Musings of a Museum Fanatic: May 2018

5.30.2018

8 Tips for Surviving Summer in Chicago

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It seems like we were literally just trying to survive a Chicago winter and now in the course of a weekend we've been thrust completely into Chicago summer with some crazy humidity and almost 100 degree weather. Stunned by the crazy onslaught of summer? So am I! Here are some tips I have to help you make it through

Use the pedway
Below the streets of the Loop you'll find a well kept Chicago secret. The Chicago Pedway. Built starting in 1951 it is a great way to avoid the snow in the winter but I find it a great summer tool too. Connecting over 50 buildings in the Loop it's a nice cool way to move around the Loop.

Find a friend with a boat
Many people take to the lake when the weather gets hot. If you know someone with a boat be sure to get yourself an invite. Can't find a friend with a boat? I guess hanging out on the beach will be just as good. Find the friend with the boat!

Shop till you drop
Take some time to enjoy one of several malls in the downtown area. Like Macy's On State Street, Block 37 or Water Tower Place. You'll be inside in the air conditioning and won't even know what it feels like outside.

Enjoy a drink on one of the many rooftop bars
Grab a frosty drink or a fresh cool fruity drink, a few friends and relax. While you might still be outside in the heat you’ll be enjoying yourself so much you won’t even notice. Plus you'll probably be enjoying a fantastic view of the city.
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Take in a matinee performance
With so many different theaters in the area you have your pick of great afternoon shows. This is a great option for so many reasons. By taking in a matinee the price is waaaaaay cheaper that taking in that evening show. This means you could get the better seats for a better price or take in the super popular show that’s always sold out in the evening. Plus you’ll be in a nice cool theater taking in the beautiful architecture of the Chicago theaters during the hottest parts of the day.

If you can’t beat it join it
Maybe you don’t want to spend time inside or have had no luck finding anyone with a boat. So you’ve decided not to let the heat get to you and enjoy the weather anyways. There are so many great things to enjoy and do outside in the summer. You can visit a zoo or enjoy one of the many parks.

Prepare for the heat
One might think that since you're in a city and in-between all those large buildings you're going to be fine. Oh no trust me you'll definitely want to prepare like any other day out. Be sure to wear sunscreen. Especially if you're going to be near the river or the lake since the sun reflects off water like crazy. Also make sure if you're going to be outside for the day to keep hydrated.

Live at the festivalsThere are so many festivals in Chicago during the summer that you could really live at the them the entire summer. Grab a drink, whether it's a beer from the vendor or the purse alcohol your friend brought, and have such a good time you won't even realize it's so dang hot out. 



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!

5.23.2018

Museum of Contemporary Art


Just north of the Loop nestled between two parks in the Gold Coast you'll find the Museum of Contemporary Art. What started as a simple idea in 1964 to bring contemporary art to Chicago has become a world renowned museum throughout the years. 




This is usually where I would tell you how amazing their permanent exhibit is and you should really make sure to see my favorite piece of artwork but the Museum of Contemporary Art is different. Even though they have a permanent collection of over 2,500 pieces of art they don't display them in a permanent manner but use them in temporary exhibits with pieces on loan. You can actually browse through their permanent collection online!




I know I've shared in the past that contemporary art is one thing I don't tend to understand and have a hard time appreciating. I decided that during this visit I was going to take my own advice. Instead of focusing on absorbing everything I let myself gravitate towards pieces that really caught my eye and pulled me in.






This massive multi level installation was one of my favorite pieces. The knitted fibers made me think of my mom and how much she would love something like that. It makes me think that a giant Spider Man left the web at the museum. 






There were also pieces that caught my eye because of how odd they are, like the giant blob with eyes.




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!

5.18.2018

15 Good Things That Happened in April & May

Remember back in January how I said I was going to reflect and share 10 good things that happened each month and now I haven't shared a post like that since? Yeah I don't remember that either ha. It's been a busy spring what can I say! So I'm going to take some time and reflect on what's happened April and part of May because let's be honest does the rest of the year matter when it's your birthday month?

Chicago Chop House Dinner with Britta
April kicked off with a massive and delicious dinner. I was invited to attend a Steakeducation event at Chicago Chop House and got to bring along my good friend Britta. Pretty sure we ate our weight in delicious steak and I'm definitely ready to go back for more. 



All the Birthdays
April is a marathon when it comes to birthdays in my family. We kick it off with my brother's on the 13th followed by mine on the 19th and my dad's was the 27th. This means all sorts of dinners and get togethers to celebrate. Who wouldn't be happy for that. I celebrated with friends later in the month when Jackie and combined birthdays and we got together for brunch and pedicures. 




Hand-lettering class with Mom & Bethany
One of my 101 List items is to do something together with Mom & Bethany once a quarter so I was happy when Mom suggested a hand lettering class at The Collective lhe + Makery. Since my hand writing leaves something to be desired I was not as much of a pro at this as I hoped but it was fun to see how lettering styles can be made. 

Wilton in person survey
A while back I joined the Wilton Sweet Talkers panel where every now and then I do a survey but I got invited to the headquarters in Naperville to be a part of an in-person experience and give my feed back. It was neat to visit the headquarters, give feedback and get paid!

Since Dad passed away as a family we've participated in the Walk N Roll. This year was no different. We all hauled our cookies to Museum Campus to walk our 5K in support of the American Cancer Society and their research. After the walk we went to the cemetery to visit Dad and then had our traditional lunch at Russell's BBQ. Elowen got to eat Russell's for the first time and as you can see it was a hit. 




Birthday Lunch at Cafe Ba-Ba Reeba
I love Cafe Ba-Ba Reeba it's one of my favorite restaurants for lunch, brunch or dinner. You name the time and date I'll be there in a heartbeat. We had a delicious lunch and I'm ready for my next one. Kevin decided to nap on the train ride home and let me finish my book.



Outstanding Gamma Phi Beta alumna
Every year each sorority that is a part of the Chicago Northwest Suburban Alumnae Panhellenic nominates a member to receive the Outstanding Alumna. This year I was the Gamma Phi Beta alumna nomination. It was very neat for everyone in my group to say yes you've been doing some great things for us and you should be acknowledged. 

South Pacific at Drury Lane
Another fantastic show at Drury Lane! I love that seeing plays is something my Mom and I share regularly. Something that we not only share but really enjoy. 


Labyrinth on the big screen
I always get the Fathom Events emails and am like oh yeah that's neat eh. When I saw that one of my top five favorite movies of all times was playing on the big screen you know I had to go and drag my friend Rachel with me. I had a lovely dinner of movie theater popcorn and enjoyed seeing David Bowe's crotch on the big screen. 

Nominated to be webmaster of National Association of Museum Exhibitors
I found out that I was nominated to a volunteer position on the National Association of Museum Exhibitors which is a Professional Networks of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). It feels pretty baller to not only be serving on a local and state level professional board of directors but now at the national level. I must be doing something right?!

Blog weekend with Stephanie
We kicked off our new 101 list by crossing off the first blog weekend of the year at the beginning of May. The productive level was through the roof and I feel good about how I rocked it out. I just have to continue that level on a regular basis that's the tough part. Also let's be honest we really had blog weekend so I could hang out with Hawkeye all day. 


Preserving You Family History series
A post series that I have been dreaming about since starting Musings of a Museum Fanatic finally came to fruition in the five post series where I showed you how to Preserve Your Family History by preserving documents, photos, small items, scrapbooks and displaying treasures. I'm so thankful to have partnered with Gaylord Archival on this project and can't wait to do so again in the future. 

Dinner with Pam & Danielle
There is nothing like getting together with friends who are there with you (or were) in the trenches of your work life. Sometimes you just need that cheesy appetizer, brownie sundae and snark fest. Although this time there were plenty more laughs than anything which makes me smile even now. 

Mother's Day with the family
Mother's Day and brunch are two peas in a pod. This year we were a little later with the reservations so we went to Seven Bridges Golf Club instead, which is actually where Lou & Bethany's wedding reception was. Everything was so delicious, I might have eaten almost an entire large piece of prime rib that just melted in your mouth. 


Jesus Christ Superstar at the Lyric Opera
I love a musical but there are some that I just love more than others. Jesus Christ Superstar is one of those musicals. The soundtrack is just amazing. At first I almost wasn't going to see it because the tickets were pricey but when Travelzoo offered half off tickets deal I told Mom we were going. It was A-FREAKING MAZING. So incredibly good. The guy who played Judas gave me goosebumps when he sang my favorite song (not the one on youtube but that one is great too) It was so good, I wish it was staying in Chicago longer so more people could see 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!

5.14.2018

3 Ingredient Crab Spread

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I've said it before and I'll say it again we are definitely a family who loves to do munchies. From the Super Simple Veggie Pizza to the Chili Cheese Dip we love a dinner comprised of our favorites. When I was younger I wasn't a fan of this 3 Ingredient Crab Dip but since I've become more mature and more open to foods it's a favorite! The longest part is waiting for the cream cheese to soften.

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
Flake crab meat
Cocktail sauce

Directions:
1. Spread your cream cheese onto a plate covering most of the plate. 

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

2. Chop up your crab meat. I like to unroll the flakes then chop them. 

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

3. Spread crab generously over the cream cheese.

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

4. Pour cocktail sauce over crab and cream cheese. Spread evenly.

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

5. Enjoy with crackers of your choosing!

3 Ingredient Crab Spread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

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!

5.12.2018

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in May

All throughout May you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before June 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned over 140,000 SB! We've used it for all sorts of great things. Most recently has been a super cute dress from Target that I wouldn't have gotten if I didn't have my gift card I earned with Swagbucks.

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!

5.11.2018

30 Things That Happened in 2003


2003. What does that bring back to your mind? I know you're remembering those low rise jeans and your Von Dutch hat that is probably still crunched up in the back of your closet. Your Nokia phone was living through being dropped for the one millionth time. Now that you're in the 2003 mid set let's head back for some more nostalgia!



Love Actually

Everyone freaks out about Britney & Madonna's kiss on the VMAs and totally misses Christina & Madonna's kiss

Saddam Hussein is captured

We said good bye to Mr. Fred Rogers

On February 1 the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates upon re-entry and everyone aboard is killed



The Concorde flies it's last flight in November

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley orders bulldozers to rip up Meigs Field, the small lakefront airport, in the middle of the night

Finding Nemo

Department of Homeland Security is officially open for business

Katherine Hepburn passes away at 96, only to be out done by Bob Hope who passed away later in the year at 100



Lance Armstrong wins the Tour De France for the fifth time

Gibbs graced our TV screens in NCIS

Dolly the Sheep dies at age 6

Americans rename "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries"

Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor of California



Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch captured in Iraq then freed 9 days later

Keiko the Orca aka Willy from Free Willy dies

Paris Hilton's sex tape hits the market

We lost Johnny Cash



Cubs fan Steve Bartman blocked the ball from the glove of Mois├ęs Alou, which many say is why the Cubs lost the NLCS

How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days

Dawson’s Creek ended but we were graced with a new high school love in The O.C.

I graduated high school and started college!



Alright I'm starting to feel really old so let's just go back 10 years to 1990 ... I mean 2008. What do you remember most about 2003?


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!

5.09.2018

15 Things You Didn't Know Were Invented In Chicago

15 Things You Didn't Know Were Invented In Chicago by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Chicago has always been a city that is striving to move forward and improve the world. With that drive comes many inventions and creations. Many of which we use today in our every day lives. You might find a few on this list that you didn't know. There might even be some that are a lot older than you thought too. Who knew that that vacuum cleaners were 150 years old?!

The vacuum cleaner (1868)

The Skyscraper (1884)

The mechanical dishwasher (1886)

Softball (1887)

The Ferris wheel (1893)

Open-heart surgery (1893)

Zipper (1893)

Brownie (1893)

First gay rights group in the US (1924)

Twinkies (1930)

First U.S. blood bank (1937)

Playboy (1953)

McDonalds (1955)

Wireless remote control (1955)

Cell Phones (1973)

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!

5.07.2018

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

***This post may contain affiliate links. Gaylord has provided the products mentioned in these posts for free but all opinions are my own***

I hope you're feeling pretty good now at how your special family photographs, documents and treasures are looking since we've started working on preserving them. Today we're going to conquer scrapbooks. I think people usually have a couple hanging around but sometimes you can end up with quite a few of them. Especially when you become the de facto family historian! 

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

Older scrapbooks (think 1920s & 1930s) can be extremely fragile and brittle because their age and the type of paper used then. I have a number of family scrapbooks that are in a more delicate state. Gaylord Archival has actually been working to develop a line of scrapbook boxes so I was able to test one hot off the assembly line. 

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

You might have noticed that this box is a different color than the other archival boxes. Gaylord is actually testing this new white color. For museums the color doesn't really matter since no one really sees them regularly but staff but Gaylord thought that for those of us doing our own personal archiving that we would like a color that would better suit our home decor. That way we can integrate it into our home decor. I'm actually right there with them with the decor in my mom's house the white box looks natural and not an eyesore. At first I was a little worried that the white might scuff but I've been moving it around a bunch with this project and have had no issues!

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

First thing you want to do is to pad out the extra space in the box using Unbuffered Acid-Free Tissue. I don't want my scrapbooks moving around inside the box. Since I needed the tissue for other projects it was a bit small so I needed several pieces to make sure everyone was buffered nicely.

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

You might have really thick scrapbooks that take up all the depth of the box or you might have super thin ones and can fit several in one box. Be sure to think of it like a pyramid you don't want anyone on top hanging over since that's not good for the scrapbook. You'll want to put sheets of tissue in-between each layer, for protection but I also write what the scrapbook is below. Since it's written in pencil it's slightly hard to make out. Remember we want to record as much information as we can about items.

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

If you are putting several scrapbooks into one box be sure to pad out the edges as you go. So by the end there will be a nice barrier all the way to the top of the box.

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

Voila! Our scrapbooks are snug as bugs in a rug in their new homes. Do you have really old family scrapbooks? What kind of wonderful family memories are in them?

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks

Preserving Your Family History: Scrapbooks


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!