Musings of a Museum Fanatic: March 2019

3.29.2019

Spring 2019 Goals Link Up


Another season is done! It's crazy to see how warm things are now in Chicago we're definitely more on our way into spring now. I know we're a little late but it's time to get those spring goals going!! First though here is my recap of my winter goals. I feel pretty good about my winter goals and how much I achieved overall. 

1. Create a Chicago Top 50 Bucket list  

I am so close to being finished with this list item! I'm going to work on finishing it up in the next couple of days. 

2. Finish video recap of 2018 and Elowen's 2nd Birthday

Everyone loved her birthday video. Lane is now at the age where he can remember when photos and video clips I put in have happened so that was fun to see this time around. I have been learning along the way that when I do these videos for the kiddos not to make them quite as long too!

3. Complete the three Beatles Puzzles

I totally rocked out this list item. We moved the table into the living room so we could hang out watch a movie and puzzle. I busted through the Beatles puzzles we have in no time at all. 

4. Identify 3 things that stress me out that I can simplify

I actually overachieved this item! The 101 list item calls for me to figure out 10 items and to simplify them. Until I made this a seasonal goal I hadn't even thought about what I wanted to simplify. I've got 8 items on that simplify list now! Most of them I've already started working on too!

5. Figure out three classic wardrobe pieces I want to invest in

I thought about it a lot ... do that count as being part way done? Ha! I think I need to invest in a good a pair of work shoes that are cute but can handle a ton of walking for sure. If anyone has any suggestions send them my way!!

6. Create three worksheets to share on the blog

I created one worksheet when I shared tips on how to actually achieve your goals waaaay back in January. I had planned on doing a worksheet for my Top 50 Chicago list but since I didn't finish that one up I haven't started on the worksheet yet. As soon as I get the list done I can work on the worksheet.

7. Do my first two week time spent tracking

For some reason the past two link ups I've totally bombed on this task. I think because it requires me to do something for an extended period of time I just put it off. 

8. Complete two more courses from Genius Blogger's Toolkit

I got through one course! A lot of the ones I have left to work my way through are really long so I haven't been able to sit down and bust through them as quickly as I could have. 


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.

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!

3.27.2019

13 Iconic Chicago Movie Spots



When one thinks of iconic movie scenes your mind tends to head to the coasts. New York and LA right? Well Chicago is no slouch when it comes to having some awesome movie locations. People have been filming in the Windy City for decades. While there are certain movies like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Blues Brothers where the entire movie is set in iconic Chicago spots there are many others that give you a quick view. Sometimes you don't even know you're looking at a Chicago location. Have you been to visit any of these spots?


Lower Wacker Drive
The Dark Knight

Rainbo Club
High Fidelity

Art Institute of Chicago
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

344 Fremont St. in Woodstock
Groundhog Day

1258 Linden St., in Highland Park
Risky Business

Union Station
Public Enemies
My Best Friend's Wedding
The Untouchables

Glenbrook North High School, 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off



671 Lincoln Ave. Winnetka
Home Alone House

East 95th Street Bridge
The Blues Brothers

370 Beech St. Highland Park
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Wrigley Field
A League of Their Own

Twin Anchors, 1655 N. Sedgwick St.
Return to Me

O'Hare International Airport
Home Alone





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!

3.25.2019

Top 10 Must Visit Chicago Museums

TOP 10 MUST VISIT CHICAGO MUSEUMS by  Musings of a Museum Fanatic  #museums #Chicago

Choosing a favorite museum is like choosing which of your children or pets you love the most. Having to pick even a top ten is like choosing between your favorite ice cream flavors, I'm not sure about anyone else but I have several and I love them all. Chicago is home to so many amazing museums it really is tough to name a top ten but if I was to recommend 10 museums you should see first in the Chicago area these would definitely be the top ten. Be sure before you head out to check out when free days are for these museums!

Field Museum of Natural History
I love the Field Museum we've been visiting there since I was little and I spent several years as an intern there. While I love it so much that is not the only reason that it makes my top ten. This world class museum has some must see happenings. My favorites are getting to see Sue, the most complete t-rex in existence and the Tsavo lions. While those staples are my favorites there is always something new around the corner from a current exhibit about Chicago brewing to beautiful nature art pieces.

Most people don't tend to head to the south side or if they do they head right to the Museum of Science and Industry. They miss out on a gem on the University of Chicago campus. In many museums you can find ancient Greek or Roman artifacts by the dozens but the Near East doesn't get nearly as much love. Plus supposedly Indiana Jones is based on the founder of the Oriental Institute, James Henry Breasted.

I love visiting the Chicago History Museum. The history of Chicago is so awesome and they do an amazing job of sharing that history. Whenever people ask me what museum to visit on their trip to Chicago my reply first is always the Chicago History Museum. I think people who visit this awesome city should learn more about it's history. Plus you can do cool things like sit in an old L train car or see people's things that made it through (well mostly made it through) the Chicago Fire. Plus they always have killer temporary exhibits like the Making Mainbocher exhibit in 2017

I have one word for you ... Tank Garden. Alright I lied two words. This is another museum that I've spent my life visiting so it holds a special place in my heart but it's an amazing museum. You start outside in the Tank Garden and then head in. Where you see the history of the First Division starting in World War I until the present day. Not only do you get to see that history you get immersed in that history. Learning and history is so much more fun when you can immerse yourself in it. 

Chicago is home to some pretty unique museums. Top of the list would definitely have to be the International Museum of Surgical Science. Located just a stones throw from the Chicago History Museum you'll find all sorts of interesting medical history at this Gold Coast museum. Be sure to check out their tours on their app, there are about half a dozen from a tour focusing on the amazing architecture of the building to featuring the morbid curiosities that you can find throughout the exhibits. 

DuPage Children's Museum

The Chicago area is blessed to have several really amazing children's museums. DuPage Children's Museum has gone through some transformations the past number of years. After having to redo their exhibits because of a flood they are more amazing than ever. From learning about water to music and shapes with everything in between. You could spend multiple very fun days here. I wish they would have an adults only day so I can go on my own! 

Elmhurst History Museum

The Chicago area has a wonderful history and with that comes wonderful history museums to preserve that history. Elmhurst History Museum is a shining example of everything wonderful that is local history. With a fantastic permanent exhibit to showcase the history of Elmhurst, exciting temporary exhibits about some of our favorite topics like rock and roll and Snoopy topped off with fun programs and events.


You always need a little bit of nature in your life. From forest preserves to botanical gardens Chicago has every type of green space you can think of. It's only natural that there would be an amazing nature museum as well. They not only have interesting and instructional exhibits but you can always find some sort of living thing whether it's turtles that are out or visiting their butterfly haven. 


I feel so cliche saying that the Art Institute is on my top ten but when it is home to some of my favorite pieces of art it has to be on the list! I love visiting my friends in A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  I could stand in front of that painting for hours and always see something new. There are some of the most interesting, iconic and important pieces of art in the world from ancient times to contemporary art found at the Art Institute of Chicago. You could probably visit a dozen times and see a new piece you didn't see last time. 

Last but certainly not least is a unique Chicago area museum. Naper Settlement is an amazing open air museum. You can walk through Naperville history from the early days until the turn of the 20th century. See this history through costumed interpreters and historic buildings. There is something so fun and unique about being able to step back in time and immerse yourself.  


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!

3.13.2019

30 Things That Happened in 2009

30 THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN 2009 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #popculture #nostalgic


The Hangover

Pirates attempt the hijack of a cargo ship 280 miles southeast Somalia. The hijack fails but they take Captain Phillips as a hostage

Comedian Eddie Izzard completes 43 marathons in 51 days despite having no history of long-distance running

Many Jack Bauer fans were devastated when 24 went off the air



Chris Brown pleads guilty in Rihanna assault case

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American president

Michael Jackson dies

US Airways Flight 1549 is struck by a flock of Canada geese shortly after takeoff. Captain "Sully" Sullenberger makes a successful crash landing in the Hudson River



We fell in love with Leslie Knope and Parks and Recreation

Mobile phone technology continues to grow with increased use of 3G networks

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs

Up



Silly Bandz were a thing for elementary kids and tweens all over the place

Patrick Swayze lost his battle with cancer

Public Enemies

After 20 seasons crime fans said good by to Law & Order dum dum



On November 5, 2009 Nidal Hasan fatally shoots 13 people and injures over 30 at Fort Hood in Texas

We lost the golden locked Farrah Fawcett

Slovakia adopts the Euro

We all became addicted to Farmville 

Twilight



We welcomed Disney's first African American princess in Princess & The Frog

We said goodbye to our wonderful family dog of 16 years, Yoda

I finished up my grad school classes!

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!

3.11.2019

Recently Reading

Life According to Steph
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Are you a book worm? I would definitely consider myself a book worm. The past couple of years I hadn't been reading as many books since I've had no time but since I hooked myself up with books on tape (well technically books on app) I've been back to books all the time! Last month I shared 5 must read personal development books and I had totally forgotten that Steph and Jana do the Show Us Your Books link up. So I'm making sure I participate this month! These are books that I've really enjoyed the past month. 

I'm not sure if I shared this guilty pleasure yet but I love a good romance novel. A good one to me is a historical romance, usually set somewhere in 1800s England. This Julia Quinn read was one of those! I've read a few by her in the past and this one was just as enjoyable. It had all of the same traits of a good romance novel but with a big twist. The main gentleman in the story, Lord Hugh Prentice, was hurt and disabled because of a duel. I thought it was going to turn into a woe is me and the girl can't see how awesome he is but it didn't go that way at all. If you're into romance novels I would recommend it for sure. 

Bill Bryson's travel books have been on my to read list for years. I have heard great things about them and just never was in the mood to pick them up. In January Scribd recommended In A Sunburned Country. I thought it was appropriate since we were experiencing the polar vortex again to at least imagine I was in a warm place. Bryson was such a good storytelling. I really enjoyed hearing about all of his adventures through Australia. The one part that was tough for me was that since I listened to most of the book while driving I couldn't look up all the different places he was talking about on the map!

I'm actually just about finishing up with this book now. This one tends to make it to best of books for work and working women. I can see why. I really enjoy Lois and how direct she is. Since I've moved to a for profit environment I can see how some traits I've picked up throughout the years can really be doing me a disservice. One of my favorite aspects of the book is how she's laid it out. She literally walks you through the mistake and then gives you bite sized coaching tips to help you combat those mistakes. It's very cut and dry, sometimes these types of books you have to wade through things to boil down the helpful nuggets. She puts it right there so you don't miss it!

Lisa Kleypas is another romance author I find myself picking up regularly. Marrying Winterbourne is a bit of a role reversal with the lady of the book making some mistakes to begin and needing to fix them with her intended. Then is progresses into the two main characters working to discover a dark force that threatens their happiness. I know it's so cliche but it was an enjoyable read. Sometimes you can call it early on but I felt the details of the twists of this one were less predictable. 

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!

3.08.2019

3 Movies that Make You Want to Work in a Museum

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Working in museums and archives is not always the coolest thing. I'm sure most people think it's pretty dorky and lame. Like many jobs it has it's cool parts and it's boring parts. I always love how movies make everything look amazing and cool. These are three movies that make working in a museum seem like the coolest thing ever. Pretty sure if my work was like these movies I'd never leave haha. What do you think working in a museum is really like?


I love National Treasure. Besides being a fun movie in general I love how fun it makes doing historical look. That's one of my favorite parts about working in a museum is doing research. Yes sometimes it can be tedious and boring I mean come on everything can be tedious and boring. There are those times where you think you're going to answer it in five minutes and then a mystery evolves and you go down this crazy rabbit hole. Figuring out the mysteries is totally something you encounter working in a museum. 



Even before working in a museum I always thought about what it would be like to stay overnight at a museum and what happens when the lights go off. When I was younger we did do a Girl Scout sleep over at a museum but the only thing I remember happening was tripping over a large bronze foot print on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Pretty sure that nothing cool actually happened. Unless we all missed it because we were asleep ...


The Indiana Jones series is the grand daddy of movies that make you go into museum work. I mean come on Harrison Ford is a dashing guy running around doing cool things in the name of preserving history. Plus he had the best ever catch phrase in "that belongs in a museum". I feel like I say that to people at least twice a week. Maybe if I had a cool hat like Jones they'd actually listen to me haha. 


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!

3.06.2019

5 Things about being an adult that should be better

With starting a new job which means dealing with insurance and all sorts of important decisions, looking for a new place to live and working on our taxes I feel very much like an adult lately. I'm not entirely sure I'm a fan of it either. I can remember back to not so long ago when I wanted so badly to be an adult on my own. Not sure about anyone else but I totally thought it was going to be awesome like a TV show, maybe Friends or Sex and the City. One realizes quickly that there are several things that should be so much better as an adult.


Feeding yourself
When you're young you get all excited to be an adult so you can eat whatever you want. When you finally get to adulthood you do go wild and crazy for a bit. Reality then sets in and you realize you do need vegetables and other healthy foods to survive. Plus There is the whole you have to decide what you're going to feed yourself then you actually have to get the ingredients and cook it. Sometimes I long for the days when dinner just appeared at about 5:30.

Driving 

This is supposed to be one of the ultimate freedoms. You finally are able to go where you want all by yourself. Well that's great if you actually can afford a car and all that having a car entails. Darn things can get so expensive so fast. Plus for the majority of us we'll probably never get that awesome muscle car we really want. Commuting is the worst and driving in the winter in the absolute worst!


Drama

You thought that high school or college drama was bad oh man adult drama is way worse. At least in high school you knew you were getting out in 4 years. Adult drama could potentially last your entire life. You thought that the drama you'd face as an adult was something like out of Real Housewives. The Real Housewives made you think that drama is just getting a little sloshed and throwing some low grade shade. There are way higher stakes when it comes to the various adult dramas.


Being responsible 

When you're younger you think that you'll be able to spend all your money on awesome things all the time like fabulous trips and fun things. Then you become an adult and all of a sudden you have responsibilities. You can't just drop everything and spend your whole paycheck on something totally exorbitant. There are these things like car payments and rent. I feel like this is totally overrated. 

Living on your own

I kept thinking how awesome is it going to be when I have my own place and I can do whatever I want. So yeah when you have your own place you can totally do whatever  you want. Technically you can totally leave dishes all over the place if you want but there is no one who is going to come and clean them up. 



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!

3.04.2019

5 Ways To Make Grocery Shopping Easier

5 Ways To Make Grocery Shopping Easier

I am one of those weird people who actually really enjoys grocery shopping. Whether it's because I enjoy food or it's a reason for me to shop I'm not entirely sure. ​Even though I enjoy grocery shopping it can be a pain and really annoying. Through way too much practice I've come to realize there are certain habits I have developed that really make it so much easier. 

Have bags ready
I'm not sure about anyone else but we really have tried to embrace the reusable bags trend. Not only is it better for the environment but the size of the bags makes it easier too. I have a set of like 4-5 resuable bags that are all in one of the bags and they are my grocery bags. That way I can just grab the one and head out the door.

Make a list
I will say this 100 times. The biggest lie i will ever tell myself is that I don't need to write it down I'll remember. By taking time and writing down what you need and the quantity it saves you so much time. I can't tell you how many times I've been standing in about aisle at the store trying to find the recipe on Pinterest that I want to make because I didn't write down how many potatoes I actually need for it or whatever. Making a list will keep you from getting distracted in the store too saving you time and money.

Prep your meal ideas
This is a key one. I feel like without doing this one properly you cant really do the next two properly. Now I know some people like to get really detailed and make new recipes every week but you don't necessarily have to get super hardcore. Some weeks in our house it's as simple as saying we're home these three nights for dinner and know we have everything but a veggie side for the meals already in the freezer and pantry. 

If you are going more detailed and want to make new recipes this is the time to check out what you already have against what you need. Which goes right into my next trick ...

Prep your coupons
Prepping your coupons before before you head to the store can help save all out of aggravation. by taking time to sort through your coupons before you head to the store you can pull out the ones you're going to use and leave the others at home.does not only help with organizing yourself can prevent you from over spending it as well. be sure to take time and look for any printable coupons or digital was that would be beneficial for your shopping trip. Bye looking for those beforehand you might find savings YouTube other with best.

Shop on the morning
This is one of my life theories life theories not only for grocery shopping but for other types of shopping as well. I always find it is so much easier, much less crowded and most everything is still stocked when I head to the store in the morning. By not having to deal with throngs of people I'm able to take time as I shop and get everything on my list as well as making sure I use my coupons. 

What are your tried and true ways to get in and out of the grocery store efficiently?

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!

3.01.2019

11 Disney Live Actions Movies to Add to Netflix Queue Immediately

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I know that the past few years Disney has really been getting back into the live action swing of things but that wasn't always the case. For the longest time the full length cartoons got top billing. There are are so many amazing live action Disney flicks that are amazing. In fact some are so loved that they've spawn massive amounts of fans, merchandise, and even musicals. These phenomenal movies should not just be brushed aside! Are any of the ones on my list your favorite? Or is there a favorite of yours that didn't make the queue?


Newsies
Any girl currently in her mid twenties to early thirties seems to know and love this movie. I think it was just one of those that had all the right ingredients and came out at just the right time. For me the combination of youth taking on the world and catchy music blew my world. I was completely enamored of Spot Conlon and thought that Sarah needed to get lost, seriously though wasn't she annoying? Feather in the Newsies cap was when they decided to make it into a musical (finally!). Totally freaked when I found out it's coming to Chicago in December and I'm pretty sure Kevin thinks I've totally lost it.


Mary Poppins
I would definitely go out on a limb and say Mary Poppins is the most well known and loved live action movies Disney has put out. Do I need to even make a case for Mary Poppins? Probably not just add it to your queue anyways : )


Bedknobs and Broomsticks
I love this movie. This is definitely a live action movie that not many people outside of a certain age group or Disney fanatic are fans of. Set in the 1940s during World War II Ms. Price, played by the fabulous Angela Lansbury, is taking correspondence courses to become a witch and gets saddled with three children escaping The Blitz. Hi-jinks ensue as the quartet attempts to find a book and then ultimately help the British win the war. This wonderful film is tied up with a wonderful soundtrack too, some of my favorite Disney tunes come from Bedknobs and Broomsticks.


The Rocketeer
Disney had a thing for making live action movies set in the 1940s. The Rocketeer finds the rocket after it's been stolen from it's rightful owner to be used by the Nazis. He ends up using it to fight the Nazis and win his girl back. With an all-star cast this one is a home run in book any Friday pizza night.


The Mighty Ducks
What Millennial doesn't know and love this movie? This movie was one of those that came out in the early 90s that we were all obsessed with. Michael J. Fox takes a ragtag bunch of misfits and turns them into a winning hockey team. There are great moments along the way. I haven't seen this one in forever and it's going on my queue right away.


Enchanted
Enchanted is another one of those films that we loved so much when it came out but since then it's been eclipsed by so many other wonderful films. How quickly we forget the wonderful songs, costumes and humor Disney put out in this film. It is a wonderful princess film but Disney doesn't take itself too seriously and poked fun at itself throughout the film.


Hocus Pocus
Only the best Halloween movie ever! It's perfect. From the amazing Bette Midler to the fantastic one liners we all know by heart it's a masterpiece gem. Don't wait for Halloween to add to your queue make sure to get the fix several times throughout the year.


Swiss Family Robinson
This is one of my favorites from pretty early on. Based on the book by the same name from 1812 this movie takes you through the life of the Robinson's after they shipwreck on an island. You follow them through the hardships and adventures of making a life on the island and eventually fighting off pirates. While it does get a little slow in some spots it's a fun family watch.


National Treasure
When National Treasure came out I thought it was amazing. Who wouldn't love what is pretty much a genealogist running through museums and other historical buildings figuring out mysteries. This is pretty much what I wish my work was like.  He steals the Declaration of Independence for goodness sake! Such a good history nerd movie.



Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
If you're looking for a heart-wrenching on the edge of your seat movie Homeward Bound is a perfect choice. Three pets attempt to find their way back to their people through the wilds of California. While there is some humor and fun this movie can definitely be a tear jerker as well so be prepared.

Cool Runnings
I try not to play favorites but Cool Runnings might actually be my favorite Disney live action movie. We checked this movie out from the library all of the time. I love the tenacity and humor that is portrayed in this movie. That even though it might not be normal doesn't mean you can't do it and rock it. The movie has such amazing quotes too. Growing up I can remember quoting them all the time. No one else seemed to think I was quite as funny haha.

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!