Life In Madison

Life in Madison: neighborhoods, opportunities and events in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area

Found 182 blog entries about Life In Madison.

In one way or another, we each live in a bubble. And as we encounter new experiences, that bubble may widen so we are able to see beyond our own viewpoint. Like many others in my mostly white sphere, we were seeing the world through rose-colored glasses...until 2020. 

"The death of George Floyd woke more people up who weren't tuned into the atrocities that the black community has been enduring for centuries," said Vanessa McDowell, CEO of YWCA Madison. "We at YWCA Madison are glad people are starting to wake up and learn about racial injustice and want to do something about it, but quite frankly, it is about time."

Vanessa is a Madison native and the first Black woman to lead the 111-year-old nonprofit, which addresses challenging issues such as

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The world is a crazy place under the best of circumstances. And this past year has taken crazy and put it on steroids. Life can be fast-paced, stressful, unpredictable, and leave you feeling out of control. So how do we deal with this? How can we control stress in our lives? How do we cope with a pandemic? Our children have lots of questions. We have lots of questions. Sometimes there are no good answers. And eventually this can leave us quite stressed, which in turn can lead to sleepless nights, poor dietary habits, and even depression. 

So what is a person to do? How can we tackle these problems? Or at least how do we learn to cope with them? Here are a few things I’ve learned during my time as a certified health coach that can help improve your

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Winter is just around the corner, and although it may be more challenging this year due to the pandemic, there are ways to make it easier and more fun. Just because your usual winter activities may be less feasible this year doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the season. Here are 5 ways to prepare for a happier and healthier winter that keep you safe.

  1. Get outside for winter fun. Fresh air and sunlight go a long way to improving mood, so don’t forget about all of the fun outdoor winter activities that are available this time of year! Try ice skating, cross country skiing, or taking winter hikes. Dane County Park’s winter recreation guide is a great resource for finding fun ways to be active outside. You can also visit the City of Madison Parks

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Thanksgiving plans this year have changed for many people, but that doesn't mean you still can't celebrate the holiday! Here are 8 non-traditional ways to celebrate Thanksgiving this year at home. Some of them may even become part of your regular holiday tradition!

8 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving at Home in the Madison area

Thanksgiving 2020 Ideas

  1. Get outside. Many local races are going virtual this year. The Berbee Derby and Turkey Trot are both still happening, and are a great way to support your community and get some exercise. Running not your thing? Visit one of Dane County’s many parks and take a Thanksgiving Day hike, or take an extra long stroll in a new neighborhood. Depending on the weather, wearing layers will help make the time outside more comfortable. Spending a little extra time

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Earlier this summer, some members of our team visited State Street to view the temporary Downtown Street Art and Mural Project by local artists -- including those who have been affected by racial injustice and violence. Of the 100 or so murals that covered storefront windows and sides of buildings, we started to notice a distinctive style featuring the silhouette of Black girls’ faces with pops of bright colors and words of affirmation among a few of the displays. Also featured on the beautiful artwork near Goodman’s Jewelers and the Overture Center for the Arts were the hashtag #DefendingBlackGirlhood and Instagram handle @LiladasArt. 

These pieces of art were created by Lilada Gee, a lifelong Madison resident who has rediscovered the healing

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This year has been a year of incredible change. Despite all of the challenges in 2020, we’re excited to be on a positive path as we head into the new year. Here are a few of the positive steps we’ve taken in 2020, and a peek at what lies ahead in 2021. 

Realtors at Mad City Dream Homes

Positive change in 2020

We’ve crystallized our 3 core values of Community, Relationships, and Real Estate. We’re actively investing in our community. We’re cultivating positive relationships in every aspect of our business. And -- more than ever before -- we’re dedicated to helping you achieve all of your real estate dreams and goals.

We’ve implemented a retirement savings plan (with company match) for our employees. With the implementation of our IRA savings plan, we’re committed to helping

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For the last few years we've been working to document our community with pictures -- the landmarks, natural spaces, and events that are unique to Madison and the greater Dane County area. Our goal is to celebrate our community by sharing our photos on social media, our website, in our newsletter, and even in our real estate listings. We have a lot more work to do, but thanks to Tracy Kapela, Samantha Haas and Justin Lackner, we're making great progress.

As an example, here are some photos from Downtown Madison that we've captured over the last few years. Looking at these photos, I can't help but think that we have so much to be grateful for, and also so much work to do.

Downtown Madison in pictures

Memorial Union Terrace in Madison

Madison WI State Street Downtown

Concerts on the Square Madison WI

madison wi ironman

Madison WI bike trails

Madison WI Downtown Skyline

Lake Monona Madison WI 

Orpheum Theatre on State Street

MLK Mural Madison WI

 Madison WI State Street Murals

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Making your way around the Lake Edge neighborhood, you’ll find businesses adorned with beautiful murals, homes being renovated, and new businesses opening their doors. The community is close to everything on the east side of Madison, plus Lake Monona. Lake Edge is a community with a lot to offer for homeowners and visitors alike. 

The Lake Edge neighborhood has a surprisingly natural feel for being located right within the city. Mature trees provide a peaceful canopy over the community, and large lots give homeowners room to spread out. Most of the homes in this community are ranch or bungalow style, built between 1940 and 1960. Mad City Dream Homes Realtor Ann Raschein lives in the neighborhood. “I love so much about the Lake Edge

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Hi! I’m Samantha Haas, and I joined Mad City Dream Homes as a photographer and writer in 2017 when our team had just started partnering with a local nonprofit called the Foundation for Dane County Parks. Through that collaboration, I have been able to document what it’s like to explore many of these special parks, forests, trails, and wildlife areas throughout the Madison area. 

Several members of our team -- and their dogs -- have been enjoying these parks, too! For example, Shelley Lazzareschi recently brought her dog, Tucker, to join our team meeting at Mendota County Park in Middleton, where we can take a break from our screens and enjoy the beautiful summer weather while social distancing.

Ann Raschein likes to go to Capital Springs Recreation

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Heading to an apple orchard in the fall is a great tradition held by many in the Dane County area. It’s a great opportunity to get outside on a beautiful fall weekend. COVID-19 is affecting the way many apple orchards are doing business, but they are still open and excited to welcome visitors. Since policies may change at any time, be sure to check the orchard’s website or Facebook page before your visit to familiarize yourself with their protocols.

Appleberry Farm, Cross Plains

Appleberry Farm small family-owned orchard in Cross Plains. They will be open to the public beginning in September. In order to limit the number of visitors at a time and to allow for physical distancing, they will be using a sign-up form on their website for visitors to

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