Musings of a Museum Fanatic: June 2017

6.28.2017

Creating with Board & Brush

**I contacted Board and Brush about working together. I was offered a free session in exchange for my honest feedback in a post**

This weekend Bethany, Mom and I did a girls afternoon at Board & Brush Downers Grove. Board and Brush offers classes and private parties where you can create your own personalized wooden decorative signs. Bethany had seen an event for the Downers Grove studio before it opened and we finally figured out a date to go.





We got to the brand new studio in downtown Downers Grove and got our aprons on right away! We were excited and ready to create! All of our wood pieces and the stencils were laid out for us and ready to go. Since we were a little early the three of us had time to peruse the pieces that were already created and figure out how we wanted to personalize ours.


Then we started! First step was to beat up our pieces of wood. Bethany definitely took out some anger on her boards, Mom was in the middle and I was a little conservative with the hammer. I really liked how the nail marks showed up on mine.


Next we stained the wood. Live everything else you can custom this part. I needed paint three large pieces and two small ones. Lucky for me the staff was there to give me a hand. I definitely wouldn't have it stained in the amount out time without a little bit of help. After Mom and I put our pieces together we were ready for the stencil and paint part. Pulling the back of the stencils was definitely tricky but with Mom and I being pros at it we knocked that out.




I went very customized on my colors and did some cool color choices. Mom picked one color except for one word popping in an accent color. Bethany went with all her text in a single color with the accents in a different color.







We had such a blast making our signs! The whole afternoon was lots of fun. We're literally already talking about doing another girls get together this fall but this time inviting other friends and their moms, I might have already picked out my next project. Board and Brush has two Chicagoland locations, the Downers Grove one we went to and one in south suburban New Lenox. Never fear though there are locations all over the country! Check out their website to see all the amazing projects you can create and for a location closest to you.




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!











6.26.2017

3 2 1 Easy Mug Cake


I always love ending my day and my dinner with a little sweet treat. Since I've been trying to eat healthier overall I've been feeling guilty about that treat. With the Ceramic Egg Cooker and the 3 2 1 Easy Mug Cake recipe I haven't been feeling so guilty!! Since you're only making a single cake and it's made with the angel food cake it really cuts down on the calories.

3 2 1 Easy Mug Cake 

Ingredients:
1 box angel food Cake
1 box of cake mix (any flavor you want)
2 T. water
Any toppings you want (I'm partial to whipped cream or frosting)

Directions:

1. Combine the angel food cake and the other cake in a bag. Shake around the bag to make sure they're combined well.

2. Put three Tablespoons of the cake mix into the Ceramic Egg Cooker or a mug. Add 2 Tablespoons of water and mix.



3. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute.


4. Plop cake out on to plate and toppings**. Enjoy!


** to get this topping I microwaved room temperature frosting from a can for just a couple seconds to melt it. Since the consistency of the cake is more like the angel food pouring the frosting is much easier!


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!





6.21.2017

My Kind of Town Link Up #3


I'm still looking for some fabulous co-hosts to share their love of their hometowns once a month. If you want to or know someone who would like to get involved let me know : ) SO for now find that favorite home town post and share it with us!





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!

6.19.2017

Best Chicago Hashtags


As a blogger or someone who just loves to share your travels it can be a bit of a pain when you're searching everywhere online to find the appropriate hashtags. I've got some of the best Chicago hashtags for you when you visit the windy city!

General
#Chicago
#Chicagogram
#Chitown
#WindyCity
#mychicagopix
#infatuationchi
#chicagobucketlist
#chicagosummer
#Chicagoshot
#chicagopulse
#chicagogrammers
#ThisIsMyChicago
 #312
#ChooseChicago
#ChicagoHome
#yourchicago
#chicagogram
#chihood
#insta_chicago


Sports
#ChicagoCubs
#Cubs
#ChicagoBulls
#ChicagoBears
#DaBears
#Bears
#ChicagoBlackhawks
#ChicagoWhiteSox

Chicago Food
#chicagofoodauthority
#eatinggoodchicago
#chicagofood
#likefoodchicago
#eatinggoodchicago
#chicagofoodanddrink
 #eaterchicago
#chicagofoodie
#chicagofoodmag
#chicagoeats
#EatTheBurbs


Chicago Architecture
#ChicagoBiennial
#chitecture
#redeyefollow
#art_chitecture_
#ChiArchitecture

Getting Around Chicago
#CTA
#chicagocta
#peopleofthecta
#metrarail

Chicago Museums
#fieldmuseum
#artinstitutechi
#museumofscienceandindustry
#shedd_aquarium
#chicagohistorymuseum
#adlerplanetarium

Chicago Landmarks
#searstower
#soldierfield
#wrigleyfield
#lakefront
#millenniumpark
#thebean
#lincolnpark
#watertower


What Chicago hashtags do you use?

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, 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!

6.16.2017

Summer Goooaaaaaals

I feel really good about how much I accomplished this spring. Didn't check everything off the list but I did get a decent amount accomplished. Enough to not feel guilty about what I didn't get checked off!! Bring it on summer let's go.

Spring Goals
1. Secret Goal
Fail. I have no control over it really so it's not really my fault unfortunately. Going back on the list.


2. Have posts written & scheduled for during our London trip
Boom accomplished! I'm actually hella proud I accomplished this one haha.

3. Write at least 5 posts after our London trip
Another one checked off the list!

4. Check of two 101 List items
Done!

5. Donate two boxes of stuff
I got one really large box ready to go. I just need to deliver it. Totally still going to count this as done haha.

6. Convert the rest of my WVUR cassettes
Fail. Total fail. Haven't even done one in forever.

7. Figure out if there are family history sheets on the Ancestry online version
So it looks like this feature is only still Family Tree Maker. They still make it so I'm trying to figure out the ins and outs of this and how it connects to Ancestry. So I accomplished this goal but have now added more work for myself in other areas!

8. Clean my car 
You don't even want to see how bad it still looks haha. This will be going back on the list because it just needs to get done


Summer Goals 

1. Write & schedule blog posts
2. Plan out what 101 list items I can and need to finish up.
3. Cross 3 101 list items off
4. Clean my car out
5. Work on blog proposal for archival company
6. Secret Goal
7. Work on professional portfolio website


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!

6.14.2017

Chicago Museum Free Days 2017 Part 2

How is it already just about half way through the year!? I can't even with how fast 2017 is FLYING by. It feels like I just shared my first round of Chicago museum free days. Well it's time for a little update. There are some museums that need to be updated as they update their free days throughout the year.


There are also usually discounts for certain groups, such as military personnel and teachers. Be sure to check websites or call and check to see if you can get that discount before you go. If you're not far from the Chicago area I would also highly recommend you become a member of your favorite museums you visit often. This not only gets you into the museum for a discounted rate and in most cases special member perks but it supports the museum and the work that they do. There really is no better deal that becoming a member!!



The Big 6 Chicago Museums
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60605
312-922-7827
These are free days
  • January 6–13, 16-20
  • February 6–10, 20–24
  • June 5–9

Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603
312-443-3600
  • Free admission every Thursday 5-8PM for Illinois residents
  • Free admission for Illinois residents every weekday January 9–February 16, 2017

700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
312-527-1000
  • Target Free Family Night - Free admission every Thursday 5PM-8PM
  • First Free Sunday - Free admission for visitors 15 and under on the first Sunday of each month

Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-922-9410
Illinois residents can enjoy free Basic admission on Field Museum Discount Days. On these Discount Days, Illinois residents may upgrade to a Discovery Pass or upgrade to an All-Access Pass.
  • June 21, 22, 23
  • August 10, 28, 31
  • September 10, 11, 23, 24
  • October 9, 22, 23, 31
  • November 12, 19
  • December 3, 24


Museum of Science and Industry 
5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637
773-684-1414
These are Illinois resident discount days
  • January 10-12, 16-19, 24-26, 31 
  • February 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28 
  • June 5-9, 12 
  • September 5-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29 
  • October 2-5

Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-939-2438
During Discount Days, Illinois residents can upgrade to a Total Experience Pass for just $15.
  • January 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 
  • February 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 27, 28 
  • June 5, 6, 12, 13 
  • August 28, 29 
  • September 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 
  • October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 
  • November 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21



    Art
    Elmhurst Art Museum
    150 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
    630-834-0202
    • Free admission first Friday

    Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
    220 South Cottage Hill Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126
    630-833-1616
    • Free admission every Friday

    Loyola University Museum of Art
    820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
    312-915-7600
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    Museum of Contemporary Art
    220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
    312-280-2660
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    National Veterans Art Museum
    4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60641
    312-326-0270
    • Free daily admission

    Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago
    5550 S. Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637
    773-702-0200
    • Free daily admission


    Ethnic Museums
    DuSable Museum of African American History
    740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637
    773-947-0600
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
    3001 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
    847-475-1030
    • Free admission every first Friday

    National Museum of Mexican Art
    1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
    312-738-1503
    • Free daily admission

    Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago
    1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
    773-702-9514
    • Free daily admission

    Swedish American Museum
    5211 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60601
    773-728-8111
    • Free admission every second Tuesday of the month

    History Museums
    Robert McCormick Museum 
    1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
    630-668-5161
    • Free daily admission, $5 parking fee per car

    Chicago History Museum
    1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
    312-642-4600
    Illinois resident discount days
    • Free admission every Tuesday

    Clarke House Museum
    1827 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
    312-326-1480
    • Free admission on open days

    102 E. Wesley Street Wheaton, Illinois 60187
    630-510-4941
    • Free daily admission

    120 E. Park Ave.  Elmhurst, IL 60126
    630-833-1457
    • Free daily admission

    Glessner House Museum
    1800 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
    312-326-1480
    • Free on Wednesdays

    Illinois Holocaust Museum
    9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077
    847-967-4800
    Free days for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch ATM, credit or debit cardholders ONLY.
    • January 7-8
    • February. 4-5
    • March 4-5
    • April 1-2
    • May 6-7
    • June 3-4
    • July 1-2
    • August 5-6
    • September 2-3
    • October 7-8
    • November 4-5
    • December 2-3

    Jane Addams Hull House at UIC
    800 S. Halsted Chicago, IL 60607-7017
    312-413-5353
    • Suggested donation of $5

    International Museum of Surgical Science
    1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60610
    312-642-6502
    • Free on Tuesdays

    McDonalds #1 Store Museum
    400 N. Lee Street Des Plaines, IL 60016
    847-297-5022
    • Free daily admission

    Naper Settlement
    523 S. Webster St. Naperville, IL 60540
    630-420-6010
    • Free general admission for Naperville residents. Discounted rate during the winter season (November-March)

    Local Historical Societies
    These local historical institutions usually have free admission, suggested donation or an extremely low fee which will usually include a tour. Since a majority these institutions are run by volunteers be sure to check what their hours are since sometimes they will only be open certain days of the week to the public.



    Nature Museums, Farms & Zoos

    Chicago Botanic Garden
    1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022
    847-835-5440
    • Free daily admission, parking fees apply

    Cantigny
    1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
    630-668-5161
    • Free daily admission, $5 parking

    Garfield Park Conservatory
    300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624
    312-746-5100
    • Free daily admission, street parking available

    Lincoln Park Zoo
    2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
    312-742-2000
    • Free daily admission, parking fees apply

    Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
    2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
    773-755-5100
    • Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents

    The Grove
    1421 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview, IL
    847-299-6096
    • Free daily admission

    Wagner Farm
    1510 Wagner Road, Glenview, IL 60026
    847-657-1506
    • Free daily admission

    ***While this list is pretty comprehensive there are a number of museum's that don't advertise free/discounted days but you should definitely be sure to check them out as well because there are some amazing museums in the Chicago area***


    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!

    6.05.2017

    Summer 2017 with Pampered Chef

    We hit 90 degrees this weekend so I'm pretty sure that we are full blown summer for good here in the Chicago area. With that heat is coming new cool new Pampered Chef products! Pampered Chef has rolled out five new products that will definitely bring the temperature down.

    The most exciting of the new products is the Ice Cream Maker. If you know me for like 10 minutes you'll know ice cream is always my favorite treat. I can literally eat it in a snowstorm I love it so much. Can't wait to get my hands on one of these new guys to make all sorts of crazy ice cream flavors. I have a perfect Mermaid Ice Cream recipe hanging out on my Pinterest board just waiting for this product to get to my kitchen.


    The product I earned from selling last month was the super fun Ice Cream Cake Pan. It makes designing, creating and most importantly eating said ice cream cake sooooo much easier. You can cook the cake layers in the pan too. I love how easy it's going to be to share the cake with the easy removable silicon walls. That always seems to the problem when you get fancier is it's never easy to get it out of the pan. No worries here!


    For a more adult ice cream cake check out the Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake recipe on the Pampered Chef website. 


    Keeping up with the theme of fun ice cream treats the new Ice Cream Sandwich Maker is another fun addition to your kitchen. I love how creative you can get with it with recipes like Cereal Ice Cream Sandwiches. My favorite part is if you use the pan to bake your cookie parts (which you totally can!) you get the little happy spoons on it.


    The Silicone Spoon Mold is perfect not only for the ice cream fanatic in your live but for the coffee or hot chocolate fanatic in your life too. Make different chocolate flavored spoons to flavor your favorite drinks. To take your ice cream up a notch you can bake cookies in the mold for a very earth friendly spoon that you eat not throw away once finished!  



    The perfect pair for the Silicone Spoon Mold is the Cold Brew Pitcher. While you might think of ice tea of the bat the Cold Brew Pitcher will give you fantastic iced coffee too. So when you brew up a pitcher of your favorite iced coffee take it for a little chocolate swirl with the delicious spoon.





    With all of these fantastic summer ice cream products I can't wait to enjoy the heat! What would be your new favorite product this summer?

    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!