Sunday, June 17, 2018

HP Haul

I decided that a good use of my time would be to take photos of all the Harry Potter stuff that I got while in Europe, instead of go through and edit all three thousand photos I took while I was there. As soon as I knew that I would be going to Europe, I knew that there would be a ton of Harry Potter merch that I would want to buy. And in all honesty, I could have brought back way more stuff, but I was able to exhibit restraint and here's what I got...

Buying tickets to see The Cursed Child was one of the first things that I did after I booked my flight. When I first read the script, I recognized that the plot had a lot of problems, but I loved how the script captured the environment of the wizarding world, and I knew that I would have to see how the play comes together live. I highly recommend seeing the play live, because the magic of the series is so well transferred on stage. I also love the art direction and I had to get some merch featuring the reimagined Gryffindor crest. I was so surprised that they still hand out the #keepthesecrets pin (especially since the script has been out for so long), and it was an excellent addition to my growing pin collection. UK links to merch (US store): program (not sold online), patch, Gryffindor pin, Cursed Child pin, postcard, Gryffindor shirt (not pictured).

House of MinaLima was another place that I knew that I needed to go to. MinaLima is the duo that created all of the art in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. The store was originally a popup store in London, but it is now a permanent fixture and it is a block away from the Palace Theater, where the Cursed Child plays. I was able to pick up a few cards and postcards from the shop, which I'm hoping to add to my Harry Potter wall soon. One day, I would like to own one of their limited edition prints, which I loved seeing in person because they are stunning. Even the quality of the cards is stunning, the foiled detail is beautiful, and the postcards are extremely sturdy. Links to merch: Hogwarts a History card, Hogwarts crest card, Fantastic Beasts card, Gryffindor button, Hogwarts series postcards.

Pro tip: if you're planning a trip to the Harry Potter studios, I suggest booking tickets early. Due to sell outs, I ended up having to buy tickets through a third party company, which was fine and ended up being a good experience, but we were only allotted three hours at the tour and being the massive fan that I am, I could have benefited from spending more time there. Because of this, I only spent 15 minutes in the gift shop and I didn't get to look at everything, which was probably a good thing for my wallet. Plus I didn't want to go too crazy, since the studio tours sells most of the same merch as the Wizarding World does, and I'm itching to take a trip to Orlando in the near future. I did cave by getting the sweater (which is so soft and I'm sad that it's too hot in TX to wear), and I knew I wanted to get a new lanyard since mine broke a while ago. UK links to merch (US link): Gryffindor sweater, time turner keychain, lanyard, Hogwarts express ticket ornament (only at US shop). 

Another place that I really wanted to visit was the Platform 9 3/4 store at King's Cross Station, but unfortunately we weren't able to make it. I was able to go to the store at Heathrow Airport, and I picked up a couple of things there. Links to merch: magnet, chocolate frog keychain, philosopher's stone keychain (not online). 

Definitely one of the worst things about being a US Harry Potter fan is that so much good, affordable merch comes from Primark, which doesn't ship online and third parties will sell some stuff online but at inflated rates. So I was happy that I got to visit 4 different Primarks and raid some of their Harry Potter displays. I definitely had to restrain myself, because they sell so much stuff, but I already have so much Harry Potter clothing that I limited myself to other merch. A lot of what I got was merch that I'd previously seen on instagram posts, and the candle and the satchel were two of the items I wanted most. 

And here are the two items that I definitely did not need to buy, because they are my 9th and 10th copy of the first book. I had previously ordered the 20th edition hardback, but I caved when I saw the paperback edition at Waterstone's. I also picked up a French edition at this small bookstore called La Librairie des Abbesses. I loved that this particular edition features the ebook covers, because I love that artwork and they currently do not sell those covers on any physical editions. I also really wanted to get a Dutch copy while I was in Amsterdam, but I wasn't able to search for one. So that is all the stuff I got, I know it's a lot, but I saw so much stuff that I wanted to buy and because I have little self control when it comes to Harry Potter, I treated myself. - Jessica 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Books I Read In May

I read 8 books in May, which I'm very pleased with since I was traveling for almost half the month. So here are the books I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them...

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas - This is a novella directly following the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I really enjoyed this book, it's different from anything else SJM has written, mostly because there's no big, looming conflict for the characters. I really enjoyed seeing some of my favorite characters in a relaxed setting and I really loved how well this set up for the next book in the series.  

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro - This is the third book in the Charlotte Holmes series, which follows the descendants of Sherlock Holmes and James Watson. I really liked the first book in this series, but I found the second book disappointing, so I was a little hesitant to pick this book up. I think this book was a huge improvement over the second one, but I was really surprised to hear that there will be another book in this series, because I think this one wrapped the series up really nicely.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian - This book is about a princess, whose throne has been stolen, and she has to team up with the son of her usurper to win her throne back. I enjoyed this book, it definitely isn't the most original story, but the writing and the storyline kept me entertained. 

Furyborn by Clara Legrand - This book follows two sides of a war, across a thousand years, from the girl who started the war, and the hero who is prophesied to end it. This book blew me away, the story is so ambitious and the execution is so well done. This is the first book in a trilogy, and I'm looking forward to the release of the next book.

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard - This is the final installment in the Red Queen series. I really enjoyed this installment, for an almost 700 page book, it did drag in some places, but I didn't mind because this book added so much to the world building and the characterization. I did struggle wrapping my head around the ending, but I'm pretty satisfied with how this series wrapped up.

The Falconer Trilogy by Elizabeth May - This trilogy follows a fae hunter in 17th century Scotland. I liked the first book of the series, but I fell absolutely in love with the two concluding novels. The first book set up the plot, that I think the second book benefited from, and allowed for the world and the characters to develop.

And those are the books I read in May. I've got quite a bit of catching up that I want to do on my reading goal, and I've already read quite a bit this month. - Jessica

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May Snapshots

1. I really like taking new photos of Fawkes (insert crying while laughing emoji).

2. I have a tradition of getting a new matching bookmark for every new Sarah J. Maas release. It's a problem because I large majority of my bookmarks are characters from her series. Also Happy Hello Art is constantly releasing new ACoTaR and ToG bookmarks, and they're all so cute and I have zero self restraint. /// 3. One partially reorganized book shelve + two overcrowded messes. One day I will have enough shelve space and everything will look pretty and organized again.

4. I can't believe it's been one year since this album came out, especially since it's an album that I still listen to every single day.

5. It finally happened! I've officially seen Hamilton! I've been following this show since it's off-broadway run and I can't express how incredible it was to finally see the show as it is meant to be seen. - Jessica.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Greetings From...

A post shared by Jessica Gonzales (@7remedies) on

Things have been a little slow on the blog recently, because I’ve been in Europe! Here’s some sneak peeks of the photos I took while in Belgium. I’m traveling for another week and a half, so I’ll be sharing plenty more photos when I return home. - Jessica

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Novelly Yours' Wizarding Women Unboxing

I shared in my last snapshots post that I got the Novelly Yours box for April, which was themed, Wizarding Women. I immediately fell in love with this theme when it was announced, because I have a weakness for Harry Potter related stuff and because I love the focus on the female characters of the series. I've purchased 2 of the 4 boxes that Novelly Yours has released this year, and I really like the balance between the candles and the extra items (buttons, stickers, prints, and bookmarks). Here's some of the shots I took during the unboxing...

I also really like how each item is a character themed, and I'm hoping to get some more of these boxes in the future. - Jessica