Archives for January 2014

A Look into Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Here are a few of the concept renderings that have been released for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley by Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment, a brand new themed experience for the park opening this summer.

The world of Harry Potter is being brought to life in a whole new way and my kids are really excited. I can’t say I don’t have my reservations since you can kinda skim over the controversial parts of celebrating the act of magic in a book or in a movie but celebrating magic and “the dark arts” this powerfully in person, I can’t mention without a pause, as fiction based as it is.

Diagon Alley:

Diagon Alley orlando

Hogsmeade Station:

Hogsmeade Station drawing

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour:

Harry Potter Ice Cream

I am hoping to wait a year or two until they really get their details nailed down but to not wait TOO long since it is really going to be amazing.

Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes:

wizarding world shopping

 Here are more details on the Universal website.

What do you think of experiencing the world of Harry Potter in person? Would you pick the fantastical wizarding world of Harry Potter over Disney or Seaworld?



Preventing the Downside of Superbowl Entertaining

Football USDA Image

Millions of people gather in front of the TV every year to watch and cheer on the teams playing in the Superbowl. For some, their favorite football team already lost earlier in the season and they are simply watching the best teams compete. For others, it’s all about the fun parties and the food.

Whatever motive you have, if you are hosting or bringing food to the party, there are serving tips you need to know to keep foodborne illness out of your party. shares several tips to keeping your food safe:

FOUR SIMPLE STEPS TO FOOD SAFETY: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill. These basic actions include cleaning the food well, keeping potential contaminates separated, cooking meats thoroughly and chilling uneaten portions.

Martie Duncan of MartieKnowsParties also has a wonderful video that shows both the tips and some great recipes which you can watch below:




Fiction Blends with Reality: The Patronus Bracelet

Accessory and clothing vendors love creating items that mirror the entertainment that we all enjoy so much. Recently, Joseph Nogucci came out with a “Patronus” bracelet with all the symbolism of one of the world’s favorite wizard series: Harry Potter.

Though I tend to find my teen daughter reaching for the Dr. Who items in Hot Topic, she loves all sorts of collectibles that remind her of favorite movies and TV shows.

There are several symbolic pieces in this bracelet. You can see in the picture that a gold & crystal-embedded shamballa bead is placed between two wings, resembling the Snitch, the  flying item that wins the Quidditch tournaments (a game played out on air-borne broomsticks)  if anyone can catch it.

Opposite the Snitch is a lightning bolt that begins the story when “he who must not be named” tries to kill baby Harry and a lightning shaped scar ends up on Harry’s forehead, forever branding the boy and making him easy to identify.

Ruby red crystals bring to mind the Philosopher’s Stone, a significant item in the first story of the series, and two green-eyed silver owl charms characterize the young wizard’s loyal feathered companion. Black beads with silver stars add a little spark and pizzazz and bring to life the magic.

The whole set is pretty clever and my teen daughter claimed it immediately, given her love of all things fiction and fantastical.


Patronus bracelet

Check out Joseph Nogucci’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide and learn where you can buy your own Patronus bracelet among many other lovely items.

(Disclosure: I received a Patronus bracelet for review. All thoughts and options are my own.)