Saturday, October 14, 2017

October Photography Month 2017

October Photography Month (OctoPhoMo) has been a delightful part of my Fall festivities and so it continues this year. It's all happening on my Instagram @abbiesadventures along with the rest of my crazy Fall festivities. At the end of the day, I'd post the day's photograph right here so I have a collection of 30 photographs of October 2017 on the same page. An important theme this year is Harry Potter because I have rekindled my fandom that I partially let go somewhere in my twenties because of academic/personal pressures. It's all coming back in quadruple folds!

Oct 01 A photo of whatever you wish!
Starting the season off on a Fall note. Here's my Starbucks Fall spread!

Oct 02 Potion OR Cauldron
ruA Harry Potter room makeover is underway at Abbie's Headquarters (my room/office) and is set for revelation in January 2018. On my list is a section of my shelf dedicated to Potions class (I need a Severus Snape Funko Pop!) and this Halloween I found the perfect potions gear! I need some bottle labels now.

Oct 03 Broom OR Scarecrow
Presenting Abbie's first Fall dance. Photo courtesy: Sara Writes

Oct 04 Superstition OR Logic
I like daring superstition because I don't believe in any of them. Well, here's one. I opened the Platform Nine and Three Quarters umbrella indoors and I am still standing! Photo courtesy: Sara Writes

Oct 05 Headstone OR Mausoleum
Well, I am trying to rest in peace in there. In Spring/Summer this arrangement was a fairy garden. Well, seasons change.

Oct 06 Darkness OR Bones
AC Moore always has eyecandy.

Oct 07 Troll OR Owl
I intercepted the owl Sirius Black sent to Ron. Pigwidgeon, you're mine.

Oct 08 Fog OR Shadow
Borrowed from Sara, this is the Harry Potter Chibi Plush toy. That's the shadow part on the wall. I personally felt the noir and the blue filters have it a surreal look. The plush is from Hot Topic!

Oct 09 Fairy OR Fangs
The Monster Book Of Monsters is part of Hogwarts syllabus for Care Of Magical Creatures class taught by Hagrid. I got mine from the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, Hogsmeade. It puts on quite a show when you hit the on button and set it on the floor. It growls, snaps, bites like crazy, and makes an incredible noise. Those fangs are classic. It is among one of the pricey toys of the Wizarding World, priced at $34.95. You can grab one at the Universal website.

Oct 10 Moonlit OR Vanish
I was at Niagara Falls, Canada under the full moon when September began. The waterfall was illuminated by colored lights and I feel when it hit red the scene became a Gothic visual art.
Oct 11 Coffin OR Revolting
So I did both prompts today. I managed to find the perfect coffin at Michael's and put it up against their Halloween displays. And the gooey, squishy rubbery rodent is best suited for 'Revolting'.

Oct 12 Mystical OR Lantern
There is no one as mystical, as uncanny, and as insane known to me but myself. The day I find one, I'd treat myself. O, and there's a lantern there as well.

Oct 13 Disguise OR Face Paint OR Friday The 13th
I am the master of disguise, lady with many silhouettes and avatars. Being hidden does not mean you cannot be an expressionist.

Oct 14 Familiar OR Strange
The Hogwarts Express steam engine is my most beloved familiar.

Oct 15 Gourd OR Punch
The gourd in the photo is the pumpkin candy holder okay. Just to be clear.

Oct 16 Carve OR Colourful
That has to be the most colorful shop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

Oct 17 Teddy Bear OR Action Figure
Proudly presenting my Harry Potter Funko Pop action figure. He came with the Hogwarts Express engine from Hot Topic. 

Oct 18 Iconic OR Devotion
There is no better way to handle a 'Devotion' prompt than to show my Harry Potter collection. My room is dedicated to my fandom.

Oct 19 Water OR Wood
They sell regular water as Gilly Water at the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. I actually paid $4 for plain water because I wanted this bottle! 

Oct 20 First OR Last
This was my first Harry Potter DIY project for Sara's 21st birthday. The Hogwarts Express and Platform Nine and Three Quarters structures are made from styrofoam/printables. I made chocolate frogs from mold and candy melts. The second photograph is a continuation of course (couldn't stop there). I made mini versions of Hagrid's cake that he made for Harry on his 11th birthday.

Oct 21 Patterns OR Stereotype

Oct 22 Angels OR Art
Writing with chalk on a clean slate is very soothing.

Oct 23 Food OR Illumination
A beautiful sunset on a Fall evening.

Oct 24 Career OR Sport

Oct 25 Sweet OR Savory

Oct 26 Pawprints OR Footprints

Oct 27 Peace OR Conflict

Oct 28 Curse OR Blessing

Oct 29 Angler OR Hunter

Oct 30 Rain OR Shine

Oct 31 Celebrate OR Solitude

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Harry Potter Socks Gala

This is dedicated to Dobby. R.I.P.
"You can never have too many socks, but there was only one Dobby." - The Abbie.
Luna Lovegood No Show Socks
I found the Harry Potter Luna Lovegood No Show socks at Hot Topic! They're called 'no show' because they're literally just on the foot and don't show from your shoes. So even if you are sitting at the conference table and signing a million dollar deal, you can still be wearing Spectrespecs socks! They were a contrast from the typical Gryffindor loot (scarlet and yellow). The hot pinks and blues caught my eye and I grabbed a set. They are priced at $14.90 but they came down to half price because of our Hot Topic Hot Cash coupon. 
Chibi No Show Socks
These cute socks were too hard to ignore. Featuring Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hedwig, and Dobby, these were such a treat. The colors are my favorite traditional red, black, and Hogwarts! Watch my video flipping through them.
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Kohl's Harry Potter Socks
There was a clearance and these awesome socks were for $6.50. I like the bit where they have glitter. The 'Muggle' in 'Muggle Born' is all glitter. 
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Do return to Abbie's Adventure Diaries for more Harry Potter merchandise reviews coming soon.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wizarding World Book Club: Prisoner Of Azkaban 'Talent'

It was an exciting week! The illustrated Prisoner of Azkaban was released and the world went crazy. Sara & I are thinking (Sorting Hat level dilemma!) if we should invest $60+ in getting all 3. They're collectors items most definitely. I finished reading the last 2 chapters of the Prisoner of Azkaban. I remember how my heart broke when Harry realized he wouldn't be living anywhere away from the Dursleys. I recall hating summer vacations (unless we were traveling!). Here are my highlights of Friday's Twitter discussion. I didn't manage to get re-tweeted *sad Dobby face* but then again, I was distracted. I didn't Tweet persistently because I was getting ready and then getting treated at the chiropractic's. Anyway, take it away ...

Friday, September 29, 2017

Wizarding World Book Club: Prisoner of Azkaban Theme "Secrets and Concealment"

I was super, super, super, duper excited about today's theme and it has something to do with the Marauder's Map. I adore the Marauder's Map --- the colors, the prints, and what it does --- and I have collected some very awesome pieces of merchandise to celebrate that pride. Perhaps that deserves a separate haul entry. But first ...

I fell in love with a beautiful Noble Collection watch posted by one of the participants of the discussion. It's a Time Turner watch, supremely beautiful.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Potterhead Chronicles: Everything Harry Potter, Gryffindor Style Vlog Debut

Raise your wands, hoist your goblets of Butterbeer. Potterheads! You’re watching The Potterhead Chronicles, and you’re listening to the voice of Abbie. 
Sit back and relax because this is gonna be a bumpy ride. My sister Sara and I are funny in the head Potterheads and we hail from Maryland USA. Go East Coast! And we call ourselves the real world equivalent of the Weasley twins. Not twins really though, we’re five years apart, but the magic is cosmetic!
A solid proof of our Potterhead insanity is that we have visited the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter multiple times! Each time we go we vacation Hogwarts style. The bed we sleep in, the clothes we wear, and the things we eat … everything is done wizard style! That Butterbeer has become part of our DNA now and We can walk those cobbled stone streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley any day and everyday of our lives. Our hearts leap when we see the majestic Hogwarts Express at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, and there are sheer tearworks when we catch glimpse of the Hogwarts castle itself! 
We are calorie counting freaks but when we drink the Butterbeer and binge on Florean Fortescue’s ice cream flavors we forget about the annoying word called diet. O, and I flee at the name of thrill rides but I scream the loudest when I am riding the Forbidden Journey and Escape from Gringotts. They scare the bejeebers out of me but we spend hours in endless queues to ride these rides multiple times. Hogwarts is our home and the world better not make a mistake about that. O, and the shopping! We are absolute hardcore merchandise freaks! In totality we can open a legit Potter Museum. You’re going to see our Gryffindor lifestyle right here. 
Potterhead Chronicles is my wee little attempt at sharing our happiness of being Potter fanatics. Awesomeness of this magnitude needs sharing so raise your wands fellow wizards, witches, and muggles and FOLLOW THE SPIDERS … uhh I mean uhh subscribe to my channel!
You can expect to see my contributions to the Wizarding World Book Club discussions, Pottermore activities, throwbacks from our trips to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and a show and tell of favorite Harry Potter merchandise items since we are big time merchandise freaks! So basically everything we eat, drink, wear, and sleep Potter is going to be here. 
So stay close!
Give me a thumbs up, hit subscribe. And don’t let the Muggles get you down.
Until next time, this is Abbie saying Mischief Managed.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wizarding World Book Club: Chamber of Secrets Theme "Myth and Legend"

It was a very weird day to begin with. I woke up late because I kept turning my alarm off --- didn't wish to wake up I guess --- and that's why I had to take my cellphone into the shower with me to keep up with the tweets! Thank God I have the 7 Plus now because it is waterproof! I didn't get any retweets but Professor Gilderoy Lockhart spoke to me so I was really happy! Here are the tweets.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sesame Basil Chicken Pasta

Boneless chicken chunks from 6 breast fillets
Dried basil leaves, 1 tablespoon
Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon
Dried parsley leaves, 1/2 tablespoon
Salt, according to taste
Coarse pepper powder, 1/2 tablespoon
Sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons
Whole wheat macaroni, 10 cups 
Sour cream, 1 cup 
Chicken stock, 1 cup 

  1. Marinate boneless chicken chunks for 15 minutes in 1/2 cup canola (vegetable) oil, 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves,  1/2 tablespoon dried parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, and 1 cup sour cream.
  2. Put the marinated chicken mixture in a large cooking pot on high heat and start frying. 
  3. As the chicken cooks and color changes from pink to white, add 1 cup chicken stock. 
  4. Cook until stock begins to dry, add 10 cups of boiled macaroni, conduct a taste test and add salt accordingly, cook all the way until dry.
  5. Serve hot with a garnish of dried parsley leaves.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 Maryland United States

Planet Abbie's location was off the strip that got to enjoy total eclipse and full darkness. Nevertheless! I got the perfect rain clouds that created the perfect filter. The glare was reduced to zero for the few seconds that I caught on camera (iPhone 7 Plus). That's almost 80% of the sun covered. Ha! Just when we thought the storm warning would make the day a no show. Play video below to catch the eclipse.

Professor Gilderoy Lockhart tweeted Lunar Lovegood and that part of social media made my day! I didn't know I was in for a major show later on despite the stormy, cloudy weather.

There was madness going on in the USA. People had taken road trips to reach South Carolina to witness the total eclipse and complete dark. I had the live NASA broadcast feed going on my laptop (which I had set in the kitchen) and there was total eclipse happening in Oregon then. A day earlier I had gone out and tested the idea of recording the sun in selfie mode. It had looked feasible to me because touching the focal point made the glare of the sun disappear. Watch the test shoot down below:

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Initially, I woke up to a rain forecast and clouds everywhere. Of course! Whenever there's cosmic activity on my side of the planet the stormy weather sets in to block the show. I was really mad as I went about doing my kitchen duties around the house: fixing lunch and dinner. TV, radio, social media, everybody and everything had one topic for the day.  
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It was crazy! Awesome to watch! People had chartered an Atlantic cruise worth $15,000 to watch the eclipse. There were eclipse viewing fields arranged in Oregon where thousands of cars were parked since hours to watch God's great show. The Carolina beaches were swarming with people and the Press! I was; however, still mad at the clouds. Our eclipse started with first contact at 1:18pm and I decided to step out at around 2pm to watch what had happened. 

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The Wacky Finds Of August 2017

August 2017
The Wacky Finds Series is a monthly madness prompt happening at Sara's (my sister, my bestie!) blog, Sara Writes. In her words here's what it is all about.

"These are a monthly series I started out of sheer awe of how crazy things around me are! Here's what this is about ... Ahem Ahem: When my awesome self steps out of my bed each morning I meet a world of crazies. People, things, phenomena, and acts of nature which are simply too unusual to miss and not record! The Wacky Finds Series will cover all the weird stuff that I find along my way; good weird, awkward weird, bad weird, I-totally-don't-get-this weird .. all kinds of weird shall be recorded and snapped without any discrimination!"

So here are my top 5 Wacky Finds of the month!
The Creepy Unicorn
Bestie will kill me for this! That's her under there!

Venus Flytraps At Safeway
The instructions say 'feed dead flies' which is why I opted out!

The Head! 
No clue if this is real! Found this at Home Goods.

The Horse 
I love horses. But I am not a fan of this! It has no body.

A brand called Harry's (men stuff) at Target has done great advertising. I would like to see a ladies brand do something like this! Instagram actually has men posting photos to the #ownyouram and they like posting not just the shaving hour, but also their morning bike ride, morning jog, etc.

"That's all folks! Until the next five Wacky Finds, have a wacky day!"

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wizarding World Book Club: Chamber of Secrets Theme 'Phobias"

Hey Potterheads! Happy Friday!
I made a slightly late start on the Twitter discussion today. Let's just say we had a bit of a time issue and I don't have a working Time Turner yet. We were talking about phobias today. The Harry Potter saga is about courage if you ask me to address the crux in one word. You stand up to your enemies, and you stand up to your friends at times too! And of course, the need for courage arises when there are looming fears and phobias. Phobias and fears limit us. Harry battled fears and phobias in the wizarding world everyday. Ron did it with hilarious drama! Hermoine did it with remarkable poise. Whatever their styles were ... they pushed their limits. Let's check out today's discussion. You can tell by the alarm Label I set on my phone I was so happy it was Friday!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Abbie's Dhaba Style Keema (Minced chicken)

Chicken minced meat from breast, 5-6 cups finely ground
Onion, 1 large, chopped
Diced tomatoes (canned pulp or fresh), 1 cup
Chopped tomato, 1 large
Bay leaf (taiz patta), 1 large
Cloves, a couple of pods
Black pepper corns, a couple of pods
Cinnamon stick, 1 inch
Ginger and garlic paste, 1 tablespoon
Coriander (cilantro) powder, 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder, 1/s tablespoon
All spice (garam masala) powder, 1 teaspoon
Shan Kata Kat masala, 1 1/2 tablespoon
Vegetable (canola) oil, 1 cup or more according to preference
Butter, 1 inch stick (or acc to preference)
Green chilies, chopped and seeds removed, acc to preference

1. Add 1 cup vegetable (canola oil) to a cooking pan (deep skillet is ideal).
2. Add 1 large chopped onion, 1 large bay leaf, a couple of pods of clove, a couple of black pepper corns, an inch long stick of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste and begin to saute at high heat.
3. As onions begin to brown slightly, remove the bay leaf and discard.
4. Add 1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro) powder, 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon allspice (garam masala) powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons Shan Kata Kat masala and saute for another minute.
5. Add 5-6 cups, finely ground chicken mince (from chicken breast) and begin to fry, using a spatula to ground it even further as it forms lumps during cooking.
6. As the minced chicken (keema) begins to change color (from pink to white), add a cup of diced tomatoes (I used canned pulp) and continue to cook, adding another teaspoon of salt.
7. Cook until tomato pulp has disappeared, and the minced meat has browned. Check for salt, add according to taste.
8. Add chunks of butter (to your liking, I used an inch of the butter stick).
9. Throw in generous green chilies (seeds removed), chopped tomato, and chopped cilantro leaves.
10. Cover with a lid and let it sit on very low heat for the green chilies and butter aromas to incorporate in the meat!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Wizarding World Book Club: Chamber of Secrets Theme 'Celebrity'

There's no better way to begin a Friday morning than to be Tweeting to the Wizarding World Book Club. Before the discussion takes off, I always find fans prepping for it. Love it! I found a Mandrake today (handmade cutesy version!). Discussions are every Friday at 4pm BST (11am EST, my time!).
This summed up my Friday morning. I am headed to make some lunch now, and have a magical day in my own state of mind. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fried Moong Dal

  • Moong dal (lentils), soaked 6 hours, 2 cups
  • Fenugreek leaves (dry), 2 tablespoons
  • Red chili pods, 2
  • Cilantro (coriander) powder, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin powder, 1/2 tablespoon
  • Fried onions, 3/4 cup
  • Ginger and garlic paste, 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons
  • Vegetable (canola) oil, 1/2 cup
1. Add 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste, 2 red chili pods, 1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro) powder, 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder, 2 teaspoons turmeric powder, and 1/2 cup vegetable (canola) oil and mix well to a paste in a larke cooking pan.
2. Set on moderate heat and cook until you hear a sizzle.
3. Wash and strain moong lentils and add to the mixture. Mix well and add 2 red chili pods, 3/4 cup fried onions (crushed), and 2 tablespoons dry fenugreek leaves and fry well.
4. Add enough water to the skillet so as to submerge the lentils and have a centimeter of water level above the contents. 
5. Bring the lentils to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook (closed lid) until all liquid dries. Add 2 teaspoons salt (subject to taste) somewhere in the middle. Note: While lentils are cooking, open the lid occasionally and give the contents a stir to avoid sticking to the base.
6. Garnish with fried onions. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Cajun and Mayo Vegetable Stir Fry

Note: Quantities of ingredients have not been mentioned because you can take as much and as less as you like.  
INGREDIENTSCauliflower florets
Chopped mixed vegetable blend, frozen, (peas, carrots, beans)
Canned water chestnuts
Green bell peppers
Cajun seasoning
Light Mayonnaise
Red chili flakes
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Vegetable oil
COOK!1. Toss together cauliflowers, mixed vegetables (chopped), water chestnuts, and bell peppers in a large skillet on high heat and very little vegetable oil.
2. Once the fluid dries up, add some salt and pepper, generous Cajun seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and red chili flakes and continue to stir fry. 
3. After cooking for about two minutes add generous light mayonnaise and cook well. 
4. Stop cooking when mayo dries up. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sauteed Mushrooms

Note: This recipe has no quantities mentioned because it can be made according to taste.
INGREDIENTSCanned mushrooms (pieces and stems)
Garlic powder
Vegetable (canola) oil
Cheese of your choice
1. Squeeze the canned mushrooms of all excess fluid and dry them out on a dish towel for a couple of hours. You may set them in front of a fan to speed up drying.
2. In a frying pan, add very little vegetable oil (just to barely coat all mushrooms) and add mushrooms.
3. Sprinkle garlic powder on the mushrooms, sparingly.
4. Mix well with a spatula and set on high heat.
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper according to taste.
6. Saute the mushrooms well until whatever little fluid remained, dries up.
7. Lay them out on a serving plate and garnish with your choice of cheese (as much as you like!).
8. Microwave the plate to melt the cheese and serve hot!

Pottermore: Sorted Gryffindor, Discovered Patronus, Got Wand!

Last year I had joined Pottermore only to be highly disappointed and sorted into Hufflepuff! *DEATH STARE!* Who does that? So, I'd deleted the account because I am NOT Hufflepuff. I have emptied my pockets buying Gryffindor merch from all nooks and crevices of the planet and cyberspace. I shall not be sorted Hufflepuff! 
Then, this year I dived head straight into research as to what was the secret formula of being sorted into Gryffindor on Pottermore. Blimey! The planet is RAGING about how Pottermore sorted them into houses they don't like. Poor Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) did not get Slytherin! How cold blooded evil is that?! I was; however, not going down without a worthy Gryffindor fight!
Some answers on the multiple choice quiz are obvious Gryffindor answers. But there are trick questions there that are responsible for changing your results. O, and I tried noting down answers from YouTube videos that show how people got Gryffindor. They're not reliable. The same question with the same answer choices was answered differently in different videos and both people got Gryffindor. For example, Which pet would you take to Hogwarts? - I would always answer Snowy Owl. And someone answered Dragon Toad and got Gryffindor. Then there was a question that simply asks 'Left or Right?' and people became Gryffindors by choosing both options. What was I to do? 
So, in the end what mattered were prayers! I answered my Gryffindor instinct obvious answers, some learned answers from YouTube ON BIG RISK and some totally new questions popped up like 'Moon or Stars?' and I went with my instincts and Gryffindor logic. Like I chose Moon because of Professor Lupin and Moony and the friendship with Harry.  Then I said a prayer again and ...

Friday, August 4, 2017

Wizarding World Book Club: Chamber of Secrets Theme 'Home'

I joined the Wizarding World Book Club by Pottermore this week *BLINK BLINK* (What was I waiting for?). Since I am re-reading the Harry Potter books again (as part of reclaiming my life!), this comes as the perfect little treat that connects me to the fan world of Potterheads doing the same. Every week the WW Book Club is initiating Twitter discussions based on a theme from the chapters of the books being read that week. This week was Chapters 1 through 5 from The Chamber Of Secrets and I was ready to Tweet!

I was excited today about my first WWBook Club Twitter discussion. I had calculated the equivalent of EST according to the 4pm BST they had announced for the session to begin. Questions were posted and I indulged!
So that's that! Next week theme is celebrity and I am guessing it would have a lot to do with Professor Gilderoy Lockhart!