Musings of a Museum Fanatic: September 2017

9.27.2017

Joy District

This past week I attended my first Chicagogrammers event at the Joy District in River North. Not only was I really excited to try out a new restaurant I was even more excited to have the opportunity to meet other Chicago Instagrammers and bloggers. 







We were upstairs in their special events space on the second floor. It was a fantastic space! I loved the loft with the openings over looking the rest of the space, there were several photo worthy stairwells and the beautiful exposed brick was the perfect backdrop. I can definitely see hosting an event in this space.







I always love at these events how as soon as something photo worthy happens we're all over it. As you can see the drinks at Joy District were definitely Instagram worthy. My Buddha (the yellow one) was so delicious and refreshing. 







We also got to sample hors d'oeuvres from their private event menu. The Fried Triple Cream Brie Lollipop was ridiculously good. It was all I could do not to eat the entire platter. It was melt your mouth good. I also loved the Rosemary Marinated Chicken Lollipop, it was fried to perfection and a wonderful bite.   











Joy District also outdid themselves with what would be the after dinner. A beautiful champagne bar, we even got to see the pour happen.


The s'mores bar was so much fun! There is nothing like a good s'more to end the summer with. Not only can you have a s'more bar for your private party they have a host of other dessert bars. I think I'd probably go for the sundae bar. Who are we kidding we all know that's what I would do haha. While I didn't partake in the Rumchata shots and cookies those who did really enjoyed them. 






The evening with the other Chicagogrammers at Joy District was a lot of fun. I can't wait for my next opportunity to visit there again. Have you been to Joy District before? What was your favorite thing from their menu?


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!

9.25.2017

Do People Actually Buy This?: Edition 1

The past couple of years I've started taking photos of the most random stuff. I especially enjoy taking photos of the crazy stuff that I see when I'm out and about shopping. Sometimes I just stand there thinking to myself "wtf who would actually buy this!?" Here is a look at the crazy things I've found recently. Would you buy any of these?


Totally made Kevin try on this Minions shirt from the men's section of a certain store. 


I have this thing about the fuzzy poof balls that have been so popular. Nope. Nope. Nope. These are earrings by the way.


You don't even want to know how much this shirt is ... let's just say it was over $200. 


Silver velvet boots are perfect for winter in Chicago!


I won't lie these guys and the cookie jar below is actually pretty fantastic. It's dinos with bow ties!!




Every kid needs a gold lame bomber jacket right?


There were no words for this suit. 


Walls upon walls of cat ears ... 





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!

9.22.2017

Fall Goals

How is it possible that it's already the second to last week in September? I feel like that's impossible. Yet here we are another season put to bed and another round of goals done. 

Looking back I did OK at my summer goals. Let's take a look. 

1. Write & schedule blog posts
Surprisingly I did really good at this one. I got a lot of posts written and scheduled throughout the summer. I haven't gotten myself super ahead like I had planned on but I feel good about the momentum I've been able to get and I'm working to keep it up.


2. Plan out what 101 list items I can and need to finish up.
Did this is in more of a mental way nothing concrete so it will continue to be worked on.

3. Cross 3 101 list items off
Had to actually look back! I did officially fully cross off three things off my list. There are a bunch that I made some good progress on but haven't fully completed yet so I'm going to work on continuing that this fall.

4. Clean my car out
I started doing so well with cleaning out my car. Then I hit the trunk and kinda fizzled. Although as I sit and write this I still technically have a couple of days where I can get it accomplished so I might try and get this one crossed off!

5. Work on blog proposal for archival company
Nope, need to work on this.

6. Secret Goal
I did a decent amount on this goal. Not quite as much as I could have but it's a work in progress type of goal so until it's done I'm going to plug along.

7. Work on professional portfolio website
I did nothing on this one. I thought about how I should work on it many times but haven't set aside any real time to work on it.


Overall I didn't do terrible on the summer goals. I know it wasn't my most productive season but it was productive in other ways! Now it's time for another season and another set of goals. What are your big goals for this season?

1. Secret goal
2. Cross off 4 101 list items
3. Plan long Chicago weekend staycation with Kevin
4. Write & schedule blog posts
5.  Finish up my WVUR cassette tape project
6. Work on a blog calendar for 2018
7.  Plan out what 101 list items I can and need to finish up.

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!

9.19.2017

$200 Million by the numbers

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

The digital rewards Swagbucks just hit a major milestone – they have given their members over $200 million in cash and free gift cards since 2008! I use Swagbucks all the time to get free gift cards doing stuff I already do online, like shopping, answering surveys, watching videos, discovering great deals, and searching the web. To demonstrate how big a number 200 million really is, here are some fun facts:



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!

9.18.2017

Russell's BBQ

When you think about some of your favorite places I can guarantee that some of them are on your list because you've been going their your entire life. That's where Russell's BBQ comes into my world!


Opening their doors in 1930 this Elmwood Park staple has now been feeding FOUR generations of Giles family members. My Dad used to go Russell's with his parents, family and friends growing. Naturally we went there as often as we could growing up or would grab it to heat up at home. It was so lovely when their Rolling Meadows location was around, I will say early on in our relationship that was a perk of going up to Kevin's parent's! Now we've been bring Lane to Russell's for several years and Elowen had her first trip in August. 


We love Russell's not only because it holds such wonderful memories but also because the food is ridiculous good!!! They do have some options for the vegetarians in your life but really the main show are the BBQ sandwiches. The king of the BBQ sandwiches is the pork. I'm sure the other ones are fantastic as well but I won't lie in the 32 years I've been going to Russell's I've never had any other kind. 



With the pork sandwich they roast it in the broth then add a little bit of the BBQ sauce. The best way is to add more at the table then do a little dunk in your puddle. The fries are wonderful with the BBQ sauce too. It's a bit zippy but not in a spicy way just in a BBQ sauce kind of way. You can actually find the BBQ sauce in some grocery stores around the Chicagoland area. I'm not sure about out of the area. 

When you're looking for that iconic Chicago place you can't go wrong with 87 years of amazing BBQ pork, I mean come on if me and Jeff Mauro say it's excellent you know it's true! 


9.15.2017

Best Oktoberfests in Chicago



When September 1 rolls around the blue and white check banners start to make their appearance all over the Chicagoland area. That means it's Oktoberfest time!! There are plenty of celebrations to be had around the Chicago area but these are my recommendations because let's be honest not all Oktoberfests are created equal!


The Berghoff Restaurant Oktoberfest
17 West Adams St. Chicago, IL

The Berghoff boasts the grand daddy of Chicago Oktoberfests, having hosted their almost month long celebration for 33 years. This year there is a special lunch and dinner menu along with multiple nights of music.


St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest
St. Alphonsus Church - corner of Lincoln, Wellington and Southport

This three day festival is one of my favorite places to celebrate Oktoberfest. St. Alphonsus' is perfect for the entire family. There are tons of different bands and Kinderfest for the kinder.


Schnitzel Platz
729 North Avenue, Glendale Heights, IL

A yummy looking extensive Oktoberfest menu is what you can find at the west suburban restaurant. They work with the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest but if you're looking to stay inside now that it's getting cooler out Schnitzel Platz is perfect.


Glendale Heights Oktoberfest
101 E Fullerton Ave, Glendale Heights, IL

In it's 6th year this 10 day celebration will definitely pack a punch. There is great food and music every day. One perk of this festival is that you can splurge on a VIP box, with perks like meal vouchers, your own table, real china and so much more it's definitely worth it to upgrade your Oktoberfest.

Edelweiss Restaurant
7650 W Irving Park Rd Norridge, IL

Edelweiss is a northwest Chicago German staple. Their Oktoberfest menu is one of the best I've seen. I think the Edelweiss Platter is the way to go with a little bit of everything that delicious German food.


Oktoberfest at Naper Settlement
523 S. Webster St. Naperville, IL

If you're looking for a great family Oktoberfest in the burbs Naper Settlement has you covered. There is all sorts of music from the traditional polka bands to my close friends 'Stache.


Oktoberfest Beer, Brats and Boats cruise by Shoreline Sightseeing

This is one Oktoberfest that I hadn't heard about before! Who knew you could take Oktoberfest on to Lake Michigan. You get to enjoy a traditional German dinner, live music and dancing plus you get to take home your souvenir stein.


Hofbrauhaus Chicago
5500 Park Place Rosemont, IL

Hofbrauhaus makes it their business to give you as authentic an experience as you can get outside of Munich. There parades and keg tappings every weekend, daily Oktoberfest food specials, special beer and music you'll definitely want to visit the Hofbrauhaus several times this Oktoberfest!

9.13.2017

Mini Dessert Hamburgers























At last Gamma Phi Beta meeting of the year this past May I decided to go with a super fun dish to bring. As per usual it was a potluck but theme the hostess went with was BBQ. It ended up being a really rainy BBQ but still a great time. I volunteered to bring a dessert and I wanted it to be fun along with sticking to the theme. Took me a little while but I remembered a fun Mini Dessert Burger recipe my mom had taught me years ago. I've seen it other places since then with some variations on the ingredients but here is the way we make it in our house!

Mini Dessert Hamburgers

Ingredients:
Nilla wafers
Mini York Peppermint Patties, unwrapped
White frosting
Food dye
Karo syrup
Sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Dye the frosting green, yellow and red. Put the frosting into snack baggies and put the baggies into the fridge while you prep the rest of your ingredients. Make a bag with white too.



2. Lay out your wafers and peppermint patties. Put a little dollop of white on the bottom nilla wafars then place patty.





3. Go crazy with the red, yellow and green frosting on top of the patty. These are the condiments so make each burger unique!


4. Add a little dollop of frosting in the center of the peppermint patty if needed (If you went a little nuts with the condiments you might not need it) to secure the top wafer.

5. Spread a little bit of the syrup on the top with the back of a spoon and sprinkle sesame seeds.




6. Share with friends and enjoy! They'll be so impressed with how cute this Mini Dessert Hamburgers are.


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!