Musings of a Museum Fanatic: March 2015


Boy Band Madness Championship Round

We've made it to the championship round! This week was the most surprising upset of the whole tournament. LFO won in a surprising upset over Hanson. Me thinks a certain friend was voting a number of times. Instead of a multi-decade showdown it all comes down to the 90's boys. Who are you going to vote for? The always popular 5 piece crooners of Backstreet Boys or the LFO underdogs that came from behind to defeat some of the biggest names in boy band history. This is the last week of the voting so be sure to vote early and vote often.

LFO v. Backstreet Boys

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4 Eras I'd Like to Live In

Knowing oneself is always an important personal growth trait. There has been one constant thing that I've said about myself over the years and that has been that I was born in the wrong time period. With my love for history and my passion for bringing it to life this has really never come as a shock to anyone I've met. 

The question that usually follows that statement is "what time would you live in then?" Unfortunately for that unsuspecting person there usually comes a somewhat long and confusing answer. Most people tend to focus on one time period or mass event, like World War II or military history. Unlike most people I'm all over the place. 

Civil war
The time during and surrounding the American Civil War has always really interested me. I love the dresses with the big hoop skirts and manners, this time was also such an important one in American history. I've actually gotten to live out my fantasy of living during this time period since for a while I was a Civil War reenactor with my cousin. This is actually probably one of the things that led me to my interest in history and wanting to immerse myself in history first hand. 

Ancient Greece
I'm not entirely sure I could handle living in Ancient Greece but the idea of it sure sounds appealing. Witnessing the birth of democracy, wearing flowing robes and beautiful gold jewelry. Although knowing my personality I might have fared better in Sparta since there women were allowed to be more than just in charge of the home. Plus after visiting Greece I can only imagine what it would have been like to live in such a beautiful country.

Regency England
Of all the time periods I'd like to live I'm pretty sure Regency England is at the top. I'm always drawn to historical movies set in the time period, TV shows like The Regency House and historical novels based then. I wish we still used the courteous mannerisms, courtships and traditions now in everyday life.

Sometimes I think about how it would have gone with Kevin if he had acted like Mr. Darcy and said things like"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.". I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't have gotten the vapors that second.

Sometimes when I listen to my favorite bands and songs from the 1960's I like to imagine what it would be like to hear it the first time around. I usually like to think I'd be a hippie and be free spirited but I feel like the traditional Regency Era in me always seems to win.

So until the come up with a time machine where I can go back I guess I'll just keep enjoying history from the present day. If you could live in any time period in history which would you choose?


Boy Band Madness Week 3

So as I go to Survey Monkey today to find the results from last weeks final four I find I never activated the survey!!! This means that we're going to rewind and start last week over! Too high of hope huh?  So here we go Boy Band Madness Week 3 take 2!

Hanson v. LFO
After a surprising upset by the underdog LFO against heavy hitters N'Sync. This week the bad boy brothers of Hanson hope to knock LFO off their winning streak. 

Boys II Men V. Backstreet Boys
Boys versus boys this week ... I don't know about anyone else but this is one of the most difficult match ups to date here in the Boy Band Madness.

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Old Photos

While going through and scanning all the old photos we have is definitely time consuming and can sometimes be tedious. I love when I find fun photos that make me nostalgic. This time around I found a few fun photos! It's always a good time when you find really old photos. Makes me start thinking about how much I've changed. Although I do think I'm still pretty cute : )  Have a great weekend!


The Pampered Chef Spring/Summer 2015 Products

Not only does March mean spring and daylight savings but it means it's time for new products from the Pampered Chef! As per usual I'm definitely excited about a majority of the new products and can't wait to share them with you guys!

This season there are some new heavy hitters in the Pampered Chef catalog. After this fall's mid-season release of the White Large Round Stone with Handles most of the consultants thought that there might be more new Stoneware pieces coming this spring. Needless to say we were not disappointed! The Pampered Chef released three new pieces as part of a sub-line they're calling Contemporary Classics. These pieces are classic colors and go right from cooking to serving pieces.

Another heavy hitter I'm definitely interested in acquiring is the new 12" Steamer this piece works with the 12 inch Skillets and the Stir Fry Skillet, all part of our Cookware lines. Since Kevin and I are really trying to buckle down with our healthy eating plus you add in the fact that we're lazy cooks half the time this is the perfect tool. I love the idea that you can be boiling potatoes in the skillet below while you steam you protein and veggies. It's not quite one pot cooking ... maybe more like one and a half pot cooking!

As usual the new gadgets this season did not disappoint me. I'm really excited to get my hands on the Herb Freezing Trays and the Close & Cut. Since I've been doing a ton more recipe cooking we always seem to be purchasing herbs and even though they're really cheap I hate that I end up not using at least half the bunch. Even though we all know I won't be using the Close & Cut for tomatoes I'll definitely be using it for our bagels. We get ours from Trader Joe's and while they're delicious you need to cut them on your own and every time I'm so worried I'm going to take a finger off!

These are just a couple of my favorite products from the new Pampered Chef Spring/Summer 2015 line up. Check out the rest of them on my website! What looks like a must have for your kitchen?


People of My Facebook

The people of my Facebook have actually been pretty non-annoying lately. Although it could be because I've started to hide certain people from my news feed ... I like to think it's the first one. There have been a few gems and annoyances lately though.

Calling your husband "hubbehh"
Seriously I don't know what it is but this makes me want to smack this person in the face. Maybe it's because it's such and immature way to say it and this person like to play like their an adult ... maybe ... probably ... 

Starting a status with "Quit my job today. Time for change. ‪#‎movingforward‬ ...If you know of anyone hiring ... I need a job ASAP"  
This is another one of those where I'm like you're an adult with a kid. Maaaaaybe you should have thought this one through a little bit first ...

People who share things and tag their spouse ALL. THE. TIME.  
So you live together and you're tagging him with this post you want him to see at night. When you're both at home. Wouldn't it be easier and less annoying to everyone else if you maybe moved over to the other side of the couch and just showed your spouse the 20 images of stupid things you found? Plus those images from random weird Facebook pages have viruses attached to them! Stop sharing them!

I just bought workout clothes and bacon. No one else thought it was funny, but me. Gotta love the south.

I know nobody will read my status but sometimes, when I'm bored, I get wrapped up in a sleeping bag and lather butter all over myself and slide around the kitchen floor pretending I'm a slug.


Campanelle with Creamy Tomato-Clam Sauce


Now that I've been feeling better for the past couple of weeks Kevin and I have been cooking or way through my Pampered Chef cookbooks again. Earlier this week we came across a recipe we both really enjoyed.

Since embarking on our culinary journey I've learned that with pasta dishes like these to halve the recipe, this one was really simple to halve. With this recipe we had to improvise a bit too. I forgot to stop and get some French bread for the recipe and meal but we did have sandwich thins. Using the Food Chopper on them didn't work so well but cutting them up into little bits worked. We also did end up using an entire cup of sauce.

Pasta & Topping
8 oz uncooked campanelle pasta
2 slices French bread
2 Tbsp snipped fresh parsley
tbsp butter

2 cans (6 ozl9o ~ each) minced clams, undrained
1 C. jarred vodka marinara sauce
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 lemon

1. Bring salted water to a boil in (4-qt.) Casserole. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. As pasta cooks, prepare topping. Chop bread using Food Chopper. Snip parsley using Kitchen Shears. Place butter into (8-in.) Saute Pan; melt over medium heat. Add bread crumbs; stir with Classic Scraper 2-3 minutes or until bread crumbs are crisp and golden. Remove pan from heat, cool slightly. Stir in parsley.

3. For sauce, strain clam juice into same Casserole with Can Strainer. Add vodka sauce and pressed garlic. Juice lemon to measure ~ tbsp juice; stir into sauce.

4. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in pasta and clams; cover and let stand 3-5 minutes or until heated through.

4. Divide pasta among serving plates and sprinkle with bread crumb mixture.

5. Enjoy!


Boy Band Madness Week 2

With week one down in the history books the winners have moved on and the losers are hanging up their hair gel. The only real competition was between Boys II Men and One Direction otherwise it was total shutouts for the other competitors. One of this week's match ups will prove even more difficult I think.

N'Sync v. LFO
Last week LFO toppled O-Town with a shutout. Will they fair as well against the boy band kings that are N'Sync?

Backstreet Boys v. New Kids On The Block
Two of the heavy hitters of the boy band world match up this week. Are you a late 80's/early 90's type of boy band person or a late 90's/ early 00's?!?

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9 Happenings That Have Been Happening

1. We put our condo up on the market February 27!!

2. We ended up having 7 showings over the weekend!!!

3. We got 4 offers for the condo on March 2 and accepted one!!!! Crazy right? Since those three things are so huge I felt they each needed their own point just for emphasis. So now Kevin and I are somewhat frantically working on getting an apartment since we need to be out by the end of April. At least we got them to push it back until then from March 15. That would have been nuts.

4. It's a new season for the Pampered Chef! I won't chat too much about that right now since I'm sharing more next week but I always love when the new season rolls around. It's a new beginning that happens twice a year.

5.  For one of my monthly Gamma Phi events we did our annual Feed My Starving Children night. FMSC is an amazing organization that is totally funded by donations and the meals are packed by volunteers. They don't have permanent locations all over but they do mobile packing sites nationwide. In the hour and a half our group (there were about 40 people total not just Gamma Phis) we made enough meals to feed 30 kids for a year. It was pretty awesome.

6. We went to Cancun! Early on in February Kevin, my mom and I went to Cancun to celebrate my oldest friend and my parent's god daughter's wedding. Oh my gosh was it amazing to get out of the Midwest. I've never been a big tropical vacation type person, I like to be out doing and seeing things, but honestly I didn't know what I was missing. I could probably get used to this type of vacation too!

7. More stress and stomach issues ugh. I like to keep it positive but I wouldn't be sharing life lately if I didn't include this. Last spring I was under some major stress from work that it totally messed up my stomach and I felt awful, for days like I was going to be sick, stomach hurt, etc. At the end of February I was having some of the same issues but not as bad. Not sure what they were from since I wasn't having the usual feelings of stress. I've been doing a sort of self hypnosis thing in the morning when I wake up and it seems to be helping me start of the day relaxed, along with just trying to stay more relaxed throughout the day.

8. I finally hit my 10% weight loss!!! It felt really good to add that stupid little charm to my Weight Watchers charm ring. Like I've said before this time around I'm really trying to make lasting changes with how Kevin and I eat and are active so it's been a little bit of a longer process this time around.

9. Got to hang out with Lane on Monday night! Since I wasn't feeling well the past couple of weeks I really was trying not to go anywhere and do anything more than I absolutely had to. I think he's realizing what the camera phone is, whenever I have it out he seems to be avoiding it now!

So there's a little update on what's been going on here lately! Have a fabulous weekend!


Choose Your Own Adventure

Not Entirely Perfect

Another month has come and gone wow! I was a little afraid that I wouldn't get my tasks complete for February but actually ended up doing pretty well.

1. Take images (and or video) of one of my knitted dish rags as I knit
A couple weekends ago I had the whole weekend to take time and work on this project. It was great. I was hanging out watching movies, the light was perfect but when I hooked up my camera later in the week to pull the photos off they had some how magically disappeared! Not sure Stephanie entirely believes that story haha. So my plan is to work on another one and take photos with multiple cameras!
2. Complete 4 pages of my scrapbook display
Boom 5 done! I'd like to have a few more done before the end of March so hopefully I'll be able to schedule a day to sit down and get those done.  
3. Mario Mini Canvas project
This was actually the project I thought would be the easiest but actually turned into the hardest!! Silly me thought that she would be able to find printables online that I could use. Near the end of the month I talked to my friend John from work, who does graphic design work. He ended up suggesting I make my own copies of the images through paint. Working on that now and it seems to be turning out alright, so we shall see how it turns out! Hopefully in the near future I'll be able to share the printables. 

Relationships ... this is definitely a topic that could go a bunch of different ways and you could do a ton of different ways. This month I'm really going to take time to work on relationship related 101 tasks. Since Kevin and I now have to move by the end of April, both March and April might be a little interesting as far as getting things accomplished in our home but if I can at least plan and schedule I'll feel accomplished.

1. Schedule (hopefully have) lunch out with my friend, Britta
2. Have a girls night with my mom and Bethany
3. Figure out a movie day with Kevin


Boy Band Madness Week 1

In celebration of March Madness being upon us I decided to turn Tunes on Tuesday into all boy band smack down for the next few weeks! Yup right here we pit some of the biggest boy bands against each other. Each week your vote will keep your favorites in the running! SO as we say here in Chicago be sure to vote early and vote often. Seriously I made it so you can vote more than once per computer!

Just in case you can't remember who some of these bands (I mean seriously did LFO have another good song?) I've got a little reminder with my favorite songs by this weeks contenders. So we start this week with two of the lesser and maybe not so popular boy bands:

LFO V. O-Town
The east coast trio of LFO takes on the Making the Band cuties O-Town and their make you swoon ballads.

NKOTB V. 98 Degrees
The grandaddies of boy bands, New Kids On The Block, come up against 98 degrees

Jonas Brothers V. Hanson
It's the battle of the brothers! Hanson, the 90's first family of boy bands, verses the late 200's family, the Jonas Brothers.

Boys II Men V. One Direction
The old school boy band royalty Boys II men are ready to rumble with the ever rising new bloods of One Direction.

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