A blog by Maddie Brady

Tag: Journal

My Game Plan for Surviving the Autumn Blues

My Game Plan for Surviving the Autumn Blues

It happened all at once, didn’t it? Suddenly it’s that time of year when the days are shorter and the nights are dark and quiet. Even living in the heart of Madison the mood is starting to shift – kids wrapped up in sweatshirts instead […]

Winter on Lake Monona

Winter on Lake Monona

With all this beautiful weather we’ve been having, I had to get outside so I took a long glorious walk down by Lake Monona last weekend. I feel so lucky to live right on the isthmus (the best geographic term, right?) and to be so close […]

Weekend Toast V.13

Weekend Toast V.13

Back in Chicago this week, I’m starting to get ready for the big move up to Madison, but also trying to enjoy the time I have left around here. Of course I’ll be back in like three weeks for Thanksgiving and I’m only like 2 and a half hours away anyway… But it still feels like a big move! This week has been filled with the highs and lows of apartment hunting, frequenting my favorite guilty pleasure food spots, and a whole lot of hometown team pride. I’m not a Cubs fan, but it’s pretty fun to see the city light up as they head to the world series next week – historic stuff 🙂

What I Did This Week

1. Went to my first Blackhawks game of the season! The rest of the city may be cheering on the Cubs, but I’m staying true to my favorite guys in Chicago. They played the Flyers, which I always find funny because my first Hawks game was in Philly and I have never been booed more in my entire life… It turned out to be such an exciting game and, of course, a Hawks win! Hopefully I’ll manage to get out to (and afford 😰) another game sometime soon!

2. My mom and I headed up to Madison to start the apartment hunt and it’s looking pretty good! We managed to find a place right downtown that is available before my start date and isn’t a creepy murder basement, so fingers crossed all the paperwork goes through. I’m soooo excited to start decorating and organizing my own place, finally! Updates on all that to come.

3. Before heading out of town on Saturday my mom and I stopped by the Madison farmer’s market to grab a little breakfast and oh my god was it so overwhelming. When I think farmer’s market I think quaint little booths and chatting with the stallkeepers over coffee, but Madison’s felt more like a trading floor – people bustling around, yelling and crowding stalls, I almost got elbowed in the face a few times… Good to know Wisconsinites get rowdy for their fresh produce.

Culturally Consumed

1. Loved reading the comments of this Cup of Jo post “What Do You Like About Yourself?” I’ve noticed several bloggers starting to engage more directly with their communities and, frankly, I think it’s awesome. Like this is what the internet is for: cultivating great little groups online and then being able to talk about real shit. I’ve always admired that about Joanna’s blog, too; she always manages to be open and honest because she’s created the right context for the kinds of conversations she wants to have. Have always loved her blog and really like the direction its moving in.

2. Have been paging through Grace Bonney’s In the Company of Women over coffee the last few mornings and have discovered it’s a lovely way to start the day. Practical wisdom and reminders that life is hard and wonderful and your dreams are worth fighting for. I’ve always admired women who know exactly who they are and aren’t willing to compromise that and this book of chalk full of them. Would make a great graduation gift.

3. Finally caved and bought these beautiful boots! I’m always nervous about buying clothes online because half the time they don’t fit or I don’t like them, but Lord and Taylor was having their family and friends sale so I finally just went for it. Fingers crossed that they look as beautiful on me as they do in the photos. They would be perfect day-to-night boots for chilly Madison winters.

Coming Up Next

1. A few photos from Boulder that I didn’t manage to get to last week – I know I’ve been behind on everything lately, but hoping that I’ll get back into a routine when I’m a little more settled.

2. Some of my favorite quotes from In the Company of Women. It’s also totally inspired me to start an interview series with influential women in my life here on the blog. I sort of don’t even care if anyone else reads it, I think I would get a lot out of putting something like that together. Grace Bonney must be so wise after interview all these awesome people!

3. Some home decor inspiration that I’m feeling and a few ideas I have for the new apartment! I’ve never had my own place before and I’m out of my mind excited to have complete control over everything. As a child of divorce and an avid traveller, I haven’t had all of my shit in the same place for over a decade so the idea of having all of my clothes in one closet is like completely mind blowing. Stay tuned!

Weekend Toast V.12

Weekend Toast V.12

This week I got the chance to go out to Boulder, Colorado and visit my dad and stepmom who are in the process of moving out there. I’ve been hearing about Boulder for years and I finally get what all the hubbub is about – […]

The Official Toast Guide to Dublin

The Official Toast Guide to Dublin

Although I’m already back in the US, I wanted to make sure to put together a list of all my favorite spots in Dublin while it’s still fresh. I love giving suggestions when people visit, so I wanted to share the spots that I have loved […]

Weekend Toast V.11

Weekend Toast V.11

It feels really good to be home. The last several weeks have been crazy to say the least, but no matter where I go in the world there’s nothing like coming back to familiar places and loving people. I’m honestly just starting to feel settled back into the US and a big part of me still feels like its in Ireland, but having some down time to write, run, and catch up with my favorite people has been really centering. Here’s a little recap of what I’ve been doing, reading, and loving this week…

What I Did This Week

1. Got dragged to a visiting artist lecture at the School of the Art Institute by my mother, a former student, and actually completely loved the whole talk. The artist, Tal R, is this sweet, silly painter from Copenhagen who preaches being “irresponsible” with art, something I totally resonated with after years of being told to be diligent and thorough while making theater.

2. Sat in on a rehearsal of my friend Kevin’s contemporary choir at Northwestern and heard a preview of their super interesting piece “Consent” by Ted Hearne. The text of the piece is a combination of love letters, marriage rituals, and text messages from the Steubenville rape case and explores the ways we use language of ownership and sexual violence to express romantic relationships. Haunting and fascinating. Looking forward to seeing more of his upcoming concerts!

3. Headed up to Concord Music Hall to catch Kaytranada with my brother and our friends. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, it ended up being a fun night of DJs and dancing. I loved one of the openers, I think a local female DJ, but didn’t catch her name – if anyone knows, would love to hear more of her!

Culturally Consumed

1. Finally got around to reading Animal Farm after all these years. Such a quick read, but I see why its required reading in high schools around the country: political commentary, easy to grasp and specific metaphors, and it’s actually engaging – I read the whole thing in like 2 hours. Feels good to start reading for pleasure again!

2. This ultra-brief gem from one of my very favorites, David Sedaris, on this election. Just when I think things can’t get worse too…

3. Love this new series that Cup of Jo is doing. I’ve always been fascinated by personal style and its so fun to hear people talk about why they wear what they wear. Especially obsessed with her use of the phrase “bitchy accessory” to describe a structured, see-through bag. Like I resonate with that term soooo much – definitely need more bitchy accessories (and clothes and shoes) in my life.

4. Also, I know that Stranger Things has already had its moment in the sun, but I would like to take a moment of silence for Barb. She was the real MVP.

Coming Up Next

1. Heading out West on Sunday for a little bit so stayed tuned for some picturesque views and me pretending to be outdoorsy.

2. A HUGE guide to all things Dublin that has actually taken me a century to put together, but I’m super excited to share.

3. A to-do list for all things fall! Fall has always been a huge time of change for me (and this fall is no exception) so I often feel this time of year the way I imagine people feel about new years. Time to get into new habits, shed harmful and distracting practices, and open myself up to saying yes more. I know it all sounds so cheesy, but we all need some inspirational cheeseballs when we’re going through shit, am I right? Stay tuned!

Beaches and Beer Part 2: Berlin

Beaches and Beer Part 2: Berlin

Part two of our trip was a stop in beautiful Berlin. My friends had really hyped Barcelona and it was definitely so fun, but I just totally vibed with Berlin. The crisp air, the sense of history, and the low-key atmosphere of the city were […]

Beaches and Beer Part 1: Barcelona

Beaches and Beer Part 1: Barcelona

After finishing my dissertation, a few friends and I jetted off for a few days of vacation and, man, did I need it. I’m the kind of person that takes a long time to decompress from long term stress, but I discovered that changing my […]

Weekend Toast V.10

How was your weekend? We had a couple of birthday/house parties on tap and I have to say it was kind of glorious sleeping in and ordering late night dirty takeout. Would love to get a few pages of my dissertation done this evening, but let’s be honest… I do really need to buckle down this week, though, so I’m mentally preparing for long days in the library and too many cups of coffee. Wish me luck (I’m gonna need it)!

If you’re not quite ready to start your week, yet, here are a few procrastination friendly links…

13715107_1220681937962795_1886167849_n.jpg

Would love to see an entire play made up of scenes like this.

If you’re in Dublin, everyone’s favorite hangover cure, Deliveroo, is offering free delivery for the next two weeks. Too tempting.

Literally something I’ve always wondered this but was too embarrassed to ask.

This Lisa Frank clothing line is what my 3rd grade dreams were made of.

Have you been following the Kimye v. Taylor drama? I’ve always found T-Swift pretty disingenuous so I’ve been lapping up everyone’s hilarious twitter shade.

Putting so many of these YA books on my (ever growing) post-dissertation reading list.

Eyeing these Vince Camuto boots for fall – will be putting up my favorite Nordstrom Sale pieces up this week (even though shipping to Ireland is ridic 😭). Keep yo eyes peeled.

(Photo from my instagram. The Barge is always in full swing on sunny days.)

Weekend Toast V.9

I have to say, this weekend felt extra sweet: I turned in 5000 words of my dissertation on Friday, finished my internship and the bulk of my shop work at Bow & Pearl, and it 100% feels like summer here in Dublin for once! It’s just […]