Musings of a Museum Fanatic: December 2013

12.31.2013

Tunes on Tuesday: Songs That Should Be On Your NYE Playlist

Whether you're going out tonight or staying in it's New Years Eve and you need a killer playlist.  Music can definitely make or break a good night.  In no particular order here are my top picks that should be on every NYE playlist or any playlist for that matter.

1.  Jump by Van Halen

Always a great get up and dance 80's classic.

2. Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls

One of my childhood favorites! I feel like they're always forgotten when people talk about good music from the 90's that should be brought back. Spice Up Your Life isn't necessarily their most upbeat and exciting song but any song that tells you the dance moves is always a good time.

3. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
Ice Ice Baby is perfect ... in every situation ... ALWAYS!

4. Die Young by Ke$ha

One problem a lot of people have with her is that all her songs sound the same and talk about the same thing. Honestly if they're good songs why not!? She talks about enjoying life and having a good time while doing it to a good beat that you can dance to. If ain't broke don't fix it!

5. I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas

It's so over played I know, every wedding, every night out but I can't help but love it. I enjoy anything that is just about having a good time with awesome people (see #4!). Can't go wrong with a basic feeling like that no matter how over played it gets.

6. Be Faithful(Put Your Hands Up) by Fatman Scoop Ft Crooklyn Clan

This is another classic DJ plays it all the time type song but honestly I will never ever get tired of putting my hands up cause I have a $20 bill! Maybe someday I can do it cause I have a $100 bill but for now it will have to do. If you have some mad DJ skills mix this with a little Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool and you've got some 90's club gold on your hands.

7. What is Love by Haddaway

Dancing like Night at the Roxbury is and always will be in style so be sure to have this classic on your list.

8. Poker Face by Lady Gaga

A playlist staple!

9. Sexy Chick by David Guetta (Featuring Akon)

Any song that talks about shaking your booty should be on your playlist!

10. Auld lang syne by Jimi Hendrix

Ring in the New Year a little different with the Jimi Hendrix version of Auld lang syne. You won't be disappointed!


Have a great New Years everyone!!

12.30.2013

Christmas in Photos {Giveaway}

Since we had about four different Christmas celebrations this past week spanning the entire week (including just yesterday) I didn't really end up sharing much last week so I thought I would do a fun photo share today.  We started off Christmas with a nice chill Christmas eve with Lou & Bethany, munchies were had by all and we finally finished the Thanksgiving puzzle.

Christmas Day we opened some presents at Kevin's parent's house then went over to his grandma's house where we had our Asian inspired Christmas meal.  Needless to say I won Christmas with my amazing cream cheese wontons!!  We even fried up the extra edge pieces (I had to get egg roll wrappers) and they didn't make it to the table everyone was just standing around me as I was frying them up and eating.  You really can't go wrong with any sort of fried dough substance can you?
More to come about these delicious guys later in the week

Us with Kevin's uncles

Since obviously we like to do things full out this past Saturday we headed down to Peoria to have lunch with Kevin's aunt, cousin, other grandma and his brother and wife.  Good times and lots of carbs were had by all.  I'm very proud of myself since I did not have any of the bread sticks (we had lunch at Olive Garden).  

We ended up staying at my parents Saturday night because it seemed silly to have dinner with them then drive back to our house when we were coming back Sunday.  Silly or we were just lazy ... you can take your pick.  Sunday we had a great time with my family and one of my cousins joined us for a delicious turkey lunch finished off with waaaaay to many cookies.  Bethany and I obviously rocked out the Christmas puzzle.  It's not done yet but I'm feeling much better about actually finishing it in a timely manner as opposed to the Thanksgiving one!!  I think next year someone else can get one since everyone is still complaining that I picked too hard of a puzzle.  Honestly since Bethany and I end up doing 85% of the work I figure I'm going to get one that we like!  
This is the photo we took Thanksgiving for my parents Christmas card but since we didn't take any photos at my parents house yesterday it works.  

Throw in a couple more dinners with the parents throughout the week and there you have Christmas.  What's usually a chill two day even ended up turning into a week long thing this but it was nice to see so much family.  Hopefully New Years will be nice and relaxing ... you know filled with lots of arguing about how to organize the condo better since that's our plan for the night : )


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12.27.2013

MySpace Survey

Everyone lately has been taking the Blogmopolitan quiz and every time I see it the thing just reminds me of all those super long surveys we used to do back when Myspace was a thing.  So I was like hmmm do those surveys still exist? OH yes they do!  There are so many and so many of them are terrible and long.  It's great!

You can tell that some of them are definitely directed towards a younger audience aka it was big when we were in high school and Myspace was at it's prime.  Some of these things you probably didn't know about and some of them I'm sure you don't care but it was fun!  Go search and find your own old school Myspace survey to take this weekend.

Me circa 2005

Think About It

Who was the last male you talked to?
My Husband Kevin

Who is someone that can always make you laugh?
Kevin ... even when I'm mad he makes me laugh, I hate it cause I'm all good and mad.

What were you doing at 10am this morning?
It's not 10 yet! I'll be on break

What were you doing an hour ago?
Looking at bloglovin

Do you plan on moving within the next year?
I can dream can't I?

Are you wearing anything on your feet?
My lovely snow shoes aka my Dr. Martens

What are you looking forward to in the next 3 months?
A new year and surviving Chicago winter

Do you remember your dreams?
Sometimes, had a weird one last night that's for sure

Where did your last hug take place?
By the front door of our condo as I was leaving for work (it was my last kiss too)

Have you been to a baby shower?
Yup

What cell phone company do you use?
Verizon

What color is your hair brush?
I have a silver, red, and black one

Do you watch the Super Bowl?
Sometimes but I prefer the Puppy Bowl

What about World Cup?
Nope

Do you sleep with a teddy bear?
Nope

What is the last movie you watched?
Monsters University Christmas night

What movie do you think everyone should watch?
The Labyrinth ... everyone needs to see David Bowie with a padded crotch in a kids movie

What is your middle name?
Celeste

Do you have your future children's names picked out?
If they're girls yes but boys I have no idea

What color is your mailbox?
Seriously? It's silver

Do you have to drive over a bridge to get home?
No but I do drive over train tracks

What brand is your computer printer?
HP?

How many cars can fit in your driveway?
Ha I tricked you I don't have a driveway

Who was your Kindergarden teacher?
Mrs. Jahnke ... funny story we are now sorority sisters!

Are you taller than your mom?
OH yes. I like to remind her of that fact too

Do you have any bruises right now?
Probably I keep smacking into furniture lately

Are you cold right now?
Why yes I am.

Do any of your close friends have kids?
Nope not yet.

Do you know anyone who is pregnant right now?
Sooooo many people

How many years older and younger than you are you willing to date?
Well I'm pretty sure Kevin would have something to say about that one ...

What brand are your favorite jeans you own?
All my jeans at the moment are Old Navy

What is the closest red object to you?
The pen next to me on the desk

What is your favorite video game?
Aladdin for Super Nintendo. I kick butt on it!

Do you play games on your cell phone?
Candy Crush anyone?

Do you look more like your mom or dad?
I personally don't think I look more like either one of them, I'm a mix of both

Have you ever broken an pinata?
No : (

Do you have an iPod or Mp3 player?
Mp3

If someone doesnt like you its probably because:
They suck

Who was the last person in your bedroom?
Kevin

What are your plans for this weekend?
Celebrating Christmas with Kevin's other grandma and my family

Have you ever crawled through a window?
Probably

Do you lose your keys often?
Nope but other things are a different story

How many keys are on your keychain?
6

When was your last encounter with the police?
When I did a 360 and spun off the road this time last year. That was fun.

Do you sing in the shower?
Mostly hum but some days I do sing

Do you always wear your seatbelt in the car?
Always

12.26.2013

NY & Co. Deals

It seems that the 26th of December is an even bigger deal day than Black Friday this year.  I've not only seen multiple articles and posts about it but my own inbox is chock full of eye popping lower than low deals from today until Sunday.  One of my favorite stores, New York & Company is having their huge up to 80% off sale right now and I just had to look.  Which probably wasn't a good thing ...


These guys are my top picks from the sale.  With all five ringing in at less than $25 each (most under 20) these guys are a down right steal!  Kevin thinks I'm going to get arrested for shoplifting with the way I deal search & shop.  The majority of the items part of the sale are sweaters and more winter type clothing.  This is perfect for me since I've realized lately that most of my longer sleeved tops are pretty heavy bulky sweaters.  Working in a basement that has had super high humidity lately and having to bear the Chicago weather puts my wardrobe in a spot where it needs more nice sweaters that will keep me warm outside but aren't so bulky I'm sweating my butt off at work.  

Overall I'd say I have a pretty defined style of classic, clean, timeless looking pieces with a little fun thrown in. These pieces are also ones that I can use with what I already have in my wardrobe along with adding a more updated feel and replacing some old items.  Some of the old items maybe being those stretchy U neck tops that just remind you of what you wore in college to look presentable and really don't look like the almost 30 year old you are now.  A better option might be that Geometric Print tee that will probably flatter you more than the over stretched cotton of the older tops.  Am I right?    

The dress is just really fun and for $12 you can't go wrong with at least getting it to try on right?  If you're looking for a new dress seriously go check out the the ones in the sale they have a bunch for under $50.  There are all sorts of styles that are perfect for work, going out or casual occasions.    


As you can see there are a couple that would be very good for New Years Eve if you're still looking for a cute sparkly dress.  If you have a NY&Co store in you area there are always way more pieces that are 60-80% off than online.  I'm going to be good and not attempt to visit every store in a 30 mile radius I promise!  Maybe only one ... or two ... I will have to return items that don't fit right?      

12.25.2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing holiday!  We are off to go enjoy our funfetti pancake and stir fry filled Christmas Day with Kevin's family.  Catch you tomorrow!

12.23.2013

Here's Looking at You 101 List

With all the holiday brewhaha going on I've been totally ignoring my 101 list lately.  I know it feels oh so lonely since I haven't crossed anything off in a while so I decided to take a look and see if I could cross anything off.  Lo and behold there were definitely a few that now have nice long lines through them.

I've been wearing make up each day for about the past month and a half!  Usually in the morning I'm really lazy about my routine so being consistent with even the basics is really good for me.  About half the time I did even more than the basics.  

The one I'm most excited to cross off is my student loans!!  Kevin and I have been working on tightening up our finances, we're somewhat saving and somewhat on a budget which is all well and good but there are definitely things in life that we want to do.  To do these things (i.e. travel, bigger home, etc.) cost money and if we start really getting control of our finances now we can have  money to do these things.  Long story short we have more than enough money in our savings to pay off the rest of my student loans, so we decided to pay off the final $9,300ish.  We couldn't figure out why when we have money should we keep paying interest on the loans and stay in debt.  Not gonna lie scheduling 6k in payments that are coming out of our bank account tomorrow is pretty scary but to not have the monthly payment will be amazing.



Also looking through there were some simple ones that I could have finished by now, like the three classic films.  Thank you Netflix instant for putting up some great and not so great classics!  Barbarella was the most ridiculous movie I think I've ever seen!  Although From Justin to Kelly was pretty bad too ...   Figured out my scrapbooking item in more detail and oh look I've started on it too : )  Can't reveal much more of that one since they're surprises for people!!  


I have also come to the conclusion that there are definitely some items that are not going to get done on this list.  Like the whole selling the condo and buying a new house numbers.  We are hoping by getting hardcore about our finances it won't take as long to get the darn mortgage out from underwater but who knows.  The digitization projects will also take much much longer than I had thought they would!  Not gonna lie it's hard when you do something for a living to do it for yourself.  Plus when you have a photo taking type family you keep finding photos, they never end!!!  We shall see though and I'm going to keep plugging away at all the rest of my 101s.  

It's me!  One of the recent scans



12.20.2013

FOOOOOREEEEEEEVER

Today was the last day of work for me until next Thursday and it took FOOOOREEEEEEEVER!!  I think days like that always do.  Thank goodness for the humor section of Pinterest to get me through the day.  
Funny Pictures Of The Day – 90 Pics

Love this guy.  My friend Rachel and I did jerky things like that on our trip to Europe ten years ago.  Fist bumped some ancient fists and whatnot : )

Dear King Henry VIII,...

hahaha really?

This person knows how things should be.  It reminds me of the whole marking the parking spot you cleared with a chair here in Chicago.  

What else is one supposed to do??

My work consists of three buildings and you can walk through the basement but sometimes it's just quicker to walk outside.  There have been many many times the past two weeks I have thought that second part.  Sometimes (when it's not 0) I walk a little slower so I can do it more.

Ain't this the truth!!!

My life lately!  Although I do get dinner on the table and the laundry is done but the house is still crazy and I'm way behind on Christmas things like decorating the tree and the Christmas cards.  You know no biggie : )

Mercat

Have a good weekend!

12.19.2013

I'm Going to Disneyland!

Well I hope I'm going to Disneyland!  At the beginning of December the Pampered Chef announced it's trip that you can earn in the year 2014 and it happens to be Disneyland.  If you've hung around here for a little bit you've probably seen my love of Disney (I'm working on an entire Disney week for after the new year!).  Disneyland has never been the first choice on my Disney park list but I feel like I would love it since it is Sleeping Beauty's castle there and it's out west.  I've never been further west than Nebraska!

The idea of a trip like this really gets my brain and butt in gear!  I want to earn this bad boy!!  Plus having the satisfaction of actually earning something that cool would be amazing!  So I can combine an awesome Pampered Chef trip, being really a really awesome Pampered Chef consultant with crossing items off my 101 list ... sold!  Since I'm trying to start my 2014 off on the right foot I'm sharing the January special with you early.


YUP! January is a double your free product month!  When I started out my Pampered Chef business the first month was a double your value month and my mom made out like a bandit.  She got I think $375 worth of products for $90.  The pile of products was huge!  

Not only can you get more free products if you host right away at the beginning of the month you can choose a free product right off the bat!  I love my Simple Slicer, it's a great tool I use a bunch.  Plus you could get one of my FAVORITE products for less than $20 the Manual Food Processor.  I use that guy for so much it's ridiculous.  So pretty much the Pampered Chef is trying to give you everything but the kitchen sink in January.  

Oh wait here is the kitchen sink ... this is just something that I am personally doing no other consultant.  If you book a catalog show with me now in December for the New Year I'm giving you $10 right off the bat. I don't like $10 extra in free products ... said no one ever!  

Online and Facebook shows are so incredibly simple!!  I'd love to help you start off the new year with some fabulous free products and you would help me start off the new year on my way to the west coast.  


12.18.2013

Gnocchi Chicken Minestrone

We braved the closing Dominick's store last week and ended up getting some gnocchi.  Neither Kevin or myself had cooked with it before so I went to Pinterest in an effort to find a good recipe to use it with.  Surprisingly Kevin chose a soup recipe!  Seriously I try to get this kid to eat soup all the time and he has none of it.  I adapted this Gnocchi Chicken Minestrone soup from Taste of Home.    


Ingredients

1-1/4 pounds chicken tenderloins, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 each small red and yellow peppers, finely chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, choppd

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup chopped prosciutto or deli ham (I'd probably eliminate this didn't add much)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained

3/4 cup canned white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (if we make this again I'd use the red ones instead)

1/2 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 package (16 ounces) potato gnocchi

1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese

Directions
1.  Chop all of the veggies and set aside in bowl.  Combine broth, tomatoes, beans, peas, tomato paste Classic Batter Bowl and set aside.  By doing this before it makes it much easier during cooking!!  


It looks terrible but seriously it helps!!

2.  Sprinkle chicken with oregano, salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, saute chicken in 1 tablespoon oil until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.


3.  In the same pan, cook the peppers, zucchini, squash and onion in remaining oil until tender.

4.  Add prosciutto and garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

5.  Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, peas, tomato paste and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  While soup is heating cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain; stir into soup. Garnish each serving with cheese and basil.  I think I could have done without the fresh basil on top I couldn't really taste it.

Overall this recipe was pretty good.  Kevin really enjoyed it again today for lunch.  I think I was a little disappointed it didn't taste like the minestrone from the restaurant we like so much but the broth was almost a dead ringer for it so maybe I need to change up the veggies some more!  

12.16.2013

Sick Husband

I got a Gchat message at about 2:30 from a sick husband who went home early from work and has just not been good.  Since I need to take care of the sick boy including still making him the soup I was planning on for dinner (yup it's that ESP I've got!) and taking care of the things he can't tonight.  

Before I got news of the sick one I was reminiscing all the way back to February and was reading a couple of the old posts I wrote for Stephanie.  There are a lot of new friends hanging out now so I thought it would be fun to share one of the Nutty Posts I wrote introducing myself.  There aren't just wacky photos either there is video : D  Yeah video!  

I will be back tomorrow with some fun Tunes on Tuesday and a hopefully not so sick Kevin!!  

12.13.2013

Ziploc Baggies Are My New BFF

In my quest to attempt total condo organization I was thinking about a better way to organize all my fun new crafting supplies.  I went a teensy bit crazy on Black Friday but now I have supplies and ideas for oh so many projects!!  The overload of ideas and supplies presents some issues, mostly memory.  You get that awesome idea and by the time you acquire the correct supplies you forget or you buy them when you have the idea but life gets in the way and now you can't remember what the heck you were going to do.

This week I had a stroke of genius that came in the form of Ziploc baggies and Post It notes.  It occurred to me that I should split up the fancy rocks I got for a magnet project and label them with who I want to give them to.  Duh!  I used the sandwich baggies for these but if you have the snack ones those work too, I'm all about using the space as best I can.

Taped sticky with info to the canvas and the bag. 

After bagging most of the rocks I went all baggie crazy and decided I could do the same thing with all the tons of photos I had been printing out.  I only want to do scrapbooking for Kevin and myself, my parents, his parents and probably four of my friends.  Let's just say that adds up to a LOT of photos floating about.  


I started off the project by sorting out a chunk of the photos I had printed.  One pile for my parents, one for us and one for Becky.  


When using baggies for the photos I decided to go with the quart sized ones.  The sandwich ones could work but it was a tight fit to get them in and if it's a bigger project you'll be adding more so the space in the bag is helpful.  Then I stapled the sticky note to the outer part above the seal.  I did it this way so the staple won't catch the photos and you can still actually open the bag and add more!  Learned that one the hard way : )


Now you have lovely sorted photos all ready for your next scrapbooking project.  I've also sorted out the ones I'll be using for Christmas gifts and other random things.  


Lastly make sure you have a little storage area cause instead of craft supplies laying around you'll have slippery bags of craft supplies all over.  We got a little IKEA shelf unit for a corner and I had already purchased the drawer for hiding storage so it worked out perfectly.  The supplies are hidden and all ready to go when you finally get that extra moment!

12.12.2013

Ridiculous Christmas Gift Ideas

Since it seems I have Christmas on the brain this week and can't seem to talk about anything else why not talk about some gift ideas of what NOT to get your loved one this Christmas season!

I seem to be having a reprise of the summer when I was reading Skymall and found some of the most ridiculous items for sale.  Like many a little lady I know I love getting my Signals catalog and there were definitely some crazy items for sale in it this season but it wasn't just Signals!  The crazy has made it into the stores and I just can't handle it.

Winky Cross Body BagWinky Cross Body Bag
This is called the Winky Cross Body Bag.  Seriously it winks at you when you walk by.  I don't know about anyone else but I would FLIP out.  So creepy.

Slipper Socks - Cowboy Boots
These aren't so bad but honestly they don't look like cowboy boots to me, just a weird sock pattern.  If you must get shoe socks go with the ballet shoes.  

Not only are the catalog companies having crazy stuff but the stores are too!!  I don't know what has been going on with Target this winter season but I found a couple doozies that should probably never have seen the harsh light of the store.

For some reason Target decided to be a huge offender this year with some wacky women's clothing.  There were at least three more odd sweaters I didn't even take a photo of!



There were also Lion King and Little Mermaid leggings.  I just couldn't with those.  As much as I want everything Disney, just no.  Bed Bath and Beyond had some gems like Duck Dynasty hats with beards for your pets!

With all the crazy going on there were a couple of great items that popped up, you know just in case you're still trying to find my Christmas present still.


Target had a whole line of cute vintage-y looking Disney Princess tees.  The Jasmine and Belle tees were also very cute and I wanted to buy them all!!!  
London Street Map V Unframed Wall Canvas
This one isn't wacky so much as really really cool and unique.  This is a canvas map of London.  I would get this of Chicago and Paris too.  That is if we had anymore wall space! 

Have you seen any ridiculous or awesome unique items this season?


12.11.2013

Stir Fry For Christmas?

During Thanksgiving this yeah obviously Kevin and I started the whole what are we doing for Christmas conversation with our parents.  I enjoy Christmas since really it's a nice two part holiday.  Christmas eve with my parents, Christmas day with his.  Love it, super easy, done!  Talking with his parents about the meal this year was really interesting, it seems that Kevin's uncle has this fabulous stir fry recipe and that's what our Christmas Day meal is going to be.  Kevin and I are of the mind set as long as you feed us it doesn't matter what it is.  OK so that's not entirely true with me but I enjoy stir fry so it works.

I started thinking of what I could bring that would go with this meal theme and the light bulb went off in my head.  Duh!  One of my favorite items to get at any Chinese restaurant and something I've been wanting to try and make for a while ... crab rangoon!  How could you go wrong with cheese fried in a wanton wrapper?  You can't.

Being the total pin hoarder that I am of course I have more than one classic crab rangoon recipe pinned but then I noticed that there are some recipes that can almost be deconstructed rangoons.

Healthy Baked Crab Rangoons

This recipe seems pretty easy and I do like the fact that it's baked (aka somewhat healthier) but doesn't the act of frying make it really awesome and why you eat it?  Plus this one seems like it could go a little on the spicy side.

Cream Cheese Wonton

Yes I know I said crab rangoon and these don't have a crab within a mile of them.  Seriously though can you blame me, these guys are sooo good.  Literally fried cheese nom nom.  Little unsure of the whole actually frying something part but Kevin and I could practice before right?

Crab & Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls -- so easy! 
Now we head into the impostor/poser category, not exactly like the original but the changes seem pretty good.  You probably can't go wrong with anything wrapped in a crescent roll.  Am I right?  

Crab Dip
As cute as these little guys are and as much as I enjoy using my mini muffin pan I'm just not feeling the hot sauce in this recipe.  Plus who suggests dippers when you put it in a delicious little phyllo cup.  Get it together Better Homes and Gardens!

    Hot Crab Dip
Anything with the words Hot, Crab and Dip in the same sentence is going to be slap your mama good.  Plus this one is pretty darn easy, I don't know how it can get any easier then dump it in the slow cooker and walk away.  This recipe would probably lend it self well to making your own fried wanton chips or something similar.  It's Christmas calories don't count right?

Or I could go some totally different way with a totally different dish.  With that being said, I did find at least three other similar crab rangoon style recipes on my App-teasers board and didn't even check my others for any.  So I think we're probably going to be having something that has crabby, cheesy goodness and I think we will have to endure the hardship of practicing said recipe next week.        

12.10.2013

Tunes on Tuesday: Christmas Carols

One of my favorite parts of the season is when the Christmas carols start to roll out.  I think one of the reasons I love them so much is that usually they're unsullied and sung cleanly ... as opposed to over worked and totally edited to the edge of their lives.  Yes, yes I know that this does happen to carols but most of the time what you hear on the radio or out and about tends to be the nicer versions.

Everyone has their own opinions as well about what is their favorite carol so I know there will be some debate over mine.  To sing I would definitely have to say my favorite is "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".  This is also one I really enjoy playing on the violin ... when I get it out ... once a year ... at Christmas ... because Dad and Kevin won't stop hounding me until I do.  To hear my favorite is definitely "Carol of the Bells".  I just love the drama in both songs.  They're more of hey Christmas is gonna smack you in the face as opposed to the sweet boop your nose of like "Silent Night" or "Little Drummer Boy".

One of my favorite versions of Carol of the Bells is from the Trans Siberian Orchestra.  One of the local outdoor malls by us has a fantastic light show they run to a few of the Trans Siberian Orchestra's best songs.  I got a cool video of it when we were there a couple of weeks ago but my phone is not cooperating at all!  Hopefully I'll get it off there before it's January but until then enjoy this video of it.



"Little Drummer Boy" is also another carol I'm always a fan of.  Who doesn't love singing "pa rum pum pum pum"?  Seriously sing it now and see if you don't smile. I've seen this next video floating around the interwebs the past couple of weeks. Like most people who have seen it I am a big fan of it.  Doing anything acapella and doing it really awesome always gets major kudos in my book.  I haven't heard of the group Pentatonix before this video but I'm definitely going find more of their work.  For a little boop on the nose here is "Little Drummer Boy".



What's your favorite Christmas carol? Or the one you wish would just go away?

12.09.2013

Christmas In Chicago

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all of the different Christmas events and traditions that happen in Chicago. I'm going to share some of my favorites with you.

 This has become one of my favorite Chicago and family traditions. Every year for the past threw years Kevin, my parents and his parents have gone downtown for the Christkindlmarket. This year was no exception, we went down the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Every year Daley Plaza (since 1997) is transformed into an old world German Christmas market.  There are huge heated ornament houses, booths with all kinds of things to buy, ornaments, hats, steins and yummy German candy.  There are schnitzel and bratwurst sandwiches and of course your mulled wine or hot chocolate in the boot.  Although this year they changed it up and it's a mini stein.  Which if you're German or just love beer is awesome.  I've been drinking out of my mini stein since we got it haha.


Kevin's dad, Kevin, Kevin's mom, myself and my mom last year.

Another Chicago tradition everyone should be sure to check out is the windows of the State street Macy's. Every year they are a different theme. This year is no exception, although i have heard from some life long Chicagoans that they aren't up to snuff. Although these are still the people who refuse to call it Macy's : )

Skating in millennium park is another long held Chicago tradition. Although this lady has not had the pleasure yet. There are always tons and tons of people and skates always seem to get rented out quickly. For another skating experience you might want to head north to the Hancock building and Skate in the Sky. They have skating on the 94th floor. If you head there be sure to stay and get a drink in the Signature Lounge, it has fabulous views of the city.

The tradition i most want to see but haven't yet is the zoo lights at Lincoln park zoo. Every year they put thousands of lights. The best park is the zoo is free year round so its great to just be able to meander over after having dinner in one of the fabulous neighborhood restaurants.  It's been a few years since I've been able to get there at night to see all the beautiful lights but I



Obviously my holidays wouldn't be complete with out come Christmas cheer from a couple of my favorite museums.
Museum of Science and Industry Christmas trees from around the world


Field Museum all decked out