A blog by Maddie Brady

Tag: Personal

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 […]

Five Ways I Made This a Self Care Summer

Five Ways I Made This a Self Care Summer

This summer I made a promise to myself to focus on me. The last year has been really tough: moving to a new city, starting a really technical job, living alone, meeting new friends, fully supporting myself financially for the first time. It’s been a […]

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 to both of Madison’s gorgeous lakes. Winter has been a tough time to move to a new city – everyone is in hibernation and there’s not so much going on – but this little thaw we’ve had has gotten me so excited for Spring. After being away from the Midwest for so long I’ve forgotten how much the cities come alive with the weather!

I didn’t expect my walk to turn into a photography expedition or else I would have brought my big camera but I had to share some snaps I took on my phone while I was out. How crazy is that ice?! I’m such a sucker for that sort of thing so these are only a few of the like billion photos I took of it.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday and soak up the sun while we have it for a moment. ūüėé


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 […]

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 […]

St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

Even though I absolutely love sunshine, I’ve really been vibing with the lush and overcast weather we’ve been having here in Dublin recently.¬†It seems our summer was rather short (aka it lasted two weeks and it’s not even June) and I’m starting to get used to the idea of a temperate and rainy summer. It helps that the sun doesn’t fully go down until 10:30 and that I’m not sweating through all of my clothes like I would be at home. I think I’m actually starting to understand this whole “summer knits” thing they keep talking about here…

I took a walk around St. Stephen’s Green yesterday and grabbed a few snaps of the park under cloudy skies. I love that even an overcast¬†day doesn’t deter people from spending time outside here; I feel like at home, if the weather isn’t perfect then why bother? But here if it isn’t pouring and the temperature is reasonable, there’s no excuse not to walk around or have lunch outdoors. It’s also hilarious that the weather becomes a national pastime – everyone is always talking about it! But then again, so am I right now…¬†ūüôą

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So, even though lots of great things have been happening lately (the end of classes, friends coming to visit, successful meetings) the last few weeks have actually been pretty stressful. Surrounding all these good moments have been a lot of worry and uncertainty and so these¬†things that should be wonderful and inspiring have actually introduced a lot of anxiety into my life. It’s like I’ve been so distracted with everything that I’ve let self-doubt creep in unnoticed. Then suddenly a little mistake or a brief goodbye can seem like the end of the world.

But¬†I know that it’s not. And it’s been taking walks like these and doing things alone¬†that reminds me of that solid part within myself that I can always fall back on. That voice inside me that reminds me to let it out and then pick myself up and do better. It’s like I ran into a wall of my own self-esteem – but why has it been so elusive for so long? How do I tap into this solid foundation of self all the time? I feel so lucky to have this part of myself, but I’m afraid that soon the things that have helped me harness it¬†will¬†lose their potency and I’ll be steeped in fear again.

Am I alone in this or do others feel this process of building up and tearing down? What do you do to remind yourself of your own strengths? Is this getting a little too LiveJournal right now?¬†Probably yes, but I’m still curious…

Weekend Toast V.7

This week has been totally crazy cause I’m in training for my new job (which I talked a little bit about earlier) – I’m learning many marketable skills such as hanging up sparkly dresses and strategic ways to stand above objects while I photograph them. […]

Weekend Toast V.6

I gotta say this last week has bit a of a wash in terms of productivity – between my birthday and St. Patrick’s Day not a whole lot got accomplished. But we certainly had a great time! Ian took me to our favorite spot, The […]

Weekend Toast V.5


It is finally starting to feel like Spring here in Dublin and I couldn’t be more excited! Birds are singing! Flowers are blooming! You can stand outside without hating your life! We spent the weekend resting up for a big upcoming week (my birthday and St. Patrick’s Day) and catching up on some work. We went here for brunch yesterday and loved it – great eggs benedict and loved this new wine. Here are some thoughts¬†from the week, if you’re interested…

Highlight: International Women’s Week here at Trinity was awesome! In a moment of outgoing-ness, I volunteered to photograph some of the events and was so happy I made myself do it. For me, it can feel really difficult to put myself out there and get involved in something I’m not sure about but I learned so much from photographing panel events for the first time and went to several great events I wouldn’t have considered attending otherwise. I know it sounds trite, but I’m actually really proud of myself for doing it! #smartwomenstrongwomen

Hell yes to¬†Chicago for shutting down Trump – our city won’t put up with¬†his hate and irresponsibility!

This week has me thinking a lot about the ways women are undervalued in society. This article has some great statistics on the unbalanced distribution of unpaid domestic work.

On a lighter note, I’ve become addicted to Piano Tiles 2…¬†Totally takes me back to learning the classics in my early piano days.

And this whole dog or bagel thing is getting out of control. Also, I know this is old but I just discovered the Groupon Banana Bunker hilarity of 2015.

Geekily excited for this book to come in!

My birthday is this week¬†so I’m on the prowl for the perfect dessert to make… some options are this insane dark chocolate cheesecake (and how beautiful are the photos), a classic bread pudding, or this too-easy-to-be-true nutella lava cake in a mug.

Hope you have a wonderful week! Look out for photos from Women’s Week and something a little fashionable on the blog… And grab a Guinness for me!¬†ūüćÄ

Soaking up the Sun in St. Maarten

Last week, I got the chance to travel to the island of St. Maarten with my mom and brother for a long overdue family vacay. St. Maarten is a Dutch Antilles island that’s half Dutch and half French, while still only being about 13 square […]