them another time, and try not to worry that you've hurt their feelings (you probably didn't. But I'm a worrier so every time I stand up for myself and speak up, I feel like I've stabbed them in the heart and am letting them down. I'm working on it, guys). If they're your real friends, they'll understand. Don't push yourself if you're not feeling up for something you just don't have the energy for. Take care of yourself and do what's right for you for once!

6. Be Your Own Advocate for Your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Health

This tip is very similar to the one before it, but it's actually even more important. Speak up about how you're feeling! If you're getting frequent headaches, don't ignore it! Get it checked out. Same with your mental health. If you need to talk about something, there's no shame in talking to a therapist or even a really understanding and comforting friend. And if you're having trouble with a family member, friends, or partner, just talk to them about it, don't leave it bottled up. It's amazing how physical, mental, and emotional things can affect the way you live your life. The mind and the body are connected and a lot of the times if you're not doing well emotionally, it can manifest as physical problems (and vice versa). So please, speak up if you're not feeling well and get some help. I was having an incredibly hard time earlier this year and it took me a few months, but I finally called my therapist, who I hadn't seen in almost a year, and made an appointment. It was hard to admit I needed help, but I'm doing a lot better than I was this past spring and I'm so happy I had a few sessions with her. Actively working on your health is the ultimate sign and goal of self-care. We should all be doing this, but life gets in the way, or you just don't have the time or the money, but please, invest in yourself and your health. It's worth it, I promise.

This went a little long, but I really wanted to talk about self-care and my experience with it lately. What did you think? Do you use any of these tips? Or do you have your own tips and tricks to use for your own self-care? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Stay Weird,

Pin It!

The Harry Potter Tag!

That Weird Girl Life
If there's one thing I love more than blogger tags (I was so excited to do this one a few months ago), it's Harry Potter. The books have been in my life since I was around 10 years old and have forever impacted my life for the better. I love the movies too (I saw the first Harry Potter movie eight times in theater when it first came out. I was pretty obsessed and had a huge crush on Daniel Radcliffe) but the books will always be number one in my heart. I'm also that person where if someone mentions Harry Potter, I randomly pop into the conversation like a manic groundhog saying, "Did I hear someone say Harry Potter???" I'm forever a Potter fan, and have made the pilgrimage to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando (I have yet to go to the one in Hollywood but hopefully I will soon!), and even the HP Holy Land, the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London (to be fair, I didn't go to England just for the studio tour. But it was a major factor, obviously). So to be nominated by the lovely Francesca at Quite Franklii was a dream come true because Harry Potter and blogger tags are a dream combination in my eyes!

(Shout out to Cassie over at ZombieGoddess Beauty for coming up with this brilliant tag!)

Here's how it works: you answer the Harry Potter themed questions, then tag other fellow Harry Potter fans to do the tag and they can pass it on to more HP fans! Make sure to provide the people you tag with the list of questions, too!

Get it? Great! Now it's time for me to answer the questions! (I'm so happy right now, you have no idea!)

My Answers:
What House Are You In?
I'm a proud Ravenclaw! Intelligent (I like to think I am, at times. Not that often, but sometimes), wise (maybe when it comes to giving advice to someone other than myself), sharp & witty (I can be on occasion), and individual (most definitely!). Though I've taken the quiz again and got Hufflepuff, which makes sense, since I feel like I'm a mix of both (I'm very loyal, a good friend, and I try to be a hard worker). A true Ravenpuff! (But an eagle/badger hybrid would be terrifying, in all honesty)

And just for funsies, here's my Ilvermorny house (you know, since I'd be an American witch and all):


What Is Your Patronus?
Pottermore/That Weird Girl Life
In case you've read my blog before, you know the road to finding out my Patronus was a journey (read about it here). After my finding out my Patronus (that I don't want to even name here because it's so not me) when I took the quiz the first time, I made a second account and took the quiz again. This time, I got a ginger cat, which I was perfectly fine with. I'm a cat person, so why shouldn't my Patronus be a cat? I looked up the meaning of having a cat Patronus (I wish Pottermore would tell you what your Patronus actually meant) and here are some of the results:

According to Patronus Analysis:

"The cat is a bit refined in it’s tastes, indulging within itself. It is not one to crave socialization at a constant rate, but rather those with this Patronus need their alone time in order to maintain a proper state of happiness. They can be a bit materialistic at times, and like to feel pampered, but this is how they stay happy. If they do not have this, they can become easily temperamental, and they can have trouble not pushing this annoyance onto others. The most common house for a cat Patronus is Slytherin. The most common signs are Libra and Capricorn."

From Mugglenet:

A ginger cat is actually a tabby with a different fur pattern and coloring, but these cats are so personable they deserve their own description. Ginger tabbies vary in personality but are known to love lazing in the sun and roaming around their territory. They can be quite the big softie, seeking petting and affection from their owners."

And from Buzzfeed:

"Curious Cat represents a balance of strength in both physical and spiritual, psychic and sensual powers, merging these two worlds into one. Curious, intelligent, and physically adept, cat people tend to live in a world all their own."

I like Buzzfeed's description best but I guess we'll never know officially what our Patronus' mean until JK writes it for Pottermore!

What Is Your Wand?
According to Pottermore: Acacia wood, Unicorn hair core, 12 1/4" in length, Slightly Bendy flexibility

From J.K. Rowling on Pottermore:


Ollivander said, "A very unusual wand wood, which I have found creates tricky wands that often refuse to produce magic for any but their owner, and also withhold their best effects from all but those most gifted. This sensitivity renders them difficult to place, and I keep only a small stock for those witches or wizards of sufficient subtlety, for acacia is not suited to what is commonly known as 'bangs-and-smells' magic. When well-matched, an acacia wand matches any for power, though it is often underrated due to the peculiarity of its temperament."


"Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic, and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard. Minor disadvantages of unicorn hair are that they do not make the most powerful wands (although the wand wood may compensate) and that they are prone to melancholy if seriously mishandled, meaning that the hair may 'die' and need replacing."

About the Length

The only thing I could figure out from the vague description on Pottermore is that my wand is of average size. Fine by me!

About the Flexibility

According to Ollivander: "Wand flexibility or rigidity denotes the degree of adaptability and willingness to change possessed by the wand-and-owner pair - although, again, this factor ought not to be considered separately from the wand wood, core and length, nor of the owner’s life experience and style of magic, all of which will combine to make the wand in question unique."

What Would Your Boggart Be?

This is a tough one! I'm not sure. My fears aren't really physical things. I would say an unlived life, but that's a little too dark for even a boggart to conjure up! So how about we just go with cockroaches? My first apartment was infested with cockroaches and now just thinking about living there sends shivers down my spine!

What Position Would You Play in Quidditch?

I'm not really one to play sports, so I'd probably be in the crowd, cheering on the Ravenclaw team, with a fun, homemade blue and bronze banner or flag!

Would You Be a Pure Blood, Half Blood, Or Muggle Born?

I'm not sure! If I had to pick, I'd probably pick Half Blood. I think it'd be fun to grow up with both the Muggle world and the Wizarding World! I'd hate to miss out on things like the internet, Youtube, and social media. Those Pure Blood kids are missing out!

What Job Would You Want to Have After Graduating from Hogwarts?

This is a tough one! I'd love to work in a bookstore, like Flourish and Blott's, or something having to do with Muggle relations. Or working with Magical Creatures could be fun! Ugh, I can't choose!

Which of the Deathly Hallows Would You Choose?

The Resurrection Stone and the Elder Wand sound cool, but it seems like things could go terribly wrong by owning them (especially with the Elder Wand!), so I'd probably go with the Invisibility Cloak. Who wouldn't want to use it to sneak around?? The possibilities are endless!

Favorite Book?

DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!! Every book in the series is special to me, but for some reason I really like Half-Blood Prince. It's the last book where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are at Hogwarts before they leave to go find the Horcruxes, so it has the same familiar and nostalgic formula as the books before it, but you get extra added darkness from the background of Tom Riddle and the history of the Gaunt's (all of which I found so fascinating) and all of the things leading up to that fateful night when Harry and Dumbledore come back to Hogwarts after searching for the Horcrux. It's complex but wonderfully written, and despite the heaviness in it, there's still some levity, which helped balance out the darkness of it.

And of course I love Prisoner of Azkaban, but who doesn't? (Probably some people. And that's cool. I don't get it but I respect it.)

Least Favorite Book?

I'm going to repeat what I said above: DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!! This is an even harder question than the one above. I know this sounds so weird, because this book is maybe the most important book in the series (they all are, but this especially) but Deathly Hallows is the one Harry Potter book I'm not as familiar with as I am with the others. Maybe it's the length, and the long time we spent camping and arguing with Harry, Ron, and Hermione (so boring and seemingly endless), or the fact that it's the very last book in the series and that makes me sad, but I still have a hard time rereading Deathly Hallows.

Favorite Film?

Hmm.... it's a tie between Order of the Phoenix (controversial, I know!) and Half-Blood Prince. I like the darker and more serious tones these movies have, plus I kind of loved seeing Dolores Umbridge in the flesh and despite her being an awful person, I loved hating the character. And obviously Half-Blood Prince, but it bummed me out that they left out the Gaunt's history. But seeing Voldemort as a kid, looking all evil and sullen like Damien from The Omen couldn't have been more perfect and added that perfect creepy chill to the movie.

(But honestly I could have done without the Harry/Ginny scenes. The writing was so awful! Totally ruined one of the many great relationships in the books.)

Least Favorite Film?

This may get me some hate, but my least favorite movie is probably Goblet of Fire. Let me explain! The book is just so huge and detailed that it really made me angry that they couldn't have added more in the movie. I get that the movie was already long and full of action, and that they tried to fit as much as they could in, but the fact that they left out Winky the house-elf (poor Winky!), the history and background about the Crouch family, and THEY CHANGED THE HEDGE MAZE CHALLENGE, AND LEFT OUT THE SPHINX, WHO I REALLY, REALLY WANTED TO SEE, just put a damper on this otherwise great Harry Potter movie.

(Also, what was up with Moaning Myrtle trying to see Harry's junk in the prefects bathroom?? So pervy!)

Favorite Character?

This may be the most impossible question to answer, but I'm going to try. I've always loved Hermione, because I always identified with her, but once quirky, unique Luna Lovegood showed up in the fifth book, I knew she was automatically my favorite. I also have soft spots for Ron (always the underdog, but so loyal) and Dumbledore (I loved how complex his character got towards the end).

Least Favorite/Most Hated Character?

Doesn't everyone automatically say Umbridge? You know you're hated when it seems like the fans of the books hate a teacher who loves pink and plates with kittens on them more than they hate the villainous Dark Lord who's always trying to murder the main character of the series. 

Favorite Teacher at Hogwarts?

McGonagall, hands down! Tough, but fair, she's exactly what you'd want in a teacher. Yeah, you'll groan and moan when you're in class and working on homework, but you know you're going to have that knowledge for the rest of your life, thanks to her awesome teaching skills, and after you graduate you'll be grateful and feel regretful that you never appreciated the education she gave you while you were at school.

Oh, and she's just a total badass!!

Least Favorite Teacher at Hogwarts?

Dolores freakin' Umbridge. Next question.

Do You Have Any Unpopular Opinions About the Series?

In all honesty, I never liked Peeves. I was actually glad that they ultimately didn't include him in the movies. Peeves has his funny moments, but other than that he just adds nothing by being an annoying distraction to the story. Though I did like when Fred and George left Hogwarts on their brooms while setting off fireworks, said to Peeves, "Give her hell for us, Peeves" and Peeves saluted them and then made Umbridge's life a living hell. I appreciated his pranks then!

Oh, and of course, Harry and Ginny's relationship in the movies. Way to make a strong, female character seem like a shell of a character who's just there to fill the scenery. Ginny and Bonnie Wright deserved better!

If You Could Save One Character from the Finale Battle, Who Would You Save?

Oh no! This question is heartbreaking. We lost so many beloved characters, almost too many to count, at the Battle of Hogwarts, not to mention at other times during the books. (If the question had been who would I save out of all of the books, I probably would have said Sirius, just so Harry could have his godfather and that connection to his parents' lives) But if I had to pick from the Battle of Hogwarts, I'd probably say either Tonks or Lupin, so their son Teddy could have had one parent growing up. I know that the death of Lupin and Tonks was supposed to mirror James and Lily's, with Teddy becoming an orphan just like Harry, but I still would have liked to have given Teddy the chance that Harry never had, just by having one of his parents live.


That was so much fun to answer! I hope you had fun reading my thoughts and opinions about the series! Now it's time for to tag some of my other fellow blogger Harry Potter fans:

I tag:

Marisol: @thewritingsol
Ellie-Jane: @elliejane_x
Verity: @veritymylove
Amy: @AmyyyWarner
Maddi: @QuiteMad_
Lisa-Marie: @Definebeauty102
Laura: @Lauras_Space_
Fazelah: @likeaparisienne
Laura: @nachos_wine
Kiya: @lifewithkiyax
Rant Eat Sleep Repeat: @ranteatsleepx99
Ivy Lee: @ivy_lee_wilson

And here is the list of questions for you to answer:

1. What house are you in?
2. What is your Patronus?
3. What is your wand?
4. What would your boggart be?
5. What position would you play in Quidditch?
6. Would you be a pure blood, half blood or muggle born?
7. What job would you want to have after graduating from Hogwarts?
8. Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?
9. Favorite book?
10. Least favorite book?
11. Favorite film?
12. Least favorite film?
13. Favorite character?
14. Least favorite/most hated character?
15. Favorite teacher at Hogwarts?
16. Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts?
17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?
18. If you could save one character from the finale battle who would you save?

Have fun answering the questions and make sure to tag me on Twitter when you post your own answers on your blog (or wherever) so I can read them!

I had such a great time answering these questions! It's always nice to find other fellow Harry Potter fans and I loved throwing myself back into that magical world. It makes me want to reread the books again (you know, for the thousandth time)! Are there any other HP fans reading this blog? What did you think of some of my answers to the questions? (Like least favorite book/movie and the unpopular opinion question) Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,

Book List: The Most Overrated Books EVER (In My Opinion)

Photo by the Bialons on Unsplash
I've got to be honest: I'm pretty scared to write this post (note the disclaimer below!). But if I can't state my own opinions about popular books on my own blog, than where can I? Nowhere, that's where! So it's perfectly okay to say that I find some very popular or classic books overrated, right? (I'm waiting for people to start throwing virtual rotten fruit at me for being honest)

Let me explain:

I'm not saying that these popular or classic books are bad. Not at all! For any author, it's a huge accomplishment to write a freaking BOOK (or series) and then get it published. Writing takes hard work and dedication, and despite all of these celebrities writing books nowadays (with a ghostwriter, let's be honest), it's still a big deal for an author to put down thousands and thousands of words, form them into a story and write a novel. So good for them for their work being popular and having literally millions of people read their books. That's great and wonderful. I'm just saying that these popular, often critically acclaimed books, don't do much for me. They didn't sweep me away in the story, they didn't hit me right in the feels, they didn't change my way of thinking. Sure, they may be the talk of the town or considered a literary classic that pretty much every student has to read in school, but does that make them a great read to me? Nope. I just find them overrated.*

*By this I don't mean any disrespect to the authors or even the people out there who love these books. These are just my own opinions about these books and aren't gospel. If you like these books, read 'em with pride! They just weren't my literary cup of tea. (Please don't hurt me!)

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

Little, Brown and Company
What to say about the Twilight series.... I did like the first one when I first read it. I was about 13 aka the prime age to read books like this. But once the series hit book 2, the story got a bit problematic for me (Bella and Edward's controlling relationship, the whole waiting-till-marriage-because-love-is-eternal-and-forever-religious-propaganda-vampire message thrown in, Bella and Jacob's off and on again thing, the whole love triangle of Bella, Edward, and Jacob, Bella being about as animated as a wet rag, etc). And just a tad ludicrous too (Renesmee? Seriously? I'm all for unique names but NO. No no no). Good for Stephenie Meyer for being an unknown author catapulted into fame and is honestly probably set for life, but I'm going to pass on adding the Twilight series to my home library. (And don't get me started on the movies, jeezus...)

The Fifty Shades of Grey series by EL James

Vintage Books
Yes, I read all three books and yes, I pretty much read them for the dirty parts. I was curious! And yes, I've seen the movies (minus the third since it hasn't come out yet) and yes, I pretty much saw them for the dirty parts. Don't judge me, I'm only human! You know you were curious too, don't lie. Also, did you know these started out as Twilight fan fiction? Explains a lot, right?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

MTV Books and Pocket Books
I remember when this book came out. Everyone was reading it. Kids were talking about how it changed their lives, parents were concerned about the racy (aka real life) content and wanted it to be banned (and some succeeded, which is why The Perks of Being a Wallflower is now officially part of the ALA's Frequently Challenged/Banned books), and I read it to keep up with the trend and see what all of the fuss was about. After all of the hubbub surrounding the book, I really was expecting it to change my life. And it didn't. Maybe I missed some grand life lesson or a new perspective or revelation, but the book did nothing for me. Even though a lot of the things the main character dealt with (mental illness, etc.), that I myself deal with, didn't resonate with me at all. It was a big disappointment after all of the good things I had heard about it. Oh well. It may not have changed my life, but I'm happy it helped others with their lives and struggles. I just wish I had gotten at least something out of reading it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Broadway Books
This book. Remember when literally everyone was talking about it? How this was the thriller of the decade! (You know, until The Girl on the Train came out a few years later) So original and page turning! The unexpected reveals! The twists and turns! Who was telling the truth? Did Nick really kill Amy? All of this should have added up into one hell of a thriller and it started out great- but once the big twist is revealed about a certain character (I'm trying to make this spoiler free, even though I'm sure with the movie being out, everyone knows the story), it just all fell apart and lacked that tension that carried the first third of the book. With all of the hype around Gone Girl, I expected much, much more and was very disappointed with how the rest of the story went. It was well written, there were certainly some shocking and brilliant pieces in it, but overall, I think it was all hype. Thankfully author Gillian Flynn has much better, more twisted books, i.e. Sharp Objects, literally one of the most disturbing books I've ever read (and I highly recommend reading it! Seriously it's so dark).

The Shining by Stephen King

Everyone knows who Stephen King is and everyone knows The Shining, even if it's just the movie version. It's a classic and the imagery is instantly recognizable. Back in the day, my mom didn't allow me to watch horror movies (well, no rated R movies and just a small handful of PG-13 ones that she approved of). This was at a time when I wanted to see some classic 70's and 80's horror movies like The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, but would get a big fat NO from my mom when I asked. While my mom may have restricted what I watched, she didn't restrict what I read. So what did I do when I wanted to see a scary movie but couldn't because my mom wouldn't let me? Read the original book version of it, of course! So that's what I did with The Shining. And it was weird and not at all what I had expected.

I knew that Stephen King wrote horror novels, so I, in my naive ghost loving way, wanted something a bit more cut and dry supernatural. Instead, what I got was a conglomerate of bizarre images and situations I still don't understand of a man going crazy, thanks to a hotel. To me, it wasn't scary, it was just strange. There's no doubt that Stephen King is a great writer, but his style of horror is just not my style of horror (this has been confirmed after I gave King another chance and read Pet Semetary, which I was also not the biggest fan of) so I probably won't read another one of his books that in that certain genre. But I'd be willing to read something of his like "The Body," which was the short story that the movie Stand By Me was based on or something else in that realm of fiction. Just nothing to do with topiary animals that come to life. Like, what?

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Vintage Books
I missed something. Right? I must have. Again, I heard great things about this book, but once I sat down and read it, it seemed like nothing happened. The story was molasses slow and I just couldn't connect to the story or the characters. The premise? Intriguing, which is why I wanted to read it. The actual story? Snore. I'm not saying I want action and adventure, just a little more coherency and connection, from book to reader. I know some people adore this book and it has earned rave reviews, but to me, it's akin to an art-house feature that no one but the reviewers (aka experts in the arts and subtleties of the world) understand and everyone just nods and agrees when the topic of the book or movie comes up so they seem more cultured about art than they actually are. So maybe I'm incredibly uncultured or I just missed something incredibly important that was between the lines of the book. (Seriously, did I miss something? Please let me know!)

Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Amulet Books
This is another book that I must have missed the point of. Two teenage boys kind of befriend a girl dying of cancer- but not really? And her death affects them, even though they actually didn't know her that well? And the movie they made for her really sucked, so what was the point of even making it for her? Was the point of the book that there was no point and no matter how close you are with someone, their death will still affect you in some way? Or was the point that they felt guilty for just hanging out with a dying girl because his mom told them to, so they didn't really make an effort to get to know her that well? Was it basically just about a teenage boy realizing that death will come to all of us, no matter how young and old? Did anyone get anything from this book? Did this book move anyone in any sort of way? My hopes were incredibly high for this book, which people were touting as the next The Fault in Our Stars, but it didn't even come close to the emotional pull that The Fault in Our Stars put us through. Speaking of TFIOS...

Anything by John Green that's not The Fault in Our Stars

Dutton Books/Speak/That Weird Girl Life
Oh, John Green. John, John, John. The Fault in Our Stars, as pretentious as it was (teenagers don't talk like that. At some point all of us as teens think we speak like that and can articulate philosophically, but really, we couldn't and still can't as adults), was actually incredibly moving and powerful. It was everything Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl should have been, but without the making of crappy and campy home movies. But I didn't get around to reading The Fault in Our Stars for a while, because years before I had read Looking for Alaska and wasn't impressed by it. (This was another book that was lauded as being life changing, just like The Perks of Being a Wallflower was when it was first published)

But maybe I was missing something. John Green had two other books besides The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska. One of those two books must be as good as The Fault in Our Stars, or at least better than Looking for Alaska. Nope! All of John Green's books hae the same formula, just with a different story, different (yet incredibly familiar characters), and pseudo-revelations that try to sound mature and life-changing, but are actually pretty basic and sophomoric. Throw in a manic pixie girl that the main character is in love with, and presto!: You get a best selling book that will hit the top of the charts and be made into a movie!

But in all honesty, I love The Fault in Our Stars, so thank you for that one, John.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Bantam Classics
Okay, I get that this book is a classic. I understand why. The themes, the morality, the writing, the time it was written and the time the story was set, Olde English, blah blah blah. But I think it goes without saying that no one likes The Scarlet Letter. I mean, maybe your retired English teacher likes it, but she's in the minority. The book is just boring and despite it being pretty much a normal novel length, it is seemingly endless. You'd think a book about adultery and the punishments the local laws would place on the woman and her illegitimate child would be more interesting (plus a long lost husband disguised as someone else trying to ruin his cheating wife's life), but all you get is a woman with a scarlet A sewn onto her clothes and such lackluster and restrained Puritan tension and guilt that you just yawn thinking about. I would have gladly accepted a witch accusation thrown Hester's way. But then The Crucible was also overrated so not even witches can save something so excruciatingly dull. (Please, Nathaniel Hawthorne, please don't rise from the dead and haunt me for saying these things about your book! I'm seriously over-exaggerating for comedic effect. Your book was...good. Really! Now crawl back in your coffin and cover yourself with dirt....phew, great! Good seeing you, Nathaniel! You look good! You know- considering...")

Phew! This post turned into a long one, didn't it? I guess I have some opinions about some popular books! *winkwink* So what about you guys? What books do you think are incredibly overrated? (You can say Harry Potter, I won't be mad. I don't agree, but I won't be mad!) Do you love any of these books on my list? Am I missing something about these books? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,

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DIY Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs! (19 Years Later Anniversary Edition)

That Weird Girl Life
It's September 1st, 2017. The Hogwarts Express is setting off from Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the start of the school year. And do you want to know why the beginning of this particular school year is so special? Because it's exactly 19 years later, when the epilogue of the last Harry Potter book (aka the Deathly Hallows) took place. That means that Harry and Ginny are dropping off their two eldest boys, James Sirius and Albus Severus (c'mon, Harry, you could have at least let Ginny name at least one of the kids!), for a new year (and the first year for Albus Severus) at Hogwarts. (This is also the start of Harry Potter and the   Cursed Child but we are NOT getting into that now, I already did last year) Ron and Hermione are there with their two kids (Rose Weasley is going back this year to Hogwarts), along with Scorpius, Draco's son, and many old and new faces, all coming together once again for the ceremonial sendoff of shipping their kids off to a magical boarding school. And I'm still waiting for my damn letter! (I'm not bitter about a fictional children's book series not being real. Not at all)

What better way to celebrate this historic day than by making our own versions of a certain Wizarding World treat, fresh off of the trolley while we're waiting for the train to arrive at Hogsmeade Station! What candy, may you ask? Drooble's Best Blowing Gum? Nah. Fizzing Whizzbees? Please. Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans? As if.

No, we're talking about the magical bonding power of the candy that basically made Harry and Ron friends AND first introduced Albus Dumbledore to Harry via a magical, moving trading card.

Yes, I'm talking about the famous and deliciously yummy Chocolate Frogs!

Warner Bros.
The Chocolate Frogs from the books hop realistically around like real frogs (even in your stomach after you've eaten them) and each frog comes with a trading card featuring a famous witch or wizard (Ron apparently had a very extensive collection of the cards). And since we can't get the actual magical Chocolate Frogs in the Muggle world (we have to settle for the stationary kind sold at either locations of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and other locations, though the frogs are huge and do come in super cute boxes and include the trading cards) I wanted to make my own, with my own fillings and flavors. Plain Chocolate Frogs are delicious, but can you imagine a peanut butter cup Chocolate Frog? I could and I wanted to make that happen!

First, I need a chocolate mold shaped like frogs. Thankfully, Amazon exists and you can pretty much find anything on there, including multiple chocolate molds shaped like frogs. I ended up going with this one because I personally thought they most resembled the official ones that they sell at the Wizarding World parks. Once it arrived in the mail, my sister and I started planning and then shopping for the chocolate and the fillings!

That Weird Girl Life
We went with the Wilton melting chocolate, along with marshmallows, caramel bits, Heath candy bits, Reese's spread (which is life changing. Try it!!), and Oreo's (not pictured, but I'm assuming you know what they look like). We also bought some Ghiradelli white melting chocolate, but decided to stick with plain old chocolate frogs to start with. Those albino frogs will have to wait!

It was pretty easy to make the chocolate frogs, though I have to say, follow the instructions on the melting chocolate bag! My sister and I made the mistake of NOT lowering the power when microwaving the first bag of chocolate and ended up completely drying up the melting chocolate (apparently there was a way to rectify our mistake by adding canola oil, but we ended up tossing that batch of chocolate). Oops. We know better now. Then we filled in the bottom (well, the top of the frog, once you pop it over when the frogs are all set) of the molds with chocolate and used a paintbrushbutnotapaintbrush specifically made for chocolate work (I know. They literally have everything in the baking section at craft stores!) to paint the sides of the molds with chocolate. We then tapped the mold a couple of times on the counter to get out any bubbles and let the chocolate set into the mold and put it in the fridge to set for 10 minutes, took it out and starting filling the molds with candy/fillings! After that, we put more chocolate on top, did another round of tapping on the counter, put it in the fridge to set, and 10 minutes later they were ready! Easy-peasy!*

*To be fair it wasn't all easy. This was our first time working with melting chocolate and it was MESSY, despite us buying chocolate decorating bags. And it was hard to make sure that the chocolate on the bottom of the molds and on the sides were completely covering the molds and that there weren't any holes in the chocolate. We ended up holding the chocolate mold up to the light and trying to find the holes and then filling them all in, with the help of the chocolate brush. So our frogs weren't exactly the smoothest looking- not that real frogs are totally smooth, so I guess the added lumps of the uneven chocolate makes them a bit more life-life. I unknowingly solved my own problem!

And I thought they turned out super cute! All is missing is the cute Chocolate Frog box, but I had a trading card from when my sister bought a Chocolate Frog at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando (which was amazing and you should check out my blog post about it), my Honeydukes jar with lemon candy and cauldron mug that I got from Harry Potter Studio Tour in London (not to brag but I went there last year), and my vintage pre-movies Harry Potter plate to display the frogs on, so that kind of makes up for the lack of box, right? (Just tell me yes to make me feel better. I know there's a DIY, printable version out there, I'm just lazy)

That Weird Girl Life

That Weird Girl Life

That Weird Girl Life

That Weird Girl Life
Not perfect, but still adorable. The only thing I wished I had done differently were a) used different chocolate. The Wilton melting chocolate melted great and set well, but the taste of the chocolate was meh. It kind of put a damper on eating the Chocolate Frogs. In the future, I think I'd go with Ghiradelli's melting chocolate or a better brand of chocolate to make the frogs with next time. Oh well. You live and learn!

But I still got to celebrate the beginning of the Hogwarts school year (19 years later) in a very Harry Potter themed way! If I can't go to Hogwarts, then eating homemade Chocolate Frogs is the next best thing! (Is what I keep telling myself as I cry myself to sleep in my bed that is not in the girls' Ravenclaw dorm room in a tower at Hogwarts. *sigh*)


What did you think of my Harry Potter candy themed DIY? Should I do more of these? (Meaning Harry Potter themed and edible, the most wonderful of combinations) But I could also try to do Harry Potter themed crafts too! Also, would you try to make chocolate frogs? What candy/cookies/fillings/flavors would you put in them? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,

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