Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 2019

11.11.2019

Chicago Souvenirs and Gifts

What’s one of the best parts about a trip? The souvenirs you bring home! Chicago has some truly excellent options for Chicago themed gifts and locally made treasures. Plus we're almost to that time of year where we give lots of gifts. Here are my favorite places for the perfect Chicago souvenir and gift for your Chicago fanatic.


Museum Stores

I always think a museum store is the perfect place for the perfect souvenir. You’ll find not only items relating to that museum but fantastic items relating to the city you’re in as well as unique one of a kind items. Chicago’s museums are no different! They are full of great items to bring home for your family and friends or to remember your trip by. Most of the big museums have their stores online too so if you regret talking yourself out of a certain souvenir there is a chance you can find it online later! These are my two top picks for best museum stores but you can find all sorts of hidden treasures at all the Chicago area museum stores, like the Arlington Heights museum is making their own pop, don't count any museum store out. 

You’ll find souvenirs and gifts of every imaginable topic here. They have shops scattered throughout the museum as well as having an offsite location at O’Hare airport. The little ones throughout the museum are specialized to whatever exhibit they’re near like the SUE store right next to the T. Rex’s home or the gift shop for the big special exhibit that’s at the Field Museum right now. I personally like to head to the main shop by the South Entrance. You’ll find the really cool items in this main shop. This is where all of the beautiful jewelry is and their extensive book shop are located. You can even get beer and liquor that’s created by the Field Museum!

I love the Art Institute of Chicago stores. They’re full of amazing and unique gifts inspired by pieces in the collection. I think some of my favorite items are the fun and beautiful game items like the Warhol Dominos and different puzzles depicting paintings. If you’ve ever seen a photo of the Art Institute of Chicago you’ll usually see a photo containing the lions. I love that they have a whole line of items with the lions featured on them. From socks to ties the lions are iconic Art Institute so they should be on your souvenir must get list. Plus you’ll find holiday items throughout the year so you’ll want to stop in or check their online store often.

Chicago food & drink

A lot of people don’t think about Chicago being a place for food but let me tell you we’ve got tons of great food souvenirs. I mean come on we’re the capital of hot dogs, popcorn, pizza, candy and beer, what more do you need?!

Garrett’s is the go to for most people when it comes to getting your Chicago popcorn fix. You’ll want to make sure to pick up a bag of the Garrett Mix®, the combination of caramel corn and cheddar cheese makes up the iconic Chicago duo. This is a must have for anyone visiting Chicago. So be sure to grab some to enjoy while you’re visiting and some to take home. From huge tins to small packages there’s a size for every appetite and budget. With 8 locations in the Loop as well as various locations at O’Hare and two suburban locations you really have no excuse to stop by.

Nuts on Clark
My personal favorite for popcorn is Nuts on Clark. You can find them in the airports and Union Station along with the original Nuts on Clark up in Wrigleyville. Like with Garrett’s you’ll want to make sure to get the iconic caramel and cheddar popcorn but I love their buttered popcorn too. You can smell it once you get off the train and all through your walk to the doors. I always find it’s a good last minute pick up when we arrive at the airport for the family member who is picking us up or if we need to bring along a gift to where we’re going.

Frango Mints
You’ll find these iconic mints at Macy’s on State Street. These Chicago staples were made iconic by Marshall Field’s. You can find the original flavor along with at least half a dozen unique flavors and other Frango treats at Macy’s on State Street. If you’re visiting family elsewhere in the area you can find the original flavor at other local Macy’s stores! While you’re grabbing your souvenir box at Macy’s be sure to enjoy desserts made with the mints up in the Walnut Room. The Frango Mint Ice Cream Pie is to die for.

Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza
We already know I'm in the Lou Malnati's pizza is the best Chicago deep dish camp. My favorite part about this Chicago staple is that you can get frozen pizzas to go. If you're visiting someone in the area and need a thank you gift this is the perfect place to grab one. Know a displaced Chicagoan who has been missing home? You can actually send them a Lou's pizza through the mail. Plus you can always send yourself a little treat or a souvenir the same way. What a good way to remember your trip a few times throughout the year?

All Chicago Gifts

Like any good souvenir you must leave the city with something that says Chicago. Whether it contains the Chicago flag or the map of the L you just must. Here are my picks for top places to find that perfect item that is just so Chicago.

Transit Tees

If you're looking for anything Chicago branded Transit Tees is the place to go. They smack you in the face with Chicago but in a cool I want everything in this store way. From their new El: The Chicago Transit Adventure game to Chicago Style Hot Dogs Socks that you didn't realize you needed in your life.

Local Goods Chicago

Are you more of a handmade gifts type of person? Check out Local Goods Chicago they're all about locally handcrafted, one of a kind gifts. I'm a big fan of the simple elegant beauty of the Chicago Flag Necklace. They have some great consumable gifts like the Chicago In Transit soap bars although I feel like people who have ridden the L would argue with the scents being correct!
I know you'd think I would put the Chicago History Museum up in my museum stores section. It was a tough decision. Ultimately they have one of the best stores to get some pretty great Chicago swag so down here they are. You can order online but really the store at the museum has waaaaaay more in it than what's online. My favorite item was my lovely hot dog magnet. While they have all sorts of decor and clothing items I love the fact that they have a stellar Chicago book selection. I think they must carry every book that's currently in print relating to Chicago. I've discovered so many great reads through the shop. 



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!

11.08.2019

7 Tips & Tricks to Drink More Water

This post may contain affiliate links. 

When the colder weather hits in the Chicago area it's really dry here. I find myself really needing to make sure that I stay hydrated both inside and out. Sometimes it can be tough to drink enough water throughout the day. I can find myself parched by the end of the day in the winter. There are some tips and tricks that make it much easier to get your ounces in throughout the day. Here are my tips for making sure you get enough water in each day.



Water bottles all over
For a long time I really made sure that I had one water bottle in my stash. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't being wasteful. Even though I was being budget and environmentally conscious there were tons of times that I really needed water with me but didn't have it. Plus at work I was using disposable cups which totally defeated the point! So since then I've expanded my water bottle stash to make sure I have a work water bottle, an at home one and one that could be used for on the go.

Add flavor
I know many people's excuse for not getting enough water is that they don't like the taste or hate that water has no taste. We are living in the golden age of water flavorings. From old school favorites like Crystal Light to the MIO drops. I've even seen ones that are orange Crush flavored and Arizona Arnold Palmers. There are plenty of ways to add flavor. You can even add fruit and cucumbers when you use a water bottle like the Pampered Chef Infusion Water Bottle.

Keep track
When you start working to increase your water intake it's good to keep track. Since we're supposed to be getting about 8 8 ounce glasses of water a day you want to make sure that you're actually getting at least that amount. Like almost everything there's an app for it. There are dozens that you can download that are specifically for tracking water. Lots will even give you a reminder. Usually I'll track it with my Fitbit app or with my WW app. Since I already do things in these apps it makes it easier. It's all about keeping it simple.

Choose sparkling or mineral water 
Sometimes I know I really just crave something with some bubbles. In the past I would reach for a pop. Now I reach for a sparkling water. Like flavorings for your water we're living in the golden age of sparkling waters. The number of different types has skyrocketed. I personally like Perrier flavors while Kevin is a LaCroix Lime person. Obviously regular water is best but sometimes you just need that extra pizzazz!

Keep it filled up
A water bottle doesn't do you any good if it's empty does it? Nope. None. So be sure throughout the day to make sure that your bottle is filled up. It's just that simple.

Try tea instead
This goes along with the flavoring. Tea might be a good option if you need a flavor to make water taste better. Be sure not to add any or too much extra things like milk or sugar. Don't want to add too many calories to your drink. Now you can find tons of different flavors of tea so there is no need to feel bored. Since you're really only flavoring the water you still get the benefits. Be sure to check if it's caffeine free if you have issues with it. 

Set reminders
One of the biggest lies I tell myself is that I'll remember things without writing it down. The same can be said for not giving myself a reminder. If you're just getting in to drinking more water like any new habit it can be tough to remember to do it regularly. Use whatever reminding system that works for you whether it's your calendar or a to do app or even your BFF. Just make sure to follow through when that reminder hits.

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!

11.06.2019

Pampered Chef Fall Recipe Round Up


With the colder weather we're changing over everything in our lives from our outfits to our food. Fall makes me think of warm rich flavors. I think of fall as comforting one pot meals and soups that warm your entire body. Since we're well underway into the fall and I know I always need some new recipes here are some of my favorite and some new Pampered Chef recipes to add to your recipe box this fall. 

Fall Soups

Butternut Squash Soup



One Pot Meals

Chicken PaprikashChicken Pot Pie ChowderQuick Cooker One-Pot Oktoberfest


Thanksgiving Sides

Butternut Squash & Apple StuffingEasy Cranberry SauceEasy Mashed Potatoes


Thanksgiving Desserts

Homestyle Apple PieMini Pecan PiesQuick Cooker Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Fall Drinks

Apple Cider Vinegar TonicCranberry CollinsCran-Raspberry Fizz


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!

11.04.2019

30 Things That Happened in 1989

Thirty years ago 1989 was on the cusp of a new decade. There was lots of 80s influence still happening but you could see the movement ahead into the 90s. Break out the crimper for a look back at 30 things that happened in 1989. How old were you in 1989? What do you remember most about that year if you were around? 


Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Will Smith wins the first ever Grammy for Best Rap Performance with his song Parents Just Don't Understand

Berlin Wall comes down

Seinfeld
starts

Exxon Valdez tanker runs aground spills 240,000 barrels (11 million gallons)



On December 3 President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced that the Cold War was over

Taylor Swift is born on December 13

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

First liver transplant is performed

A 4,400-year-old mummy is found in the Great Pyramid of Giza



Disney opens Hollywood Studios park at Disney World

Field of Dreams

In Alaska's Prince William Sound the Exxon Valdez runs aground and spills 11 million gallons of oil

Ted Bundy is executed in Florida's electric chair

The Simpsons premiered on Fox

Nintendo releases the Game Boy in Japan in April and in North America in July



Sir Tim Berners-Lee develops the World Wide Web

U.S. Senate voted “to ban smoking on all domestic airline flights

Lucille Ball passes away on April 26

After decades of no princess movies Disney releases The Little Mermaid

Microsoft Office is first released



American Gladiators enters our lives

Pro-democracy rallies are held in Tiananmen Square. Martial law is declared and hundreds are killed

The term "freshman 15" entered our vocabulary thanks the teen magazine Seventeen

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation




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!

10.30.2019

9 Things That Have Happened Lately

Before we head into the last two months of the year gotta take some time to look back at the last couple of busy months. It was a good start to fall and I expect the rest of the season to keep up the momentum. How has your fall been so far?

Becky Weekend
Another Labor Day another fantastic weekend with my unbiological twin! We decided on a low key, low budget weekend. There was a movie marathon day along with our annual attendance at the Naperville Labor Day parade with the family. It was nice to just chill out together.


Williamsburg
Kevin and I had been looking forward to this trip for months. We didn't get to see my Uncle Lee & Aunt Carol at the reunion this year since they were travelling around Iceland so it was awesome to spend some one on one time with them. The first night we were there the four of us spent at least four hours at the kitchen table just chatting about anything and everything.


Kevin and I got to see all the historical sites that I wanted to see. From Colonial Williamsburg to Historic Jamestowne and we even spent a day in Richmond. Pretty sure I need to sit down and devote an entire post or two to our trip. This is probably one of my top five favorite trips I've taken. It was just a really good trip all around, amazing time with family and history every day. What more could I ask for?


Get Organized Challenge
As you've been able to tell from my Instagram feed I've really been able to sit down and scrapbook the past several weeks. A big reason for this has been the Get Organized Challenge. This is a scrapbook organizing challenge and I've been working my way through the 8 weeks. Every week there is a different area of your scrapbook supplies that you focus on organizing. The difference in how I'm able to use my supplies has been amazing. Especially with the paper and embellishments that I have the organization has made it so I can really just sit down and create!


DAM Chicago Conference
I haven't a chance to really go to any conferences this year for work since I switched to my new job. They were really early in the year and there was too much going on. I was able to attend DAM (Digital Asset Management) Chicago Conference in September. In addition to the conference I was able to go to workshops the day before and this year things really just clicked. I love that a topic I have been working to understand and learn more about finally started to make total sense.

Lane's 5th Birthday
I still cannot get over how big he is and the fact that he's 5. I kind of refuse to believe it. He has been obsessed with Frozen the last couple of years so of course for this birthday he wanted a Frozen themed birthday. Bethany went all out with some great decorations and a scratch made cake. I thought it looked a little like Sleeping Beauty's cake. Could anyone look any happier looking at a cake??


 Juliette turns one!
 Who knew that when you get to a certain age you become that old person who keeps thinking and saying I don't know how time is flying? I cannot believe this kid is one. She's right there on the cusp of walking and turning from that sweet little baby into a crazy toddler. Birthday was a nice chill family dinner. She even kept the crown on for a while.


Danielle's wedding
It's been a couple of years since we've had any wedding festivities on our calendar. Last week we went to the wedding of my good friend Danielle. The entire gambit of wedding events was a blast. I got to hang out with all my former work peeps. She looked gorgeous, the food was delicious and the dancing was non-stop.


Open House Chicago
Another Open House Chicago in the books. Mom and I decided to head to Evanston this year. I wanted to check out the American Toby Jug Museum as well as the Bahá'í House of Worship. We were able to visit both of those places on my list as well as several others along the way including a whiskey distillery! I can't wait until next year. I feel like they should do it twice a year it's so much fun!

Trunk or Treat
Kevin and I joined the family again for Trunk or Treat at our church. Probably a good thing too since it looks like snow here on Thursday! It was so bright at sunny I didn't get too many good photos of the kiddos in their costumes unfortunately. I did get this good one of Elowen and my mom. She was a ballerina, Lane was a star and Juliette was the girl from Bob's Burger. There was tons of candy and a huge pumpkin drop. We won for best car decoration with our Frozen castle. Everyone loved 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!

10.21.2019

Guide to Chicago Pizza

If there is one type of food that Chicago is known for I would have to say it’s pizza. We are definitely the pizza capital of the Midwest if not the US. I mean come on we even have the pizza museum here. Most people only know Chicago for its deep dish but there is so much more to Chicago pizza than that!

Deep Dish

Let’s start off with the big boy. There are so many different deep dish options and if you ask any Chicagoan they have their favorites and have very strong opinions about why it’s the best. Chicago deep dish is typically a nice crust that goes all the way up the sides of that pizza pan followed by the mozzarella cheese then toppings and sauce. The sauce is more often than not chunks of tomato type of sauce. This is usually why I’m not a fan of Chicago style deep dish. As well all know I have issues with hunks of tomatoes. There are some places that do their own takes on the Chicago deep dish. Here are my top picks in the deep dish category.

Lou Malnati’s

Lou’s is the best. As I mentioned everyone has their own favorite and what they think is the best deep dish place and we are a Lou’s family. It’s really in the crust. Their butter crust is a-freaking-mazing. You can even get it half-baked or frozen to heat up at home. Not from the area or planning a visit? No worries you can have it sent to you!

Giordano’s

I think most people I know who aren’t Lou’s fans are in the Giordano’s camp. They are famous not only for their deep dish but for their stuffed deep dish. Who wouldn’t love extra cheese goodness? Yeah that’s right no one. More cheese is always better.

Gino’s East

Another of the big three Chicago deep dish kings. If you’re looking for that stereotypical old school pizza experience head to Gino’s East Magnificent Mile. The atmosphere is fantastic and you can really leave your mark, along with everyone else on their walls!

Pequod’s Pizza

Chicago & Morton Grove
A lot of people consider their pizza more of a pan pizza than a Chicago deep dish but I’m keeping them in the Chicago deep dish category. I love their pizza. They have an amazing sauce and their known for their caramelized crust. I just found out looking at their website for this post that they actually get the caramelization from adding mozzarella on the crust! Knew I loved it for a good reason. They have a fantastic lunch deal too.


Thin Crust

Most people don’t realize that Chicago has a second amazing style of pizza and that’s the Chicago thin crust pizza. You’ll find this style of pizza at just about every local pizza joint in the Chicago land area. It’s a thin, crispy crust. Sometimes people refer to it as a cracker crust.

Dan’s Pizza

Lisle
I had to throw in my own hometown favorite. Dan's has been rocking out the pizza scene in Lisle/Downers Grove for forty years! They've got the Chicago thin crust down pat but my favorite part is their sauce. It's sweet but in a good tomato sauce way. All in all it's the perfect Chicago thin crust pizza. Worth the hike if you're coming from the city!

Aurelio’s Pizza

With locations all over the Chicagoland area as well as several different states there is no excuse not try Aurelio's Pizza. They're not the cracker thin but they've got a great mouthfeel. They're a great option if you need a consistently great Chicago thin crust pizza. They can also hook you up with the amazing Bosco breadsticks.


The Crazy Pizzas

In addition to the main two of Chicago pizza there are plenty of pizza places who are cooking to the beat of their own drum. These are places making their own style of crust and toppings or are doing something totally different. Either way they make the Chicago pizza landscape a lot of fun.

Chicago Oven Grinder & Pizza Co.

Tucked right along Lincoln Park this place has been an institution for almost 50 years now. You won’t actually find your typical pizza here. The main staples of the menu are their oven grinders which are Italian loafs stuffed with all sorts of fantastic toppings. The star of their menu is actually the pizza pot pie. They start with cheese on the bottom of the bowl then the gobs of veggie and meat toppings with the crust on the top. You get a show when it comes out and the server pops it out for you! Be sure to bring some cash since that’s all they accept.

Roots Pizza

Roots takes special pizzas to a whole other level with their chef collaborations. With some big names like “Jimmy Bannos Jr’s Purple Pig ‘Nduja Sausage Pizza” and “Rick Ortiz’s Antique Taco Chili Cheese Curd Pizza” you know these pizzas are going to be like nothing you’ve tried before. With four locations around the city there is no excuse not to get to Roots and try one of these chef created masterpieces.

Parlor Pizza

From a pizza with Brussel sprouts and pancetta to one piled high with Maine lobster Parlor Pizza definitely shows up when it comes to unique pizzas. The crust is super crispy and has great flavor. You’ll keep coming back because you just have to try all of the different types. Make sure to save room for dessert because they have amazing dessert tacos. Don’t believe me check out their mouthwatering Instagram. It’s the stuff of a dessert lover’s dreams.

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!

10.18.2019

How to Make a Good First Impression

A couple of weeks ago I was at a professional conference. It was a lot of fun. I had been to this one before so I was feeling much more comfortable with the subject matter and actually knew people from previous conferences. There were a few times where I was thinking about the impression that some of the vendors and other conference goers were giving off to me and others. So I thought I’d compile some tips of what I think making a good impression is. What do you think makes a good impression when you first meet people?


Smile

I feel like this one is maybe one of the most important things you can do to make a good impression. If you have a dour look on your face and don’t look like you care or want to be around the person you’re meeting then you’re not going make a good impression. In fact there is a good chance that the person you’re meeting will remember you for all the wrong reasons! Trust me I know someone who never approaches anyone with any warmth or a smile and people always ask me later if this person is always so cold and rude.

Plus smiling has some benefits for you as well. Smiling can help reduce your stress. I’m not sure about anyone else but I’m always feeling nervous and stressed when I am meeting new people. I’ve found a deep breath and a smile makes the knot in my stomach start to dissipate.

Make eye contact

People can really tell a lot from your eye contact. I’ve found that I can really tell when someone doesn’t want to be around me or doesn’t have enough respect to focus on me by their eye contact. Some people are just the type who are always looking for that next conversation and you can just tell. Take time to really focus on the person who is taking some time to talk to you. Now granted I’m American so eye contact is an important thing here. I know that in some other places it’s not appropriate.

Handshake

Make sure to have a good solid handshake. Don’t crush the person’s fingers or anything but don’t be a limp fish either. I seem to be shaking a lot of hands the past couple of years and I’ve discovered that the people who really are interested in talking to me and make a connection show it through their nice, solid handshake. So I’ve tried to convey that as well. I feel that it shows in a physical manner your excitement to meet them as well as your focus on meeting them.

Remember their name

This is something I know I am terrible at!! A lot of times people say their name really softly and I miss it or you meet several people in the group and they get all jumbled. A lot of people suggest repeating it back to them. Like “Hi Tom, great to meet you. I’m Betsy.” Instead of just saying “I’m Betsy” I’m working on this tip actively so I'll be giving the repeating their name back trick a try. 

Speak up

I mentioned this is last tip but be sure people can hear you. If you’re at a conference there is the good possibility that you’re in an area with lots of people talking all around you. You could be out and about too with all sorts of noise. Pretty sure my hearing after years of concerts out isn’t as good as it was before so I find it difficult to hear people clearly sometimes. I always appreciate people who talk with a strong, clear voice. I work hard to make sure I give people the same courtesy. Although don’t pull a Kevin and get really loud when you’re talking. He’s working on that!

Business Cards

Business cards seem to be going the way of the dodo lately but I think that they make a huge difference. These days in a world where most job postings get probably a hundred applicants we all realize it's about who you know when you're trying to build business or getting a new job. You can't connect with those people you know if you don't have their information to connect after your meeting. Plus with all the fun designs you can really take the opportunity to stand out in people's mind too. 

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!

10.16.2019

4 Sayings I Live My Life By

I am a person who loves a good saying or quote. You'll hear me rattling off a quote or a saying at least a few times a day. Over the years I've started to get my own repertoire of go to sayings. Not only are they go to sayings they're really ways that I live my life. Do you have sayings that you quote all the time? I want to hear yours! You can never have too many sayings that you quote constantly : D









Thanks so much for stopping by! You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, 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!

10.14.2019

30 things that happened in 1994

When I say 1994 I think of 4th grade. Of being in love with Devon Sawa and turtleneck tops with stirrup leggings. 1994 was a fun year. There was so much that was happening outside of my little elementary school world! It was clearly the year of the passionate ballad and a year for some great TV. What do you remember most about 1994?


Kurt Cobain commits suicide

Forest Gump

Tonya Harding wins the national Figure Skating championship title but is stripped of her title following the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

MLB Players Association begin 232 day strike causing 1994 season to be cancelled



My So Called Life starts it's short life but becomes a cult classic

Channel Tunnel opened on May 6th between England and France

Wonderbra was invented

Pulp Fiction

Lisa Marie Presley marries Michael Jackson



Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes set fire to her boyfriend Andre Rison's tennis shoes. The fire spread throughout the mansion they shared and burned it to the ground.

We all are on the edge of our seats watching E.R.

Yahoo and Amazon are founded

OJ Simpson flees police in his white ford bronco



Winter Olympic Games are held in Lillehammer, Norway

Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president on May 10, 1994

The Lion King

Friends makes it's debut



Actor O. J. Simpson, was arrested after a police chase on two counts of murder after the June 1994 deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a waiter, Ronald Lyle Goldman.

Little Giants

John Candy dies

Nintendo releases the Play Station



D2: The Mighty Ducks

Michael Jordan makes his short lived baseball career debut with the Chicago White Sox May 4, 1994

Following the April assassination of President Habyarimana. Over only about 100 days between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi and Hutu were killed in the Rwandan genocide.

Whitewater scandal investigation begins

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!

10.11.2019

5 Tips to Help You Break a Bad Habit

Habits are a tough thing. They can be our best friend if they're good ones but if they're bad then habits can be really detrimental. The longer you continue to do bad habits the worse things can be for you. The smaller ones might not seem so bad but they really add up. 

Be aware

We can't fix something if we're not aware of the bad habit right? Becoming more self aware of what we need to improve and those bad habits we need to fix are the first steps. This is a good opportunity to enlist help from others too. Sometimes it's tough for us to see our worst habits.

Replace it with a better one

A lot of times our habits become habits without us even noticing! Say you always have a dish of M&Ms or small candy bars out on the counter, you like a little sweet treat when you get home from work. You get home from work and you don’t even realize you eat a few pieces or handfuls. Before you know it you’re eating a lot of extra calories each day and you are too full for a good dinner.

Instead of keeping that dish of unhealthy treats out put out some grapes. You still get that sweet treat but you’re creating a good habit. Soon you’ll start craving the grapes instead of the unhealthy sweets.
The hardest part is to have enough control over yourself to start the change. After the first few days, it will get easier and easier. This is a technique you can use for almost any bad habit. Like when you’re upset with someone like your spouse or friend instead of saying something mean in the heat of the moment take a few seconds to breath in and out then talk to them.

One at a time

I know we all want everything to be perfect immediately but really change takes time. I’ve found that if you try to take on everything all at once it’s very easy to get discouraged and quit. It takes will power to break a bad habit or start a new one to replace it with; we only have so much will power in a single day. Keep it simple and try to break one habit at a time. Be sure not to move on to breaking another habit until the first one is out of your life. The changes might take longer than you expect or want them to take but if you keep plugging along you will tackle that bad habit.

Know your bad habit triggers

You need to know what triggers a habit. If you’ve been doing a habit for a long time you might not know why you started doing the habit, but you need to find out what triggers it. The trigger is why you keeps you doing the habit. I know for me one of the biggest triggers is stress, I’m sure for most people that’s a big trigger. Really emotions in general tend to be big triggers. Be aware of what triggers your bad habits so you can catch yourself before you do the bad habit again.

Enlist help

Doing tough things like breaking habits on your own can be extremely difficult. You can lose your motivation and sometimes the habit is so ingrained it can be tough on your own. Telling someone else that you’re working on breaking a certain habit will give you accountability. Not only can they call you out on the bad habit if you’re doing it but they can also work to help you not have the triggers in your life. One of my bad habits I’m working on is to not have the TV on while I’m working on stuff since it distracts, and I don’t get stuff done as much as I would like. Kevin knows that I’m working on this habit so when he catches me with a TV show or movie on he’ll suggest I turn on music instead.


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!

10.09.2019

5 Things People Forget When Buying A Home

Now that we've been homeowners for a few months now we've been feeling a little more settled. There have also been a number of issues that we've discovered. A lot of these are the type of things where you don't know what you don't know. Although a few of these were things we could have fixed or changed if we had been aware of them before we bought. Here are five big things that we've noticed people forget when buying a home. 

Noise

We knew we wanted to live in a downtown suburban area and I wanted one that was on a train line. From the get go we knew that there would be train noise but we didn't think about other types of noise. Our new neighborhood has a lot of young kids right on our block so we've have a lot of kid noise since moving in. That was definitely a type of noise we didn't think about! There are all types of noise that you don't think about when you're only in a place for maybe an hour before you decide it's for you.

Appliances

Most of the obvious appliances get checked when you're looking a new house but there are some that you tend to forget about. During our first look we didn't think to turn on the heater and check but then Kevin's dad suggested it during the second look. Since it was summer we didn't even think about it! Even though the heater was the newest appliance you should still check it out.

Associations

A lot of people think that associations are only something you need to worry about if you're in a condo. Well that is not the case. There are lots of neighborhoods that can have associations. They tend to be ones that have amenities like a pool or fitness area that all the residents are able to use. Townhomes are also good candidates for an association and the fees that go along with them. Always be aware of those extra monthly costs.

Inside of cabinets

This is one that we wish we had looked closer at. We knew we'd eventually redo the kitchen but on our looks before buying everything looked pretty good so we thought we'd be able to just repaint the cabinets. On a closer look we realized that there were lots of gashes and stains that won't come out along with braces and shelves that make certain cabinets difficult to use. I wish we would have realized those issues sooner so we could talk about it when it came to the price.


Garage

I feel like beyond the cursory yes there are enough spots for our cars most people don't think about the garage. We thought we measured ours properly but didn't realize until we got both cars in there that it's actually a 2 car garage not a 2.5. Which let me tell you makes things a little tighter since Kevin's car is a van! It's good to think through everything you'll be using the garage for just to make sure it's the space you need it to be.

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!

10.07.2019

17 Buildings to See During Open House Chicago

Now that it's October that means it's time for Open House Chicago once again! There are way more sites this year with over 350! I've already decided this year we're going for the sites in Evanston. I've pulled together 17 unique and fun buildings that you should add to your Open House Chicago list. If you're not able to make it in person for Open House Chicago check out more about their fun history anyway. 


You might not this a ship counts as great architecture but the Columbia Yacht Club is here to show you it is. MV Abegweit started its life as a Canadian train ferry but now serves as the club’s headquarters. Stop on by for beautiful views of the city from the harbor. You know how much I love views of the city from the water!

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Rockstar? Well during your visit behind the scenes at the House of Blues you can finally have your chance minus the booze and late nights. You even get to check out the super exclusive Foundation Room.
Zap Props is everything you’d think an prop emporium is and should be. With aisles of different items stacked up to the ceiling you’re bound to see something interesting! Who knows maybe you’ve seen the item in your favorite movie.
Edgewater Beach Apartments have been adding color to the Chicago skyline for over 100 years now. Known as the “Pink Palace” you get to see all of the beautiful amenities such as the elegant two-story lobby and the Beaux-Arts pool.


If you’ve ever visited downtown you’ve probably walked by this unique circular building. Lots of people think this is a Scientology building but Church of Christ, Scientist is a very different thing. Find out more about the building and the religion.

This is one of my favorite buildings in the Chicago area! I absolutely love driving by on Sheriden and seeing this gorgeous place. This year it’s on my visit list. You get to venture inside and take photos which is not something that is usually allowed so even for you city people it’s worth the hike up to Wilmette.
You can’t visit Millennium Park without catching a glimpse of this iconic structure. I’ve always wanted to see what it looks like behind the scenes and this year you can! Be sure to take some time for the make and take too.

When you think of the city of Chicago you probably don’t think about groundbreaking agriculture. Well The Plant is showing you how urban agriculture is changing the game. Be sure to check out the onsite brewery and tap room.
This building has been the house of worship to several different religions. Currently it houses the Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple of True Buddha School. The members of the temple will share details about the colorful building and about the sect itself.
Did you know that you can find a castle in Beverly? I didn’t know that either! The Givins Castle was built by real estate developer Robert C. Givins in 1887. Fun fact this castle is built completely from Joliet limestone from the nearby city.
Who would think a high school would make a list of great Chicago architecture but when you’ve got a library like the Carl Shurz High School you’re sure to be on the list.


Have you ever seen the big yellow door with the monster peeping out? That’s Big Monster Toys! I enjoyed peeking in to this toy design shop and we even got to chat with Resident Toy Inventors.

This unique theatre is one of four remaining atmospheric theaters in Chicago. It became part of the Polish Cultural Center in the 1980s and the exterior has been remodeled to reflect that.
As you can imagine this OHC location has a special place in my heart. Step behind the fences and see the beautiful Booth Manor that has been the home and training center for thousands of Salvation Army officers.
You’ll find fantastic views from this OHC location. It was put on top of the building as a sort of joke but has turned into a Ravenswood landmark since. Be sure to take in a view of it from the Brown Line too.

Héctor Duarte Studio
Enjoy not only this colorful studio but have the chance to meet with the artist himself along with enjoying a drop in art activity during your visit.

WGN Flag & Decorating Co.

This over 100 year old company specializes in banners, flags and buntings. You'll get the chance to see the workshop and store.

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!