Musings of a Museum Fanatic: April 2019

4.29.2019

Pampered Chef Mother's Day Recipe Round Up


Mother's Day is just around the corner! That means it's time to start thinking about how you're going to pamper the moms in your life this year. When you think Mother's Day and food what comes to mind? I'm guessing brunch just popped into your head right? Mother's Day is the busiest time of year for restaurants, even more so than Valentine's Day. Who knew?! While it's great to take mom out for brunch I think it's even more fun to make her a special brunch. Who wouldn't appreciate a meal you spent time making for them? I've got some new recipes to add to your special homemade Mother's Day brunch this year, even if you need to be on the go! These are super simple but yet pack a great punch both in taste and how awesome they turn out. What is your go to brunch dish that you make at home?

Sausage & Pepper Brunch Pizza


Pancake Breakfast Sandwich

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

Egg White & Spinach Wrap


Baked Oatmeal

Baked Chocolate Donuts

Avocado Toast Withe Egg


Deviled Chicks


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!

4.26.2019

4 Songs That Remind Me of My Dad

One thing that always makes me think of my Dad is music. Ever since I was a little kid I have a number of Dad memories that pop up when I hear a song or that in my head are somehow related to music. I think I have even more the past ten years since he picked up the guitar and started playing regularly again. In celebration of what would have been his 68th birthday tomorrow here are the four songs that remind of my Dad.



Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew
At one point a few years ago Dad's praise team was doing this song almost every time they played at church. It was ridiculous. I loved the way they played it though, they had more electric guitars and it was a bit rougher. Even though this version is a little softer it's still a beautiful song. Of all the songs they regularly played as a praise team I'm not sure why this one sticks out as one that reminds me of Dad but it does.


Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin
This song is ironically now the song that makes think of my dad the most. I'm sure I've shared this story in the past but I thought I would again : ) In high school I was a part of the Northern Illinois Lutheran Church youth board and I was able to attend a conference my junior year. My Dad was the chaperon, since he was one of the advisers. During the conference there was going to be a talent show type thing so people had brought instruments and stuff like that. At some point my Dad started to hang out with one of the guys from our group, Sean, and one from Arkansas, Aaron, (who I later re-met and was friends with at Valpo!).

They started jamming together and really inspired my Dad to pick up his guitar and start playing again. I'm not sure if it was because of Aaron and how much he loved Led Zeppelin or just because the beginning guitar part is pretty easy but Dad decided he was going to starting playing Stairway to Heaven as his first song again. Play that song he did ... seriously for MONTHS all we heard was that first part of the song.

It's kind of funny but the past couple of years the song has popped up on the radio at really odd times. It's almost like Dad has put the song out there at certain times so I know he is there. Sometimes it comes up on really odd and not appropriate stations for the song to be played on. Now when I need to feel Dad I like to play the song.


Classical Gas by Mason Williams
Oldies remind me of my parents and of my childhood. It was hard to pinpoint one song that really summed that up but I think Classical Gas probably comes the closest that or Walk Don't Run by the Ventures. Even though some of Dad's favorite bands were The Beatles and The Association I think this song makes me think of him since I can remember him playing some of the cords throughout my childhood. As I write this post it's kind of funny that even though throughout most of my early childhood he wasn't playing the guitar so much but looking back those are really the songs I associate him with.


Jamaica Farewell by Harry Belafonte
Last but certainly not least is probably the most important song on this list. Dad really loved Harry Belafonte's music. I can remember listening to first the cassette of Harry Belafonte at Carnegie Hall then later the CD. Pretty sure we wore out both. While I love all the songs from that album there is nothing that holds a candle to "Jamaica Farewell".

I'm not sure why but growing up Dad used to sing this song to me when he tucked me in to bed. Not sure if it was because it talked about Kingston town and we lived right by Kingston st. or if he just loved that song. Either way this is the one song that will always be mine and my Dad's. This was the song we did our father/daughter dance to. I can hear his voice singing in my ear as we dance right now.

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!

4.24.2019

2 Must Do Things Before You Start Even Packing for a Move!

2 Things You Must Do Before You Even Start to Pack for a Move by Musings of a Museum Fanatic. Printable move planning worksheet!

So we decided now that I have a new job that has been giving me an hour long commute that it is time to really put our money where our mouths are and finally figure out where we're going to move next. We started out the process thinking we'd rent again but with the rental prices being ridiculous now we're looking to buy! Besides that whole crazy part we're starting to get ourselves ready to move. There is so much that needs to be done beforehand it's crazy. 

Before we can even begin to pack there are a two major things that need to be worked on. Trust me it's going to be so much easier in the long run if you do these two before anything else. 

Move less

Since we're taking a step back and taking a little more time because we're buying we are now able to take some time to do some more heavy decluttering. If you've got the time decluttering before you move is the way to go. Besides not having to deal with it when you get to your new place it can actually save you money if you don't have to move as much stuff. Be sure if it's in good shape to donate or sell it before you leave don't just pitch it. If you don't have time to declutter before because of sudden job relocation or something else take time to do it as you're unpacking those boxes in the new place. 

Since I'm a bit of a stock pile type of person we're working on using up things too. Especially when it comes to food in our pantry and freezer. Not that we can't move that type of stuff but it's going to make things easier. Be sure to go through your food stuffs and get rid of things that are expired or need to be pitched before you move. Why move those 6 cans of expired corn if you are just going to pitch them? Work on eating through your freezer and pantry too. I've been trying hard to make recipes and meals that include mostly items we already have. 

Make a plan

Not having a plan is the perfect way to make yourself super stressed, spend way too much money on the move and make things way more difficult then they need to be. I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I'm feeling right now about buying a place and moving. I can't imagine having to do it across country or to another country all together. So having a plan is critical! We're working on planning how we're going to pack the next couple of months, what changes we want to make to the town home before we even move in and the move itself. That's a lot to keep track of. 

Starting to think through all of the little parts of a move will really make sure you're not stressed and it's the best way to save money too. Just thinking through the supplies has made me start asking friends, family and co-workers to save boxes and packing materials. Since then we've gotten tons of everything so I don't think we'll have an issue not buying any of those items. If I wasn't planning I wouldn't have thought to start pulling those items together now. 
I've got a printable worksheet to help you with the pre-planning! I've got the main areas you need to think about for your move and plenty of room around for all sorts of notes. I always am writing notes in the margins and next to lists. What are your tips when it comes to the planning phase of a move? 



Pre-Move Planning Worksheet by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


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!

4.22.2019

People You Meet Commuting

People You Meet Commuting by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Commuting is a pain. No matter how you do it whether it's driving or taking public transportation it's a pain. Most of the time it's a pain because of the people you have to deal with. You tend to come across certain types of people while you're commuting. I was downtown for a meeting recently and encountered a number of these people and had to share my thoughts. They don't always make commuting a pain, sometimes it can be interesting ... very interesting. Do you meet any of these people on your daily commute?

Tourist Betty

Tourist Betty is that one person who totally drives anyone and everyone bonkers as she tries to navigate the city. She is the person who has absolutely no idea what's happening and doesn't even realize that there are other people around her. This is evident by her stopping in the middle of a crowded sidewalk. The reason Betty has stopped is either because she has no idea where she is going and pulled out her phone to check a map or because she wants to take a photograph of something. Neither of these is a bad thing it's the fact that Betty has stopped in the middle of the sidewalk that is the problem! Tourist Betty is also the person who is standing in the middle of the escalator or moving walk way instead of standing to the right like you're supposed to. 

In a Hurry Brad


You'll usually find In a Hurry Brad in a very nice and probably pretty expensive suit rushing to get to his oh so important job somewhere in the Loop. Lots of times you'll see him with his phone to his ear as well. 
Brad is always rushing. I'm never sure why he's always in such a hurry, it's not really that difficult to leave a few minutes earlier is it Brad? He's a man on a mission. You better watch out when he's on the move because you might accidentally get run over. Not gonna lie I saw In a Hurry Brad not paying attention and running for a train last winter. He might have wiped out ... I might have laughed. 


Angry Bob

Now when talking about Angry Bob it's easy to get him confused with In a Hurry Brad but they are not the same. You can just tell by looking at Angry Bob that he is just annoyed with everything. You accidentally brush up against Bob and it's the end of the world. If you're lucky he'll just glare at you fuming if you're not so lucky he'll make some sort of jerk comment and maybe even yell at you. Angry Bob is not a fun commuter to be around. We don't like Angry Bob and try to stay as far away as possible from Angry Bob.

Lazy Brittney 


There is always that one person whether you're on the Metra train or a CTA bus or even just waiting that is always just lazing about, that person is Lazy Brittney. They're the ones who aren't in a hurry to do anything not even get to where they want to go. These are also the people who fall asleep during the commute as well. You worry about them making it to their stop and are so concerned that they will sleep right through it for most of your commute. Some how they always know to wake up one minute before the stop is called and just lollop off the train. It really is amazing. 


Shoving Bert

Bert always has to be the first person anywhere. Don't get him confused with people who get up early to wait by the doors Shoving Bert just doesn't give a damn who is in his way. He's getting out or moving through first. He also is one of those people who doesn't do the we both slightly move aside when passing people. He's just rude. 

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!

4.19.2019

34 things I've learned in 34 years


Today I turn 34! I feel like now that I'm almost to my mid 30s I'm starting to learn a thing or two. Feels like I'm finally somewhat of an adult haha. Since I'm getting old and wise I'm imparting some of the wisdom I've gained along the way. Plus it's all wrapped up with a cute baby photo! Here are 34 things I've learn in 34 years.

Things don't always happen the way you expect

Always visit a museum

Not everyone is going to like you

Give people your undivided attention when they talk to you

Everything in moderation

You only live once. Just try it.

Treat yourself. You deserve it

Take lots of photos

Say yes more

Losing someone sucks

You're always a work in progress

Transitions can be a lot harder than you expect. Even when you want the change.

Sometimes you grow apart from people

Being in a relationship and marriage takes work

Invest in moments not stuff

It's ok to be a geek about things you enjoy

Always get somewhere a little early

Tell the people you love how much you love them

Work smarter not necessarily harder

Do things that make you happy

Hugs make life better

Make goals and work towards them

Say nice things to people. Whether it's a thank you or letting them know you like their outfit. 

Always write it down

Try not to compare yourself to other if you can

Don't sweat the small stuff

No one is perfect but that's not an excuse to be a jerk

As much as you try and plan sometimes that plan isn't going to work

As much as you want to plan things out sometimes it's ok to just go with the flow

Time goes too fast

Spend your time with people who make you happy

Try to keep in touch with people who are worth keeping in touch with

Do things for others but don't expect anything in return

No one is thinking about you nearly as much as you think they are or you're thinking about them






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!

4.17.2019

9 Ways to ​Save Money On Groceries Each Month


**This post may contain affiliate links**


We all want to save money. There are so many things we all want to do and spend our money on in life but does any one actually want to spend more money than they have to? One area I've worked hard to sharpen my saving skills is on our grocery bill. I've got some of my go to ways that I save money on my grocery bill each time we go to the store.

Don't pay full price

This is probably my number one most important tip. Especially when it comes to groceries you don't ever want or should pay full price. Everything I've read throughout the years from so many sources says that groceries in the grocery store will always go on sale at some point during the sale schedule. Unless you absolutely have to don't buy it full price. 

Check the ounces

This is for sure my number two most important thing that I look at when I shop. When you're looking at four different sizes and two are on sale, of the same ketchup it can get really confusing really quickly. Always look at the price per ounce. Every grocery store I've been in will give that price somewhere on the label, Target doesn't break down their ounce price but it's worth doing some math in the aisle. The sale item could seem like a better deal but when you look at the per ounce price it could still be a significant amount more than the larger size. Do the math it will save you money!

Buy in bulk

This is one way I really like to save money on things like meat or paper goods. If chicken is on sale for that lowest price I always buy the big container so then I get more so I can freeze it. You don't want to be stuck paying two or three times as much in a week because you didn't bulk shop when it was on sale. This one goes hand in hand with checking the ounces since a lot of times those larger bulk containers can be the better deal. 



Don't buy in bulk


I know this seems really contradictory to say in the last point buy bulk and now say don't buy bulk. Buying in bulk only works well to save you money if you're actually going to use it. There are lots of ways to only buy a little of something if you only need a little. Like the bulk areas, salad bar and trail mix area, where you can scoop as little or as much as you want. 


We always use nuts in dishes so for us buying a bag is best but say you only need a little for a new recipe. Don't buy that entire bag just get a little bit. I love doing this in the deli section. We enjoy sliced cheese on sandwiches and burgers but don't always use up the entire package before it can go bad. So I ask the deli for just a couple of slices.  


When it does go on sale that is the perfect time to stock up. Kevin loves this green juice from V8. I've tried it, it's terrible I have no idea why in the world he likes it I think it tastes like grass. It is one those items that doesn't go on sale often but when it does it's sometimes up to half the price. You better your bippy I'm buying 3 or 4 of those juices when it hits that price. I know Kevin will drink them and I'm not about to pay that normal full price if I don't have to. Stocking up doesn't really work for perishable items unless you know you're going to consume 3 lbs of asparagus in a week and half by all means stock up when it's .99 a pound.  



Stock up

I'm sure we all have those certain items that we always have in our pantries or fridges. You know what I'm talking about things like your favorite juice or that must have treat for your lunches. By now we've all bought it so many times we know what a good price for it is. If you aren't sure about that good price keep an eye out for the next month or so. That's one great thing about grocery stores is it will go on sale, it's just a matter of when. 

Shop the circular

I know that everyone has their list when they shop but make sure to check that circular and use it to it's best advantage. I always look through the circular as I'm making my list. I know you really wanted to make that one recipe but when none of the ingredients are on sale you might want to wait on that one. Base those recipe and meal choices on what is on sale that week.

Earn money while you shop

These days I'm all about doing anything that will earn me a few extra bucks here and there. I know I've shared these two apps before but my favorites for earning money and saving it are Ibotta and Shopkick. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get on the Ibotta bandwagon. I think that I thought it was all items that I would never buy. They give you money back on certain items after you purchase them and scan them in. I wouldn't buy extra items but if there is something that I normally buy that gives me extra money back wahoo!

Shopkick is even better since the main ways to earn points are just wandering around scanning items. Yes you can earn points on certain items if you purchase. Plus by doing some extra wandering to get kicks you get some more steps in. 

Use coupons

Coupons are probably the best and easiest way to save money when you're grocery shopping. I've always found that the best coupons are found in the Sunday paper but there are great resources online so that you can print them, like Swagbucks (plus you get more SB points when you print them there too!). Check to see if your grocery store has a rewards program and it's own app. Most do now and have coupons not just for brand name groceries but also for their own store brand items. I always try to make sure to stack coupons with items that are on sale. That way you're really maximizing your savings. 

Shop at a grocery store for groceries

This one doesn't always seem obvious but I very rarely shop for grocery items at places like Target. There are some times where the deal and a Cartwheel ends up with the best price but I know that because I know the best prices on items I buy all the time. Normally though buying groceries especially meat and produce is better at actual grocery stores. Even at a non-sale price it will always be better at a grocery store. 

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

4.15.2019

Do People Actually Buy This? Vol. 9

Do People Actually Buy This? Vol. 9 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

The poof and fur is still everywhere! I can't escape from the crazy poofs and odd fur lined items. We had plenty of poofs on earrings and shoes in February and now they're all over the place on everything! Have you seen an crazy items in your shopping lately?


I'll admit I've never been a big fan of the poof on the hat trend. Even the winter hats with the poof or yarn balls I'm just not a fan of but they seem proper on that type of hat. The poof on this hat is just not working.

I cannot handle this handle. It looks like they cut a tail off a cat stuffed animal and stapled it to the purse. Can you just feel this sliding on your arm all furry? eek! Also I just realized you can totally see me taking the photo in the purse!


There are so many things about this coat I can't handle. I love turquoise and mint but this shade looks like it's been in use for one too many winters. Although with the cold silk lining I'm not sure that it is even warm enough for winter.



I couldn't even bring myself to attempt to figure out what this pile was. It looks like several small animals fighting. Sherpa isn't the end of the world sometimes if it looks nice. This also looked like it was used and then returned.


There has been some very odd outerwear pieces this winter. What exactly is the point of this peter pan collar? I can't imagine that it would give much warmth. Is it supposed to be worn inside your coat? Outside? There are so many questions to be answered.


When I saw these for the first time I almost thought they were handcuffs! Then I remembered that I was in Ulta not a store that sells sex toys. 

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!

4.03.2019

Weird Fears

If you tell me that you're not afraid of anything I'd say you're pulling my leg. Everyone is afraid of something! Whether it's something small like spiders or a huge fear of dying. We all have those odd fears that when we tell someone they give us a look like we're crazy. Here are my weird fears. What are some of your fears?

Ventriloquist dummies
This one isn't so much a fear as an extreme dislike. We used to have some weird looking ones in the in my previous museum position that were on loan to us. Needless to say I made sure those were returned to their owner before our move to the new building.

Walking next to the edge of the bridges downtown
I'm not exactly sure where this one came from but I hate walking along the side of the bridge that's next to the water. I always have to move to the side closest to the street. I think in the depths of my mind I think that some crazy will just toss me over or something. I think it drives people crazy when I'm walking on the wrong side but I don't care!

The large metal grates in the side walks
Chicago has these huge grates in the sidewalks. Sometimes you can see all the way down and sometimes there is cement right below the grate. I actively avoid putting all of my weight on the center of these grates. Stepping on the edge is ok but unless I absolutely have to, like a jam packed sidewalk during rush hour, I will actively avoid these.

Large semis carrying large long objects
Pretty sure that everyone has this fear. Any time there is a semi carrying anything huge I start to think about it flying off the back and rolling down the highway. Very much like a terrible action movie. Also I hate driving between semis and the concrete walls. I have a small car I would hate to be squished.

Driving in the winter
This is something that I think a lot of people have a fear of. I enjoy winter. It's a fun time of year I just hate hate hate driving in the winter. I think it stems from a few years ago when I slid off the road heading to Chesterton, IN to meet up with friends. I did a 360 spin on the off ramp and was just a few feet away from it taking several hours of getting me back on the road instead of 5 minutes. It was not fun. Since then when there is bad weather during times I have to drive I get really stressed.


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!

4.01.2019

101 List Year 1

I cannot believe that Stephanie and I have already finished our first year of our THIRD 101 in 1001 List. How is that even possible? I know I keep saying this but I don't even know where the year went. Time is flying. What better time to reflect over my 101 list than at the first year mark. 

Accomplishments

Right now I'm sitting at 10 items checked off my list! I was hoping to have more checked off after the first year but looking at the goals I set and the amount of work to go into some of these I feel good about where I'm sitting at with my accomplished goals. 

Some of the ones I checked off already I'm so surprised by and they happened so quickly. Such as my secret goal of finding a new job. I was very surprised and it happened very quickly! Kevin and I had been debating for forever about where we wanted to live next and I didn't think we'd ever figure it out. We started looking for rentals but quickly moved to buying and are under contract! 

I've also been able to check off some fun 101 list items too. Last summer Stephanie and I enjoyed my first water taxi ride. Kevin helped me check off many of the first ones such as our amazing Charleston trip last summer and enjoying things within walking distance of our place. I love that he's usually game to do things that will check off 101 list items. 


In Progress 

While my number of items totally checked off is somewhat low my in progress number is quite high at 48! Looking at all of them that are in progress I am probably actively working on at least 35 of them. Many of them I'm closing in on finishing them too. Such as 50 new Pampered Chef recipes, I've completed 38 at this point. Several are ones that I'm doing once a year such as my video recaps. Can't very well make a video for 2019 while we're only in March!

This winter was kind of slow for getting list items done. I think it's the weather here it just makes me want to curl up and do nothing. I've been feeling remotivated lately and am planning on finishing way more of those I have in progress. 

I'm going to keep plugging along!

Changes

Life has definitely changed a LOT in the past year! As I already mentioned there have been job changes and now with us buying a place it's the perfect time to reevaluate and change any 101 list items that need it. Since I have a new job in archives and not museums as well as us moving into a home there are a couple of related list items that I needed to change since they're no longer applicable.

This was also a good time to change some of the specifics of a number of items. I keep adding that I want to organize my grandmothers photographs but I always just leave it at that. It's not a specific goal and it's a pretty big one. Hence why I haven't tackled it yet. So I decided that I was going to focus on the digital images that I've scanned of her photographs first. There are a number of tasks that didn't have a specific time frame. So I stepped back and made sure to give them more specific timelines. Don't want to forget my own advice right? 

Are you working on your own 101 list or goals list? I want to hear about it! Also be sure share those goals and to link up with Sara and me!

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!