Musings of a Museum Fanatic: November 2019

11.20.2019

Thanksgiving Noodles

We all have our favorite holiday dishes. Some of us can't do without the stuffing or the sweet potatoes. Some favorites come in the form of dessert such as pumpkin or apple pie. For me my favorite holiday dish is something a little more on the unique side. It's what I call Thanksgiving noodles. These noodles are super simple and are a dish that I've grown up eating. I think my mom even grew up eating these too! 

When we make them for Thanksgiving mom will take the neck bone and make a broth while the turkey cooks throughout the day. The version I'm sharing is for those year round cravings. I make it with chicken broth but I'm guessing you could probably use vegetable or even beef. Never tried it with beef but I bet the flavor would be great. Another perk of this recipe is that you can make as much or as little plus the leftovers heat up really well. 


Thanksgiving Noodles


Fine egg noodles
Chicken broth
Diced onions & celery to taste

1. Put broth, onions and celery in pot to boil. 

2. Once broth is boiling add fine egg noodles

3. Cook until your desired done-ness. Drain extra broth. 

4. Enjoy!


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




11.15.2019

How to Overcome Perfectionism

In today's Instagram Facebook world where we're always showing how awesome and amazing things are and how great we are it can be really tough not expect everything to be perfect. This is a big fix that I'm working on in my own life. I know that I expect certain things like a trip or a project I'm working on to come off perfectly. I especially get bogged down in perfectionism when it comes to blogging that's for sure! Since I've been attempting to really work on this. It's tough. I am still working and progressing but for now I've got five ways to help us reformed perfectionists overcome our perfectionism.


Stop Comparing

Comparing yourself, whether it's your appearance, your work, your blog or just your life in general to someone else is the worst thing. It will never end up good for you. You will only feel less than. We are not made to be less than anyone. I read somewhere that there is like a 1 in a trillion chance that you are exactly the way you are. Even if it's only half true that's pretty amazing. You are meant to be the way you are.

We are all unique in our own ways. What makes you you is completely different than any other person out there. A couple years ago my Pampered Chef group started doing personal best sheets. This is something that we can use to track our own progress from year to year. We aren't competing against each other it's us competing or comparing against ourselves. You should be the only person who you compare yourself to. Come from your own experiences, passions and beliefs you won't go wrong! You will see just how far you've come being less than perfect but yet still awesome.


Progress not perfection

If you take and apply anything to your life I hope it's this! I know that I can get bogged down in the idea that I want something to be absolutely perfect and not make any progress on it. One very tangible example is my Chicago and museum related posts. Since I consider myself to be well versed if not an expert in those areas I want those posts to be amazing. I think about all the awesome things I'm going to write about and take photos of to share with you all here. Then I get so overwhelmed with making them perfect that I don't end up doing any of the writing or photos I set out to do.

After a number of really good and bring me back down to earth conversations with Stephanie I have really been trying to abide by progress not perfection. We should all be focusing more on how were getting somewhere instead of that end place. If you focus on the fact that you're working on writing about those topics you love instead of creating the absolute perfect blog post it will be a much better post. If that's a little too much of a in your head example take loosing weight. If just focus on the fact that I want to loose the pounds instead of how I'm going to get there it will never fully work.


Be positive

Perfectionism tends to veer into the negative more than the positive. Since we're trying to be perfect all we usually see is our flaws. Don't go down the negative road. If you keep a positive attitude about what you're doing then your much more likely to see how awesome it is no matter how imperfect.


Keep the main thing the main thing

This is the version of the Stephen Covey quote that my Dad used to say to me all. the. time. When I was younger I didn't really understand that quote as much as I do now. To me there are two ways to take it. One of them being that it's easy to get bogged down in the details of something and you loose sight of your bigger picture. If you keep the main thing the main thing it's so much easier to not only get things done but be happy with what you've accomplished. Like my Chicago posts. I get so crippled and bogged down by the fact that I want them to be absolutely perfect before I post that I forget how much I enjoy when people comment about learning something new or how they're totally going to visit something I suggested on their next trip. That is the main thing! 

Just Do It!

There is never a perfect moment. For anything. You keep thinking oh some day I'll have more time or I'll be more well prepared and I'll do that thing I've been wanting to do then. Nope don't wait. Just do it! If you wait someday might never come and a year from now you'll be in the same place. If you start now a year from now you could be in an amazing place. You just need to take that leap and go for it.

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!

11.11.2019

Chicago Souvenirs and Gifts

What’s one of the best parts about a trip? The souvenirs you bring home! Chicago has some truly excellent options for Chicago themed gifts and locally made treasures. Plus we're almost to that time of year where we give lots of gifts. Here are my favorite places for the perfect Chicago souvenir and gift for your Chicago fanatic.


Museum Stores

I always think a museum store is the perfect place for the perfect souvenir. You’ll find not only items relating to that museum but fantastic items relating to the city you’re in as well as unique one of a kind items. Chicago’s museums are no different! They are full of great items to bring home for your family and friends or to remember your trip by. Most of the big museums have their stores online too so if you regret talking yourself out of a certain souvenir there is a chance you can find it online later! These are my two top picks for best museum stores but you can find all sorts of hidden treasures at all the Chicago area museum stores, like the Arlington Heights museum is making their own pop, don't count any museum store out. 

You’ll find souvenirs and gifts of every imaginable topic here. They have shops scattered throughout the museum as well as having an offsite location at O’Hare airport. The little ones throughout the museum are specialized to whatever exhibit they’re near like the SUE store right next to the T. Rex’s home or the gift shop for the big special exhibit that’s at the Field Museum right now. I personally like to head to the main shop by the South Entrance. You’ll find the really cool items in this main shop. This is where all of the beautiful jewelry is and their extensive book shop are located. You can even get beer and liquor that’s created by the Field Museum!

I love the Art Institute of Chicago stores. They’re full of amazing and unique gifts inspired by pieces in the collection. I think some of my favorite items are the fun and beautiful game items like the Warhol Dominos and different puzzles depicting paintings. If you’ve ever seen a photo of the Art Institute of Chicago you’ll usually see a photo containing the lions. I love that they have a whole line of items with the lions featured on them. From socks to ties the lions are iconic Art Institute so they should be on your souvenir must get list. Plus you’ll find holiday items throughout the year so you’ll want to stop in or check their online store often.

Chicago food & drink

A lot of people don’t think about Chicago being a place for food but let me tell you we’ve got tons of great food souvenirs. I mean come on we’re the capital of hot dogs, popcorn, pizza, candy and beer, what more do you need?!

Garrett’s is the go to for most people when it comes to getting your Chicago popcorn fix. You’ll want to make sure to pick up a bag of the Garrett Mix®, the combination of caramel corn and cheddar cheese makes up the iconic Chicago duo. This is a must have for anyone visiting Chicago. So be sure to grab some to enjoy while you’re visiting and some to take home. From huge tins to small packages there’s a size for every appetite and budget. With 8 locations in the Loop as well as various locations at O’Hare and two suburban locations you really have no excuse to stop by.

Nuts on Clark
My personal favorite for popcorn is Nuts on Clark. You can find them in the airports and Union Station along with the original Nuts on Clark up in Wrigleyville. Like with Garrett’s you’ll want to make sure to get the iconic caramel and cheddar popcorn but I love their buttered popcorn too. You can smell it once you get off the train and all through your walk to the doors. I always find it’s a good last minute pick up when we arrive at the airport for the family member who is picking us up or if we need to bring along a gift to where we’re going.

Frango Mints
You’ll find these iconic mints at Macy’s on State Street. These Chicago staples were made iconic by Marshall Field’s. You can find the original flavor along with at least half a dozen unique flavors and other Frango treats at Macy’s on State Street. If you’re visiting family elsewhere in the area you can find the original flavor at other local Macy’s stores! While you’re grabbing your souvenir box at Macy’s be sure to enjoy desserts made with the mints up in the Walnut Room. The Frango Mint Ice Cream Pie is to die for.

Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza
We already know I'm in the Lou Malnati's pizza is the best Chicago deep dish camp. My favorite part about this Chicago staple is that you can get frozen pizzas to go. If you're visiting someone in the area and need a thank you gift this is the perfect place to grab one. Know a displaced Chicagoan who has been missing home? You can actually send them a Lou's pizza through the mail. Plus you can always send yourself a little treat or a souvenir the same way. What a good way to remember your trip a few times throughout the year?

All Chicago Gifts

Like any good souvenir you must leave the city with something that says Chicago. Whether it contains the Chicago flag or the map of the L you just must. Here are my picks for top places to find that perfect item that is just so Chicago.

Transit Tees

If you're looking for anything Chicago branded Transit Tees is the place to go. They smack you in the face with Chicago but in a cool I want everything in this store way. From their new El: The Chicago Transit Adventure game to Chicago Style Hot Dogs Socks that you didn't realize you needed in your life.

Local Goods Chicago

Are you more of a handmade gifts type of person? Check out Local Goods Chicago they're all about locally handcrafted, one of a kind gifts. I'm a big fan of the simple elegant beauty of the Chicago Flag Necklace. They have some great consumable gifts like the Chicago In Transit soap bars although I feel like people who have ridden the L would argue with the scents being correct!
I know you'd think I would put the Chicago History Museum up in my museum stores section. It was a tough decision. Ultimately they have one of the best stores to get some pretty great Chicago swag so down here they are. You can order online but really the store at the museum has waaaaaay more in it than what's online. My favorite item was my lovely hot dog magnet. While they have all sorts of decor and clothing items I love the fact that they have a stellar Chicago book selection. I think they must carry every book that's currently in print relating to Chicago. I've discovered so many great reads through the shop. 



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!

11.08.2019

7 Tips & Tricks to Drink More Water

This post may contain affiliate links. 

When the colder weather hits in the Chicago area it's really dry here. I find myself really needing to make sure that I stay hydrated both inside and out. Sometimes it can be tough to drink enough water throughout the day. I can find myself parched by the end of the day in the winter. There are some tips and tricks that make it much easier to get your ounces in throughout the day. Here are my tips for making sure you get enough water in each day.



Water bottles all over
For a long time I really made sure that I had one water bottle in my stash. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't being wasteful. Even though I was being budget and environmentally conscious there were tons of times that I really needed water with me but didn't have it. Plus at work I was using disposable cups which totally defeated the point! So since then I've expanded my water bottle stash to make sure I have a work water bottle, an at home one and one that could be used for on the go.

Add flavor
I know many people's excuse for not getting enough water is that they don't like the taste or hate that water has no taste. We are living in the golden age of water flavorings. From old school favorites like Crystal Light to the MIO drops. I've even seen ones that are orange Crush flavored and Arizona Arnold Palmers. There are plenty of ways to add flavor. You can even add fruit and cucumbers when you use a water bottle like the Pampered Chef Infusion Water Bottle.

Keep track
When you start working to increase your water intake it's good to keep track. Since we're supposed to be getting about 8 8 ounce glasses of water a day you want to make sure that you're actually getting at least that amount. Like almost everything there's an app for it. There are dozens that you can download that are specifically for tracking water. Lots will even give you a reminder. Usually I'll track it with my Fitbit app or with my WW app. Since I already do things in these apps it makes it easier. It's all about keeping it simple.

Choose sparkling or mineral water 
Sometimes I know I really just crave something with some bubbles. In the past I would reach for a pop. Now I reach for a sparkling water. Like flavorings for your water we're living in the golden age of sparkling waters. The number of different types has skyrocketed. I personally like Perrier flavors while Kevin is a LaCroix Lime person. Obviously regular water is best but sometimes you just need that extra pizzazz!

Keep it filled up
A water bottle doesn't do you any good if it's empty does it? Nope. None. So be sure throughout the day to make sure that your bottle is filled up. It's just that simple.

Try tea instead
This goes along with the flavoring. Tea might be a good option if you need a flavor to make water taste better. Be sure not to add any or too much extra things like milk or sugar. Don't want to add too many calories to your drink. Now you can find tons of different flavors of tea so there is no need to feel bored. Since you're really only flavoring the water you still get the benefits. Be sure to check if it's caffeine free if you have issues with it. 

Set reminders
One of the biggest lies I tell myself is that I'll remember things without writing it down. The same can be said for not giving myself a reminder. If you're just getting in to drinking more water like any new habit it can be tough to remember to do it regularly. Use whatever reminding system that works for you whether it's your calendar or a to do app or even your BFF. Just make sure to follow through when that reminder hits.

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!

11.06.2019

Pampered Chef Fall Recipe Round Up


With the colder weather we're changing over everything in our lives from our outfits to our food. Fall makes me think of warm rich flavors. I think of fall as comforting one pot meals and soups that warm your entire body. Since we're well underway into the fall and I know I always need some new recipes here are some of my favorite and some new Pampered Chef recipes to add to your recipe box this fall. 

Fall Soups

Butternut Squash Soup



One Pot Meals

Chicken PaprikashChicken Pot Pie ChowderQuick Cooker One-Pot Oktoberfest


Thanksgiving Sides

Butternut Squash & Apple StuffingEasy Cranberry SauceEasy Mashed Potatoes


Thanksgiving Desserts

Homestyle Apple PieMini Pecan PiesQuick Cooker Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Fall Drinks

Apple Cider Vinegar TonicCranberry CollinsCran-Raspberry Fizz


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!

11.04.2019

30 Things That Happened in 1989

Thirty years ago 1989 was on the cusp of a new decade. There was lots of 80s influence still happening but you could see the movement ahead into the 90s. Break out the crimper for a look back at 30 things that happened in 1989. How old were you in 1989? What do you remember most about that year if you were around? 


Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Will Smith wins the first ever Grammy for Best Rap Performance with his song Parents Just Don't Understand

Berlin Wall comes down

Seinfeld
starts

Exxon Valdez tanker runs aground spills 240,000 barrels (11 million gallons)



On December 3 President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced that the Cold War was over

Taylor Swift is born on December 13

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

First liver transplant is performed

A 4,400-year-old mummy is found in the Great Pyramid of Giza



Disney opens Hollywood Studios park at Disney World

Field of Dreams

In Alaska's Prince William Sound the Exxon Valdez runs aground and spills 11 million gallons of oil

Ted Bundy is executed in Florida's electric chair

The Simpsons premiered on Fox

Nintendo releases the Game Boy in Japan in April and in North America in July



Sir Tim Berners-Lee develops the World Wide Web

U.S. Senate voted “to ban smoking on all domestic airline flights

Lucille Ball passes away on April 26

After decades of no princess movies Disney releases The Little Mermaid

Microsoft Office is first released



American Gladiators enters our lives

Pro-democracy rallies are held in Tiananmen Square. Martial law is declared and hundreds are killed

The term "freshman 15" entered our vocabulary thanks the teen magazine Seventeen

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation




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!