Simple Halloween Ghost Cookies

Halloween (or any holiday) is an excellent time to start new traditions. Whether you are staying close to home due to the pandemic or avoiding the cold weather, making simple Halloween ghost cookies is a great way to celebrate. Anyways, who doesn’t like warm, gooey marshmallow cookies?

Grocery List

  • Cookie dough or the ingredients to your favorite cookie recipe.
  • Marshmallow shaped ghosts
  • Halloween sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven.
  • Bake cookies as directed.
  • Remove at the proper time.
  • Place the ghost marshmallows and sprinkles on to the warm cookies. The marshmallow begins to melt from the heat.
  • Serve warm.
  • Enjoy the extra sweet, gooey goodness of simple Halloween ghost cookies.

These simple but tasty Halloween ghost cookies are a perfect snack for family movie night.

Rebecca Reviewed It: The Wizarding Trunk All Hallows Eve Special Edition

Ok, I admit I was impressed. This is only my second subscription box from The Wizarding Trunk. The All Hallows Eve box is part of their special edition collection. Yes, I did pay more for the special edition box. But I feel the value of the products was well worth the price.

Please be advised, spoilers ahead. If you are still waiting for your special edition box to arrive, stop reading right now.

Sneak Peek!

The All Hallows Eve Special Edition by The Wizarding Trunk

I was lucky this time. The fully packed box came with the cheat sheet card.

The description sheet is gorgeous too.

My last one did not have one. I had to scramble to figure out the right descriptions for the products.

  1. Vintage Sweet Shop Advertisement Post Card

Can you imagine getting this in the mail for your next shopping trip? Around the edges are lists of products to purchase, including Ice Mice, Jelly Slugs, Every Flavored Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Exploding Bon Bons,  and more. I know I would be in line for Chocolate Frogs.

2. Sweet Shop Sucker

Perhaps, this sweet treat came from the shop with the advertisement.

3. Wooden Street Sign

Perfect little sign replica to point the way to the darker type shops, would you go? I know I would. My curiosity would get the best of me; I would want to know what was in each shop.

4. Pumpkin Juice Candle

From the makers of Inflammare Candles, this candle is Toasted Pumpkin Spice. The decor is perfect for both Halloween and the Wizarding World.

5. Replica Pumpkin Juice Bottle

I was absolutely excited to see this Pumpkin Juice Bottle in the All Hallows Eve box. I think this my favorite replica. The Pumpkin Juice Bottle will make a perfect photo prop.

6. Bottle of Bone Regeneration Serum 

When I first glanced at this potion bottle, I thought another perfect prop. But the contents are actually usable. Created by Alchemy for the Skin, the bottle contains oil for muscle aches.

7. Vital Incantum Poisons and Cursed Curiosities Catalogue 

Created by Danny at Wzady Workshop, the catalog is definitely a fantastic prop to add to my growing collection.

8. Dark Follower Mask

I cannot believe this is my first mask.

9. Troll Salvia

When I first pulled this potion out, I thought Troll Bogeys. But the contents are Troll Salvia. Is that better? The potion bottle is a wonderful addition to my growing collection.

10. The Four Ghosts Pin

The quality of The House Ghosts pin is excellent. Even though I do not wear a lot of pins, I love this one. I will display the pin with the others in my collection.

11. B & B Key 

Who wants their own shop? Here’s the key! The B & B Shop key is from one of the shops down the darker side. If you could own one, what would your shop be?

I loved the products in this All Hollows Eve subscription box from The Wizarding Truck. Did you get the box? What was your favorite item?

 

10 Days of Harry Potter: Owl Craft 2

In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, owls are useful for sending letters, packages, and more. If you were attending Hogwart’s, wouldn’t you want an owl?

Now think about your owl:

  • What is the color of your owl?
  • What color eyes does your owl have?
  • What is your owl’s name?
  • Who would be the first person you sent a letter to via your owl?

Materials Needed:

  • A ceramic owl (Wal-Mart sells ceramic owls for under $4).
  • Paint in the colors of your choice
  • Paintbrushes

Instructions:

  1. Put newspaper or other protective material down for painting.
  2. Paint your owl.
  3. Allow your owl to dry.
  4. Display your owl, proudly.

Write a story about your owl. Enjoy the entire creative process of making your owl.

 

10 Days of Harry Potter: Make a Wand

Making a wand is another way to celebrate the wonderful Wizarding World. In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stong, the character Ollivander tells Harry, “Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember…I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter… After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great.” (Rowling, 1998).

Tips on Making a Wand

Making a wand is your personal creative choice. There is no right or wrong way.

Materials Needed:

  • Wooden dowels, chopsticks, or pencils
  • Hot glue gun (depending on your design you may need more than one glue stick)
  • Paint in the color of your choice
  • Embellishments (optional)
  • String (optional)
  1. Start on a clean surface.
  2. Drip the hot glue around the top of the wooden dowel to make your desired wand grip. At this point, you can different beads, string, or other embellishments to make a unique wand handle.
  3. Allow to completely dry.
  4. Paint in the color and design of your choice. Use your imagination. Write down all the details of your wand. What does the color mean? What is in the inner core of the wand?
  5. Allow to completely dry again.
  6. Enjoy your wand creation.

 

Reference

Rowling, J. K., author. (1998). Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books,

Christmas in July: Making Ornaments

How is your Christmas in July celebrations going? Are you still looking for family-friendly activities to keep kids busy? Consider making ornaments from plaster. One of the best aspects of making ornaments now, you can save them to hang on your Christmas tree in December.

Materials Needed:

  • Christmas themed molds or pans (The plaster does not harm them, just wash thoroughly after use.)
  • Plaster
  • Throw away containers for mixing plaster. (Remember not to pour remaining plaster down the sink.)
  • Water
  • Paint in various colors
  • Paintbrushes

Instructions:

  1. Place newspapers or other protective materials on your counter.
  2. Mix plaster as directed. Always add the plaster mixture to the water for a smooth and consistent mixture. (Keep in mind, the plaster hardens quickly. You need to have your molds ready to go. You can add a little extra water to provide a bit more time).
  3. Fill molds.
  4. Place hangers into your mold. (Paper clips or pop can tab work great for an instant, inexpensive hook).
  5. Allow your ornaments to dry.
  6. Gently remove the ornaments from the molds. You may need to tap on the mold to loosen the ornament.
  7. Paint the ornaments.

Even younger children can help with the painting process. Just do not forget to add the date on the back. The ornaments can quickly turn into a lasting treasure.

10 Days of Harry Potter

In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the main character, Harry Potter, was born on July 31, 1980. As of this year, 2020, Harry Potter turns 40 years old. Since most people are staying close to home, celebrating 10 Days of Harry Potter is a fun way to pass the time.

Ways to Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday

Thousands of people around the globe are part of the Wizarding World fandom. Are you wondering how to celebrate the incredible Wizarding World? Check out the following ideas below:

  • Read the Books: Whether you are reading the series for the first time or the 15th, find a secluded area and immerse yourself into the Wizarding World.
  • Listen to the Audiobooks: If you are a multi-tasker, listen to the audiobooks of the Harry Potter series. The narrators do a fantastic job of making the characters come alive.
  • Watch the Movies: From watching the movies over a week to binge-watching the whole series, enjoy watching the film from the beginning. Watching the Harry Potter series is a great family night activity.
  • Play Games: Board games, video games, or made-up games can provide entertainment while celebrating Harry Potter’s birthday.
  • Do Crafts: On a rainy afternoon, do crafts inspired Harry Potter themed crafts. From drawing to sculpting, making Wizarding World crafts is a wonderful way to celebrate the “boy who lived.” (Rowling, 1998).
  • Food: As Remus Lupin’s character states, “Eat, you’ll feel better.” (Rowling, 2010). Of course, Lupin was offering chocolate after a dementor attack. But still, the idea is the same. Yorkshire Pudding, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean, Pumpkin Pasties,  and the entire Hogwarts feast are an easy inspiration for trying themed Wizarding World recipes.
  • Host a Birthday Party: With social distancing, celebrating with friends or family may be difficult. But you can still host a birthday party for Harry Potter with your immediate family. Even if your baking skills are not the best, bake a cake, like Hagrid’s. “Anyway – Harry,” said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, “a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here – I mighta sat on it at some point, but it’ll taste all right.”(Rowling, 1998).
  • Photo Session: Whether you have an entire cosplay outfit or your favorite Harry Potter t-shirt, set up a photo session. Use wands and other props. Recreate scenes. Take a lot of photos, print them, and make a scrapbook.

Having fun is the best way to celebrate the wonderful fictional character, Harry Potter’s birthday.

 

References:

Rowling, J. K. (1998). Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books

Rowling, J. K. (2010). Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. London: Bloomsbury

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Most people associate the first day of summer with the 3-day Memorial weekend. But technically this year, on June 20, 2020, the northern hemisphere will officially begin the first day of summer. Staying light longer, the sun will finally reach the furthest northern point in the sky. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. After the summer solstice, the days will begin to lose light.

Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Different cultures have a wide range of traditions to welcome the summer. Unfortunately, due to recent health mandates, social distancing, and stay at home guidelines, many festivals and celebrations are canceled this year. But do not let all the restrictions keep you from celebrating the summer solstice.

  • Go Hiking: Numerous parks are open to the public. Yes, social distancing still applies to the trails, but you still can enjoy the great outdoors. Hike a new trail. Spend an extra hour outdoors. Hiking is good for the entire family. Even young children can enjoy easy trails. Of course, don’t forget your dog.
  • Go for a Walk: A simple walk around the block can be refreshing. Walk to your local park. The playground equipment may still be inaccessible. But enjoy the different paths throughout the park. If you are working, go for a short walk on your lunch break.
  • Enjoy Nature: Take a leisurely stroll in your local park to enjoy nature. Take along binoculars and a camera to capture your view. If you are allowed, pick wildflowers, collect rocks, and other nature items to use for craft projects later.
  • Meditate or Pray: Sitting outside in nature is the perfect time to reflect. Give yourself time to meditate or pray.
  • Watch the Sunrise or Sunset: Taking a moment out of your day to simply watch the sunrise or set, gives you a chance to relax and destress.
  • Cook a Feast: Okay, a simple BBQ or a picnic will do the trick. But cooking a meal and enjoying the celebration as a family is a great way to honor the changing season.
  • Host a Bonfire: If you haven’t used your fire pit this year yet, the summer solstice is the perfect day to start. Build a small fire, watch the sunset, and marvel at the stars. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolatey, marshmallow goodness of S’mores.
  • Celebrate Virtual: Due to restrictions, many popular sites, including Stonehenge, are celebrating the summer solstice online. Watch the sunrise or set, listen to music, or watch an event.

Regardless of the way you celebrate the solstice, enjoy the summer day. Summer goes by quickly. Soon, the cold weather will return.

May Photo Prompts

For many, May still brings stay-at-home requests and social distancing. Even with these mandates in place, you still can have fun with photos. Grab your cell phone or favorite camera to see the world through the lens. You may find your interpretations of the world around you completely fascinating. Do you need some photo prompts for inspiration? Check out the following list for May:

  1. Selfie (Start the month with a new selfie)
  2. Morning
  3. Paper
  4. Green
  5. Flowers
  6. Favorite View
  7. Reflection
  8. Smile
  9. Beverage
  10. Mother’s Day (US)
  11. Happy
  12. Grateful
  13. Black and White
  14. Up Close
  15. Clouds
  16. Green
  17. Shadows
  18. To the Right
  19. To the Left
  20. Shapes
  21. Meal
  22. Nature
  23. Shiny
  24. Down Low
  25. Memorial Day (US)
  26. Motion
  27. Weather
  28. Photo of Another Photo
  29. Group of 3
  30. Peace
  31. Stepping Through a Door

Hopefully, the May photo prompts will inspire you to post photos on social media. Or print the photos to hang on your wall.

Rebecca’s February Photo Prompts

For many, February is known as the month of love. Use Valentine’s Day as an inspiration in your photos. Do you need some help? Check out the following photo prompts for February.

  1. Selfie (Start the second month of 2020 with a new selfie).
  2. Happy Groundhog’s Day! Shadows
  3. Distance
  4. 2 p.m.
  5. Chocolates
  6. Kiss
  7. Red
  8. Heart
  9. Rose or Flower
  10. Meal
  11. Romance
  12. Stuffed Animal
  13. Love
  14. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  15. Up Close
  16. Nature
  17. Signs
  18. Beverage
  19. Current View
  20. Sunset or Sunrise
  21. Happy
  22. Water
  23. Clouds
  24. Weather
  25. Treat
  26. Shapes
  27. Blue
  28. Adventure
  29. Leap Year! Your Choice

Have fun with your photos. Ask family or friends to join. Post your pictures to social media. Or print and frame your images to display proudly on your wall.

January Photo Prompts

A new year and a new decade, time to get creative. Do you need some ideas for photos in January? Check out the list below.

  1.  Happy New Year’s Day! Welcome 2020, with a new selfie.
  2. New beginnings
  3. Snow or weather
  4. Big
  5. Silhouette
  6. Collecting or collections
  7. Shadows
  8. Cold
  9. Peaceful
  10. Bright
  11. Up-close
  12. Water
  13. Signs
  14. Hot
  15. Your current view
  16. Sunset or sunrise
  17. Beauty
  18. Nature
  19. Far away
  20. Book
  21. Chocolate or sweets
  22. Reflection
  23. Love
  24. Fun
  25. Beverage
  26. Comfy
  27. Pet
  28. Shapes
  29. Colors
  30. Adventure
  31. Your creative choice