Musings of a Museum Fanatic: May 2019

5.29.2019

Spring Goals Update

Spring Goals Update Musings of a Museum Fanatic


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.24.2019

Guide to Chicago in the Summer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.22.2019

3 Things I Learned After Our First Month of Budgeting

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


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

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

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

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

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

5.20.2019

8 Top Guilty Pleasures

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

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

Ice Cream 


Pedicures



Binging on Real Housewives



Massage

Just doing nothing



Jet's Pizza



New nail polish



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

5.13.2019

30 Things That Happened in 2004


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

The summer Olympics were held in Greece

Mean Girls

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

Suicide bombs kill 190 people in Madrid during rush hour



The Incredibles

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

Ronald Reagan passes away at 93

Lance Armstrong wins his 6th Tour de France



Lost starts

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

President George Bush is elected to a second term

Napoleon Dynamite



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

National Treasure

We started making it work thanks to Project Runway

Anchorman: Legend of Ron Burgundy



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

Facebook is launched

Dodgeball

Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-syncing on Saturday Night Live




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

Barbie and Ken broke up in 2004

Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize same-sex marriage

Everyone under 30 became obsessed with Laguna Beach 


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

5.06.2019

8 Things That Happened Lately

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

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

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

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




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

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



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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

5.01.2019

5 Things I've Learned About Working in a Museum

5 Things I've Learned About Working in a Museum

It's crazy to think I've been working in the museum and archival field for almost ten years now. I can actually think of myself as a mid career professional. Crazy right? Working in a museum can definitely be a unique experience. Through the years I've worked at small and large institutions of all different varieties. This means I've definitely learned and seen a thing or two throughout the years. 

Make it work 

This is probably the number one biggest life lesson I've learned from working in the museum field. I'm guessing that 95% of all museums are probably underfunded. That means you don't have half the money you want or even need to make all the amazing things you want to do work. Meaning you need to make it work come hell or high water. 

I've MacGyvered so many things in my life it's not even funny. Like on my last exhibit having to drill a hole into the top of the casework so we can actually get to the outlet inside. Then stringing the extension cord along the edge of the case ending up with me inside the case attempting to hook up my interactive since it had to be installed that way. You can totally flip through a bible from the 1860s and it's awesome but I definitely had to make it work!


People keep weird stuff

It's great when people donate to museums, especially when you're working in a history museum. People's personal items can really be wonderful additions to the collection. There are also the items that you get that you wish you hadn't. Like the half a dozen ventriloquist dummies that we had in our collection when I started. Lucky for me four were actually on loan and the person wanted them back when we moved.   

One of my items that I really dislike in collections is hair art. It's a very common item to find in local history  and house museums. This was especially popular during the mid to late 1800s. Since many house museums date to that time period you'll find hair art all over. Nope nope nope. It's a body part!! I'd much rather have to deal with the 33 year old bottle of Coca-Cola thank you very much. 


Doing what you love might not pay


Working in a museum and getting paid the big bucks do not go hand in hand. Half the time even getting paid medium bucks does not happen in the field. This has been a discussion that's been happening in the field for a few years now. I totally understand this discussion. You're looking at someone who graduated from grad school in 2009 (hello Great Recession!) and had to volunteer, intern and take contract work for five years just to get a full time job.

While things have gotten better for me the field as a whole is still woefully under paid. It goes back to the whole underfunded gotta make it work thing.

Old Stuff can kill you


Learned this one in grad school. Now you might be thinking about oh yeah I'm sure a lot of museums have firearms in their collections. Well yes that is true you can definitely find firearms in many collections but there are lots of other items in museums that can hurt you and you don't even know about it. One that I've encountered is acetate negatives. During my time at the Field Museum photo archive a good chunk of the collection was on acetate negatives. Early versions of these negatives were created on an unstable base so it deteriorates more than others, when it deteriorates it gives off a vinegar smell. That is not a good thing! You don't want to mess with that. 

Another thing I've encountered lately is the rusty nail. I have been working to unframe parts of our photograph collection that don't need to stay in frames or it's damaging to the image. Old frames mean old rusty nails. There have been more than a few times I've cut myself with them. There might have been one that few across Amy's desk and if she had been in might have gotten jabbed with. Needless to say I'm most definitely up to date with my shots!




You will do the unexpected


There is nothing that is off limits when you work for a museum. Whether it's cutting 250 medals from paper because you thought of a last minute Veteran's Day program you wanted to do or as some have told me cleaning out the bathroom. When people ask me what I do every day it can be hard to answer that question since some days we're doing the unexpected. Sometimes though that expected thing that comes up is not always the best. Such as being sideswiped by your controlling board of directors who has just given you an employee you didn't want and don't need. This one goes hand in hand with making it work. 

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!