A Vintage Picnic Basket & An Art Deco Ring

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a magical place, but not nearly as magical as the events that transpired there on Sunday.

I woke up and immediately began a scavenger hunt that Anthony organized. He surprised me with flowers and a letter with a Hogwarts wax seal on the back of the envelope. This was the first of seven letters. Each letter corresponded to one of the seven Harry Potter books and led me on a search to find the next.

We have several Harry Potter references throughout the house, including a Slytherin pennant (Anthony is a Slytherin), Luna and Snape’s wands, even our car is named Hedwig, and that’s where the fourth letter led me.

The next letter led me to believe that we were going on a picnic at the arboretum and that he would photograph me, “complaint-free,” for my blog. Not having set my hair the night before, I scrambled to produce a beehive (unsuccessfully), but ended up using a vintage scarf to hide the mess I created.

We really did sit down for a picnic, during which I finally used my vintage picnic basket that Anthony got me for Christmas. It was absolutely lovely. There was slight overcast, so it wasn’t too hot, families were walking their dogs and teaching their kids how to ride a bike. I didn’t think anything could top this.

Once we finished our meal, we moved on to photographs. The spot that we chose was off the beaten path of the arboretum, secluded, serene and breathtaking. Despite getting bitten by something on my leg, this photo shoot was heavenly and I love almost every picture he captured.

I thought the day was over until we pulled into our parking lot and he handed me another letter, playing as if he was unsure of why Harry got an owl in the first place. I was immediately confused as to why he asked this, explaining that first years at Hogwarts get to bring an animal of their choice and that owls deliver mail. This was when he dropped the letter in my lap.

We proceeded to walk down a path that I take quite often to get to one of my favorite coffee shops, but took a detour and stopped at a local restaurant that we love. We made reservations for later that afternoon and headed back towards our apartment.

As we approached a bridge that I love to cross, I saw a mirror standing in the middle of it. The mirror had words across the top that weren’t easy to decipher at first, being broken up into fragments, but after taking a few moments I realized that it said “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.” These are the words on the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Once I figured out what the words meant, Anthony said “you know my heart’s desire” and got on one knee. I didn’t even let him ask me to marry him before slightly hyperventilating and shouting “yes, obviously yes.” To be honest, I don’t even remember not letting him ask me. All I remember is crying with joy as he put the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen on my finger.

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Black Lace, Midnight Release, and Mischief Managed

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Midnight book releases are always magical (no pun intended, or maybe it was). The first, and last, book premiere I attended was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix until Saturday.

The Harvard bookstore was hosting an event in which they showed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on a huge outdoor screen and, at midnight, sold Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now, when I say we attended the release I mean we showed up, grabbed some themed postcards and Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans, tried to lay out our blanket to watch the film but ended up getting squished and stepped on, and then left.

Maybe when you reach your mid-twenties you realize that you can just wait until the next morning to get a book. And that’s what we did. But before we realized how insanely packed the release was, we wandered around the Harvard bookstore where I displayed my loyalty to a few of my favorite characters.

Many aspects of my physical characteristics are closely tied to Harry Potter (which my mom is not thrilled about). The first being my Dark Mark tattoo. It took me four years to decide on this tattoo and I strategically picked the book version, and got it in the same place on my arm as the Death Eaters. No, I’m not a Death Eater, even though my hair is inspired by Narcissa Malfoy. It’s dedicated to one of the most important characters of all, Professor Severus Snape, and it’s my reminder to always stay in the light despite how tempting the dark can be.

The second, which I just mentioned, is my Madam Malfoy-inspired hair. I feel like her importance in the outcome of the story is underrated. She’s one of the main reasons Harry was able to defeat Voldemort. Had she not lied about Harry being alive, Voldemort would have survived. She also possesses some characteristics similar to Lily Potter, in that her loyalty lies with her family despite the fact that betraying Voldemort would lead to her death.

The last being another tattoo, a quote from Albus Dumbledore: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” Dumbledore says this to Harry while he’s mesmerized by the Mirror or Erised, which is desire backwards, but you probably knew that. It’s one of the most powerful quotes in the series for me, and I try to live by it, but sometimes dreams are too much fun, like imagining you go to Hogwarts.

Blouse: American Apparel | Skirt: Forever 21 | Shoes: Swing Along Heel in Noir – Modcloth

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