Musings of a Museum Fanatic: July 2019

7.29.2019

5 Unique Chicago Museums



In Chicago you'll find every type of museum. From natural history museums to science to contemporary art museums. While these museums are all amazing it's those unique museums that really catch your attention. Chicago is no stranger to unique and crazy museums. All of these unique museums are open to the public. Some of them have an entrance fee so be sure to check out all the details on their websites before heading over for your visit. 



Oak Brook, IL 

The Lizzadro Museum is currently in the process of moving locations but it will be back open this fall. If you're visiting from out of town this fall you should definitely add it to your list. Lapidary is actually the art of cutting and polishing stone. So you can only imagine how beautiful an entire museum is! I absolute was astounded and loved seeing all the pieces that were so detailed. It still blows my mind at the artistry of it.


Busy Beaver Button Co. Museum
Open: Monday - Friday 10-4 or by appointment
3407 W. Armitage Ave Chicago, IL 60647

You'll find the world's only pin-back button museum in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. With over 30,000 buttons in their collection it ranges from 1896 when the pin back button was patented to the present. There are buttons from political campaigns to art to music. I'm not sure if they have a gift shop but if they do you know it would be amazing. 


Wednesday, 11 - 5
Thursday: 11 - 7 (CLAW Free Day, No Admission Fee)
Friday: 11 - 7
Sunday & Saturday: 11 - 5
6418 N Greenview Ave. Chicago IL, 60626

I must warn you straight away that the Leather Archive and Museum could be considered a not safe for work website to view. Their mission is "Making leather, kink, BDSM, and fetish accessible through research, preservation, education and community engagement." You can only imagine what is in their collection and the interesting things they come across. Their exhibits take you through the history of the sub-culture as well as having several temporary exhibits throughout the year. If you check out their website you'll even find online exhibits.

Monday - Saturday 9 - 3 
9513 W. Higgins  Rosemont, IL. 60018

When you say the name Donald E. Stephens most people think of the convention center but even if they've been to the convention center they don't realize that this little museum is right around the corner. In the 1960s Stephens took a European trip and discovered the art of the Hummel figurines. He worked to collect rare pieces and made sure that they would be preserved and on exhibit for everyone to see. 


Monday - Friday 9:30 - 5
Saturday - Sunday 10 - 5
1524 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60610

Right along Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast you'll find a stunning historic landmark mansion that houses the International Museum of Surgical Science. This 65 year old museum is devoted to the history of surgical sciences and the history of the International College of Surgical Science. Not only can you find the history of surgical science here but you'll also be able to see and enjoy the history of the home itself.

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

7.26.2019

5 Tricks to Help You Get Dressed Quickly

5 Tricks to Help You Get Dressed Quickly
**Post contains affiliate links

When we were living in Roselle and I had to commute almost an hour it was rough getting myself out of the door in the morning. I didn't want to wake up any earlier that was a definite no go but I didn't want to start work later either. So I had to be really smart about my morning routine. So I worked on figuring out how I could simplify and make getting dressed more efficient in the morning. What does getting dressed in the morning look like for you? Do you have an airtight routine that gets you out the door quickly or do you like a leisurely routine?

Know the weather
This can be a really important one especially when it's January in the Chicago area. You never know if it's going to be sunny and 33 degrees or if it's going to be a freak snow storm. You'll always want to be prepared so be smart and always check the weather. I tend to check it at night when I'm doing the next tip and that morning. You never know what weather changes can happen during the night!

Lay out your clothes
Preparation is the key to being ready in a jiffy. I've taken to laying out my clothes the night before. Not only do I make sure to lay out my clothes I don't take an hour to pick them out. I've been working on simplifying my clothes so I don't have too many different pants, work or casual, so that's a quick grab. I make sure to pick a top quickly too. They say that's why Steve Jobs always wore the same outfit so he wouldn't have to waste so much time on useless things like picking out clothes. Even my socks and underwear get laid out the night before. I know it seems like these would take no time at all but it's much easier to grab one pile of clothes than opening multiple drawers.

Simplify accessories
Are you someone who has dozens of necklaces and you can't even tell which one starts where? Do you have enough earrings to equip a marching band? Simplifying accessories can really make getting dressed oh so simple. I prefer pieces that I know work with many different types of outfits, casual and business. That way I can use a piece I love all the time. This helps to make sure something will be in style for more than one season as well. Even better is when you take a couple seconds to layout your necklaces and other accessories with your outfit for the next day. 

Check/prepare your purse & bag
Day to day my work bag and purse really contain the same contents so there isn't much need to check or change anything. There are some days though when I do need to change up my purse, like when I head to the city for a professional meeting or I'm visiting other archives. I don't take my full wallet downtown so I take time to pull out some money, my ID and other items that I know I'll need into a smaller wallet. Prepping like this the night before will allow time for those missed items to be found, like my Ventra card I always seem to be misplacing! 

Cut back on mirror time
Time spent it front of the mirror with your hair and make up can suck up so much time it's insane. I have long hair so when I need to wash it in the morning just blow drying it can suck up tons of time. Having a good tool like my CHI hair dryer can save you time. I've also cut my make up routine down to almost nothing and on some days nothing. Having a quick and easy make up routine that I can put on in less than five minutes is a life saver. Invest in products that do multiple things or are easy to apply. 

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

7.24.2019

30 Things That Happened in 1999



When I say 20 years ago that feels like a life time right? What about when I say 1999? That was just a few years ago not 20! Right?! Yeah unfortunately not. Life was extremely different in 1999 than it is now. We were wearing frosted eye make up and bucket hats were for some reason a thing along with gobs of chokers. I remember being worried with everyone as we prepared for Y2K. What do you remember from 1999?



President Clinton is Acquitted

In March NATO Begins Bombing Yugoslavia

The Sopranos started

On April 20, 1999, two students go on a shooting rampage in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. 12 students and 1 teacher are killed before killing themselves.



We are obsessed with Pokemon

The Matrix

The hunt for JonBenet Ramsey's killer is given up after three years and no indictments.

The Euro is introduced in 11 countries

We all rejoiced and were quickly crushed by the short lived Freaks and Geeks run



Barbie celebrates her 40th Birthday

The New York Yankees won the World Series for the 25th time

SpongeBob premieres on Nickelodeon

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Lance Armstrong wins his first Tour de France



Dr. Jack Kevorkian, was found guilty of second-degree murder for for giving a lethal injection in a case of voluntary euthanasia

We all rejoice that we can have all the songs we want with the release of Napster

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

World population reached the milestone of 6 billion people



Bluetooth technology was introduced

Office Space

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Detective Oliva Benson came into our lives

10 Things I Hate About You



Everyone freaked out about the Millennium

I started high school!


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

7.17.2019

Urban Adventure Quest

Urban Adventure Quest by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

A while ago while I was researching free walking tours in Chicago I came across a sort of self guided, scavenger hunt fun walking tour company call Urban Adventure Quest. I loved the idea of being able to do something totally on your own whenever you wanted. Kevin's brother Eric and his wife Becky were coming up for a casual Metra crawl with us so we all thought it would be the perfect way to start the day. 

We picked the perfect day to do it the weather was fantastic not to hot and the breezes off the river made the quest really enjoyable. We started off the tour right along the river. In my opinion there is probably not a better place to start a Chicago tour. I love the views along the river they're some of my favorites. 

Urban Adventure Quest by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Urban Adventure Quest by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Before you start the hunt you need to register through the website so you can pull up your account to do the hunt. Even though you can have more than one phone with the hunt pulled up we thought it would be easier to have one person with the phone reading clues. Made us stick together and figure it out instead of wandering around.

I loved how it wasn't just go here and tell me what you see. There were puzzles and problems that you needed to solve as part of the hunt. It really got our brains thinking! You really did need the notebook and pen for a couple of the questions.

Urban Adventure Quest by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

We did have some issues with the first question. It took us a little while to figure out because of the way it was phrased. There was wandering around that section of the Riverwalk for about 15 minutes because we weren't sure of the answer! Got it right in the end though. After that first question we found more of a groove and ended up only getting one of the 19 questions wrong. Heck yeah Team Glenn!

Urban Adventure Quest by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I really enjoyed the mix of the iconic spots and the spots you sometimes pass without a second glance. There were a couple spots of the quest that we at the same stop for multiple questions. I'd have preferred to keep moving and see more sights. Or at least other highlights in the same area. After the questions it gave you stories and history of the sights you were looking at. I even learned new things about the different stops!

Urban Adventure Quest by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

I'm trying not to give away any specifics so when you do the hunt you'll enjoy it as much as we did! I really appreciate that by doing the hunt through Urban Adventure Quest we could go at our own pace. We even stopped for a snack break and picked it up after. While being competitive can be enjoyable at times since we walked several miles it was nice to go at a slower pace and not overdo it. 

Urban Adventure Quest by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

You can find Urban Adventure Quest all over the U.S. from places like Golden, CO to Washington D.C.! Some cities even have multiple quests or mini quests. It's the perfect way to get to know a new place. A regular quest is $49 for a 2-5 person team. This is a way more economical way to tour a city compared to paying that amount per person for a lot of other tours. Be sure to check out their deals section too for extra discounts 

The four of us had a blast and really enjoyed the time we spent together! 

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

7.12.2019

Do People Actually Buy This?! Vol. 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

7.10.2019

The Before Photos House Tour

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

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

Musings of a Museum Fanatic The Before Photos House Tour

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

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

7.08.2019

Aquamermaid Swimming Class

**This post may contain affiliate links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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






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

7.03.2019

4 One Time Use Plastics to Stop Using Now

This post may contain affiliate links

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

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


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

Produce Containers

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

Straws

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

Plastic Shopping Bags

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

Water Bottles

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



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