Musings of a Museum Fanatic: October 2017

10.30.2017

Haunted Chicago


If you've ever debated what movie to get with me you'd know that I'm not a scary or horror movie type person. So even with that in mind you can't have it be the day before Halloween and not talk about all the haunted places in Chicago. Let's be honest when you're as large and have been around as long as Chicago you have some skeletons in that closet.

For some haunted Chicago museums check out my post from a few years ago. The Chicago area has hundreds of cemeteries, so many that a few have to have some ghosts hanging around right?

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
5900 W Midlothian Turnpike, 
Midlothian, IL 60445

Located in the far south suburb Bachelor's Grove is considered one of the most haunted cemeteries in the entire country! There are floating orbs, phantom sounds and apparitions of all kinds. One of the most famous of these is the photograph of the woman in white sitting on the grave stone. The person taking the photo is adamant that she wasn't there when they took it!

Resurrection Cemetery
7200 S. Archer Avenue
Justice, IL. 60458-1140

Resurrection Cemetery is home to Chicago's most well known ghost, Resurrection Mary. Supposedly some time in the 1930s Mary was hit and killed by a car on her way home from the O’Henry Ballroom, now Willowbrook Ballroom. Since then there have been Mary sightings of a beautiful blonde girl in a long white dress. Check out the link above for all of the stories, there are too many to even start sharing in this post. 


Woodlawn Cemetery
7750 W Cermak Rd
Forest Park, IL 60130

While there isn't a ton going on at Woodlawn Cemetery there is one special area, Showmen's Rest. This small, almost unassuming well it would be if it wasn't flanked by 5 elephants, plot is home to the final resting places of the Showmen's League of America. Unfortunately the first residents did not join under the best of circumstances. In 1918 just outside of Hammond, IN the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus train had stopped on the tracks. Unfortunately for them an oncoming train's conductor was asleep at the wheel. The oncoming train plowed through the circus train and killed dozens of people. Some say that the ghosts of elephants can be heard ... although with Brookfield Zoo only being a stones throw away maybe you should stop by and let me know if you think it's the ghosts of elephants past.


Cemeteries aren't the only ones with reputations here in the Chicago area. We've got our share of haunted hotels , woods and other types of places! 


Congress Hotel
520 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

Since opening in 1893 people have been seeing strange things in the Congress Hotel. There are locked off rooms and rooms that people can't even manage to spend the entire night in! Sometimes people have reported seeing Al Capone's ghost frequenting the halls, maybe the poor man is just trying to finish up some business who knows.




Harpo Studios
1058 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607

The old Harpo Studios was used as a morgue after the Eastland Disaster in 1903 because there were so many people who perished the city morgues couldn't handle all of the bodies. People have claimed since then to hear all sorts of crazy things like children laughing, people screaming and other such paranormal activity. My question is do the ghosts stay on if the building is gone? Harpo was demolished in 2016 to make was for the new McDonalds headquarters. Only time will tell on that one I think!


Robinson Woods
W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60706

This one is especially fun since Kevin and I have looked at apartments close by these woods! Supposedly the actual land is cursed and people have said there might even be burial grounds deep in the woods. Throughout the years lots of strange happenings have been reported, not just strange sightings but sounds and smells too. 


St. Valentine's Day Massacre
2122 N. Clark Street

While the garage where the massacre took place is no more there is still a grassy area where it once stood. Not the most haunted spot but for a long time people have said their their pooches refuse to venture to a certain part of the lot, where the bodies are assumed to have fallen. The reports of this have become less and less over the years so maybe those spirits have finally gotten some rest! 

While these are just a couple of the cemeteries and other haunted spots around the Chicago area there are probably hundreds more! Have you ever been to any of these haunted Chicago spots?!

10.25.2017

Baked Oatmeal Cups



Baked Oatmeal Cups

INGREDIENTS
Canola oil for spraying pan
2 C old fashioned oats
½ C sweetened flaked coconut
1½ T. brown sugar, divided
1 tsp baking powder
3 ripe bananas
2 T. melted butter or melted coconut oil
2 T. honey
2 T. water
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix-ins
¼ C. fresh blueberries, mini chocolate morsels, dried cranberries, or raisins


DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the Muffin Pan with oil using the Kitchen Spritzer or use muffin cups.


2. Combine the oats, coconut, 1 T. of brown sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.



3. Place the bananas in a medium bowl and mash them with the Mix ‘N Masher. Add the melted butter or oil, honey, and water to the bananas and stir to combine.

4. Pour the banana mixture into the oat mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in your mix-ins.


5. Use the Large Scoop to transfer a full scoop of the mixture evenly into each well of the pan, packing it down gently with the back of the scoop.


6. Combine the remaining ½ T. of brown sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle it on top of each oatmeal cup.

7. Bake for 22–24 minutes, or until the oats are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before serving.


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!

10.23.2017

5 Tips for Your Job Search


When you start to think of finding a new job it can be really daunting and you might just want to run away screaming. Now that there are tons of websites to find postings, telling you how to draft a resume and giving you all sorts of advice that will make your head spin.

Before landing my current position a couple of years ago I was searching for a full time job for over five years. Five years!! That makes my head spin just thinking of it. With all that searching and applying I actually learned some great tricks which I think might come in handy. After talking with a friend last week about her search she thought should share those tips.

1. Use Google Maps
You're probably thinking that this is a super weird tip but honestly this is my main way of searching for job posting. If you're not searching in a specific type of company (i.e. museum, non-profit, etc.) this might not help but you never know.

When I started my search I realized that there were institutions in the Chicago area that I didn't know about but when I searched "museums" on Google Maps and started looking at the websites of these smaller and more unique institutions I expanded my search by so much. With Chicago being a big city there are hundreds if not thousands of non-profits so one time I sat there and searched "non-profits" to see which ones came up. Again there were so many that I just wasn't aware of. I also did this for Kevin when he was searching. It's amazing if you're looking in certain geographic areas how many unknown places you can add to your list.

2. Bookmarks
Don't make more work for yourself if you don't have to, work smarter not harder! When you find a place you want to keep checking for job openings don't make yourself have to look it up every time. Bookmark it! Don't just bookmark their main website, bookmark the job page. Also don't just plunk them all into your main bookmarks folder. If you're looking in multiple disciplines or types of places sort them out.

Maybe you're in finance and looking at for profit and non-profit type companies. Sort them! Even go a step further and sort a little more if you can. This breaks it down so when you go back and look at the pages each week it's not so unwieldy. Maybe you only want to check out one sector this week you only have to open up those bookmarks.

3.  Automate
So many job search sites, like Simply Hired, Indeed, etc. allow you to automate and get notifications. Take advantage of this! There is no reason to make extra search work for yourself when the computer can do it for you. Set up notifications for any keywords you can think of. For me it's words like "museum", 'archives", library", etc. Take some time to think about those words and make yourself a list then sign up for those notifications.

I know for my type of work those websites don't pick up job posts from all websites but it might actually pick up openings from places you wouldn't think of. I've encountered many an unexpected opening this way.

4. Network it
This is something that is important across any field. Building your network is extremely important. Not only for finding a job but it can also come in handy in many other future job types of situations. One recent example for me is I had met someone last year who specialized in museum compact storage systems and I was just chatting with a curator friend at another museum who said they were starting to fund raise for a new storage system.

You never know when that person you met last month might think of you for their new job opening!

5. Keep an open mind
Did you know that there are some corporations, like McDonalds, that have archives or even their own museum? If I didn't keep an open mind and try to find jobs I'd be qualified for in other places I might miss out on some great job openings. This can apply for any job field. Maybe there is a field you've never thought to look at before that might hold the perfect new job for you. This is a good place for those automated searches to come in handy as well. By setting those keywords you'll hopefully get some positions sent to your inbox that you'd never consider.

Are you in the middle of a job search? What trick do you have when searching?

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!

10.19.2017

5 gifs that define me

Gifs and memes are some of my favorite things. It is so much fun to find the perfect gif that showcases what you're feeling or to convey that perfect reaction. I even love to collect them for the instant message system we have at my work. 

I took up the challenge this week to define myself in 5 gifs. I think I did pretty well if I do say so myself!



This for some obvious reasons haha. I feel this not only defines my museum nerdness but also the fact that I literally say that phrase at least once a week for real. 










Like Jim I sport this look way too often in life. One might say it's my go to. 









We all know how much I love food. Pretty sure this one defines that love to a T or maybe a P!










Most days it seems like no one listens to me unfortunately. 











Last but definitely not least. Obviously I'm very happy and happy with my husband hence no bullet wounds haha.


What gifs would define you?!


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!

10.16.2017

Graceland Cemetery


When the weather turns cold and we hit October 1 our thoughts turn to more creepy and ghoulish thoughts. We start to think about what our Halloween costumes will be and pursue frightening past times such as wandering through the local cemetery. On the north side of Chicago, just north of Wrigley Field, you'll find Graceland Cemetery the perfect spot for the fright seekers, art and architecture lovers and everyone in your party.



Graceland Cemetery was created in 1860 by the prominent landscape architect H.W.S. Cleveland. While today it's well within the city of Chicago but at the time the cemetery it's hometown of Lake View were two miles outside the city! The style of the cemetery was much influenced by the Victorian style of rolling landscapes and park feel that was made popular by Queen Victoria in England at the time.




The Eternal Silence is probably one of Graceland's most well known pieces. Created in 1909 by American sculpture Lorado Taft one must stop by to pay their respects when visiting. It was created to honor Dexter Graves, an early pioneer who led 15 families from Ohio to Chicago in 1831. It's been said that if you look into his eyes that you will see your own death. Would you be brave enough to take that challenge??



In addition to so many beautiful gravestones you'll see there are a number of very prominent, important and infamous Chicago residents that now call Graceland home. Among them are the Pinkertons who are known for such infamous exploits as breaking up strikes that led to multiple deaths.





The Schoenhofen Pyramid Mausoleum is one of the more eye catching mausoleums that you'll find. This work of art was created for Peter Schoenhofen, the owner Shoenhofen Brewing Company that was located in the Pilsen neighborhood.




While back in the day the cemetery was out in the "middle of nowhere" now being right in the heart of the north side you encounter all the sights and sounds of the city as you walk up to the cemetery. When you step about 50 feet into the property the outside world just melts away and you're taken aback at the change in atmosphere. Even looking back at the photographs now there is this serene, hushed feel. Almost spooky like anyone from times past can come walking out from under the willow trees.








While some monuments are made by great artists that we still remember there are so many other works of art with names that have been long forgotten. Since there were so many mausoleums where you couldn't see inside we were left to enjoy the beautiful exteriors. There were so many that had breathtaking and intricate doors.






Graceland's most important citizen (at least in my mind!) is Daniel Burnham. Located on the small island in the middle of the cemetery you'll find this world renowned architect. I crossed the bridge excited to see what gorgeous monument adorned his grave. It was quite a surprise to find such a simple tribute. Although I guess having your own island is pretty baller!







I loved these mausoleums that were literally built into the earth of the cemetery with the green just wrapping itself around them.




Whether you're looking for a spooky time, interested in the history of Chicago or just want to marvel at the beauty Graceland Cemetery has it all.


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!

10.09.2017

Old Irving Brewery

Running around the Chicagoland area getting photos and experiences is always fun but I love that it facilitates being able to enjoy new restaurants. We recently took Stephanie's advice and tried out Old Irving Brewing Company. Located in the Irving Park neighborhood this brewery did not disappoint on the beer or the food!





We were there on a Saturday during brunch. I really appreciated that they had a decent amount of lunch food as part of the brunch menu. Some places focus solely on breakfast and for me once you hit 10:30 you better have lunch food for me!



Usually we're pretty good about not having appetizers but we saw someone else who had the pork rinds and we just couldn't pass them up. They were very tasty and perfectly crunchy.







I went with the Roasted Salmon. I wasn't expecting it to come out looking so fancy! It was beautiful and tasted just as good as it looked. Every bite was eaten that's for sure.



The atmosphere was casual and fun. It's the perfect place to enjoy a meal and several drinks with family, kids or friends.






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!