What Hogwarts Means to Me

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. // J.K. Rowling

What Hogwarts Means to Me

This is my 3rd year back to Hogwarts. See, like most of you, I didn’t get my letter until then. I didn’t get to experience the books as they came out one by one. I didn’t get to go to any movie premieres. As a child, I vaguely remember the Harry Potter fandom being born, but it didn’t mean anything to me.

At least not until three years ago when I finally decided to give the books a try. I loved reading as a kid, but I had gotten busy throughout college and books fell to the wayside. But I had started grad school, and I needed something to take my mind off of classes. So I purchased the e-book and could not stop reading.

I got through the whole series in about a month in a half. I cheered and laughed along with everyone. And when I got to the last book, I cried- not just because of all of the deaths, but because I was losing close friends. I didn’t want it to end!

So what does Hogwarts mean to me?

Hogwarts is a place where I can be myself; my imagination can run wild, and no one judges me there.  Hogwarts is a place where magic happens; not just wizardly magic, but the magic that happens inside your soul when you pick up that book. Hogwarts is a place where light conquers darkness. It’s a place that will always provide help if you need it. Hogwarts is a place where we’re all family.

So grab your best robes, your owl, and your wand. I’ll save you a seat on the Hogwarts Express!

I’d love to hear what Hogwarts means to you? What was your wizarding journey like?

Study Tips for the Geekgirl

“Your focus determines your reality.” // Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Study Tips for the Geekgirl

Back to school is breathing down our necks. Can you believe it? Where I’m from, some schools start in the middle of July! As a teacher, I don’t start until the beginning of August, but school mode has already started for me as I prep my classroom for the new year.

While you might still have a few more weeks (or months- lucky ducks!) until school starts, I wanted to share a few study tips I have for us geekgirls! And since a lot of us are taking summer classes, participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, or working, these tips can be super helpful for that as well!

  • Ambient Noises: One of my absolute FAVORITE things to do while working or studying is watching these ambient rooms from ASMR rooms on YouTube! If you’ve ever wanted the chance to study in the Hogwarts Library, now is your chance! I mean, just look at how gorgeous this is??? The best part is that these are about an hour long each, so put it on loop and snuggle up with a cup of butterbeer and your textbook! She’s also got other scenes from Harry Potter as well as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.
  • Snacks: Who doesn’t love snacks while studying right? But don’t settle for just any old snacks! Nerdy snacks are a must! One of my favorite people to follow for nerdy snacks is Jenn Fujikawa from JustJenn recipes. She makes the most adorable nerdy foods! Can we just talk about how stinking cute these wookiee cookies are??? And the blue milk!!! Luke Skywalker would be so proud.

Image from Just Jen Recipes

 

  • Music: In case the ambient sounds of the Gryffindor Common Room won’t cut it for you, there are some great music options for studying! Definitely try to avoid music with words. The lyrics can be distracting, and your study session might turn into a dance off (we’re looking at you, Star-Lord). So to avoid that, try soundtracks! I loooove studying and working to any of the Star Wars soundtracks (Rogue One is one of my faves). Lord of the Rings is another awesome choice. And if you’ve put off studying until the last minute, any of the Marvel soundtracks (I especially enjoy the first Avengers) will have you feeling like a superhero in no time! Most of these music options can be found on streaming sites like Spotify or Amazon Music.

 

  • Comfy Clothes: While studying in cosplay might be the coolest thing ever, it’s probably not the most practical. Instead, pull on an oversized t-shirt (Target has some GREAT options in the men’s section) with your favorite superhero or fandom print. These shirts aren’t too expensive (about $13), so you can grab a few and always stay comfy! If your dorm room feels more like Hoth (I had one that was like that!), nerdy sweatshirts are always great options! Check out sites like Etsy and Jane.com for adorable sweaters that won’t break the bank.

Study Tips for the Geekgirl

There we have it- a few short and sweet study tips that are perfect for the geekgirl! Do you have any others you would add to this list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

6 Reasons Why Ravenclaws are Amazing

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you’ve a ready mind, Where those of wit and learning, Will always find their kind. // The Sorting Hat, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This is part of a series I’m doing on each of the Hogwarts’ houses! You can check out Hufflepuff and Slytherin in previous posts (Gryffindor is coming soon!).

I’m a Hufflepuff, but I think I could have also been a Ravenclaw. Most people call them the “smart house.” But they are soooo much more than just that! Ravenclaws have a lot of traits that make them awesome, so let’s celebrate them!

 

Image from Pottermore.com

 

  1. Ravenclaws are wise. Your ‘claws are going to be the ones who think things through before doing them. They probably aren’t going to be the spontaneous ones since they make sure what they’re doing is a good idea first. They can use their critical thinking skills to ensure that things run smoothly.
  2. Ravenclaws are creative. This isn’t to say that your other houses aren’t, but Ravenclaws are most likely to be the artists, musicians, poets, and writers of the world. They can readily engage this area of their brains, making them a great person to go to when you need a fresh look at something. They can think outside of the box, allowing new ideas in.
  3. Ravenclaws are curious. Are all ‘claws going to be super smart? Probably not. But all Ravenclaws love learning. Whether that’s an academic subject or just something that they love. They naturally want to know all about everything! They’re the students that want to know “why” and “how”- not just “this is the way to do it.”
  4. Ravenclaws are cunning. This is a trait they share with Slytherins! Because they have great critical thinking skills, they are able to make some great plans. You’ll want to know some Ravenclaws when you’re trying to come up with the best way to do something, the best way to save money, or the best way to accomplish something.
  5. Ravenclaws are observant. Usually introverted, Ravenclaws are always watching the world around them. They might not say anything in a conversation, but you can bet they’re listening and learning constantly. They’ll notice if you’re having a bad day. You can bet they’ll know if you’ve worn the same pair of pants for the past week. They’ll be able to pick out the mistakes in a program or article.
  6. Ravenclaws are eccentric. Now, not every Ravenclaw is going to be a Luna. But because Ravenclaws are so creative and wise, they often don’t let the opinions of others rule what they do. This means they often march to their own beat. They don’t do something just because it’s the “normal” thing to do.

Just like with all of the houses, these traits aren’t just for Ravenclaws! I’ve met tons of creative Hufflepuffs, eccentric Gryffindors, and observant Slytherins. The Sorting Hat takes your desires into mind!

 

Image from Pottermore.com

 

Are you a Ravenclaw? What about this list fits you? What doesn’t? Anything you’d add? Let me know in the comments!

6 Reasons Why Slytherins are Amazing

Or perhaps in Slytherin, You’ll make your real friends, These cunning folks use any means to achieve their ends. // The Sorting Hat, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This is part of a series I’m doing on each of the Hogwarts’ houses! You can check out Hufflepuff here (Ravenclaw and Gryffindor coming soon!)

Slytherins get a lot of bad rap- mostly because of our boy Draco Malfoy and many of the Death Eaters. Oh, and maybe because He Who Must Not Be Named himself was in that house. But a few bad apples don’t ruin the whole bunch! I’m here to tell you 6 reasons why Slytherins are super awesome.

 

Image from Pottermore.com

 

  1. Slytherins are ambitious. If you need something done or want something desperately- the Slytherins are your friends! They aren’t going to let something they want slip through their grasp. They’ll work their tails off until they get it. Nothing is too hard for them!
  2. Slytherins are cunning. The snake isn’t the mascot for Slytherin house on coincidence! Slytherins cook up plans that are almost fool-proof every time. They can read between the lines and find the loop-holes in almost everything. Slytherins aren’t going to let a few snags get in their way!
  3. Slytherins are resourceful. They aren’t wasting time or money willy-nilly because they can’t make up their mind. They’re going to plan out what’s needed and find the best deals to make it happen. If you’re having a party, you’ll definitely need to look up your nearest Slytherin for help. They’ll make sure it’s the best it can be (remember they’re ambitious!), but also make sure it’s not going to break the bank if it doesn’t have to.
  4. Slytherins are leaders. Slytherins are the ones you can look up to. They’re the ones taking the ship by the wheel when everyone else is floating in the breeze. They’re going to stand tall for their beliefs- no matter what. You might even call them traditionalists! They’re that solid rock that we all need in our lives.
  5. Slytherins have charisma. People are drawn to Slytherins. They just have something about them! They have big personalities that make people appreciate what they have to offer. They’re going to draw people in.
  6. Slytherins are disciplined. Once a Slytherin makes up his/her mind about something, they’ll stick to it. Starting a new workout plan? The Slytherin isn’t going to quit three days into it. Trying to get on the honor roll? The Slytherin is going to study every day for it. Looking for a job promotion? The Slytherin is going to be the best employee he/she can be. They’re not quitters.

 

Image from Pottermore.com

 

Obviously, these traits aren’t just for Slytherins! There are plenty of charismatic Ravenclaws, disciplined Hufflepuffs, and resourceful Gryffindors. The Sorting Hat listens to your desires, so you can be in whichever house you feel like is the best fit!

What house do you belong in? Do you have any other ways that Slytherins are amazing? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

6 Reasons Why Hufflepuffs are Amazing

You might belong in Hufflepuff, Where they are just and loyal, Those patient Hufflepuffs are true, And unafraid of toil; // The Sorting Hat, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Today is an unofficial (but official on social media) Hufflepuff pride day! It’s also the first day of spring which seems pretty fitting to me! (Although, as a Hufflepuff, I’m more autumn-leaning!)

Hufflepuffs don’t seem to get a lot of respect, and they’re often pinned as the weak ones or the “leftover” house. When I took the test on Pottermore, I was honestly sorely disappointed to get Hufflepuff. I would have gladly taken anything else. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I really was a Hufflepuff, and we Puffs are pretty awesome.

Image from Pottermore.com

Here’s why:

  1. Hufflepuffs are loyal. Insult a Puff (and while they may be a little upset for a while), they won’t hold it against you. They’re forgiving and understanding. We tend to look for the positives in people. We’re not going to let a silly misunderstanding, a lack of judgment, or hormones change how we feel about you.
  2. Hufflepuffs are hard-working. People often see us as just hanging around the Herbology greenhouses or stuffing our faces with cookies. While we might do this occasionally, we are driven people. Give us a task that we enjoy, and we will spend all of our time, resources, and mental strength on it. We don’t do things halfheartedly.
  3. Hufflepuffs are creative. This is true about all of the houses really, but I think we Puffs are pretty good at it. Since we see the world in a different light, we can use our imaginations at a whole new level. Who is the person daydreaming in class? It’s most likely a Hufflepuff. Who’s that person frantically jotting down that story idea on the bus? Probably a Puff. Who’s spending their weekend working on a new piece of art? You got it, probably a Hufflepuff.
  4. Hufflepuffs are kind. This goes along with being loyal- we’re going to stand up for you no matter what. We look out for the little guy. We make friends with the ones who don’t have any. It’s almost like we have a radar for those people who might be unloved. Need a friend? Hufflepuffs are there for you!
  5. Hufflepuffs are cozy. We’re not the party-ers. We’re not the daring adventurers. We’re not running around like crazy trying to get things done. In fact, you’ll probably have to push and prod to get us out of the house to a big gathering. Most of us are introverts, which mean we recharge by being alone. After a long day at work or school, we’re going to be found reading a book with a cup of tea. We’re going to be on a walk in the woods. We’re going to be snuggled by the fire. It doesn’t mean we don’t like loud gatherings, but they can be overwhelming. So if you need someone to just sit quietly with you, look up your closest Hufflepuff.
  6. Hufflepuffs are good listeners. We’re usually not trying to be the center of attention. If you’ve got a problem, we’ll listen. We might not be able to solve it, but we’ll definitely be there for you. We’ll give you a shoulder to cry on. We’ll smile and nod. We’ll make you a cup of coffee to warm your soul.

Obviously, many of these traits can be found in other houses too! I know super kind Slytherins, Ravenclaws who love to listen, and Gryffindors who are so creative! The great thing about your Hogwarts house is that you can have all of these traits and belong to whatever house you’d like- because the Sorting Hat always takes your opinions into consideration!

Image result for sorting hat scene

Sorting hat scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I’d love to know what house you belong to! Do you think there are some other ways that Hufflepuffs are amazing? What are some characteristics that make YOU amazing? Comment below!

(And don’t worry if you’re not a Puff- I’ll be blogging about ALL of the houses in the future!)

 

Inter{galactic} Inspirations

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. Being a woman is such an amazing privilege, and I’m so thankful God created me as one!

Rey

Image from starwars.com

I wanted to take today’s post and celebrate some (I wish I could celebrate all!) of the amazing fictional women who’ve inspired me to become a better person. This list is in NO WAY complete, and is definitely not in order of importance!

  • Luna Lovegood: Luna is simply amazing. I don’t think this list could be complete without her. She’s kind, she’s brave, she’s confident. Isn’t that something we all should strive for? So thank you, Luna, for helping me learn that it’s okay to be different!
  • Eleven (a.k.a. Jane Ives): Stranger Things captured the hearts of Americans when it first debuted, and El instantly became a favorite of mine. She had a rough life, but yet she overcame it. She built friendships, sacrificed herself more than once, and discovered herself through it all. So thanks, El, for showing me what true friendship is all about!
  • Hermione Granger: Who can forget the brightest witch of her age? Hermione inspired so many young girls to be smart AND brave. And she told us that the most important is friendship and bravery. So, here’s to Hermione, who taught me that being smart is great- as long as I’m still a friend!
  • Princess Leia Organa: This princess doesn’t need saving! Leia showed us that you’re never too young to stand up for what’s right. From working as a senator, to becoming a leader in the rebellion against the Empire, to leading the resistance against the First Order as general, Leia proved that women can make a difference! Thank you, princess, for showing me that doing the right thing is ALWAYS the right thing!
  • Katniss Everdeen: When her world was falling apart, Katniss showed us that family is the most important thing. Her strength and resilience through the hard times gave us hope when things are tough. So thanks, girl on fire, for being a light in the darkness!
  • Rey: This girl from Jakku showed us that no matter your background, you can do great things. It doesn’t matter if you’re nothing and come from nothing- you have the power to change the world- as long as you believe there’s still some hope and good in it. Thank you, Rey, for showing me that anyone can do anything!
  • Meg Murry: With a Wrinkle in Time coming out today, this list had to include dear Meg! Meg showed us that being different is okay. You don’t have to fit into the mold. And that love conquers all evil. So thanks, Meg, for being a warrior for love!
  • Ahsoka Tano: While we have only met her cartoon version (so far!), Ahoska is a shining beacon for courage and love in a dark galaxy. She was never afraid to step up to do the right thing. She was willing to put her life on the line for a cause she believed in. Thank you, Fulcrum, for helping us to see what really matters in life!
  • Lucy Pevensie: Queen Lucy the Valiant taught us that kindness is always the answer. Even when her own family didn’t believe her, Lucy didn’t give up. Even when her friend and brother betrayed her, she didn’t stop being kind. So thank you, Lucy, for teaching us that kindness is always the best way.
Hermione Granger illustrated by Jim Kay

Image from Pottermore.com

There are so many other amazing fictional ladies I could mention- Padmé Amidala, Jyn Erso, Tina and Queenie Goldstein, Molly Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Elizabeth Bennett, Éowyn, Jo March, Professor McGonagall, Anne Shirley, Laura Ingalls, Wonder Woman, and so many more!

I’d love to hear about your favorite fictional ladies! Who inspires you to do great things?

A Letter to the Geek Girl

Dearest Geek Girl,

I get it. Being a geek girl can be hard. I heard those kids on the playground say “but that’s for boys” when you told them you watched Star Wars the night before. I heard the snickers as you pretended your pencil was a wand in science class. I saw the eyebrows raised as you unpacked the dozens of books for your dorm bookshelf. I heard your coworker say “I don’t get it” when you wore that awesome cosplay to the work Halloween party. I get it. Because I’ve been there.

It can be hard to be a geek girl. But it’s also the greatest thing ever! You have a passion. You have imagination. That’s more than most people ever get. You’ve seen the ones without it- walking around with their heads down. Going through life like a machine.

Not you. You’re like a splash of color on a drab background. You stand out. You make the world exciting. Embrace it. You’re like a unicorn in a world of horses.

So buy that new book. Wait in line at the bookstore for the midnight release. Dress up to see the new Star Wars movie. Build that cosplay you’ve always wanted to make. Get the Harry Potter inspired dishes for your house. Get tickets for the con you’ve always wanted to go to. Scour Etsy for the perfect fandom jewelry. Embrace the geek girl. That’s who you are.

Don’t try to be like everyone else. Because that’s boring. You are you. And you are a geek girl.

geek girl (1)