Otherwise Known As: It’s the Great Broomstick, Harry Potter! (with apologies to Schultz)

Back in late summer, my friend and co-worker, Jessica, sent me a Pinterest pin.  It was a recipe for butterbeer latte, themed, of course, from Harry Potter lore.  THAT got me pinning again, which is a whole separate post issue addiction.  Since we both love HP, I re-pinned the butterbeer latte to one of my boards and told Jessica that we simply HAD to have that on her birthday at the beginning of October.  Then I set out looking for other HP recipes to accompany the butterbeer.

I found a bah-jillion.  Golden Snitch Cake Pops, Deathly Hallows Cookies, Licorice Wands, and the list went on.  Jess would find cool HP party ideas online and share them with me and pretty soon we agreed that we needed to just have an awesome Harry Potter buffet for Halloween.  We set out to plan the menu.

But we are nerds, and true to our fashion we immediately went overboard.  I had already decided to make trick-or-treat bags for all of our co-workers, and had been patiently holding onto the 40 blank bags since last Halloween, waiting for a cool theme to come to me.

Why don’t we make the treat bags fit the Harry Potter theme??  But…how??

I whined to my mom, the creative genius behind all my cool stuff, that I couldn’t think of a good idea to encompass all of Hogwarts yet be simple enough to put on a paper bag.  She thought for a minute and then suggested that we make the bags resemble the different books.  Now, in retrospect I’m not sure if she meant the seven books we all have on our bookshelves at home or if she meant the various books that the Hogwarts students used in their studies.  I assumed the latter and bolted to Jess with the idea.

Jessica immediately agreed that if I could find a list of books, she could design their covers.  We were on a roll.  Forty different books graced the front side of each bag, while the back held a small description of the book depicted.

But Halloween isn’t Halloween without proper decorations, right?  And our decorations would certainly have to fit our theme.  Before we could stop ourselves (as if!), we had agreed to transform the entire administrative wing of our office building into Diagon Alley.  There are ten employees in our wing.  Three of us are diehard Harry Potter fans.  The other seven, I must admit, caught on surprisingly fast.  I assigned each door a shop (yes, even the bathrooms, conference room and closet doors!) foolishly assuming that my co-workers would sit back and let me decorate.  Oh, NO!  They got ALL into it, researching the purpose of their particular shops, designing signs, and planning the décor.  When I printed a black-and-white sign for Eeylop’s Owl Emporium to put on Guy’s office door, he informed me that the lettering on his shop is supposed to be gold.  “I looked it up,” he said.  “My sign is gold and the door needs to advertise all the kinds of owls I have for sale.”

I beamed! “Alrighty, then.  Gold it shall be!!”

Here are a few of our shops:

 Blanca totally rocked Ollivander’s Wand Shop, and her hubby even made wands for her!


Jessica as Rita Skeeter at The Daily Prophet…oh, but of course!!


Margie’s office HAD to be the sweets shop!


Quidditch anyone??

 In all of Shreveport I could not find a stuffed owl, but Blanca came to the rescue for the owl emporium by making a balloon Hedwig.


Flourish and Blotts bookstore


Mickey was most willing to house the Magical Menagerie, dressed as Professor Sprout, complete with every Webkinz animal my kids own.

Common herbs and potions were found in the Apothecary, which shared space with The Leaky Cauldron.


And the ideas that got the whole thing spinning: the food…appropriately housed in The Leaky Cauldron, to which all employees were invited by howler.

Chocolate Frogs


(Not-So) Golden Snitch Cake Pops


Deathly Hallows Cookies


Pumpkin Juice

Now, normally I would be saying the food was the best part (and it was really good, especially the Pumpkin Juice.  The Butterbeer Latte, not so much…).  But I have to admit that I was most pleased by everyone’s willingness to dress in character.  I work with some awesome people!!!!  Here we are at the entrance to Diagon Alley…

We even littered the hallway with forty printed envelopes addressed to Mr. H. Potter, Cupboard under the Stairs.  It was great fun!!  As we stood around in The Leaky Cauldron, amazed at what we had accomplished in such a small amount of time, I jokingly commented, “Aren’t you all glad we didn’t decide to do Middle Earth?”

I could suddenly feel the electricity from the Tolkien fans.  And so it is set… Halloween 2012… Middle Earth, here we come!