Musings of a Museum Fanatic: February 2013


The plot thickens ...

I started Kevin and my story last week in girl meets boy: the beginning and thought I should probably nice and continue it a little more. 

As I said last time being the oh so suave man he is ... and I'm sure people can attest to the fact that he is not ... Kevin assumed I was telling him to call me since my number was in the signature of the email.  Who knows maybe I was sending subliminal messages for him to call and I didn't even know it!  We continue to talk on the phone, text and email for a few weeks.  

During that time Kevin is rushed to the hospital with a super extreme case of mono.  He has asthma and other fun stuff, I swear the kid is a walking health issue let's pray the kids take after me, so the mono just wiped the floor with him.  This whole thing happened a week or so before I was set to be home for Thanksgiving.  My friends and I were going up to Durty Nellies to see one of my favorite cover bands Hairbangers Ball for Black Wednesday.  

Kevin was going to come out and we would get to meet for the first time and hang out.  HA!  With him being in the hospital just before there was no way that was going to happen.   I was freaking out cause I really really wanted to meet him ... we had been talking about a month at the point and I wouldn't be back home till mid-December.  It was now or never!  Well not never ... could have waited till December.

So it's the night before Thanksgiving 2008, my friend Rachel,Sarah and I are making our way up north from the Lisle area.  After much discussion beforehand it was decided we should stop by Kevin's parents house so I can say hi.  All the way up I'm kinda freaking out cause who knows he could be some crazy guy or something and I'm walking into his house, etc. etc.  

I walk in to his parents house and we end up standing in their foyer for probably the mos awkward five minute conversation ever!  I could hear his parents or someone in their family room kinda talking about what's going on, Kevin just having had mono I didn't want to get really near him and we were standing in the foyer of his parents house.  I give him the little get well gift (some soup) I brought and as I'm walking back out to the car all I'm thinking was how disappointed I was that he wasn't as cute as his photos!   I didn't tell him this till almost a year later.  To give the boy some slack he did just get home from the hospital the day before.  

Yup so I left being a little sad from our first meeting at how terrible he looked cause he had been sick!  I am a terrible wife!  

I actually can't find any photos from the night, which is very unlike me but here are some Rachel ones from that time.  She's such a nutcase but I love her : ) Hmmmm I might have to have her guest post ... More Girl Meets Guy to come : )


Weekend Update & 5 for 5!!!

Weekend Update!

So I said Friday that I was waiting for big news to post but it hadn't come in yet.  Well it arrived!!!!!  Thanks so much to everyone for their positive thoughts, vibes and prayers for Kevin in his job search cause it paid off!  He is employed yay!!  Actually they called him this morning and want him to start at 11:30 today so he was running around a bit when he messaged me.  Keep sending the good thoughts my way for my interview on Wednesday and hopefully we can go 2 for 2!  

After running around Friday to get Kevin drug tested we headed down to my parents for dinner and ended up playing Uno again.  It got a little intense for a while but I guess that's just how we Uno.

I was working on one of my 101 tasks.  I went to 1 out of 3 Valpo games ... one for every season the 101 list covers.  I almost thought I was going to be able to make this one happen since my friends and I had to re-schedule twice before.  My friend Spata and I drove out to Valpo and met up with Meghan.  We barely got out of the area and the fun started.

It's a little hard to tell but that's a kid, who really didn't look like he was college age, maybe high school senior, getting arrested.  By the way it was a noon game so this was like 9:45ish in the morning!  We decided he had taken his parents Benz out for a joy ride they called it in and he got arrested.  He kinda looked like he might cry.  

Valpo game was great.  It was the Bracket Buster again Eastern Kentucky and we totally kicked butt.  Valpo tends to play awesome in the first half then let the lead slip or the other team comes from behind and wins.  This time Valpo was playing great and Kentucky just didn't come to play in the last part of the second half.  We also got to sit in the chair back seats, which as you can imagine when you're an undergrad was like the Holy Grail of seats ... pays to know people from back in the day who can hook you up now!

Most of the day we got stuff done around the condo.  You would think the amount of time we spend "doing stuff" around the condo it would be in amazing shape but no.  Work, work, work then don't want to do anymore : (   I was able to get a bunch of stuff out of our storage closest so we can get a large plastic drawer set.  My plan is to move things like a bunch of my Pampered Chef paperwork extras into there so it's close when I need it but I don't have to have 10 packs of invitations everywhere in the condo.  Sounds like a good plan right?

Then we headed over to his parents' and ended up watching the Oscars.  I actually usually don't watch stuff like that so that was a new one for me.  

I seem to have this issue with actually remembering what my goals are during the week and getting them done!  Let's try this list again!  This week I'm going to go for three of the items GREEN and two YELLOW
This week
1. 15 job apps
2. Send out the other two PC hosting emails
3. Send out 5 customer care emails
4. Get one item on my 101 list crossed off
5. Write up two review posts & schedule them for the correct time.

Last week
1. 15 job apps
2. Send out the other two PC hosting emails
3. Send out 5 customer care emails
4. Get one item on my 101 list crossed off
5. Write up two review posts & schedule them for the correct time.


Valparaiso Crusader Spirit

Valparaiso Crusader Spirit

Oversized shirt

$64 -

Lanvin flat shoes
$490 -

Orla kiely handbag
$255 -

Wood bangle
$24 -

Betty Jackson wooden jewelry
$12 -

Bright shawl
$21 -


Stovetop Pan Pizza Recipe

I had another post planned for today but since the news isn't finalized yet I can't share it quite yet.  By Monday for sure though.  So instead I'm sharing a new recipe with you!  Monday I had my monthly Pampered Chef meeting at it was Recipe Round up night.  Everyone brought one of the new recipes for the new season.  I liked this one so much I actually made it last night!  Be proud!

Stovetop Pan Pizza

1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tbsp Fennel & Herb Rub
6 oz cooked Italian chicken sausage links (2 links)
1/2 medium red bell pepper
1 small pkg (6.5 oz) pizza crust mix (see Cook's Tip)
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 cup  shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (4 oz/125 g)
2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

1.  Mix mayonnaise and rub in (1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl; set aside. Slice sausages in half lengthwise then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) slices using Color Coated Chef's Knife.

2.  Cut bell pepper lengthwise into 1/4-in. (6-mm) strips then crosswise into 1-in. (2.5-cm) pieces. Combine sausages and peppers in Large Micro-Cooker(R); set aside.

3.  Prepare pizza crust mix according to package directions; knead on floured Pastry Mat 1 minute or until dough is no longer sticky.

4.  Roll dough to a 12-in. (30-cm) circle using Baker's Roller(R). Brush bottom of (12-in./30-cm) Skillet with 2 tsp (10 mL) of the oil using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush.

5.  Place dough into Skillet, gently stretching and pressing dough to cover evenly. Brush dough with remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) oil.

6.  Cook dough, undisturbed, over medium-high heat 4-7 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

7.  Microwave sausage mixture, uncovered, on HIGH 1-2 minutes or until hot.

8.  Flip crust over using Nylon Turner; top evenly with mayonnaise and sausage mixtures and cheese. Cover; cook 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottom of crust is golden brown.

9.  Remove pizza from Skillet; cut into 8 slices. Garnish with basil.

Nutrients per serving: (2 slices): Calories 420, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Sodium 920 mg, Carbohydrate 38 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 20 g

Cook's Tip: To make this recipe with refrigerated bulk pizza dough, let 10 oz (300 g) dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Omit Step 3 and continue with recipe as directed.

To make pizza in the (11-in./28-cm) Skillet, prepare dough as recipe directs, rolling to a 9-in. (23-cm) circle. Continue as recipe directs.

It actually cooked quite quickly so Kevin and I didn't have time to take any more photos.  I used Italian Seasoning Mix instead of the Fennel and Herd Rub since that's what I had on hand.  Be sure to watch the temperature of your stove top.  We didn't when we flipped it over and burned the bottom a bit but Kevin actually kinda likes pizza that way so as he says Nom Nom Nom!  


Girl Meets Boy: The Beginning

Today is one of those days where I have no clue what to write about and I don't really have much time either.  Since I've been promising since I really started blogging to do wedding and the like posts I figured what better place to start than the very beginning.  

Way back in fall 2008, I was down in Charleston, IL getting my Masters.  It's in the middle of nowhere east-central Illinois, that year made me realize I am definitely a city girl.  One of my new friends Lauren and I were talking about guys (at that time I did that A LOT), she told me about these online dating websites that she used pretty regularly.  I thought why not.  I'll set my location as Chicago so then I'll have to talk to them for a while before we can actually meet.  

So I signed up for OKCupid and Plenty of Fish.  It was interesting, I'd talk to different people and we wink or whatever at each other.  Then one day there was this one guy who I was talking to a lot ... like multiple times a day a lot, we even exchanged IM screen names.  I know right?  IM feels so ancient now.  I will save you some suspense ... this guy was not Kevin.  

Even though I was talking to him a lot I still was checking out other guys and chatting them up and I saw this one guy OMG!  He was so cute and we liked a lot of the same things and he was really cute.  We ended up talking on chat through the website a bunch times.  I think most of it was about music and video games, I'm sure he could actually tell you about it though.  

One day I go on the website and I have this Dear Jane email from him saying how he was leaving the site and the whole dealing with people online was too much.  I started freaking out inside because this was how we talked he hadn't asked for my email address or anything yet.  I rushed email to him saying that I really wanted to keep talking to him and gave him my email address.  

Kevin told me later that asking for my email address never even occurred to him and I was lucky I saw the message when I did since he deleted it later that day!  

Now don't forget about the other guy I was talking to at this point.  We had met once in-between and he had come down another time to visit.  All of a sudden he sent and email saying he didn't want to talk or whatever anymore and I was sooooo  upset.  To make matter even better I had taken or was about to take a massive test in my Material Culture class (the hardest class of the degree) that I thought I bombed.  So being the big crier that I am I just started bawling about it all.  In the midst of a rainy awful afternoon I get a text from a weird number.  It's Kevin asking to see how my test went.  

I tell him things are awful and a little while later I get an actual phone call from him.  This was the first time I had ever heard his voice and him mine!  I was uncontrollable, sobbing, making weird snorting noises and just so upset over my test (which I did really well on) and the guy.  As we know now that was all for the best ; )

How did Kevin get my number you ask?  Well I didn't find this out until months later but he thought my email signature with my contact information was my saying I wanted him to have my number and call him!  Don't worry this is not even close to the end of our Girl Meets Boy story but you'll just have to come back another day for that part : )




Weekend Update

So I'm going to cheat and start my weekend on Thursday, since I didn't really talk about our Valentine's day.  It was our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, since we are currently in an under/unemployed state I decided we should hang out at home and cook a nice dinner with each other.  

I had gotten earlier in the month (when it was a really good price of course) a couple of lobster tails.  I was thinking they're frozen so we'll save them for a special night.  So there we were Thursday evening and I pulled the now thawed tails from the package and flipped them over to discover that the white under part of the shell was still intact.  

That was unexpected for both of us and it took us a little bit to figure out what exactly we were supposed to do.  Thank goodness for my trusty Pampered Chef Professional Shears those bad boys cut right through that shell.  Dinner was saved!  We went fancy too and did strawberries with the champagne (strawberries still not in season yet though yuck!) and broke out the cloth napkins!

The rest of the weekend was a bit tamer, at least for me.  Friday the guys had a show at one of the Tilted Kilt locations in the area.  We ended up going early and having dinner with his parents before the show.  I was actually pretty happy with our food, I was figuring a place like this was resting on their shtick but the food was noms.  I'd eat there again.  

Show itself ended up being kinda lousy, not much promotion by them and cover probably scared people off.  Which was unfortunate since for bands they actually had a nice area with a nice stage.  

Saturday and Sunday were about the same.  We were just working on random things around the condo and running errands.  Kevin needed new shoes and a couple things for interviews.  Since he has two this week!  One is a 2nd interview from last week and the other is a new place.  So by tomorrow he will have had five interviews in a two week span!  He is actually at one while I type so send positive thoughts his way!!! 

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!


St. Valentine's Day Massacre

I should probably write something all cutesy about it being our first Valentine's Day together as a married couple blah blah blah buuuuut I don't wanna.  : )

Instead I wanted to write about an important event (at least in my opinion!) in Chicago history ... the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

To start off you need to go a little further back than February 14, 1929.  In the early 1920's Al Capone moved to the Park Manor neighborhood.  He was actually transferred there from his New York gang, the Five Points Gang, his mentor had gone to Chicago to solve some family issues aka knock off another gang that was giving his cousin's hubby problems.  

After taking down Big Jim Colosimo's gang and acquiring their territory Capone's next big step was to rig the 1924 Cicero elections.  I'm sure they employed the long held Chicago tradition of voting early and often but it also seems they were not very discreet with thugs threatening voters at the polling stations.  After this Capone's power just grew in the Windy city.  Running casinos, prostitution rings and of course getting the big bucks from smuggling and selling liquor.  

Let's skip ahead a bit, you don't miss too much, Capone roughs up Bugs Moran (North Side Gang) then in return Moran uses Tommy guns to try and take down Capone in broad daylight having lunch outside, then there was more back and forth.  It's was all very cliche gangster but I guess the cliche has to come from somewhere right?  Also gotta love this take on the North side South side rivalry ha!   
So now we're all caught up, it's Valentine's Day 10:30am and we're at a garage at 2122 North Clark Street in Lincoln Park.  Seven men all together, five from the North Side Gang and two collaborators, were lined up along the wall of the garage and brutally gunned down.  Supposedly the plan was to take down Moran and just a couple of the higher ups not really eliminate his whole gang or anything.  Luckily for Moran he ended up leaving his apartment late, it was only about a block away so maybe he was just strolling along taking his sweet time getting to the meeting.  

Also lucky for Moran that they came up the back way and saw the "police car".  Smart man that he seems to be went and hid at the nearby coffee house to see what the heck was going on.  Well those supposed policemen were actually part of the group of shooters.   So we've got the two in police uniforms then two more in suits and overcoats,  they took their Tommy guns and just mowed the seven guys down it was really overkill.  Then wouldn't you know it the policemen brought out the perpetrators with their hands in the air, pretty smart huh?     

Now this whole thing was never actually tied to Capone or his gang,  the only survivor kept saying until he died three hours later that he was never shot contrary to the 14 bullet wounds.  Since then the garage has become a parking lot for the nursing home next door and the actual wall has had an interesting history since.      

Many movies, songs, books, you name it, have had the St. Valentine's day massacre as a plot point. One of my all time favorite movies, Some Like It Hot, that is actually the catalyst for the entire movie.  If you haven't seen it you really should it's a fun movie (besides the obvious scene in the beginning!) I mean come on what could be better than Marilyn Monroe with Jack Lemmon & Tony Curtis in drag?

Happy Valentine's Day!


Pinterest: Cat Edition

My favorite section of Pinterest is most definitely the humor section.  I could spend hours just scrolling through and laughing my butt off.  The animal ones are always the best.  In real life I'm definitely more of a dog person but I love all the cat ones I find. 

Here are some of my favorites : )

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Cone of Shame!

Source: via Betsy on Pinterest

Some cats just can't handle it! Head to the actual page for more cats who can't handle it, so worth it.

Source: via Marci on Pinterest

I think any animal or human after anesthesia is just a hilarious pin waiting to happen.

I love this guy. He's so cute!

Source: via Betsy on Pinterest

This is one of my absolute favorite videos. I can watch it over and over again. I watched it twice before I posted it here haha.

I will have to start collecting my favorite hilarious dog ones for next week!



Have you ever had one of those days where you just can't bring yourself to do anything more than just watch terrible reality TV and play mindless games online?

I fee like I've been in a month of that.  Don't get me wrong I haven't just been sitting in front of my computer for a month not showering or going out into the world.  It seems when it comes to actually sitting down and being productive with something I just can't bring myself to accomplish it.  

It took me a month and a half to finish up the crescent canvas but yet it still sits on my desk unwrapped and unsent!  There are emails that really need to be sent about Pampered Chef and bloggy things but for some reason forming coherent thoughts to write them just seems to impossible.  Don't even get me started on the insurmountable task that is a cover letter this month. 

Do I just have a terrible never ending case of the Mondays?  Or can I blame it on the back and forth weather in Chicago?  Maybe just the fact that it's winter in general and when I looked outside I just want to curl up in bed.  

Maybe this week I can power through and actually accomplish something.  If someone has found my motivation please grab it and send it back to me, it will probably be singing "Livin' On A Prayer" and dancing in circles. 

Last week
1.  Write one wedding post. 
2. Write my About Me page
I actually wrote it this morning since I didn't want to have only one thing on my list completed this week!
3. Work on my Pampered Chef page (writing it, figure out what should go there)
4.  Workout three times this week
5.  Add 6 items to my closet app every night

This week
1.  Send in 20 job applications (I know it's kind of a high bar since I'm in Mondays mode but I need to get my butt moving with my job stuff)
2.  Send out three emails about hosting Pampered Chef shows
3.  Make one appointment to go meet with a professional contact 
4.  Workout three times this week
5.  Add 6 items to my closet app every night


High Five for Friday!

This week has actually turned out to be a pretty good one after the poop that was last week.  

1. The hubby got a job interview this week!  It went really awesome and they want to bring him in for a second interview later this month.  
2.  I've actually been quite productive this week in most of my goals and will continue on with that today.  I'm partially done with my About Me section so be sure to check back this weekend and hopefully it should be up!! 
3. This probably doesn't count since it's tomorrow but a couple of friends and I are getting mani/pedis done. I didn't get a single pedicure this summer or fall so I really want a little pampering. 
4.  This week I figured out a way to do work from home so if the weather gets crazy or I need to make up hours I can do so from the comfy of our couches!
5.  It's the weekend yay!


Would You Call Me Stylish?

Honestly I'd probably never use the term "Stylish" to describe myself.  I've never really been one of those people who are on trend.  Part of the reason is I try and buy everything super cheap (since we are trying to save money) so by the time I get around to buying something it's usually at the end of the season.  I had a pair of boots that I got for $15 (they're awesome by the way) but didn't end up wearing them for a whole year!

So usually I'm a little behind on the trends but I'm also just not that great at putting together the whole picture.  When I see the images on Pinterest or through other bloggers I'm just like how do they do it?!  I can see the parts but somehow the entire picture just doesn't emerge when I'm standing in front of my closet trying to figure out what to wear.  

So here are some of the best pins that describe my sense of style.

I actually probably wouldn't have paired it with the jacket but now that I see it I feel like I need to work on acquiring a motorcycle jacket this season ... when I'm allowed to spend again!

Source: via Tiffani on Pinterest

I like both looks but you definitely wouldn't catch me in heels like that for work, especially not right now!

I actually really like this look, yes again with the motorcycle jacket. Again wouldn't have paired the jacket with this kind of dress.

This look is actually something I would wear out and about (but with lower heels!). I love blazers they're the best.

I'm not sure if you can quite see it with these examples but I'd like to think I've got a kind of clean, simple looking style, nothing crazy or out there.  Here are a couple of my favorite looks.  What do you think?  Would you call me stylish?


Weekend Update & 5 for 5!

This weekend was nutso!  We were all over the place it felt like.  

I just had to sit here for five minutes trying to remember what happened Friday.  Man is it ever Monday!
Friday night I ended up working for a fundraising event for the nuns.  It was a little annoying since I was told a few times that my job description says "and other tasks"  well yes then why aren't they paying me for it?  I felt bad since I didn't go last year I probably should this year.  I did get dinner which was very good, complete with King Cake and baby!  Oh forgot to mention it's a Mardi Gras themed fundraiser.  Looks like party is at my place next year!

Saturday was a lot of fun all day long.  As I mentioned last week I went up to Milwaukee for Spring Launch.  OMG I'm so excited about the new products and recipes!  No letting anything slip here though.

My lips are sealed!  At least until I can tell you all!

Got home to find our lovely little foyer area almost all the way completed!  
I say almost since the edges still don't have the wood trim.  Kevin has tripped on the carpet at least twice already hee hee. I shouldn't laugh should I?  But in all fairness he would laugh if I tripped.  Next thing on the list is goodbye to those spindles!  Kevin's dad said we could probably do a little half wall there, I'm trying to find photos of one with some shelves or something with a little storage.

Saturday night got really interesting as well.  Guys had a show and a bunch of the ladies came out and we all had a good time.  About halfway through things got interesting ... very interesting.   I thought I told you about the Leech before but I feel like I just wrote an angry blog and never actually posted it.  The Leech has to do with all the awful that happened this fall, The Leech was the cause.  So now The Leech and the guy int he band she was dating (not going to say specifics!)  are totally over but like any good blood sucker you hold on for dear life right?  

Well The Leech is there for most of the show while said band member is out of town this week.  We are all very perplexed by this.  The Leech proceeds to chat and almost flirt with one of the other guys in the band, which is not that unusual since Leeches tend to do that with lots of guys.  Well that talk got kinda heated,  find out later The Leech was lecturing said guy about dating younger women.  If that isn't the pot!  I should explain that The Leech is like a first grader, aka she's a young one.  

One of the friends of the band decided to save him and in true first grade fashion off The Leech went to pout to her friend.  
I took this photo ... I thought it was cool so thought I'd share it : )

Sunday was spent doing something ... I think we sorta hung out sorta cleaned before heading back into the city for the Super Bowl.  That was a lot of fun, good munchies and great friends!  

Five for Five update!
1.  Organize our new office bookshelf for all our office supplies
2.  Write the two Liebster awards post
3.  Write one wedding post. 
4.  Workout Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings
5.  Add 6 items to my closet app every night

Well I was somewhat successful!  This week my goals will be blog focused.
1.  Write one wedding post. 
2. Write my About Me page
3. Work on my Pampered Chef page (writing it, figure out what should go there)
4.  Workout three times this week
5.  Add 6 items to my closet app every night