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All Blog Entries by Samantha Haas Writer-Marketing

There are currently 80 blog entries published by Samantha Haas Writer-Marketing.

As "the only Waunakee in the world," this growing village north of Madison is known for its close-knit community, abundance of parks, and convenient location.

Take it from Ellen Schaaf, who has lived in Waunakee for 18 years and has been the executive director of the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce for the last 13. She grew up in Madison and started the house search after she got married and had her first child. "What was important to us was a forward-thinking, smaller community close to things, and Waunakee met that bill for us," she said. Schaaf is passionate where she lives, citing the village's small-town feel that's close to the big city.

This special "essence" of Waunakee is what called Brent Bickel to move here to start a new

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Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) gets a lot of attention -- and deservedly so -- for the mid-century modern homes and buildings he's designed in the Madison area. But less than 8 years after he attended civil engineering classes at UW-Madison, so did another "Frank" who would also become a prominent 20th century architect in a much different style.

Perhaps best known for designing what is now the Governor's Mansion and several other Period Revival homes in Maple Bluff, Frank Morris Riley (1875-1949) helped shape the look and feel of many of Madison's premier neighborhoods, including University Heights, Nakoma, Shorewood Hills, and along Sherman Avenue and Wingra Park. He also designed the Brittingham House in the Highlands, which is now the official

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With Christmas music taking over the radio before Thanksgiving and many trees and lights up shortly thereafter, it's safe to say the holiday season is here. Many Dane County communities are already planning wintry events for the first part of December, including these listed below - with or without snow. Be sure to check out the websites for detailed schedules and associated costs.

Cambridge Classic Christmas
When: November 30-December 2
Where: Downtown Cambridge
What: Santa and Mrs. Claus come to Cambridge in time for the community Christmas tree lighting Friday evening. Saturday features horse drawn wagon rides, caroling, shopping, and crafts, and Sunday morning is breakfast with Santa.

Victorian Holiday Weekend
When: November 29-December 2
Where:

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Unlike many 12 year olds who spent their summers watching cartoons and playing sports, Stephen Meyer helped his dad clean carpets. In the years since then, he's worked for other companies and started his own, picking up tons of tricks and techniques -- not to mention stains -- along the way.

Stephen's enthusiasm for his craft and care for his clients is embedded into every fiber of his being. When his father was in the hospital and realized he could no longer continue Affordable Carpet Care in Sun Prairie, it was the relationships he built with customers that came to mind. Stephen recalls him saying, "It's not the carpet -- it's always the people."

To ensure clients received the very best service, Stephen launched his own business six years ago,

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As the seasons change from summer to fall, be sure to catch the leaves turn into their brilliant red, orange, and yellow hues. Check back for updates using the fall color report map at TravelWisconsin.com, which estimates that the Madison area will reach peak in mid-October. There are several spots throughout our Dane County Parks that we recommend for autumn color viewing, but these three stand out for their elevated, expansive views of the tree-filled landscape.


Lake View Hill Park

1202 Northport Dr., Madison: This park is home to the highest point on Madison's north side with gorgeous views of Lake Mendota and downtown. After meandering around the Dane County Human Services building (the former sanatorium) and checking out the newly restored

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The season of pumpkins, mums, and changing leaves is here! Several communities in Dane County are preparing for their annual fall festivals with plenty of games, crafts, and autumnal treats for the whole family to enjoy. Mad City Dream Homes will also have a presence at one of these events on Friday, the second annual Verona Fall Fest.

Verona Fall Fest

When: 4-10 p.m. Friday, October 5
Where: Hometown USA Festival Park, 111 Lincoln St., Verona
Info: www.visitveronawi.com

Our Hometown real estate agent, Mark Hewitt, will be sponsoring a face painting booth for kids with free designs, including some to go along with the outdoor screening of the movie "Coco" that night, as well as candy and interactive games. Meanwhile, adults can check out a photo

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Summers in Wisconsin can be sweltering, and that often means electricity bills skyrocket with air conditioning units running to keep us cool and comfortable. But there are eco-friendly ways you can save money while staying safe this season. Leah Samson, residential services manager with Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E), shares the following energy tips and resources for homeowners.

Safety first!

  • If you smell natural gas, (yuck it stinks!) call your gas utility immediately. For MG&E it is (608) 252-1111.
  • Digging in your yard? Call 811 for the Diggers Hotline or visit www.diggershotline.com. Flags will be placed so you know where NOT to dig.

Be comfortable

  • Cook outside or with a microwave oven instead of a stove. Your AC unit will
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For the last few summers we've invited our eldest niece stay with us in Madison for a weekend, and each time we try to do something new together. This year, in an attempt to captivate her 8-year-old interest (aside from her handheld gaming device), we decided to explore some sights on the city's east side.

After enjoying sandwiches and macaroni and cheese at Monty's Blue Plate Diner and checking out the rising lake levels at Olbrich Park, we headed across the street at dusk to Olbrich Botanical Gardens for its opening viewing of "GLEAM: Art in a New Light."

Before we got in line for admission we snapped a picture with the "Grow" Bucky on Parade statue in front of the building, which features textured poppy flowers, grass, roots, and clouds.

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On a sunny August morning, dozens of volunteers sporting green "Project Home" T-shirts surrounded a house on Madison's east side, paint brushes and ladders in hand. It was one of the stops for the nonprofit's 30th annual Paint-a-thon, an event that brings people of all ages together to give a new coat of paint to houses of local owners who could use some assistance. (Click here to view video.)

Project Home got its start in 1970 as a group of neighbors helping neighbors with their homes. Over the years as the needs have grown, it has added more trained and certified staff, but it still continues its mission to improve the quality and affordability of housing for low-to-moderate income residents in Dane and Green counties.

The painting program is

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Known as the Troll Capital of the World, Mount Horeb is more than a Scandinavian tourist destination. As this village grows on the west side of Dane County, just a half hour from Madison, it has managed to retain its authentic and walkable downtown, small-town charm, and beautiful views of the Driftless Area.

More than 7,000 people and 250 businesses and organizations call this place home, and the energy has contributed to a strong downtown corridor. Historic buildings are being repurposed, and more businesses and housing developments are branching off of the “Trollway” and the five roundabouts on the east side of the village.

Among them are Miller and Sons Supermarket, Sjölinds Chocolate Factory (which also has a Main Street location

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