Musings of a Museum Fanatic: March 2018

3.28.2018

30 Things That Happened in 2008


We kicked off 2018 by heading back to 2013 but now it's time to go back a little further to 2008. I'm not sure how it's been 10 years since then. Some of the events of 2008 are forever burned into my mind and feel like they were just yesterday. What is your most memorable moment from 2008?



The Dark Knight

We lost Paul Newman to lung cancer

2008 is a shit year for the stock market with falls multiple times throughout the year

We welcomed Ramona Singer & the Countess into our lives in The Real Housewives of New York City

Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States



Pirates were not just a thing from the 1700s, we saw pirates from Somalia terrorize the sea

Sex & The City

Norway knighted a penguin

Steven Kazmierczak opens fire at the Northern Illinois University killing five and injuring twenty-one, before committing suicide

Paul McCartney say nah nah goood bye to Heather Mills



Twilight

Britney Spears continues her downward spiral and starts off her January with a shaved head

Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is arrested on federal corruption charges including conspiracy to commit mail, wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.

Beyonce & Jay-Z say I do

Heath Ledger dies of an overdose



WALL-E

Bailouts seemed to be handed out like candy

Breaking Bad debuts

Ellen DeGeneres gets hitched to Portia de Rossi

Slumdog Millionaire



Fidel Castro retires

Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympics

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt welcome twins

Britney might have started off the year rough but made a massive comeback by the end of the year

Kevin and I started dating!

Photo of Kevin from our very first date at the Field Museum
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!

3.26.2018

Big Star

What do you do when you're out for a bar crawl on St. Patrick's Day? You make sure you get really amazing food in you so that you can act like a champion and go all day. What kind of food fits that bill? Why I'm glad you asked my friend. When you're in Wicker Park this means Big Star

At lunch time we decided we needed to regain strength before powering through our afternoon and I knowing how amazing Big Star's tacos are highly recommended that we feast there. While everyone else enjoyed margaritas and Texas beers Kevin and I decided to go for a drinking break and re-hydrate with water.

Delicious chips, salsa and guacamole from Big Star Chicago: Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Delicious salsa  from Big Star Chicago: Musings of a Museum Fanatic
Chips, salsa and guacamole were ordered for the table. Chips and salsa is one way I judge a Mexican restaurant. Some places have super thick chips that are dry and cold. Good places like Big Star give you thinner chips that are warm and crisp. I enjoyed the chipotle salsa best. Everyone loved the guacamole and that was gone in almost a heart beat. 

All the tacos from Big Star Chicago: Musings of a Museum Fanatic

My favorite part about Big Star is that you're ordering tacos a la carte so you can pick as many different flavors as possible. For me who loves to try a little bit of everything this is perfect. I thought it would be nice to try a new flavor so I went with the Taco de Papas con Rajas which is a potato filled taco. Even though I had asked before ordering about the spice level, which I'm happy our waitress suggested some extra crema to go with it, it was spicier than expected. It was really good though. I would definitely get that one again. 

My second choice was my favorite the Taco de Pescado. It is the most perfectly beer battered fried piece of tilapia topped with chipotle mayo and lime. Every time I've had this taco they have literally been perfect. Perfect fry on the fish along with the perfect ratio of fish to tortilla to toppings. Each bite was deliciously perfect. 

Taco de Pescado &Taco de Papas from Big Star Chicago: Musings of a Museum Fanatic
Taco de Pescado on left, Taco de Papas on right
Taco de Pollo from Big Star Chicago: Musings of a Museum Fanatic
Taco de Pollo
Between everyone in our group we got a decent amount of the taco menu. I got the opportunity to try a little bit of the Taco de Pollo meat. It was so moist and flavorful. I'm sure the rest of the topping on the taco just complimented it perfectly. Definitely going to get an entire one for myself next time. Didn't get to try any of the other flavors that were picked since they were gobbled up so quickly. I have enjoyed the Taco al Pastor on a previous visit. The belly was so flavorful that even though I didn't get the pineapple on it I didn't think it needed it.

Taco de Chorizo Discada from Big Star Chicago: Musings of a Museum Fanatic
Taco de Chorizo Discada
Taco al Pastor & Taco de Chorizo Discada from Big Star Chicago: Musings of a Museum Fanatic
Taco al Pastor on left, Taco de Chorizo Discada

When you're in need of delicious Chicago tacos Big Star is the way to go. I'm still salivating over that perfect fish taco!

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!

3.23.2018

6 True & Strange Stories of Weird Chicago History

6 True & Strange Stories of Weird Chicago History: Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Hull House Devil Baby
In 1916 people started visiting Hull House saying they wanted to see the Devil Baby that Jane Addams was keep secret inside. While there was no Devil Baby this didn't stop people from visiting. Check out the link to Jane Addams own account of what seems to have been a crazy few weeks.

River Reversal 
The Sanitary District of Chicago decided that in 1900 it was going to completely reverse the flow of the Chicago River. At the time anything and everything from people's personal garbage to leftovers from the stockyards was being dumped into the river. It was not pleasant! So with the help of canal locks we sent it towards St. Louis.

Ice Cream Kills
In 1892 French immigrant Gombien Jean was working as a yard man at the Leland Hotel. He just happened to be helping out in the kitchen and discovered the ice cream in the icebox. It was so delicious that he just kept eating ... he ate ice cream for six days! On the sixth day he doubled over in pain and was taken to the hospital. Soon after reaching the hospital Gombien passed away. While the doctors couldn't figure out how he died the other servants said he had eaten so much ice cream his stomach froze.

No Kite for You
Until the 1970s it was illegal to fly a kite in the city of Chicago.

Drunken Elephants
Supposedly Lincoln Park Zoo resident, Princess Alice the elephant, became an alcoholic in 1902. After an injury she was given whisky by her keeper to help with the pain and liked the taste so much she needed a pint each day!


The Importance of Tipping
Now we just need to worry about a waiter spitting in our food if we don't tip well but in 1918 you needed to worry about much more. Over 100 waiters were arrested for putting "Mickey Finn Powder" into customers food and drink of those they felt didn't tip well enough. This powder could induce vomiting, headaches along with potentially being lethal in a large enough dose! Makes you think twice about that tip doesn't it? 

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!

3.21.2018

7 Things to Do This Spring in Chicago

It's officially spring!! It felt like it was going to take forever to get to spring this year. Not sure what to do now that the weather is nice out and you're ready to emerge from hibernation? I'm pretty sure every Chicagoan will be doing these within the first week of that first 60 degree day. 


1.  Taking in a baseball game
I'll admit baseball isn't my favorite sport (I find it kinda slow at times) but any game that you can be outside enjoying a cold one with friends on a beautiful day is OK in my book.  Maybe I'll even get some friends together and we'll go to one of the many rooftop places overlooking Wrigley, we are Cubs fans in our house.

2.  Walking by the lake
When I'm able to I love walking down the Chicago Lakefront Trail.  You get awesome views all along it of both the city and the lake.  It is most definitely a spring thing to do since in the winter waves can be crazy and not safe.  

3.  Beer Gardens
So I was taking a poll with my friends while writing this for some of our favorite things and realized that we are all lushes!  This was definitely one of our favorites.  Beer gardens in the summer are great, you can just chill, no dress code and if you head to ones like the Landshark Beer Garden at Navy Pier there are bands!  We even have a beer garden in the park that is behind my work. We love heading out there for a lunch of pretzels the size of your head and delicious root beer from the keg. 

4. Rooftop bars
While I'm sure rooftops have been a thing in Chicago for quite a long time the past couple of years they've just exploded! Which is partially why I've added it to my new 101 list but also because I haven't been taking advantage of them the way I should be! There are so many to pick from but I know tops of my list are Cindy's and LondonHouse.

5.  Outdoor seating
When spring hits in Chicago everyone pulls their outdoor seating out and it's wonderful. It's so much fun to people watch too! There is also no shortage of fun exciting places to try with fabulous seating.  For something where you can't get any closer to the lake without being on top of the water try Friendship on the Lake, this place looks awesome and I plan on trying it this summer.  Looking for fabulous seafood & steak with a great view check out Fultons on the River or my new favorite place Beacon Tavern along the river and just off Michigan Avenue.  Heading up to the Lincoln Park area check out Galway Arms they have awesome fish & chips!

6. Lincoln Park Zoo
Now what kind of museum gal would I be if I didn't include at least one : )  I'm super excited for spring to come so I can visit the zoo!  We visited this past winter for zoo lights but nothing compares to visiting the spring once the animals start coming back out. Best thing about the Lincoln Park Zoo ... it's free! It's right in the middle of the park and you can walk in and out as you please.

7. Visit a park
With 570 parks in Chicago and hundreds more in the Chicagoland area there are plenty for you to pick from. Whether you want to enjoy Lake Michigan, see some beautiful statues or find a lovely green space for you. I love when I've got time to wander through any of the green spaces in the Chicago area and definitely could spend more time there. 

What are you excited to do now that spring has sprung??

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!

3.19.2018

30 Second Whipped Cream with Pampered Chef

I'm continuing on my quest to make fantastic videos showcasing my favorite Pampered Chef recipes and tools. Started off this quest showing you how to make a delicious Chicken Pot Pie Chowder for dinner. Today we're going to tackle a quick and easy upgrade to your dessert. 

A couple seasons ago when Pampered Chef released it's Whipped Cream Maker I knew it was going to be one product that was going to love using. We've been trying to cut back on processed ingredients in our diets and whipped cream can be one of those that includes not so great ingredients. 

Most people balk at a tool that only has one use but never fear this guy has multiple uses. You can get perfectly scrambled eggs and delicious homemade butter. Although you shouldn't do what I did and accidentally get 75% of the way to butter when you were really going for whipped cream. There are so many different flavored whipped cream recipes that are floating around so you're able to take things to the next level! 

Enjoy your 30 Second Whipped Cream!



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!

3.16.2018

101 in 1001 List #3

It's time for a brand new 101 in 1001 list! List #3 to be exact. Come join me, Musings of a Museum Fanatic, on my journey

I cannot believe that it's time to start a new 101 list. This will be the third 101 list that Stephanie and I have worked on together. I can't say completed since I unfortunately haven't been able to cross all of my items off. She is a machine and crossed all of her last list off. We're technically starting a month early so the list ends at the end of the year.

After a TON of thought and work here is my 101 in 1001 List #3. Are you working through your own 101 list?

Blog

1.  Finish 5 items off my old 101 list
I unfortunately didn't get as much done as I would like so I thought it would be a good one!

2.  Write a complete list of companies I want to pitch to and pitch to 10
I always have so many places that I think of but usually forget. This way it's a complete list. My plan is to pitch to more but I'm setting the goal at 10.

3.  Have 6 blog weekend with Stephanie
We usually end up doing almost this many blog weekends since we end up with free weekends but now we're going to go official.

4.  Update media kit every 6 months
Now that I actually have a media kit I need to work on updating it regularly as opposed to doing so in the five minutes before I need to send the pitch email!

5.  Have 5 posts pre-scheduled per month
Scheduling anything seems to be the bane of my existence. I want to focus on my content and really building things that way since I know it's the cornerstone.

6.  Focus on a social media platform 3 months at a time each year (Focusing on instagram means: post daily, promote hashtag, find 10 new accounts to follow)
I've been working on this already and have seen a good increase but I've been bouncing back and forth every couple of weeks. This is a real focus on just the one platform.

7.  Improve the blog in one major way
This might mean redoing my layout, implementing an index, or something else. I haven't decided yet but I think I need do something new.

8. Take a course on how to use a DSLR camera
I've been really enjoying my new DSLR but have no idea how many of the functions work. There has to be a good class online or in person somewhere.

9. Pitch to 50% of the restaurants & desserts for free in exchange for a blog post
I found this amazing 50 desserts in Chicago that you must eat. I plan on eating all 50 (see the Chicago section below) but I would love to have them turn into sponsored posts.

10. Develop hashtag lists for common photos I post so I can just copy those each time
Making my life waaaaay easier for all my social media platforms. I also want to have a list of accounts to tag as well.

11. Work my way through the Genius Bloggers toolkit
I invested in this last fall and haven't had a moment to work my way through. I think this will be one of the first ones I want to work on.


Chicago

12. Conquer all 50 desserts
There is an article from Spoon University that's 50 Epic Desserts to Eat in Chicago Before You Die. I want to conquer this list!

13. Enjoy 10 rooftop bars
Chicago is so well known for it's rooftops in the spring and summer. I'm sad to say I've never actually enjoyed one so here's to enjoying a Chicago tradition.

14. Take a helicopter ride over Chicago
I'm not sure how I'd feel riding in a helicopter I think it would be a bit scary but think about the amazing photographs.

15. Create a Chicago Top 50 Bucket list
I've always wanted to make my own ultimate Chicago bucket list to share with everyone. I have so many opinions and they just need to be shared.

16. Take a Water Taxi
I told one of my friends that I had never been on a water taxi and she was more than slightly mortified haha. Clearly I need to work on that!

17. Eat at every German restaurant in the Chicagoland area
German food is one of my favorites and there are some wonderful restaurants in the area. Many of which I haven't visited.

18. Experience three new Chicago ethnic neighborhoods
Some of these neighborhoods have been on my list for so long. They have amazing food and wonderful museums. When I say experience I mean a meal and something else like visiting a museum, shopping, etc.

19. Visit 10 Chicago area museums I’ve never visited before
This guy is pretty self explanatory. As always trying to cross all the museums of my list.

20. Do Metra Bar crawl
I think this would be a great way to experience new areas of the city and suburbs.

DIY

21. Make a card with Cricut for someone in my life once a month just because
My Cricut is one of my favorite crafting tools and cards are something I've done a couple times. This task will allow me to get better at using the Cricut and do something nice for people.

22. Roast chestnuts
We sing about it every year at Christmas and I see them in the grocery store. I want to see what all the hype is about.

23. Cook 50 new Pampered Chef recipes
What could be better than enjoying a new dish and getting to write off the groceries at the same time?

24. Have at least one meal per week with no meat
Kevin and I have been working hard to eat healthier. Going one day without meat will help the waistline and the pocketbook.

25. Knit 5 crescent dish rags for Gamma Phi sisters
I love knitting but don't need anything for myself. Knitting these dishrags is a little more challenging than my usual one and will be nice to give it to someone else.

26. Create an over sized backyard game with Bill for the WI house
Most of the weekends we spend in Wisconsin there is always down time where we're hanging out, twiddling our thumbs. It would be fun to be able to play a cool over sized game like connect four.

27. Do a photo video recap of each year
I love making these little recap videos. I think it's a great way to remember the year that's passed and get ready for a new year.

28. Learn to make 5 new dishes that I love (i.e. naan from scratch)
There are certain dishes or recipes that I love but would feel so nervous making on my own, like homemade naan. Well it's time to get out of my comfort zone.

29. Finish three scrapbooks
I have several started and it always seems to take forever for me to finish. Like how I started our 2012 honeymoon one last year and haven't done anything with it since December. *hangs head in shame*


Family and Friends

30. Use up everything in my gift drawer
I'm an early buyer of Christmas gifts but sometimes this means I forget about what I bought and buy something else. So it stays in the gift drawer for way longer than it should! Going to clean out that drawer and give everyone the gifts that have been hanging out.

31. Send out virtual Christmas, birthday, anniversary and other occasion cards each year
On my last 101 List I sent out physical cards but since we're working on cutting back on clutter and costs it's time to go digital.

32. Write down family recipes
I don't want recipes like my grandpa's sauce and meatballs to be lost so my plan is to write down all of the family recipes. Good thing we don't have tons of them!

33. Have a Lane day once a year
Last year I took a vacation day my Mom, Bethany, Elowen, Lane and I spent the morning enjoying the Bartlett Depot Museum and lunch at a train themed restaurant since Lane loves trains. I want to have a day like this where it's all about Lane and we have fun and bond. Gotta stay the favorite!

34. Have a ladies’ thing once a quarter with Mom & Bethany (dinner, fun event, etc.)
We did pretty well with a similar task on my first 101 list so it's time to bring it back. Plus I know that Bethany could use more adult time since she's been a stay at home mom.

35. Have brunch/lunch with Rachel once a quarter
Life can get really busy and you don't even realize that it's been almost 6 months since you've actually gotten together in person. Time to fix that!

36. Get together with Becky once a quarter
See #35!

37. Dinner at the table with Kevin twice a week WITHOUT distractions
We are good about having dinner together but there is usually some sort of distraction. I don't want us to get any further into that hobby

38. Do a making thing with Jackie once a year (ie mosaics, etc.)
This has really developed into our thing that we actually do things! Last year we tried out hand at glass blowing ornaments and we've made mosaics. Here's to trying our hands at new crafty things.

39. Host one get together once a year
Now that we're in a bigger place we could totally have some people over but do we? Noooooo. That requires cleaning. Maybe after we're most of the way through our year of organizing we'll be good to go haha.


Finances and Adulting

40. Save up 7k in our travel fund
We want to go places and seem to have expensive tastes. So we're going to work hard and save hard for those trips.

41. Take care of three Dad related things (transferring Ancestry account, etc)
With Dad's passing there have definitely been things that have been left out there and need to be taken care of. I can help out by doing the leg work so it's easy for my Mom to do the final bit.

42. Pay off at least half of both of our cars
Man it was so nice not having debt for those few years but when your cars are on their last legs you need to get a new one. I was able to use corporate perks to get better prices so these cars weren't as pricey as they could be. We don't want to hang on to that debt longer than need be though.

43. Double the amount of our investible assets
More saving ... see another theme appearing here? We've got big future plans so it will take a lot of saving.

44. Complete taxes in January each year
The last couple of years we've waited until our tax guys very last day. No more running around at the end. We're going to be a lean mean tax submitting machine.

45. Go without eating out for a month
To achieve those saving goals it's going to take some sacrificing and one area we can do that is our eating out. Plus it's never the most healthy meals either.

46. Create important documents like a will, power of attorney, etc
We don't have any of these documents. I know that since we're young and don't have kids it's not quite as important right now. It's better to have them done and only need to be updated later.

47. Figure out where to live next
This debate has been raging for YEARS! We still can't agree. Time to fix that.


Fun

48. Do every puzzle we own
So many puzzles so little time. Going to make that time now. There are some that will be sent out to the garage sale after this too.

49. Attend a live taping of Judge Mathis
He's one of my favorites and I think it would be so much fun to see a live taping.

50. Read all the books in the O’Malley Saga by Bertrice Small
These are some of my favorite historical romance novels. I've never read every single one in the series though since some are out of print. I'll have to start combing my local libraries to find some.

51. Kick Stephanie’s butt at Disney music trivia
She's already pretty much said I'm going to do this but I want to make sure that we actually do this. We've only been talking about it for almost two years!

52. Do three things within walking distance of our condo (i.e. Lynfryd winery tasting, Roselle fest, etc.)
Most people think that there isn't much to do in the suburbs but even in a smaller burb like Roselle there is tons to do. Lots of which is actually within walking distance of our condo. This is definitely a good summer task.

53. Read 10 books just because I'm interested in them
I've had specific books ones on the last couple of lists and while I wanted to read the books they just weren't interesting at that time. I was finding other books that didn't fit the task to read. So now I'm just going to enjoy it.

54. Go mermaid swimming
Seriously this is a thing and I'm so excited!!

55. Participate in Disney bar trivia night
Several bars in the area have Disney trivia nights and I need to go and dominate!

56. Go to drive in movie
Drive ins are a dying breed and I want to experience this iconic American past time before they're gone.



Improve Myself

57. Track what I’m eating three days a week
Tracking my food has always been really difficult. I start out really well and they fall out of the habit. I know that when I do track I see results. Just gotta do it!

58. Track spare time for two weeks each season and fix one time suck
I keep saying I have too much to do and not enough time. I know it's not the case. There are time sucks that just dominate my life some days. If I can figure out what they are I can fix them.

59. Break a bad habit
We all have habits that we know are bad ones. Sometimes these habits can affect your health, sanity and entire life. I'm hoping I'll be able to one of my bad ones, I haven't decided which one yet.

60. Dabble three times
My color analysis was a Dabble and I love how I could learn something new but not have to fork out a lot of dough. Especially if it ended up being something I didn't really enjoy. Dabble has topics on everything too so I can try something totally out of my comfort zone.

61. Complete a 5k walk each year
 Bethany has gotten into 5K runs but I don't enjoying running. I told her I would do walks with her. We have already signed up to do an inflatable one in September so I've got one on the calendar!

62. Watch a Ted talk per week
Everyone is always talking about how awesome Ted talks are. I had been avoiding them for whatever weird reason. I actually started this task already and have loved these talks. I told Kevin I would send him the ones I thought he should hear and it's been every one so far.

63. Take two classes at the local community college
I have no clue what I will take. Maybe a language class. Maybe a history class. Who knows but I love learning so I thought it would be fun to do a more structured class.

64. Reach my daily step goal at least three days per week
Sitting at a desk most days can make it really difficult to get your daily amount of steps in. Sitting at a desk all day doesn't allow me to be active and loose weight. Gaining wait yes but not loosing. If I can keep up with getting my steps goal I feel it will help with my long term health and fitness goals.

65. Invest in myself
I usually try and spend as little money as possible on things that can actually improve me. Now that I'm actually an adult and feeling it I've decided to invest in myself. I think my investment will be hiring a trainer for a year. I want and need to loose weight but this time around I know it's going to take more work


Organize

66. Organize my childhood photos (birth-high school)
I'm sort of dreading that I put photo ones on the list again. I've realized over the years that these projects are just so HUGE. I'm hoping if I only work on the organizing part I might be able to accomplish them.

67. Complete year of organizing
In case you've missed it Kevin and I are in our year of organizing. It's been interesting so far and we're still plugging away. Hopefully by the end of the year we will be a lean, mean, organized machine.

68. Go through all of my stuff at mom’s house
I've done this before but now that I'm a few more years later it's time again. I've realized that nope I've never actually touched that textbook from my masters program or looked through that box. I don't have much left there but it's time to give her back that space.

69. Go through all of Dad’s records and pull the ones I want to keep
We've already started this project sort of but I want to make sure I'm keeping the historical documents. Like the program from his installation at his first church or his college grades.

70. Stop treating my car and purse like a storage space
I am so terrible about just plopping stuff in both of these spaces. Then I don't touch whatever it is for months. Seriously months. It's so ridiculous I can't even.

71. Keep "All Mail" in each of my emails under 500
As Stephanie can attest I've been working on getting my "All Mails" down to that number the past few weeks. I'm hoping to start off or at least pretty closely start off the new list below 500 on all three of my emails.

72. Update my address book, make it a complete address book by adding email addresses and important dates
My current address book is a couple years old at this point and I know people have moved. I love the idea of having all the important info in one place. Dad was really good about this.

73. Organize my grandmother’s photographs
See number 65

Professional

74. Identify and simplify 10 things that stress me out
So much could be simplified in my life. I know it could be. Kevin knows things could be simplified. We just need to work on doing it.

75. Apply for SHA (Seminar on Historical Administration) or ynpn cohort
These both seem like really opportunities for me professionally. I want to do something that will advance my skill set.

76. Create my own professional portfolio website
I've got the URL and the back end of the website ready to go. Just need to work on getting content up there. Like most things in my life it's about taking time for content! Another theme for this list : D

77. Publish an e-book
I think it would be neat to publish one on museums or Chicago. I have NO idea how to do that. If anyone knows let me know.

78. Track my PC expenses and earnings closely for 6 months to see exactly how much I’m making
I know that I make some money from Pampered Chef but I have no idea how it compares to my expenses. Gotta work on that.

79. Get rid of all of my old Pampered Chef catalogs in a business productive manner (i.e. leave at dentist etc.)
I have so many catalogs from past seasons. I hate to just toss them since I spent money on them. Going to work on figuring out places that are willing to let me put them out. Good for business and it gets them out of the house.

80. Complete Digital Archive Specialist Certificate program
I've known about this certificate for a few years but as a whole it can be sort of pricey. Sometimes you might have to go somewhere else for an in person class. I think it would be so beneficial for me though.

81. Write a professional article
No clue what it would be about but I want to do it!

82. Apply for and win an award for a professional conference
I've done this for the museum but I'm talking about a personal one. I'm not sure if I can do this at this point since many awards are for people who have been in the field longer. We shall see.

Secret

83. Secret Stephanie item

84. Secret Goal 1

85. Secret Goal 2

86. Secret Goal 3
As usual I've got some secret goals. I'm not going to tell you what they are at this point! You'll just have to wait and find out. Stephanie also has something secretive that she won't tell me but told me it's a secret goal. Hopefully she'll reveal it April 1 because the suspense is killing me!

Style

87. Invest in a new winter coat
My coat is close to being done with it's life span. I'll definitely need a new one sometime within this list. I usually go for a cheap one. I'm thinking maybe a longer down one since we do live in Chicago.

88. Finish my holy grail make up quest
I've been working hard on this during the current list but won't finish it.

89. Wardrobe app
I want to track my cloths and make new outfits. I tend to wear the same thing over and over again. There are some apps out there that could help with this issue.

90. Figure out a signature outfit that makes me feel amazing
Feeling amazing has not been happening lately. I don't want to feel the way I feel in clothes anymore. I decided that I need to find that outfit that just makes me feel amazing, sexy and glow. We should all have that outfit.

97. Invest in three classic must have pieces
Getting older I'm realizing that investing a little more in a piece that will last multiple years instead of one and not make my feet or other body parts feel like crap is very important. Plus having a classic piece that never goes out of style is very handy.

92. Save up money for and have done laser hair removal on two areas
I've been looking into options. Some people have also mentioned Tria. I'm just really sick of shaving. It's sooooo annoying.

93. Paint nails twice a month
I always seem to want to paint my nails at the worst possible time, like right before dinner. So then I never do. I'm hoping if I schedule it out I'll actually paint them. Plus pampering oneself is always a good idea.

94. Learn three great ways to wear a blanket scarf
I've got a couple now and every time I try and wear it Kevin says something like "is it supposed to look like that." That does not instill confidence in my scarf tying abilities.

Travel

95. Long weekend trip to Indy & stay in train car at Crown Plaza Downtown Union Station
I found this hotel online when looking up random things and it looks super cool! Taking a trip to Indy would be a nice long weekend for us since it's only a three and a half hour drive.

96. Visit Williamsburg, VA
Kevin and I have been talking about visiting my aunt and uncle who live in Williamsburg for like 4 years. We just need to commit and do it!

97. Sit down with Kevin and make our ultimate travel bucket list
Planning for London was a bit last minute and we missed out on deals. This really happened because we were debating where to go. Since we both know we want to do more travelling it would be nice to have our bucket list (in order of importance) ready so when those amazing deals pop up we're ready to book.

98. Invest in two smaller suitcases for smaller trips
I only have a really large rolling suitcase and a hanging one. We've had to borrow smaller ones from parents. Since we're planning on taking more trips it makes sense to save up and invest in these. Already letting family know about this for our upcoming anniversary!

99. Eat at 1 Triple D restaurant during each trip we take
I love finding Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) restaurants to enjoy on our trips. They're always fantastic. Bethany already has one on the list for Texas next week.

100. Visit Charleston, SC
I just booked our hotel for this trip, we're going for a long July 4th weekend! So stoked for all of the amazing history in this city.

101. See the Northern Lights
This one was on my first 101 list and I wasn't able to cross it off, darn clouds. I really want to see them so badly. So here's to planning for this opportunity.

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!

3.14.2018

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4


Today we're in for another fantastic edition of Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 3 and Volume 2 were great fun but now its' time to get serious. Serious about fur and poofy accessories. Clearly this winter retailers are catering towards the furry warmth here in the Chicagoland area the tail end of winter. 

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4. We’re talking poofy & furry craziness on Musings of a Museum Fanatic

When I came upon this guy it was in the middle of the rack and I was actually interested in it. Then I pulled it out and saw the Muppets that are attached to the hips and decided it was better to leave it on the clearance rack. 

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4. We’re talking poofy & furry craziness on Musings of a Museum Fanatic

To me this is what happens when you try to make a coat from a Dr. Seuss character. That poor Lorax he never knew what was coming. 

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4. We’re talking poofy & furry craziness on Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I seriously just can't with these earrings. These to me look like something a 6 year old girl should be wearing not a professional woman who the store caters to. The colors these earrings came in didn't help either.

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4. We’re talking poofy & furry craziness on Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Here's an idea let's take those flip flops that are popular with high school volleyball players and add a mop on top. That is genius! Market it!

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4. We’re talking poofy & furry craziness on Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I don't even know what these things are to make some sort of witty comment. Can someone explain to me what they are besides terrifying?

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4. We’re talking poofy & furry craziness on Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Do women actually carry purses with tufts of fur growing from them? I'm not sure they do ...

Do People Actually Buy This?! Volume 4. We’re talking poofy & furry craziness on Musings of a Museum Fanatic

The only thing I can think of when I see this is that it's a rabbit's butt and some poor silver metallic rabbit gave up his posterior for this clutch.  

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!

3.12.2018

6 Tips For Effectively Unwinding After Work

6 Tips For Effectively Unwinding After Work by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

When the times comes to put up an exhibit those days are long, physically demanding and stressful. This time around since my exhibit installation has now turned into part one and part two thanks to an amazing new donation I've been thinking of ways to decompress and unwind after work. Unwinding for some people can be really difficult but sometimes the easiest thing is the best.

Disconnect
Sometimes if you get on to apps an websites like Facebook or LinkedIn the stress can continue. You get annoyed about the cousin who is posting crazy political posts or that former colleague who just got a massive promotion. So instead of just relaxing and scrolling it ups your stress level. Disconnect and just enjoy a good book or hanging out with your family instead of getting annoyed at the cyber world.

Get together with friends
This past week I went out to dinner with a current work friend and a former one. It was so much fun.What I thought would be just an hour and a half dinner turned into three hours of laughter and food. There was some complaining about work but the vast majority of the night was fun conversation. I drove home and thought about how relaxed and happy I was. Spending time with these friends was a much needed stress release.

Get physical
This one is totally up to you and your ability level. For some people putting on angry music and going to town on the elliptical is the perfect stress release. Others are perfectly happy just taking a walk through their neighborhood. Either way this way to unwind has multiple benefits, you're getting some physical activity in and decompressing. Taking a walk is something that can be done during a stressful day too if you can't wait. Now that the weather is starting to become nicer I'm looking forward to walking outside again.

Don't bring work home
I know lots of people who are pretty terrible at this one. If you bring the work home you're bringing the stress home. So the cycle really doesn't end, you're inviting that stress into your sanctuary. Don't do it unless it's absolutely necessary.

Indulge
Everyone has something that is an indulgence. Maybe it's a small Blizzard from Dairy Queen or breaking out that super expensive bottle of wine or bubble bath. Don't talk yourself into waiting for the special occasion if it's something that will help you relax.

Hug someone  
First make sure it's someone you actually know and wants to hug you. Don't go hugging random people on the street! For me when Kevin walks in the door and gives me a big hug it totally releases so much stress. I'm sure there are scientific reasons for that but I have no idea what they are, either way it works! Give you pet a hug or your Mom. Whoever you've got give them a nice long hug!

What do you do to unwind after work?

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!

3.07.2018

6 Annoying Things Bloggers Do


There must be something in the water this month because I've been feeling especially sassy. Maybe it's the weather turning nicer or something. Last week it was talking about Sh** That Drives Me Crazy and this week it's blogger things I find really annoying. Do you have any blogging pet peeves? I know I've got a few and here they are!

Lump all the tags on top of one another
When I'm looking at you're photo I want to see who you're tagging! Maybe it's an account that I'd be interested in and should be following or a new restaurant I'm interested in. I know you're really only tagging them for the potential exposure but seriously please stop just piling 30 on top of each other it's annoying.




Not tagging a brand or restaurant
This is the other end of the spectrum from the first one. I haaaaaate it when you're at a restaurant and you don't tag their social media or use them in your description. One isn't the point to get yourself out there and won't tagging them help with that?! I know some food bloggers who are really bad about that and I'm like going to restaurants is your whole jam what are you doing!? There is really no excuse for not tagging unless it's like some dive that doesn't have social media but let's be honest I think almost everyone has some sort of social media presence these days.

When they don't respond to comments
I know that we're all busy but I find that there are some bloggers who don't respond to any comments. At all. Ever. How do I know that? I've commented dozens of times and had ZERO response. That makes me sad because I really was enjoying the content and was trying to interact. I try very hard to leave thoughtful more than one word comments if I can help it. Again life happens and sometimes you just can't but seriously if people are trying to connect with you connect back. Or else don't let people comment!!

Formatting
People do some crazy stuff with their formatting. I just attended a professional conference about digital accessibility and it was really interesting. Walked away thinking about my blog in a whole new light and thinking about stuff I see from other bloggers.

I'm pretty sure some of those people are still stuck in the 90s using Word Art or something but if I can't physically read your content why would I come back to attempt it again. Please don't make it so hard for people to read what you're posting. This goes for colors too!


Follow/Unfollow
This one has always felt like a bait and switch tactic to me. I guess I understand it but it feels like you're saying to this person "ooo I like you I want to follow you and be friends .... PSYCH! Just kidding I don't really like you." If you follow someone on any platform you should be doing it because you like them and their content. Not just because you want their follow.

Having to look all over for social media
Why do some people make it so difficult to follow them? I'm searching all over with a buried treasure map and a compass for their social media or email list. Unless you want your blog to be only be seen by you (which it totally ok!) why must you make it so difficult?! Please put the buttons in an easy to reach spot.


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!

3.05.2018

Chicago's Ethnic Museums


The Chicago area has a a vibrant and rich ethnic heritage from all around the world. Many of the neighborhoods have changed throughout the years with each different group. It's only natural that brings with it museums to preserve and share that rich history and culture. When I started compiling this list I realized that there are so many on this list that I just haven't gotten the opportunity to visit yet!

This is a complete (I'm hoping!) list of all the ethnic museums in the Chicagoland area. I highly recommend leaving your museum comfort zone and checking out some of these wonderful institutions.

Europe
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
6500 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629

Polish Museum of America
984 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

Italian American Veterans Museum
3800 Division St. 
Stone Park, IL 60165

Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N Knox Ave
Chicago, IL 60630


National Hellenic Museum
333 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60661


Polish Museum of America
Polish Museum of America

Swedish American Museum
5211 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center
4740 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

Ukrainian National Museum
2249 W Superior St
Chicago, IL 60612

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
2320 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

Latvian Folk Art Museum
4146 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame
1431 W Taylor St 
Chicago, IL 60607

Asia
National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial
2831 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago
5472 S Dorchester Ave
Chicago, Illinois

Indo-American Heritage Museum
6328 N. California Ave
Chicago, IL 60659


Chinese-American Museum of Chicago
238 W 23rd St
Chicago, IL 60616

Chicago Japanese American Historical Society

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

The Americas
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W 19th St 
Chicago, IL 60608

Haitian American Museum of Chicago
4654 N Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
9603 Woods Dr
Skokie, IL 60077

Bronzeville Historical Society


Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
3001 Central St
Evanston, IL 60201

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
3015 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

Trickster Art Gallery
190 S Roselle Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60193

DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E 56th Pl
Chicago, IL 60637

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
610 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

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!

3.02.2018

Sh** That Drives Me Crazy

We all have our little pet peeves and then there is the stuff that just drives us up the wall. I know I've definitely got a few of those wall crawling issues on my list today. What are some things that just drive you crazy?


People who are late

When people in your life just ghost you

When plans don't go as planned

Finishing someone else's story

People who can't be chill at about other people's opinions

When the empty toilet paper roll gets left on the sink

When you speak perfectly clearly and explain yourself perfectly clear and someone still acts like they don't understand you

Wasting stuff ... the bottle of cleaner was bought it will be used 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!