Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Two

We’re picking up right from where we left off in the Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week One.

Day 8: Apparating Game

Ask your kids: “If you could apparate to anywhere in the world, where would it be?” You can use a map, books, or go online to find ideas or do some exploring. Or, if you have older kids, you can text each other photos of where you’d go. My pick is Amsterdam because we have friends living there and I’m itching to visit them.

Day 9: Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Jelly Beans

These jelly beans are great for a day when you’re too busy to do anything more involved. “Alas! earwax!”

Day 10: Dementor Attack Chocolates

This is another easy one. I stuck some Hershey’s Kisses in the Advent Box and tucked in a little note that said “Eat in Case of Dementor Attacks.”

Day 11: Yule Ball Mix Tape Activity

Have everyone share a few of their favorite Christmas songs and make a playlist on Amazon, Spotify, or iTunes to enjoy throughout the holidays.

Day 12: Chocolate Frogs

We used this mold to make chocolate frogs. Lily had the idea to crush up some candy canes and stir them in with the chocolate chips. Which made them more toad-like and delicious.

Day 13: S.P.E.W. Activity

Ron: “Never heard of it.”
Hermione: “Well, of course you haven’t. I’ve only just started it.”
Ron: “And how many members do you have?”
Hermione: “Well, if you two join, three.”

Hermione started S.P.E.W. (The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) to help house-elves have better lives. Talk about something you can do together to help someone and then go do it. It could be a Christmas activity, but you could also come up with ideas to help others in the coming year.

Day 14: Butterbeer

Last year, we made a cold version that involved rum and butter extracts and cream soda, but, man, was it sweet. And we didn’t love the butter extract. This year, we’re going to try a hot version like this one from the Food Network. But if that’s still too much, I’m going to forgot about butterbeer and just make butterscotch cookies. We can always make them more magical with lightning sprinkles.

Next up: Week Three







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