Are you smarter than an Escape Room?


We always ride by a place called, Exit Strategies in our home town, but never thought much about it...Until one day, while watching Impractical Jokers.  Now, I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with that show (if not, you must watch it! it's hilarious) but, basically these four friends compete with each other in crazy funny challenges.  The loser has to be punished.  Well, this day I was telling you about, the loser had to be locked in an Escape room with a bunch of strangers and figure out the way out while also doing other outrageous things.  But my point is... the actual Escape Room thing seemed cool.


I was curious, so I googled it.

I was stoked to find out that we had our own Escape Room (several, actually) facilities here in town!  The one Exit Strategies place I saw every day, being one of them.

This past weekend we gave it a shot.  After arguing among our little group about who was the smartest, we decided to see if we could beat the room.

We picked the RUINS room.  Indiana Jones-themed, this room (or rooms, rather) was beautifully decorated with artifacts, and a surplus of archaeological  objects, including a burial site with bones inside! (here comes the mummy), stone columns, skeleton keys, tribal idols, and sand....lots of sand.  Your task is to find your way out of the room by finding clues and solving puzzles.  find your way out, and you go into the next room, with a new set of puzzles to solve.  In the last room, you must find the golden skull and win the game.  

All this in under one hour.  60 minutes can go really fast when you freak out.

But don't panic too much! If you are stuck, you can ask your guide for help.  They will provide clues on how to solve your puzzle... they WON'T tell you how to do it, but they will point you in the right direction.  Our guide, Aaron was helpful and patient.  You know that they are observing you while you lose your hair trying to figure out the way, so we tried to keep calm...but Aaron probably laughed at us more than once (we were serious about proving who was smarter!)

Find the Golden Skull and you get out.  Were we smart enough to find it?


Well...... It seems like we found it!

We escaped!! 

So, who was declared the smartest of us 6?... The best part is that we all had things to contribute to the task.  Each person in our little "Super 6" group discovered their strengths, and we all listened to each other.  It was a fantastic way to unite us and it is pretty satisfying to know you escape with time to spare.  We will have to find another way to vote on brain power. 

Sorry we couldn't take more pictures, but they're not allowed.  In fact, you must leave all your belonging, including cell phones, in a locker before you enter the room... so no one cheats.  


Go visit your local escape room and have fun!  It's like traveling into a different world without leaving your town.  

Fun guaranteed! Have you done an Escape Room? Tell me more!!!!!! Please leave a comment below...

Till next time!



Carolina Pride: What Football Makes You Feel

Our hometown of Charlotte, NC is also home to the awesome Carolina Panthers... I know, I know, if you are not from around here, you must be booing me right now, but listen! It's football season and we are Carolina proud (so let's deal with it).

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.

Let me tell you what I like about my Panther Nation.  Before I even knew anything about football (thanks to my hubby, I'm now an expert), I used to think that football was boring and quite stupid... I know! How could I?? But now, I absolutely LOVE to see the Panthers play, and win (hehehe).  The team is cohesive and the players are incredibly involved and committed to their community.  I love that. They, not only love football, but also their fans.  

I know you are probably saying...well, that's every team. I agree. They all should, but what I mean is that when you see it first hand, it's a rewarding feeling to know that those big gladiator-looking guys on the field are the same teddy-bear-like men out signing autographs and/or spending quality time with kids and people in their community.  

Football is not only about the competitiveness of the sport, but also about the feeling of joy and pride you get when your team does well; and the same goes when your team doesn't win and they still leave the field with their heads up, cheering each other in the process. 

It's about the sense of belonging to something greater than yourself. 

It's the satisfaction of watching every first down, and celebrating every touchdown.  

Football is about community and togetherness, because when we are watching football, we are all one.  It doesn't matter your race, your age, your religion, your orientation...When we watch football, we all belong to the same team.

And that's why these athletes are so significant to us.  Because we watch them every season, not only with our eyes, but with our hearts; and what they do on and off of the field has meaning to you, to me, and to any fan. 

These athletes have the power to make us laugh, scream with joy, cry of frustration, and also, hug each other in celebration.  YES, football makes us do all that.  And when our sport heros takes a stand (or a knee) to show support for their community, for those who don't have a voice, for the ones that are mistreated due to prejudice, they are doing that for you and not to disrespect our nation.  On the contrary... they do it to try to bring the nation together by creating a dialgoue. 

I've heard many people say "just play football and stop the protesting on the field".  But I just explained that football is NOT just throwing a ball and scoring touchdowns.  It's about a very complex system of feelings that run through our bodies, and evoke a sense of belonging, a sense of community, a sense of family. 

When your team scores, you FEEL happy, you celebrate, you feel the euphoria through your veins.  So, don't tell them to just play football, because if that was the case, football would be dead. There's no football without the feelings that I just described.  

Our players have a voice that is heard loud and clear.  We should be proud that they choose to use that voice to speak for those who can't.  I patiently wait for the day that people can see that...obviously, the hardheadedness (for lack of a better word) of some fans sometimes goes beyond my comprehension, and goes beyond common sense, and human nature.  Sometimes we forget that we are all humans and we harshly judge, and misjudge each other...but I'm going to stop here and leave it at that.

This football season, I will wear my Carolina jersey with pride, and I will cheer for my team, whether they take a knee or stand; hug my neighbors, respect others who are different from me, and be kind to those in my community.  Because peace starts at home, near you, in your town... be the difference today, and tomorrow you will see the change. (And all that good energy will reflect on your team, and maybe help them win the Superbowl!- wishful thinking ) 


Cheer your team with a sense of belonging and you will see the joy that I'm talking about.




Harry Potter Style Party: DIY Sorting Hat

When my friend said that her daughter wanted to have a Harry Potter Themed birthday party I squealed.  Yes, I actually did. No lie. SO, I volunteered to help a little with ideas and decor.  Well, I'm not going to lie, I'm terrible at decorating. BUT the one thing I'm good at is creating things out of nothing.  

I searched for ideas, and we decided that she had to have a sorting hat! My friend actually had a fantastic idea of recreating the sorting of the Hogwarts houses.  I mean, it doesn't matter how good I am, I could never make the sorting hat actually speak (and if I did, I couldn't tell you, because I can't reveal these sort of secrets to muggles... but you didn't hear that from me).  

My friend baked cupcakes and filled them in with four different frosty colors to signify each house.  You take a bite, If you get yellow you are a Hufflepuff, blue is Ravenclaw, green is Slytherin, and Red is Gryffindor. GENIUS!


I love DIY projects.  This particular one was exciting to me because I'm a huge potterhead.  I checked pinterest, and other DIY ideas and kind of came up with my own.  

I used materials I already had around the house.  I figured that it had to be sturdy since kids were going to be taking in off and on, so I used cardboard form a large box for the brim of the hat, and...a cheetos box for the crown part... I mean, I figured it was going to get covered anyway, so why not.  Obviously, you can use cardstock or thin cardboard.  

Originally, I was going to use regular glue to keep all parts together, but I soon realized that regular ole Elmer's glue was not going to be enough for this project...So I used duct tape.  Yep.  Best idea I've ever had.  Here's what I did:

1.  MEASURE the circumference of your head, or your kid's head and draw a circle on the cardboard.  Make sure it's big enough!!!! this step is VERY important as you can't fix it later if you make it too small. 

2. DRAW a even bigger circle (brim) around the head-circle.  Cut.  It should look like a donut.   Try it on to make sure the opening is big enough.


3. USE a large sheet of cardstock paper and fold it in a cone shape.  Make sure that the base (bottom) of the cone shaped cardstock is the same size as the head-opening that you'd previously cut.  Don't worry if the cone looks good or not... we are going to dent it and shape it in just a minute.  I used duct tape to keep the cone together.  It worked great.

4. CUT 1 inch slits all around the base of the cone to make little flaps. about 1 inch apart.  Insert the cone shape into the head-opening until the flaps are at the bottom.  Fold the flaps outward and glue/duct tape the flaps to the brim of the hat.  You can use the duct tape to your discretion to make sure the hat is sturdy and secure.  I used small pieces of cardboard to create the face of the hat (eyebrows and mouth).


5. NOW the fun begins!  Try to mold your cone by wrinkle it in strategic places.  The top, and some on the sides.  Then, let's paper mache! I ripped regular white paper in pieces and glued one by one on the visible surfaces of the hat until it was completely covered.  Then I applied a layer of modpodge to the entire hat.  This gives it a "leathery" texture.  

6. THE CREASES of the sorting hat are iconic, so I had to get creative.  I used regular sheets of white paper and wrinkled them and then glued them to the bottom, between the brim and the cone part.  make sure it's secure and dry before the next step.


7. PAINT the hat!  Using two tones of acrylic paint, I was able to create texture to the hat.  I used dark brown to cover the entire hat first, and then I used a metallic bronze color to paint strategic places only.  Paint with bronze over the face (eyebrows, nose bridge, mouth), and on the outer part of the creases.  

Let it dry before you paint the bottom part of the brim.  

The results will vary depending on the paint color, but overall I think this is a great way to add a little extra fun to your Magic-themed party! (and cheap!)


I love DIY projects! tell me about your projects and I might try them too! please comment below or share this post! thanks!



One Year Blogiversary

Can you guys believe it's been a year?! 52 weeks?! 365 days?! (Wait, was last year a leap year? 356? I dunno, but you get the idea, one trip around the sun!)

Our first year blogging was a big learning experience. And by that, I mean that we had absolutely no idea what we were doing but we just kind of went with it.  

We shared weekly book reviews, tried out new recipes and shared some of our own. We brought you around the world with us as we backpacked in Europe, played das boot at Oktoberfest in Georgia, and traversed the hills of Pigeon Forge, TN. We gave you a glimpse into our crazy lives and we hope you enjoyed it.

Taking what we have learned over this past year, we are going to be making some changes. Now don't get your panties all in a wad here people, you will still be privy to some awesome book reviews, travel fun, and general life craziness (whew, see...I told you it wouldn't be that bad). So whats changing then? 

Dun dun dun


Now as much as we like the name RealLifary, we found that it was not so user friendly. When talking about, and discussing our blog with others we received mixed reviews. "Oh, you blog about....real fairies?" You can see where this would pose a problem yes?

Our original intent was to have this blog become our Real Life Diary... get it? RealLifary? Makes sense to us, but confusing to others (kinda the story of my life). 

We have agonized and brainstormed until there were no more brain cells left to storm with, and we think we have agreed on something that we love.

Something clean and all encompassing.

Something fun. 

Something that captures our blog perfectly. 

Ekkkkkk, so excited!

Wait, you wanna know what it is? Gosh you're needy.

Without further ado..... This is Us: (haha you see what I did there...incorporated the name of my new fav show into the teaser)


This is us now... So come back soon and continue to explore with us! we have amazing book recommendations and reviews coming up, as well as cool travel destinations that you will love!


Coco & Mia. 


Donating your Hair... more than just cutting.

My daughter’s first “haircut” was at the age of 2.  She was born with a head full of fast growing hair. By the time she was 2, her dark brown hair was shoulder length with gorgeous silken baby curls hanging at the ends. Once she had her first haircut, the curls were gone (I cried a little), but her hair grew even faster. 

Now, at the age of 7, she’s had a few trims (a couple of inches at the time), but never even considered having an actual haircut with style. 

Until this summer…

We were watching American Ninja Warrior when one of the contestants, Kevin Bull, came on the screen followed by a story clip of his condition, alopecia. 

My daughter asked about it, and she was very curious to know why there were people that didn’t grow hair…especially the children they were showing on screen. We had a long conversation about medical conditions, including cancer, that some people endure and why some treatments make you lose your hair. She was devastated to learn that there were kids out there that had to go to school with no hair. She was worried about bulling among other things that go on inside a seven-year old’s mind. 

We looked at pictures of kids after undergoing chemo (she likes visual learning), and she asked if they can get wigs. YES! I said.  I told her that people donate long hair to make wigs and kids with many conditions can get them. 

Then she decided (on her own) that she wanted to cut her very long hair and donate it. 

I was shocked, and emotional, but it is obviously a decision that she was making, and I saw how firm she was in her determination. Either way, I gave her a couple more weeks for her to think about it. I mean, ALL her life she’s only known to have her long hair. Cutting it so short is a big decision, even for an adult, and I needed to make sure she was sure. 

And she was.

We scheduled the appointment and I could see she was a bit nervous before hand.

The awesome hairdresser measured her hair and began to cut.

Her face says it all when she realized the cutting was actually happening, and she feels the scissors going through her hair…

She styled it and placed two small red hair extensions for some added flair (she has been asking to get red highlights…but I refuse to bleach her hair at such an young age).

The highlight idea was a hit! She was so excited and happy with her new haircut.

And we are shipping the ponytail!

That night, she was crying, and although she wouldn’t tell me, I knew it was because she missed her hair… but it got better once I reminded her of the good act she was doing by donating her hair. I can only imagine what was going through her head... change is hard enough for an adult, developed brain, just imagine what it is for a kid. Abrupt change can be stressful. Thankfully, she is mature for her age and quickly came to a point where she was fine.  

It’s been almost a week, and she’s rocking her new do. 

Now the task continues as I haven’t decided which entity to send the hair to. Wigs for Kids is the one I originally chose, but I’m afraid they won’t accept her hair as it is just short of their 12 inches minimum requirement.  I would HATE for her hair to go to waste. 

Our next choice was the Pantene program, but my daughter insists that it must go to kids.  After researching, I realized Pantene does adults.

And there’s also Locks of Love. They donate mostly to kids with alopecia, and not cancer as our intentions were…but I think we are okay with that. They only require a minimum of 10 inches, and we got 11…. So I guess we have a winner!


If you have long hair, consider donating it when you cut at least 8 inches.... Don't let it go to waste!!!

As for my daughter, she said she's going to let it grow so she can donate her hair again.  I'm a proud parent. 



DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?? LET ME KNOW!!!! Share or Comment below!

Gardening update

So it's been roughly a month since I planted my veggie garden and I am so proud to report, I haven't killed a single thing! I will say, we have gotten quite a lot of rainfall the past several weeks so I have had help in the remembering to water department. This past weekend I harvested my first (of what I hope to) be many jalepenos and cucumbers. Look at these beauties!


I finely chopped up a couple of the jalapenos and threw them in with my eggs along with some garlic and parmesean cheese. Delish! As far as the cucumbers, I am trying my hand at pickles. I made 4 jars with just this haul! I'll let you know how they taste after I give them a few days to pickle. I literally just sliced them up, stuffed them in a jar, and covered them with vingear and a few red pepper flakes. Hope they turn out yummy! 

The tomato plants are roughly three feet high- glad I went ahead and bought some cages to help support them because these suckers are tall! I can see several green tomatoes growing on the vines. Can't wait until they are ripe for the picking! (Still in need of some good salsa/spaghetti sauce recipes!)


This cucumber is insane people. It's like the vine that doesn't stop growing. I'm not complaining, I hope this gal (Audrey II as I like to call her), produces tons of cucumbers! Next year I think I will plant my cucumber in the middle of one of the raised beds. I really didn't know it would fan out so much, and now have vines trailing along in the grass. 

The bell peppers aren't doing too much, I think they were smothered by Audrey II, but I am holding out hope that they come around. Look at this cute little green bell pepper starting to grow. 

Surprisingly I have not had much in the way of animal interference. I thought for sure I would be cursing the wildlife for pilfering and nibbling through my plants, but so far, I've been lucky. Maybe the fact that we have a couple of dogs keeps the little furries away from our yard? Whatever the reason, I'll take it. 

Anyone else out there brining in a good harvest yet this summer? What are your favorite things to grow? 


Salud! Great beer from a craft Cerveceria.

In our hometown of Charlotte, NC, there’re always a lot of cool events happening daily.  There’re also many different districts, and parts of the city that host events constantly, and where you are almost always guaranteed a great time. 

One of our favorite areas is NoDa (the North Davidson area) which is known for its artsy laid back atmosphere, and craft beer breweries. We visit NoDa often, and it never disappoints. 

Right next to the corner of North Davidson and 36th St, there is a little beer shop called Salud.  Well, our friends from Salud, decided to venture into brewing their own beer a while back, and this past weekend they opened their brand-new brewery on the second floor of their beer shop. 

At 3100 sq feet, Salud Cerveceria is so cozy you feel as if you were hanging out in your best friend’s place. The decorations, the attention to detail, every single piece that adorns this place was handpicked and thought of with exact precision. You can’t deny the originality (and the good taste) as soon as you walk through their doors.

My favorites? The walls covered by book-pages at the entrance and bathrooms (I hope the books were recycled!), the gorgeous wooden floors, the over-sized shuffleboard, the small hanging plants that embellish the place (which are also for sale!), the colorful mural in the stage area, the living room atmosphere, and of course, the beer!

Did I mention that the place hosts their own art gallery featuring local artists? All items are for sale and they will change monthly. 

With 14 beers on tap, you can choose from IPA’s to Saisons, and everything in between, including non-alcoholic options.  The Raspberry IPA was to die for, too bad they sold out too soon… it was a popular choice and everyone wanted a taste of it. Names like Mesa para uno, Estacion, and Negra Bretta, are not only quite creative but also invoke the rich Latin flavor in each and every beer they craft.

So, needless to say my friends, the owners Jason, and Dairelyn Glunt shined like stars with the grand opening of this remarkable brewery, where you can not only taste great beer, but also hang out, drink some good coffee, sample their tea, and have a fantastic time. A truly remarkable story of hard work and dedication for what they love, that shows in every aspect of their business.

Wait! I haven’t told you, they also have enough room to dance! Bring it on Salsa!

One thing I thought that was quite fantastic… for the grand opening, they had piñatas for guests to enjoy…. This says it all…. It was a piñata a lot of people enjoyed beating.  (I’m still laughing inside).

So, next time you are in Charlotte, NC, stop by Salud Cerveceria, and when you are done having fun, follow the path downstairs, take some beer home from their shop, and have a bite to eat courtesy of Fud-at Salud, which has also been featured in Diners, Drive Ins and Dives by Guy Fieri! Yeah, it’s that good. 


Great beer from a craft Cerveceria.



BEER FEST: Brews, Food, and Good Friends.

Oh beer, how we love thee! You all know that we LOVE craft beer and, fortunately for us, craft beer has become one popular house item (well, at least in our house).  Everywhere you go, craft beer breweries are constantly popping up and seem that they here to stay! That makes me happy.  


I was a light beer kinda girl before I met hubby (so was he), but for a few years now, we like to explore and play with beer flavors and visit breweries everywhere we go.


So needless to say, we make it a point to go to Oktoberfest in Helen, GA every year, and to attend as many craft beer festivals in the area as we can.  


There are MANY beer fests in our hometown of Charlotte, NC. Moo & Brew has a good one every year, and we make every effort to attend and sample goodness.  


 Recently, we attended the Southend Hops Festival, benefiting the RescueMe dog rescue.  Southend Hops Fest featured 40 North Carolina and South Carolina breweries.  My favorites? The Corban Avenue Honey Blonde from Twenty Six Acres Brewery (Concord, NC)... AND a Mango IPA, which I cannot remember the brewery to save my life (shame on me).  

Craft Beer Fests are incredibly fun and relaxing. Taste some beer, eat some great food from the food trucks, bring your dog, have fun with friends and even make new friends... my type of fun.


It's easy to get hammered really fast (since most fests start at lunch time), so always remember to pace yourself, and drink lots of water...and eat! That helps. I'm talking from experience, folks!

On an exciting note, our friends from SALUD in NoDa (Charlotte, NC) are opening a brewery this weekend! I will be posting pictures and a review on their beer too.

Next step for us? A visit to Asheville, NC. I cant wait to try the many, many breweries and sample all their brews. I mean, brewing beer is an art!


So stay vigilant of any beer fests in your area, go try it and enjoy your beers! I'm liking IPA's now....who would've thought?



Cultivating my green thumb

Guys... I'm doing a thing....I planted a vegetable garden! 

Growing up, my family planted a large vegetable garden each spring with everything from tomatoes, peppers, green beans, to zucchini and squash. You would think having so much experience with a garden growing up, I would be a whiz at it as an adult right? Wrong. The green thumb gene apparently skipped a generation leaving me with nothing but a trail of dead plants in my wake when it comes to all things gardening. I'll be honest, a large part of my gardening failures come from the fact that I am a neglectful plant owner. I regularly forget to water, plant things in too much sun or too much shade, and would rather scrub a toilet than pull a weed. 

When we bought our house last May , one of the things I really loved about the house was the beautiful landscaping and the large raised vegetable garden. Everything was so lovingly cultivated and picturesque, I convinced myself that I too could maintain it's beautiful look. Fast forward a year, and I find myself knee deep in weeds, cursing myself for letting it get this out of control. 

This past weekend, I took the time to completely weed and till up the raised veggie garden. I wish I had a before picture because this thing looked liked a scene from The Jungle Book and was in no way a small feat. Let me tell you, I did not come out unscathed during what I like to refer to as "spring garden phase one". I sustained two mysterious insect bites which have caused three days of itching and red puffy-ness but fear not! I shall not be deterred! I planted (by myself) 3 tomato plants, 2 jalapenos, cucumber, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and cilantro. Browsing all the various types of tomatoes at Lowe's alone was enough to send me into a mild meltdown. What's with all the different types of tomatoes? You've got your Cherry and Roma, OK I can get down with those. But then there were Betterboy, Brandywine, Tigerella, Big Beef, Hillbilly, and a few others I can't remember. I was really just in the market for the big red ones, not the little red ones, but unfortunately they didn't have a "big red"and "little red" label so I was really just winging it and chose, Betterboy since they seemed like the "better" choice. Ha. Get it? Better choice?  But I digress....

If all goes according to plan, I will be making my own spaghetti sauce, salsa, and pickles. (Also, I guess I should be googling "how to make spaghetti sauce", "how to can my own vegetables", "how to pickle"... feel free to help a sister out and send me helpful links and suggestions). 

I plan on updating you all regularly during this growing season to let you know how my little green babies are doing. (And also hoping this helps keep me accountable so that I remember to actually water them. No really, can someone tweet me daily as a reminder?)

For now, I leave you with a pic of my cute little baby tomato (or is this the jalapeno? I can't remember lol). 

Library Room Makeover

So it's been a year since we bought our home, and slowly but surely we are getting things done around the house, making it our own. (Find making a garden post here!)  

One of the requirements on my "must haves" list that we gave our realtor while looking at houses, was a room that I could convert into a library. I had lofty dreams of an airy, two story monstrosity of a room (think library from Beauty and the Beast, complete with a gliding ladder and all), but alas, our budget was not very accommodating to my lavish plans, so I had to settle for something a tad more realistic. The house we put an offer on, and eventually signed the next 30 years of our life away to, had such a space. 

Once a formal living room, this room was perfect. In the front of the house, tons of natural light from the wall of windows, I knew the minute I laid eyes on it, it would make a beautiful library room. I'm not even ashamed to admit I dedicated boards on Pinterest to planning and plotting the decorating to my own personal treasure room. 

In keeping with the light and airy feeling the room projected, I opted for white bookcases. Not wanting to break the bank and working within a strict budget, I found these great pieces at Ikea. They are solid and sturdy and were fairly easy to assemble. 

The next items I saved my pennies for was the seating. My Aunt had mentioned that she had found lots of really nice pieces on the Wayfair website so I gave it a whirl. My only hesitation buying online is that I couldn't see/feel/sit on the items in person but I took a chance based on some positive anecdotal advice and went for it. I ended up purchasing two chairs, an end table, and a rug. Everything arrived in great condition and within two days no less! 


The last, and most fun, part of completing my library room was the decor. This is the one room in the house that I can fill with all of my fandom related decor and hubby really doesn't complain. I set up all my books on the bookcases and interspersed them with fun trinkets and decor, including my favorite nerd girl collecting pieces, FunkoPops! I don't know what it is about these little guys but I am insanely addicted to purchasing them.

Of course I couldn't leave the walls bare, and adorned them in similar nerd girl fashion. I found these awesome reading inspired vinyl decals to stick up on the walls from Amazon



Mia, talented artist and best friend that she is, also took the time to draw me up a couple original sketches of two of my favorite mythical creatures, a unicorn and a mermaid. I found these cute frames at Hobby Lobby for 50% off (I love me a good deal). 

This canvas was made my non other than yours truly. A good friend of mine is a crafting whiz and we made these (and similar style with different sayings) as Christmas gifts one year. I may do a "how-to" on these another day. They are pretty simple and a lot of fun to make. 

This next section of wall space is kind of my favorite. Yes, you're eyes saw correctly, behold, a unicorn head! Another Hobby Lobby find, this guy just screamed my name and at 50% off, of course he had to come home with me. The two wooden signs beside it came from  Kohls, and kind of fit in perfectly if I do say so myself. 

So there it is, my completed library. My safe haven, refuge from the mean muggle world. A place where magic is alive and well and a good book can always been found. I will undoubtedly continue to add to my collection of books as well as my trinkets over the years, good thing the room next door is only a dining room. Who uses those anymore anyways? Quite convenient for extending my library into one day...

Where is your "space"? Do you have a room dedicated to your books and nerdy treasures? I wanna see it!



DO YOU LIKE MY LIBRARY? LET ME KNOW! Share or Comment below!!!!!


If you follow along with our blog, you know we recently took a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean. While it was beautiful and wonderful and magical and all those other lovely adjectives one usually uses to describe the tropics, we had some serious anxiety about one issue in particular. 

Bathing suits.

(Cue dramatic music)

Since the birth of our daughters 7 years ago, neither Mia nor myself has braved a beach or pool in a bikini. We settled for concealing but cute one pieces, and were resigned to stay covered up on the sidelines in our suits and cover-ups and let me tell you how much fun that is..... not so much!

It sucks to hang around the fringes of the poolside, hot and under layers because we are too nervous to show a little skin while everyone else is running free without a care in the world. 

So this trip we made a pact.


Our husbands have told us for years "Wear the two piece! No one cares! You look great in whatever." (Scored some brownie points with that one). But dang if it isn't hard to quell that inner voice telling you that your legs are too full of cellulite, your tummy isn't has tight as it once was, and your top half is, well.....lacking. But you know what I say to that little voice?


We bought those two pieces and proudly (ok timidly at first, but eventually proudly) swam in that water, sun bathed on a lounge chair, and explored the islands in, you guess it, those bikinis. Cellulite, surgery scars, some extra jiggle and all. 

I'm not gonna lie and say it was easy, or that I wasn't nervous or intimidated by other more buxom/toned bodies, but I will say that I am so proud of us for doing it. No one on that cruise ship or on that beach cared a lick what I looked like and the only people whose opinion I value, don't care a lick about how I look in a bathing suit. My friends like me because I am funny and kind and like a good Harry Potter joke, not because I do or don't have abs. (Let me insert here that if you do have friends who care if you do or don't have abs, you need some new friends, seriously, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life).


There you have it people, video-graphic proof of our accomplishment! 

So, to all you ladies and gents out there struggling with self esteem issues, or dreading going to participate in a social activity involving a swim suit, just put on the dang thing and have some fun! No one will ever be more critical of you than yourself (damn asshole brains), swallow that fear and criticism and... 

Dive right in, the waters great.


My First Cruise- Preparation Stage

So, we are going on a cruise! Yay! And as exciting as that sounds, for someone like me, it is also scary.  


This is going to be my very first cruise, because after watching Titanic as a child, I've tried my hardest to stay away from boats, and deep ocean waters. I guess there's always a time in your life when you must face your biggest fears, and just do it... and when your hubby books a trip and says "We are going" in a very manly voice, you kind of have to.

So here are my fears: Besides the obvious anxiety that deep water produces, I'm also afraid of being terribly seasick (add this sinus infection crap I have going on), falling off the boat, my child falling off the boat, getting lost without use of my cellphone (#FirstWorldProblems), being forced to speak to strangers, getting roasted by the sun (this girl will burn!, I mean, I think I might be part vampire), missing the embarkation time at one of the ports, losing important documents, and of course, drowning or getting eaten by a shark while attempting to snorkel.  

There. You can stop laughing now.

So, needless to say, I've been terribly anxious this week as we prepare ourselves for this adventure. I mean, I've never been to that side of the Caribbean Islands before (Bahamas, Half Moon Cay, and Grand Turks). I've been looking at pictures online and, well, they look amazing. So yeah, I'm excited about it....however, still nervous.

To ease my anxieties, I've been focusing on the positive things about this trip.  Like, the beautiful weather, poster-worthy beaches, and the smile on my child's face when she sees all these things. I guess I'm underestimating the fun stuff... I bought the alcohol package as well, so that will help (wink wink).

It is also my daughter's seventh birthday while we are cruising. *AHHHH I CANT BELIEVE SHE"S SO BIG!* So she thinks this trip is mainly for her birthday, yeah, we're letting her believe that...why not.

I got sunscreen, dramamine, sunglasses, and a big ass hat ready! 

Now, I must decide what to pack.... This is going to take a while.... 

I need some wine.


Hello Weird!!

I am weird.  Yeah I said it.  I need to embrace it.  Most times I forget to be myself because I'm afraid of being weird in public.  My social anxiety messes with my true potential.  

I want to be weird, because it's who I am.  It gives me purpose.  

But, for some reason, I fear people.  I don't fear being weird, I fear people and their reactions.  

It's like an irrational fear that people are going to eat my face if I say something outrageous like "I fear people are going to eat my face".  

Embracing our fandoms

Embracing our fandoms

For example, I'm the kind of girl that gets her nails and hair done...nowhere, because I don't want to talk to the hairdresser or the nail lady.  I avoid those instances because it produces a very irrational high level or anxiety... On a good note, I was kind of forced to learn to do my own nails and cut/color my own hair, at home. 

Then, I met Jenny Lawson, AKA The Bloggess.  She's amazing.  And weird.  I love it.

Jenny embraces her weirdness and it's a beautiful thing.  

I came across her blog when Coco mentioned it to me...Well, I didn't come across it.  I googled it, and I spent hours reading the random stuff on her blog.  The Bloggess gained a fan that day.


Reading the Bloggess posts was like a revelation; or better yet, an epiphany full of weird things. Good, weird things.

In a few articles, my eyes opened wide to the realization that I'm not alone.  There's many of us out there, and the world is a beautiful weird mess waiting for me to be me.  It was almost as if I was being born again.  Not literally, because that would be for real weird, and messy, and honestly kind of gross...but, metaphorically speaking.   

I was born again with the opportunity to be myself.  A new me, with the notion that there is an option of being who I was meant to be, which doesn't have to be shameful or a burden to my identity.  I woke up to the knowledge that I can face fear by simply be me.  

That's me...embracing my weird and delivering ice cream to our local fire department dressed as a fairy...this was for a  scavenger hunt called gishwhes  in 2016

That's me...embracing my weird and delivering ice cream to our local fire department dressed as a fairy...this was for a scavenger hunt called gishwhes in 2016

Now, that being said, it doesn't mean that it will be easy.  It's a rocky journey between what I discovered and where I am now.  Social anxiety, like other anxiety disorders, is a real thing and a feeling so real, it's tricky.  It will be hard.  I will be embarrassing at times, funny at others, and overwhelmed most of the way, but I know I can do it.  There are more people in the world that embrace weird than there are not, although not everyone knows it.  

It is my mission to free others from the oppression caused by commercialized behavior.  I'm making it my duty to wake up the weird in me, and the fellow humans (and magic creatures) who are searching for happiness in all the wrong places.  

Let's be weird together (not in a gross way). 

My family. no lie.

My family. no lie.



P.S.  If you feel that you need support because the world doesn't understand your beautiful weirdness, you can always count on us! follow us on, or twitter AND Instagram @ReadExploreRepeat  OR comment here! I'll send you a virtual hug.  

No Excuses. Make time to READ! Here's how

Y'all know I'm a huge bookworm. I mean duh, we have a blog about books with weekly book reviews, this shouldn't be a shocker here, people. You wouldn't believe how many times I get asked some variance of the question, "Coco how do you read so much?! When do you find the time?"

So I'm here to tell you all, as a mother of two, a full time night shift worker, classroom volunteer, carpool queen, soccer game cheering dance mom, that you too can find the time to read.

Now I am of the belief that everyone should read. Why? What better way to explore your imagination, learn new things, see the world from another point of view, experience new cultures or parts of the world, or just to plain old have fun.

In today's technologically advanced times there are SO. MANY. ways to get your hands on a good book. You've got physical copies, digital copies, audiobooks. You can go to the library, the bookstore, order same day delivery from Amazon, get a digital copy instantly uploaded to your phone/kindle/iPad/tablet. They are everywhere!

So now you've got your book(s), the tricky part, time?

Me personally, I have a book handy in my purse anywhere I go. (Anniversary dinner downtown? Yep. Going to see a play at the local theater. You betcha.) Why? You never know when you may have some downtime, or when the zombie apocalypse may happen, either way, I like to be prepared.

Ok, so you have your book AND you have it with you. If you ask anyone who knows me, you can find me reading anywhere and everywhere I can snatch a few minutes including: carpool line (not while I am driving obviously- just while I sit and wait in the car for dismissal), soccer practice, lunch breaks at work, while I'm blow drying my hair, hell, I've even been known to read while cooking dinner!

And these are just my "stolen minutes" my non dedicated to reading time.

To maintain ones sanity with children (or a husband for that matter), self care is important. Taking some time away each day to do something you enjoy, or to even do nothing at all. Just time for yourself. Sometimes I use my self care time to read, sometimes I use it to sleep (third shift here people) sometimes I use it to binge watch the Gilmore Girls. The important thing is to carve out some time weekly (or daily) that is yours.

Although I haven't personally used audibooks before, I know several people who get their "reading" done while commuting to and from work, or while on business trips. Load up your smart device with your audiobook of choice and listen in the car, airplane, bus, train, bike ride to work. This is a really easy and time effective way to "read" every day.

Too often while I sit in a waiting room, hang out on the bleachers at soccer, idle in carpool line at school, all I see are people with their heads buried in their phones. (I admit- I am occasionally guilty of this as well). If you think of all the time you spend staring, scrolling, snooping on your device, I think you would be surprised to see how much time you could actually sneak in for reading.

Ok, so now you have your preferred reading method AND you have it with you AND you have time so what are you waiting for, get outta here and go get lost in a book!

I'm always open to book suggestions, what are you favorite books to get lost in? Need some recommendations, check out Cocos Corner for weekly book reviews!  

  HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO READ? Share your experience below!

Bloggess Book Signing

In case you guys didn't know, my birthday was this past week! (I am still accepting gifts, flowers, and dinners for the entire month of March just FYI) In addition to the freaking amazballs picture she drew me for my library room *see below*, Mia  took me on a day trip to Raleigh, NC, for the book reading/signing event for Jenny Lawson’s latest book, "You are Here". (She's kinda the best that Mia). 

Review coming soon!

Review coming soon!

A "Mia" original drawing.

A "Mia" original drawing.

Jenny Lawson, or The Bloggess as she is known on her blog, is the type of blogger we can only aspire to be. Her quick wit and ability to humorously and ironically write about all the shit life throws at you is hysterically relatable.

I stumbled across her first book, "Let's Pretend this Never Happened" while googling a memoir to fulfill a 2015 Goodread Book Challenge item ("a memoir"). I was hooked from page 1 and started following her blog shortly after. I laughed, snorted, and chuckled my way through her first book and preordered her second, "Furiously Happy" as soon as I was able through Amazon. 


Of course, I got Mia hooked on her hilarity, and we were both pumped when we read she would be making a stop in Raleigh, NC (at the beautiful independent book store Quail Ridge Books- seriously guys, a must see) on her latest book tour (about a 2 1/2 hour drive from our house). Being the super friend that she is, Mia pre-ordered us copies of the book, and snagged us seats for the event!


Y'all I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous to meet Jenny. I know, I'm a weirdo, but what can I say? It's irrational, yes, but that didn't make it any less true. Rest assured y'all, she was a doll. Just as humorous and kind as I had imagined she would be.

We waited three hours to get our books signed, and you would think after so long to sit and ponder on just what we were going to say during our 45 seconds with Jenny we would have something witty and fun, something that would make her laugh and remember us by, but sadly, no.

Of course we were tongue tied, and awkward, and the best we came up with was a few rambling sentences on how we were worried about her hands after signing so many books..... yeah..... I mean, who says that?!!!

”I’m worried about your hands” *insert face-palm here* and “embarrassed emoji” why not.

Us and Jenny!

Us and Jenny!


Anywho, we came, we saw, we listened, we had signed, and we made it home in one piece. 

Thanks Mia for a fun day trip girls day- you truly are my best friend and only you could make 3 hours of sitting in hard plastic chairs fun.

And thank you Jenny Lawson for not giving us a look of total bafflement when all we could talk about for those 45 seconds was your hand health....

LET US KNOW HOW YOU HANDLE BOOK SIGNINGS OR MEETING YOUR IDOL! We would LOVE to hear your stories! Comment below!!!!

Parental PTSD: A trip to the ER with my kid

After 10+ years of being a finally happened. 

Our first broken bone.

When I tell you this was the most traumatic event for me as a parent. I couldn't even have a glass of wine when it was all said and done that's how stressed I was! (I can hear the collective gasp from here- I know- no wine?!)

So it was already a pretty crappy (pun alert!) day in the Giraldo household. My youngest (6 years old) stayed home sick from school with some "tummy issues" (I know you all don't care to hear all the lovely details on that one....). So we were slumming in PJ's, just generally being couch potatoes when one fuzzy blanket + hardwood floors + clumsy child = fall to the ground with arms outstretched. 

Now anyone who has kids know they are always falling, slipping, stumbling, banging into, falling off of, really just generally accident prone little humans. As a parent, I typically kiss the boo boo, give a cuddle and keep it moving. In fact, I have often times prided myself on not being that over reactive parent who turns mountains into molehills. "Meh, you're fine, go play." But y'all.....those prehistoric, neanderthal, stomach churning mom chromosomes kicked in and I KNEW this was bad. 

*Insert panicked/frantic call to husband desperately searching for an adult to fix the situation when I was a puddle of nerves and anxiety*

**Insert double panic to realize that I, was in fact, the adult responsible for handling this situation**

So I pulled myself together, threw on some clothes, and drove us to the ER. 

*Insert Mama Bear-protect-my-baby-cub mode* 

The day was a whirlwind of x-rays, nurses, doctors, ambulance rides (yes we had to be transported to a larger hospital that could perform sedation to set her arm). When we finally arrived home, exhausted/hungry/drained, the kid was out like a light. Me you ask? Oh I just stayed awake half the night sleeping with her on the couch, reading online about possible side effects of sedation on children and checking her breathing by placing my finger under her nose ever few minutes. Fun times!

Just so you all know, beside the intial shock and freak out when she broke her arm- this was pretty much her disposition throughout the whole ordeal. She had all the nurses and doctors laughing. She is our performer that one! 

Just so you all know, beside the intial shock and freak out when she broke her arm- this was pretty much her disposition throughout the whole ordeal. She had all the nurses and doctors laughing. She is our performer that one! 

The days and weeks following "the incident" I have been suspicious and overly fearful of every mundane thing in the house. Mia has officially dubbed it "Parental PTSD".

"Don't run with socks on!"

"Dear God don't walk around the house holding that blanket!"


"Please don't fidget in the barstool, you'll fall!"

The list goes on and on but I'm sure my family is pretty annoyed with my newly developed neurosis. (I even caught myself yelling at the dog to not run down the stairs...THE DOG...) But can you blame me?! Everything looks dangerous!

You will never feel more helpless than as a parent who can do absolutely nothing to ease your child's pain. It is the most gut wrenching/terrifying experience that I seriously wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. I know this most likely won't be our last brush with a ER (God I can hope though) and I'm sure with time my fear of all things innocuous will wane and I will resume some semblance of normalcy (well, normal for me anyways) but for now, Mama Bear is on high alert!

Have you suffered from a Parental PTSD episode? Tell me I'm not alone here people!  Comment below! 



Dr. Seuss's Birthday day.... Come up with a costume, quick!

#ReadAcrossAmerica was celebrated this week. It coincides with the great Dr. Seuss's birthday, and many schools in the country celebrate this week by having special activities. One of these activities, and my daughter's favorite, is dress up like a book character day. Her school decided to have kids dress up as a Dr. Seuss character. Any character from one of his amazing books.  

This tradition is great. I love it because I can see the eagerness of the kids to learn more about these characters and to read. That's the point. Encourage a love for reading.  


The only bad part about this is when, you, as a parent, totally forget about the dress up day (because, let's face it, our brains not only get wiser with age, but mushier...*insert panic emoji*).  When my daughter reminded me the day before, about dress up day...I entered in super mom mode (after the total panic mode ended).

I came up with a great idea! Gather some black leggings, black shirt, an old cat tail from an old costume, voila! I would only need a red and white top hat to have the perfect Cat in a Hat outfit.

BUT, where can I get a hat on such a short notice??? Won't have time to have it shipped, plus I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg purchasing one. So I googled it. Have I mentioned I love google?

All you need is this:  A white poster board, a large white paper plate, red paint, scissors, glue, and tape. That's it. 


1. The first thing to do is to measure your child's head around. Cut the length and the width of the hat making sure you leave about an inch (side) to glue the sides together. Leave another inch at the bottom to attach it to the plate.  - also, it's always better for the hat to be big than small... if it's too small in diameter it's too hard to fix.

2. Measure the stripes.  Three red.  I did mine about 3 inches each...but they could definitely be smaller.  Paint 3 stripes red, leaving a blank (white) stripe in between.  Let it dry.  You can use acrylic or water color, or tomato juice or basically anything that you can find.  I was kidding about the tomato juice in case you didn't catch that. *wink*

3. Glue the sides together forming a cylinder.  Use tape to secure around the seam.  

4. At the very bottom... where you left about an inch untouched, cut small slits (1 inch) every inch or two.  fold them out to look like the brim of the hat.

5.  You can also use a paper plate and cut the diameter of your hat in the middle and push the cylinder through, using the paper plate as the brim.  Secure with tape.

There! You have the perfect Cat in the Hat hat!! And a happy child.


P.S.  When my daughter returned from school, with no hat in sight, I asked her about it.  It was shoved inside her bookbag, shamelessly and wrinkled beyond repair.  I asked her why.  After all that work! She didn't answer.  I'm sure the wow factor died down after a full day of Dr. Seuss fun... next year I will probably buy a real, more durable hat.

Reading and the love for books is very important.  How do you celebrate Read Across America?


Releasing your inner child... Laser Tag edition

My nephew’s (Coco’s son) birthday celebration was this past weekend, and like every cool ten year old kid, he wanted to invite his friends to play laser tag and have some pizza and cake.  Obviously, I was invited because I’m the cool Aunt…. and because my daughter is very close to her cousin so she had to go….mostly because of the latter.  Maybe I made up the part about being the cool aunt...whatever.

Anyway, we all gathered at this place in town called SportsConnections; an arcade kind-of place where they showcase a large selection of arcade games, jumpy houses, mini-bowling, wall climbing, ropes course, laser vault, bumper-carts, and yes, laser tag. 

It was the first time playing laser tag at this place.  I decided to play because my daughter wanted to be on my team… and because I wanted to beat the hubby.

The place was a big warehouse looking room, with a maze of tall walls with holes and columns, so you could see through them and spot the adversaries. They asked us to grab a vest/gun set and step into two lines; each of about 10-15 people.

One “marshal” took one of the lines to the left of the room, the others were taken to the right of the room and towards the very end of the play area.  That was our zone; the red zone. 

We realized that we had all adults and two 6 year old in our team.  All other, agile, sneaky, intrepid kids were on the green team. 

Oh lord. 

We were going to get beat. 


I admit, I’ve only played this game once or twice before.  And you all know I wasn’t the sportiest person in the room, so the idea of getting blasted by a group of ten year olds was, well, not very appealing and quite ego-painful. 

I was determined to defend my self-esteem, and I released my inner child. 

Oh boy, I released my inner child.

As soon as the game started, I crouched and carefully made my way towards their “base” for a surprise attack.  Nobody was guarding it, as they didn’t expect a hit so soon.  I took advantage of this and took many points out of their board and into ours. 

Then I got killed, and had to shamelessly return to base for a “recharge”.

I got ready, ducked, and sneaked silently like a hunting cat waiting for its prey as I made my way around the rubber walls. 

I got killed.



I decided I was going to change my approach and stay put to defend our base. 

I patrolled the perimeter, making sure every green light was turned around by the beam of my red laser.  I was the defender; the all-powerful guardian. 

Until a group of 4 ten- year olds blasted me out of my base, forcing me to run and recharge.   

Apparently you get points taken out when someone hits you, so the “millions” of points I thought I got, I didn’t.  I lost most of them.  But I still did OK. 

Game was over fairly quickly.  We played six short games in one hour.  All of them packed with unique roll-playing action and fun. 

By the time the game was over, I was drenched in sweat, and thirst took over my will to speak. 

Pizza and cake worked wonders to quench the tiredness.  All the kids were still excited although sad that MY TEAM WON.  Apparently, the other adults in my team were pretty good, so we beat the green team.  No thanks to me, I’m sure.  Either way, we had so much fun; I seriously want to do this again.

Maybe an adult game so I don’t feel bad for defeating the kids. They didn’t care that much though.  They were happy just to play. 

By the way.  My legs hurt so much!!!!! Crouching and sneaking for an hour is not good when you are not in the best of shapes.  Oi Vay! 

Valentine's Day Shenanigans of a Married Couple.

Oh Valentine's Day... the day of love.  The day every woman looks forward to.  The day I circle on my calendar counting down with anxious expectations....NOT.

I don't do that anymore.  In fact, I've never done such thing, and I consider myself a pretty normal woman... well... not-so-normal, just..nevermind.

Anyway.  My point is that in our "culture" we have learned that us, women, must never be single on Valentines's day (as if that was a sin), and must expect a bouquet of roses, and chocolate, and teddy bears from our significant others, ALWAYS.  If he doesn't, he's not a keeper.  


Valentine's day is just that, a day.  Being single on any other day doesn't kill you, why should it be different on February 14? It's not.  Don't believe Hollywood, or Facebook. You are beautiful in February too. 

If you happen to be in a committed relationship on this day, good for you! If your significant other is planning a load of gifts and candlelight dinner, that's great! Enjoy it!

If you are single, use this day to remind yourself of how amazing you are and pamper yourself. Eat your favorite meal, take a bubble bath, and binge on your favorite TV show (here are some ideas). 

When hubby and I were dating (a long, long time ago), he used to go over and beyond to impress me on Valentine's day.  Yeah, I enjoyed it, but, as our relationship grew, so did our love for each, no cliche intended. 

Since we love each other, we show our love on a daily basis, and not just in the middle of February. Over time, Valentine's day becomes less important. We don't need a box of chocolates to know that we are there for each other, or a romantic dinner at an overpriced restaurant after a three hour wait... maybe on our anniversary, on our terms, and not because we are told by commercialized teddy bears and candy hearts that we should show love.  

So, after so many years of marriage, Valentine's day is a day where we cook at home, open up a bottle of good wine, and binge on our TV shows. Life is good.  

But, don't drink too much wine or you might break your hand... that's a story for another time.

Valentine's day is just an over-commercialized day, like any other day, so ladies (and sensitive guys), don't take it too hard if your loved one plays blind to the millions of ads and Facebook posts, and forgets to get you gold earrings. Instead of exchanging gifts, save up your money and take a trip! (I wish I would've had this mentality when I was younger) Or just look into each other's eyes and express your love sincerely, not just on Valentines Day, but every day.  


We don't exchange gifts on this day.  We spend time together, and recognize that cupid didn't make it a rule to present chocolates to your loved one on a particular day.  Not just because we have been together many years...SERIOUSLY, it is NOT a rule.  Going out to dinner, or mandatorily being in a relationship on this day is NOT a rule either.  You are free to go about your day, as you would do any day.  Mind blown? you are welcome.

Feel special every day, and/or make your boo feels special every day.  Not just one day.  Every day.  That's what Cupid really wants.  

Whats your favorite Valentine's day story? Comment below and let us know!



DIY Book-Inspired Rug. *A Bookworm's Dream*


OK you all know this, because I've said it over and over.  I LOVE Harry Potter and everything that has to do with the wizarding world.   So, you can only imagine how heart-broken I was when I realized that they actually don't sell any Harry Potter themed BIG rugs.  

I searched, and searched the web for a while, and all I could find were small mats and welcome mats, but nothing bigger...Unless I was willing to pay hundreds of dollars from a sketchy website and get my credit card stolen, no way.  Not me.  I've learned my lesson the hard way.

So I took it upon myself to research other ways to complete my library room.  After almost all search results showed me Harry Potter blanket throws that were about the size I was looking for, I stopped for a moment to think.  "What if I do it myself?"

I swear I love Google, because I can almost do it ALL after reading and watching DYI magic wand needed.  Granted, some people make it more complicated than what it really is, OR make it look easier than reality, but I like to try it out myself....I'll tell you later how I discovered a great way to cut and color my own hair, and how to clean those annoying spots in between the oven glass...Oh Google.

Anyway, let me tell you the easiest way to make your dream rug and feel proud about it when you are done.

 Here's what you need:

* A blanket, tablecloth, or throw that inspires you. I chose the Marauder's Map throw, because the colors matched my library room (and look at's just awesome).  Don't worry if it's not 100% Cotton. I think the one I got is mostly Polyester and it worked just fine.

*WATER BASED Polycrylic OR Polyurethane.  Make sure it's WATER BASED, and CLEAR Satin.  I got a small can (32 oz) and it was enough for 3 layers on my 4ft x 5ft throw.  If your rug is bigger, you will definitely need the bigger can, as you will need at least 3 layers. 

*  A small paint roller.  A cheap one would do.

* A plastic paint tray

* A Rug pad, or no-slip mat.  Big enough to cover your rug.  You can trim it accordingly.

* All purpose, permanent bond glue spray. I bought Elmer's permanent spray glue because it was only $2 add on when I bought the rug pad on Amazon, BUT it didn't work as good.  I recommend something stronger.

*Scissors, measurement tape, and a tarp (I used a large open box) so you don't stain your work area.


Prepare your work area with a large tarp, plastic cover, or something to protect your floor. PLEASE do this next step in a highly ventilated area.  I used my garage, with the door open, and still got a little loopy.... believe me, it doesn't seem like it, but that polycrylic is no joke!

Make sure your throw is not wrinkled. This step is important because if you apply the polycrylic and it's wrinkled, it will dry wrinkled. Iron it first if you have to. Once you have your throw set up on the tarp, apply the polycrylic with a paint roller, as if you would paint. Try to cover all surfaces. Do not apply too thick of a coat, as you will do this step two more times, so there's no need. Let it dry for at least one-two hours in between layers. 

Once you are done with the last layer, you'll notice that the throw/blanket has changed in texture.  It's no longer soft and foldable, but rather stiff, but still flexible. Once it completely dries, it's time to measure the rug pad and trim it to fit your throw.  

Then glue the rug pad to the throw, and let it dry.  VOILA! you have a new, unique, beautiful rug to suit your nerdy needs. Oh I was soooo happy with my rug. I can't stop staring at it.  

What are you waiting for? Get started and make your own! For your room, your work, for your book-lover friends. This can make the best birthday, or Christmas gift for ANYONE! The possibilities are unlimited! 

Have a questions?? Ask me or tell me about your rug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!