Music Around Milwaukee – September 2016

Music around Milwaukee (3)

The school year has started for most kiddos and so has our semester of violin lessons. There isn’t a lot to share in terms of concerts this month, but I wanted to at least let everyone know about a teaching colleagues piano studio recital this month. Clearly, those piano students are off to a great start! Watch for more to come this year, and as always, contact me if you have an event you’d like to have included on a future Music Around Milwaukee post.

Saturday, September 10 @ 1 pm – ABC Music Lessons Back-to-School Piano Recital (info)


Music Around Milwaukee – April 2016

Music around Milwaukee (3)

There are several music events this month worth checking out. Pay extra attention to April 30 when we have our Spring Studio Recital. We’d love to have you join us! As always, contact me to request listing on our  Music Around Milwaukee posts.

Saturday, April 16 @ 7pm – Milwaukee Children’s Choir Spring Recital East (info)

Sunday, April 17 @ 3pm – Milwaukee Children’s Choir Spring Recital West (info)

Sunday, April 24 @ 7pm – MYSO Flute Festival (info)

Friday, April 29 @ 7pm – MYSO Honor Recital (info)

*FREE* Saturday, April 30 @ 6:30pm – Abellimento Violin Studio Spring Recital (info)


Music Around Milwaukee – March 2016

Music around Milwaukee (3)

March is a month full of opportunities to get out and hear some live music. As always, if you have any dates you’d like added to this list, contact me.

Friday, March 4 @ 7:30pm – Wisconsin Lutheran High School production of Mary Poppins (info)

Saturday, March 5 @ 7pm – Milwaukee Chorales in Concert (info)

Saturday, March 5 @ 7pm – MYSO Inspired Spring (info)

Saturday, March 5 @ 7:30pm – Wisconsin Lutheran High School production of Mary Poppins (info)

Sunday, March 6 @ 1:30pm – Wisconsin Lutheran High School production of Mary Poppins (info)

*FREE* Saturday, March 19 @ 7pm – Wisconsin Lutheran High School Spring Sacred Concert (info)

Sunday, March 20 @ 3pm – FCS Symphony Sundays: Peter and the Wolfgang (info)

Sunday, March 20 @ 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, & 7pm – MYSO Davidson Chamber Ensemble Recitals (info)


2015 In Review


I don’t know about you, but by December 31st, I totally forget what happened over the past 365 days. However, thanks to this handy little Best Nine trend and Instagram, I’m gonna give you a little recap of our year.

No. 1 – Kyle and I celebrated four years of marriage this year. It is hard most days, wonderful sometimes, and thanks to God being the center of it all, beautiful all the time.

No. 2 – I joined a wonderful group of ladies who use their gorgeous words to lift up and encourage moms. I am so thankful for all of them. Big heart eyes to all the ladies of MKE Moms Blog.

No. 3 – Violin. This is what I do for work and for fun. I’m so utterly blessed that I get to teach kiddos how to do what I love most every day.

No. 4 – This kid though. He’s taught me everything I know about being a mama. Life has changed so much since he joined our family and my heart is fuller than it’s ever been. Otto, I’m so glad God made me your mama.

No. 5 – At the beginning of the year, I was feeling incredibly stuck with my business. I felt like I was doing all the right things, but nothing was happening. Thanks to an incredibly wise colleague of mine for pointing out that thinking small and investing in those who are already in your life is sometimes the best path. She was so very right.

No. 6 – As always, the height of our Christmas celebration was spending time at the manger of our Lord. I hope your holiday celebrations were as fulfilling as ours.

No. 7 – I am surrounded by such an amazing village. My family and friends support me constantly and I wouldn’t be who I am without them.

No. 8 – Kyle laughs when I call my students my kids. But really, it expresses how I feel about them better than a long string of words could. They teach me just as much as I teach them.  Thank you so much to all my studio families for their countless hours of effort developing as well-rounded musicians with beautiful hearts.

No. 9 – Yes, that’s my kid with a violin. There are no real words to describe how that makes me feel, but no matter what path his life takes, I want him to experience the joy of music-making and I love that in some small way, he already is.

Whatever you are doing tonight, I hope you are safe and happy! I am hoping to see a Spartan win and to be in bed by midnight! Happy New Year!

Music Around Milwaukee – January 2016

Music around Milwaukee (3)

There are several great opportunities to get out there and see some live performances this month, including a couple of free ones. The Suzuki Association of Wisconsin Winter Retreat concert is actually in Madison, but I’ve included it in this list because Suzuki students from all over the state will be playing and it’s such a great chance to see what a big group of kiddos can do all together! As always, please contact me if you have an event you’d like to see added to this list.

*FREE* Sunday, January 17 @ 12pm – Suzuki Association of Wisconsin Winter Retreat Final String Concert (info)

Saturday, January 23, 1pm – 5pm – MYSO Jazz Heritage Festival (info)

Sunday, January 24 @ 2pm – MYSO A Force of Nature (info)

*FREE* Thursday, January 28 @ 5:30pm – MYSO Progressions Winter Wonders (info)

Saturday, January 30 @ 3pm – MYSO Rhythmic Revolution (info)

4 Gifts Guide – The Needs

4 Gifts Christmas Blogging Series 2015

So this post is late. Really late. I’m gonna be completely honest and say this has just been a rough month for me. I’ve been behind on absolutely everything. But I’m actually thankful (good timing, eh?) this category forced me to look at needs.

See, here’s the thing. Any way I think about it, my family and I, we don’t need anything. I could share pictures of things we like to say we need. But honestly, we have everything and more we could possibly need and I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the people who just don’t have what they need, let alone gifts they want during this season in which we celebrate and share gifts with family and friends.

So instead of a gift guide, I’m going to share a few of the ways my family gives back. We hope to do more in the future, as we work to be in a better financial situation, but this is what we can do right now.

We sponsor a child through Compassion International. We started shorly after Otto was born because I thought it would be great for us to sponsor a child for each child we are blessed with. It was important to us to find a Christian organization and I had read really good things about Compassion. We donate a certain amount of money each month and also at Christmas and the child’s birthday. We also write letters back and forth with him. It is so interesting to learn more about a culture across the world. I can’t wait until Otto is able to understand more about this and learn about kids all over the world who are just like him but live so differently.

Every year for Christmas, we pull a name from the Giving Tree that they do at my parents’ workplace. I especially love to do this because we are able to gift a person here in Milwaukee at Christmas with something they need or want. I think this will be another wonderful way to show Otto how we can help others because we are so blessed.

Finally, I have never given to this organization personally, but with the recent refugee crisis in our world, I have been looking for options and Samaritan’s Purse seems like a great one. It gets a great rating on Charity Navigator and I know they’ve been doing a lot to help refugees. I also love their Operation Christmas Child initiative.

So that’s how we currently give back to people who truly need things. I will be back in just a few days with my “wear” gift guide to catch up with the 4 Gifts series. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below and check out my “want” gift guide if you missed it. What are some ways you help others during the holiday season, or really, anytime?

Christmas Giveaway! 4 Gifts Christmas Giveaway! Target Gift Card, World Market Gift Card, and More!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

$165 Target Gift Card  ||  $25 World Market Gift Card  ||  Lace Arm Warmers – Forgotten Cotton  ||  Personalized Cutting Board (9×12″) – Laserworkz  ||  Gypsy Dreamcatcher Necklace – Gypsies Box Jewelry  ||  $30 Credit for Keep Collective with Kassie  ||  Adult Coloring Book – This Girl’s Doodles

4 Gifts Guide – The Wants

Can you believe Christmas is a little over a month away??? I know I say this every year, but this year I’m trying to be a little bit more on top of buying gifts for the people in my life. Last year, my hubby and I decided to try the “4 Gifts” idea with our kiddo. You may have seen this idea floating around internet land, but if you’re unfamiliar, the idea is to limit what you give to four categories: want, need, wear, and read. It worked so well last year with Otto, that I’m considering doing it for Kyle, too. I’m joining in with Alyson for her 4 Gifts series to brainstorm gift ideas for the people in my life and maybe to give you some ideas, as well. 🙂

4 Gifts Christmas Blogging Series 2015

I’ve included gifts for men, women, and kids. The kids’ gifts span a variety of ages, so be on the lookout for that. Today’s category is WANT.GuysWant

1. His favorite music ~ 2. Personalized whiskey decanter ~  3. Basketball ~  4. GoPro

5. Ballpark Blueprint


1. Pentax 50mm 1.8 Lens ~ 2. Milwaukee City Print

3. Pacifica Dreaming Roll-On Fragrance Trio ~ 4. Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording

5. Essie Shall We Chalet Nail Polish


1. Inside Out Playset ~ 2. Spot It! MLB game ~ 3. Earth Grown Crayons

4. Personalized Shape Sorter ~ 5. Indoor Snowball Fight

Make sure to come back next week when I share my NEED gift guides. And in the meantime, make sure to enter this awesome giveaway!

Christmas Giveaway! 4 Gifts Christmas Giveaway! Target Gift Card, World Market Gift Card, and More!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

$165 Target Gift Card  ||  $25 World Market Gift Card  ||  Lace Arm Warmers – Forgotten Cotton  ||  Personalized Cutting Board (9×12″) – Laserworkz  ||  Gypsy Dreamcatcher Necklace – Gypsies Box Jewelry  ||  $30 Credit for Keep Collective with Kassie  ||  Adult Coloring Book – This Girl’s Doodles

October Goals


Cooler temps are settling in and after an extremely busy September, I am ready to slow down just a little bit. I have fewer goals this month and I really want to focus on things I enjoy (ahem… getting back on track with reading) and taking care of my self. I also really want to pay attention to the people around me and take time to pour into my relationships with them.


– workout 3 times/week

– read Hands Free Life

Family & Home

– declutter 100 items… again

– work through Cozy Minimalist e-course

– date night with my husband


– read Intelligent Music Teaching

– stick to blog editorial calendar (even having one is an accomplishement for me, however)


– read Silver Girl and Paris, He Said

– Plan 2 Thrive Local events (for real!)

– finish photography e-course



Music Around Milwaukee – October 2015

Music around Milwaukee (3)

There are a few more opportunities this month to hear some live music, so get your kiddos out there and be inspired! As always, contact me if you have an event you’d like to see added to this monthly roundup.

Saturday & Sunday, October 9 & 10 @ 7:30pm – Wisconsin Lutheran College Fall Showcase Concert (info)

Wednesday, October 14 @ 7pm – MYSO Celestial Sounds (info)

Saturday, October 24 @ 7pm – Concord Chamber Orchestra Child’s Play (info)

*FREE* Sunday, October 25, 10:15am-5:45pm – MYSO Playathon (info)

*FREE* Wednesday, October 28 @ 7pm – FCS Halloween Pajama Jamboree (info)

Around Here (September)


eating breakfast bowls (still)

drinking every flavor of LaCroix sparkling water

wearing gray booties

watching Girl Meets World

listening to my Suzuki repertoire (yes, teachers need to listen, too)

reading The Chosen by Chaim Potok

starting home preschool with Otto (we’re using this)

purging stuff all over our house

excited to begin a new writing adventure with MKE Moms Blog (the photo above is from our kickoff event)

embracing the signs of impending autumn