Musings of a Museum Fanatic: July 2018

7.30.2018

5 Blog Things to Do Without a Computer


It's not often that we find ourselves disconnected especially when there are blog posts to write but sometimes that can happen. My IT friend is helping me change out the hard drive to my computer this week which means I'm without it for several days! The horror right? That means I have to think of other ways to work on my blog. So I thought I'd share today five things to do for your blog when you don't have a computer. 

1. Think about change 
Sometimes we get so bogged down in the gotta have a new post, gotta share all the photos and all the things. Getting focused on all of those details can leave our bigger pictures incomplete and not their best. Look over your theme and what you write about, now is a good time to work on that. Do you need to add some topics? Do you need to eliminate some topics? Do you need to totally change your niche? Take some time to think about these important parts of your blog without distraction. 

2. Brainstorm topics
I love to keep my brainstorming topics in a little notebook. In the past I've shared good places and times to brainstorm, there is definitely no better time when you don't have the distraction of a computer. This will help you get ahead and have a whole new slew of topics to start writing once you get that computer back. 

3. Focus on social media
This is a bit of a cheater one but I'm going to allow it. Since most social media is better when you work on it through the apps this is a great time to focus on those areas. I know I'm always saying I need to work on Pinterest organization, writing Instagram comments and just scheduling content. 

4. Get out there and get some content
Now is the perfect time for you to get out there and live! I know when I've got a list of topics just sitting there half the time it takes forever to write the posts since I need to get photos and information. Food blogger? Take this time to make all those recipes that you just don't seem to have time for and get the photos taken. 

5. Make new friends
In the Chicago area we've got several blog groups like the Windy City Blogger Collective or the Chicagogrammers. Taking time to get to know other bloggers and attend events is a great way to spend non-computer time. Check to see if there is a group like that in your area or if you're in a more rural area see if there is another blogger close to you. Meeting other bloggers can be a great way to try new places and get some good content for posts. 

What blog tasks do you accomplish sans computer? 

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

7.27.2018

10 Things That Have Happened This Summer

Things have been a little more on the quiet side here the past few weeks. Life has just been so busy lately I've barely had time to sit down and write. So now that things are quieting down ... sort of ... I'm going to catch you up! Has it been as crazy for you this summer? I feel like I need a summer vacation from my summer vacations ha. 

1. Kevin's Birthday
Last month we celebrated Kevin's 34th birthday. Yeah he's an old man right? Ha. Shh don't tell him I said that. We enjoyed cupcakes from Smallcakes. Kevin definitely picked out winners. My favorite is the Sundae cupcake in the bottom middle. All in all he really enjoyed his birthday.  


2. The Metropolitan 
I got the opportunity through Windy City Blogger Collective to check out the redo of the restaurants at the Metropolitan. The views were amazing! Even though the event was amazing the best part was connecting with a couple of other bloggers. We had some amazing conversations and I've got some new favorites to follow.


3. Gamma Phi Happy Hour
Gamma Phi decided this summer to get together for a couple happy hours. The first one was right by my work at the Saddle Room. I had been there a couple times and knew they had a great patio and seemed to have a good happy hour. We all had a blast. The patio was amazing and the food fantastic. They had some delicious sliders. Who doesn't love a slider?



4. Adulting like a champ
My adulting lately has been amazing. I had earned a $50 Amazon gift card through a panel I was on and decided I was going to use it for practical things. This included a really highly recommended OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set and Multipurpose Cargo Organizer Blocks Car Trunk Storage Organizer Blocks. These are probably some of the best purchases I've made in quite a while! Although it took a while to clean the grout the results are definitely visible. I need to work on the bathroom floors too they weren't as bad as the kitchen.

Since I'm a bag lady I always have things moving around in my trunk. Things spill and are flung about. Bethany has had something similar to these for years. I finally decided to invest in a set and I'm so thankful I did just in time for watermelon season. Another fantastic adult purchase.




5. Family time
There has been plenty of fun family time this summer! We got to hang out with Bethany's parents while they were in town. There has been dinners at Russell's and other delicious restaurants. Time with Kevin's parents and just good family time.




6. Charleston trip
Kevin and I had a blast during our Charleston trip! I tried to keep up with all the happenings through Instagram so be sure to check out some of the trip there. We enjoyed waaaaay too much delicious southern food, I had fried chicken three times on the trip haha. Saw the couple of sights that were on the top of my list and have decided we need to go back to see more. It was a wonderful trip heat and all.




7. Museum conference
After months of helping with the planning of the Association for Midwest Museums and Illinois Association of Museums conference it was finally time for the conference itself! It was a really good conference. I had the opportunity to connect with colleagues I already knew and met lots of new museum friends, the sessions were great and the events at the museums were fantastic.

I finally got to see Maximo in his new Stanley Field Hall home. The photos don't even do him justice!




8. Pumpkins
My mom's front garden has an unexpected invasive species. Large vines with large leaves have taken over. We thought it was a zucchini plant but it seems like it's a much bigger squash. Now we know that it's a pumpkin! There is this large guy and several smaller ones. Hopefully the squirrels will stay away and we can carve some of them this fall.


9. Garage sale
Mom and I really worked this year to purge even more. I'm so proud of how much she got rid of this go around. After three days of garage sale and a decent amount sold we filled up the back of the van to donate. It definitely felt good to send all this stuff along that we don't need. We finally got rid of the large solid oak desk as well.


10. Nature at work
The nature at work has been spectacular this summer. The swans had babies so we've been loving that we get to see them. They're growing so quickly so every time I see them I have to snap a bunch of photos. Finally found a fish in the pond, Kevin was definitely interested to hear about that even though there is no fishing. Soon all of the tadpoles will be frogs! Plenty of lovely foliage as well, the lily pads always make for a pretty photo too. I'm glad I've been making time at lunch to enjoy the weather and scenery. 




Those are just a few of the happenings that have happened since the beginning of the summer. I could share photo after photo for sure! What have you been up to this summer? 

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

7.17.2018

10 Facts about Chicago Museums


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

7.16.2018

Top Picks from the Disney Friends & Family Sale

**This post may contain affiliate links**

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

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

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


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

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

7.13.2018

3 Things to Make With Your Veggie Strip Maker


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

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

Now on to the good stuff!

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

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

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

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

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



What is your favorite use of veggie strips or spirals?

Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!

7.11.2018

Vienna Beef History Museum


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




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





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




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




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
















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




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



Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. In addition to life-capades and doing it for yourself, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #museumfanatic on social media so I can see your beautiful unstaged life. Oh and on the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or on social media to be alerted to each new post!