Musings of a Museum Fanatic: September 2014

9.30.2014

Lane Joseph

We had a very exciting weekend. Saturday morning my sister in law was induced and Sunday morning we welcomed my nephew Lane Joseph into the family! Now for the obligatory baby photo dump : )





9.25.2014

Five Blog Things You Should Do Right Now!



Sometimes blogging can seem so overwhelming and you never know what to do to fix things or even what you should do next. Lately I've been trying to break down blogging and life into smaller, more manageable steps. 

1. No-reply Blogger?
Unfortunately for the longest time I was this person. I would comment on their post and then wait and wait for a reply but I wouldn't get one since I was a no-reply blogger. If you think you might be a no-reply blogger check out this post from Sarah at Venus Trapped in Mars on how to check and fix it. It's super easy and will only take a few minutes.

2. Make sure your "About Me" page is up to date
While pulling together information for a sponsor post I'm doing I was planning on copying and pasting some information from my about me page I realized some of the information was outdated. Life has changed somewhat in the past year and I should really fix those couple of paragraphs! If nothing else delete the outdated parts and come back later to do a rewrite.

3. Evaluate & delete social media
I'm not talking about those 2am drunk tweets that you regret posting, I'm talking about deleting an entire profile. Let me give you a great example of this. Sometime ago I had made a Facebook page for the blog. It was great, I had some followers but then it fell lower and lower on the priority list. Then I was never posting on it. Having a Facebook page just became a burden and another stress factor. So I decided it wasn't worth it and just deleted the entire profile, it wasn't benefiting me just making me more stressed! IF you have something like this going on just save yourself the stress and delete it!

4. Delete five blogs you follow
If you've been around for a while you know I'm a big fan of this lately. I go through every month about a week in to it and delete anyone who hasn't posted since the new month turnover. It's the middle of the month you say? Look at your list of blogs you follow, is there anyone who you never comment on or always mark their posts as read? If so you should really unfollow them. You might feel bad but trust not having that feeling of "Ugh I feel bad I just clicked 'read' again, I should comment but I don't have time and I'm just not that interested but I feel bad". Trust me it's wonderful.

5. Smell the roses ... or read the blogs
Take some time to go to some of your favorite blogs and read through some of their older posts. Relax and enjoy! Don't feel like you have to comment either enjoy their writing.

9.18.2014

Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach & Ham

Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach & Ham
We finally picked a cookbook to cook each recipe from and made our first recipe! It turned out very good, even though it was a butter sauce the amount of butter wasn't overwhelming in comparison to the other ingredients. Kevin said he could have used a little more! It was super quick to make as well, perfect for an evening when you don't have a lot of time.


Ingredients: 
1 pkg (20 oz) refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 pkg (6 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves (about 8 cups)
1 8 oz  piece cooked ham steak
1 large red bell pepper (we prefer green but Kevin ate half the green one)
1/4 cup butter (do not substitute margarine)
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional


Directions:
1. To cook tortellini, bring salted water to a boil in (4-qt.) Casserole; add tortellini and cook according to package directions.



2. As tortellini cook, place spinach into large Stainless Mesh Colander. Dice ham with Santoku Knife. Finely dice bell pepper. Drain tortellini over spinach in Colander.



3. Add butter to (12-in.) Skillet; heat over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until butter is a deep brown color, occasionally swirling Skillet. Immediately add bell pepper.



4. Reduce heat to low; add ham, tortellini and spinach. Gently toss to coat with Bamboo Spatulas.



5. To serve, spoon tortellini mixture onto serving plates. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.


9.11.2014

Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair

Kevin and I were FINALLY able to get to the Field Museum for this exhibit over the past weekend! I had been trying to figure out a day to go for months and lucky for me the run was extended. Unfortunately it closed the very next day but I've got some neat pictures to share from the exhibit.

Like always it was a fabulous exhibit and was insanely well put together. I loved how it was really heavy on the artifacts and photos but it wasn't overwhelming where you don't know what to look at. Here are some of my favorite photos we took.




 This is the official ledger that has all the items brought to the Fair accessioned. The museum nerd in me loved this artifact.


Kevin's favorite artifact was the fossil that had two bass in it!


9.05.2014

Tissue Paper Pom Pom Ball


I always see kits for these hanging pom pom decorations at Michaels and Jo-ann, usually they're Martha Stewart brand and pricey. Then I think to myself why would I pay a lot of money for tissue paper when I have a huge pack of it and could probably make them myself! So that's what I did!

Supplies:
Tissue paper
Floral Wire
Ribbon
Scissors


1. Pick out your color. I decided to make some for Baby G's shower so I used yellow. I thought at the time the sheet (11x17) was too big so I cut it in half and used all the sheets.


2. Fold the sheets of tissue in a zig zag pattern.


3. Secure the tissue paper in the middle with floral wire. Since we didn't have any in the house I improvised by cutting tape in half and wrapping it. Overall that worked alright but made the center a little wider.

4. Thread ribbon under wire so you can use it to hang the ball later.


5. Cut the ends however you would like. I went with the simple point.


6. Gently peel apart the tissue paper layers.