About Me


Why I started Blogging…

When I started thinking about starting a blog in 2009 and initially composing some notes, I began to look more closely at where I may have gotten the knack for entertaining and “homemaking” if you may.

Please, I am no Martha Stewart. I do not iron and am not a perfectionist and lord knows,  I make a lot of kitchen and craft mistakes. We won’t even get into my parenting mistakes! Contact via email at [email protected]  Head to Bottom to find Top 10 Blog Posts 

family recipes

I think of my grandmother who was always entertaining at home, simply but inviting whoever she knew was alone for a holiday or meal. She was the only sister of 6 and caretaker of her father, husband and two daughters as well. 
Although she lived in a 6 flat in Chicago you could always expect several tomato plants and basil growing on her back porch.
One year I remember her growing celery off her 2nd-floor porch while staring down onto her concrete back yard that had a canopy of concord grapes growing above.
She was the first person to show me how to sew when I was in middle school, I vividly remember making a pair of floral shorts with pockets! ( I still can’t sew pockets)
You can tell I miss her but I want everyone to be able to find some comfort close to their home and hearts and carry on traditions both old and new.
The reason I started blogging was that I often found myself on the phone with a friend or family member discussing a dinner party menu or birthday party ideas.  After being a stay at home mom for 8 years,  I was also looking for an outlet.
Since starting this blog and getting all the children in school full time, I started substitute teaching and tutoring but I still love to blog. At Staying Close to Home you will find recipes I have subjected my family to, crafts are done with and for the children, entertaining both adults and children, especially around the holidays, various trips we have taken, as well as family-friendly product reviews and giveaways.

Our Travels:

  Now that the kids are older we have found traveling more exciting and we also share some great travel locations we have gone as a family, as a couple and with girlfriends.
Lost Creek Ranch tetons
So grab a cup of coffee and browse for some great ideas to keep you closer to home, without breaking the bank. Our goal is providing other moms with ideas that are both inspiring and attainable.
Connect with Maria by subscribing to her blog, following her on Twitter or liking her on Facebook or Instagram.
I have 3 children, ages 16, 19 and 21, a 2 golden retrievers, a cat and a loving husband living in Richmond, VA Contact via email at [email protected] We are happy to send our media kit.  Close to Home LLC is PR FRIENDLY and will gladly review any family-friendly products.

My Sweet Pets:


Pet Family Shot

Lacey the Cat is about 15 years old.  The sweet Golden is Chloe who passed in Jan 2019.  Now meet our newest golden Tippet born 12/2018.

Meet Julie Stribling:  Our Contributor


The Stribling Family

Julie is a military brat so if you ever want to get into a really long conversation, ask her where she’s from!  In 2016, she and her husband moved from Silicon Valley to Richmond, VA, seeking a simpler life.  They found it and are loving Richmond with their three daughters (ages 10, 8 and 6) and son (age 3).  Julie enjoys reading, yoga, soccer, and when her children nap!

Top 10 Blog Posts

Top 10 Blog Posts

Here are our top 10 Blog Posts

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