Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Listening To: Caleb Meyer by Gillian Welch {it's a rockabilly ghost story}
This street art: is rocking my world

Hey beauties (& beastlies)!

A fun and funky little Paperdoll interview/giveaway is happening this week on Lilies Among Thorns. I adore that blog. Lilies is smart and fun and reads like a well-written teen magazine: lots of fashion and interviews and book reviews and recipes. But amidst all the fun, those girls also manage to be seriously encouraging and savvy and just generally awesome. I was floored when Haylie asked to interview me about Paperdoll. I warned her that I sometimes get long-winded but she's a top-notch editor and dealt with my chatty-ness like a pro. Thanks for asking such great questions Haylie Jo!

Lilies Among Thorns is also giving away a copy of Paperdoll. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. (Also, I forgot to mention this because I'm such a slacker at blogging, but Michelle Pell wrote a sweet review of Paperdoll for Lilies Among Thorns. Considering that The Book of Pink has been out for a few years now, my heart goes spinny when someone takes the time to say kind things about it. Thank you so much, Michelle!) 

In other news, I'm trying to reorient myself to the Muggle world today. I survived The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with a few pictures and funny stories to share with you. I also have a bruise on my shin the size of a softball. I'm not gonna lie ... it makes me feel pretty fierce.

Also, it rained nonstop while we were there, so I got to wear one of those super-sexy Universal Studios ponchos the entire time. And because I'm so short, the tips of my hawt-poncho nearly touched the ground, floating and fluttering and generally making me look like I was wearing the world's cheapest wizard costume. I ended up tying the sides together, so I could slosh about a bit more easily. I call it "poncho-couture." Tim Gunn would have been so proud of me. I made it work.

This is The Rogue Accountant in The Sunshine State (he remembered to pack a rain jacket so he was not a member of The Poncho Mafia). He was thrilled about the weather:

Did I mention that it rained? Seriously.

But my family does not back down at the first hint of a tropical storm. Despite the monsoon, I drank Butterbeer (oh my) and rode my last roller coaster ever (more on this later) and bought a coffee mug with Sirius Black's face on it. (I said: "I kind of want a souvenir. Should I get a Ravenclaw patch or a bag of dragons?" Chase said: "How about this coffee mug with Gary Oldman on it?" I said, "DONE!")

My nephew asked why I hadn't bought a wand yet and I said, "Um... I don't think I want a wand." (1. Because I'm a cheapskate and 2. Because they don't do real magic. I checked.) And he spun around very dramatically with a look of terror in his eyes and said, "But then you'll be a Muggle forever!" 

How cute is that?

My sister must have agreed because she surprised me with Ginny Weasley's wand (!!), which pretty much made my life complete. She says I'm a total Ginny; sweet and cute and a little bit shy but talented and tough as nails. Sisters are the best, aren't they? If my brother had picked a wand for me, he totally would have picked Belletrix's wand. Or Filch's mop. My sister has always been particularly good at making me feel like a rockstar. She got Hermione's wand. Which is appropriate; because my sister is brilliant and gorgeous and quite heroic.

My Brother, the ever nefarious Rogue Accountant, got Voldemort's wand. *eye roll* And then he made me transport that skanky wand home in my luggage b/c he was afraid he couldn't take it aboard his flight.

It was a seriously fun vacation.

My favorite part of the trip, however, wasn't my Ginny Weasley wand or my Gary Oldman mug or even walking through Hogwarts School (though that is a seriously awesome experience).

My favorite part was my nephew Andy, age seven.

Magically, wonderfully, gloriously seven.

Can you imagine seeing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as a seven-year-old? 

Seven is my favorite number and one of my favorite words. Seven is also a big deal in Harry Potter (did you notice how often that number came up in the series?) I'm convinced seven-year-olds are the best seven of all though. When we saw the castle towers from the interstate, Andy gasped and yelled, "I'm about to explode with excitement!"

We got the park as early as we could, sloshing our way through the pouring rain. Andy lead the way to Hogwarts, wand at the ready:
My Little Hero.
He carried his wand with him the entire time. Every time I look at that picture, I get teary.

I'm pretty much spellbound by that kid. I'm spellbound over the power of a good story and the imagination of a seven year old. That's a magical combination. These are magical days we get to live in. I'm a blessed girl.

Thank you SO much for your great insider tips! I'll share a few more stories with you soon (I'm still collecting my thoughts and trying to open locked doors with my new wand). How's your week shaping up so far? Carving some pumpkins? Solving some corn maizes? Eating bags of candy in honor of Halloween month? Riding roller coasters in the rain? I would love to hear what's new with you!


  1. Oh this sounds like such a seriously awesome trip, rain notwithstanding! And I am SO SO jealous of your Ginny wand and your Sirius Black mug!!!

  2. It rained when I went to HPW, too! Wasn't it awesome to walk through Hogsmeade in the gloominess?

    It was truly a magical moment.

    and yes, I, too have a wand.


  3. It sounds like you had an amazing time! :) I hate that it rained, but gloomy rain does seem fitting while visiting the wizard world! It seems that every time my family goes to Florida, they have unusually cool or wet weather. It's happened three times so far. We're headed down there next week and so far they're calling for scattered thunderstorms the entire week.

    My parents like to randomly blurt out "Expecto Petroleum," (their take on the Patronus spell) so it's probably a good thing we don't have any HP wands around here. Because things would probably go terribly wrong. Once my mom said "Expecto Paralysis," which I imagine would be similar to the body-binding curse.

    I can't wait to hear more about your trip!


  4. i'm so glad you had an awesome time, sorry it rained though. yes, wands are great fun. that street art is the boom dot com. amazing.

  5. OK. I absolutely loved the Hoqwarts picture...It's like a castle all ttwisted and tanlged up like someone figured out how to tie a knot and practiced on the castle

    And I agree that kids are the coolest people ever :)I have the privilege of working with several as a part of my school day and they are probably the smartest, most insightful human beings I have ever seen. Jesus most definitely knew what he was talking about 'in childlike faith'

    Great post as alwways :) Thanks for making my evening that much more pleasant

  6. So jealous you got to go!! I still need to go there. I did get into Pottermore though and I'm a Hufflepuff!

  7. I got to go a few months ago. WONDERFUL, isn't it? Wonderful.

    I've been swamped and not keeping up on blogger as I should, but I hope you are doing well, lovely!

    Praying for you. :]

  8. I can't wait to hear more about your trip! My brother is obsessed with Harry Potter and though he's 14, he'd probably react the same way as your nephew :) This week has been all about homework and staying up until 1 every night to finish it (currently it's 1:18...). yuck. hopefully this weekend will make it better. it is homecoming week at our school though! We don't have a dance (?), but we did have a parade today which was pretty fabulous. It included a fire truck and horses. It was pretty snazzy.

    Happy {early} Thursday Morning! :)

  9. i love this post! that's so sweet about your nephew.

    i have been treading water amidst work and classes this week {not out of the ordinary for this semester, haha}. i'll be headed to the public library today to do research on the advent of bicycles and changing social attitudes around the turn of the century. it sounds boring, but it's really quite interesting!

  10. Thank yu for the lovely comments, Natalie!!! You are to kind!!!

    You were literally 30 minutes away from me!!!!!!!! I live 30 minutes from Hogwarts (hehehehe! I know I couldn't help it!) I haven't been lucky enough to go yet, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!!!! :)

  11. Great post Natalie! I need to get a copy of this book so that I can read it. <3

  12. Sounds like an exciting trip, I hope and pray to one day go there!! :D

  13. ps...your comment made my day <3 I love my readers, but seeing your name there was surreal. I've been reading you ever since sixth grade when I started getting Brio. Thanks so much for just being YOU!!