Musings of a Museum Fanatic: June 2014


Watermelon, Feta, and Chive Salad

 Today on the Pampered Chef Facebook page was posted a super easy and really yummy looking summer recipe. You can't really go wrong with something that's three ingredients, no cook and could be used as a side, appetizer or a dessert! Since we already chopped up our big watermelon for the week I decided to adapt the recipe a little bit, for the original check out my Pampered Chef Facebook page.

Watermelon, cut up
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Chives, diced tiny

1. Decide on what vessel you're going to serve watermelon in. I went for small individual bowls. 

2. Top with crumbled feta and chives. The amount pictured below was definitely way more than I needed but if you're a salty cheese person the more the better right?

3. Enjoy!

For a little more flavor to the salad add a bit of your favorite balsamic vinager.


1950's Crooners

No matter how amazing contemporary songsters are, like John Legend and Elton John, they don't hold a candle to the old school crooners. There is just something wonderful about sitting in your recliner, Frank Sinatra comes wafting from your computer, you sit back and shut your eyes. Your fingers all of a sudden start to slowly snap in time with the melodic sounds ...

Sway by Dean Martin

Catch A Falling Star by Perry Como

Chicago by Frank Sinatra

Mele Kalikimaka by Bing Crosby

Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) by Sammy Davis, Jr.

I'm Singing in the Rain by Gene Kelly

I'm Singing in the Rain by Harry Belafonte

I would have to say that out of all the crooners Harry Belefonte is my favorite. He's definitely one of the more under appreciated singers these days. If you're looking for more of a laugh check out his upbeat tune, Man Smart, Woman Smarter.   Who is your favorite crooner? Past or present : )


My New Blue Pants

I finally gave in a few weeks ago and got some nicer cropped pants for the summer. Figured since it's so hot here I should really get something that I can wear at work but would also work for casual as well. Everyone should be really proud that I went with a navy and black and white print! Both are definitely out of the box for me. Since the navy is so out of the box for me I decided it was time to pay my good friend Polyvore a little visit! What do you pair navy pants with?

My New Blue Pants 1

My Blue Pants 2

My Blue Pants 3


10 Things Going On Lately

1.  Kevin's Grandma Glenn
Last week Kevin's grandma Glenn passed away. It's really sad because she was a lovely lady but the last couple of months, and especially the last couple of weeks, she was in a ton of pain. That's her on the right and my grandma on the left. 

2. Life has been crazy busy
Kevin is still working late most nights and I seem to have things going most nights plus most if not every weekend. Since things have been so busy it seems like everything else is falling by the wayside ugh! Including my attempts to get ahead with blogging. It's summer though and we can all take it a little easier in the summer right?

3. Summer fun
Not all of the things happening this summer have been serious things thank goodness. I've already managed to get out to two festivals and there will be more happening soon. 

4. Eddie Izzard
One of my favorite comedians finally had an American tour. I purchased tickets immediately months ago and it was crazy how fast the show came up! Kevin and I had dinner out at one of the restaurants his company was redoing the signs for and then enjoyed Eddie at the Chicago Theater.  

5. Disney Exhibit
Lucky for me the run got extended and we got to enjoy this amazing exhibit. Check out my full on review of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit from a couple of weeks ago.

6. Exhibits Class
I was finally able to take a class for my certificate program! Some of what we've been going over in the class I have learned before but it's great to get things from another teachers perspective. The teacher is the head of exhibits for the Chicago History Museum and has worked in exhibits at a bunch of different high profile museums, including the Field Museum. Plus being at the Gleacher Center I get to enjoy some awesome views of my favorite city!

7. Kevin's 30th
The official party that was going to happen this past weekend was postponed since his parents were down in Arizona after Grandma Glenn passed away. We had a low key lunch with my family Sunday and cupcakes for days. 

8. New Hair Color
This was a while ago but I don't think I really shared it on here. 

9. $15,000 in Sales
I just hit a landmark sales number in my Pampered Chef business! After you hit 15k you earn a sterling silver necklace and a permanent raise in your commission. 

10. Spending lots of time with family!!
Even though things have been nuts lately it's been awesome to be able to spend more time with both our families and friends. Including time with the doggie nephew, even if he decides to get himself all wrapped up in the bushes. 


10 Totally Ridiculous Music Videos

Throughout my entire life, except for college, we never had cable so I missed out on the golden years of music on channels like MTV and VH1. Since I was a deprived child I missed out a number of the ridiculous videos that have popped up and it hasn't been until Youtube that I've actually been able to see a lot of them. Needless to say I've been making up for lost time and holy cow there are a lot of weird weird weird music videos out there. Most of these there are really no words for you need to just watch and shake your head!

Who Let The Dogs Out by Baha Men

Hooked on a Feeling by David Hasselhoff

Chinese Food by Alison Gold

Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65

Barbie Girl by Aqua

Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite

The Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang

Call On Me by Eric Prydz

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness

I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister

What's your favorite most ridiculous music video? I feel like we could put together a list of top 50 with how many there are!


Five Things You Should Clean Right Now

Whenever we start that weekly cleaning of the house there are always spots that get overlooked. These are those odd places that you would never think to run a duster or rag over but in the end they are dusty and dirty just like everything else. 

1. Doors
If you don't have details like this on your doors then you can skip this one and go right to number two. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that a ton of dust had collected in the grooves ... ewww! Needless to say after that I went around to all out interior doors and took care of that issue.

2. Window sills
I don't know about anyone else but especially after keep our blinds closed most of the winter (thank you previous owner for having crappy windows!) I never really thought about cleaning our sills. Don't forget to care of the window and the wood part too. 

3. Top of high pieces of furniture
Out of sight out of mind right? My duster came back quite black after taking care of these spots. If you have allergies like Kevin and I do these are important places to make sure you catch since dust will really collect. 

 4. Tops of DVDs
Our DVDs are contained in a large bookcase piece of furniture. Since it's made for DVDs they fit perfectly into each little cubby hole and you don't really see the tops of the cases. Like the tops of furniture if you have a large collection of DVDs this can end up collecting a lot of dust and mess with your allergies even more. These guys are begging for a Swiffer duster to go through.

5. Kitchen Cabinets
Like their cousins, the doors, the beveled edge of kitchen cabinets can collect dust. Plus those within reach of the stove can accumulate unwanted splatter from over enthusiastic cooks. Most of those can be taken care of with a warm, damp paper towel. 

I challenge you to go check those spots and clean them quick! Then we can take off the rest of the weekend right? ; )


Small Cool & Serve Square Tray

Last month the Pampered Chef told us consultants something really exciting! They announced to us that they were coming out with a brand new product mid-season!! The Pampered Chef rolled out their brand spanking new Small Cool & Serve Square Tray. If you're a party type of person you're most likely already familiar with the awesomeness that is the Cool & Serve Square Tray a.k.a the big momma original. 

For those of us who might not be hardcore hosts yet or maybe don't like to have anyone else over but family the Small Cool & Serve Square Tray is perfect. Check out the fabulous schematic that the Pampered Chef put out. It has all the best parts of the original but only mini!  

Like usual there are so many different ways to use this new tray too. We usually use the  Cool & Serve Square Tray for the typical fruit and veggies but with this little guy I feel like you have more room to be creative. I know that seems like an oxymoron since it's smaller but because of it's size you don't have to worry about filling up the bigger sections with food. I can picture Kevin and I using the Small Cool & Serve Square Tray during our movie nights. We could have some fun cheese and crackers on one side and the healthy stuff on the other. 

Try out this sweet and refreshing fruit dip this summer. It goes together with the new Small Cool & Serve Square Tray like bread and butter. 


Roll Down the Windows and Blare It!!

Now that it's actually warm enough to drive around with our car windows down we've been enjoying it almost every time we get in to the car! Not today though, would have been a little damp by the time I got home. I love being able to have my windows down, wind whipping my hair around and blaring some of my favorite tunes to the point of possibly blowing the speakers. Yup I'm that person! I've dedicated tons of time to burning the best cars CDs for this specific purpose.

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones
I love to start out my car mix with some awesome hard rocking oldies rock and roll tunes. The Stones are always good and you really can't go wrong with any of their songs.

You Really Got Me by the Kinks
This is one of my all time favorite oldies tunes in general. I love the hard edge to the guitar in this song too. I always feel like it's good to include some awesome oldies so when I pass little old people in my car they actually know some of the songs too : )

My Generation by The Who

It's My Life by The Animals
The Animals are one of my top bands! Their edgy sound gets me every time I turn their songs on. Like so many oldies tunes I can close my eyes and just imagine summer when those cords start to play.

Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden
Then I'll usually transition into more harder rock of the 1980's and 90's. Yes Iron Maiden! I don't like a ton of their stuff but the ones I do like definitely get me up and rocking.

Longview by Green Day

The Pretender by Foo Fighters
I think I've probably added every sing Foo Fighters song to my CDs throughout the years. They just make really good music for rocking out.

Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Next we head to more recent rock tunes. While the subject matter of this song is definitely more serious since it's release "Face Down" has been a favorite car tune of mine. The feeling you get from the lyrics and the music is amazing.

Come With Me Now by Kongos
I haven't even had a chance to add this song to a new CD it's that new of a hit! I'm totally obsessed with it. The accordion and souped up folk sound to this song rock my world. This song will be blaring from my car until it's below 40 degrees this fall.

Every time I get in my car this summer I can't wait to roll down the windows and pop in one of my burned "car tunes" CDs. What are your must plays when you're rocking out in your car?


Orzo Salad With Zucchini and Feta

Orzo Salad With Zucchini and Feta

8 oz. orzo (1⁄2 box)
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/4 pounds small zucchini (3 to 4), cut into thin half-moons
8 oz. Feta, crumbled (2 cups)
1/4 C. chopped fresh dill


1. Cook orzo according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, red pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the zucchini and let marinate, tossing occasionally, for 20 minutes.

3. Add the orzo, Feta, and dill to the zucchini mixture and toss to combine.


Scrapbook Paper Canvas

Kevin challenged me to start using all the canvases I had acquired at the buy one get three Michael's sale this spring. I decided to adapt the painted mini canvas but this time with scrapbook paper instead of paint. I found a really neat pack of paper that was different shades and prints.

This time instead of going dark to light starting in the corner I went light to dark to light. Since I wasn't able to find the 8x8 stacks I had to jerry rig the 12x12 ones.

First I measured out 8x8 and cut off the excess (saved for something else fun!). First I tried the cross cutting way (pictured above) and attempted to fold it over like a present. It didn't quite work so easily doing it that way. So I took the same general idea and cut them diagonally from the corners. That worked like a charm!

Folding the corners over and securing them with flat thumb tacks worked great. It would have worked a little better if I had an actual hammer and wasn't just using the side of a wrench but in the end they are secure. 

Overall I think the project came out really well! Kevin will love it since I used the green paper. You can use any colored paper with this and really go crazy and customize.