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Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

I am a big fan of JK Rowling.  While I have not read all of the Harry Potter books nor have I seen all of the movies, I sincerely admire an author who can inspire an entire generation of children to read.  My own daughters grew up devouring these books, anxiously awaiting each new volume, staying up all night to read them and then eagerly anticipating the opening of each installment in the movie series. They are wonderful stories where good ultimately triumphs over evil- we need a little more of that today. 

Apparently Harry was born on July 31 and we have a tradition of celebrating with cake or cupcakes and of course, Butterbeer.  This year's cake is chocolate with a Sorting Hat sculpted from Rice Krispy Treats and covered with fondant. 

I invited the guests with a special invitation. I used a format and language similar to that of the letter informing Harry of his admission to Hogwarts. 

Of course, I had to decorate. You may know that when Harry travels to Hogwarts he gets on the train at Kings Cross Station at platform 9 3/4. I replicated the platform by stamping bricks from brick red acrylic paint with a household sponge on two 7 foot spans of banner paper. I also made a copy of the train station sign.  I bought a pre-cut piece of wood at Michaels and painted it brick red with a gold edge. The wording and numbers are cut from vinyl with my Cricut using the Everyday Fonts and Essentials cartridges.  The wall covered the door to my family room.  The guests "traveled" through the platform wall to get to the party. I also pinned up pennants from each of the Hogwarts houses and put up strands of lights in house colors.  

Everyone got their own wizarding wand. There are directions all over the internet for different ways to make wands, but I made up my plans as I went along.  I began with dowels, cutting them to size with a hacksaw,then sharpening one end to a dull point with a pencil sharpener. I then used a hot glue gun to attach candle cups (pictured below, another Michael's purchase) to the end of the dowels as handles and then used more glue to add texture.  They are painted brown with a little metallic gold brushed on the glue for detail. I then added an Ollivanders tag.  

Of course the hit of the party is always the Butter Beer. Last year I found a delicious and easy recipe for Harry's favorite beverage on I Heart Nap Time .  I adapted it a little this year. Here is my version. 

Harry's Butter Beer 

1 quart vanilla ice cream (we have used both low fat and low sugar)
1/3 cup butterscotch syrup (found in the ice cream section) 
2 cups Creme soda           

Fill blender 1/2 to 1/3 full of ice.  Add ice cream, butterscotch syrup and creme soda. Blend until slushy consistency. Top with additional whipped creme and butterscotch if desired. Enjoy! 

Print Recipe

I promised my daughters that I am going to read more of the books, but first I think I am going to watch the first movie or two.  And then I might plan a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando to ride the Hogwarts Express...

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Birthday Harry! 


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