Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 2018

7.17.2018

10 Facts about Chicago Museums


Since I'm off to a museum conference downtown for the rest of the week I thought I'd share with you some fun facts about Chicago museums!  

Chicago is home to all sorts of crazy museums like the International Museum of Surgical Science and the Money Museum

The Field Museum actually started during the World's Columbian Exposition in the Palace of Fine Arts, which currently houses the Museum of Science and Industry. 

The Art Institute of Chicago plays a big role in the cult classic John Hughes flick Ferris Bueller's Day Off. 

You'll find L car #1 housed in the Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibit at the Chicago History Museum.

If you want a neat experience attend a bridge lifting inside the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum

Every year the National Museum of Mexican Art hosts a Day of the Dead exhibit. 

Jane Addams Hull House Museum has a haunted history that involves a devil baby

In Rogers Park you'll find the Leather Museum and Archive which is the first museum in the United States that's dedicated to the history and subculture of the leather community.

Indiana Jones' character is supposedly based on James Henry Breasted who was the founder of the Oriental Institute. 

At the Museum of Broadcast Communications you'll find some of your favorite Chicago personalities like Bozo and Svengali ... well at least their costumes! 

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!

7.16.2018

Top Picks from the Disney Friends & Family Sale

**This post may contain affiliate links**

Right now everyone is all about the Nordstrom's Sale. Audrey at Putting Me Together is sharing her picks and my Chicago gal Jennifer at Style Charade is already sharing what she was able to pick up for a great price. While everyone seems to be all about the Nordstrom's sale I'm over here all excited for the Disney Friends & Family sale!! Don't wait since it's ending today!!!

Sleeping Beauty is by far my favorite Disney princess so of course that was the first thing I searched during the sale. I'm definitely biased in favor of the blue outfit. Why they don't put her in it more I'll never understand. So I'm totally in love with the figurine that showcases the back and forth. You can't go wrong with a cute Disney top. The cold shoulder is only available in an XS for Sleeping Beauty but you can totally find all the other princesses in the fun cold shoulder top.

The past few years Disney has really stepped up their offerings for adults. I love how many different bags they have now! There are totes, purses, suitcases and everything in between. I love the little lunch set. As someone who takes their lunch to work almost every day this is so much fun! You don't ever need to worry about utensils.
Since I've been trying to cut down on the stuff that comes into my house I've focused on certain fun but practical things. This has come in the form of fun socks. I've always loved fun socks but I've focused on that as my thing like when we go on trips that's my souvenir of choice or a fun splurge. It was tough to pick my three favorites since there were so many cute pairs. these guys are definitely a good addition to any Disney fanatic's wardrobe.
Even though Sleeping Beauty is my number one favorite Minnie always has a special place in my heart. That bow pillow is my new favorite thing. I'm pretty sure Kevin would love it right? There is a whole line of fabulous summer dresses. I thought the Minnie Hawaiian themed dress is the perfect pick but there are so many cute ones to pick from.
Last but not least I've got my adulting picks aka the kitchen picks. You could really outfit most if not all of your kitchen in Disney themed items. From toasters to your table linens! Found this Beauty and the Beast themed table runner. It's that perfect subtle Disney. If you want to go a little more obvious there is the fun sandwich press. Couple that with the lunch box above and it will be the coolest lunch at work!


Don't walk run to your computer or local Disney store since today is the last day of the sale! What would be on your Disney list?

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!

7.13.2018

3 Things to Make With Your Veggie Strip Maker


A couple seasons ago Pampered Chef came out with the Veggie Strip Maker. I was so excited for this one since Kevin and I had gotten into making veggie pasta on a somewhat regular basis and my fingers just weren't feeling the Julienne Peeler anymore. The Veggie Strip Maker is a great product if you're just dipping a toe into recipes like Easy Zucchini Linguini. The $14.50 price makes it affordable enough to where if you only use it once and a while you won't feel guilty.

The entire Veggie Strip Maker is made out of plastic so once you're done using it there is no hard clean up, just toss it right into your dishwasher! Since it's made out of plastic aka no metal blades that means its safe for kids to use. I also love the versatility of have the non-slip feet to use it to strip over a cutting board or the ability to sit it on a bowl with the notches.

Now on to the good stuff!

1. Veggie Pasta
The most common way that we've been using it is for good old zucchini pasta. At this time we haven't branched out yet and tried to incorporate more veggies like the Vegetable Primavera recipe does but it's only a matter of time! The Vegetable Primavera is a perfect recipe when you want to use several veggies in one dish.

Since Kevin always needs meat with his meal we have enjoyed adding meatballs or ground up meat to the extra red sauce. If you're going to use a pesto or tapenade try cooked shrimp with it instead.

2. Hash Browns   
I've been told by several consultants that the Veggie Strip Maker will make the best hash browns you've ever had. Well Kevin and I made a point to test that theory this week. We don't tend to eat full on breakfast food very often, we're more bagel or cold cereal type people. With that being said we do enjoy making hash browns as a dinner side. So that's just what we did. Check out the GIF for our results.

The hash browns were really good! This will definitely be a go t
o for potatoes.

3. Cauliflower Rice 
As a person who is always all about the carbs switching over to zucchini pasta every now and then was tough but now that we've gone that way I don't think it would be too hard. I've tried out the Cauliflower "Rice" recipe at several meetings and think it's a good stepping stone to enjoying cauliflower rice. I know several people who love the Hawaiian style.



What is your favorite use of veggie strips or spirals?

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!

7.11.2018

Vienna Beef History Museum


Last month I heard about what in my world is the perfect museum opening. I'm talking about the opening of the Vienna Beef History Museum! Of course I made a point to get over there immediately. You'll find the museum at their headquarters along with the factory store and cafe at 2501 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.




The fact that I didn't know there was a Vienna Beef cafe and factory store is a life altering fact in itself! I was there right before lunch and then had lunch after my museum visit. It was packed! Clearly this is a place to be for lunch.





After a quick look through the store I was able to head through to the museum. Since it's being housed in the old factory you walked by things like the original hairnets and beard guards that were used until the the factory moved.




As I went through the museum I got the opportunity to talk with the head of marketing at Vienna Beef. He shared some great stories with me. A lot of the items in the museum were found left behind in various areas and offices in the factory, they didn't even realize they had some of the old photographs and machines! I just find lint when I go looking though our stuff.




20118 is a big year for Vienna Beef they're celebrating their 125th anniversary! During the 1893 Columbian Exposition the founders of the company Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany sold hot dogs to people attending the fair. They opened up a store just a year later and with the demand becoming to big they started selling the hot dogs to other stores. 
















One of my favorite parts of the exhibit was the memory wall they set up. People were offered the opportunity to put their memories, favorite hot dog stand or anything they wanted on it. There were some pretty funny ones on the wall. I even took time to show my appreciation and love for Vienna Beef!




After chatting more with the head of marketing he said that the museum is slated to stay up through the summer so it's really more like a pop up. I'd love to see them turn the museum into a permanent one. Vienna Beef's history is such an important one to Chicago! Who knows maybe they'd ask me to do it ; ) If you're in Chicago and have some time during the work week it's definitely worth the hike up to Damen & Elston. Plus you can enjoy the best hot dog you've ever eaten!!



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!

7.06.2018

July Swago board is here!


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The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during on their July Swago Board, which runs from July 9th through July 16th at 9am PT! Swago is 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, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips: 
  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
     
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
     
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, July 16th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
     
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, July 16th to use all your spins. 

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, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.  

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of August, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!



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!

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 5

This week has been one where I only want to think about fun stuff for some reason. It's been a while, since March to be specific, since I've shared a Do People Actually Buy This?! post. I haven't been doing as much shopping so my crazy sightings haven't been as frequent or maybe designers are just tamer. 


I couldn't believe that I actually saw shoes with the giant puff ball out in the wild! A woman at the airport was wearing these heels. Even though they worked well with her outfit I still can't get over the giant puff. I just can't. 



There is just so incredibly much that is wrong with this photo. On first glance I was like this is so cool and I need this! One doesn't often find cool historical things like this. Then I noticed it says phonograph above the price, ok that's cool. Then I check the tag attached to the phonograph and it's talking about how 1962 was a big year and yadda yadda. I'm sorry but 1962?? I'm pretty sure whoever did research for the authenticity of when phonographs like this one were actually used.


This bag feels very early 2000s to me. Wasn't that the time where we combined the little backpacks of the 90s and the clear plastic that was popular? This one isn't super crazy but still more out there than most bags.


I'm not sure if it's the glitter or the fact that they're slides. I feel like if it was a full shoe it wouldn't be quite as much. As they are there is just so much going on. Also where would one wear shoes like this?


These PJ pants are so ridiculous they're amazing. I would actually buy these. I feel like with PJ pants you can have some crazy ones. Really I just wanted to share these amazing Space Jam pants because come on!


Again like the glitter shoes there is just too much happening with these I think. The pattern is crazy and they're the tighter briefs. I'm not sure this is a pattern than most or even any guy would go for. Any guy in your life want golden pineapple briefs?


I can't get over the fact that fanny packs are a thing again. I feel like there are some fashion trends that should only have lived one life. If nothing else one shouldn't be experiencing it again in their life time. For me I feel like fanny packs are one of those trends.


We're now entering the furry section of our blog post. Even though it's spring and now summer the fur seems to still be flying! Or maybe it's creeping. Creeping all over chairs it seems. This chair and the one below are just a couple of the furry furniture pieces I've seen out and about. I would hate to have that fur rubbing against my legs in the humid weather we've been having in Chicago lately. Nope nope nope. Also neither of these chairs actually look like they would be comfortable at all. 



I think there is a reason there are so many of these left and with the price at that much of a discount. Would you or have you bought anything like any of the items?

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!

7.04.2018

Happy Fourth of July!



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!

7.02.2018

30 Things That Happened In 1998


When last we felt nostalgic we hopped back 15 years to 2003 and now it's time to go a little further back. For some people 20 years ago seems like a lifetime but for some of us 1998 seems just a moment ago. I can remember seventh grade like it was yesterday! Where were you in 1998? Do you remember any of these 30 things?

Google is founded

Terrorist bombings at two US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam

We all upgraded to the brand new Windows 98

Our love for Will & Grace started



Bill Clinton denied he had "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern

Spice World

Jaden Smith is born

Winter Olympic Games are held in Nagano, Japan



The new $20 bill enters circulation

Cambodian dictator Pol Pot dies

Keiko, the killer whale who stared in Free Willy, goes to Iceland for eventual release back into the wild

Europe ushers in the Euro



The Big Lebowski

We said good-bye to Seinfeld

Old men around the world rejoiced as Viagra is approved by the FDA

Exxon and Mobil merge to create the worlds largest petroleum company

Sex & the City became everyone's new favorite



President Bill Clinton Impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice

Mulan

Frank Sinatra passed away

Furbys entered our homes and nightmares



Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone debuted in the U.S.

Michael Jackson welcomes daughter Paris Jackson

You've Got Mail



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!

6.25.2018

Things Disney Gave me Unrealistic Expectations About


I love Disney. I've shared this love throughout the years with posts like Getting to Know You Disney Quiz and our magical Disney Honeymoon. While some people might think I have nothing to say against Disney there are definitely more than a few things that Disney has given me unrealistic views about. 

My hair
In the world of Disney hair is an amazing thing. It flows perfectly with the wind, wakes up without being a mess and styles exactly how you want it to look. I mean come on Ariel is styling her hair with a fork for goodness sake! Thank goodness for the newer princesses like Tiana and Anna with their after a hard day of work hair and bedhead. Although even with the messed up hair Tiana still looks lovely.

Even throughout the day the hair of everyone looks perfect. Not just the cartoons but have you ever seen a hair out of place on Mary Poppins? Me either. She hops into pictures, has tea on the ceiling and is always putting on and removing her hat. How is her hair so darn perfect?! I can't even make it to the car in the morning after a wash my hair day with my hair looking somewhat good. My hair is definitely not practically perfect in every way.



That your makeup is always pefection
I remember watching the early Disney princess movies and thinking how lovely their lipstick always looked, even after some kissing. Not just lipstick but there was never any make up smudging, even after tears or rain. I'm not sure who their make up artists were but I think I need to meet said person. Although thank goodness for Charlotte & Mulan's matchmaker and their smudged make up. We're not even going to get into the whole Mulan takes off her make up part!

Random animals would be a bigger part of my life

In almost every Disney movie you'll find animals stepping up their game, helping their humans and talking to them too! How awesome is that? Shouldn't there be random animals that just come along and help me with the mundane tasks of styling my hair in the morning and cleaning the tub? I feel like this should happen more. You see dogs picking up newspapers and such every now and then but I feel like every animal should be helping us out. 

I also figured that they would just be there more. Like in Sleeping Beauty all the forest animals just end up chilling with her while she's sitting there. Shouldn't more animals come up to me lovingly? I feel like all I get is an angry goose when I'm walking around the pond by work. It does not seem happy to see me.



That everyone just breaks out into song
Growing up I used to dance my way around the house and sing to myself like many characters in Disney movies do. I thought that this was how you were supposed to go about life, dancing and singing. I thought how wonderful it would be when big song numbers and song montages would break out in the middle of my life. Life would feel so much better and faster if everything we didn't like to do was done through a quick song. I seriously thought this would be a bigger part of my life. 



Sassy sidekicks are not a daily thing

I definitely blame Disney but also I think every romantic comedy out there. A sassy side kick is always a must have in these movies, whether it's human or animal. I consider myself and my best friend each others sassy side kicks but the problem is we live three hours apart. You always see the sassy sidekicks with the heroine pretty much every day. They usually work together, play together and live like right next to each other. Even the animal sidekicks are always there. So why is it that my sassy sidekick/bff is never there to get me through the day? Uncool!



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!

6.22.2018

Summer Goals Link Up


It's time to rock the heck out of our summers! That means making sure we know what our priorities are and setting some kick butt goals!

I've decided that I'm going to use this summer to really start making some headway on my 101 list goals. This spring I thought I could hit the ground running with them but have not been able to do that. So now it's time to redeem myself and catch up to where I'd like to be with my goals. I can't wait to see what goals you're going to conquer this summer. 

1. Enjoy at least three Chicago rooftops

2. Complete at least three puzzles

3. Clean out my entire car

4.  Schedule posts for during our Charleston Trip

5. Dabble once

6. Host garage sale with Mom & Bethany

7. Secret goal

8. Cross off one 101 list item



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!

6.19.2018

Turkey Taco Ring



Getting dinner on the table quickly on a weeknight can be really tough. That's why I always like to have some simple yet fulfilling and special recipes in my repertoire like this Turkey Taco Ring recipe. This Pampered Chef recipe is one of my favorites, they fancy theirs up with homemade salsa and a pepper bowl in the middle of the ring (think My Big Fat Wedding bundt cake but with a pepper!). I simplified some of the ingredients and took out a few steps.

Turkey Taco Ring
Ingredients
1/2 small red onion, divided
11/4 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
2 1/2 tbsp  Tex-Mex Rub
6 oz cheddar cheese (1 1/4 cups grated)
2 pkg (8 oz each) reduced-fat refrigerated crescent rolls


Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cut onion in half. Using Food Chopper, chop half of onion. Cook onion, turkey and rub in 12-in. Skillet over medium heat until turkey is no longer pink, breaking into crumbles with Mix ‘N Chop. Drain, if necessary. Move turkey mixture to Classic Batter Bowl.



2. Using Microplane® Adjustable Coarse Grater, grate cheese. Stir cheese into turkey mixture.



3. Unroll crescent dough; separate the triangles. Arrange triangles, slightly overlapping, in a circle on White Large Round Stone with Handles. Points will extend off of the edge of the stone & will create about a 5 inch opening.


4. Using Large Scoop and your hands, scoop filling evenly over dough. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under dough at center to form a ring. Squish points into dough on inside so it seals.




6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with favorite taco toppings.





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!