Musings of a Museum Fanatic: December 2019

12.23.2019

Sending Cards with Paperless Post

This past year I conquered something I've been wanting to do for a few years. I was able to send a birthday and anniversary card to all my friends and family. You might think that this took an exorbitant amount of time and money but it was really simple. I had help from Paperless Post


A few years ago I discovered Paperless Post when a friend sent me a beautiful e-invite to a party she was hosting. I didn't realize at first that they had way more to offer than just lovely invitations. There are tons of different cards and invites from birthday to Christmas and even themes like charity fundraisers and retirements. You can even find animated ones now! We've been working to incorporate more green into our lives so this was a perfect option instead of mailing cards. 

It couldn't be easier to send your own cards with Paperless Post. First you need to make your own account. I took time right away to add people to the address book since I knew I was going to be sending out cards to a lot of people. That way I didn't have to waste time later searching. You can even connect it to your Gmail or other email or even upload it if you've got it in an Excel spreadsheet. They make it super simple!

There are tons of free options that you can use but there are also some great upgrades that are minimal cost wise. My favorite way to upgrade is to do a fancier envelope. If that's not your jam you can always do a cute liner or stamp. 


So next step is to figure out what you're sending a card for a pick it out! Kevin and I are thinking we'll send out last minute e-Christmas cards. There are almost 700 to choose from! Way more options than if we were to get them printed somewhere. So we picked out this one with the options for lots of cute photos of us. Then you can customize the background, envelope or liner if you so desire. 


The final steps for your card is the personal message and sending it. Or in my case with all of the anniversary and birthday cards this year, schedule ahead!! I ended up scheduling several years worth of cards all at once. It was easy to focus on one person and schedule three different cards for that person in a row. Just pick the date and time hit schedule. Boom! Your cards are ready to send! 

Paperless Post is a fun, beautiful and environmentally friendly way to send sentiments to your friends and family all year long. 

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!


12.11.2019

A Decade of Memories

It wasn't until about a week ago that it dawned on me that we're on the cusp of a new decade! I've been saying this for the past couple of years but where is the time going?! It's kind of amazing how quickly time has been going. I thought it would be fun to pick out one photo that would represent each year from the past decade. Looking back throughout years of photographs it's amazing how much has happened and changed!! How are you feeling about entering a new decade? 

2010
This was one of the main years of Stache, Kevin's band. I was always out with friends at the shows. This was from one in February of that year. I remember doing my hair and dressing in the red top because of Valentine's Day. Getting to spend so much fun and memorable times with friends was for sure what defined 2010. 


2011
This was definitely the year of wedding stuff. Kevin and I got engage April of 2011! This photo is from the day we got engaged. We went out to dinner with his parents at our favorite Italian place (which is now closed sadly). 

2012
Of course I would pick a wedding photo for 2012! This was the biggest thing to happen in 2012 for sure. This is one of my favorite photos from our wedding. We were tucked in a side hallway after the ceremony and the photographer just caught this photo.

2013
This might seem like a really odd photo since all of my other photos are of people. In 2013 after 5 years of applying, networking and hustling I finally got my first full time job at a museum! Technically this is from 2014 but this is the earliest photo I have from my full time job. Such a thrilling one right ha!?


2014
When it comes to 2014 I'm going to cheat and share two photos. This was such a big year for multiple reasons. The first part of the year was defined by the stress and sadness of Dad going through his cancer treatment and passing away. He had mom take this one for me since he was reading the magazine I gave him in his chemo bag. Lane's birth really defined the second part of our year. Lane is just a couple of hours old in this photo. Our first one together!

2015
Kevin's parents took us kids to Disney World in 2015! It was a wonderful trip. We all had a blast hanging out with each other and doing all things Disney. This photo was taken our first night there. It's one of my favorites from the trip. We were still soaked from the water ride and were able to get this photo snapped before we left the park. It was a whim photo and I love it.

2016
I dubbed 2016 the year of friends. After Dad passed I really focused inward and on family for most of 2015. It wasn't that I avoided friends but really wanted to be around family all the time. In 2016 I made a point to spend as much time with friends as possible. These ladies are always there for me and I love them so much! We snapped this photo during my birthday dinner at Weber Grill.

2017
A new niece for 2017! Elowen came along January of 2017. She made the year interesting that's for sure. This photo was before her three month phase where she would scream bloody murder if anyone but Bethany held her. Yeah fun times. She is so cute with those chubby cheeks you can't help but love her. 

2018
 Then there were two! Two nieces to be exact. Juliette made 2018 a surprising year that's for sure. She's made a great addition to the family and like with her older siblings I love seeing her grow and change. This photo was from the evening of Thanksgiving. Bethany and I were just chilling with her wrapped up snug as a bug.  

2019
The biggest event of 2019 was Kevin and I buying our first home together. It's been an adventure owning a place again together. Looking forward to redoing more of our place and making more memories here!

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!

12.06.2019

10 Ways to Get Your Steps In Each Day

I finally crossed off one of my harder 101 list items. I crossed off the "achieve my daily step goal three times a week for six months"! Getting your daily step goal in can be really difficult especially this time a year living in a colder place. There are some days where I had to get really creative and make sure that I hit my goal for the day. What sneaky ways do you get your steps in each day?


Talk & walk
This is one that actually drives Kevin bonkers. I always like to walk when we talk. Well I don't just walk I walk and pick up stuff around the house. He's gotten more into the habit of walking around the house and talking with me. If you're on the phone don't just stand or sit pace the house.

Park far away
Parking far away from the store has multiple perks. Besides getting all those extra steps in parking further away makes it much easier to get in and out of the lot. Trust me this time of year it's the only way to go.

Laundry one item at a time
I heard this tip from someone years ago in a Weight Watcher meeting. She said that instead of piling everything back into the basket and hauling it back to the bedroom she took care of it one piece at a time. She would fold it in the laundry room then walk that one piece back to the bedroom and put it away. If you've got some time this is a great way to get in steps.

Walk around the bus stop/subway/train stop
Are you a public transportation commuter? You probably have lots of time to kill while you wait for the next train or bus. You could use that time Facebook stalking someone from high school or use it to get steps in walking around the stop.

Watch & walk
Sometimes it's tough to stay away from that new episode of the Real Housewives right? Don't just plop down and watch. March in place or if you must sit get up and walk during the commercials. Take it up a notch and do some arm movements while you walk too.

Join the mall walkers
When the winter weather hits in the Chicago area you really don't want to be outside. Even if you're in a more tropical climate I'm sure it gets too hot to walk outside. Head to your local mall and join the steppers there. If you head there earlier in the morning you'll get plenty of steps in plus avoid the crowds.

Walking workout
If you're looking to get in more than just a few steps check out a walking specific workout. I'm a big fan of the OG walking workouts by Leslie Sansone. She's got a bunch of different ones from one mile to 5 and everything in between. There are a bunch of other great walking workouts out there. You can even find some on YouTube.

Use the thing furthest away
Need to use the rest room? Head to the one that's the furthest away. Need to get a tissue? Grab one from the far bedroom. Need to chat with a coworker two floors down? Walk over to them don't just call.

If you're standing you can walk
This goes along with walking and talking. If you're doing something where you're just standing around don't just stand there walk!

Always take steps
If you're able to always take the steps. Avoid the hassle of the elevator and escalator use those steps!

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!

12.02.2019

Guide to Hot Chocolate in Chicago

Hot chocolate is always my favorite hot drink of choice. I can drink it all year long but I especially love it during the winter. I mean come on what is better than hot chocolate on those cold Chicago winter days? It’s essential when you’re out enjoying the sites in the city during the winter to make a stop for some fantastic hot chocolate and a quick warm up. These are the best spots for delicious hot chocolate that can only come from homemade goodness. Here’s where to go for a quick chocolate fix and some warmth during your next Chicago winter adventure:


Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop

830 N. Michigan Ave.
You might know and love Ghirardelli for their little squares of chocolate delight you can get in the store but here in Chicago you can stop by the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop for a hot chocolate fix while you’re Christmas shopping on Michigan Avenue. They don’t just have one type either you can find three different options. Classic cocoa, sea salt caramel hot chocolate and decadent drinking chocolate I mean come on anything with decadent in the name can’t be anything less than amazing.


Mindy's Hot Chocolate

1747 N. Damen Ave.
If you couldn’t tell by the name hot chocolate is the shining star at this place all year round. You’ll find seven different options for your hot chocolate options here. All of them come with a house made marshmallow plus you can have your hot chocolate boozy if you like. Doesn’t that sound perfect on a snowy day?

Xoco

449 N. Clark St.
For a different spin on hot chocolate you need to try XOCO. They’re serving up a piping hot authentic Mexican hot chocolate, You can see them literally grinding the cacao beans while they make your drink. Pair it with one of their famous churro for the perfect chocolate moment.

Bombo Bar

832 W. Randolph
The dessert game is ridiculous at Bombo Bar. Everything tastes amazing and is so Instagram worthy! Try one of their amazing Hotter Chocolates. This is the hot chocolate version of a freak shake. You can go a little more traditional with a s’mores or go out of the box with their Party Monster with cotton candy and other sweets on top.

Katherine Anne Confections

2745 W. Armitage Ave.
Katherine Anne seems to be the big mac daddy of Chicago hot chocolate with lots of accolades from different publications as the best hot chocolate in Chicago and in America! Their signature item is the luxurious drinking chocolate. There are 10 varieties to choose from and if that wasn’t enough choice you’ve got 5 different kinds of marshmallows to top that hot chocolate with.

XO Marshmallow
6977 N Sheridan Rd
A relatively new face to the Chicago dessert scene XO Marshmallow has been taking the scene by storm though. You can find four different flavors of unique hot chocolate here. Their Lavender White Hot Cocoa topped with a homemade lavender honey marshmallow sounds like it’s worth the hike up to Roger’s Park. Be sure to come hungry and get one of their amazing treats to go with your hot chocolate too.

Cocoa + Co

1651 N. Wells St.
Chocolate is the name of the game here. From their pastries to the decadent drinking chocolate almost everything on the menu gives you a chocolate fix. You’ll find intriguing drinking chocolates with names like Rock the Casbah and Lucky Lumberjack. 


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!