Musings of a Museum Fanatic: July 2017

7.26.2017

50 Reasons Why 1997 is the Best Year in Music Ever


People are always making grandiose statements about music, like this person is bigger than The Beatles or so and so is the best artist ever. I'm here to make one too but in my case it's true ... 1997 was the best year in music ever. I even had proof to back it up! 50 reasons why 1997 was the best year in music ever in fact. So many amazing songs and albums were released that year it was ridiculousness.

There were even more than made my list too. I tried to stick to one song per artist. If I didn't the list would be a quarter Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls songs because 1997 was their year let's be honest. Some of these songs I'll be honest are favorites and I didn't even realize that they were released in 1997 either, just goes to show you how amazing 1997 music is. What's your favorite song from 1997?


1. Aqua - Barbie Girl


2. Hanson - MMMBop



3. No Doubt - Don't Speak


4. Elton John - Candle In The Wind


5. Spice Girls - Wannabe


6. Daft Punk - Around the World


7. Meredith Brooks - Bitch


8. Rammstein - Du Hast


9. The Jock Jam Megamix - ESPN Presents The Jock Jam


10. Jewel - Foolish Games


11. Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart


12. R. Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly


13. Robyn Carlsson - Show Me Love


14. LeAnn Rimes - How Do I Live


15. Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games


16. Usher - You Make Me Wanna...


17. Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life


18. Paula Cole-Where have all the cowboys gone


19. The Notorious B.I.G. - Mo Money Mo Problems


20. Savage Garden - Truly Madly Deeply


21. Mariah Carey - Honey


22. Freak Nasty - Da' Dip


23. The Verve Pipe - The Freshmen


24. Sister Hazel - All For You


25. Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina


26. Puff Daddy/Faith Evans/112 - I'll Be Missing You


27. The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony


28. Chumbawamba - Tubthumping


29. Blur - Song 2


30. Janet Jackson - Together Again


31. Smash Mouth - Walkin' On The Sun


32. The Offspring - Gone Away


33. Five - When the Lights Go Out


35. Foo Fighters - My Hero


36. Everclear - I Will Buy You A New Life


37. Shania Twain - Man! I Feel Like A Woman


38. Fly - Sugar Ray


39. Marcy Playground - Sex And Candy


40. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - The Impression That I Get


41. Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Zoot Suit Riot


42. Shawn Colvin - Sunny Came Home


43. Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta


44. Tonic - If You Could Only See


45. Jars Of Clay - Crazy Times


46. Green Day - Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)


47. Will Smith - Miami


48. The Crystal Method - Busy Child


49. White Town - Your Woman


50. blink-182 - Dammit


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!

7.24.2017

5 Good Times to Brainstorm


In this crazy fast paced we all have 1,000 things happening in our life it can be really tough to take time to brainstorm for you blog. I know I try and use any time I have to brainstorm. Throughout the past few years I've come up with a few surefire places and times that I can really put pen to paper and come up with some good ideas.

1. On your commute
Since I commute 30 minutes each way it's always a great time to think. When I'm heading downtown and I'm on the train that's an even better time to think so I can actually activity write while I'm thinking. It is hard to do that on my daily commute. Not gonna lie I always have my little notebook out and will frantically write something down at a light if need be.

2. Be a passenger 
You might not have a choice with this one but if you do always try and be the passenger. Usually when we go anywhere whether it's myself and Kevin or I'm with other family someone else tends to be the driver. I try to take the time to think since I don't have to be focused on the road.

3. In a room with the door locked
While it's good to take a minute when you can to brainstorm sometimes we just need to block everything out. I think once a week I probably tell Kevin I'm going in our bedroom and he's not allowed to disturb me for a couple of hours. This usually results in some great brainstorming time without distractions. Or I'm completely distracted ... there is never an in-between is there?

4. When you need a break from something else
You've spent the entire morning scrubbing your house or you've been hanging out with friends sometimes you just need a change of pace or a break. Take a little time to totally switch gears. Who knows all that cleaning might just inspire a new post!

5. In the Shower, on the toilet or any other weird time
Don't we all have those weird times that we think about stuff? Mine is when I'm in the bathroom usually when I'm showering. It's something that we do all the time and by now it's probably on autopilot. When you're on autopilot it can be the perfect chance to brainstorm since your mind can wander. Although it is a little hard to write down those ideas when you're in the shower!




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!

7.21.2017

July Swago is Here!

***This post may contain affiliate links***


Swagbucks is holding their Swago promotion starting Monday, July 24th at 9am PDT! It's just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it.   

The best part is that the points you get can be used to get free gift cards to places like Amazon, or PayPal cash!

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus! That's enough for a $5 gift card in our Rewards Store.

Click here to sign up and get started! If you sign up through my link and earn 300 SB before the first of next month, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!


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!

7.17.2017

10 Ways to Make a Quick Dinner More Special with Jewel-Osco & Coca-Cola™

***This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke #Jewel #CollectiveBias***


There are so many weeks that Kevin and I are running around with all of our various commitments. He's got band practice or I've got Pampered Chef meeting, we might be meeting up together to take care of some business. Any way you slice it we are busy busy busy but we always try to have meals together when we can even if it's a quick one.


Jewel-Osco makes it super easy for us to have a quick but nice meal on a busy night. Our store is right on the way home from work for me and Kevin. With their signature meal deals we can come together for an easy, simple and tasty dinner at home before we have to head out to whatever we've got going on. You can get chicken of any sort and size from a two piece meal to a whole chicken and they have a selection of different sides to pick from.


This past week I grabbed us a yummy chicken dinner with delicious sides before we had to run out the door to our evening commitments. Since it's just the two of us I went for the 8 piece crispy chicken meal. A little bit of a splurge with the crispy but oh so good skin and even though it's just two of us we loved having the leftovers. I found out that in addition to being able to add on any 1.25L of Coca-Cola™ now you can add on a 64 oz Gold Peak®. We love us some ice tea so I was stoked to hear from the store associate that this was now an option.


When you're on the run some weeks it's hard to come together. We always try and bring a little spark to our weekend nights and make dinner a little special. I was able to put some of my go to tips to make that quick dinner a little more special.



1. Take a moment
Today was busy, tonight will be busy too. You just grabbed a delicious dinner on the go from Jewel-Osco. Stop for a moment, breathe, relax and be thankful for the time you're about to spend together (even as little as it might be!) with your family.


2. Put a table on it
Well more like like put it on a table. Most of the time when we're a in hurry we eat on the go or standing up. Don't do it! It really doesn't take any more time to put it out on the table than it does on the counter.

3. Use the real stuff
Instead of going with paper and plastic break out the real plates, silverware and even napkins. There is just something about real napkins! If you don't have the kind that are machine washable and that's why you don't ever use them, then you should really invest in those! Then you can just toss them in with the rest of your laundry and not have to worry.

4. Treat yourself to a little something extra
I usually drink water with dinner but sometimes it's nice to do a little something extra. I like to splurge and get something fun to drink. The Signature Meal deal makes it's super easy and budget friendly. You can add on a Diet Coke®, Coca-Cola Zero™, Coca-Cola™ or Gold Peak® Tea and make it a full complete meal! Plus that 64 oz Gold Peak tea is going to last you for the rest of the week.


5. Make it fancy
Even when you're in a hurry there are easy ways to make it special. My favorite way is to use champagne glasses instead of regular tumblers. There is something about using those fancy glasses that just makes any meal special.


6. Give it some ambiance
You don't have to go all out with steamers, dozens of flowers or anything crazy like that. I know we all have those couple of candles that we're saving for a special occasion. Break out those babies and take a few minutes to give your dinner a little bit more.

7. Make it healthier
When you're on the go it can be tough to keep it healthy. With options like no salt added rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken and unsweetened Gold Peak tea it can be easier to keep it on the healthier! Grab some salad from Jewel's stocked up salad bar or some pre-cut fruit paired with your healthier chicken pick and Gold Peak tea you've got a complete meal. 


8. Keep the TV off

You don't want to get sucked into that new grip the edge of your seat episode of your favorite show. Also it will give you a quick chance to connect with your family in that short time you have.


9. Doctor it up
This is one if you're on the go but have a little more time. With the delicious rotisserie chicken you got as part of your signature meal deal you can make all sorts of recipes. Make a quick rotisserie chicken salad sandwich using the rolls from the meal with the signature coleslaw on the side. Another perk is that if you eat it one way the first day then doctor up the leftovers you've got a second meal for those super busy weeks. Coca-Cola has some other fun ideas for meal pairings on their websites that would definitely make the most out of the delicious chicken.

10. Put on some tunes
I know when I'm at home I don't ever put on music to add any ambiance. It's usually for a purpose like working out or getting me pumped up to clean. Putting on some nice tunes for your quick dinner together can give it a fun, dinner out vibe. Plus if it's the right tunes it will help you relax before tackling the rest of your busy day and evening!



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!

7.14.2017

Sweet Treat Team Challenge

***This post may contain affiliate links**

On your marks, get set, EARN! Swagbucks is holding a fun team challenge called the "Swagathlon" to help you earn free gift cards! For those of you who don't know what Swagbucks is, it's a website where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online like shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos. You can even earn for searching the web! 

If you've never tried Swagbucks before because you didn't know where to begin, their Team Challenges are a great way to learn the ropes! The challenge, begins Monday, July 17th at 8am PT, but you can pre-register starting on Friday, July 14th!
Here's how you can join the challenge and the site:  
1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team.
2. Starting June 17th at 8am PDT, in addition to earning SB you'll contribute points to your teams total as you complete different activities on Swagbucks.
3. Check back on the page often to see the scores and what you've contribute so far.   

All members who participate and contribute at least 600 points to their team’s total will receive a SB bonus in the form of a SB Swag Up Rebate on their next gift card! 
Not only that, but if you sign up under me this month and earn 300 SB before August 1st, you'll get a 300 SB bonus!

Members of the 1st place team will receive a 100 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 2nd place team will receive a 50 SB Swag Up Rebate, and members of the 3rd place team will receive a 30 SB Swag Up Rebate. Your SB Swag Up Rebate will be made available on Friday, July 21st at 2pm PT and will expire on Friday, August 4th at 11:59pm PT.

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!

7.12.2017

She Said What?!

Yesterday I decided that instead of doing some of the work around the house that I've been telling myself needs to get done I was going through and cleaning up my inbox. That's still getting things accomplished right? Well I decided I needed to get rid of drafts of emails. I had 114 eep!

As I was looking through the drafts I kept finding stuff that had been said by Kevin and other friends that I wrote down. Some of them were just too amusing not to share!


While playing Sweet Valley High at my birthday

Becky "Trading boyfriends until you get yours adds some mystery."
Bethany "that's the story of my life"

Kevin "We have Lane ... rental baby ... with a return policy"


That's Britta!
Britta "I'd rather do chemistry than anything related to directions"

Kevin *speeds forward from light*
Betsy "slow down  we are not drag racing my brother".
Becky "I said I would get you in two places at once"
Betsy "it wasn't like walk to remember I deserve romance"


Kevin "tell me what you want."

Me "what I really really want. I wanna I wanna zigzag zigzag ah"
Kevin "I'm already your lover I've already gotten with your friends"

Me "that's me being passive aggressive"

Kevin "that's not you being passive aggressive, you threw my pillow at me"


Becky  "of all the things I got at Valpo you're my favorite"


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!

7.10.2017

Public Art on the Brown Line

 
Culture and art has always been really important to the City of Chicago, it's one of my favorite things about living in the Chicagoland area. You head anywhere in the city and you can find beautiful art everywhere. 2017 has been dubbed the Year of Public Art in the city. Part of this increase in public art includes many of the L stops around the city. 

This past weekend I had some time so what did I decide to do? Ride the entire Brown Line and get some fabulous photos of all the amazing public art at each station. You might be thinking Betsy it's not like it's the Red Line which has lines from the north end of the city to the south how bad could it have been? Well it might not be the longest line but it was the line that has art pieces at every stop except one!! It was actually pretty fun, kind of like my own scavenger hunt where I was doing a lot of waiting on L platforms. 

Now for the fun part! The beautiful art. For more about these pieces, maps of what other stops on the other lines have pieces and all that good stuff head to the CTA Public Art webpage.


In Transit Gallery
Columbia College Photography Department
Photo montage
2001, Adopt-A-Station


Reflections Expressions Transformations
B.J. Krivanek and Joel Breaux
Aluminum, powder-coated aluminum
2009, Arts in Transit


Time is the Enemy (Revisited)
Carlos “Dzine” Rolon
Venetian glass, marble and stone mosaic
2009, Arts in Transit

 

Chicago El Stories
Jon Gitelson
Glass photographic tiles
2008, Arts in Transit



Hayes Healy Gymnasium 
Mike Grucza
Installation of Bas-relief, limestone panels
2015, CTA Art Collection
 
Landslide
Derick Malkemus
Cast bronze
2009, Arts in Transit

Transience
Martin Donlin
Architectural glass: ceramic enamels fired into tempered glass
2009, Arts in Transit

 


Space Junction of Energy
Jerald Jacquard
Painted steel, mixed media
1970, CTA Art Collection


We All Ride the Train Together
David Lee Csicsko
Mixed-media mosaics by Erin Adams Design
2009, Arts in Transit


As I was running through the Southport stop I forgot that there were two sides so I only snapped a photo of the south wall!
 
Southport
Green (North Wall) & Yellow (South Wall)
Elizabeth Fraiberg
Transfer-printed glazed ceramic tile
2008, Arts in Transit

Transitions
Barbara Cooper
Mosaic: Hand-cut glass
Sculpture: Riveted brass and stainless-steel sheeting
2009, Arts in Transit



 

The Encrypted Inning
Gregory Gómez
Sand-cast bronze and patina
2007, Arts in Transit



Commonplaces
Juan Carlos Macias
Venetian hand-cut glass mosaic
2008, Arts in Transit

Montrose
MONT/ROSE: AREA
Jason Pickleman
Cast aluminum, vinyl decals
2007, Arts in Transit



American Tourister
Ron Baron
Bronze
2008, Arts in Transit

 

Western
Camouflage Screen
Ellen Rothenberg
Art glass with ceramic melting color
2007, Arts in Transit



Hidden Movers
Thomas Skomski
Mixed media
2007, Arts in Transit

 
 

Carpet
Ellen Harvey
Mosaic of hand-cut marble
2007, Arts in Transit

 

Round and Round
Anne Marie Karlsen
Art glass
2007, Arts in Transit

 

Kimball
Hope and Renewal
Josh Garber
Powder-coated aluminum
2007, Arts in Transit


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!

7.07.2017

New Glarus Brewery

During our yearly Memorial Day Weekend in Wisconsin we took our Saturday afternoon outing to the New Glarus Brewery. Just under an hour southwest of Madison, the brewery is nestled in the outskirts of the town of New Glarus. 


Being the smart people we are we went to what was the original brewery (picture above) first not realizing that there was a whole new brewery! We had a good laugh over that one and quickly got back on the right track. 


You head up this huge hill, parking halfway up then finishing the trek through the forest on foot. You pop out of the forest to see this massive building.


We head around to the other side to head inside for our self guided tour. I was not expecting this massive outdoor area. It was beautiful. There were gorgeous rock formations you could sit on, tons of picnic tables and seating areas to just chill at.



The views from the top of the hill were fantastic. You could see so much.



Most of the time the you're able to tour the brewery on your own but they do have guided tours. The past couple of years we've been on several different brewery tours , like Two Brothers Brewery, and it's really neat to see how different each place is.  




The stairway to heaven sign cracked us up. There were a few other tongue and cheek things like that around the brewery.









After our wanderings around the brewery we did the most important part ... the tasting! Kevin really enjoyed the raspberry beer (below) I couldn't get over how red it was! As a non-beer person it was actually really good. It was a fun afternoon and I think it would definitely be fun to enjoy their beer garden area again.






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!