Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 2018

11.16.2018

Most Amazing Chicago Views

Best Views in Chicago by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


Chicago might have one of the best skylines in the entire world, if not the best! I love snapping photos of the skyline but also the amazing views of the city up close. It's a city filled with skyscrapers, 19th century mansions, iconic homes and so many other architectural gems. These are my top must see views of Chicago. There might be a few in here you've never thought of!


Best Views in Chicago by Musings of a Museum Fanatic
From the river
Most people go strait to the air when thinking about amazing views of Chicago. When I'm asking about where to see my favorite views I tell people they need to get down to river level. Whether it's taking one of the iconic architectural river tours or just enjoying the Riverwalk getting down low provides some spectacular views. Recently I discovered on my first water taxi ride that taking it down to Chinatown you get some wonderful views from south of the Loop. 

Looking into the Bean

Everyone always heads to the Bean to take photos but I've noticed that a lot of people only want to get themselves in the Bean. To really grab a great Bean shot pull back a little bit and get the skyline. You won't be disappointed at the view. 


Best Views in Chicago by Musings of a Museum Fanatic
Museum Campus
You don't have to travel too far to get an amazing view of both the city and the lake. Head straight to Museum Campus for both! Some people thing that the only great skyline photos can be had out by the Adler but I actually think that there are plenty of spots all around Museum Campus for great shots. One of my favorites is just outside the north doors of the Field Museum. 

Hancock Building (875 North Michigan)
A lot of people go straight to the Sears Tower (Willis Tower) for the view. Which don't get me wrong it's an amazing view but if you're up in the Sears Tower you can't see it as part of the view! That's why I always recommend heading over to the Hancock. Plus you have the option of only needing to pay for a drink if you head to the Signature Lounge instead of paying for a ticket to go to the observatory floor. The view from the bathroom is pretty fantastic as well.

Best Views in Chicago by Musings of a Museum Fanatic
Lincoln Park Zoo
I've shared my favorite view from the south well the view from Lincoln Park Zoo is my favorite view from the north. Most people head straight for Studio Gang’s Curvaceous Wood Pavilion. I recommend walking around the entire nature boardwalk. You get some great shots with the beautiful foliage and the city, then end with the iconic view of the city through the Curvaceous Wood Pavilion.

Best Views in Chicago by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

One of the many rooftop bars
There are so many rooftop bars in Chicago and most if not all of them have fantastic views of the city. Cindy's always ranks tops of the list. I had always thought it was probably overrated until I got the chance to enjoy a drink and the view with Jackie in October. As you can see with the above photo it definitely lives up to the hype! The extra perk of enjoying the views from a rooftop bar is the fact you can enjoy a delicious beverage while you view.

From public transportation
This might be my all time favorite way to view the beauty of the city. There is just something different and so unique about viewing the city from the L platform or as you rumble through to the next stop. While you're not a the high up bird's view level you're at this sweet in-between spot. Plus when you go from the Loop northbound on certain lines you get great views of the river! 

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!

11.12.2018

6 Ways to Stay Healthy at Your Desk Job



I read somewhere recently that something like 86% of people in the United States work at a desk job. This means that so many of us are sitting down for most of the day and can lead to us being more unhealthy. I know that most of the time I'm sitting down doing research, designing exhibits and other projects that keep me tied to a desk. Even though I am sitting more than I would like there a certain things I do to infuse a little healthy in my work day. Do you work at a desk job? What do you do make it healthier?

Get up and walk
Getting up and walking is probably one of the best things you can do during your work day. My work has a fitness incentive day you can earn by walking at work so I know that helps me. Even if you don't have a work incentive for something like that take it upon yourself to take a break and walk or spend 10-15 minutes of your lunch hour walking. I am of the mind set if I need to talk to someone I'll get up and go ask them instead of calling and sending an email. Doing more of that I feel has good health benefits as well as building those relationships. Gotta love a double dip!

Take breaks often
This goes hand in hand with getting up and walking. Don't just sit glued to that computer. Take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest. Stretch a bit and then take a few minutes to walk around. Not only is it good for your body but taking a mental break can help you regroup and refocus on what you're looking to do and accomplish.

Stairs
If you can make only one change I would suggest taking the stairs instead of the elevator. This is an easy thing that really doesn't change your schedule or day really at all. Stairs can be a pretty good quick workout if you work in a taller building too! Take the stairs your health will thank you.

Better chair
The right chair can make your back love you but the wrong one can give you health issues for years to come. Talk to your person or department who takes care of the furniture they might be able to hook you up with a better chair or there are some attachments that you put on the chair to make it better for your back. 

Drink water
Water is always a good idea whether or not you're at work or at home. Make sure you have a water bottle handy and keep it filled throughout the day. Not a huge fan of water? Make it something you can enjoy. Like using an infusion water bottle filled with delicious fruit flavoring your water. Use something like Crystal Light or Mio with all the different flavors out there your bound to find something you'll enjoy.  

Get up for lunch
Don't sit at your desk for lunch!! This is so important. Not only for your physical health but mental health as well. Don't let yourself work through lunch get up and go somewhere else to eat. Eating with other people is good for you to make and build those connections with other people at your work place. Also you should work on bringing your own lunch too. Not only can you control what you're eating so it's better for your health but it's good for your pocketbook too!

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!

11.07.2018

Do People Actually Buy This? Vol. 7



I realized that it had been a while since I shared some of my crazy shopping finds! They have just been piling up, waiting to be shared. August was definitely the month of the tassle and this month is definitely the month of the crazy bag. Not sure if it's because we're heading back to the 90s in all the different fashion that the bags are following that trend but the crazy bag is definitely here this season. 


Compared to some I've seen this is definitely more on the tame side since it's all a nice neutral black. I'm just not sure about a purse with ears, even a Mickey purse! Although this is a good subtle ear purse.


I still can't with all of these furry poof balls. They just make me shudder. I can just imagine it brushing against my arm right now and it's terrifying.


These bad boys are not something on my I can't imagine people buying they're on the every 90s girl must buy list. Who could forget the iconic Caboodles cases? If I wasn't paring down everything and actually could use something like this I would totally get one. The colors these days are much better too. I love that green marble.


Since we're already back in the 90s why not pick up this perfect Cher Horowitz in Clueless outfit. I'm not sure if the person who dressed the mannequin meant to dress it this way but I saw it from across the room and recognized the inspiration immediately!


Right now for some reason that I'm still trying to comprehend fuzzy bags are really in. I just don't get it. At all. It's not like you can wrap the bag around you to keep you warm. I guess you could stick your head in the backpack but would that really do anything besides suffocate you?


There is something about Sherpa fabric I just do not like it. Maybe it's how since it's white it always gets dirty immediately and then it just always looks dingy and gross. I'm not sure. Either way I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing these not one but three Sherpa purses on the clearance rack. 


I about died when I saw this purse! It's all of the things that make me cringe in one purse!!! From the Sherpa outside (how is that a thing?!) to the massive fuzzy keychain ugh. I still can't believe that this exists. The only thing that would make it crazier for me is if it had a tassle. 

Have you seen any crazy finds while shopping lately? How to do you feel about the Sherpa outside on bag trends?

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!

11.05.2018

Fall 2018 Goal Link Up Update



Hopefully we're all recovered from the time change this past weekend and well on our way into a good November. I thought it would be a good time to check in on fall goals and make sure myself (and you!) are staying on track. I'm always glad to take some time and review goals. It seems like there are always one or two that slip through the cracks and are forgotten. Are you keeping up on your fall goals? I hope so!



1. Plan out blogging calendar for the next year
I've been working on this one a ton! So far I've got ideas scheduled out as far as next summer. Been working a lot on actually writing to keep ahead so I haven't gone back yet and finished out the year.

2. Complete 4 courses from Genius Bloggers Toolkit


I had to make sure to sign up and download all the things before I didn't have access last month with the release of the new Genius Bloggers Toolkit. So after making sure I had access to everything and downloaded all the things I was able to start on all those great courses. I've totally completed one so far and I'm now about halfway through a second. 

3. Work our way through three rooms of the Year of Organizing Challenge

This needs to be made a priority. Kevin and I just have not done so. 

4. Figure out one way to wear a blanket scarf and wear it that way twice
Chicago has still been in this weird in between weather spell. It's not quite cool enough to warrant a full blown blanket scarf yet. I'm guessing the weather will get cooler really soon so I'll be able to start this one really soon. I've been pinning all sorts of tutorial and informative posts about blanket scarf wearing to my Super Model board so I'm going to go back and start looking through those.


5. Have a scrapbook day where I finish my Disney scrapbook
I've got the Saturday after Thanksgiving blocked out to really work on this scrapbook. I'm so far with this scrapbook it really shouldn't take me much time at all to finish I just have to really put my mind to it and finish.


6. Spend a day organizing family papers

I spent a day at the end of October at my mom's house working on papers. Haven't had the chance to order more folders or archival boxes yet but it feels good just to do the sorting and corralling. 

7. Do my first two week time spent tracking
I haven't even thought about doing this yet since things are still pretty nuts. I guess I just should do since life is not going to get any less nuts any time soon!


8. Figure out the crescent knitting pattern

This is a tough one that I had been putting off for so long. There is a crescent dishrag pattern that I've made in the past but it's a really large pattern so I'm working on creating a slightly different pattern that is smaller. So after finally finding a couple pieces of graph paper I've been working on creating the new smaller pattern. 

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!

11.02.2018

30 Things That Happened in 1988

Way back when in 1988 when the world was young and I was only four years old there was so much happening. It was a banner year for hair metal and fantastic kids movies.



The Land Before Time

Summer Olympics are held in Seoul, South Korea

Stephen Hawking Publishes " A Brief History Of Time"




US Space Shuttle program resumes 2 1/2 years after Challenger disaster

Jem & the Holograms ended it's amazing 3 season run

The Winter Olympic Games are held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada



Coming to America

Archaeologists uncover the original Globe Theatre in London


Good Morning, Miss Bliss kicks off our five year love affair with Zack Morris





The Wonder Years

Doppler radar was invented

Beetle Juice

Suspected Libyan terrorist bomb explodes on Pan Am jet over Lockerbie in Scotland on December 21st. All 259 people on board were killed and 11 people on the ground





Al-Qaeda is formed by Osama bin Laden

The first major computer virus infects computers connected to the Internet

Rihanna is born February 20



Iran–Iraq War ends

Video game addicts everywhere are born with the release of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) 

Peter Kalikow purchases NY Post from Rupert Murdoch for $37.6 million



Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

First World AIDS Day is held

Rupert Grint was born 

Former pop singer Sonny Bono is elected Mayor of Palm Springs, CA








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!

10.31.2018

11 Things That Have Happened Lately

We've made it to the end of October! Did we even have a September or October? I'm still not even sure at this point but I know I did something since I've got the photos to prove it. It's been a busy couple of months and there is never enough time in the day to share everything. Thought I would catch you up since so many big things have happened lately. How has your fall been so far? As busy as mine?

Labor Day Weekend

I got to spend another great Labor Day weekend hanging out with my mom and the rest of the family. We ended the weekend with out annual watching of the Naperville parade. It was a little different this year since Mom wasn't actually walking in the parade. She actually got to sit and enjoy it with us. 


Gamma Phi Hike

I discovered in late August that I had more than enough vacation days to take off some extra time around the holidays that I had been wanting to take. So that left me with a few to burn. One of the Gamma Phi Beta Alumnae groups I'm active in had been taking hikes and getting lunch together on a regular basis during the work week. I couldn't have thought of a better way to use one of my vacation days! Besides the onslaught of mosquitoes part way through the hike it was fantastic. Perfect way to use a vacation day! I was even able to visit a museum after. 


Visiting the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

I was finally able to get a chance to enjoy the exhibits at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. You can read all about it in my post from last month.


Inflatable 5k

Bethany, Kevin and I had signed up for what I was hoping was a fun 5k waaaaay back in February. Well by the time the date rolled around early September our group was down a member with Bethany being almost 8 months pregnant at the time. Kevin and I had a blast with this one! While it called itself a run us and most of the people participated treated it more like a 5k walk. It was a blast! We completed the course in what I'd like to think is a pretty good time of about 30 minutes. I am definitely going to vote to do this one again next year. 


Lane's 4th Birthday

I'm amazed to say that Lane turned four at the end of September! There was a bit of a hiccup since he decided not to participate in swim class and if he didn't wouldn't have a birthday party. Well he was ok with that. So about a week and half later we did get together for casual dinner and ice cream cake. 



Becky spent the weekend in September 

The past couple of years Becky has come in for Labor Day weekend but this year because of our lack of getting our acts together she wasn't able to because of work. She was able to come in two weeks later though! We had a blast. There was our awesome troll hunt at the Morton Arboretum and I took her for a massage for a belated birthday gift. Needless to say I slayed it in the gift department. We even headed to Lane's school for an Oktoberfest fundraiser. It was a blast. As usual it's never quite enough time.





Open House Chicago 

When the middle of October rolls around in Chicago you know it's time for Open House Chicago! Last year unfortunately we got rained out but this year the weather was really good if a bit chilly early on in the day. We were all over the downtown area from the West Loop all the way up to the Gold Coast. One of my must visits was the Big Monster Toy building. It did not disappoint! Then we headed to several houses of worship, including hiking almost 200 steps to the highest chapel in Chicago. 


Juliette Elyse

This is probably the biggest happening that happened recently. You might have seen it on my Instagram, earlier this week I became an aunt for the third time. We welcomed Juliette Elyse into the family. She is so cute and already giving plenty of attitude. There is definitely a time of adjustment I think going from two to three. There will definitely be more photos of her coming in the future! The yawning photo is my favorite of her so far. 



Cooking up a storm

I have been rocking out the 50 new Pampered Chef recipes lately. Averaging about 2 a week since the beginning of the summer I'll conquer this 101 List item in no time. We've been really enjoying trying out different recipes that combine ingredients we enjoy but new and different ways of cooking. There are plenty that are going to become staples in our house I think. 


Cousin's Wedding

This past weekend Kevin, Mom and I headed up to the Fond du Lac area of Wisconsin for my cousin Kristy's wedding. It was so much fun. There was a good turn out from the Schmidt family. We stayed up way later than usual and I'm definitely super tired as I write this paragraph the day after. Well worth it though! The ceremony was lovely and the church was beautiful. In fine Schmidt fashion we spent the couple of hours between the ceremony and reception enjoying a lot of adult beverages in the hotel lobby. Certain uncles might have been very happy when we got to the reception. There was lots of dancing, some good and some not as good. Kevin and I need to take lessons again I think ha.  


History Happy Hour

This monthly event at the Chicago History Museum has become a very popular event not only with history lovers in the city but also with my friends. I finally was able to join them for one. We enjoyed looking at creepy artifacts and documents from the collection. I enjoyed sharing some of the creepy Chicago stories I know with them as well. They didn't believe me at first about the devil baby at Hull House. Fun evening! 

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!













10.26.2018

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic


Earlier this spring the Chicago area was all a buzz with the newest exhibit that was being created before our very eyes at the Morton Arboretum. What you ask was being created? Trolls! Yup that's right trolls. A Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, was creating these upcycled pieces of artwork throughout the Arboretum grounds. While Mom with her membership were able to get a chance to see them in progress I wanted to wait until they were completed and be able to go on the completed troll hunt. It was a blast!

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

First here is some information about these mostly gentle giants. They're set to stay up through the summer of 2019 so you definitely have some time to get over and see them. I've heard that they're going to be left up until they start to fall apart, since they're reclaimed wood, so you've got some time but don't wait to go see these guys! The Arboretum has provided all sorts of tips for you to make the most of your hunt. I wish I had read those before we went hunting. My biggest recommendation is definitely wear gym shoes or hiking shoes. While overall every troll is pretty easy to get to you're definitely going through lots of dirt paths and some with some roots in them, you'll see later how my sandals fared. Spoiler alert not good ha. 

I took Becky to see the trolls during her weekend visit. Since she and I are always up for any type of adventure I figured a troll hunt would be the perfect thing to do. We were bound and determined to see all the trolls and discover their hidden hideout. We started off easy hunting the few trolls within walking distance of the visitor center. Although we thought we had it easy we had to avoid some pretty huge boulders being thrown our way by Rocky Bardur! The guy with the yellow car wasn't as lucky though. I'm not sure what his insurance will say about that damage. Maybe he's got State Farm since ya know they've seen a thing or two?

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic
After barely escaping several large boulders being throw our way we almost got ourselves caught in a troll cage! Here we thought Sneaky Socks Alexa was just relaxing and enjoying the sun. He was so nice and left us a treat in this weirdly shaped mini house. It was not a mini house! We're pretty sure he caught an unsuspecting dad as we scampered away though. Sneaky Socks indeed!

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Next we trekked up what I'm pretty sure in Illinois standards is a mountain to do some people watching with this big guy, Joe the Guardian. He had a great view of the Reagan. Although he didn't have any rocks to throw at the cars he did have that pretty big spear so who knows what could happen if he sees a car he doesn't like.

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic
Then we made our way into the woods on the east side of the Arboretum to find Furry Eva. Unfortunately this time Becky was not paying attention, I think after Joe the Guardian she had her guard down, she got caught in Eva's net. Luckily after some break dance distraction moves I was able to help her escape and we were on our way again. 
Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Niels Bragger was definitely the most popular troll but he was the most fierce looking I think. With his long fingers and huge club. Everyone for some cray reason wanted their photo with him. I was just glad that he seemed content to just hang out and not use that club. After visiting Niels we thought we had figured out where the hideout was (and with some help from the visitor services person!) but we realized if we had the last clue it would have made much more sense and we would have gotten there much sooner haha. 

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Little Arturs on the west side of the Arboretum didn't seem to interested in catching anyone or anything other than a few ZZZs. With him being the troll closest to their secret hideout one would think he would be a better watch troll. Hopefully with him out for the count we'll be able to discover the hideout without any troll interference. Although when those kids came around I think he might have been trying to trick them!! Who wouldn't want their lunch to just hop into their mouth?

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

After some searching we ended up finding the hideout! It was so neat. Tucked away in the west side of the Arboretum it was what you would expect a troll hideout to look like. From the over sized troll ax to the massive comb that clearly doesn't work for any of the trolls. Becky and I braved their cooking pot but didn't stay long. Don't want anyone to come home and give them any ideas! There were drums, a throne and other fun details. Well worth the hike. 

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Speaking of hiking. When you visit you'll definitely want to make sure to wear gym shoes or boots. As you can see my feet ended up a tad dirty. Also on our way up the slightly treacherous hill to the hideout my foot slid and I broke my sandal. Even with that issue it was so worth it to complete the hunt and find the hideout. I'm really looking forward to visiting during the winter and seeing what the trolls look like with snow! I feel like they're going to be just a cool. 

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

Troll Hunt at Morton Arboretum by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #arboretum #museumfanatic

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!