Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 2019

7.12.2019

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10

It's been several months since I last did a Do People Actually Buy This?! post. I have just been collecting more and more crazy items this spring. There have been some doozies too. 

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I actually somewhat enjoy the two color sequin trend when done right. In other words on pillows and other such items that are supposed to be crazy. First off has anyone been able to wear a full sequin jacket since the 80s? I'm pretty sure they haven't. Plus the fact that there is not just one set of colors but several. It's a little much.

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

The poof trend continues in full force this summer. I thought it would have gone the way of the dodo already but alas it hasn't. These earrings would drive me bonkers I can just feel the creepy light scratch of the poof on my neck. Eeeee!

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I saw these shoes from the front at first and thought omg gold gym shoes! There is a memory I have from high school about gold gym shoes. Then when I pulled them out to take a photo and I saw the fur on the heel like that I about died! Dead. 

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I am all for color and color on pants too. I can't handle pants that are literally just splashed with paint. Especially at about $50 a pair. Maybe it would be better if it was one or two colors instead of the entire palette.

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Since when should acid wash ever be back in style? That's right it should. 


There is no way that a simple photo would do this hair clip any sort of justice. It had to be a video! It reminds me of the one book that Harry Potter gets about the magical animals.  

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!

7.10.2019

The Before Photos House Tour

Kevin and I have been working like busy little bees the past five weeks to be able to move in and then move into our new place! I thought it would be fun to do before the changes and after the changes house tour. There are some parts of the house that are going to undergo big changes so I thought it would be fun to see those. 

We start of at the top of the stairs looking back at our front foyer. We're a second floor town home or as the mortgage company would say a condo. We're going to call it a town home. 

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

Pretty sure this is my favorite space of the house! I'm standing in the little den space looking towards the living room and dining room. It's so wonderful and open. Even after we plunked most of the boxes in this space it didn't feel cluttered at all. We are redoing the carpet and painting in this entire area. It's almost 30 years old so I think it was time for a change. Also we're pretty sure all the window treatments throughout the house are that old. Hello 29 year old dust! 

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

You know you're at maximum adulting when you're excited about a laundry room with a utility sink and it's own closet!

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

As you can see there is a lovely blue wallpaper all throughout the breakfast area and into the kitchen. Wallpaper was a theme throughout the place and we've been attempting to deal with it. We got the kitchen wallpaper taken care of completely. Kevin's dad was the MVP and took care of all the wallpaper in the kitchen in one day. 

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

I had to include a photo of the master bathroom in this post for sure. Yes that is carpet and not just any carpet it's a lovely late 80s teal carpet. Carpet in the bathroom was a big thing in the 80s so it didn't surprise me. We also had to battle a wallpaper trim in the area of the bathroom where the toilet is. 

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

I love the high ceiling in the master bedroom. The bedroom is already a good size but with the height it feels huge. Another interesting quirk of the place was this built in vanity with mirror and lights. We took out the large mirror and the lights already. For now we're keeping the vanity as a sort of desk area. We shall see how we like it or if we just find it annoying. If it's not useful then we'll remove it so we can use the space. 

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

The second bedroom is wallpapered from floor to ceiling and has not been easy to remove. I started to remove it and we found that there were two different types of paint underneath. The layers have not come off easily and it's sort of a hot mess at the moment. We're going to revisit this project in the next week now that the carpet is finished and we're moved. 

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

The third bedroom will be totally made over. Since I'll be using it partially as a craft area we thought it would be good to put hardwood floors in it. The paint color will be totally different as well! That room is about 90% done at this point and I can't wait to be able to actually unpack and set up everything in it. Kevin got to pick the color for the second bathroom, that and the laundry room he was very excited. 

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

So that's a quick look at the before hand of the town home! I can't wait to be done with our changes well those changes that we want to make and our budget affords for the moment. 

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!

7.08.2019

Aquamermaid Swimming Class

**This post may contain affiliate links

I'm pretty sure there isn't a girl out there that hasn't dreamed of being a mermaid. Growing up I can remember spending time every summer at my cousin's house. She had an in ground pool. We used to put the pool rings around our ankles and pretend that we were mermaids. We even would make up silly words for things like Ariel did in The Little Mermaid. Boy did we ever want to be mermaids!

Aquamermaid Swimming Class by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #Chicago #101in1001

Even though I'm an adult the idea of being a mermaid still is in the back of my head. A couple years ago I heard about AquaMermaid. I thought it was the coolest idea. Then I saw some of the ladies who teach and are in the class show us some moves at the Chicagogrammers 2nd Birthday last summer and I knew I had to take the class. So I added it to my next 101 list and finally I got to check it off the 101 list and my life bucket list. 

Aquamermaid Swimming Class by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #Chicago #101in1001

AquaMermaid has a bunch of locations throughout North America and even a location in the United Arab Emirates. Here in Chicago they swim out of the University of Illinois Chicago at one of their pools. I took my excited self downtown and prepared for my class. There are classes for kids and kids at heart (aka adults). You can also host a kids birthday party or adult parties through them as well. There was a bachelorette party going on at the same time as the weekly class. Their class started a little bit before ours so I got the chance to check out a little bit. It seemed to follow a similar pattern but it looked like at some point they were doing synchronized swimming things around the bride. 

Aquamermaid Swimming Class by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #Chicago #101in1001

Putting on the fins was interesting. I didn't realize that the bottom was a flat plastic piece similar to flippers. It was like being in a large pair of nylons but ones that went up half your body haha. We jumped well more like slid right into the water. I thought that it would be hard to stand with the tail and my feet together but having the feet in the fin part actually really helped balance. 

Aquamermaid Swimming Class by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #Chicago #101in1001

We started the class learning some basic tail movements while holding on to the wall. This really helped you get used to moving your legs with the extra fin on your feet. I found out that I was much better doing the movement when I was on my face and need to still work on the movements when I'm on my back. Pardon my drowned rat look in the following video but look at how natural of a mermaid I look like after only an hour!



We learned how to do moves like the mermaid curl underwater. You sort of plunk yourself down in the water and then do a sideways roll. Another move I wasn't the best at. One move I totally rocked was the handstand. This was a move I would do all the time growing up! A lot of people found the extra weight of the tail out of water would unbalance them but I thought that it actually helped me balance more. 

Aquamermaid Swimming Class by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #Chicago #101in1001

The hour long class was quite a good workout! I definitely felt like I had worked out but it didn't feel like it since we were having fun the whole time. Our teacher was great. We were a small group of four but she really took time with each of us throughout the class to make sure we were getting moves and having a good time. I really enjoyed the entire experience. Plus they build in time into the class to have a fabulous 5 minute mermaid photo shoot. Let's be honest if we're going to try out something like this we all want to show it off to the world right? It was so much fun! I love the idea of coming back with a group of friends and taking a class or having our own private party. Cannot wait for my next AquaMermaid experience!

Aquamermaid Swimming Class by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #Chicago #101in1001






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!

7.03.2019

4 One Time Use Plastics to Stop Using Now

This post may contain affiliate links

Things have finally sort of calmed down over here, well mostly calmed down in the fact that everything is at least in the town home but still boxes everywhere. Plus now I have internet again so I thought I'd take some time to actually sit down and post since I've been a slacker lately. Since moving into our new place I've been taking stock of what all we have in our possession so Steph and Stephanie's Plastic Free in July challenge comes at the right time. Check out their posts for the details the next few weeks. 

4 One Time Use Plastics to Stop Using Now by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


I've been thinking a lot about and paying attention to all the ways I utilize one time only plastics in my life. When you sit there and think about it there are TONS  one time use plastics that we use in our lives and we don't even realize it. These are four areas that I see my own plastic usage and I'm going to work on this next month. How I'm going to do some of these I'm not entirely sure but I know I'll get some good ideas from everyone! 

Produce Containers

This is one area that never even occurred to me that I was using a ton of plastics. Since we always try to do most of our shopping from the edge of the store we buy a lot of produce. Just looking in my fridge now I've a clam shell containers of raspberries for me and blueberries for Kevin. We've got plastic bags that I put asparagus in. This is one area I use plastic that never even crossed my mind! I challenge you to check your produce bin right now and see how much plastic is in it. I have absolutely no idea how to reduce my consumption of these. Especially when things like berries are sold by the clam shell. I'd love to hear more ideas about this. 

Straws

I think we're all aware at this point how terrible an idea plastic straws are. Lately I've been noticing how much restaurants are cutting back on plastic straws which is awesome but I know that I still get them from lots of restaurants. With so many different options now it's tough to see why we would still be using plastic. I really enjoy using my Pampered Chef Metal Straws at home. I'm going to be giving two sets of these fantastic straws for the giveaway too! Not a fan of metal I've seen other options out there such as silicone or paper. My goal this month is to ask not to get a straw with my drink when we eat out. 

Plastic Shopping Bags

Another really obvious way that we all have consumable plastic all the time in our lives. A few years ago Chicago passed a law that you're charged extra for plastic bags in an effort to get people to use reuseable bags. From what I've seen I think it definitely helps. My issue is I always forget to bring them with me. What tricks do you use to remember to bring your reuseable bags? Do you have a stash that stays in your car all the time? Do you have one of those cool ones that tucks into your purse?

Water Bottles

Water bottles is another area that lots of us can reduce our plastic consumption. When I'm in my normal routine I have no problem. At work I've got my awesome Infusion Water Bottle and at home I've got a fancy looking reusable water bottle stashed in my fridge at all times. It's other times when I'm grabbing something on the go or need hydration when there is no fountain around that I will go with a single use water bottle. I'm sure there are ways to avoid using one time use water bottles plus I'm sure that will save us all some money 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!

6.28.2019

Summer 2019 Goals Link Up

Another season done another set of goals complete or incomplete.  Looking back I have more red than I'd like to admit on my spring goals. With all the craziness with the new town home it really ate up way more of my extra time than I thought it would. For the past month I've been there almost every single day after work and most of the weekends doing something. 

Ready to move in this weekend! While I didn't finish up all of my goals for the season really the only one that I didn't do anything on was the crescent dishrags. We have been cutting back pretty hardcore each month on our eating out since we started the budget. Soon we will been working that budget enough where we will be able to complete the month without eating out! 

1. Evaluate and make changes to any 101 List items in preparation for the end of year one.
2. Pitch 50 local places on my list. 
3. Pack at least a box a week starting now.
4.  Complete a month without eating out. 
5. Get together with Rachel.
6. Have ladies time with Mom & Bethany. 
7. Work on crescent dishrag pattern.

With moving tomorrow I feel like most of my list items should be relating to the move but I don't want them all to be! 

1. Finish up the wallpaper removal and painting the second bedroom. 
2. Cross four items off my 101 list. 
3. Get the last bit of our stuff out of our parents houses.
4. Book our flights and the rental car for our Williamsburg trip. 
5. Print photos for reunion photo albums. 
6. Have my craft room all set up
7. Finish up Financial Peace classes

What goals are you planning on accomplishing 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!

6.26.2019

Goals Reminder & Plastic Free July

Hey everyone! It's been insane the past couple of weeks and we're in the home stretch now. Lots has been happening at the new place and I can't wait for it to be finished so I can share it with you. We've been packing like crazy since we're saving money by moving ourselves again. Hence why it's been quiet over here. 

I wanted to remind you that Friday Sara and I are linking up for our summer goals! So you've got a couple of days to start thinking about everything you want to accomplish this summer. I'm sure at least one of mine will involve a deadline for unpacking ha. 

In addition to goals it's almost July. I'm going to be joining the Stephanies in their quest to have a Plastic Free July. Check out the post for the details. There is definitely going to be a giveaway as part of it as well!

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!

6.17.2019

5 Must Take Photos with The Bean


Cloud Gate's story begins 20 years ago in 1999 when London artist Anish Kapoor's design was chosen for the centerpiece sculpture of the new in progress Millennium Park. A little critical at first Chicagoans and visitors soon embraced this legume shaped work of art and lovingly dubbed it The Bean. 

I didn't know this before doing some research but The Bean is actually polished twice a day and cleaned throughout the day to minimize the amount of finger prints! It has for sure become a very recognizable symbol of the Windy City! Now to share my 5 must take photos with The Bean. Next time you visit or walk by on your way to work you should be sure to snap a few of these. 




Shot of the area around The Bean

I always like to start taking photos when I round the steps up from Michigan right when I hit the plaza The Bean sits in. Throughout each season you get great photos of the entire space. I especially love the winter when you can see snow and people bundled up in these photos. Plus you get great shots of The Bean sitting in front of the skyline.



Close Up selfie

The close up selfie is definitely the most common photo people take with The Bean. You really can't stop by The Bean and not take this photo. There are so many options with this one too. I always try to make sure I find an area of the bean that is a little cleaner. I think because so many people are up close and touch The Bean it can get really smudgy but you can always fund a good spot. Another version of the close up is the super close up shot where you're getting a photo of you almost or actually pressed up to The Bean.




Under The Bean

Most people will stand under The Bean and have someone take their photograph from further back. I agree that this is always an excellent photo but I recommend while you're under The Bean looking up and taking a photograph of the underside. I like to stand in the middle underneath and snap a shot. Because of the different shape of the curve underneath you get a totally different photograph. It's just such a cool photo. You can impress everyone with how artsy it looks!




Skyline photo

This is by far my favorite photo to take at The Bean. This is the photo where you pull back and take a photo of the upper half of The Bean. Focusing on making sure that you only get the skyline, clouds and not any of the people. It's always just such a neat photo, especially if you're there on a day with some cool clouds. There is also the slightly lower skyline photo where you can get people in it but the majority of the photograph is focusing on the upper part of The Bean. This is also a top notch photo.





Aerial Photo

I always recommend getting a view of the city from high up if possible. I mean come on Chicago is the home of the skyscraper after all so why wouldn't the views from these icons be amazing? The view of The Bean from up high is no slouch in fact until I had actually experienced that view myself I didn't realize how much I was missing out on! This particular view is from Cindy's Rooftop and as you can see it lived up to the hype!


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!

6.10.2019

4 Things to Do For Your Blog When You Just Can't Write

4 Things to do For Your Blog When You Just Can't Write by Musings of a Museum Fanatic  #blog #blogging #blogs


There are days and weeks when you don't have any blog posts ready to go. I've had one of those weeks. This past week Kevin and I spent most evenings at the townhome talking through changes and starting to put them in place. Yesterday I spent the day downtown with Stephanie which was super fun but we were all over the place from Little India to Andersonville and I clocked in over 15,000 steps. Today I was at the townhome peeling wallpaper and hauling in laminate flooring for my hobby room. While not as many steps I still clocked in at 13,000 steps. 

I got home this evening and thought to myself holy cow I haven't had a moment to finish up any of the posts I had started from a week before. What the heck am I going to do? Sometimes when you just can't because you're exhausted you need to do some things that are low impact but important to your blog. What do you do for your 

Focus on social media

Sometimes it can be tough to sit down and write but we don't have a problem scrolling through our social media when we're exhausted. Take this time to connect and comment on other bloggers and businesses. Everyone is always telling you that's the way to build your following. I also don't find scheduling social media as taxing when I'm so exhausted as writing posts. It's fun to look back through your photos and see what you want to share. Pinning can be a perfect mindless activity. I enjoy getting all my pins scheduled through Tailwind when I can't bring myself to do anything else. 

Fix up a few old posts

This is always a task I never make time for regularly. When I'm super tired though I like to fix one or two old posts. I go through and make sure photos are actually linked. My favorite way to fix up older posts is to make sure they have a pinable image. Now that I have gobs of templates that I use through Canva this is and easy and fast way to feel like I've done a lot for my blog without a lot of effort. 

Brainstorm

Taking time to come up with new content ideas is something we should be doing for our blogs regularly. When you have a nice big idea list it can be easy to work your way through it and not realizing you're almost out of ideas. Brainstorming is a perfect low impact blog task that keeps your idea list full. I also think that looking back at old posts and trying to think of more posts that can come from those old posts is good to work on when you're tired too. 

Read & Comment

Reading and commenting on other blogs is probably one of the lowest impact and enjoyable tasks you can do when you just can't. Connecting other bloggers isn't only good for growing your blog it's always fun to see what other bloggers are writing about. Checking in on the blogs you follow and finding new favorites. 

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!

6.05.2019

15 Thoughts I had During our Closing



Kevin and I did it! We're now home owners! 

After two months of being under contract we sat down this morning and closed the deal. It's my first time as a homeowner and so my first time going through the entire process from start to finish. There is so much I learned along the way and so much that that still is overwhelming. Yesterday morning we officially closed on the town home. During the process I had so many different thoughts going through my head! Are you a homeowner? Did you have these thoughts going through closing?

Oh my gosh we're actually doing this!

Holy cow that stack of papers is huge do we have to sign every piece of paper?

Ok good we don't have to sign every piece

My hand is going to be sore after this

Wait what does that weird real estate term mean?

Has my handwriting always been this terrible?

I still don't understand what exactly that weird real estate term means except that we're paying more money for something. 

Really they're charging us for that?

Gotta love taxes in Cook County

Well at least Kevin has worse handwriting than me 

Are we done with all this signing yet?

I'm glad all of this is written down and I don't have to remember it all!

We're almost there I can see the bottom of the pile!

This is the last thing we have to sign thank goodness

Holy cow we're home owners!! Crazy!!

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

5.29.2019

Spring Goals Update

Spring Goals Update Musings of a Museum Fanatic


There is a reason that I make a point of checking in on my goals part way through the season. Again I've totally forgotten several of them that are on the list. If I wouldn't do a check in on them I'd blow them off and not even get them part way completed. How are your spring goals going? Have you been doing better than I have at remembering them?

1. Evaluate and make changes to any 101 List items in preparation for the end of year one.
So I took care of this one early on in the season but have actually been looking and evaluating a couple more of my 101 list items. As I take another good look at a few they don't seem totally in line with where life has taken us so I think I'll be revisiting and rewriting those couple this summer.

2. Pitch 50 local places on my list.
This is one list item that I've actually be avoiding like the plague. I think because my numbers aren't amazing and in the five digit numbers I've been getting really down on myself about them. I shouldn't let myself get so in my head about it because I've pitched places before with less numbers than I have now and they worked with me. So I got over myself this morning and sent out 10 emails! Here's hoping I hear back with lots of positive replies.

3. Pack at least a box a week starting now.
We have been doing really well at this task. I wish we would get our act a little more together and do more than one a week but now that we're closing next week I think that will actually start to happen.

4. Complete a month without eating out.
So far this one is a no go. It's just really difficult when I'm out all evening for something I'm involved in and there is not a good way for me to bring dinner. Since we started budgeting we've cut waaaay back on this though. I feel like with us sticking to the budget we're cutting back and will be able to complete the month really soon without going totally cold turkey.

5. Get together with Rachel.
I think we're going to fail at this one. Rachel was without a car for almost two months while it was in the shop and now she's just had their second baby. So we might have to think about getting together closer to July.

6. Have ladies time with Mom & Bethany.
Bethany and I have decided that as soon as we close and figure out more of how our weekends are in June we'll be putting this on the books. Kevin and I have left every weekend in June open for the house stuff and moving. I know can you believe that I have so many weekends free?! Me either. Although I am itchy when I think about how they're free haha.

7. Work on crescent dishrag pattern.
Totally forgot this guy was on the list. Mom gave me smaller needles to give the pattern a try. She thought that might make a difference in the size. So I've been thinking that I'll leave those guys unpacked and give that a try in the next month since everything will be packed.

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

5.24.2019

Guide to Chicago in the Summer

Guide to Chicago in the Summer by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #Chicago #enjoyChicago #WindyCity

With the weather still acting like it's early March it's tough to believe that we're almost to summer here in the Windy City. I know I'm ready for summer in Chicago and I'm sure everyone else is too. If you're looking to enjoy summer in Chicago I've got six essential things you need to be doing to have the perfect Chicago summer. Whether you're a visitor or a local this will get your summer off to a good start even if the weather isn't quite there yet.

Navy Pier
Navy Pier is the perfect place to take your family during the summer. There are great rides and games. Ride the Centennial Ferris wheel for a fantastic view. In addition to all the outside things to do head inside and visit the Chicago Children's Museum and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Plus every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day you can catch fireworks.

Beaches
Not many people would think that Chicago is a great place to go hang out on the beach. With 26 miles of beach it should definitely be on your list. For a beach with a view check out Oak Street and North Avenue beaches. They provide amazing views of the Loop. I would also recommend Montrose Beach. There might not be a view but there is a dog friendly area and a bird sanctuary so you can enjoy some wild life.

Millennium Park
While everyone might complain about how touristy Millennium Park can be it's one you should definitely enjoy at least once during your visit or take your out of town visitors. Besides snapping an iconic photo of yourself in the Bean there is so much more to Millennium Park. Cool off at Crown Fountain or enjoy the beauty of Lurie Garden. There is just so much to take in of this beautiful green space. Plus you can enjoy fun and free summer events such as the Summer Film Series

Enjoy a rooftop or patio
Some people say Chicago has two seasons ... winter and construction season but I like to say it's winter and eat outside season. Once the weather is regularly in the mid-50s everyone starts eating and drinking outside in Chicago. Our spaces of choice are definitely up on the roof or out on patio. You'll find gorgeous settings to enjoy a drink or eat like Cindy's at the Chicago Athletic Association and Joy District. There are way too many patios to even begin naming them but you can pretty much find at least two on each block.

Festivals
There might be lots to do throughout the summer but I always make sure to go to lots of festivals. From art festivals to neighborhood festivals there is a festival for everyone. I know lots of people make a point to go to the Taste of Chicago but I prefer the neighborhood fests. They aren't as packed and you're actually able to enjoy yourself. Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest and Retro on Roscoe are always a personal favorite of mine.

Get out on the water
Being the third coast we always have to be hanging out in or by the water when the weather is fabulous. You can go all out and enjoy Lake Michigan. There are lots of boat rentals and dinner cruises that take you out into the lake if you're a big open body of water type of person. I love being out on the river so I would have to vote for if you must head to the water check out the architectural tours or just enjoy the water taxi. Any way you hit the water you can't go wrong because you'll be assured a fantastic view.

Baseball game
Most of the year Chicagoans can agree on their favorite team but when it comes to baseball season you'll find everyone is split. Whether you're rooting for the Cubs or the Sox taking in a baseball game is a must for Chicago in the summer. Not a fan of sitting through an entire game but want a unique baseball experience? Take in a tour of historic Wrigley Field and for only $25-35 that's a pretty good deal 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!

5.22.2019

3 Things I Learned After Our First Month of Budgeting

3 Things I Learned After Our First Month of Budgeting by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #budget #budgeting #finances


Budgeting month one is done and now we're almost done with month two! I'm really proud of Kevin and I for working hard on not just setting a budget but working hard to stick to it these past months too. We both went into the first month with certain thoughts. We figured that the process would be exactly a certain way and that we were going to do things a certain. Well like most things in life it did not turn out that way! We're only partially through month two and we've already learned so much about budgeting, finances and how the two of us react to certain issues. Do you budget? What are your best learning moments or tips?

If you're part of a team, it takes a team
Kevin and I are a team. #TeamGlenn When you're a part of a team you cannot do something big like a budget on your own. You have to work on it together. That is the only way making and sticking to a budget will ever work. You need to be working towards that goal together. Both of you need to be all in on the budget and working together. It won't work well otherwise and you will just create problems. If you're single you are your own team! Make sure that you are all in and working hard on your budget. 

It won't be perfect
I always want to get things right the first time I do them. I can get really OCD about things. Starting our budgeting was one of those things I wanted to get 100% right immediately. We both realized early on last month that it wasn't perfect because life isn't perfect. Stuff will come up throughout the month and you'll need to readjust. Starting off you will also severely underestimate the amount of gas you use in a single month! I've heard that it takes a couple of months to really get the hang of budgeting and that makes a lot of sense. 

Won't feel deprived 
I thought that I would feel super deprived when we started budgeting but surprisingly I feel totally opposite. I read that by sticking to a budget actually gives you permission to spend. We put in a little bit of fun money, just $100 for each, for the two of us and it made a huge difference. Kevin and I are able to keep our plans without throwing the budget and ourselves into wack. For me it made me think outside the box and suggest things that would make my fun money last. Such as meeting up at a place that had great happy hour deals and sharing with my friend so the bill was low. 

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

5.20.2019

8 Top Guilty Pleasures

Since we started budgeting last month both of us have really been evaluating what we spend our money one. I've been looking hard at what are needs and what are wants. This includes all those guilty pleasure type of things that I just love so much. I thought it would be good and fun to think of all those guilty pleasures that I enjoy so much. 

Some of these I definitely get some looks when I share them. What are your top guilty pleasures?

Ice Cream 


Pedicures



Binging on Real Housewives



Massage

Just doing nothing



Jet's Pizza



New nail polish



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

5.13.2019

30 Things That Happened in 2004


2004 was a time of questionable fashion and everyone saying "that's hot." We were all wearing low cut jeans, handkerchief tops, Juicy Couture and Britney Spear's Curious. For me I was still in the beginning years of college. What were you up to in 2004? Maybe these will help jog that memory!

The summer Olympics were held in Greece

Mean Girls

CIA admitted that there was no imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq in 2003

Suicide bombs kill 190 people in Madrid during rush hour



The Incredibles

US transfers sovereignty and control of Iraq back to the Iraq people

Ronald Reagan passes away at 93

Lance Armstrong wins his 6th Tour de France



Lost starts

One million people flee their homes in Darfur, Sudan after the ethnic cleansing by government backed militia

President George Bush is elected to a second term

Napoleon Dynamite



Martha Stewart is convicted of a felony and sentenced to five months in prison

National Treasure

We started making it work thanks to Project Runway

Anchorman: Legend of Ron Burgundy



Britney Spears gets married to Jason Allen Alexander in Vegas then annuals the marriage 55 hours later

Facebook is launched

Dodgeball

Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-syncing on Saturday Night Live




The long running TV favorites Friends and Fraiser go off the air

Barbie and Ken broke up in 2004

Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize same-sex marriage

Everyone under 30 became obsessed with Laguna Beach 


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

5.06.2019

8 Things That Happened Lately

It's finally feeling like spring in Chicago! Spring is always a crazy time of year around here. With anniversaries for my brother starting mid-March several birthdays in April ending with our anniversary in May plus throw in Easter and Mother's Day there is just so much that happens in the spring. I thought it would be a good time to catch you up on some of what's been happening. How has your spring been? As crazy as mine?

While so many things have happened the past couple of months here are the 8 big happenings. 

Kevin's Grandma
A week ago Kevin's grandma passed away. She was 83 and had been suffering from dementia for several years. Kevin is really sad that she passed away but happy that's she's not in pain anymore. He gave a lovely eulogy during the service. I'm not sure if someone said this to me or if I read it somewhere but funerals are really for the living not the deceased. I hate to put it this way but one thing I love about funerals is all the stories. There were so many stories shared it was great. Got to hear a few new ones about Kevin too. 
  

Looking for a house
In March Kevin and I started looking for a new place to live so I wouldn't have a 50 minute commute. in the course of a weekend of looking at new rentals we decided to just go for it and buy a place. After lots of looking we're under contract and set to close the beginning of June! SO brace yourself for lots of new house photos, home tours and more moving posts coming soon. 




Orlando Trip
Early in March Kevin and I got to escape the cold for a long weekend in Orlando! This time we didn't stay on Disney property so we had an opportunity to do some things that had been on our list for a while. There is a huge lake in the Orlando area that they do massive bass fishing tournaments on. We booked a guide to take us out fishing. It was a slow morning but Kevin caught a few and I caught the biggest one like I said i would. 

One day was spent at Disney. We thought it would be fun to finally take one of the behind the scenes tours. It was so much fun! I love getting to hear the back story about pretty much everything in the Magic Kingdom. We even got to hop the line at a couple of rides. Next time we will for sure be doing another tour. This trip we were able to see the Orange County Regional History Center, I've known someone who has worked there so it was neat to see it. 



7th Anniversary
Yesterday we celebrated 7 years! It doesn't feel like it's been that long. I feel like it was just 7 minutes ago. We went out to lunch to the Japanese place nearby that we love. Made sure it was in the budget! We're not doing gifts this year since we're stockpiling our savings for the move and there are some things that we want for the house right away. I'd love to have a table like my brother made for my sister in law a couple years ago. I told Kevin he and my brother can make me one for our anniversary some time later this summer.


Easter Weekend
Easter weekend Juliette was baptized and we celebrated that along with Easter and my birthday together. During the baptism Elowen was in fine form. The kids area always invited to come to the front to see the baptism and she was telling the other kids (they're probably 4 years old) about her shoes and they were telling her to shhhh. It was hilarious. The weather was great that weekend so we really enjoyed being outside. Kevin, his parents, my mom and I all went out for tapas after the baptism. So good. I love tapas.

Easter Sunday was spent enjoying the lovely weather with my side. The kids were in fine form. Lane only grabbed an egg from Elowen maybe twice. He helped he find the eggs more than he just grabbed them from her.

Time with friends
I've gotten to have lots of fun with friends the past couple of months. My former colleagues and I had our dinner night out. We started doing dinners out when Pam left a few years ago as a time to catch up and now that I'm at a different job it's even more important to make sure we have the dinners regularly! I got to spend a lovely St. Patrick's Day downtown with Jackie and some of her friends. We went fancy and enjoyed cocktails at the Langham Hotel bar. It has the perfect view of the green river.

Even though I'm in a new job I had to go back to decorate my friend Mark's cube for his 50th birthday! We had been planning and talking about it since September! I wasn't about to slack off and not come through for the big day. It felt a little odd being back but since I was after most people were out for the day I didn't run into too many people but I did get to say hi to some of my friends in IT and the Visual Communications department. As you can see we went all out. There are lots of items that we wrapped throughout his desk. I'm pretty sure he'll be finding them for a while hee hee.


Financial Peace University
We have been talking about being better with our finances probably since we've been married. Not that we're living paycheck to paycheck or that we don't have anything in savings. It's just that we can be much better at knowing where our money is going and what we spend it on. Several years ago we had talked about going through Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. He has a really interesting story and the program is simple and very sensible. I'm sure I'll be sharing more on that as we're working our way through the baby steps.  

Louie turns 40
I've noticed as we've been getting older that birthdays don't seem to be such a big deal and we don't make as big a deal of them. Heck we're not really celebrating mine until probably the third week of May and it was April 19th. We did make sure to celebrate my brother's birthday together this year though since he was turning the big 4-0! It was a fun meal of our favorite homemade spaghetti and meatballs using the Manichia recipe. Just a good time chilling with everyone.

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!