Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 2020

5.27.2020

Reasons You Need a Will

On our quest to up our adulting game we are working to make sure that we have important papers like a will. A lot of people don't even think about having a will. They don't realize that even if it's just you there are really important reasons to make sure that you have one. There are lots of great online resources if you can't afford to hire a lawyer to make one for you. Do you already have a will?



You decide what happens to your assets
If you pass away without a will there is a good chance that your wishes for your estate won't be followed. So if you have a lot of family who might fight over everything or you want everything to go to the care of your dog make sure you have a legal document aka a will that spells it all out.

You decide what happens to your minor children
While we all hope that nothing will happen to us while our children are little there is always a possibility. Who wants to leave their future caretakers up to chance? That's what can happen if you don't specify this is in a will. The court could assign a family member or even appoint someone outside of your family.

You can keep people away from your money and stuff
Don't want your brother who has no idea how to handle finances getting the money you worked hard to earn and save? Put it in the will! If you don't want certain individuals to receive part of your estate then you'll want to make sure that is written in the will.  

To spell out your charitable giving
I feel like this is a Hallmark movie plot. Old man passes away and donates everything to charity but evil nephew tries to stop it. If you want specific assets or money to go to charity you need to spell that out in your will. Planned giving is yours and your favorite charity's best friend.

None of us are making it out alive
Death is literally the only thing you can count on in life. Whether it's next week or 80 years from now, none of us is making it out of this life alive. Having a will makes it so you can sleep easily at night knowing that your life, your family and your future is decided on and you won't leave a big mess for your family to take care of.

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!

5.20.2020

5 Simple Cleaning Tips

Cleaning is a pain in the butt. Most of us hate doing it and come up with so many excuses not to do it. I know right now our schedules are more open then they usually are but it can be tough to fit cleaning in to our lives. Especially when we find it so tedious.

Now that we have a much bigger home it's even more difficult to keep everything clean. I'm trying to instill better cleaning habits with the two of us. Here's XX tips I've discovered that help keep things simple when it comes to cleaning.


Make a schedule 
Kevin and I have been talking about having a cleaning schedule for waaaay too long now. Since going into stay at home we've put certain larger cleaning tasks like cleaning the bathroom in our calendars. Putting it into the calendar helps make time in our schedule for the various tasks. 

We haven't taken the time to schedule out all the different tasks every week. That's our next goal. It's a well known fact when you schedule out time for something and make it important it's much more likely to get accomplished. Do you have a cleaning schedule already in place? What are you biggest schedule tips?

Always make your bed
When I was in college I read somewhere, probably in a magazine, that if you do one thing to keep your home clean always make your bed. It's amazing how that one little thing can make the room either feel much cleaner or much messier. Plus it's probably the simplest and quickest cleaning you can do in the entire house. Unless you have like 20 throw pillows then you probably need to work on getting rid of some pillows.

Clean small things as you go
One thing that we all tend to accumulate are those small things. Like the couple of coupons you took out of your purse and left in the living room or the hair tie you left on the kitchen table, the list goes on and on. I've always been a big fan of cleaning up those little things as I go. Meaning if I'm getting up and going into another room I take two seconds to take care of any little item that might have ended up in the wrong space. Plus I'm getting a few extra steps too which right now working from the couch is much needed!

Get rid of stuff
If it's not in your house you don't have to clean it! Pretty simple right? While we haven't purged as much in our life as some people have there is way less in our house. It has made a crazy big difference in our house that's for sure.

Do a little bit each day
Thinking about how much of your home you have to clean all at once can be incredibly overwhelming. Sometimes it can be so much that you can't even do anything. There is an old saying "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Breaking down the cleaning and doing a little bit each day is a good way to break down those overwhelming cleaning tasks.

When you give yourself a set time like half an hour or even just 10 minutes it's easier to focus on those tasks at hand. You can take that time and just clean, clean, clean then you're done for the day if you need to be. Nothing like a deadline to keep you focused!

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!

5.11.2020

Virtually Visiting Chicago Museums

One of the aspects of the stay a home I've found tough is that I can't go to museums. It seems silly but when you work in them, that's where you go to see colleagues and love them it makes it hard when you can go in them! Lots of these amazing non-profits have been hit really hard with this shut down too. 

Even though we're all supposed to be staying at home now that is no reason why you can't "visit" Chicago museums in other ways. I've pulled together a list of Chicago area museums who are doing the big three of online visit ... virtual tours, digital collections and online exhibits. 

Though not all museums are doing these specific types of online content they're still sharing lots of fun and interesting things like story times, object of the week, talks by members of the staff and so much more through their websites and social media channels. 


Virtual Tours






Digital Collections











Digital Exhibitions 








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!

4.29.2020

Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread

Since we're stuck at home more because of Stay at Home I actually have more time to make more of the from scratch recipes we enjoy. I have made this bread recipe before but it's been a long time. It's a super simple recipe that uses one of my favorite Pampered Chef stoneware ... the Deep Covered Baker.

Even though the recipe is super simple it does take time for the dough to rise. Hence why we don't make it as much as we should because it's delicious. I made it Saturday and half the loaf is gone, I've only had one piece!
Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #recipe #cooking


Ingredients: 
3 C. all-purpose flour
1-2 Tbs Pantry® Seasoning Mix or Rub
1 tsp quick-rising yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 C. water
3 Tbs canola or olive oil, divided


Directions: 
1. Mix flour, seasoning mix, yeast and salt in large mixing bowl. Add water and 2 Tbs of the oil to flour mixture. Stir until blended. (Dough will be slightly sticky.)

Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #recipe #cooking

2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 6-10 hours or until dough is doubled in size.

3. Brush Deep Covered Baker with remaining 1 tbsp oil using Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush.

Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #recipe #cooking

4. Place dough onto a floured Pastry Mat; lightly sprinkle top of dough with flour. Fold dough over itself three or four times and place in baker.

5. Microwave 2 cups water in Small Batter Bowl on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until boiling.

6. Place uncovered baker into a cold oven and place batter bowl next to baker. Close oven. Let dough rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #recipe #cooking

7. Carefully remove baker from oven to avoid deflating dough. Remove batter bowl from oven. Preheat oven to 450°F

Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #recipe #cooking

8. Cover baker with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 10-15 minutes or until bread is deep golden brown.

Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #recipe #cooking

9. Remove baker from oven. Carefully remove bread from baker to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool at least 20 minutes.
Deep Covered Baker No-Knead Bread by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #recipe #cooking

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!

4.17.2020

Ways to Stay Out of Debt

Now that Kevin and I have paid off our debt it's top of our list to make sure we stay out of debt! We've already wandered back into debt once and we're not going to do that again. Staying out of debt will allow us to do things like travel and improve our home that we wouldn't be able to do while we had debt.

I think staying out of debt might be a much harder process than getting out. It's like maintaining a weight loss. So I've come up with a few ways I think will help keep us and you out of debt.



Stop creating more debt
This seems really obvious but I think sometimes the most obvious things need to be said. Kevin and I have talked in detail about our mistakes that we made with going into debt for our cars. We discussed what we need to do in the future when it comes time to purchase new cars and what we will do to actively avoid taking out debt on them.

What are some ways that you actively avoid going into more debt?

Keep a detailed budget
For years we talked about actually budgeting and then at the start of our journey last year it just clicked. We started using EveryDollar Budget and it's been great. We make sure every dollar has a job each month.

Keeping a detailed budget every month will focus you and your finances. It will help when big purchases are on the horizon. You'll be able to budget and save for them instead of taking out more debt to purchase whatever it is.

Build an Emergency Fund
Stuff happens. Life happens. Sometimes it costs us money. Having an emergency fund will help when those life moments come up. I'm not talking about oh I want a new pair of shoes and I didn't budget for it. I'm talking about I ran over a bed of nails and all my tires blew out. Now I need to spend money and replace all my tires. An actual emergency.

Cut up your credit cards
I will admit this is something that I've had an issue with when it came to Dave Ramsey's baby steps. Kevin and I never take out a balance on our cards. We pay them off every month and don't put anything more on them than we have budgeted. While we haven't closed all of them we are closing most of them. 

I know that there are a lot of people who aren't able to be disciplined with their cards. That is how they end up in credit card debt. If you're one of those people cutting up your cards is the best solution. It keeps away the temptation of it. You only spend what you have in your account.

Keep learning about finances
Continuously learning about any type of subject will allow you to understand it better and become an expert. This is no different when it comes to your finances. Before last spring we knew we had to budget and do better but didn't know exactly what we should be doing. Well that's where resources like Financial Peace University, Total Money Makeover, The Millionaire Next Door and every financial article that popped up in my news feed came in.

I've been reading everything financial that comes across my plate. At this point I'm definitely not an expert but I sure know way more about finances and paying off debt than I did last year. Next year I'll know even more than I do know. We should always been learning and improving ourselves in every area. It can only benefit us!

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!

4.13.2020

Chicago Food Hacks

For a long time people didn't think of Chicago as a foodie town but we've really become one of if not the best food city in the United States. I mean come on we're the home of such amazing foods like brownies and the pizza puff. There are lots of food choices to pick from here in the Chicago area so it can be quite overwhelming. I've got some hacks for you to make the most out of your delicious Chicago visit.

Chicago Food Hacks by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Chicago pizza is more than just deep dish
Yes we know that our deep dish pizza is super iconic. Frankly most of us tend to not eat deep dish that often. Locals will enjoy a Chicago thin crust pizza more often. Our cracker thin, crunchy thin crust is a a beautiful thing. Check out my Guide to Chicago Pizza for some ideas to get you out of that deep dish rut.

Check out restaurants along the river and lake
The last several years Chicago has become known for our amazing rooftop bars and restaurants. While you can find some amazing views when you head to those restaurants I always recommend that people head a little lower for some great views. There aren't quite as many restaurants along the river and lake as rooftops but you'll find great food and a unique view that you can't go wrong with.

Head outside of the Loop
You'll find some great options inside the Loop but some of my favorite places aren't anywhere near the Loop! The West Loop is home to a crazy amount of high rated restaurants. You'll find the likes of Stephanie Izard's restaurant empire and other amazing places. Since a lot of my friends have lived in the Lakeview/Lincoln Park neighborhoods a lot of my favorites like Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba and The Galway Arms. Be sure to look at all your options before you visit.

Visit a food hall
Food halls have popped up all over Chicago. From Revival Food Hall to Eataly you'll find something that will satisfy your tastes. If you're looking to try a lot of different Chicago restaurants a food hall is the perfect place. You'll find Chicago institutions like Antique Taco, Smoque BBQ and The Fat Shallot along with tons of other options in one spot. That's just looking at Revival Food Hall! Try one or try them all.

Track down a food truck
Chicago is home to some great food trucks. From lobster rolls to perogies to cupcakes you can find a food truck that will satisfy any hunger you've got. It might take a bit of looking to find them but it will be worth it. My favorites are the Happy Lobster and Beavers Doughnuts.

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!

4.08.2020

How to Create a Routine

How to Create a Routine by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #improving


Most of us always have tons happening in our lives. Maybe we're married with kids so we've got tons happening in our spouse and kids' lives or maybe it's just us but we've got tons every month on our own schedule. Even with all of our simplifying tools around us it can be tough to create a a good solid routine in our lives.

Kind of like how I keep trying to start my meal prep routine which sometimes last two weeks but then schedules intrude and make it hard. I am still working hard to create routines in our life. Do you have any routines that you follow? Or a specific schedule you follow?

Routines have become even more important the past several weeks of staying at home. Kevin and my normal routine the first two weeks was a hot mess and we felt that mess! The last week of March we sat down and talked through how we can bring back routine to our lives.

Routines benefit you and everyone who is a part of your family even your pet! Here's how to work on creating a new routine.

Use a planner & make time

You can't really make a routine if you don't even know what your schedule is like right? Of course right! This is where having a good planner comes in. I've mentioned that I go the digital route but there are so many great paper options out there if you're a paper person. One way I create a routine with my work calendar is that I block out the time I leave every day. Since I work 7-3:30 which is an off schedule for people at my work people kept booking meetings past the end of my day. When I realized I could put in the calendar that I leave at 3:30 it made the routine much easier! So don't just use the planner book time for those tasks you want to make into a routine.

Prioritize your time

It's easy to slip into routines that don't actually focus on things that really matter to you. Do you find yourself overly focused on the routine of cooking for everyone in your house but never getting to really enjoy the time with them once your done cooking? Is making dinner really the routine that you should be prioritizing? Or is it spending dinner with your family?

Hopefully it's the second one. Although I know we could all use a break from family every now and then ha! Take a look at why you're spending your time on these routines. Make sure they they benefit you, your life and the goals you want to achieve. 

Change up "routines" that aren't working

Sometimes we think a routine is working for us but it's really not. I was getting into the routine of looking through my email and Facebook while I was lying in bed waking up every morning. It took me a little bit to realize that this routine was eating up valuable time in the morning. It was a bad routine and habit! Do you have any bad routines in your life? It's a good thing to evaluate all your current routines every now and then to make sure they're actually benefiting you.

Say No

Right now that's pretty easy for us since we're all supposed to be staying in our homes but I know before and when things go back to normal most of have crazy schedules. Having so much on our calendars and our plates isn't always a good thing. 

Sometimes we fill up our schedules with so much that we're not really giving the right amount of attention to anything we're doing. It can make our routines so crazy it's hard to keep track. The past year I've been slowly working on saying no and making my routines and schedules simpler. 

It's been things like instead of serving on the board of my sorority alumnae group I'm just enjoying being a member and going to the events. It allows me to still enjoy seeing my sorority sisters every month but not taking up other random time throughout the month.

Create rituals

Routines and rituals are pretty similar but I think sometimes when we make things a ritual it's more enjoyable. Kevin and I have developed getting ready for bed rituals where we brush our teeth and get ready together, we make faces at each other and talk about silly things. It seems a little rom com-ish but turning it into a special ritual made a big difference in us sticking to a bed time and a getting ready for bed routine.

Are there any areas of your life that you can turn into a ritual instead of just a routine?

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!

4.03.2020

3 Questions to Help Declutter Quick



Starting to declutter can be tough if you've never really done it before. Like anything in life you don't always know where to start. When I work on going through and decluttering I always ask myself three questions that help decide to keep or get rid of stuff.

Is it broken?
This is a simple question that you would think we wouldn't need to ask ourselves but I've found it to be necessary. Sometimes we keep something that's broken because we think we'll fix it up. Sometimes we keep something that's broken because it is something that contains a lot of memories for us.

Are you really going to fix that broken item? If so then get on it and fix it right away! If not get rid of it. Keeping sentimental items is a little more tricky. If it's something like your grandfather's watch that he always kept with him but now it doesn't work that's something I'd be more inclined to keep than a random doll you had growing up that has no more hair.

When was the last time you used it?
If you haven’t used it in 6 months to a year it's gone. I used to be the queen of I might use this some day or I spent money it so I'm going to keep it. Am I the only one who feels like this?

I've learned the past couple of years on my decluttering journey that if I'm not actually going to use it there is no point to keep it. Best of all don't buy stuff like that in the first place.

Can it be digital?
As I go back through boxes with my graduate school papers and readings I've been working to digitize them. I only reference them about once a year so there is no reason to physically keep them but I don't want to get rid of the information. Another one is physical recipes. I'm working with Mom to go through her recipes and scan them. No more clutter in that one kitchen drawer and she can search and find the recipe super fast.

Do you have anything in your life that could be digitized instead of keeping the physical copy?

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!

4.01.2020

Why You Should Pay Off Debt

It's been a crazy couple of weeks to say the least hasn't it? I've been in a bit of a sadness/grief with what's been happening so I've been quiet here on the blog. Trying to get my evenings back to normal so I wanted to write on some of the topics that have been in my head for a while.

Last spring Kevin and I kind of had a bit of a financial freak out during purchasing our home. Even though we weren't going over our budget for a home that combined with our debts we realized that it was nuts. We finally bit the bullet and took Financial Peace University. If you're not familiar with Dave Ramsey you should check out his book Total Money Makeover. It takes you through his principals of getting out of debt and building wealth. 
Why You Should Pay Off Debt by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


We realized that we had somehow wandered back into debt by taking out loans on cars when we really didn't need to. In the past we had tackled my student loans and literally had no debt! What were we thinking? It was too easy to go back into debt. 

Staying out of debt is really tough. It can seem so innocent having a car loan. You have to have a car right? Well there are some pretty important reasons to not have debt in your life. 

Reduce your bills
I think everyone can relate to the love of not having as many bills right? Well pay off that debt.Less debt equals less bills.  

You're spending more than you can afford
I think this is the mantra we had when we wandered back into debt. It's just X amount per month we can totally afford that. That type of thinking is what will get you in trouble. It's not about the monthly payment it's about the entire amount. You will payment yourself to death and deep debt. 

You're losing more money
This goes hand in hand with spending more than you can afford. You think you can totally afford a payment but have you ever looked at how much extra money you're spending by keeping all those payments? As we were working on finishing out our car debt I did the math on how much our interest was each month and it was like $60. That doesn't seem like a lot but it could be a nice dinner out! You don't even want to know how much extra you'd pay if you actually keep to the 30 year mortgage payoff. 

Have financial freedom
Have you ever been so worried about not making all your payments for the month? Maybe you realized a year into paying off something that it was just too much to handle. Having debt makes you beholden to those debts and the holders of your debt. This does not make for a happy life. 

It makes for stress and worry. Not having debts is a freeing experience. Turning in that last payment for our cars was so incredibly freeing! I can't wait to have that feeling when it comes to our home. Financial freedom isn't just a feeling though. It allows you to enjoy life. Without debt you're able to do things you've always wanted to do. Go on awesome trips. Give to others. Whatever you've always wanted to do but say to yourself if only I had the money. 

Increase your wealth
Having debt is a sneaky way to not have wealth. I always thought we were doing well since we could afford the stuff we wanted and could do things that we enjoyed. The more Kevin and I started to learn about debt and how it affects your finances the more we realized that really we were broke. 

It doesn't matter if you have savings if you have debt. They cancel each other out so you're actually in reality broke. This concept took some getting used to but when we accepted it we wanted to change that! Now moving forward we can work on our wealth building full force. 

Reduce risk
Debt is risky. You don't know what could happen in life. As someone who hit adulthood right as the Great Recession was starting I can attest to that. I'm not talking about just something financial. Nothing is ever certain. Who knows if you are still going to be at your current job. Maybe someone passes away. Who knows what things good or bad could totally change your life. 

If you're in debt this is a huge risk with all sorts of big life changes that could happen at any time. I believe this now more than ever. I'm so glad we don't have the car debt anymore. Who wants to deal with something that can be preventable risk?  

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!

3.23.2020

Getting Around Chicago Hacks

One of my biggest worries when I visit a new place is getting around. There are so many details when it comes to figuring out how to get around a place. Can you walk? Is it too sprawled out of a place and you need to get a rental car? Check out Choose Chicago for a great overview on your transportation options in Chicago. What I've got for you today are some hacks for making the most out of getting around Chicago. 

Getting Around Chicago Hacks by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Walk when you can
Chicago is an extremely walkable city, even in the winter time. Even when you're outside of the Loop if you're staying in a certain neighborhood you can totally walk it. Don't waste your money on a cab when you could just as easily walk and get a fantastic view along the way. Plus you'll get plenty of steps along the way. If you're enjoying Chicago in the winter you can also walk in the Pedway through parts of the Loop.

Step to the side when you’re looking at your phone or taking a photo
This isn't really a transportation hack it's more a as you're getting around courtesy thing ha. I feel like this is a universal thing but you'd be surprised at how much people don't abide by this. This can be especially frustrating if you're visiting during the week since there are thousands of people attempting to get to and from work. Be aware of what's happening around you and step to the side!

Use the bus system
Lots of people when they visit want to ride the L for the experience but there are only so many places they can take you. If you're looking to get from Lincoln Park to Bucktown you'll probably want to hop on a bus instead of heading all the way back into the Loop to take the Blue Line out. Plus there are lots of buses that will take you to specific places like the 146 that takes you right to Museum Campus.

Water Taxi
I think that some of the best views of the city are from the water. Why not make getting around the city as scenic as you can? Plus if you're on a budget and can't swing an architectural tour this is a great option. You don't get the information but you can sure check out all the amazing sights.

Use Metra to explore outside of Chicago
This is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to people visiting or even people who live in the Chicago area. They don't realize how there is so many amazing things do and see that aren't in the city proper. You've got places like Oak Park, Arlington Heights, and the North Shore. Take almost any Metra rail to one of the many downtowns and you'll find lots to do, eat, and see.

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!

3.13.2020

Get Motivated When You Just Aren't

Anyone else struggling to get things done? The days feel like they're taking forever. You know you need to get certain things checked off your to do list but you just can't. You can't bring yourself to power through and keep that motivation up.

The past couple of years I've gotten into a motivation rut. I know it can be tough to keep it up especially when you have so many distractions all around. There are a few things you can do to keep up your motivation that I've learned while in my motivation rut. What are some things you do to keep your motivation up?

Get Motivated When You Just Aren't by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


Baby steps
Going from zero to one hundred is only something a sports car can do. It's much tougher for us to do it. Even if a person thinks that they can it's easy to get overwhelmed and burn out quickly. Then you'll lose what little motivation you mustered up.

I like to add everything I can think of to my to do list no matter how small. Not only will I actually remember it when I write it down it will also get the motivation going. By starting with and tackling some small items off your list you get that awesome feeling accomplishment. Then you start thinking that you can do it all and your motivation is back.

Make a change
We all have routines. Sometimes being in a routine can really mess with our motivation. Have you just been sitting on the couch when you get home? Don't sit on the couch. Take your computer into a different room to work. Find yourself focused on your phone and wallowing? Turn off your phone for the weekend. Making a small or large change can really get your groove going.

Reward yourself
This fall I participated in the Get Organized Challenge to organize my scrapbook materials. One of the important aspects of the challenge is that you make a rewards system for accomplishing each weeks' challenge. It can be anything you want, I did rewards like a new top I had my eye on or some delicious ice cream from Oberweis. 

Knowing that I had the rewards coming once I finished the tasks really lit a fire under me. It's amazing what motivation you can find when there is some incentive. Even if it's a little incentive like once I write this entire blog post I can sit down and read a magazine. Know what reward would be a good motivator and use it to your advantage.

Enlist help
We all have those couple of people in our lives who kick our butts into action. Sometimes I need to ask Kevin to remind to me to work on something after work. He is always making sure he encourages me to get those things off my to do list.

Then there are the people who will give you crap until you get it done, in a loving way of course! They make sure they check in with you to see you're getting it done. These are the people who see through your excuses and call you on it. I think we need all the different types of people in our lives. It can be tough to go it alone. You can even find friends online that will keep you motivated! Love all the encouragement from the bloggers I've met throughout the years. Who do you have that keeps you motivated?

Make some goals
How can you have motivation if you're not even sure what you're working towards? Setting SMART goals will give you a clear vision on what you need to do and what you're working towards. Even if it's just your goal for the day of not sitting on the couch watching Hell's Kitchen until after dinner. Your goals don't have be these lofty, huge thing. They can be simple.

Just do it
When all else fails sometimes you just have to tell yourself to just freaking do it. A couple weekends ago I found myself just hanging out on the couch for a couple of hours not getting anything done. I was comfy and didn't want to do anything. There was nothing on the calendar and I had planned on getting some family history work done but I just couldn't find the motivation.

I finally had to tell myself that I just had to get off the couch and then just made myself turn off the TV. Just get stuff done. It was rough at first because I didn't have the motivation but after a couple minutes I found a groove and was rocking it.

That's really the most important thing when overcoming motivation issues. There is no secret you just need to stop limiting yourself and say just do 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!

3.09.2020

30 things that happened in 2010

10 years ago we had just started a brand new decade. It was full of excitement and potential. This was a year of some amazing dance songs and some pretty terrible moments. What was your biggest 2010 moment?

30 things that happened in 2010 by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


Winter Olympics are held in Vancouver

We all became obsessed with Downton Abbey

Instagram was founded

Hot Tub Time Machine

Tony Curtis passed away



After 54 years As The World Turns Ended

Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the VMAs

Everyone was disappointed with the end of Lost

WikiLeaks publicly releases the first of thousands of confidential documents



Apple Releases the Ipad

Easy A


An earthquake devastates Haiti. About 160,000 are killed

Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai opened and became the world’s tallest building

Operation Iraqi Freedom ends



The Walking Dead premiers

CopiapĆ³ mining accident in Chile ends after surviving a record 69 days underground all 33 miners arrive at the surface safely

The military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell policy" banning homosexuals serving openly is repealed

Simon Cowell leaves American Idol



Rahm Emanuel resigns as White House Chief of Staff to run for Mayor of Chicago

We all were singing in the streets to Glee

The iconic 'Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife' meme was born

Tangled

Prince William finally proposes to long time girlfriend Kate Middleton after 8 years of dating

Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded and spilled up to 260 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico



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!

3.06.2020

6 Things You Should do Before Moving in

This post may contain affiliate links.

7 months into living in our new place and we're finally starting to feel more settled. Buying and moving into a space can be an overwhelming. There is so much think about and do throughout the entire process it's easy to do things out of order or to completely forget! We had some extra time before moving in so I was able to figure out some of the really important must not forget things that you should do before moving in. What do you think is something that's done better before you move in?


6 Things You Should do Before Moving in


Change the locks
If you gave keys to workers to work on the space or even if you moved right in change your locks! You don't know who could have made copies of that key. Save yourself some stress and change it right away. Safety is always something you should invest in. This is a great time to upgrade and do something like a keypad lock.

Paint 
When we closed on the new place we knew painting before we actually moved in was the way to go. Since we were painting the entire thing ceilings included it was a big undertaking. It would have being insanely tough to try and paint it all after we had everything in the house.

Change flooring 
This is along the same vein as painting. If you can do it before you move in it will make your life so much easier. We didn't change all the flooring at once but we changed most of it. Even though we went with a place that would have moved all of our stuff to switch the flooring we didn't want to have to deal with that.

Clean it
You've just done a bunch of updates. Someone has moved out. There is going to be dust and crud all over the place. There is nothing like giving a space a nice deep clean. There is no better time than before you've moved yourself in either. You can get in those hard to reach places and spaces before you put a dresser there and don't move it for years.

Change your address
Don't get so bogged down in updates and the excitement of moving that you forget this one super important to do list item! You don't want to settling into your new home and realize that you're missing your bills or even more important your latest issue of Food Network magazine. Make sure to put in at the post office your forwarding address and inform friends and family of your new address.

Change & turn on utilities
It's not very fun when you're exhausted after a long day of moving it's starting to get dark out you go to switch on the lights. Then you realize that you never called the power company to turn them on in the first place! Yeah not so much fun. We didn't move in to our place for a month but the workers and Kevin's dad needed the electricity to work in the space. If you're transferring utilities like internet make sure you connect with them too and switch your billing address.

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!

3.02.2020

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art


Lapidary Art. What in the world is that? You'll find an amazing museum tucked in the western suburb of Oak Brook that is totally devoted to it, The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art. Lapidary art is the art of cutting and polishing stone. Sounds beautiful right? Oh you have no idea!

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art just opened up in their new space the fall of 2019. They moved from their long time home in downtown Elmhurst to Oak Brook. I finally got a chance to visit the new since we were having a KDRMA board meeting there. The new Lizzadro Museum is tucked between Rt. 83 and I-88 by the Oak Brook Park District. It is really tucked back off 83 so make sure you're paying attention to your GPS, although the building is super easy to spot. They have fantastic easy to read signage on the building. 

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

In the mid-20th century lapidary art became a huge fad. People were starting clubs along with collecting and polishing stones at home. This is where the found of the museum Joseph Lizzadro started his love of the beautiful stones. He started his collection with a small Chinese jade hanging vase and it just grew from there. It grew so much that he built an entire museum for it in 1962. 

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

When you step into the new exhibits it's hard to decide what to look at first since everything is so amazingly beautiful. They take you through different rocks, minerals, gemstones and even fossils!

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

I think the dioramas (three photos above) might be some of my favorite pieces in the collection. They are scenes with different animals carved from beautiful gemstones. There is even a diorama with dinosaurs! They were originally created for children but it's easy to see how everyone can enjoy these beautiful works of art. The backgrounds were painted by local Elmhurst artist, David S. Burnside. You should hop over to the Lizzadro's website and see the quick video about the making of the dioramas.

 Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

One of my favorite parts in any museum is seeing new details every time I visit. The Lizzadro is definitely a museum that delivers on exquisite details! From the tiny pieces to the huge pieces there is so much to see time and time again in this west suburban gem! 

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art by Musings of a Museum Fanatic #museum #chicago #visitchicago

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!

2.28.2020

5 Tips to Overcome Your Procrastination

Procrastinating is one of my biggest bad habits. There are lots of times I let the distractions and excuses pile up and keep me from getting things accomplished.

Lots of us tend to be procrastinators. It's not so bad once and a while but if it keeps us from getting important things done it can be a very negative thing. I've pulled together some of the things I have been doing to overcome my procrastination. What are your tricks for overcoming procrastination.

5 Tips to Overcome Your Procrastination by Musings of a Museum Fanatic


Get rid of distractions
With most people having at least three different screens in their homes from phones to the TV it's really easy to be distracted. Plus you add a kid, pet or other family member who is bugging you it can be next to impossible at times to not have something distract you.

I know getting lost online or in a show is one of my downfalls, one I'm actively working on! Taking away these distractions will really help your procrastination.

Make a list
I always say that one of the biggest lies I tell myself is that if  I don't write it down I'll remember. Keeping a to do list will help you not procrastinate and remember what's important that needs to be done.

I know a lot of people who prefer to write their list in order of priority. If that works for you definitely do it. I've always found that making myself an agenda is a great way to keep my procrastination in check. When I do a blog day I like to write myself an agenda that lays out how long I'm devoting to each area.

Eat the frog
Eating the frog means tackling the thing you're most dreading. Taking care of that huge or most annoying task first will set you up for success for the day. It gives you the sense of accomplishment along with getting that dreaded task out of the way.

Make a success environment
Do you find yourself slipping into episode after episode if you are working from the couch? Does the idea of working from the kitchen table have you reaching for your phone to check out Facebook? Figuring out what work space maximizes your productivity can be really important. It will allow you to focus and beat that procrastination!

Make a deadline for yourself
There is nothing like a deadline that gets us working! Some people are able to work without deadlines but lots of people really need one to keep their focus. There are some times when if you have a too far out deadline you procrastinate until the last moment. If you're one of those types of procrastinators break down your tasks and projects to have smaller deadlines. Then you won't be as likely to push it off until the very end.

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!

2.26.2020

6 Truths About Cleaning

Moving into a new home has led to completely having to rework how we clean. There is much more when it comes to floors, bathrooms, trim and just all around everything that needs to be cleaned regularly. No matter how much space you have or don't have there are definitely some evident truths about cleaning. 
6 Truths About Cleaning by Musings of a Museum Fanatic

Your house never looks cleaner than when there is company coming over
We tend to pile things in our house. Kevin and I are getting better at it but there tends to be random things like piles of stuff from Kevin's pocket at the end of the day or a pile of papers I'm working on. While we're working on not piling things it's amazing how much cleaner our house gets when someone is coming over. Even when it's our parents. 

I feel like we should just have visitors over every single week then it would be great motivation to make sure everything is put away and clean all the time!

Cleaning is the perfect way to avoid doing something
Do you know how many times I've vacuumed to avoid writing a blog post? Probably several dozen times since I've started my blog. Doing your taxes? Oh that bathroom is looking like it needs a good scrubbing. 

It will never be totally clean
Well there are some people, like Stephanie, who somehow have everything miraculously organized and clean. The rest of us mere mortals have realized that really things will never be totally clean. We live in our homes and sometimes that means getting a little messy or even a little dirty. 

And it's ok if it's never really totally clean
It's very freeing to not feel like it has to be perfect. Give yourself a break! Maybe the kids came home and it's like a tornado went through the living room. That's ok! Don't get down on yourself. It's life happening and that's wonderful. Enjoy the time with the kids. Maybe it's your husband plopping a bunch of papers on the kitchen table. It's ok!

Cleaning is always better when listening to 90s music
It doesn't matter if it's 90s rock like the Foo Fighters or some fantastic 90s pop. Cleaning is just way better when done to 90s music. Fact of life. 

The more you try to clean the messier things can get
I wish this one wasn't true but alas sometimes it can be! The first couple of times I did the KonMari method the planning was not there. Ended up with a big mess of clothes still on the bed right before we turned in for the night. 

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!