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Fun at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL

Fun at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL

 

A few weeks ago, my boys and I got a chance to go to the Field Museum together.  It was just a mommy and son day out since my husband had a nearby appointment.  I hadn’t been to the museum in about 13 years but they had been there just the year before, so they decided to “teach” me all about everything we saw.  It was so much fun and so educational!

We only had a couple of hours to explore but we made the most of it.  I let the boys lead me through and pick which exhibits they wanted to see.  

 

Be Prepared

  • Check local event schedules and time your trip accordingly – holiday weekends, Cub game days, special events at the museum, and even rush hour and construction could majorly impact your travel time.
  • Plan to arrive early – the museum can easily keep you entertained all day, and if you are done early, there are plenty of fun sights nearby.
  • Plan ahead on your parking – the Field Museum has some tips for where to park on their website, click here for parking information.
  • Bring snacks/lunch – you are allowed to carry a backpack, so I recommend bringing snacks and lunch to save a bit of money, or to help be more prepared if you have food allergies.  There is an area on the lower level as well as a beautiful grass yard outside for a lunch break.  If you do not want to tote around food, there are two restaurants at the museum.  
  • Look for discounts – As stated on their website, “Families with valid EBT (Link) or WIC cards from any state are eligible for $3-per-person Basic admission for up to six people.”  You can also qualify for free or discounted visits if you are a member of another museum.  I am a member of a local children’s museum, the Discovery Center Museum, in Rockford, IL and qualified for free basic admission for my family at the Field Museum.  You can also visit the museum on “Free Admission Days” but be aware that it will be very busy.  

 

Inside the Museum

After checking in, the first exhibit we went to was Inside Ancient Egypt right there on the first level.  It was absolutely amazing!  First you walk into what looks like a (mini) pyramid.  After walking through, you will reach a staircase.  You can go down into the “pyramid” and view real ancient mummies!  They have 23 human mummies and over 30 animal mummies.  You can also learn about ancient Egyptian life and see real and reconstructed artifacts.  

Inside Ancient Egypt - at the Field Museum in Chicago

 

The Egyptian exhibit was so impressive and interesting that we had to go through it again before we left the museum.  It was definitely a favorite of ours!

 

Maximo the Titanosaur at Field Museum Chicago - #HelloMaximo

 

Next, we couldn’t help but go check out Maximo, the Titanosaur!  Modeled from fossil bones, Maximo stands over 28 feet tall! 

 

Meteors, gems, and minerals at the Field Museum in Chicago

 

We wandered through some more exhibits, took a few bathroom breaks (and snack breaks because that’s life with two growing boys!) and eventually came across the Metetorites, Minerals, and Gems exhibits.  We probably spent equal time in each as my boys oohed and awed about everything.  Now that both are becoming avid readers, they were able to read the descriptions and maintain interest as we walked through.  They read and learned about birthstones and found each one around the room of gems, and then looked to see which gems were their favorites.  

We checked out more exhibits but I was focused on my time with them so I didn’t really get a lot of photos.  I am actually patting myself on the back for that.  It felt great to just be there in the moment!  

 

Chicago Illinois (behind the Field Museum)

 

Since we only had a couple of hours to explore, we got through everything that was on their list, then went behind the Field Museum for a snack and quick view of the city and Lake Michigan before we had to leave.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we took a nice walk before leaving.  

We definitely look forward to another visit as there were several exhibits we didn’t have time to see.  Next time we will definitely set aside more time since it just wasn’t in the books for us that time.  The Field Museum has so much to offer and you will discover something new with every visit!  It is such an educational place for all ages.  

 

CozyPhones – cozy comfy headphones for kids and adults!

Paw Patrol Marshall CozyPhones Headphones for Kids

 

Just before Christmas, CozyPhones sent me a pair of Marshall and Chase Paw Patrol headphones to try out.  I was able to get them added to my 2018 gift guide, but I have been bogged down with multiple family health issues that I didn’t have time for a full review. I’m so excited to finally get around to telling you how much we like our CozyPhones!  

Most headphones are too big for kids; they slide around, fall off, or just are plain uncomfortable.  CozyPhones sit snug on your head and are comfortable, so you can almost forget you even have them on! 

My kids were so excited to have their favorite characters that they immediately put them on and had to test them out.  Since the headphones do require a cord, they are easy to use.  Simply plug in and enjoy.  There is no need to mess around with complicating Bluetooth buttons to set them up.  The cord is actually pretty durable too which is a major plus around kids.  However if Bluetooth is more convenient for you, you can purchase a Wireless Bluetooth Adapter separately.  

My kids use headphones most while working on their Acellus homeschool work.  Wearing their favorite characters definitely made them a little more excited to get started, which definitely makes my day easier!  There is no more fidgeting with and being distracted by their headphones as these stay comfortably on their ears without needing much adjustment.  I was glad to learn that there is a volume limit as well!  

Who wants a pair of CozyPhones for yourself now, after hearing of how comfortable they are?  There are Lycra active-style headphones as well as sleep headphones with a cool mesh lining for adults.  I am so excited and definitely looking into getting a pair for myself.  

And good news – all CozyPhones are washable by removing the cord and speakers to wash the headband.  

What pair excites you most?  Honestly this pair of Unicorn kid’s CozyPhones is absolutely adorable and I wish they had it in adult size ;)  

Top accessories for the new Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10

 

When I upgrade phones, I like to take a look ahead of time to see what accessories are out there. I always purchase a case to have on hand for the moment my new phone is unboxed.  And I like to be prepared with any charging and other accessories I may need for on-the-go as well.  Here are a few of my favorites for the much anticipated Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus!  

 

LifeProof NEXT and FRE for the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus – LifeProof has been a favorite brand of mine for phone cases.  The cases are protective and long lasting.  While the phone is already waterproof, the cases add extra protection from the elements.  Personally, the FRE is my case of choice as it has a built in screen protector for added protection.  

 

OtterBox has released a complete lineup of cases for the Galaxy S10 and S10+ including the Defender, Commuter, Symmetry, Strada, and Pursuit cases.  For ultimate protection, the Defender series is the way to go.  If you want something still protective but a little slimmer, check out the Commuter case.  The Strada case is a little different in that it is a folio style case that has space for a card.  If you are looking for style, definitely check out the Symmetry case – there is a variety of patterns and colors to choose from.  And last but not least, the Pursuit case is the thinnest of them all, still delivering great protection to your phone. 

 

If you need a screen protector, the Whitestone Dome tempered glass screen protectors are highly rated and compatible with the new Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.  The patented Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive that covers edge to edge makes these screen protectors second to none.  Android Authority has a great article about the installation and features of the Dome Glass.  

 

 

For those looking for extra charging cables, I highly recommend the Nomad Rugged Cables.  The universal 3-in-1 features a fast charging Micro USB tip, a USB-C adapter, and a Lightning adapter.  The cable is durable and I have been using mine for about 5 years now.  And did I mention, it does support fast charging?  < One of my favorite features as I have absolutely no patience to wait for my phone to charge!  The 0.3M is perfect for moms (or dads) to keep in their bag, car, or pocket.  It is super convenient and should last you through your next phone upgrade! 

 

If you are looking for a pair of Bluetooth earbuds but aren’t quite sure about the Galaxy Buds, I recommend checking out the Jaybird RUN True Wireless Earbuds.  They are comfortable and have great sound quality.  The battery life is great (the case holds extra battery for a quick on the go re-charge) and they are waterproof.  Keep an eye out for a sale as I have seen them as low as $89 before!  

 

While the S10 and S10+ come with various amounts of internal storage, all of which seem to be “enough” for most people, at some point you may see yourself needing to add storage.  I recommend checking out deals on the Samsung Evo MicroSD cards and having one on hand, especially if you plan to go on a trip.  It looks like the phones can take up to 512GB extra storage but you can start smaller if you don’t feel the need for that much.  

 

If you tend to take a lot of fun selfies with the family or your friends, I recommend the Joby GripTight ONE.  It can grip around something like a tree branch or even work as a tripod on a flat surface.  As I will be upgrading from an S7 to an S10, I can’t wait to experience and take advantage of all the new camera features and increased quality.  This accessory will definitely be one I look into purchasing.  Just set the timer (or purchase a bluetooth photo remote) and you will have photos to cherish forever.  

 

 

Now that most of us use our phones as our GPS, it is extremely helpful to have a car mount for our phone.  The iOttie Easy One Touch Dashboard Mount fits most phones and even supports landscape orientation.  A bit pricier is the iOttie Easy One Touch Qi Wireless Fast Charge version, which some may find to be a convenience they didn’t even know they needed.  

 

There are so many other great accessories out there that I haven’t even discovered yet.  Feel free to drop a comment below with your favorites or shoot me an email!  

Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle (by Lakeshore Learning)

Epic Christmas Gift Idea - Lakeshore Learning Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle

 

Before becoming a mom of two, I never imagined all the toys that I would be excited for, but this castle is definitely one!  Lakeshore Learning’s Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle is a site for epic battles and tons of imagination.  It even is a winner of the 2018 National Parenting Product Award!  

This toy is great for boys and girls alike, and recommended for ages 3-6 but both my 2 and 9 year old nephews had a lot of fun checking it out.  

The Royal Kingdom Adventure castle is quite impressive with all its features and standing at 10.25″ tall.  It is big enough for lots of entertainment but small enough for even apartment living.  And great news for the parents – it is pre-assembled and ready-to-go out of box! 

 

Included in the castle are:

  • explorable chambers
  • stairs to scale
  • watch Towers
  • dragon’s lair
  • working drawbridge 
  • dungeon door

 

The set also contains the following:

  • king and queen figures
  • wizard
  • 2 guards
  • 4 knights
  • dragon
  • 2 flags

 

My 6 and 7 year old boys are going to have hours upon hours of fun with this toy.  As a homeschool family, I think we are even going to put together a unit focused on castle and royal life.  

I highly recommend adding the Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle to your holiday shopping list.  It will be such a fun present for your child to open under the tree on Christmas morning! 

 

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