About Me

Profile 3Hi Everyone! Welcome to A Homemade Living, I’m so glad you stopped by today! Welcome to my home and my kitchen! Or at least my online home and kitchen. I wish we could chat over a big cup of tea and a plate of cookies, but since that’s not possible, let me tell you a little bit about myself here. My name is Maria, and I grew up in Prague, Czech Republic, a beautiful historic city in the heart of Europe. I spent the majority of my life living there, before moving to another beautiful city, London, to pursue my love of the arts, and to major in Art History. After graduating from college, I married my high school sweetheart, and a couple years and moves later, we now find ourselves living in northern New Jersey, right outside of New York City.

Some of my favorite childhood memories took place in our kitchen at home, and in the kitchens of my grandmothers. Every Christmas, my mom and I would bake Christmas cookies with my grandparents. It was a grand affair and a sweet tradition that I used to look forward to, and one that’s a cherished memory today. We made hundreds of cookies for the whole family, my favorite of which were always the traditional gingerbread cookies. We always decorated them with white icing and hung them on our Christmas tree (you can see some of my recent gingerbread cookie ornaments here).

Gingerbread Ornaments 7The big kitchen table was covered in cookie cutters, icing sugar and various cookie doughs, as we filled baking tray upon baking tray with delicious sweet treats. It was always my grandpa’s job to watch the oven and make sure none of the cookies burned, then take them out and place them on these big, long rustic wooden boards to cool, as we hurried to fill the oven with yet another batch. He’d take all the finished cookies to another room to cool and I followed right behind, just so I could sneak in and taste one of those Christmas goodies!

Star Linzer Cookies 1This is one of the reasons that I love to bake; because every time I make one of my favorite recipes, my kitchen is filled with those warm, familiar aromas, and it is as though time and distance disappear and my kitchen transports me right back into those precious memories! There is something quite magical about what a cup of flour, some sugar and a pinch of cinnamon can do! I am by no means an expert or a professional, but I’ve loved sharing some of my favorite family recipes with you and discovering lots of new ones along the way.

So that being said, welcome to my home and my kitchen! I hope you find lots of things to inspire you and make you smile. Feel free to leave me any questions or comments that you may have, I always love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day!



  • Reply Tece Entsminger January 15, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Can I be added to your blog? Either via facebook (Tece Fisher Entsminger) or email. I’m friends with your mother-in-law.

    • Reply ahomemadeliving January 19, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      I don’t have a mailing list yet, but will add you to it once I do! 🙂

    • Reply Andrea July 21, 2020 at 3:01 am

      Dear Maria, you have a wonderful Homepage with great recipes. I really like it! I just read about you and I have to say it’s really great what you do and where you live! Wow!
      I’m from Bavaria so we once have been “Neighbors” 🙂
      If you are interested in Bavarian recipes let me know! I learned cooking from my grand mother 😉
      Best regards

      • Reply ahomemadeliving July 23, 2020 at 11:10 pm

        Hi Andrea! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment! Recipes from our grandmothers’ are the best, aren’t they 🙂

  • Reply Sarah J January 23, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Hello there Maria =)
    I found you from the Treasure Box Tuesday link up party. I just wanted to say hello and that your site is beautiful. i love clean, simple sites. Enjoy your day!

    • Reply ahomemadeliving January 23, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment, Sarah! Thanks so much for stopping by, have a great weekend! 🙂

  • Reply Isabel C January 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Your Cinnamon Monkey Muffins is what attracted me to your blog. After I read your story; it reminded me of how I was raised also. I learned my baking from my grandmother and I cherish those dear memories of her. I am now a new grandmother myself and want to do the same for my grandchildren. There is something magical about spending family time together baking and cooking. Thank you for sharing your recipes and crafts with us.
    I am looking for a simple idea for a fall centerpiece medium size for round tables. If you have one you can share I would appreciate it so much. Our church Altar Society have a fall luncheon/fashion show that we have to decorate our tables every year. Maria, thank you in advance for your help.

    • Reply ahomemadeliving January 26, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Isabel! You’re so right, there really is something magical about family times of cooking and baking. I hope you make lots of fun memories in the kitchen with your own grandchildren too 🙂 As for fall centerpieces, I actually have a couple ideas, you can check them out on this page, under Flower Arrangements (I love making pumpkin flower arrangements in the fall!) Hope that gives you some inspiration 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and for the sweet comment, have a wonderful rest of your week, and a great 2015! 🙂

  • Reply Jeannie Piekos February 7, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Hi there. You have such cute stuff on your site. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity. I saw on Pinterest the cutest tea cup/bag bookmark. The link led to your site but I don’t see it here.

    Do you still have the instructions for the bookmark. I am sure I could try figure it out on my own, But I know your instructions would make everything easier.

    Thanks much. Jeannie Piekos

  • Reply Christine March 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I have made your Raspberry Lemon Loaf many times and it is sooo delicious! Unfortunately I can’t seem to find it anymore as it redirects to your new site and I hadn’t saved it. Is there anyway you can post it again please??
    It’s too good to never make again

    • Reply ahomemadeliving March 1, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Christine! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and am so sorry it’s missing! I switched websites a couple of weeks ago, and some of my recipes and posts seem to have gone missing! I will try to find it for you!

  • Reply Edita March 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Hello Maria, lots of greetings from your country with whole my heart. I would like to introduce myself, my name is Edita, my mother is cousen of your father Daniel, our grandmothers were siters. My father sent me this link of your blog, and I would like to tell you it is really so beautiful and wonderful, all of thing here! I can feel lots of very nice energy from your work. I wish you everything good 🙂 Sincerely, Edita Adlerová

    • Reply ahomemadeliving March 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Mila Edito, diky za krasny koment na blogu, jsem moc rada ze se ti blog libi, a ze ses mi ozvala! Nevim jestli jsme se nekdy setkali osobne, ale pamatuju si tetu Milenu, a jak jsme se u ni v Pradubicich nekdy s babickou a dedeckem stavovali. Doufam ze se ti dari, a treba se nekde jednou potkame! 🙂

  • Reply Edita March 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Mila Mario, diky za milou odpoved. Mam radost, jak se Ti dobre dari. Ja si Te pamatuju jako uplne malinkou holcicku, je to uz opravdu moc let. Moji rodice stale v Pardubicich bydli, zrovna k nim v nedeli s mym synem jedeme. Urcite bych Te zase rada videla, treba bude nejaka prilezitost. Srdecne Te zdravim do dalky a preju Ti jen vse dobre, at stale tvoris takove krasne veci a rozdavas tak lidem radost. To je moc dulezite. Diky za to. 🙂

  • Reply Shannon March 30, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Hello Maria! Thanks so much for your blog! I loved the Coconut, chocolate and almond granola bars you had on your old site, but can’t seem to find them here. Any way you can re-post? Thanks!

    • Reply ahomemadeliving March 31, 2015 at 8:30 am

      Thanks so much, Shannon, I’m glad you liked the recipe! Some of my posts seem to have disappeared when I switched websites, but if I can find it, I’ll send it to you!

  • Reply melody April 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Hi, i love your blog!

    I used to get a recipe from the shopgirlmaria.blogspot and now i can’t find it anymore! it was the raspberry lemon bread. is there anyway i can still get the recipe? thanks!

    • Reply ahomemadeliving April 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Melody! Thank you so much for your sweet comment, I’m so glad you like my blog 🙂 Sorry the recipe is missing! Some of my old posts seem to have gone missing when I switched sites, but I will find the recipe and email it to you!

  • Reply Sunny May 6, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Hi Maria, I also loved your raspberry lemon loaf recipe and can’t find it on your lovely new website. Is it possible to please email it to me too? Thanks very much!

    • Reply ahomemadeliving June 21, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Hi Sunny! Sure, I’m sorry the recipe has gone missing when I switched websites, but I still have it and will email it to you! 🙂

  • Reply Leslie July 27, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Maria, I LOVE the new look here at your blog! I enjoyed reading about you here, and I didn’t know you’ve lived so many places in Europe. You have some serious creativity and talent!! It’s been a while since I’ve visited your blog (because I don’t have as much time to browse around anymore), but I always feel right as home with your cozy recipes and beautiful crafts when I’m here! Have a beautiful and blessed day!

    • Reply ahomemadeliving July 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Thank you, Leslie! You are so sweet! I always love visiting your blog too, and seeing all your scrumptious recipes!! I hope you and your family are having a wonderful summer!!

  • Reply Maggie Lehrman September 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Hi there Maria! I absolutel adore your bow pillows! They are so cute and trendy. However I am the last person who should be touching a needle and thread. Do you sell you pillows? And all the thy customizable? Thanks so much and what a wonderful site! 🙂

  • Reply Maggie September 10, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Maria! I absolutely LOVE your Bow Pillows. Do you have an etsy shop or somewhere you sell custom orders?


    Maggie 🙂

    • Reply ahomemadeliving September 10, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Maggie! Thank you so much for the kind comments, glad you like the pillows! I used to have an Easy shop and sold the pillows, but unfortunately don’t anymore. They’re not too hard to make though, even if you’re not a sewing pro (because I’m not!)

  • Reply Elizabeth Allen August 8, 2016 at 5:26 am

    hello! I have been looking for a way to contact you. 🙂

    I loved the chocolate chip shortbread recipe from your old blog and wondered if I could get it. I never wrote it down!

    thank you!

  • Reply Iveta October 9, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Hi Maria, I just found your blog and made vanocka based on your recipe and it worked out really well! I am so excited! Are you still blogging? I love the photographs and simplicity of your blog. Hope you will keep adding new Czech recipes as they are hard to convert. Thank you!

    • Reply ahomemadeliving October 9, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Hi! Thank you so much for the kind comment! Glad the vanocka worked out for you, it’s one of my favorites! I’m planning to get back into blogging this fall… life has been busy! And I know what you mean, Czech recipes can be so hard to convert, and sometimes ingredients aren’t quite the same either… it takes a little work to get the recipe just right! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! 🙂

  • Reply Nicole November 23, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Hi! I work in the web department and would like to ask you about featuring one of your posts in a slideshow we are working on. What is your email address so I can send details?

  • Reply Georgie Ainsley January 3, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Maria! I was wondering if you ever give permission for people to use your photographs of your beautiful baked goods. I work in a Federal Depository housed in a university library. I would love to use some of your photos of your grandmother’s Linzer heart cookies in my display, decorations, and flyers promoting a free cookie giveaway to the students on Valentine’s day. Please email me at ainsleyg@cwu.edu if you would be willing to consider this. Thank you for your time.

  • Reply Lisa Sloan April 25, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Maria,

    I am the Managing Editor for Country Sampler/Annie’s Publishing. We produce various home decorating, DIY and craft magazines that are available on newsstands nationwide. We are currently working on a special Christmas Decorating publication, and we want to feature photos or projects from various bloggers or different artists in this publication. Our editor was browsing your blog and saw your Felt Gingerbread Man Gift Tags and absolutely loved the idea! She would really like to consider including it in this issue.

    This is the page she was looking at:

    And these are the specific images she liked:

    If you allow us to reprint your project/images, we would give you full credit and list your blog name and website along with the photo and copy. We would need a high-resolution image (300 dpi and at least 4 inches wide or larger), and it would need to be the image only without text or watermarks. If you can send the image, please email it to me along with your name and address.

    Thank you very much for your consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon. We’d really love to be able to consider your project in this issue!
    Lisa Sloan
    Managing Editor
    Country Sampler/Annie’s Publishing
    306 East Parr Road
    Berne, IN 46711

    • Reply ahomemadeliving May 2, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks so much for reaching out to me! That sounds great, I would love for you to feature the project! If you leave an email address here for me I will contact you that way and will send you the images! -Maria

  • Reply Nicol Natale October 22, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Hello Maria!

    My name is Nicol Natale and I’m a writer for WomansDay.com. We love your Glittered Monogram Ornament (https://ahomemadeliving.com/2012/12/glittered-monogram-ornament/) and would love to feature one image from the project in a DIY Christmas Ornament story on WomansDay.com. Of course, we will include a credit to A Homemade Living and link back to your website! We think our readers will really enjoy your craft and we’re excited to show support for your blog and hopefully send traffic your way.

    Just a heads up that if you grant us permission to include your image, the story could potentially be syndicated and featured on our sister sites such as CountryLiving.com, WomansDay.com, and others, which will mean even more exposure for you.

    Also, if you didn’t take the photo yourself, can you please share the name of the photographer and their contact info with us? That would be great!

    Let us know if it’s okay to include your image and a link to your blog on our site by EOD Wednesday, 10/24 — and definitely keep us in the loop about other projects you have coming up. We always love to feature fun ideas from creative blogs like yours.


    • Reply ahomemadeliving November 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Nicol, sorry for the late response…. feel free to feature it!

  • Reply DeeDee O'Keefe August 14, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Hi Maria! What a lovely, uncluttered website you have. I’m aching to try some of your delicious-looking recipes.
    My Slovak dad often mentioned rosehip for tea and pastry filling but I don’t have a family recipe for either. You mention the filling in the title of your Bochty recipe. I’d be thrilled if you would please share your recipe for Rosehip Jam. Many thanks for the loving way you portray everything in this site.

    • Reply ahomemadeliving August 14, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      Hi DeeDee! Thanks for the lovely comment! So interesting that your dad used to mention rosehips… they remind of me of fall at home! Unfortunately, I always buy both the rosehip jam and tea at the store and bring them back, so I don’t have a homemade recipe that I could share with you… I wonder if you could find a version of either in the international isle of the grocery store. As for the buchty, you can really use any kind of jam you like! (The traditional buchty are made with “tvaroh”, a sort of farmers cheese, but I haven’t attempted to make those here yet!) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, have a wonderful day!

  • Reply anecia carter June 3, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Do you have a mailing list to send out recipes? I enjoy the ones I’ve tried

  • Reply Soul Healing February 4, 2021 at 3:56 am

    Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other Soul Healing blogs that go over the same topics? Thanks a ton!

  • Reply Ashley Austin March 29, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Hi there,

    My name is Ashley and I’m a marketing coordinator for Concept Design Group. We’re working with PatioFurniture.com to provide readers of fantastic websites like yours with resources to make the most of their outdoor living spaces.

    Resources in the Ideas & Trends blog include patio layout and design ideas, maintaining or winterizing outdoor furniture, and exploring the benefits of different styles.

    Would you consider sharing a link on your site?

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me back and I would be happy to help you out.


  • Reply Chelsea Lamb January 10, 2022 at 7:22 am

    Hey there.

    Do you know what boutique retailers trying to move more merchandise, college kids trying to pay off student loans, and makers looking to turn their hobbies into their careers have in common? It’s Ecommerce!

    Thanks to new tools and a broad online knowledge base, it’s possible for anyone with the entrepreneurial spirit to sell online. Whether you’re dropshipping merch via Amazon, listing your own wares on Etsy, or shipping from an offsite inventory, it’s easier than ever to get started.

    I’m compiling a list of the best tools and resources out there, and I wondered if you might be interested in posting it on your site — free of charge — for your readers. Just let me know, and I can send it over.

    Thanks so much!
    Chelsea Lamb

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  • Reply Mabel September 13, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    Hi there! Sorry to bother you. I saw your Christmas-related article on the website. So I wanted to contact you to see if we could possibly cooperate. I am representing Quntis as the Influencer Marketing Specialist. With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to reach out and recommend a product that will add a magical touch to your holiday decorations – The Quntis Christmas Lights.
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