Musings of a Museum Fanatic: January 2019

1.30.2019

Chicago Candy


When you walk down the candy aisle I'm sure you're thinking about whether or not you should get two packages of Reese's since you're husband will probably eat the first before you can even get to it. Just me? What I'm guessing you don't think about is where all of that amazing goodness came from. Somewhere that candy was developed, made and packaged. Chicago is proud to be home to some amazing and well known candies!

Wrigley Gum
You can't talk Chicago candy and not think about Wrigley. I mean there is an entire baseball field, neighborhood and building named after the company! Wrigley actually started out in 1891 by selling soap and then baking powder. With each of those products he would offer an incentive to purchase them. With the baking powder he would offer packs of chewing gum. Pretty soon the gum became more popular than the baking powder! An empire was born.

He started off with Juicy Fruit and Spearmint gum in 1893. There wouldn't be a new gum in his line until 1914 when Doublemint gum was introduced! Crazy to think these three icons of the gum aisle have been around so long.

Brach's
Emil J. Brach spent $1,000 (which is about 28k today!) to open his North Avenue candy store "Brach's Palace of Sweets". While they started with one kettle soon they had more and were making over 50,000 pounds of candy. In the early 20s they had expended to multiple factories and producing over 2 million pounds of candy per week. Brach's is best known for their seasonal candies such as candy corn and conversation hearts. My personal favorite is the mallowcream pumpkins! In 2007 Brach's was purchased by another candy company who later merged with Ferrara! Keeping it all in the Chicago area.  

Ferrara Pan Candy Company
In 1908, Salvatore Ferrara, an Italian immigrant, settled into Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood and opened up a bakery. Soon his candy coated almonds were out selling any of the bakery treats. Soon Salvatore and his brothers-in-law worked to expand the business. Soon Ferrara was developing some of the most well known candy aisle favorites such as Red Hots in 1930, Atomic Fireball in 1954 and Lemonheads in 1962. Their current headquarters is in Oak Brook, IL. 

The Blommer Chocolate Company
A stone's throw northwest of the Loop, just off the Grand Blue Line stop, you'll encounter a smell that will make your mouth water. That delicious smell is none other than the chocolate being processed at the Blommer Chocolate factory. Opening in 1939 this Chicago company has grown to be the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, processing more than 45% of cocoa beans in the United States. So there is a good chance that the candy bars and fancy chocolates you enjoy came from Blommer Chocolate!

Frango Mints
A Chicago icon Frango mints have their origins dating back to 1918. A Marshall Field competitor had named a chocolate dessert they sold Frango. When Field's acquired the other brand they brought the Frango dessert to Chicago and eventually changed it to the iconic mints we know and love today. There is much more drama to the Frango history with the buying of Marshall Field's by Macy's in the 2000s but no need to bring that up when enjoying a good piece of chocolate. If you were to get one souvenir on your Chicago visit I would definitely get Frango Mints.

Tootsie Roll Industries
Technically Tootsie Roll is an adopted child of Chicago. Starting in the late 1890s in New York the company started moving it's operations to Chicago in the mid 1960s. Since then Tootsie Roll has called the south side neighborhood of Ford City home. Since moving to the Windy City Tootsie Roll has added some big name companies to it's folds including the Charms Company and Andes Candies. While you can't get a tour of the factory in person they have some awesome virtual tours on their website plus you can totally be friends with Mr. Owl on Twitter!

Mars
Another adopted Chicago candy company you'll find is Mars who has been a resident of the Windy City for 90 years now! Just a year after they upgraded to Chicago Mars developed Snickers and soon after 3 Musketeers! So that means those two chocolate staples are a Chicago candy! Mars has had a crazy history of different products and different stories, did you know that they have owned a pet food line for decades? Yeah me either! For way more history than I could share here check out the awesome timeline on their website.

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!

1.28.2019

7 Tips to Regain Your Blogging Motivation


Now that we've hit the doldrums of late January who else has lost their motivation to do anything? It's cold out, it might be snowing out, the days are still super short and now they're we're passed Christmas the season has lost it's charm. Keeping your motivation for most things can be tough but it can be especially tough when it comes to blogging. With so many different things to do like taking photos, posting on social media, commenting, and don't forget just writing posts it's really tough to keep your motivation at 100 all the time. I've got 7 tips I find to be really helpful when I loose my motivation to blog. What do you do to keep that motivation up?

Remember why
After over six years of blogging sometimes it's easy to forget why I started. Even if you've only been blogging for a little bit it can be really easy to get overwhelmed and forget as well. If you're looking for a spurt of motivation start by sitting down and figuring out why you're blogging. Maybe why you started, no matter how long  or short ago it was, doesn't apply anymore. 

When you've taken a step back and decided what you're why is be sure to incorporate that into you blog! Take some time to revamp your About Me page, you tags, and everything else that goes with it. Who knows maybe even a design change is needed. 

Give yourself some new goals
We all know I'm a huge fan of goals! Whether it's small ones for your every day life or those bigger goals that would be perfect for your 101 list it's always important to have some sort of goal. Without a goal it's easy to not only loose your motivation but also to be unfocused. Be sure to make SMART goals though! It's not a good goal if it's not an achievable one. 

Maybe you had some great goals but for some reason didn't achieve them. Take a step back and ask yourself why you didn't accomplish them. Was it because life changed and you just didn't have time. Those goals still might be valid ones and you still want to achieve them. Didn't finish them because your blog took a whole new turn or you wanted to focus on something else with your blog? 

Develop a plan
You might be sitting there saying Betsy this is the exact same thing as a goal. I don't think a plan and a goal are the same. A goal is the end result the plan is how you get there. Without a plan you're just going to drift along, annoyed that nothing is happening and saying to yourself that you're not going to get out of the funk.

After setting a few new goals it's time to give the goals life with a plan. Want to increase you social media followers and interaction? Take some time to figure out steps to make that happen! One of my goals that I've been working on the plan for is getting my content scheduled ahead of time. So the plan part has been to develop a big list of topics I want to write on, then I worked on an editorial calendar. Make those plans! Breaking things down into manageable pieces can bring your motivation back up quickly.

Connect with other bloggers
Making new blogger friends or connecting with ones you already have is a great way to bring up the motivation levels. They are great to pitch ideas to, give you some advice and just all around understand the whole crazy blog world. 

Know your limits
One thing I am super bad about is knowing my limits. I'm one of those people who take on so much and sometimes take on everything then I get overwhelmed and stressed. This is not just applicable to my personal life but to my blog as well. Right now I've got probably two dozen emails from different blog challenges I've signed up to do because they're going to be amazing and hundreds of pins for tips and tricks I want to implement. 

No matter who we are and how amazing of a plan we have we cannot do everything! Knowing your limits is super important! Not just so you don't get discouraged but also so you don't overwhelm and stress yourself out. Know those limits and be sure to give yourself grace.

Refine your focus
Like other items on this list trying to write about anything and everything can really make you feel overwhelmed and then tank your motivation. When you don't know what to write about it's super easy to wallow about whining about how you don't want to write and don't know what to write about. Not writing about that one from experience at all!

Last year I took a couple of steps back and started to refine what areas I write about here and it definitely helped! One might think it would be harder when you narrow down topics but I think it helps since you focus on areas you're really passionate about instead of a bunch that are just meh.

Take a break
If nothing else works sometimes taking a step back and taking a break helps. Early in December I had some big transitions and it totally put me out of whack, both physically and mentally. All I was doing for a good week and a half was coming home curling up on the couch and attempting to relax my body. The first couple of days I was making myself more upset since I didn't have posts ready or anything scheduled for social media. 

Since my motivation was out the window because of the other stresses that were happening I gave myself a lot of grace. I took a step back and told myself it's ok not to post. You do not have to add to the mess by making yourself do something that you just can't right now. I know for me after I started feeling back to 100% at the end of December I was back! Writing like a mad woman and back with renewed motivation. Taking a break is OK and sometimes it can be the best thing for you!

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!

1.25.2019

15 Ways to Boost Your Mood Right Now


Winter can be a tough time. It's dark most of the day and even during daylight hours it can be tough since it's snowing and dreary out. Many people suffer from seasonal depression during this time of year or some can find themselves not being in that great of mood. There are so many small things that you can do to give your mood a quick boost! Don't let the dreariness of winter get you out of sorts. These are just 15 of the things I do to boost my mood. What are some things that you do to boost your mood?

Breathe

Do something you enjoy

Call your mom

Smile & laugh

Take a walk outside

Dance

Text a friend

Hug someone ... with their permission of course!

Get some sunshine

Work out

Call your BFF

Smell some citrus

Pamper yourself

Put on your favorite song

Hang out with your pet or someone else's pet



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!

1.23.2019

30 Things That Happened in 2014


Starting off 2019 we're going to step five years back. 2014 might seem like it was just last year but it was five long years ago now. So much happened that year that has changed our lives today. Jump in the time machine with me : )

Guardians of the Galaxy

Gay marriage became legal in 18 more US states

Chicago P.D. kicked off the Chicago TV show love

We enjoyed Taco Bell all day with the introduction of their breakfast menu

Ebola epidemic becomes global health crisis with over 17,100 total cases and 6,000 deaths



The Wolf Of Wall Street

Solange and Jay Z had a fight on an elevator at an event after the Met Gala and we were all shook

Jane the Virgin

Dozens of celebrity nudes were stolen and illegally posted on the internet

John Travolta totally botches Idina Menzel's name instead saying "Adele Dazeem" at the Oscars

Rise of ISIS



Robin Williams commits suicide

Selma

The ice bucket challenge was all over the place for a hot minute

How I Meet Your Mother ended and people were not fans of the finale

The winter Olympics are held in Sochi, Russia



U.S. restores diplomatic relations with Cuba

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin consciously uncoupled

Big Hero 6

Recreational marijuana use was legalized in four states and Washington, DC

Philip Seymour Hoffman dies from a drug overdose



We all got really excited for and then were quickly let down by Lifetime's Unauthorized Saved By the Bell

The Polar Vortex rocked our Midwest world in the coldest possible way

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears

2014 was also a big year in my life ... I we said goodbye to my dad and then shortly after welcomed my nephew into the family


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!

1.21.2019

Pampered Chef Game Day Recipe Round Up


Well we're just a couple of weeks away from the big game! What is a game day with friends without delicious food? In our house for occasions like the big game we love to bring out a bunch of munchies and just graze. While I know that I have my favorites that I always must have there are so many great new recipes out there just waiting to become favorites. Since I've been working my way through 50 new Pampered Chef recipes on the 101 list I've tried a number of new recipes that have become favorites. Today I've got a round up of some of those recipes and some that are on my list to try that are perfect for a game day spread!




Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus









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!

1.18.2019

Things I Judge You For

None of us ever like to admit it but we totally judge people. I know that you're thinking I don't ever judge people but I know that is totally a lie. There is something, maybe it's a super small thing, but there is always something that we judge other people on. I won't lie I can get pretty judgy sometimes so I'm just going sit here and admit it! Here are the things that I am most likely judging you silently for. What are the things that you get really judgy about?


What museums you do and do not like

How you drive

When you’re late

When I can tell that you’re not listening to someone but only waiting to interject your thoughts

When we're supposedly conversing but I can tell you're just looking for the next conversation

When you finish someone else’s story. This is especially a bad one if you do this and you weren't even there for the story. Rude.


Checking your phone when we're talking

How you treat customer service people

Who your favorite Disney princess is. Also in the same vein your thoughts in general about Disney princesses

Your choices in music

When you wear certain brands of clothes and you're of a certain age

Your handshake

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!

1.16.2019

11 Tips for an Awesome Night at Home



Is anyone else ready for spring to be here? I know I am! Since we're still in winter here in the Chicago area I have been staying home a bunch. We all know when it's snowy out I go to work and go home unless absolutely necessary. With that in mind I've been working on enjoying my nights at home more. Through some trial and error I've found 15 tips that I think really make a dull night at home go to an awesome one!

Change your mindset
It's been a long week! Whether you're relaxing on a Friday night or Saturday get into that relaxing mindset. Don't think about everything that you feel like you should be doing, just sit back and enjoy.

Make it a movie night
Check out the latest offerings at the Redbox. I’m sure you’ll find something you haven’t seen before or something you’d enjoy seeing again. Or if you’re more of a streaming person there are lots of great movies on Netflix right now.

Try a new recipe
A lot of times we break out our fancy new recipes for when we have someone else to show it off to. I say why not do the same for yourself. You’ve been eyeing that awesome XXX recipe you pinned on Pinterest give it a go for yourself.

Splurge on dinner
Maybe you’re not a cooking type person or you just don’t want to this Friday night. It’s time to check out that new take out place you’ve been eyeing. This is the perfect time to not get all dressed up and go out but bring it in and enjoy.

Dress for the occasion
What is your relaxing outfit? Maybe it’s your PJs or jeans or even a ball gown. Mine is Kevin’s old basketball shorts (which are insanely comfy and he is still annoyed I commandeered them!) and a worn in T-shirt. Whatever you feel most comfortable in as soon as you’re home that night get into it!

Figure out your party size
Since this is your awesome night at home maybe it’s a party of one so you send off the hubby and kids to go to the grandparent’s house. Maybe it’s just you and the husband or you and some friends. It’s your night in you can invite or not invite whomever you want!

Game Time
For a crowd break out your favorite board games that you love but know they're sitting in that hall closet catching dust. You know you want to. Party of one? Break out a puzzle!

Pamper Yourself
We're living in the age of the face mask it seems. Take some time to peruse and find one from the store or purchase a fun one, like this Sleeping Beauty one, online. Paint your nails or finally take time to use that nail wrap you bought last year. 


Enjoy a Drink
or two! That's one thing I enjoy about staying in is not having to worry about how much the fancy drinks will cost or who is driving. It's nice to be able to enjoy some drinks and relax. It doesn't need to be alcoholic either. My new favorite drink is this awesome Citrus Berry Smash that Pampered Chef came out with earlier this year. 

Dessert first
Since the new year I've been working on only having dessert on occasion instead of a regular daily thing. Dessert is something that should be more special than it is! So for an awesome night at home it's totally ok to splurge on dessert. Treat yourself to a treat from the bakery or stop and grab your favorite Dairy Queen treat. Enjoying it during a relaxing night at home really makes it a special night in. 

Go to bed
One of the perks of being at home for the evening is that you can go to bed any time you want. Want to stay up a little later binging on the latest Real Housewives episodes? Go for it. Want to call it a night at 8pm because you've had a long week and are tired? Do it! On the weekend I enjoy spending some quality time snuggled up under the covers watching a movie. 

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!

1.14.2019

Two Step Cheesy Queso Dip

 

I know I've brought up my love of a muchie/appetizer meal before but I love making up a dinner of all sorts of fun appetizers. We are definitely dip fiends in our house from the Chili Cheese Dip to the 3 Ingredient Crab Dip they're all amazing. Since one can't have enough cheesy dips in their recipe book I've got another super simple but deliciously addicting dip. There are a lot of versions of this dip floating around and here is the one we love in my family!

Ingredients:
1 can mild Rotel
1 can chili no beans
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed

Directions: 
1. Dump the Rotel, chili and Velveeta into a sauce pan. 


2. Heat, stirring regularly until cheese is melted and everything is heated through. 


3. Enjoy!



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!

1.11.2019

Cartoon Characters I have a Crush On

There are those celebrity guys that we all have crushes on throughout our lives. Sometimes those celebrity guys happen to be cartoons. I know I've had my share of live action and cartoon crushes throughout the years. Yes a few them are definitely Disney men but there are lots of other hunky cartoon gents out there too! Who is your secret or not so secret cartoon crush?

Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon 2 
Hiccup definitely had his own Neville Longbottom moment between the first and second movies! When I saw the trailer the first time I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped. You can't go wrong with a guy with cartoon hair like that. You just can't.



Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty
Oh Prince Phillip! He is and will always be my first and ultimate cartoon crush. He's handsome and dashing, especially when commanding Samson ... most of the time. Plus Phillip is a very forward thinking prince, not one to stick to the status quo.




Li Shang from Mulan
Do I really need anymore proof than this gif? For those who need more proof than the super suave super sweet comment he gives Mulan at the end "You ... you fight good." Moving on from his lack of words he is tough but pushes you to be your best and works to protect plus who doesn't love a guy who your grandmother loves?



Archie from Archie Comics
I've loved the gang since my mom introduced me to them in middle school. Archie comics are one of a few things that I actively collect. I always thought Archie was such a cutie in that bumbling guy next door way. He's got to have something going on if both Betty and Veronica are going after him all the time right? Although he does drive me a little crazy when he ditches one for the other. I know it's their shtick but sometimes it can come off a little cruel.



Dimitri from Anastasia
Anastasia is the best non-Disney cartoons out there. Fight me on it! From the beginning of the movie Dimitri shows how much he cares by saving Anastasia and her grandmother. He looses his way a little bit along the way with the whole making a quick buck with trying to find a fake Anastasia. Even though there were a few bumps in the road he totally redeems himself in the end.



Robin Hood from Robin Hood
There is just something about a guy with a sexy voice. One of my favorite voices of a Disney cartoon, really any cartoon. He such a sweetie too. Always caring for everyone! The whole felon part of it is a bit of a bummer but some girls dig the bad boy. Although since it's to help people is it really wrong? That's a whole other moral dilemma but can we please agree Robin Hood has it going on.


Garrett from Quest for Camelot
Another great under appreciated non-Disney cartoon. If you haven't seen Quest for Camelot you really need to find it and watch it now. Such a good movie. Garrett starts out the movie as a, well I won't sugar coat it, he's a jerk. As the movie goes on you start to see a softer side to him as he helps Kayley. Plus you have to see his moves!

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!

1.09.2019

Chicago Museum Free Days 2019



2019 brings with it a whole new batch of museum free days!  Be sure to check out these two amazing programs for other ways to save and enjoy your favorite Museums for much less, Museums for All and Blue Star Museums. What new museum will you check out this year?

The Big 6 Chicago Museums
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60605
312-922-7827
These are Illinois resident discount days

  • January 21-22, 29-31
  • February 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 26-28
  • April  2-4, 9-11
  • June 3-5, 10-13
  • September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
  • October 7-9, 14-16
  • November 8, 11
  • December 2-3, 7, 12-13


Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603
312-443-3600
  • Free admission every Thursday 5-8PM to Illinois residents



700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
312-527-1000
  • Free admission every Thursday 5PM-8PM
  • First Free Sunday - Free admission for visitors 15 and under on the first Sunday of each month


Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-922-9410
Illinois residents can enjoy free Basic admission on Field Museum Discount Days. On these Discount Days, Illinois residents may upgrade to a Discovery Pass for $16 or upgrade to an All-Access Pass for $23.
  • January 21
  • February 1-28 
  • April 5-7
  • June 26-28


Museum of Science and Industry 
5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637
773-684-1414
These are Illinois resident discount days. 
  • January 7–10, 14–17, 21–24, 28–31
  • February 4–7, 11–14, 19–21, 25–28


Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-939-2438
  • January 17-21 
  • February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-28

Art
Elmhurst Art Museum
150 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
630-834-0202
  • Free admission the first Friday of the month


40 Arts Cir Dr, Evanston, IL 60208
847-491-4000
  • Free daily admission


Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

220 South Cottage Hill Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126
630-833-1616
  • Free admission every Friday


Loyola University Museum of Art
820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
312-915-7600
  • Free admission every Tuesday


Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
312-280-2660
  • Free admission every Tuesday for Illinois residents


National Veterans Art Museum
4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60641
312-326-0270
  • Free daily admission


Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637
773-702-0200
  • Free daily admission


Ethnic Museums
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637
773-947-0600
  • Free admission every Tuesday


National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
312-738-1503
  • Free daily admission


Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago
1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
773-702-9514
  • Free daily admission 


Swedish American Museum
5211 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60601
773-728-8111
  • Free admission every second Tuesday of the month



History Museums
Robert McCormick Museum and
First Division Museum (at Cantigny)
1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
630-668-5161

  • Free daily admission to museums, $5 parking fee per car


Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
312-642-4600
Illinois resident discount days

  • Every Tuesday from 12:30 to 9:00 p.m. and on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4, and July 4. *Excludes January 2, January 9, December 18th & December 25th.


Clarke House Museum
1827 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
312-326-1480

  • Free admission 


102 E. Wesley Street Wheaton, Illinois 60187
630-510-4941

  • Free daily admission


120 E. Park Ave.  Elmhurst, IL 60126
630-833-1457
  • Free daily admission


Glessner House Museum
1800 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
312-326-1480
  • Free on Wednesdays


Jane Addams Hull House at UIC
800 S. Halsted Chicago, IL 60607-7017
312-413-5353
  • Suggested donation of $5


International Museum of Surgical Science
1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60610
312-642-6502
  • Free on Tuesdays
230 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604
312-322-2400
    • Free daily admission 


    Naper Settlement
    523 S. Webster St. Naperville, IL 60540
    630-420-6010
    • Free general admission for Naperville residents. Discounted rate during the winter season (November-March)


    2531 Sheridan Road Great Lakes, IL 60088 
    847-688-3154
    • Free daily admission 


    Pritzker Military Museum and Library
    104 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
    312-374-9333
    • April 6
    • May 9, 25, 27 
    • June 14 
    • July 4
    • August 4 
    • September 11, 18 
    • October 13 
    • November 10, 11 
    • December 7, 13 



    Local Historical Societies & Museums
    These local historical institutions usually have free admission, suggested donation or an extremely low fee which will usually include a tour. Since a majority these institutions are run by volunteers be sure to check what their hours are since sometimes they will only be open certain days of the week to the public.


    Nature Museums, Farms & Zoos
    Brookfield Zoo
    8400 West 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513
    708-688-8000

    • General admission is free on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


    Chicago Botanic Garden
    1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022
    847-835-5440

    • Free daily admission, parking fees apply


    Cantigny
    1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
    630-668-5161

    • Free daily admission, $5 parking


    Garfield Park Conservatory
    300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624
    312-746-5100

    • Free daily admission


    Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum

    5700 College Road Lisle, IL 60532 
    630-829-6569


    • Free daily admission

    Lincoln Park Zoo
    2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
    312-742-2000

    • Free daily admission


    Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
    2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
    773-755-5100

    • Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents


    The Grove
    1421 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview, IL
    847-299-6096

    • Free daily admission


    Wagner Farm
    1510 Wagner Road, Glenview, IL 60026
    847-657-1506

    • Free daily admission

    ***While this list is pretty comprehensive there are a number of museum's that don't advertise free/discounted days but you should definitely be sure to check them out as well because there are some amazing museums in the Chicago area***


    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!

    1.07.2019

    How to Actually Accomplish Your Goals in 2019


    Set a goal
    Seriously I mean actually set goals. A lot of people when they want to change or improve themselves or something in their lives they don't actually set a goal. They just say they're going to fix it. Two weeks later they don't even remember what they were planning on changing or they've totally changed what they want to improve or they have even given up!

    Don't just set willy nilly either. Yup I said willy nilly that's how important this is! Be sure to set SMART goals. You might have heard about what a SMART goal is but if you haven't hear is a nice concise reminder to help you with setting a SMART goal. 



    Write it down
    The biggest lie I will probably ever tell myself is that if I don't write it down I'll remember. Write it down! Whether it's in a fabulous goal setting planner or a blog post or just on post it notes around your house. Whatever way works best for you is how you should do it. I've decided to use my 101 List as my larger goat setting tracker and then I break it down into smaller goals during the quarterly link up. Figure out the best way for you to keep track of those goals and do it!


    Break it down
    Building on your SMART goals you'll want to break them down into smaller manageable pieces. Say you want to find a new job in your career field during 2019. That's a pretty specific goal so to accomplish that you'll have to break it into smaller goals like in January revamp your resume and LinkedIn profile. Next figure out what companies or institutions you want to work at and so and so forth. By breaking a goal into those small pieces you won't feel so overwhelmed. 

    Accountability
    While it's well and good to make goals of all sorts it can be really tough to keep those goals going. Having a way of keeping yourself accountable is really important. Sharing those goals with your readers if you're a blogger is a great way to keep yourself accountable, you can join our quarterly goals link up! Do you have a friend who is great at keeping you honest and on track? That would be a great person to share your goals with to help you focus. That accountability can be what makes or breaks a successful goal. 

    Motivation
    I think all of us struggle with motivation for anything in our lives. We can be all ready to go and start off with a bang but part way through loose that motivation as the tasks drag on. Give yourself something to work towards. For me a good motivation is a good old fashioned bribe. I love a good massage. In the past I've set some of those bigger goals and when I achieved them I rewarded myself with a massage. Say you're having a hard time with a smaller goal maybe you need something like dinner carried in from a place you enjoy when you're done.

    Downloadable goals worksheet

    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!