Musings of a Museum Fanatic: January 2014


Blogging Weekend

A couple weeks ago Stephanie and I had our blogging weekend.  I know I did a little bit of a recap then but I thought I should share more of what I did and what I've been working on since then.  Sound good?  Good!

That weekend my goal was to get myself organized.  I started off with Stephanie's model of working out what I wanted to post for each day of the week for four weeks.  Each month will have at least four weeks so it's a good base, some months have that pesky 5th week so I just decided to have it be it's own randomness week.  Here is a lovely and probably somewhat confusing photo of what I set up.  I realize that's an actual month to month calendar but I like to actually see things sort of spelled out so setting it up that way to figure out my different topics really helped.

Next was the really difficult step ... being creative!  Being creative isn't extremely difficult for me, I like to think I usually come up with pretty interesting things right?  Don't answer that!! : )  The idea of sitting down and planning out creative topics for at least six weeks of posts is pretty daunting.  It means you actually have to focus, put pen to paper and commit!  Again I don't know about anyone else but that step has definitely been difficult and kinda scary for me.

I decided that if I was going to take things seriously with blogging and getting my entire life more organized this year I was going to invest in a fancy planner that could handle multiple types of things I needed to keep track of.  Most of you I'm sure can tell already what planner I invested in but there is more to come on that another day : )

The weekend also consisted of quite a bit of pinning and pin purging.  It's actually kinda satisfying hitting the delete button for pins that you know you'll never make, the link doesn't work or you just don't like anymore.  I highly recommend it!  I need to work more on my blog board, I keep pinning what look to be some great blogging tools but still haven't taken the time to go look at them again.     
The cherry on top of a productive weekend was the fun to be had with our twitter party and all the blog questions everyone asked and answered.  It was so much fun interacting with everyone, I need to join in on these twitter party type things more often!

Taking the time and really committing to working on my blog felt great.  I was able to get a bunch of ideas on paper and get myself more organized.  Even if you're only able to take half a day one weekend I would highly recommend it!  Trust me you'll feel less stressed with your day to day blogging.


Historical Places I Want to See

One of the things I love most of all is to actually see and, if they'll let me, touch and experience the historical places I read about and study first hand.  There are so many places around the world that I have yet to experience but want to.

Charleston, SC is probably one of the top places in the U.S. I'd love to visit right now.  It makes me sad we didn't get a chance to go there while my brother and sister in law lived in South Carolina.  Besides just being completely steeped in south history and tradition it's where the Civil War started.
downtown charleston, sc
Fort Sumter, South Carolina
Civil War history has always been a time period I've enjoyed learning about and in some cases dressing up as.  I haven't gotten the chance to see as many of the monuments, battlefields and military places related to the Civil War as I would like so it seems only fitting that the place that started it all should be near the top of my list!

Probably the top spot in my list right now is to visit Germany.  The past few years my dad has gotten really into our family genealogy and since we're from Germany I keep hearing about where ancestors came from.  You would think being in to history as much as I am I would be fascinated with my own but I've always left that up to my dad.  Maybe I need to see where my family came from first hand to really get that going.  It also peaks my interest because of the many fairy tales that were written down from this area of Europe, thank you Grimm brothers.  Every time I look at photos like the ones below I just think of all the wonderful and magical things to see.  I mean come on that cottage in the Black Forest had to have had something really awesome happen there.    
Old Mill, Black Forest, Germany. 
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany...perched on a craggy hillside and surrounded by a backdrop of spectacular snow-covered mountain peaks.
It also doesn't hurt Germany's case that they were a major power during one of my favorite centuries, the 19th century!

Australia was never a continent that I really had a strong urge to go see in the past but for some reason it seems to be growing on me.  To be honest I don't know much about the history of Australia other than convicts, aborigines and AC/DC but from what know of those three things it seems there is a ton of exciting history to be explored there.  Plus the scenery isn't too shabby either.  
Beautiful Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Australia

For some reason one of my favorite time periods in history is classical.  Mostly Greece and somewhat Egyptian with a touch of Roman.  I've already been to Greece and it was amazing, I would go back in a heartbeat.  Seriously the urge to hug some sort of column was really really strong and the only reason I didn't was cause they're really anal about their history there which I can totally respect.  Next I want to see all the other types of places I would read about connected with ancient history.  Who wouldn't want to see Troy and walk where Achilles walked?  It can't just be me!  Marvel at the sheer magnitude of the pyramids and realize that you're looking at one guy's grave.  Pretty sure if the Pharoh's had cameras back then they'd be the kings of selfies. 
Troy | Turkey  
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt.
Petra, Jordan... One day i shall be like indiana jones and find the knight and be a part of the last crusade... like a boss

There is so much amazing history in the world and I'm pretty sure I'll need to live until like 120 to see and learn about it all.  Wouldn't that be nice!  What historical place is on the top of your visit list?


Tunes on a Tuesday: Top 10 Ridiculously Good Looking Lead Singers

We all have that on member of the band that we just go gaga over right? Some of us go for the drummer others that guitarist just plucks the right cords in our hearts.  The one person in the band that never fails to make girls of all ages swoon is definitely the lead singer.  Maybe it's the songs, maybe it's the fact that when they sing it right at you it's an amazing, giggle inducing feeling or maybe it's just because they are right there in the front getting all the attention ... who knows!  Either way here are my top 10 ridiculously good lead singers in no particular order of course.

10.  Eric Burdon from Eric Burdon & The Animals
Eric Burdon
Brooding looks with an amazing voice make for a wonderful front man.  

9.  John Bon Jovi
Marry me Hot stuff!  Oh, wait, you are already married and so am I.  Besides, Dorothea could kick my ass!
Like a fine wine Bon Jovi has definitely gotten better looking with age.   

8.  Adam Levine
Adam Levine
I'm not sure I agree with him being the sexiest man alive but he's definitely good looking and you have to love that rugged, chiseled jaw line.  

7.  Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani 
Can't forget the ladies!!  I've loved Gwen since I first heard her sultry voice singing "Don't Speak" oh so many years ago.  Also I am totally digging this photo of her too.  

6. David Lee Roth
Putting the whole Roth v. Halen feud aside ... he's just so darn pretty.  His hair looks more fabulous than mine does which is a tad depressing haha. 

5.  Marcus Mumford
Marcus Mumford
Marcus definitely has that vintage, dorky, cute type look going on.   

4 & 3.  Justin Timberlake/JC Chasez

We all know that Justin is really the unspoken lead singer but JC always puts up a really good fight.  Both of them are super cuties, even Justin during his whole ramen hair phase.

2.  Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison 
Another brooding and soulful guy Jim Morrison is oh so good looking.  He went a little down hill right before he died so we will just think of him in this lovely photo.  

1.  Debbie Harry of Blondie 
Blondie,,,,,Debbie Harry
I obviously have a thing for blondes!  Hitting high notes with that cool demeanor Debbie is definitely rounds out my top 10 list of most ridiculously good looking lead singers.  


Dear People of my Facebook

Dear friend of mine, sweet friend of mine, naive friend of mine ... Yes that's great that your boyfriend at 4 months of dating proposed and now at 8 months of dating (halfway across the country long distance) is moving to you and moving in but seriously?  Also he has a name ... use it!  We know you're engaged you don't need to call him your fiance every. single. time. you refer to him.

Dear 50+ year old mom ... You're 50+ you should NOT be wearing clothes from the juniors section.  Especially those clothes, trendy does not mean wear every single trend at once.  Plus you made it really really obvious which of your children you prefer.  STOP it!  It's plain as day and just darn mean.
Dear person I know trying to change jobs ... I'm pretty sure your grammar is not helping your pleas.  It's "some" not "sum".  Is it really that difficult to type "be" and not "b"?  "Cuz" is so early 2000 get with it and grow up please.  None of this makes you sound like a functioning adult.

Dear vaguely cryptic friend ... We all know you're trying to garner attention and it's not going to work.  At least on me it's not.  So you can just stop it now.  P.S. I might not ask but you bet I will religiously stalk your Facebook page in the hopes that you will spill your guts even though I know you probably won't.

Dear compulsive meme sharing friends ... We get you believe in X, you love Y, and you think that you're Z but seriously do you have to share 50 million memes about it every day?  Nope you don't.  Also you might want to rethink some of those since I know you aren't that type of person, 50+ mom I'm looking at you.

Sleep tight people of my Facebook I cannot wait to enjoy your craziness next week : )


Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream

Since I'm a fantastic friend I, last weekend when Stephanie and I had our bloggy/organize Betsy's kitchen weekend I decided to make a special ice cream just for her.  After getting some background info on her favorite flavors I figured out that this recipe is probably the closest I could get and still have the ice cream be easy!!  This recipe was adapted from Pinterest and pinned from Cravings of a Lunatic

Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream

  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • Pinch vanilla salt **
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla 
  • 10 Turtles, chopped (If I do this again I would chop them smaller!)
** I had noooo idea what vanilla salt was and didn't realize it was a weird salt until I was home.  I ended up just doing a pinch of regular salt and adding a couple drops more of vanilla.  Didn't affect it at all!


1.  Combine sugars, cocoa, salt and whole milk. Mix until sugar dissolves. (I used the wisk attachment on my hand mixer.  Calls for stand mixer but the hand one worked very well.  Also the cocoa powder will fly everywhere be careful!!)

2.  Add heavy cream and vanilla. Mix again.

Be careful not to drop your knife into the heavy cream while poking through the film.

3.  Cover and place in fridge for 1 hour.

During step 3 things got a bit messy for me, didn't read carefully enough and sorta started up the ice cream machine.  It made for a messy time trying to pour it back out to do step 3, then cleaning the frozen part so I could use it later.  I feel like if I had just skipped over this step it would have still been ok.  Might try it next time.

4.  Transfer mix to frozen ice cream maker bowl and mix for 20 minutes (or until it has the thicker consistency).

5.  Add turtles and stir.

6.  Freeze for a couple of hours.  

Before you serve I would let it sit out for 5-10 minutes or you might crack a tooth on the caramel!  Enjoy! 


Working on the 101 list oh yeah!

Lately life has been pretty darn good.  I've been accomplishing quite a bit so far in 2014.  The things I'm probably most proud of so far has been my commitment to organizing along with my starting of 2014 with a bang and getting things crossed of my 101 list.

The one I'm probably most excited about completing is the one involving the ice cream maker.  You would have thought I would have that one done as soon as I started the list.  I think I was just afraid it would be super difficult but starting out with ice cream mixes and then moving up from there made it seem super easy!  After making Turtle Ice Cream totally from scratch (check back tomorrow for the recipe!!) I'm not worried about it at all anymore.  I can make any ice cream from scratch!
Our blogging weekend was a big help to my 101 list, in addition to finishing up my ice cream task Stephanie also helped me start my 3 iconic Chicago food things.  I left that one purposefully vague so it could encompass different things.  We decided that Billy Goat Tavern definitely fit the bill as something very iconic.  It was actually a really good burger and now I can go to the off shoot out by me with a clear conscience since I went to the original first, plus I didn't get yelled at!  Double score!

Kevin's parents, Kevin and myself also enjoyed working on my chocolate fondue task!  Now all I have left to check off is to make an entree/meat fondue.  I'm still working a lot on my electronic hoarding issues and my scanning.  Both of which are definitely much bigger projects than I had thought.  I'm ok if these tasks don't get fully crossed off because they're such momentous projects that there will still be a lot accomplished.  My new camera finally came and I've got it all set up.  Tonight for our Gamma Phi brewery tour I'm going to break it out for the first time and hopefully I will have some good photos to share!
Also I have been pilfering my dad's record collection!!

Looking at my 101 list I'm feeling alright about the progress I've made but I do know there are some simple tasks that I could be working on and already completed.  I think that's going to be my next goal, identify and complete some of the one time numbers and have them accomplished!!


Tunes on Tuesday: The Cover Band Scene

One of my favorite things about the Chicago area is the vibrant cover band scene.  I know if you've been around for a while you've seen me extolling my love for 'Stache, Kevin's former band but I haven't really talked about any of the other great bands that are in the area.

Most people would think of the words cover band and immediately some crap band comes to mind that just torture the songs you love by the big time artists alllll evening but seriously it's not like that ... at all!  Most of the bands in the Chicago area are amazing musicians and will rock your socks off.  Yes I will admit there are definitely some that are just terrible and not worth your time but there are definitely some that you should be seeing.


They will obviously always be my favorite and probably the one band I will see the most.  'Stache is a great band for rocking the night out to some of your favorite high school (well high school if you're in your late 20's currently haha) and current hits along with a little sprinkling of everything.  You will be listening to your favorites from Blink-182 then all of a sudden it's a great current hit like "We Are Young".  Trust me you will have a great time!

Hairbangers Ball
Hairbangers is probably the first coverband I ever saw and they are awesome.  If you don't need anything but a good time these guys are it!  Playing the best of the 80's hair metal and seriously bringing everyone in the room to a frenzy all the while looking fabulous while doing so.  If you don't like 80's hair metal you probably won't like Hairbangers.

Sixteen Candles
Moving to the other side of 80's music ... pop!  Sixteen Candles is another band that I've been in love with for years.  It makes me feel kinda old thinking that it's been eight years that I've been going to see them.  Yikes!!!  Rocking out with some seriously kicking dance moves these guys know just what 80's dance music to play to keep you going till the bar shuts down.  Also be sure to check out the 80's movie poster of the night, I've never seen the same one twice!

Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press
Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press are a bunch of crazy guys playing some crazy music.  When you say they play everything it means they play EVERYTHING.  Including hits from some big names like Madonna and the Beatles to some not so known pieces like the Golden Girls theme and the Wrigley Gum commercial.  A bunch of wacky guys in probably too short of shorts they're always a great show.  

Honorable mentions:
Being someone who tends to see the same bands over and over again because I love them so much I don't get out very often but have heard some amazing things about these bands.  Maybe I should start a band 101 list?
Modern Day Romeos
Wedding Banned
7th Heaven
Hi Infidelity


Tunes on Tuesday: Four Tunes for a Blah Day

The title of this post might seem a bit misleading, I'm not talking about tunes to enhance that cruddy mood.  I'm talking about the type of tunes you need to bring yourself OUT of the funk.  Lately it's been so gloomy and today it was snowing again for a while, which definitely puts me in a blah mood.  Not sure about you guys but it's that time of year when I definitely need a little pick me up and the tune-age I listen to is the cure!

1.  I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers

You can't go wrong with anything 80's, especially this march inducing tune.  I mean seriously try to listen to it and not start marching in place.  Yup I knew you couldn't do it!  March around the room a couple of times while you're at it and get some activity points, I'm doing it.

2.  Hey Ya! by Outkast

Like "I'm Gonna Be"  this one also seems to have the ability to get body parts moving.  In this case though it's usually the butt wiggle a la Cameron Diaz in Charlie's Angels.  My wiggle isn't as good as hers but at least my butt is having fun.

3.  I Love It by Icona Pop

You can never go wrong with any song that talks about not caring and loving it.

4.  Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham

Do I even need to explain this one?  If you're not dancing and snapping like an idiot by the first minute ... mor like the first 15 seconds you have no soul!  It's so upbeat and catchy you can't help but be happy.

My playlist is obviously lacking and will only last me 20 minutes ... what are your best pick me up songs that should be on my list??


Blogging To Do List

It's finally here!  Stephanie and I are getting together for a marathon hang out and blogging session with some organization throw in when we're at my place.  Since I don't want to go into the weekend unprepared I've decided to take some time tonight and get myself organized and pulled together for everything.

Part of that is setting some goals for myself.  There isn't any point to working on stuff if you don't have a point you want to reach right?

Blogging Goals:
1.  Develop a weekly/monthly posting schedule.  
I've been reading from different people, Stephanie included, about how much easier it makes life when you plan out your topics and stick to it.  No need to think of that elusive thing you've already done it.  Same goes for doing the same general topic every week or once a month, like my Tunes on Tuesday theme that's started up.

2.  Write ahead. 
Since we're taking the whole weekend and focusing on blogging this would be the perfect time to actually sit down and write ahead some posts.  This would definitely be awesome because then I wouldn't be flying by the seat of my pants every day ... just week by week : )

3.  Set up good sponsorship habits. 
I realize phrasing it like that is a little vague but yeah.  I've been doing a little bit better lately about up-ing my sponsorship game (go visit the lovely Bekah!!)  and work with more bloggers on a more regular basis.  I signed up for Buffer a while back but have only used it a couple of times.

4.  Read through some of the 369 Blog related pins I pinned. 
Like usual I'm starting to become an electronic hoarder but this time with my Blog Board.  I keep pinning these posts that look like they have great info but I haven't gone back to read very many yet.  This weekend that will change!!

These four goals will definitely keep me busy for the entire weekend so I won't even attempt to make any others!  This weekend there will also be some 101 list check offs and some organizing of kitchens (mine at least!).  Things are definitely going to get accomplished!  Not sure if I should be scared or not ... well I know Kevin is.  He's still convinced that Stephanie is going to throw out all of his things for some reason : )  Well we shall see what happens and hopefully we can both get some of our goals accomplished!  Have a fabulous weekend!!


I have issues ... 9 food issues to be exact

If you know me outside of the blog world and have ever eaten a meal with me you probably already know most of these but for those who are my cyber space friends you are definitely missing out on a Betsy treat.  All in all I wouldn't say I'm a hugely picky eater but when it comes to certain food things I just can't help but go all OCD on.  I can't be the only one with some of these issues right? : )

1.  Crunchy bits in soft food.
The two biggest types of food I have this type of issue is fried rice and things like tuna or egg salad.  Seriously if we order fried rice and the bean sprouts are still it I will sit there and pick out every. single. one.  I can't help it.  Rice is NOT supposed to crunch.  Same goes for that yummy egg salad.  If I see celery it gets picked out.  I'm not quite as anal about the salads since I'm usually eating them at work and I don't want work people to think I'm a complete psycho.

2.  Runny yolks
It freaks me out.  I probably have at least a dozen recipes that call for a poached egg that just look and sound so divine but the idea of it still just freaks me out.  I feel like if the yolk is still runny that means it's not cooked and you will get sick and die!

Spaghetti with Frisee and Fried Egg

3.  Food touching
This is one of those things I definitely get made fun of a lot for but have actually relaxed about (a little!) through the years.  Certain items of food cannot touch on my plate.  I need to see plate in-between them!  Take my Thanksgiving plate for example.  Yes turkey and mashed potatoes you can touch since I pour sweet gravy on you both and eat you together but oh no corn you better stay off in your own little corner.  Same with you jello, no touching anyone.  In the end I think I win on this one because experts say if you leave space on your plate you don't eat and much and loose weight.  HA! See my weird food habits are good for me.

4.  Tomatoes
For probably the past three summers it's been my goal to straight up eat a tomato.  Has that goal been accomplished?  Nope.  The goopy texture just weirds me out.  I will eat tomato by products till the cows come home.  Ketchup?  Oh yes!  It's not a hot dog without it.  Pasta sauce?  I'm Italian!  Large chunks in the pasta sauce?  You bet those are getting picked out and pushed to the side.  Salsa?  Yum!  You better your butt I'm only getting the salsa juice on my chip though.

5.  Wendy's fries & Frosty
Sometimes I feel like this is a generational thing because I know so many people who do it.  Did they advertise this in the 90's or something?  I love Wendy's fries in the frosty!  You have to dip it in there really good and get a decent amount of frosty on that fry or it's no good.  I have tried it at other places and it just isn't right.  Only at Wendy's can you do this.  Trust me it's good, you should try it.

6.  Club Sandwiches 
One of my favorite items to get at a diner is the turkey club sandwich with bacon, lettuce and NO tomatoes.  Obviously that's not very weird but how I eat them is.  I will eat them up until the edge or as far as the filling goes.  So I usually end up with this plate of ravaged bread.  I feel like when you're eating a Club, especially the 3-D ones where it's three slices of bread, I'm not going to waste my calories on just bread.  I want the yummy filling too!  Kevin has learned to accept this of me when we go out to eat.

7.  Reese's, Kit Kat's, and Nutty Bars
 I don't always eat them this way but I prefer it.  With the Reese's I will eat around the edge and then once the excess chocolate is gone I will savor the peanut butter middle until it melts in my mouth.  Kit Kat's are the same general principle where I eat the extra chocolate around the edge and then eat the middle.  With nutty bars I like to eat them row by row.  By eating it that way I feel you taste more of the peanut butter.

8.  The order 
Certain foods I have order issues with.  Like fried chicken for example, it is delicious I love it but I always have to pull off the skin and save that for last.  MMM fried goodness.  When I eat things like Starburst jelly beans I have to eat them in a certain order.  Orange and yellow first, then green followed by the purple, pink and red.  When they came out with the red and pink in the plastic candy cane for Christmas last year I was in heaven!

9.  Apples and Cinnamon
 This is probably the biggest one and the one I get the most grief for.  When I was younger I got really really sick off some apple and cinnamon strudel or something and from then on even the smell I just can't do it.  If it's too strong a smell I will start to gag.  It doesn't even need to be a real food item, it could be a candle or lotion.  Needless to say fall is not my favorite season smell wise.


Tunes on Tuesday: Smashing Pumpkins

One of my favorite bands to come out of the Windy City is definitely the Smashing Pumpkins.  They're 1990's grunge alternative rock at it's finest.  In the late 80's Billy Corgan hooked up with guitarist Jame Iha after moving back to his home town, Chicago!  After playing a few times together only accompanied by a drum machine they met D'arcy Wretzky, who played bass.  Jimmy Chamberlin, a jazz drummer, was recommended by one of Corgan's friends, after the guys were told by Cable Metro owner Joe Shanahan that in order to play the Metro they would need a real drummer and not the drum machine.  

Their first hit single "I Am One" sold out right away and they released their second single 
"Tristessa".  After another success they signed to Caroline Records and released their first album, Gish.  1991 was a crazy year for the Pumpkins being signed with Capitol Records, tour opening for bands like Jane's Addiction and RHCP, during which there were massive blowouts and drug addictions.

1992 brought a move to Georgia and a new album to produce, after four months of resentment towards Corgan (who insisted on playing most of the instrument parts for consistency), Corgan's increasing depression and Chamberlin's constant disappearing act, Siamese Dream debuted at number 10 on the charts.  The lead single of which was "Cherub Rock" a song which talks about Corgan's issues with the indie-rock type music world.

Next up was the album of their's which contains some of my favorite Smashing Pumpkin's songs, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.  Released in 1995 it debuted at number one and got them seven Grammy nominations, they walked away with the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.    

While they were on top of the world in 1996 with a world tour, a guest spot on The Simpson's, Corgan's now iconic "Zero" shirt selling like hotcakes in stores it was not a year without major difficulties as well.  During their show in Dublin a young female concert goer was crushed to death by the over exuberant moshing, their tour keyboardist, Jonathan Melvoin, and Chamberlin OD-ed in a hotel room during their NYC stop.  Melvoin died as a result but Chamberlin lived and was arrested.  He was immediately fired from the band and replaced by a fill in.  

According to them rock had become stale at this point and electronic music was the future.  They said it would be their last conventional Pumpkins record.  I am not a fan of their later stuff so I'm not going to talk about it!  After a couple more albums the Smashing Pumpkins officially broke up in 2000, playing their farewell show at the Metro.  Corgan has done shows and released albums since then under the Smashing Pumpkins name but as it always is in situations like this it's just never quite the same. 


Cold day!

Thanks to the fact that it felt like almost -50 with the windchill today it seems like everyone in the Chicagoland area got a cold day.  Kevin and I ended up hunkering down in the condo for the day, except for the 15 minutes he went outside to make sure my car would start.  Luckily it did after a few clicks.

It was so cold that when I attempted to venture out onto our balcony to take some photos to share I couldn't open the sliding door!!  That lovely frost is definitely on the inside of the sliding door.  We decided between our door not having the best seal and the added humidity by our massive humidifier has developed quite a bit of frost on the edge of not only the windows but the door frames as well.  

There was a bit of snow on our balcony as you can see but I ended up getting a good shot of outside from our bedroom window. 

I've come to realize today that there are some things that stink about being an adult during a cold day.  One it was waaaaaay too cold to go out and enjoy anything, when the weather person says you probably shouldn't be out more that 10 minutes unless you're eskimo bundled up you don't go outside!  Secondly even though you have the day off as an adult you still have a bunch of stuff that you didn't get done before but needs to get done.  Curse of being an adult right?  Maybe next weekend when it's supposed to get up to 39 we will be able to frolic and enjoy the snow.  

Hopefully you had a warmer day and weekend then we did here!!


A-well-a, better, better, better, the better is the word

2014 is going to be better <3

Having a word define your 2014 seems to be the trend this year.  You have everyone doing it from Stephanie to Casey to Elizabeth.  So many people are defining their year by this one word.  I'm a big fan of this!  To be honest I'm terrible at New Years resolutions.  I start off the year with these great intentions and yet by the time spring rolls around life has gotten in the way and I've slacked off.  Not because I don't want to accomplish these goals but because I've set myself too high a goal.  This year I want things to be different, I want them to be ... Better.

Yepp soooo true !!!!! I love my life and who I have become . I don't let what other people think about me bother me. the only people who matter are my kids and husband. ;)

In my Pampered Chef group we started personal best worksheets last year (probably about this time!) and I feel like that's how I want to live my life the next year.  The whole premise of the worksheet is to look at your own stats from the year before from dollar amount sold, highest number of fundraisers had, etc. etc. and then compare month by month as you went through the year to see if you had topped any of these numbers. Anyways, you get the point.  

There will probably always be people who I want to make sure that I'm doing waaaay better at things than they are (human nature am I right?) but besides those people I really need to stop comparing myself to others, especially friends.  Everyone is in their own situation and got there very different ways.  Unfortunately for us we've had some events happen the past number of years that puts us somewhat "behind" where I'd like to be at this point in life.  I keep thinking to myself well maybe if I would have had a full time job anywhere we'd be further.  Got to stop thinking like that because honestly I did the best I could applying to hundreds of not just museum but non-profit/association jobs, really anything that would keep me close to my field, for years it just did not work out.  I digress.  Must stop looking at things in hindsight in 2014!

Another thing I've been having an issue with is just letting things go, not like holding a grudge type letting things go (I'm a girl we all know how hard I'm holding on to those suckers) but I mean letting things drop by the wayside.  Been thinking about how I used to clean the bathrooms at my parents house every week (there was a little extra cash involved so that could be why) and now I can't even keep our one bathroom fully cleaned on a regular basis.  I used to be way  more active but now that doesn't seem to happen so often.  I seem to be more content with just doing as much as I need to and no more.  Maybe certain things in life just seem so insurmountable at the moment so it's easier to just trying with everything but any way you slice it things need to start changing for the BETTER 


So instead of looking at others for comparison I'm going to compare my 2014 self to my 2013 self and strive to be BETTER!  I was terrible at working out in 2013 aka since the summer I didn't do anything so this year I'm going to do better.  In 2013 I was terribly unorganized and rarely ever cleaned but in 2014 I am going to do better.  At this point I don't have specifics but I feel like we're starting off the year pretty decently with having done some organization and cleaning the past few days, granted nothing is perfect but it's much better than it was before!

I can do BETTER .... I will do BETTER!  


Panda Express Imitation Cream Cheese Rangoons

Christmas day ended up with our Asian inspired meal and my cream cheese rangoons totally stole the show.  This recipe couldn't be any simpler!

8oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoons chopped green onions
Garlic powder or salt, a dash
Wonton wrappers
Oil for frying

** We could only find egg roll wrappers so we cut them down to size and used the extra pieces as fried wonton crisps**


1.  Heat oil in pot until it's 350 degrees.  You can test this by dropping a little extra piece of wonton in the oil and if it floats and starts to brown right away you're good!

2.  Combine first three ingredients in a separate bowl.

3.  Put about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of a wonton.  Wet the edges and seal.  You might want to push out a little of the air so they don't get puffy & huge.

4.  Drop the wontons a couple at a time into the oil and fry until golden brown.  You might need to turn the a couple times so the entire pouch is cooked through.  

5.  Put them on a paper towel covered plate to soak up the extra oil.

6.  Enjoy!!