Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Review for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" {by Washington Irving}

TITLE OF THE BOOK: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

AUTHOR: Washington Irving

PUBLISHER: multiple



READING LEVEL: appropriate for teens and adults

GENRE: Classic/Gothic Fiction/Short Story/Speculative Fiction


The Headless Horseman haunts Sleepy Hollow. An outsider named Ichabod Crane moves to Tarry Town, where he tries to marry the daughter of the richest man in town. He's driven out of Sleepy Hollow by the Headless Horseman.

2.8 stars


I think most of us at Delicious Reads were surprised by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Though many members had heard certain versions on the story, few of us had actually read it. We all were expecting a scary story, but it turned out to be more of a comical story than we imagined . . . and much shorter than the books we usually read. 

Before we took a quiz (which was hard! Shame on you, Whitney), our moderator split us into two teams to play Story Round-Robin. Each person on the team was given the chance to write two sentences to add to a "scary story" that we passed around. Once everyone finished writing their sentences, we headed out to Whitney's back yard and sat around the fire. It was cold outside, so this was the perfect moment to have the fire warm us up while we read aloud the stories each group wrote and voted on our favorite. The finished stories were comical!

Whitney told us how The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is really the first story written about the headless horseman and how most other stories featuring this character stem from this one (especially the idea of a pumpkin head). 

We all decided that we thought the purpose of this book was for humor and entertainment, not for scaring. Because the end of the story doesn't come straight out and say that Bram Bones was the Headless Horseman (though it definitely alludes to it), we discussed what we thought about him. A few of the girls thought Bram reminded them of Gaston (from Beauty & the Beast). I think that is spot on:

Bram could give Gaston a run for his money.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has more book covers than almost any other book!

I hope you are able to enjoy a creepy little tale this Halloween season. Let us know what you think of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.



Friday, October 7, 2016

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Book Club Ideas

I feel so lucky to be apart of all the magic with this amazing Harry Potter book club party. I got to moderate book #5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 

There were so many different options to decide between for my decor item. I made the Prophecy Ords from this book for a fun DIY decoration. They were really easy and turned out pretty cool. They definitely look best in low.  

Prophecy Orbs

DIY Prophecy Orbs

Things you will need:
- Clear christmas ornaments (that break apart in half) 
- Blue tea lights
- Assortment of candle holders
- Spray paint for the candle holders (whatever color you would like)
- Silver metallic paint 
-Paint brushes

DIY Prophecy Orbs

This project is simple and can be customized however you like. You can paint the base of your orbs (candle holders) any color. I left a few of the candle holder how they were, the others I spray painted gold and/or Black. 

DIY Prophecy Orbs

For the actual Orbs on top I opened up the christmas ornaments and painted the inside with the silver metallic paint. I had to use about 5 coats to get it dark enough so that you couldn't see the tea lights inside. 

After the paint is all dried you just turn on the blue tea lights, put them in the christmas ornaments, and then place the ornaments on top of your candle holders. 

I added a small sign on the front of the main Harry Potter/ Lord Voldemort Prophecy. In the book this is what is actually written on that Prophecy;

S.P.T. to A.P.W. B.D.
Dark Lord 
and (?) Harry Potter

DIY Prophecy Orbs

Book Discussion 
There are many great things to talk about in this book but here is just a few of the main points/ questions we discussed.

- Harry's feelings of anger and loneliness, why he felt them, and the importance of it. 
-Do you think Harry has been given to many free passes and do you think other students would be able to get away with so much?
- Dolores Umbridge; we talked all about her character and if we thought she was actually evil, or like others and just didn't want to believe Voldemort was back. 
- Similarities and differences between Sirius Black and Harry. 
- Severus Snape and his "Worst Memory". 
- The sorting hats warning about staying united and not divided. 
- How would that feel not having anyone believe you about something as big as Lord Voldemort returning?
- The quote from Sirius Black "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."

Book Activity

After the book discussion we moved over and did a little arts and crafts time. Dolores Umbridge would be very proud of these cat plate. Im sure everyone wanted to go home and hang them on their walls just like Dolores ;). 

DIY Cat Plates

You will need:
- Assortment of china plates (I got them from a second hand store)
- Assortment of cat pictures printed on photo paper
- Mod Podge
- Sponge paint brushes

Everyone got to pick the china plate and cat picture of their choice. Just use the bottom of the plate to  trace a circle around the picture, and then cut it out. 

DIY Cat Plates

Add a little Mod Podge...

DIY Cat Plates

 ---and just like that you became a cat lady... I mean Professor Umbridge with awesome cat plates. 

DIY Cat Plates

I Must Not Tell Lies 
Kelly surprised everyone with these awesome tattoos. They looked so cool when they were on, just like the real thing. 

I Must Not Tell Lies Tattoos

I Must Not Tell Lies Tattoos

Pumpkin Pasties 

I found a yummy recipe on Pinterest for pumpkin pasties. They were seriously so yummy! Here is the link to the exact recipes I used. Pumpkin Pasties Recipe 

Pumpkin Pastries

I had lot's of fun dressing up as the crazy Bellatrix Lestrange. 

Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix

Don't forget to check out what we did for these Harry Potter books too:

Harry Potter #5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Book Club Ideas
Coming Soon . . . 
Harry Potter #6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Book Club Ideas
Harry Potter #7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Book Club Ideas

Thanks for reading! 
The one and only, Bellatrix

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Book Club Ideas {FREE Printables}

Goblet of Fire Book Club Delicious Reads
Moderating Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) for Delicious Reads was EPIC. The whole weekend was perfection. Each moderator went all out with discussions, activities, decor, and costumes.

Start off with a Goblet of Fire and have each person put their name in. I created my own version of the Goblet of Fire. I just used wood glue to attach a large wooden candlestick to a ceramic popcorn bucket from DI (my local thrift store). Then I painted them a wood color. My plan was to use this recipe for blue fire. My brother also suggested getting blue cellophane, cutting it to look like fire, and putting a light and fan in the bottom of the cup, which I think is an excellent idea.

I decided to begin the discussion with our very own Harry Potter Triwizard Minute to Win It. I figured it would remind everyone of the main plot line of the book and it would be a lot of fun too!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Minute to Win it

Harry Potter Tri-Wizard Minute to Win It

In Harry Potter #4, the Triwizard Tournament is a contest between three schools in Europe: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Durmstrang Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.  Each school is represented by one champion, but in the case of HP #4, Harry Potter is the 4th champion chosen by the Goblet of Fire. Selected contestants compete in three tasks that test their magical ability, intelligence, and courage. I chose to do three activities as part of our book club discussion.

Free printable of Minute to Win it Maze

TASK#1: Adult Maze (Task of Intelligence)

I know, technically this should have been last (if you are following HP#4), but I wanted a task everyone could participate in and would easily whittle down our 25 book club members to 4 champions. This one took several minutes longer than one minute, and it was hard! Just print off a copy for each person and have it face down. We had these fantastic wand pens created by our amazing Kellie. We all started at the same time and the first four to complete the maze were the winners. I was only going to give one minute, but it actually took over 5 minutes for the first person to solve it!

An "Adult" Maze
(and, no, that's not a dirty joke)
(more great mazes here)

TASK #2: Move the Dinosaur Eggs (Task of Magical Ability)

The first 4 to finish the maze puzzle became the contestants for the rest of the tournament! Since the champion in HP#4 had to retrieve a dinosaur egg, I thought it would be fun to use Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans as "eggs" and have our maze champions use wands as chopsticks to see who could move the most from one bowl to another in 1 minute. Again, we used the awesome wand pens created by our Kellie (see her tutorial here):

Wand Pen

I then made the champions eat all of their Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans just for fun. The top three were supposed to go on to compete in the last task.

I made the girls eat all the Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans too!
None of them died, but I'm pretty sure they wanted to kill me!

Poor Summer had the most beans to eat. I was totally gagging with her. Bertie Botts are no good all together!

Bryn finished eating her Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans in record time!

TASK #3: Hold the Plank (Task of Courage/Strength)

In HP#4 the champions have to save someone they love by swimming underwater. I decided to do a play on word (i.e. walk the plank) and have the winners up to this point hold a fitness plank (i.e. face down on ground and only forearms and toes holding up your body). Who ever held theirs the longest was given the Triwizard Cup. I let any of the other girls in book club join in too so they weren't bored. But Summer ended up holding the longest out of the champions so far. I think she held her plank for 5 minutes and probably could have kept going! She was a true champion aqnd deserved the Tri-Wizard cup.

Harry potter party ideas
Summer (aka Cho) was our Tri-wizard Champion!
(she also took most of the pictures of the night - Summer Nicole Photography)
No one died during our contest, but I think several girls were sore the next day from doing a plank for over 5 minutes!

Make Your Own Tri-Wizard Cup

I created this simple version of the Triwizard Cup. I thought about adding getting three plastic snakes and painting them silver to add to the sides, but decided to keep it simple so the winner would actually use it afterwards as a candle holder or something.

  1. I went to my local thrift store (DI) and bought a candlestick and a cup (I think the candlestick was actually crystal, but the cup/bowl was glass. I don't think it matters as long as it is clear and it has a similar cut to the triwizard cup from the movie).
  2. I used this glass glue (yes, it's a thing!). It dries clear and is waterproof. I actually use it all the time to create fun serving display plates and such (for another post!).
  3. Make sure your candlestick and bowl/cup is clean and dry. Apply the glue to the top of the candlestick and set the cup on top. Allow to dry overnight. It's that simple!
  4. It only cost me about $3 to make because I already had the glue, but you can get some for about $3-4, so it's still an inexpensive prize. You could add Bertie Botts to it too if you wanted.

Harry Potter Party Idea
My simplistic Tri-wizard Cup
If you want to go all out, you can get this Tri-wizard cup on Amazon for about $40. It lights up too.

After out Triwizard Cup was won, we had some serious discussion! I got most of my questions here from Bloomsbury. They have great questions for every Harry Potter book. Here are some of my favorites.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Discussion Questions:

Bloomsbury created this great 12 page PDF guide with the book summary, questions, and activity ideas. 

  1. The previous books have all opened at the Dursleys’ home, but this book starts instead in the Riddle House (Chapter 1). The pain Harry feels in his scar in Chapter 2 is an omen of what is to come. Soon after, the Quidditch World Cup is interrupted by a sinister attack (Chapter 9, ‘The Dark Mark’). Why do you think J.K. Rowling departed from the way she had started the other books?
  2. Talk about the many ways in which Harry is helped through the tasks of the Triwizard Tournament by adults and fellow pupils alike. How much of his success is down to him, and how much to others? How does Harry repay the support he receives? Why does Harry take time to free others besides Ron during the second task? How does the relationship between Harry and Cedric develop through the three tasks of the Triwizard Tournament?
  3. What do you believe causes the connection between Harry’s wand and Voldemort’s? How do the shadow figures that emerge from Voldemort’s wand during the connection help Harry escape? Why does Voldemort need Harry’s blood to regain his body? Is Harry learning to become a great wizard or is he just lucky to escape the forces that arise against him? Do you believe that Harry is living out a destiny or acting of his own free will?
  4.  In what ways do we see the main characters starting to grow up in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? What things are they experiencing that they haven’t in the previous books? What is Harry’s unexpected task in Chapter 22?
  5. What is the significance of Hermione’s campaign for the welfare of the house-elves? Why is she adamant about improving their conditions? Why do the house-elves resist her efforts? Discuss what Sirius Black means when he says: ‘If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.’ (Chapter 27, ‘Padfoot Returns’, p. 443) 
Because every Harry Potter party needs a baby Dobby!

This is my little 4 month old Olive, dressed fabulously in a pillow case I found twenty minutes before I left for the party. I cut off the top to fit her body length (I could have gone shorter) and then I cut a little down the side so I could tie the shoulders together. I printed a little S.P.E.W badge and laminated it with clear tape, then hot glued a pin to the back to hook to her pillow case.
If you really want to play the part of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you need to dress the part! You could go traditional as Harry Potter, but I decided to be a little more unique and be Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons. If you want to see how I made my costume, check it out here (link coming soon!)

Harry Potter Goblet of Fire Book Club Delicious Reads
Me in my custom Fleur Delacour costume. the Triwizard cup next to me. 

Don't forget to check out what we did for these Harry Potter books too:

Coming Soon . . . 
Harry Potter #5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Book Club Ideas
Harry Potter #6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Book Club Ideas
Harry Potter #7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Book Club Ideas

Robin aka Fleur
(and little Dobby too)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Girl on the Train {Book to Movie}

This is the perfect movie to see this spooky season. A mysterious thriller that will keep you guessing all movie long. I have to say when I read the book I was surprised by the ending. It was not as crazy of a twisted book as Gone Girl but still interesting and a great page turner. 
I am really interested in seeing this movie because I love Emily Blunt and she plays the main character. 
So mark your calendars to go see
this weekend.
Opens October 7th
Rated R
112 minutes

Monday, October 3, 2016

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Book Club Ideas

I chose to moderate Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban because it is one of my favorites from the series! It always has been. 
We are introduced to dementors, transfiguration, Harry's godfather, Buckbeat, time-turners, and so many other things of the wizarding world! 


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Book Club Ideas

Hey guys welcome to Book Club Ideas for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I really liked this book and feel like we are introduced to many new "beasts" and this is where we hear about Tom Riddle's Diary (which later we know to become one of those things, I don't want to say in case you haven't read the whole series.) I moderated this book at our Harry Potter Retreat and there were so many things you could do for it. I had to choose which ones I would do because I couldn't do them all. Keep reading and find out all we did at our book club for this book.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Quarterly Book to Movie {October-December 2016}

There aren't that many Book to Movies coming out this quarter but they are really good Book to Movies! In fact no book to movies in December. Check out which books you should reads before you see the movie.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children {Book to Movie}

Get ready for the Halloween Spirit this month by going to see the new movie
It comes out September 30th
It is rated PG-13 and is 2hrs and 7 mins short
I don't think it looks too scary for my 9 year old so I might be taking all my kids to this. I really think they will all enjoy it.
This series by Ransom Riggs has become very popular since it's release in 2011.
Ransom Riggs

Friday, September 16, 2016

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Book Club Ideas

Hey Readers!
I'm Cami from Worthington Ave. and I'm stopping by Delicious Reads today to share about how I moderated Harry Potter Book One for the Delicious Reads Harry Potter Retreat.
I had a blast putting together fun things for this book, and I'm excited to share them with you!

Monday, September 12, 2016

5 movies that were better than their books

Unpopular opinion time: sometimes the movie is every bit as good as the book it's based on. And sometimes it's even better

Hopefully no book lovers' panties are getting bunched reading this, but I have to admit that sometimes movies bring something special to the table that even a great book just can't deliver. Or sometimes, a movie turns a truly lackluster book into an awesome experience.

Of course, there are tons of movies that absolutely butcher the book on which they were based, but today's post is in honor of the movies that rocked it, and might even be better than the book they're based on. Just one girl's opinion here, of course, and you are more than welcome to disagree with me, as long as no one shows up at my house with torches and pitchforks :-)

The Martian (by Andy Weir) This novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars got tons of buzz and tons of love. I'm sorry to say, this book was totally not for me. I did manage to finish it (I'm a serial book abandoner), but I didn't care for it at all. To me, the writing style was slow, gimmicky, and obnoxious, and I just didn't care whether he made it home or not. But the movie gave me everything I didn't get from the book: action, excitement, drama, all the feels, and hunky Matt Damon. Win.

The Princess Bride (by William Goldman) One of the few times I've watched the movie before reading the book! I grew up watching The Princess Bride. I'm sure I've seen it over a hundred times. So when I finally read the book in my late teens, it just felt all wrong to me. The story was very much the same as I knew it from the movie (the author helped adapt it into film format), but I had fallen in love with the movie years ago, and couldn't fall quite as hard for the book. It just never felt quite right to me.

The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins) When the world was going crazy over The Hunger Games book series, I dipped my toes in and gave it a try. Nope. Did not like it one bit. I thought the idea was cool, but after finishing the first book, I had no desire whatsoever to continue the series. The movies, on the other hand, I really enjoyed. The world came alive for me in a way that I didn't experience while reading the book, and I looked forward to each new movie, whereas I couldn't even be bothered to finish reading the books.

The Help (by Kathryn Stockett) Now, don't get me wrong; I enjoyed reading The Help, and even read it twice! But there were certain aspects of the writing that felt clunky to me, and some points of the story or characters' personalities that I didn't think were handled well. The movie, however, streamlined the story and brought the characters to life. I thought this movie was every bit as good as the book, and even better.

Forrest Gump (by Winston Groom) For years and years, I didn't even realize that there was a book before the movie. And I have to say, I wish I had never found out. The story is so different, Forrest himself is practically unrecognizable, and it's safe to say that there is no comparison. The movie wins by a landslide.