Musings of a Museum Fanatic: August 2018

8.31.2018

Chinese American Museum of Chicago


Tucked between I-90, I-55 and the river just a few streets south of the South Loop you'll find Chinatown. Walking a few blocks south of the main shopping areas on Cermak and Archer Avenue there is a museum right in the neighborhood there. This museum is the Chinese American Museum of Chicago.




Head upstairs to their permanent exhibit Great Wall to Great Lakes: Chinese Immigration to the Midwest. 
Focusing on the immigrants stories you'll see not just the general stories but very personal stories and artifacts. I highly recommend starting off your visit viewing the movie My Chinatown: Stories From Within. This 15 minute video that acquaints you to Chinatown and several important areas of it's history was so incredibly well done. As someone who has only a passing knowledge of the neighborhood and the stories of Chinese immigrants I walked away feeling like I had learned so much and had a much better understanding of this vibrant community.





In the early part of the 20th Century there was an previous Chinatown museum called the Ling Long Gallery. They had gorgeous dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese history. After the gallery closed they were donated to the museum. In 2008 unfortunately there was a devastating fire in the museum. It sounded like much of the collection was lost especially these dioramas, this was the only one that wasn't lost. The detail in it was exquisite and it makes you sad that the others were lost but happy that at least one escaped the fire. 












I think the dragon might have been one of my favorite artifacts on display!


In addition to their permanent exhibit there is a changing gallery space on the first floor. We loved seeing the history of China through the fashion. The vibrant colors and patterns were gorgeous. 




I absolutely love the hair pins. They were my favorite part of this exhibit. The different designs were so neat. Usually designs on hair pins aren't so varied, at least in ones I've seen throughout the years, I love the different animals and insects depicted. 




I wanted to take the fan above home and Stephanie wanted the shoes below. Both would be wonderful additions to any wardrobe right?



The one artifact that I really didn't like was the foot binding shoe above. I don't think I've ever actually seen one in person and it was so incredibly tiny. As someone with 9.5 sometimes size 10 shoes I just cannot imagine having to bind my feet into those shoes. I'm very glad that it is not something that is practiced anymore. As we left the gallery they had this great little section of the exhibit where they had reproduced other artifacts from the collection. I am all about getting your hands on history so I love that I see more and more museums doing stuff like this.



I loved getting the chance to visit the Chinese American Museum of Chicago during our Chicago day this past weekend. Chinatown is the somewhat hidden gem of a neighborhood with a wonderful hidden gem museum that I think should be added to everyone's must visit 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!

8.29.2018

Take Back Control & Kick Butt

Have you ever had one of those moments where you're like "well dang it what in the world am I doing over here?" A sort of come to Jesus moment if you will. This past weekend I had one of those conversations and another shove Monday when Stephanie showed me her newest postStephanie and I got together for a day filled with checking things off my 101 list, drinks, food and just an all around lovely day. While we were enjoying our delicious summer cocktails the conversation turned to more serious happenings in our lives. The past year for both of us has had some hard things happen. 

Even though both of our situations are totally different we realized that we've really let those things affect us. Not just affect us but hinder the goals we've set for ourselves this year. Remember how great Kevin and I started off 2018 with our year of organizing? I had started the year by blogging regularly and sharing awesome content. I mean who doesn't love a post about Labyrinth or a delicious new recipe. Lately I haven't felt like writing or that what I have to share is that great. These thoughts led our discussion to the cause of the issues not just the symptoms. 

While the past several years have overall been good for me there has been some major tough things going on for me in a major area in my life. These things are not just once and a while it's a regular thing which makes it really affect my life. I'm sure you're sitting here saying to yourself vague much Betsy? I know I know I want to share specifics but at this point I still can't. With that being said because of the stuff that's been happening I've been realizing the past several months that it has really affected my life.

It's affected my weight. I've found myself being upset more regularly. Not even just upset it's almost like this sadness just decides to sit there and just hang out. I have worked hard to try and fix the situation the last couple of years but with nothing seeming to work it gets me upset, discouraged and down really quickly lately. When that happens I find myself not wanting to accomplish anything. I retreat into this little rom-com filled happy ending all the time haze and the evening is over. 

It's affected how I see myself and my self worth. This has definitely traveled over into other areas such as blogging. I've found myself getting frustrated easier and playing that comparison game. I think since I'm not feeling confident in those other areas I'm starting to feel not as confident in this area. 

Hopefully that rambling some some sort of sense. While Stephanie is feeling that she's moved into a self indulgence mode I think I've moved into an emotional safety zone. If I enjoy this treat it will make me happy again but doesn't last since I've just eaten whatever it was. I'll take a break from writing and watch this Hallmark movie and just be happy for a little bit. 

We realized that while we're accountable to each for a lot of things but we could really take it up a notch. There are so many times when we're just shooting the breeze on gchat during the week. While shooting the breeze it still a good thing we realized we could chat about our meals for the next week on Fridays instead of just chatting about whatever. While we talk about blog stuff a lot we could really be helping each other with more specific areas. 

Even though my tough situation has not resolved itself yet I need to stop letting it affect my life so much. I need to keep positive and focus on what I can do to fix the situation. Keep plugging along. As Stephanie said there is something about September 1 that makes you want to start the clock over again. So while I endeavor to get myself back on track and not just back on track but continue on that track I'd love more accountability from my blog peeps! 

I already started to combat my feeling blah about the blog lately. I've gotten myself more organized and I'm ready to conquer! There will definitely be posts coming soon about what I'm starting to implement. Here's to taking back control and kicking butt. 

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!

8.22.2018

Do People Actually Buy This?!? Vol. 6


It's been an interesting summer with some interesting finds during shopping trips. I feel like the furry tassle trend that I've been sharing in volume 5 and volume 4 have just been continuing. Still pretty sure this is a trend that needs to be retired. Some of my finds this time I actually could possibly see purchasing ... if they went on clearance! Have you seen any crazy things lately in your shopping trips?


These shoes are definitely one of the finds that I don't mind that much. Don't get me wrong they're still ridiculous and I'm not sure if there is ever a good place to wear them but they're not ghastly.


I really just can't handle tassels and pom poms. They drive me bonkers. I think it's a texture thing. 


Does one need to have what looks like a whole head of blue hair covering their chest? I'm pretty sure we can do without that look. 


In design meeting ... yes we have this lovely turquoise necklace but something is missing. We need to add something ... yes you know what it needs?! Pink pom poms! 


Found this beauty in the 70% off clearance section. This is another where it's not awful but where as an adult would this work? I don't have anything that would even look proper with it haha. 


These purses. I just can't. There is so much wrong here. First it's a fur hand bag that you'd have to hold over your arm. The straps are too small for you to fit on your shoulder. Who would want something furry and warm sitting on their arm like that? Also I'm not sure about anyone else but when I hold my purse in my elbow and I'm running around doing errands it can get a little sweaty. Yeah that sounds awful with that purse.

Secondly how gross and dirty would these get?! I feel like they would attract every piece of dirt. That pink one you could never put it down even on a table. It would get dirty immediately. These fabrics are better left on your bathmat.



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!

8.17.2018

5 Ways to Decompress Before Bed

5 Ways to Decompress before bed by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


Getting to sleep used to take forever for me. I would sit there with my mind thinking over everything and not relaxing, staying awake. The past few years I've been trying hard to work on getting to sleep quicker and decompress more before I get into bed. I've got 5 ways that have really helped me get a better nights sleep. What do you do to do to decompress? Do you drink something warm? Special tunes?

Get sleep on the front end
While it's not really a decompressing technique it will definitely help you get more sleep. This is something Dad always used to say to me when I'd say how tired I was from staying up late to read most nights. Now that I'm older and attempting to adult it makes a lot of sense. I need to wake up early most days for work so why wouldn't I get that sleep time in on the front end. For most of us at a certain point we're probably just aimlessly online searching why not go to bed and get more sleep. Although he was always falling asleep when we watched TV earlier in the evening so that might have helped too!

Make it smell nice
A while ago Stephanie turned me on to Essence of Vali's Sleep a Bedtime Ritual. I just finished up my first little bottle after using it for a couple of months and I have to say I've really been liking it. You put a drop on the corner of your pillow and the calming scents help you sleep better. I like to put it on the corner a while before bed and inhale for a few minutes before finishing up my nightly routine. The scent and deep breathing really helps to start the unwinding. 

Put on some music
Soothing music can really calm your mind. My music place of choice is Pandora and I found a great channel that is called soothing music for insomnia. It's wonderful. It's lovely instrumental music think like the music you hear when you're getting a massage. Even Kevin has been saying it has helped him to relax. Although it is annoying when the loud commercial comes on!

Turn it off
We live in such a bright world. There are bright lights and bright screens that are all around us. Turn it all off ... or at least invest in not as bright lights and turn your screen resolution on red and way down. Since our bedside lamp is a small one it has a small bulb which means it's a much dimmer light. I always make a point to turn off the other lights about 45 minutes before bed and just use that one.

Relax your mind
I am an over thinker. It can be so bad sometimes I'll find myself going over things that happened years ago and I just can't turn off my mind. A few years ago when I was super stressed my mom recommended I listen to some self hypnosis relaxation videos. I found this really great video that walks you through relaxing your entire body and mind. I'm not sure if I'm ever actually hypnotized but it sure does relax me.  

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!

8.13.2018

Summer 2018 Goals UPDATE!


Since the summer has been such a gosh darn busy one for me I thought it would be good accountability to check back in with my summer goals I shared in June. When you're so busy it's easy to loose sight of those goals and I definitely don't want to to that! How have things been going for your summer goals? Do you feel like you're going to accomplish them before the end of September?

1. Enjoy at least three Chicago rooftops
I'm actually doing really well with this goal. I've crossed two off the list and I have a get together planned for another rooftop next weekend!

2. Complete at least three puzzles
This goal is going terrible! I started a puzzle in June and it just sat on the table until last week when Kevin made me put it away. I need to start actually working towards this goal. It doesn't help that I piled stuff on top of the puzzle. To really help with this goal I think I need to keep the puzzle clear and make a point to work on it at least 5-10 minutes a day. 

3. Clean out my entire car
I didn't even remember that this was a goal! Clearly it's a good thing that I decided to take a mid-summer look at the goals. Today I'm going to see if there is time the next few weeks and schedule it my calendar. 

4.  Schedule posts for during our Charleston Trip
Done! This actually turned out to be a simpler one for me surprisingly.
5. Dabble once
I'm still looking into what Dabble classes I want to take, there are just so many. I have several people who said they would Dabble with me so there is organizing that part of it too. I should be able to get this one accomplished though.
6. Host garage sale with Mom & Bethany
Done! It went really well too. We sold a lot of stuff and made sure that nothing came back into the house! Everything went straight to Goodwill.

7. Secret goal
This one has been a tough one. There are things relating to this one that I can't control but when I've been able to I've gotten it accomplished. So I think so far I've been doing well at this one.

8. Cross off one 101 list item
I've crossed two 101 list items off this summer!! Go to Charleston and read ten books that I'm interested in. I've recently gotten super into books on tape ... or technically books on app. It just sounds better books on tape I think. I subscribed to Scribd in June and I'm addicted. Books are playing all the time now. It was such breeze to get through the ten. Shoot I think I've listened to at least 20 at this point. Makes for a much better commute.  

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!

8.10.2018

Four Years Ago

It's hard to believe it's been four years tomorrow. I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't miss my Dad. 

The past year and a half maybe even two years I've been working hard to pick up my Dad's legacy of preserving the family history. I've been scanning photos, preserving documents and all sorts of other preservation type things. I thought it would be neat to share with you all some of my favorite photos of my Dad. Some of the photos are of me and Dad, some are of our family and some are even waaaay before I was even a thought it anyone's mind. 
















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!