Musings of a Museum Fanatic: January 2020

1.31.2020

5 Old School Workout Videos You Must Try

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At the end of 2019 I was using a bunch of my PTO time up and had some fantastically productive days. I ended the year and started 2020 with a new fitness regime. I broke out some of my favorite old school workout DVDs.

There is a reason that something is considered a classic! They still work amazingly well. What is your favorite at home workout?


Start! Walking with Leslie Sansone 1 & 2 Mile Walk
I'm a big fan of walking. It can be a pain in the butt here in the Midwest to get your steps in during the winter though. Leslie Sansone's walking workouts are a perfect winter workout. They're great if you need a lower impact workout as well.

Zumba Incredible Slimdown Weight Loss Dance Workout DVD System
If you like a more intense workout Zumba is the way to go. I still can't do a lot of these moves but I enjoy trying. I always feel energized and happy after an upbeat Zumba workout.

Reebok Original Aerobic Step

Who didn't have one of these in their house growing up? When I got older and actually started to use it for exercise I was surprised at what a good workout it was. It can be tough to adjust a workout if it's too much for you or not enough. The different heights for the step makes it super easy for the adjustment

Bellydance Fitness for Weight Loss
My go to is this DVD set. During college they helped me loose about 30 lbs. I love how the bellydance moves really help work certain problem areas I know we all have issues with, like your mid-section. Since I've been working out regularly again I've been alternating these videos as well as the 5 Daily Quickies video. I've been getting a great whole body workout but having fun while I'm doing it. 


This video goes hand in hand with the Bellydance Fitness for Weight Loss. I like the quickies because you can pick to focus on a specific area for a quick workout or do all 5 for a long workout. I really like the abdominal work out. Even just doing this 10 minute focus a few times a week along with the other bellydance videos I can tell a difference after just a couple in my core becoming leaner. Woohoo for being able to go another belt loop in! 

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!

1.29.2020

11 Things You Should Clean More Often Than You Do

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With all of the stuff in our lives it can be tough to keep track of it much less make sure everything is clean. There are some items that slip through the cracks or you don't even realize that you should clean it as often as you should. Or maybe even at all!

A lot of the items on this list don't tend to look dirty so you don't always think to clean them. Just because they don't look dirty doesn't mean they aren't.



Mattress
This is something that is used every day of your life. You sweat in it. There are probably other bodily fluids on it. How often do you actually clean it though?? I know I don't clean it hardly ever. Do you ever clean your mattress?

Pillows
They go hand in hand with the mattress. We are great about cleaning our sheets but never think to clean our pillows. I read somewhere that you should also replace them every year and a half, two years at most.

Washer & Dryer
I always think of these as self cleaning since they're cleaning my clothes but really they're not. You should make sure and clean both a couple times a year. There are some great DIY at home tricks for cleaning up both your washer and dryer or you can get a cleaner from the store.

Remote Controls
These bad boys get touched by everyone, dropped on the floor and sometimes even sat on. They definitely could use a good cleaning more often. Kevin is actually pretty good at taking a disinfecting wipe to them once a month. Super simple.

Light switches 
Does anyone actually clean their light switches? We all put our hands on them multiple times a day and I'm sure there are all sorts of germs on them.

Trash can
This is one area we for sure clean regularly! Since we do a lot of cooking at home there tends to be some smelly items like garlic that end up in the trash bin. This usually results in a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning so it doesn't smell up the kitchen.

Purse
I'm sure a lot of us dump out and sort the contents on a regular basis but forget to take care of the bag itself. Vacuuming it out is a good start but actually cleaning it should be added to your cleaning schedule. Be sure to look into what the proper way to care for the different materials are.

Oven
I don't think I've ever actually cleaned out an oven. Whether it was when I was at my parents house or in our home I've never done it. Which probably means it needs to be cleaned out!

Dishwasher
Notice a trend in this list? I think we really forget about our large appliances when it comes to cleaning. We think that because they clean other items that they clean themselves. Not true! Cleaning out the dishwasher can be super simple with new products out there or a great DIY cleaner.

Loofah
There really isn't a way to clean a loofah. Really it should be replaced on a regular basis. Replacing it about every two months is a good schedule.

Toothbrush
This is another item that you can't really clean but should replace on a regular basis. Tuck your toothbrush away when you're not using it. If you don't close the lid on your toilet when you flush supposedly microscopic droplets can fly up to 6 ft!! That means it's getting all over your toothbrush and everything else in your bathroom. Close the toilet lid.

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!

1.27.2020

9 Iconic Chicago Nicknames


Oh what's in a name. We've all had nicknames throughout our lives. Some are great and stick with us some I'm sure we'd probably prefer to forget!

Chicago has acquired some nicknames throughout it's infamous history. Some have not been so great but there are some nicknames that have really stuck around. I've pulled together 9 of the most iconic nicknames for this amazing city. What's your favorite nickname for Chicago?

Chicago Nicknames

The 312

City of Big Shoulders

The Second City

The White City

Chi-Town

Paris on the Prairie

The Windy City

City in a Garden

City by the Lake


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!

1.22.2020

Tips for Eliminating Toxic People From Your Life

It's a new year and we all know that means working on ourselves, our lives and our relationships. Over the past couple of years I've been really working on the relationships in my life. Lucky for me I really didn't have any toxic relationships in my personal life but I did have some in my work life. It was pretty obvious from the beginning that it was toxic but sometimes it's not so obvious that a relationship is toxic. Have you ever realized a relationship in your life was toxic? What ways did you get it out of your life? I've got 5 tips to help you work on eliminating a toxic relationship. 



Know who they are
When it comes to ourselves there are lots of times that it's hard to see things for what they are. Most of us find it difficult to see our own and our close friends' flaws. This can be especially true if the person is toxic. We can make excuses for them and reason ourselves as to why they're acting the way they are. Here are five ways to spot someone who might be toxic. There are tons of other ways to spot them but these are five that I've seen in toxic relationships I've had in my life. 


  • They are self-centered. They take more than they give in your relationship.
  • They are never at fault and are always the victim.
  • They always have to be right.
  • You feel drained physically and mentally after spending time with them.
  • You always feel like you must save or fix the person.

Realize they won't change

Toxic people are not the type of people who change. They don't even know what they're doing to you so how could they change their behavior. You might think you can change them but they don't want to change so it's a futile effort. Even when people point out something that is a toxic behavior the person either doesn't know it's something toxic or more than likely really doesn't care. I know someone who tried to share a behavior that was toxic with a work colleague and the person just sat there and was like yeah so what. 

Set boundaries

Don't just say you're going to stop talking to someone take the next step and remove them. Block their number and block them on social media. Don't even give them the option to connect and try to pull you back in. Stick to it. 

Focus on your healthy relationships

Toxic relationships can take up so much of your time it's easy to forget about the healthy relationships in your life. Those relationships should make you feel happy, healthy and safe. Make sure you're cultivating those relationships. It can be really easy to let the toxic relationships force out the healthy ones but hopefully you're able to realize what's happening and not let those healthy relationships deteriorate.  

Forgive but don't forget

When it comes to toxic people it's all well and good to forgive. If you end up forgetting though it would be easy to go back and let them into your life. Really there is a chance if you keep forgetting how toxic they are you won't only let them back in your life you'll let them ruin your life. 

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!

1.20.2020

30 Things That Happened in 2015



Is it weird to think that 2015 is already half a decade ago? Like I can't even remember what was happening in life during 2015 it feels so long ago but yet so not long ago. There was so much happening it boggles my mind, especially some of the terrible things that happened that year. Some of them I even forgot about. What is one thing that happened in 2015 that you totally forgot about?



Tom Brady is accused of under inflating the ball during the AFC Championship

The United States Supreme Court affirms same-sex marriage

Netflix starts it's own content domination with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

We all debated over the color of The Dress



Fifty Shades of Grey

Donald Trump launches his campaign for US President

We lost Leonard Nimoy

Misty Copeland became the first African-American woman named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre



Our favorite gal pal Leslie Knope & Parks and Recreation went of the air

Dylann Roof kills nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina

Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle was sentenced to 15 years in prison charges related to child pornography

Inside Out


Queen Elizabeth II becomes Great Britain's longest-reigning monarch at 63 years and seven months



China announces the end of their one-child policy after 35 years

Marvin Gaye's family won a $7.3 million lawsuit for music copyright infringement against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I.

Hamilton takes theater by storm

The Force Awakens





Two gunmen attack the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, wounding 11 and killing 12

Left Shark steals the spotlight from Katie Perry in the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show

The deaths of Walter Scott and Freddie Gray at the hands of police officers fueled a massive outcry 

We said goodbye to Mad Men



Superstore hits our TVs

A dentist from Minnesota, paid $55,000 to travel across the world and kill Cecil, one of Africa's most famous lions. This ignited outrage around the world

Baseball legend Yogi Berra passes away at age 90

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!

1.17.2020

5 To-do List Mistakes You're Making

To do lists are one of my favorite things. I have notebooks and notepads all over the place. There are specific ones in my purse, one for my computer bag and every where else in the house. They are so handy when you're trying to organize and get everything in your life under control. Even if you're not planning on a super busy day it's beneficial to have a to do list for your day.

If you're going to take the time a write a to do list you should make sure you're doing it right. There are lots of things you can do to that instead of helping you maximize the impact your to do list can have it minimizes it or stresses you out.



Writing it at the wrong time

They say that timing is everything. This can definitely be applied to your to do list. I actually like to write mine the day before. Like my work to do list I'll spend the last few minutes of the day writing down things that I might have forgotten to do or need to make sure I do right away the next day. It helps me plan out the day.

Maybe you can't write it the night before but try to get it written as early as you're able to. That way you're able to maximize and plan your day.

Including the right tasks

Making sure you have the right type of tasks on a to do list is very important. You don't want to put on your daily to do list items that are some day items and are appropriate for your 101 in 1001 list. You're not going to be able to cross that of your list in a timely manner and it will be frustrating.

Those some day items should be their own list that you keep track of separately. I highly recommend breaking those some day tasks into manageable daily to dos. One of the 101 list items I'm working on is working through all my puzzles. The past couple of weeks I've been adding puzzle time to my to list several days a week. I don't say to do the entire puzzle in a day but spend 30 minutes on it.

Specific is best

Do not be vague! That's the quickest way to write a totally useless list. Besides the fact that you won't be able to focus on the important items you need to accomplish there is a good chance that you might not remember what exactly you were supposed to do! Think about it like you would your goals, make it smart!

Not being realistic

Know your limits whether it's how much you are actually able to get done in a day or what your calendar actually allows for that day. Thinking that you can get tons of major items done at home when you have to work and have something in the evening is probably unrealistic.

Not being flexible

Things can change throughout your day so there is no reason why your to do list shouldn't change with it. Sometimes I'll be crossing so much off the list that I will take time and write totally new one for the rest of the day. Be flexible it will allow you to change directions if needed and get more accomplished during your day. Don't let it derail you.


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!

1.15.2020

5 Simple Steps to Create an at Home Spa Night



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It's winter. It's cold out. Most of us don't want to go outside for anything. It's that time of year when you don't really tend to pamper yourself. We've lived in our place for six months and I haven't even taken time to use the Jacuzzi tub yet. I think winter is the perfect time of year to have yourself a wonderful at home spa night or two or three. I could spend an hour just relaxing in the tub when it's all set up for a lovely at home spa evening. Do you give yourself an at home spa night? What's your favorite way to pamper at home?

1. Create a Mood

One of the best parts of a visit to the spa is the ambiance. It's relaxing. There is soothing music playing. You just want to live there. Head to Pandora and find a spa channel. Put out some of your favorite candles and turn down the lights. Setting the right mood for your at home spa night is very simple and will make or break it.

2. Dress the part

It's not just something you see in the movies. The big fluffy robe is the quintessential part of a lovely spa experience. It's the perfect time to break out that robe your mom gave you two years ago for Christmas and finally use it. Don't have a robe? Break out your biggest fluffiest towel to use. Making sure you're in a comfy outfit that can maximize your relaxation is important.

3. Masks, masks, masks

From facial masks to under eye masks to foot peel masks we are living in the golden age of masks. For the perfect at home spa night make sure to pick up a few different ones. You might not be able to have a professional facial but these will make you feel amazing. Be sure to pamper yourself from head to toe to get the full spa experience.

4. Warm up

One way that a spa differentiates from home is that everything seems to be warm. The rooms are always toasty warm as well as the products they use. So be sure your bathroom is nice and toasty. Warm up your products like lotion before applying. Not only will it give you a spa experience it feels so much nicer when it's warm. Don't forget to take a warm bath or shower too!

5. Don't forget your nails

To take your at home spa night to the next level be sure to pamper both your finger nails and toe nails. Don't just slap some paint on your nails either. Show them some love. Give your cuticles some treatment and use a nail buffer to smooth out the nails before applying your polish.

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

1.13.2020

Chicago Museum Free Days 2020

2019 brings with it a whole new batch of museum free days!  Be sure to check out these two amazing programs for other ways to save and enjoy your favorite Museums for much less, Museums for All and Blue Star Museums. What new museum will you check out this year?




The Big 6 Chicago Museums


1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60605
312-922-7827
These are Illinois resident discount days


  • January 7-9, 20-22
  • February 4-6, 11-13, 17-20
  • March 9-12
  • April 20-23
  • May 10-16
  • June 2, 9, 16
  • August 22-23, 31
  • September 1-4
  • October 12-15
  • November 11, 17-19
  • December 4-6



111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603

312-443-3600
  • Chicago residents under the age of 18 can get into this museum for free any time. Children age 14 years and younger are always free.
  • Free admission every Thursday 5-8PM to Illinois residents


700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
312-527-1000
  • First Free Sunday - Free admission for visitors 15 and under on the first Sunday of each month




1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
312-922-9410

Illinois residents can enjoy free Basic admission on Field Museum Discount Days. On these Discount Days, Illinois residents may upgrade to a Discovery Pass for $16 or upgrade to an All-Access Pass for $23.
  • January 8,15,20,22,29
  • February 1-29



Museum of Science and Industry 
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60637
773-684-1414

These are Illinois resident discount days
  • January 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, 27-30
  • February 3-6, 10-13, 18-20, 24-27



Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60605
312-939-2438
  • January 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, 27-30
  • February 3-6, 10-13, 18-20, 24-27


Art Museums

150 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, Illinois 60126

630-834-0202
  • Free admission the first Friday of the month


40 Arts Cir Dr, Evanston, IL 60208

847-491-4000

  • Free daily admission


DePaul Art Museum

935 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago, IL 
  • Free daily admission


Design Museum Of Chicago

Expo 72, 72 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
  • Free daily admission



1220 Kensington Road, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523

630-833-1616
  • Free admission every Wednesday



820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
312-915-7600
  • Free admission every Tuesday




220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

312-280-2660
  • Free admission every Tuesday for Illinois residents


600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

  • Free daily, but is closed when Columbia College is closed. 



4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60641

312-326-0270
  • Free daily admission




5550 S. Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

773-702-0200
  • Free daily admission


Ethnic Museums



740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637
773-947-0600
  • Free admission every Tuesday



218 W. 26th St. Chicago, IL Chicago, IL 60616
  • Free daily admission



1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
312-738-1503
  • Free daily admission



3015 W. Division St. Chicago, IL 60622
  • Free daily admission



1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

773-702-9514
  • Free daily admission 


Schingoethe Center of Aurora University
1315 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506
630-844-7843
  • Free daily admission 




5211 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60601

773-728-8111
  • Free admission every second Tuesday of the month



History Museums 


First Division Museum (at Cantigny)
1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
630-668-5161

  • Free daily admission to museums, $5 parking fee per car




1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

312-642-4600
Illinois resident discount days


  • The Museum is free to Illinois residents every Tuesday* from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4, and July 4. *Excludes December 17, December 24 and December 31.



3407 W. Armitage Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
  • Free daily admission



1827 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616

312-326-1480
  • Free daily admission


102 E. Wesley Street Wheaton, Illinois 60187
630-510-4941

  • Free daily admission


120 E. Park Ave.  Elmhurst, IL 60126
630-833-1457
  • Free daily admission




1800 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616

312-326-1480
  • Free to Illinois residents on Wednesdays



Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall
23 E Downer Place AuroraIL 60507
630-256-3400
  • Free admission when open



800 S. Halsted Chicago, IL 60607-7017
312-413-5353
  • Suggested donation of $5




1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60610

312-642-6502
  • January 13-17, 20-24 
  • February 3-7, 10-13, 17-21
  • November 30-4
  • December 7-11, 14-18



6418 N. Greenview Ave. Chicago, IL 60626

  • Admission is free every Thursday for those who are 18+. 


230 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604

312-322-2400

    • Free daily admission 



    523 S. Webster St. Naperville, IL 60540

    630-420-6010
    • Free general admission for Naperville residents. Discounted rate during the winter season (November-March)


    2531 Sheridan Road Great Lakes, IL 60088 
    847-688-3154
    • Free daily admission 


    Pritzker Military Museum and Library
    104 S. Michigan Ave,Chicago, IL 60603
    312-374-9333

    • Days not announced yet. This will be updated as soon as they are shared. 



    American Toby Jug Museum


    910 Chicago Ave. Evanston, IL 60202
    • Free daily admission 



    Local Historical Societies & Museums

    These local historical institutions usually have free admission, suggested donation or an extremely low fee which will usually include a tour. Since a majority these institutions are run by volunteers be sure to check what their hours are since sometimes they will only be open certain days of the week to the public.




    Nature Museums, Farms & Zoos


    8400 West 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513
    708-688-8000

    • Every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday between January 1 and February 29, 2020, free admission for all guests




    1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022

    847-835-5440
    • Free daily admission, parking fees apply




    1S151 South Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189

    630-668-5161
    • Free daily admission, $5 parking




    300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624

    312-746-5100
    • Free daily admission




    5700 College Road Lisle, IL 60532 

    630-829-6569
    • Free daily admission




    2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

    312-742-2000
    • Free daily admission





    2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

    773-755-5100
    • Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents




    1421 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview, IL

    847-299-6096
    • Free daily admission




    1510 Wagner Road, Glenview, IL 60026

    847-657-1506
    • Free daily admission

    ***While this list is pretty comprehensive there are a number of museum's that don't advertise free/discounted days but you should definitely be sure to check them out as well because there are some amazing museums in the Chicago area***



    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!