Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 2017

12.11.2017

Huge Cash Back deals during the Swagbucks Green Monday Sale!

***This post may contain affiliate links


You can earn money while saving it during Green Monday! The Cashback Shopping site Swagbucks is offering big cash back - 2x or more - at a number of different stores today only. They're also offering big payouts on a varieties of different deals and offers from companies that would make great gift ideas. Get great deals without waiting in lines or even leaving your home!

If you're not familiar with Swagbucks, they offer cash back in the form of points when you shop. Then you can turn those points into gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, or PayPal cash. You can also earn points for discovering deals, watching videos, answering surveys and more! 

Click here to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you're all set!

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before January 1st! This site's a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

15 Easy Cookie Recipes from Pampered Chef


December is the time of year where everyone seems to get into the baking mood. From making treats for gifts to cookie exchanges you need cookie recipes that are going to wow but won't take up tons of time. Pampered Chef has got you covered with wonderful, fun and super easy cookie recipes that will wow everyone on your list. If you're in need of more recipes head to my website. Which cookie would you make this year?


Gingerbread Cookie Faces

Cute Tool Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies




Gingerbread Cookie Trees

Cup Cookies

Classic Spritz Cookies





Melted Snowman Cookies

Peppermint Fudge Cookie Sandwiches

Mexican Wedding Cookies





Peppermint Meringue Wreath Cookies

Pecan Praline Cookie Triangles

Shortbread Sugar Cookies





Stained Glass Cookies

Crème de Menthe Cookie Truffles

Gingerbread Truffles


Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition
to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic 
on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar 
to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

12.08.2017

Nordstrom Giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $150 Nordstrom Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 12/29 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

8 Things I'm #SorryNotSorry About

One thing I always joke about it the fact that I have that good old Lutheran guilt. It's true sometimes I feel so guilty over certain things, like someone I like not getting invited to a lunch out when I wasn't even the one doing the inviting. It drives people in my life crazy. While I am working on certain aspects of that guilt there are some things that I will always says sorry NOT sorry for!


Sorry not sorry ...

... that I will belt 80s music at the top of my lungs and dance like a maniac when it comes on no matter where I am

... about how much I love Disney

... that I will show everyone the newest picture of my niece

... when it's snowing out and I'm in the right lane (not on a highway) going 25-30

... that I will totally judge stores who carry some crazy stuff that I'm pretty sure no one is buying

... when I have the last of the ice cream from the container without asking

... that sometimes I'm really busy and I don't respond to an email or a text right away

... that I don't have time to put on make up most mornings

... sometimes my leadership abilities sometimes take over.

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

12.06.2017

6 Gifts for the Person Who Hates Stuff

Gift giving can be a piece of cake for some people, you see something and instantly you know they would love it and need it. Not everyone is like that unfortunately. We all have that person in our lives that doesn't need any stuff or doesn't want more stuff in their lives. These people are so stinking hard to find a good gift for it's ridiculous. I've got 5 sure fire gifts for the person in your life who hates stuff.



Experiences
Since becoming more of adult this has become my favorite gift for people for any occasion! It can be anything you can think of and sometimes I've even combined it with other items on this list. One example was last year we gave my sister in law Bethany (and technically Louie by association) the gift of an evening out with each while Kevin and I babysat along with some cash from us to go towards dinner.

For a wedding gift one of my friends gave us gift certificates to Broadway in Chicago. Kevin and I had developed an enjoyment for seeing shows together so this was perfect for us. It was something memorable that we got to enjoy together. Keep the idea of giving memories in mind with this gift!

Consumables
I am a huge fan of the food gift. I love making treats for coworkers for Christmas! To me it's not only something that won't clutter up their house but since you take time to make the gift it's extra special. Giving something consumable doesn't end at food though.

Think about what's something this person uses all the time and would love to get more of? I know for Stephanie that's a certain scent of the 3 wick candles at Bath & Body Works. The past couple of years I've made sure to include at least one as part of her birthday/Christmas gifts since I know she enjoys the scent so much and it only comes out once a year.

The necessities 
This sort of goes along with consumables.I'm actually planning on telling the parents this year some suggestions for stocking stuffers for us. Things like Aveeno and the gum flavors Kevin loves to always have on hand. Since we go through these items quickly and use them all the time it would be awesome to get them as part of our present.

Maybe you're right out of college in your first place on your own. There isn't any shame in asking for some of the super fancy super soft toilet paper for part of your Christmas gift, that stuff isn't cheap!!

Pampering
This might be more of a girl thing but this is a fantastic gift! I gave my best friend Jackie an afternoon of getting pedicures for her birthday this spring. It took us until July to actually get together and accomplished but we did it and it was fabulous. Treat your BFF or mom to manis, pedis and a nice afternoon hang out. With everyone so busy during the holidays it might be even better after the holidays since you both can unwind and catch up. Plus I'm not sure about anyone else's toes but mine always need the TLC in winter.

Give towards something
From 2015 through May of 2016 I earned money and asked for gift certificates to save up for my amazing 8 hour spa day. I made sure to let both my family and Kevin's know that I was saving up for this extravagant day. They were more than happy to contribute as their Christmas and birthday gifts that year since they knew I really wanted it and it was a big splurge for me.

Maybe your cousin who you always exchange gifts with is working on saving up for a big trip the next spring. Check to see if they've already booked the hotel or flight and see if you can give them a gift card to help with that cost.

Donate
Maybe they don't want stuff but I bet there is something in their life that can be made into a donation. Do they love pets? Maybe there is a shelter they donate to regularly that you could donate to in their name. Maybe someone close to them has had breast cancer and that's close to their heart. Donate to their charity of choice relating to that. This is a gift that gives twice!

Do you have anyone in your life that hates stuff? What do you give them as a gift?

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

12.04.2017

15 of My Favorite Things About Winter




Christmas carols

Acceptable to eat comfort food all the time

Peppermint hot chocolate

Breaking out the sweaters

Ginormous icicles

Cracking the thin ice over puddles with my toes

The quiet after a snow fall

Christmas lights

Acceptable to stay cuddled up on the couch all day

Christmas decorations everywhere

Breakfast on Christmas morning

When it's snowing out and you don't have to go anywhere

Throwing a snowball at Kevin when he's not expecting it

Baking gifts for people

Fun Christmas socks



Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

12.01.2017

Starbucks Giveaway!!

Who is ready for a little Christmas caffeine pick me up?! Enter below : )

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $150 Starbucks Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 12/22 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

4 Ways to Earn Extra Money with Minimal Effort


The past few years I've gotten into ways of earning a few extra bucks with minimal effort. I've discovered a few different ways that I've been able to earn gift cards for places I normally shop at. I will say that most of these are ones that take some time. If you're looking to earn $100 this weekend these aren't for you. These are more long tern rewards. Several of them once you set it up it can be automated it's worth the wait.

Balance Rewards
Did you know that if you've got a Walgreen's Balance Rewards you can actually hook up your FitBit or other fitness tracker as well as a number of different health and fitness apps. So this means if you're being actively and trying to be healthier you're earning Balance Rewards points.

Looking at my account right now it's saying I've earned 20,000 points since I connected my tracker in 2016 which is $20. Yeah it doesn't seem like much but I haven't had to do a single thing besides connect my Fitbit. I'll take it!

Achievement 
This is another set it and forget about it type of thing. I've connected my Fitbit but like Balance Rewards there is a whole list of fitness and health apps and devices that you can connect. Unfortunately this one is pretty slow, or maybe I've been slacking but when you get an email saying you've been given $10 in your Paypal out of nowhere it's worth it. Click Here to sign up for Achievement.

ReceiptPal
Now for the two that take a little more effort. I've heard of other apps for getting points from your receipts but this one is by far my favorite, I think mostly because of how easy it is. You just snap a photo of the receipt and submit. That's all there is to it. It usually takes me about 10 minutes per week to snap photos, if I remember haha.

To date I think I've earned $200 in gift cards from there. They've really expanded their selection which is very nice.

Shopkick
Shopkick is the one that probably I spend the most time on but it's still very minimal compared to some. To earn points with Shopkick you get walk in kicks, scan items on the list or submit receipts for certain purchases. Example being during my weekly trip to Jewel there were a number of products like a Cover Girl mascara and particular wine that I could get points for scanning.

I don't got out of my way to earn points with this app. If I'm going to the mall and I've got time I'll walk around and get points but if I'm in a hurry I won't do it. Same with purchase points, if it's something I'll actually use or would be interested in trying normally I'll purchase it for the points but otherwise I'll stick with scanning and walk ins. The whole point is to keep it simple and be earning money not spending it! Use the code COOL146005 and you can get an extra 250 kicks to start off!

Are there any extra things or apps you've used to earn a few extra dollars?

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!



11.29.2017

Beer Advent Calendar


There are always some people in our lives that are always difficult to get gifts for each year, some of them don't want anything or sometimes they're into things that are difficult to gift. Last year I came up with a great gift that can be used for multiple years ... Beer Advent Calendar!! Who would you gift a Beer Advent Calendar to?

Supplies 
25 different types of beer
25 brown lunch bags
Ribbon/Fun string
Stamps, stickers or other decorations

1. Number the bags from 1-25


2. Decorate the bags with your stickers, stamps and any other decorations you would like. 


3. Put one beer in each of the bags. Then tie bag so the beer can't be seen. 


4. Gift the beer before December 1 so they can enjoy their advent calendar!


Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

11.28.2017

Sephora Giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $150 Sephora Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 12/19 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

11.27.2017

4 Email Newsletters You Need To Be On


Yes I know this seems like an odd topic since for years I've been trying to cut down on my inbox clutter. Sending me an email is always the best way to give me information, I might slack sometimes on the response (sorry Mom!) but I always read them. So I've been working to make my inbox more efficient and work for me, not against. I've found four fantastic email newsletters you definitely need to be on.

1. 1440
A local Chicago startup 1440 brings all the top news to you in one email without having to search all over. The best part is it's not just top news stories like some emails. You're getting a couple top headlines from four important areas: Culture, Entertainment & Sports; Science & Technology;
Business & Markets; Politics & World Affairs.

My favorite section is the ETCETERA section. Which always includes fun random articles and my favorite the Historybook with a few things that happened on this day in whatever year. It's really perfect info to store away for that trivia night someday!


2. The Muse
If you're looking to improve yourself career wise The Muse is the perfect email for you. You'll find articles like "This Is the Email Smart People Send When They're Rejected for a Job" or "Dear Managers: This 3-Word Formula Makes Giving Feedback Easier". They're not just sharing articles about jobs specifically but there are so many that are about improving your adulting as well. One example is "Why Is it So Hard for You to Say 'Thank You' When You Get a Compliment?". Won't lie I'm still terrible at that one most of the time!


3. Elevator
If you've ever heard of this one or now checked it out you'll see it's technically a mailing list for guys. Won't lie there are definitely some things about this one that I'm a little eep about, like the sexy chick instagram image that's always at the top but there are always a couple of great and fun articles in each email, like "26 time-management tricks I wish I'd known at 20". Another great feature is that in the email they give you a brief takeaway of the article this avoids the whole realizing halfway through that this article is lame and not for you.

4. Thrillist
I think most people are familiar with Thrillist by now but if you're not go sign up now!! You can sign up for a specific city, with over 40 including some international it's bound to cover most people. Even though I get the Chicago version they don't just share stuff related to Chicago. They cover important things like "The Best Food From Every State that Ships Nationwide", clearly very important things! This is definitely the one I look forward to most since it's more on the lighthearted side most of the time.

Do you have a go to informational email you love getting in your inbox? Sound off in the comments!


Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

11.24.2017

6 Holiday Movies to Binge on Netflix


Now that we're over the Thanksgiving hump it's time to break out the Christmas and holiday movies!! There is nothing like kicking off the season with some wonderful Hallmark, Lifetime and other various made for TV movies, popcorn, hot chocolate and maybe a little black Friday shopping. Although let's be honest these are binge worthy movies any time of the year.

Start your Netflix binge watching engines with my top 5 favorites!


Christmas Crush
Girl peaks in high school ... goes to reunion expecting miracles with jerk ex-boyfriend ... girl realizes high school is over and she's way better than all that crap ... girl realizes who the real awesome guy in her life is. Hint it's not the ex!




The Spirit of Christmas
A lawyer bent on selling a Vermont inn is getting push back from a ridiculously handsome ghost. This is a Christmas movie that was made for me between the romance and the historical mystery it has me sighing every time I watch it.


Christmas Kiss
This one for me was the gateway Christmas movie. A friend of mine had suggested it a couple years ago and from there I literally binged on all the others the same weekend. Christmas Kiss is a sort of Cinderella tale but with an evil conniving boss who tries to take the credit to keep the guy.


Christmas in the City
For those who are looking for a sweet tale of a hardworking woman just trying to keep Christmas merry and bright while saving her family store while she's at it.



A Christmas Kiss II
While not quite as good as the original and with the brother coming off slightly creepy at times Christmas Kiss II does redeem itself with innocent romance and good triumphing in the end.

Do have a favorite Christmas and holiday movie?

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition
to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic 
on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar 
to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

11.22.2017

Target Giveaway

Kick off the long weekend right with another awesome giveaway! 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $150 Target Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 12/13 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!