I grew up in a tiny town in central Pennsylvania where white tailed deer outnumber the people, and there are a total of two traffic lights.  When I graduated from Penn State with a major in Advertising, I knew I needed to land a job in a major city, so I gave Chicago a try and then ended up in New York City.

I married my high school sweetheart and we rescued a puppy, Sammi.  We paid ridiculous rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in New Jersey and I had an hour plus commute into New York City where I worked crazy long hours at an advertising agency.  After a few years of trying to find balance, I finally came to terms with the fact that my work life was having a serious impact on my personal life.  And when I say "serious impact," I mean I just didn't have a life outside of work. 

We always said that someday we would end up closer to home, and after about 3 years, it was time to stop pretending we would ever be "city people."  So we said goodbye to the city, found jobs, bought a house, and became official residents of Happy Valley.  Now we are closer to family, we have a big yard for the dog, and we even get to eat dinner together most nights.



On Maria Makes, I focus on recipes, crafts & diy projects, and gardening.  Most of my recipes are Whole30/Paleo, as I've been trying to eat that way most of the time.  Don't worry, you'll still find occasional treats and desserts!




As a pre-teen with plenty of high-quality television viewing options to choose from (Boy Meets World anyone?) – I spent hours with my good friend Emeril learning the basics of cooking through my TV screen.  By watching Food Network, reading blogs, and learning from my mom, I’ve built up a toolbox of tips, tricks, and skills that make me what I would call a decent home-chef.  I love to cook and I love to eat.  And I love it when my husband does the dishes.


For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with all things artsy craftsy.  I used to pick my birthday presents from the craft section at Wal Mart and a few of my high school years were wasted on way too much time scrapbooking.  My de-stressor during college was getting my hands dirty at an amazing non-profit pottery studio.  Turn me loose on Pinterest and I’m like a kid in a candy store.  Just ask my mom about my childhood businesses – beaded lizards, friendship bracelets, and rock tumbler jewelry.