Harry Potter themed conference room added to our already non-traditional office decor

My husband’s law firm has always had some non-traditional office decor (for a law firm). We have a Batman, Avengers and Star Wars hallway. (Soon we will have completed our Lord of the Rings hall and dragon hall.) Our conference room has an Indiana Jones theme, and the break room has an arcade theme. You can check out my other posts on some of those decorations here or here.

So when we expanded yet once again in October, we decided the new conference room would have a Harry Potter theme. Some of the items we purchased – many from Etsy – but there are quite a few that we made ourselves. Let’s take a tour.

Once you enter, you see the Mirror of Erised (from Pottery Barn) and a canvas of Hogwarts (from Ebay). Next to that is our Quidditch area – which includes a robe, broom, chest with quaffle and bludgers, beater’s bats and signs about the four positions. I’ve added links to the items we bought though the robe is no longer available on Ebay. We made the signs, bludgers, and beater’s bats and of course outfitted the chest to hold its items.

The next area has a chess table with the House Point counter above it. The actual chess table is our second purchase of a table. The first one was too small (should have paid attention to the dimensions before ordering) though we found another place for it. I used my Cricut for the chess quotes. The house points is something my husband created. We got the gems from Amazon. (I’ll let you in on a funny story where as we tried to mount it to the wall, it fell and we had gems everywhere!)

The next area was a lot of work. It starts with a pensieve, our too-small chess table holding some bottled memories, and then an apothecary table with potions, a cauldron, and a hand-made spell book. On the wall we have keys (and some hanging from the ceiling), old photos (downloaded for free from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then we made the frames out of foam), a Mandrake, a pygmy puff, and a cage of Cornish pixies. For the Pensieve, we were inspired by this post on Instructables, but modified it to our own needs. We got the mirrors off Amazon as well as the digital picture frame that shows images from office events.

Next we have a bookcase filled with spell books (repurposed old law books), potions and items from the movie including Fawkes the Phoenix, the sorting hat, the Tri-Wizard’s Cup, the Sorcerer’s Stone, Tom Riddle’s diary (and Baslik fang), Golden Egg, Crystal Goblet, and Slughorn’s Hourglass. The books, potions, diary and fang are all items we made.

To finish out this wall, we have fireplace (with train, floating snitch and house symbols), a list of Dumbledore’s Army, Hedwig, the Maurader’s Map (see my husband’s Instructable on how we created this), our copy of the Daily Prophet and the display of office wands.

I created the Daily Prophet including the stories which list the employees as the escaped prisoners. I had it printed on foam board and then cut out the area for the moving picture. We filmed employees who had no problem getting into character for the running display.

All of the wands were bought for about $15 each on Ebay. I printed the wand board art and employee names on my Cricut though originally my husband wanted the wood engraved (for the top, not the names as employees do change). And yes, we even had a wand selecting ceremony.

Oh, and did I mention the dementor behind the doorway? It has scared a few people.

The last wall has the house flags (a gift from the employees) as well as our listing of which houses the employees belong in. And that pretty much wraps up this unique conference room. Everyone who has seen it has been impressed with what we have done. The employees loved coming in on Mondays to see if we had added to the room. My husband actually once got ran over in the hallway after I sent an announcement that we had added something major.

Mourning a loss – part 2

If you read my last post – Mourning a loss – part 1, you know that my mother passed away last month. I had planned to write last week more about her but a trip to the beach delayed that post. The trip was bittersweet. The last time we went to South Padre Island was last June. It was my parents, my brother, myself and my kids. It was different trip with Covid restrictions in place. But it was nice to get away with family. This time it was my husband, myself and the kids. I found myself thinking about my mom, remembering her there and hating the fact that we will never go on another trip together again.

It began in 2015 that we started going on vacations with her, my dad and my brother. The first one was a cruise to Mexico, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. The next year it was a a cabin at the lake (without my brother). And then there was the cruise to Alaska and a trip to Corpus Christi. We had a trip to New Orleans planned but then Covid hit, and our plans were cancelled. We went to South Padre Island instead. Who knew that would be our last trip together? But thankfully, we have the memories from all those other trips.

My family returned from South Padre two days before my mom’s funeral. Relatives that I haven’t seen in 8, 11 and 30 years came in from California, Florida, South Carolina and Missouri. It was great seeing everyone even if it was a sad occasion that brought us together.

It has been the hardest on my dad. He and my mother were married for 53 years. They met and married after only knowing each other for just 3 months. He was in the Air Force and days after they got married, my mom moved from Florida to Utah – her first time living out of the state. They went on to have three kids and lived in New Hampshire, Japan, Hawaii, California and Nebraska before my dad retired after 30 years in the Air Force. During those times, my mom was an elementary school teacher. After retirement, my dad went to work for the Department of Energy and my mom became a travel agent – which allowed us to do some more travel as I went to high school.

For fourteen years after I graduated, they stayed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I would come see them or they would come visit me. During this time apart, I got married and helped put my husband through law school. When we finally settled in San Antonio and decided to have kids, my mom immediately moved closer to us. She spent almost 16 years spoiling those kids. When they were little, my parents went everywhere with me and the kids – to the zoo, Sea World, the park, the rodeo, and other special events like a day out with Thomas (the Tank).

My mom was always very supportive of anything I did. When I wrote on my blog, she would often leave a comment. When I sold Pampered Chef, she always bought something from each party. And of course, she bought and reviewed each book I wrote. She always bought something from every fundraiser the kids participated in and went to many of their concerts or events. She even volunteered at the school festival.

As I said, she loved to spoil me and the kids. She bought us Hallmark ornaments and made sure our favorite treats were there when we went over to her house to play board games. I love everything that we were able to do together. My only one regret is that we didn’t stop to take more pictures. Oh, I took pictures of my kids doing stuff. But we never gathered everyone together and took group pictures (unless you count Thanksgiving where every year we sat on the couch for a group photo.) I just wish I had more photos of she and I together. Often we were the ones behind the camera catching the joy and fun of the others.

It helps help knowing that she had a great 77 years of life here with us. I just wish it had been for many more years. I miss you, mom.