Musings of a Museum Fanatic: December 2018

12.28.2018

Highs and Lows of 2018

It's hard to believe that 2018 is coming to a close on Sunday. The years seem to be going by on warp speed but days feel like years. I wanted to take some time to reflect on the past year and share some of my highs and lows of 2018 before getting my mind ready for a new calendar year! What were the best highs and lows of your 2018? Sound off in the comments!


Charleston Trip
Kevin and I had a blast this past year during our 4th of July trip to Charleston. We ate amazing food, saw some amazing sights and all around had just a great trip. Charleston had been on my trip list for a while so it was wonderful to cross it off the list. Although I definitely did not get to see everything I wanted to see so I'm pretty sure we'll be going back at some time. 

Weight gain
This unfortunately wasn't something that happened just in 2018 but it really came to a head for me this year. It wasn't just that I had gained weight I wasn't doing well overall in my healthy habits, or lack thereof I decided that I needed to take control of this fall. So I started up Weight Watchers again. I've been really enjoying the new program and I'm at an 8 lb. loss. So really this is a low point that starting to turn into a high point for me. 



Baby G the 3rd
In October we welcomed Juliette Elyse into the family! I know it's definitely been an adjustment for my brother and sister in law with three in the house now but she's such a cute little bundle we'll keep her. It was fun hanging out with her at Christmas since she's smiling and making faces now. She is starting to get a personality and I'm all for it. 




Old 101 list
I said good bye to my second 101 list. It's always tough for something to come to a close. I feel pretty good since I got 65 of the 101 list completed. I wanted to do more but sometimes life ya know. 


New 101 List


With every old list comes a new one! Starting a new 101 list is always a breath of fresh air a time for a new beginning. I've hit the ground running and have a number of items well in progress. I've even completed 7 at this time! While it's not as many as soooome people I am still very proud of what I've checked off and what I have in good progress at the moment. 

Friend loss 
As we grow older we can grow closer to people in our lives but sometimes we can grow apart. Unfortunately that's what happened this year in my life. I realized that certain friends no longer had time for me and were even influenced by others to stop being my friend. I'm not sure why that was but unfortunately it happened. I was really upset about it for a long time but I got to the point earlier this year where I decided not to let it make me upset anymore. 

Kevin's new job


August brought with it a new job for Kevin! He is still working in the sign industry as a project manager but this company has already been treating him way better. Recently they've even been talking about him working up to the next position by August. Overall he is so much happier with this company and in this position. 

I got a new job
I had been looking for a new position for a while now and finally something happened. Boy did it ever happen. Within just over two weeks I had applied, had multiple interviews and gave my notice. I started on the 17 and I will say it's been a bit of a low since the transition has been a rough one for me. Over the years I've realized that stress manifests itself in my stomach and the rest of my body. The past two weeks have been a little tough for me so in my free time I've been trying to take it easy. Hence why I've been so quiet on here and Instagram. 



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!

12.12.2018

Earn Big Cash Back on your Christmas Shopping

***This post may contain affiliate links***

As we quickly approach Christmas, Swagbucks knows you still have lots of shopping to do, and they're offering big cash back for shopping online at several of your favorite retailers right now! Just go to this page to see all of the deals available and get the jump on your holiday shopping.

In order to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you're all set! Your cash back comes in the form of SB points, which you can redeem for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or get PayPal cash! 

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before January 1st! This site's a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

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!

12.10.2018

11 Photos to Celebrate Mom

Tomorrow we get to wish my Mom a very happy birthday! I thought what better way that to share 11 of my favorite photos of her and me throughout the years. From me as a cute baby to our wedding day I love the times I've spent with my Mom. Happy Birthday Mom!!












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!

12.08.2018

Earn BIG with Coupons!

***This post may contain affiliate links ***

We're all looking for ways to save big at the register. Well, I've found a way to make every coupon I use at my local grocery store worth an extra 25¢!

How you ask? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1) Sign up at Swagbucks.com
2) Head over to the Grocery Coupons page and start clipping coupons for your upcoming shopping trip 
3) Use the coupons the next time you shop at your local grocery store. You'll earn 25 points (25¢) for every coupon you use. 

That's it! 

But, that's not all... Today through Wednesday, December 12th, you can earn 2 points (2¢) for every coupon you print, up to 50 prints per day. That's an extra dollar every day just for printing coupons that will save you a ton on your next grocery store haul!

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!

12.05.2018

10 Awesome Illinois House Museums


Historic house museums are some of the best museums out there and some of my favorite places to visit. When you visit a historic house museums a lot of times you get to step back in time and really see what life was like during a certain time period. They are great for that transportation that I love in a museum. Illinois has some amazing house museums!! 

When I say historic house museum you might be thinking that they're all stuffy houses from that turn of the century time period. When it comes to house museums there are so many different kinds. From those 19th century Victorian beauties to modern homes that you would think are out of a space novel. Here's my must visit list for Illinois house museums. 


Glessner House
Chicago
The Glessner House is one of Chicago's big daddy house museums.. If you're looking for a gorgeous example of how a house museum should be with fun events like a haunted tour later this month then look no further. This architectural gem is not to miss. If you're still jonesing for more beautiful historic homes the Clarke House Museum is just around the corner. 

Farnsworth House
Plano
You'll find this Mies van der Rohe beauty about an hour outside of Chicago tucked along the Fox River. While it might stick out like a sore thumb at first you'll soon learn all about the International Style and it's relationship to it's surroundings. 

Driehaus Museum
Chicago
I will admit Driehaus might be one of my favorite house museums to visit. It's actually called the Nickerson Mansion. The interior is exquisite, I mean come it wasn't referred to as the "Marble Palace" for nothing! It's a must add to any Chicago trip. 

Ellwood House Museum
DeKalb
Who know that barbed wire could be so interesting and profitable?? You'll learn all about Isaac Ellwood, his family and his business legacy. One tip I'll share is to make sure to visit around the holidays so you can take a tour when the house is all dolled up for the season. Don't believe me check out their Instagram photos from this past winter, so beautiful. 

Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Springfield
You had to know I couldn't make a list of best Illinois house museums without putting in the Lincoln Home right? I first visited the home while on a grad school trip. It's amazing to think of the life Lincoln led while living here in Springfield before heading to Washington. If you could only visit one house museum because of it's importance to Illinois history this might have to be the one I would suggest.  

James Millikin Homestead
Decatur
James was a business from Decatur who would later go on to found Millikin University. This amazing Italianate house was built for him in 1876. I would highly recommend visiting during the Christmas season, seeing it all decked out I can only imagine what it looks like in person!

Magnolia Manor
Cairo
Southern Illinois tends to be forgotten when it comes to visiting Illinois but there is so much to see and do in the southern part of the state! You can find beautiful hidden gems like the Magnolia Manor. This 14 room brick mansion was originally the home of Cairo milling merchant, Charles A. Galigher. 

Dana Thomas House
Springfield
This is another wonderful historic home that I got the chance to see during grad school. This house contains the largest site specific and original Wright designed furniture. If I remember correctly it's something like at least 80% of the house in the original furniture and glass Wright designed. This is definitely a must visit for any Wright or architecture lover. 

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
Dixon
Illinois was the birth home to many an impressive personage. We can even claim to be the home of three presidents, one of which was Ronald Reagan. You'll find his boyhood home in Dixon, IL. This is just one of several homes he lived in during his childhood in Dixon but you'll find all sorts of information about his early years. Not sure you'll be able to visit? They've got you covered with a virtual tour!

Dowling House
Galena
When you visit Galena there is so much that can grab your attention! For a different view of Illinois history you'll want to visit the Dowling House. This former trade post hosted many fur traders throughout the years. Take a break from the mansions and enjoy learning about what trade was like in this mining town.

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!

12.03.2018

34 Christmas Movies to Binge Watch Right NOW!

34 Christmas Movies to Binge Watch Right NOW!

Now that Thanksgiving is over we can stop tiptoeing around Christmas and be fully out in the open about our Christmas movie addiction. As we all know Christmas movies are the best any time of the year but of course watching them this time of year there is just something so magical about them. So obviously it's time to binge on them 24/7 right?

A Christmas Prince

How Sarah Got Her Wings 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The Spirit of Christmas 

Nightmare Before Christmas

A Christmas Story




How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Merry Kissmas

Miracle on 34th Street

Christmas Crush

Frosty the Snowman



Christmas with the Kranks

Dear Santa

The Princess Switch

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation



Christmas in the Smokies

Christmas in Connecticut

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Jingle All the Way

Desperately Seeking Santa

Love at the Christmas Table

Charlie Brown Christmas

It's a Wonderful Life

The Santa Clause
Holiday Inn

Home Alone

Elf 

Muppet Christmas Carol

Home Alone 2



Scrooged

White Christmas

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Love Actually

The Polar Express

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!