Musings of a Museum Fanatic: July 2013


Pinterest I love you

My computer is still all crazy and today when I came into work I couldn't get on our network or internet.  I think I'm jinxed!  I'm almost afraid to use Kevin's computer when I go home.  Although he has been wanting a new one so he might appreciate the jinx.

I feel like the Humor section on Pinterest this week has just been killing it.  So makes the day go by fast sometimes.  Here are some that definitely apply to me!

Seriously every single time.  I'm not gonna lie still not a big fan of the dark haha

I used to HATE calling people on the phone thank goodness for texting and online ordering!

So very true. LOL
Mom and Bethany have enjoyed calling me Miss Bossy Pants lately.  I think I should show them this pin!

Seriously I still will ... ask Kevin about last week.  

@Kelli Gottschalk

Lol it's entertaining what can I say
And anywhere else I can lurk and follow the drama.  Sorry but not sorry : )


Brain Farts

It seems like it's just one of those days all around where everyone is having brain farts and has no ideas.  Or maybe I'm just the only one ...
This is pretty much how I've looked all day trying to think of something exciting to say ...  and I've still got nothing.  My brain is just super excited to head to Boston this weekend it doesn't want to think!  Plus it's Monday so can anyone really blame me?

I've been attempting lately to do cool photography things.  My most recent project is trying to make GIFs.  I haven't succeeded in that but I did make a cool video clip out of photos I took of Stache.  So since I have no brain today for anything here is something I had a brain for over the weekend : )


101 in 1001 monthly progress report {link up}

Yipee for new link ups!!  Since Stephanie and I have been working hard on our 101 in 1001 lists we thought it would be great to do a monthly check in.  I know for me keeping track of all the 101 goals can be kinda tough so this is the perfect time to look over the past month and see how well (or how much a slacker!) I've done.  Not just for 101 listers either, you've got a 30 before 30 join in, 20 in your twenties you're welcome, any sort of goal oriented listers welcome!

This Month
This month has been a little lean in the actually able to cross things off list.  I was able to cross off my Take the Chicago Architectural Boat Tour!!  So much fun.  I've been working on doing a lot of prep work for my more longer term goals.  I've been purchasing all sorts of DIY goodies, making recipe lists and trying to figure out fun events for Mother/daughter days.  I've also been working more on my digital organization skills.  It seems like I've been organizing my music files for a decade now but it will be done!!  

Today I was working hard on my scanning of all my print photos!  Here are a couple I did today.  

Me and my dad

Me being oh so 80's stylish

Next Month
I plan on actually crossing off FIVE items from at least three different sublists!  None of this crazy twenty like some people haha (kidding love you!).  I'm going to start it off right with pushing ahead with my music files and all my lovely photo scanning tonight.  

How are you doing on your list?  I can't wait to see : )


Chex Mix Muddy Buddies

**I did not receive these in order to review them**
While getting our weekly groceries I was perusing the snack aisle and came across this bag.  One of my favorite snacks growing up was Puppy Chow!  Made with Crispix not Chex of course.  Since I loved it so much I thought I'd splurge and try a bag plus they were on sale, I mean really who can resist when that happens?  
Things are looking pretty good.  I really like the evenness of the coating.  That was always the one issue with homemade is you always get bunches that don't have any of the coating on them : (  

*Munch Munch Munch*  Overall I'd say they were pretty good.  Definitely not the same as homemade though.  I think we must have added more chocolate and peanut butter to our recipe cause it felt like they needed more of both, it was a tad dry.  The flavor of the Chex somewhat overwhelms too and if there was more coating you would get a more even flavor.

My conclusion is when you need a last minute munch for a party or after a night out this is definitely a good one to grab!




In continuing in my usual fashion I've been working very hard on my Inbox Zero 101 task.  Thanks to Stephanie today I discovered this thing called "All Mail".  From what I can gather it's any and every single interaction that you've ever had in Gmail.  It's any of the chats you haven't deleted or emails from all your labels/folders.  

I was paging through it and found some fantastic emails from the 2007-2009 era of my life but those I will be saving for another day.  Today I'm sharing this little gem I got on our one year anniversary.  

I know it's kinda small but yup that's telling me I should sign up for on our one year anniversary.  Let me state this right away I have no problem with anyone getting pregnant whenever they so choose cause that's your business!

Back to my little rant ... really one year interwebs and already you're telling me too that I should get prego and have babies?  Kevin and I are still trying to figure out how to live in a one bedroom condo with all of our own toys ... I don't think adding a third person's toys will help.  Plus I'm pretty sure that's why we have parents so they can bug us about having grandkids.  You couldn't have sent out an email for  I feel like sending out one for them wouldn't get so many people mad at you just saying.

I will let you know when I'm ready!  No more baby emails on anniversaries! 


Tunes on Tuesday: Jeremy

This past weekend one of the biggest 90's rock bands graced the Windy City with their presence.  Pearl Jam played Wrigley Field!  The tickets sold out pretty much right away and were going for 4k front row compliments of the scalpers.  With that being said obviously it was going to be a phenomenal time.  Before anyone gets excited, I did not have tickets but in true Wrigley Field fashion we enjoyed the show anyways!
Becky, Kevin and Britta enjoying the concert.  Yes we're standing in the street (with a few hundred of our closest friends)

Pearl Jam is one of those iconic 90's bands that whenever I hear their music I get all nostalgic.  Yup nostalgic for grade school!  My brother was in high school during the time when Pearl Jam was as their peak and they were one of his favorites.  Again I wanted to be just like my older brother so of course I would go into his room and borrow his CDs to listen to what he was listening to.  I still like to think that he had no idea I did that but I'm guessing he probably knew.  

Jeremy is just one of those songs that sounds like my childhood.  It's not that the song reminds me of any one particular memory.  When it plays I close my eyes and it's like a slideshow in my head of the greatest hits of 1992-1997.  I think everyone in the 90's was angsty no matter how happy you were, it was a requirement.  It was a perfect song for a middle school kid trying to figure out life!

Like most music videos I really only started watching them a few years ago on YouTube since we didn't have cable growing up.  I knew what the lyrics were but until you put images with those lyrics it's quite difficult to really realize how dark they are and this one is dark.  Might I also point out the bowl cut that 2 out of every 3 boys from 3rd to 5th grade had.  Oh 1990's I miss you but not your haircuts!

What do you think of when you hear Jeremy?  Or any Pearl Jam song?


Chicago Line Cruises

This past weekend my best friend and unbiological twin, Becky, was in town and we were able to use my fabulous birthday present from Stephanie ... two tickets for an architectural boat tour!! I've been wanting to go on one for years.  There are quite a number of places that do the boat tours Chicago Architecture Foundation, Wendella Boat Tours and Chicago Line Cruises are the ones I would suggest.  Our tickets were for Chicago Line Cruises, one of my favorite parts about them is that they work with the Chicago History Museum to put on the tours.

We went on the architectural tour but they also have historical tours along with special evening tours, cocktail architectural and fireworks tours.  They don't explain much of the difference between the different styles of tour but we definitely got a good amount of history through the architectural one.  I think if I was to do it again I would do a historical one though or a cocktail.  The views were awesome in the daylight so I can only imagine what it looks like at nighttime!

Becky & I at the start of the tour.  

Sometimes in life it's also about the small things ... another big plus for Chicago Line Cruises is that their top deck had a canopy!  It was crazy hot Friday and that definitely helped to make it a more enjoyable tour.  I won't say too much about the details I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Those are just a couple of the amazing views of Skyscraper alley and the city we saw.  One of our favorite parts was that we were able to see the city from an angle that we've never seen.  There were so many converted condo buildings that were made from factories and old warehouses, seeing all of different styles of architecture right next to each other and little tidbits about the buildings.  One tidbit I didn't know before was that some of the buildings are slightly curved like the bends in the river that they're on and the blue/green glass is supposed to mimic the color of the river, the last photo is the perfect example of that.  Until you're down on the river you never really notice that the buildings have that slight bend but I guarantee now that it's been pointed out to me I will be looking for it all over!

The boat tours can be a little pricey from about $30-$40 per adult at the various ones but honestly it's so worth it!  Plus if you're looking for a one of a kind Chicago experience it's totally worth it.  If you're in the area or know when you'll be coming be sure to check out Groupon and Living Social, every now and then deals for the boat tours pop up.  Now let's cross it off the list!!


Ryan's Dirty Thirty

This past weekend was a big celebration for our good friend Ryan's 30th birthday.  Kelli had been planning this shindig I think since March and it was super hard to keep it a secret and talk about it with her cause he was always around!  In the end it was great because it was totally surprised, his parents came up from Kentucky and one of his friends who is out in Seattle came in.

Look I was able to work my photoshop magic and make a collage!  Everyone started of the day pretty tame but once we hit the trolley all bets were off!  There were get you drunk in one fell swoop jello shots made by Kelli's mom (upper right photo).  Even Stephanie thought that they were really strong!  Check out her post for fabulous shots of me enjoying my jello shots.  

Collage part two!  This one really does show the ridiculousness of the day.  Ryan taking a shot out of a blow up sheep's butt, Jay doing pull ups on the trolley, Kelli toasting, Ryan singing his heart out to Fun and Kevin sitting on the ground.  

Let me tell you about Kevin and his tolerance.  Well more like lack thereof.  He has a two beer tolerance and then he's buzzed.  That day he had at least five ... that I know of!  By the time we got to Headquarters Beercade he was so done.  Instead of going inside and sitting on a chair like a normal person he went drunk college girl and plopped down outside on the sidewalk at 5pm with little kids walking by.  OH Kevin I love you haha.  

This is probably my favorite photo from the day.  Since Kevin made me bring my big purse I told him he had to carry it and this is what he did.  Great day!



Slow Cooking it Pinterest Style

I'm continuing my prep work for my 101 list.  As I mentioned earlier in the week I've already procured most of the items for my D.I.Y. projects and they are actually almost all the way sorted and stowed away.  Next I'm developing my recipe list for

26.                 Use the crock pot once a week for 4 months

When you actually do the math for that one it adds up to quite a few recipes ... 17 to be somewhat exact (depending on the weeks in each month).  I've already been keeping an eye out on pinterest and looking at some of my favorite recipe sites for yummy looking recipes.  Let me know what you think about this idea but I've also been coming across crock pot recipes where you can freeze them ahead of time.  Now I am I allowed to double dip?  I need an official call : )

Here is what I have so far.  Let me know if you've made any of these and they are terrible.

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Garlic Pesto Chicken with Tomato Cream Penne Crockpot

Garlic Pesto Chicken with Tomato Cream Penne Crockpot

Another pinner said:  THE BEST Crockpot meal I've tried yet: Ingredients: 1 bag of frozen tortellini 1 small bag of fresh spinach 2 cans of italian style diced tomatoes 1 box or 4 cups or vegetable broth 1 block of cream cheese put all ingredients in crockpot, chunking up the cream cheese. Cook on low for 5-6 hrs.

Can you see the theme I've got going in my recipes?

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe. Fast, Easy and so Delicious!  Making it tonight. I'll let you know!
 Wouldn't this be fabulous to come home to? Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken - 4 lemons, 2-3 heads of garlic, 1 whole chicken 4-5 lbs, fresh rosemary, or any fresh herbs,all-purpose steak seasoning or salt and pepper #crockpot
This guy I'm actually really excited to try.  When we do use the crock pot it's usually just to do an entire chicken.  The flavor for this one looks amazing, plus it can be super cheap too.

That is what I have so far for my slow cooking 101 task.  I'm always looking for more suggestions that maybe don't include chicken ... or pasta ... : )  Send me the recipe, send me the link to your board (then I can follow you too!) send me your grandma to show me how it's done, I will take suggestions.  


Five for Five!

I seem to be really terrible at getting things done by Mondays but when I give myself till Tuesday much more gets done.  So I'm going to link up on Tuesdays but it seems that Jenn & Jessica are taking a little link up vacay so I'm going to link up with myself and try to keep my goals going : )

5 for 5 Old
1. Finish up posts from last week

Boom did it!
2.  Book one Pampered Chef show
Contacted a few people and we have a tentative date set. 
3.  No extra spending for a week
Well kinda ordered stuff from the Pampered Chef Sidewalk sale but I've actually been really good since then.
4.  Pull more photos at my parent's house to scan
After being at their house three times for various events I remembered to grab a box of photos!
5.  Pick out recipes for one of my 101 tasks
Failed on that one

5 for 5 New
1.  Pick out recipes for one of my 101 tasks
2.  Edit and save the scanned photos (take care of all the ones sitting in my email folder)
3.  Allocate all of my Pampered Chef papers that are just lying around to the correct folders
4.  Go through all my make up, toss anything that is really old or if I haven't used it see if Kevin's cousin might like it
5.  Try to get the last bit of materials for my DIY 101 list task (I already got most of them & they're sorted and labeled!!)

What are your goals for the week?



Hope y'all had a good weekend!  Ours was a crazy one but you'll find out more about that on Thursday's link up : )  Just want to let you know I literally have meetings every evening this week so you might be getting a lot of pinterest love this week.  Hopefully not cause I'm trying to get ahead today but if you've ever met/read me you know how well that seems to work!
Elyse.  This is someone that honestly I've never really even mentioned to people in my everyday life and some of the thoughts I have today I've never have even told my parents.  This is just a jumble of my thoughts so I apologize if it's not very well thought out today.

Elyse is my older sister.  She passed away when she was just a baby and today would have been her 30th birthday.

The picture above is one of two that I always remember seeing of her growing up, the second is one of her standing up with a little plastic grocery cart that I remember playing with all the time as a child.  When I got older (and could actually have rational thoughts) I would think how nice it was that we had that physical connection even though we had never been sisters in same physical space.

I don't think about her all the time but every now and then, usually when something larger happens in life or I get nostalgic and look through my photos, I start to think how things would have been different if I had a big sister.  Would she and I have ganged up on Louie together?  Would the two of them have ganged up on me?  Would she and I have looked alike?  Maybe I would have followed her to the college she chose.  Would she have been my Maid of Honor?  Would I have been hers?

I always thought how nice it would have been to have a sister who I could do things with all the time.  Then I realized even though I wasn't able to have my blood sister around anymore God provided other sisters for me in the form of two Bs!  Bethany and Becky!  I really do like to think that if Elyse would have been around that we would be as goofy as Bethany and I get (heaven help Louie & Kevin when we get that way too) or she and I would have loved going to see cover bands together especially the 80's ones like Becky and I do.  Even though sometimes I get annoyed that I didn't know Elyse and how it wasn't fair that I never got to meet her there was obviously a reason.  For whatever reason that is I'm so grateful I have two un-biological sisters to help fill that place.  Yup I am very blessed.  

Happy Birthday Elyse.


Chicago History Museum

Without a doubt one of my top five favorite Chicago area museums is definitely the Chicago History Museum.  Opened in 1856 it's touted as the oldest cultural institution in the city.  Unfortunately thanks to the Great Chicago Fire and then a second one a few years later most of the original collection was destroyed.  Years of collecting along with some fabulous purchases for the collection, including the 1920 purchase of the bed Lincoln died in, have turned their collection into a world class one.

Low rider right when walk into the museum
One of my absolute favorite parts of the Chicago History Museum is the permanent exhibit, Chicago: Crossroads of America.  The first thing you see when you walk into the space is the large locomotive and the "L" car.  For those who haven't been to Chicago and wondered what an "L" is it's the eLevated train that runs throughout the city.  While a fabulous way to get around be prepared for crazies but that's a whole other post!  This particular "L" car was from the time of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 and they do a fabulous job telling stories of real people who attended the Exposition.  

In addition to the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 the Chicago: Crossroads of America goes through the entire history of Chicago from Fort Dearborn to Al Capone to stories from current residents in Chicago diverse neighborhoods.  Downstairs is one of people's favorite exhibits, the Dioramas.  Recently restored they take you through Chicago history from 1804 to present in such extreme detail it's amazing. 

The Great Fire of 1871.  This photo doesn't do the detail justice!

Not only does the Chicago History Museum have amazing permanent exhibitions but they always have multiple temporary exhibitions that wow.  During my last visit these included Shalom Chicago along with photo exhibit Vivian Maier's Chicago.  One of my favorite temporary exhibits is always one that involves the costume collection of the Chicago History Museum.  They are known around the world for their extensive and fabulous costume collection.  

I would definitely suggest a visit here if you're in town.  It is a bit out of the loop but there are multiple buses that will get you right outside the door or a few blocks away along with taking the "L" Purple line (and a little walking!).  With the adult price of $14, discounted prices for students and seniors and kids under 12 getting in free, with admission including two audio tours, this is a great price.  You're also right at the edge of Lincoln Park and the Lincoln Park neighborhood with it's many different restaurants and shopping options making a day out of your visit to the Chicago History Museum.

My friend Tim & I the last day of our internship at CHM.  We're standing in front of the old part of the building.

I have an awesome picture of myself as a Chicago style hotdog from the children exhibit but we can't find my darn hard drive.  I will keep looking so I can share that picture with you next week. : )

Have a fabulous weekend!


Too Many Changes {Link-up}

I have been waiting for I think at least two weeks to share this post with you, someone was slacking last week and didn't have her link-up going *cough cough* : D

2013 seems to be the year of massive change and ending eras for me.  The most recent one is Kevin has left 'Stache.  This was actually a while in the making.  We were hoping to end out the summer but with Kevin's job things were just too crazy.  Kevin was feeling for a while that he needed to devote more time and energy to work and me.  Although don't let that sentence lead you to believe that I was nagging him to quit.  I was actually pretty upset about him leaving.

So with all that being said two weekends ago Kevin had his last official show (and the proceeded to be a fill in the next weekend ha!).  It was a crazy fun night.  I got Lou & Bethany to come out, Stephanie was in town, Kevin's cousins came out and so did some of our other friends' that we haven't seen in a while and some since our wedding!

In celebration of what I was worried was my last night of awesomeness (it's not no worries!) here is our partying in celebration of Kevin's illustrious five years in one nice big photo dump!

Louie & Bethany rocking out 

Kelli and I

Kevin's friend Jonathan from high school.  He's been out of town so much this past year this is the first time we've seen him since our wedding!


Kelli and her mom.  Kelli got her pretty drunk and she is even MORE fun, it was great :)

I love my sister in law.  Two peas in a pod

Stephanie and I rocking our matching shirts


Five years crazy.  It's still really overwhelming to think something that has been that huge a part of our life is not going to be there anymore.  I don't like change!  Although Kevin did tell me he'd drive me anywhere and everywhere so looks like we will still be going to every show and rocking out but now Kevin can hang out with the ladies!