A blog by Maddie Brady

Recent Posts

My Favorite Summer Beers, the Leggings I Bought at 4am, and the Latest Feminist Hashtag

My Favorite Summer Beers, the Leggings I Bought at 4am, and the Latest Feminist Hashtag

Happy weekend, everyone! I have to say it’s been a mix of a week: I hung out with my nephew and have some fun new blog projects in the works, but the job search was particularly tough this week. It’s so hard not to get […]

Why I’m Glad Mean Girls Didn’t Win at the Tony Awards (+ 5 Diverse Shows to see in Chicago)

Why I’m Glad Mean Girls Didn’t Win at the Tony Awards (+ 5 Diverse Shows to see in Chicago)

Sunday night was the Tony Awards and like any dutiful former high school theater kid, I tucked in for a night of Broadway production numbers, random movie stars who have taken to the stage, and too many white men winning in every category. And with […]

Things I Love About Summer: An Incomplete List

Things I Love About Summer: An Incomplete List

Driving to the suburbs at sunset with the windows down playing melancholy music I liked in high school (looking at you Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City)

When the sky turns green before a tornado

Stopping whatever I’m doing to watch a Thunderstorm

Always feeling a little sticky

The way a wood floor feels underneath my feet when it’s hot out and the wood’s expanded

Going on long sweaty runs next to bodies of water

Drinking a cold Miller Lite after said long sweaty run

Walking as an event

Leaving an air conditioned office at the end of the day and realizing it’s beautiful outside

“Reading” outside on a blanket, but actually just taking a nap

The idea of going to the beach

The 4th of July parade in small suburban towns (shoutout to the Jesse White tumblers)

Eating novelty ice cream at a public pool

Being able to call the trashy romance novels I love “beach reads”

That one outdoor party of the summer where you don’t get too drunk or sunburnt and everyone is really nice and you don’t get the Fear the next day

Farmers Market vegetables

Watching all the traffic on the Eisenhower while my mom and I drink wine and she teaches me how to grill

Going to outdoor concerts with friends who think to pack a picnic

Festive tequila shots

Wearing all-white and feeling really classy


(Inspired by this post on Cup of Jo)

Weekend Vibes // The Week of April 6

Weekend Vibes // The Week of April 6

Happy Friday, all! This weekend I plan on (hopefully) doing a lot of yoga and drinking a big glass of wine. I’ve been sick for the better part of this week, but I think I’m finally on the up. I’ve slept at least 11 hours […]

The Official Toast Guide to Madison, Wisconsin

The Official Toast Guide to Madison, Wisconsin

Best Brunch Heritage Tavern – My go to for a proper brunch. They have a variety of Benedict’s, breakfast cocktails, and really good sides so there’s something for everyone. Where I take my parents and out-of-towners when they come to visit. Get the Heritage Tavern […]

New City, Who Dis? April Resolutions 2018

New City, Who Dis? April Resolutions 2018

Resolutions from March

First up, I’m recapping my resolutions from last month and checking in on how they went and whether or not I’ll be bringing them back for April…

Read more. I’ve had like a couple good spurts this month: I read Everything I Never Told You at the beginning of the month and am making my way through Call Me By Your Name pretty quickly now. All it took was like an hour here and an hour there, but once I finish a book I dawdle getting to the next one. I made a GoodReads account, so maybe tracking books and looking out for new ones will help me be more motivated? Still chipping away at this one!

Write about what I’m passionate about. I did this! Or at least I’m getting there. I definitely feel like I’m starting to get a clearer sense of what I want to talk about and am giving myself the time to actually write about it. I was particularly nervous writing about leaving my recent job, but I felt like it was important to put it out there and the responses I’ve gotten have been super supportive and heartwarming. It’s so nice to know that others can tell when I’m writing something that means a lot to me.

Go on walks. I have walked a good bit this month, but I haven’t been as intentional as I want to be about it. I do a lot of walking now that I’m Chicago – to the train, with the dog, out to dinner – so like it still counts, but I think I want to narrow down this resolution and make walking a part of my morning routine. I think getting my ass out of bed and out of my house earlier will help me be more productive.

Try something new. I actually found it hard enough to stick to my normal schedule this month that I didn’t really feel the need to try something new – life has felt new enough as it is! With that said, though, going on vacation with friends was sort of a new experience and now that I’m in Chicago I’m doing new things left and right, so I feel like I have successfully shaken off my wine-and-Netflix nights for a while, which was the point.


Resolutions for April

Go on morning walks. I’m not a morning person, so it typically takes me forever to leave the house if I don’t have to be somewhere – and it doesn’t help that the weather has been miserable (spring, where are you?!). But I’ve noticed the days I do get out early in the day are the days I feel the most productive. My goal this month is to get outside before 10am Monday through Friday. I’m hoping it will give me more purpose in the morning and get my blood flowing a little bit. We shall see.

Find a fitness studio. One of the things that I already miss about Madison is the fitness studio I had there. It was super close to my apartment, affordable (with a corporate discount), and I loved their variety of hot yoga and HIIT classes. Now that I’m in Chicago, I don’t want to get out of the habit of getting to class so I’m already on the prowl for a new fitness studio. Searching for: a variety of yoga and cardio classes, not crazy expensive, in the South Loop, and overall has a fun, positive vibe. Just went to my first class this afternoon!

Get back to Church. I haven’t really mentioned religion much on the blog, but I actually am pretty into the whole church thing. I honestly just feel like my best self when I go to church on a regular basis. I went on Easter and just felt so good after! I think it helps keep things in perspective for me. I’m looking for a pretty large, diverse congregation that’s in the Loop area – there are a few on my list, so hopefully I find one that clicks.

Take advantage of Chicago. I don’t know why, but moving back to Chicago has felt more intimidating this time than in previous years. I don’t know if it’s because it feels more permanent or I got used to living in little ol’ Madison, but I want to push myself to get out and see more of the city. I find myself going to a lot of the same places in my neighborhood, so I want explore other parts of the city and enjoy being 25 in Chicago!


I think that’s where I’m going to leave it this month – I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew since I’m still adjusting to things. I have discovered that even though I like new things and like to think I’m a pretty adventurous person, I take forever to adjust to change. Like I just started to feel at home in Madison when I decided to leave and I lived there for 18 months!

I’m excited for this month, though! I think it’s going to be tough and existential at times, but I think good stuff is ahead and I’m glad to finally have some roots down to start figuring some stuff out for myself. It’s hard finding a balance between letting myself process and explore, but also having enough to do everyday that I don’t go crazy. It’s not really a resolution, but I think that’s what I’m going to spend a lot of my month doing, too. I think my resolutions this month will help me settle into new routines and hopefully find some new people here in the city, too. As always, I’ll keep you posted!

Weekend Vibes // The Week of March 30

Weekend Vibes // The Week of March 30

It’s been a big week! I officially moved out of Madison on Tuesday and am (almost) unpacked here in Chicago. Woooo! I’m so happy I did my Marie Kondo-ing at the beginning of the year because even after all that I still felt like I […]

San Francisco Recap + Why I’m Taking More Friends’ Trips

San Francisco Recap + Why I’m Taking More Friends’ Trips

In the midst of all of the craziness of moving and coming back to Chicago, I treated myself to a little vacation time. I spent a long weekend in San Francisco with some of my oldest friends, Haley and Megan, and we did a whole […]

Weekend Vibes // The Week of March 16

Weekend Vibes // The Week of March 16

Hey friends! First of all I want to say thank you for all the messages about yesterday’s post – I was pretty nervous about putting all that out there, but the support I’ve gotten has helped me keep everything in perspective. You guys are so great 😭

In other news, I’m actually writing this from San Francisco! After a hungover flight this morning (don’t book an early flight the day after your birthday, folks) and sleeping for most of the way, I feel like an actual human again and am just waiting for my friend Megan’s flight to get in. Then we’re off for a week of adventures with our longtime bestie, Haley! I totally think a girls’ weekend will do a world of good – plus, I’ve never really vacationed with friends before and I think it’ll be a blast! I’ll be updating my Instagram regularly, if you’re interested.

Here are a few things that have been on my mind this week…

I’ve been following the Repeal the 8th campaign in Ireland pretty closely (it’s the campaign to legalize abortion in Ireland) so I was psyched to see the Don’t Stop Repealin’ podcast, which gives regular updates on the campaign and interview key people involved. It’s also a great resource if you’re looking for ways to get involved!

I’m embarrassingly excited to read this book about The Bachelor lol. Keeping my eyes peeled at the airport bookstores to pick up a copy.

The not-so-subtle toxic masculinity of man caves.

Have never felt more proud of the younger generation than I did on #NationalWalkoutDay. It was both powerful and so disheartening to see literal children have to protest to protect their lives. This protest sign really hit me. 

Also, this article from Teen Vogue is an important reminder that Black teens have been demanding gun reform for years with little public empathy. It’s amazing to see this new movement gain momentum, but it comes on the back of so much unrecognized work by Black teenagers.

All of this really hit home when I went to see a friend at Northwestern on Wednesday just hours after their terrifying swatting incident. No one was hurt because it luckily ended up being a hoax, but the fear is still so real. I never again want to get a text from a friend saying we might have to cancel drinks because of an active shooter. This country…

On a lighter note, we did a little celebrating last night at Demera, an awesome Ethiopian restaurant, and then headed across the street to The Green Mill jazz club for my birthday. Big thanks to my brother for putting it all together – it was so fun and low key, while still feeling really special! Definitely recommend both spots for a friends dinner or a date night.

And that’s all for me this week – now I’m off to grab a big glass of wine and kick off this weekend! If you have any San Fran recommendations send them my way. Have a good one, friends!

Some Big Life Changes + How I Feel About Turning 25

Some Big Life Changes + How I Feel About Turning 25

Today is my birthday and, to be honest, I’m starting out 25 in a bit of weird place: I recently left my job after a year and a half and am moving back to Chicago. I’m still in Madison until I find someone to sublet […]