How To Home Encourages Couples To Bond Through Cooking

Women's Dating

The How-To Home Blog Encourages Couples to Share Smiles Through Cooking and Crafts

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

The Short Version: Sometimes, the simple act of cooking dinner or making a craft with that special someone can bring you closer together. Mary Beth Sharkey created The How-To Home to help people embrace those little moments that can add up to a rich, fulfilling life. The site shares recipes, crafts, and other ideas to spark creativity and bring more smiles into homes. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in life, and Mary Beth provides a way to balance that stress with activities that can produce joy.

As the practically perfect Mary Poppins once said, “Sometimes, a little thing can be quite important.”

Mary Beth Sharkey, founder of The How-To Home, wholeheartedly agrees with that sentiment. That’s why her website showcases activities that, while simple, can make life more fun and satisfying.

The How-To Home blog logo

The How-To Home offers simple recipes and activities that help readers feel more joyful.

From easy-to-prepare recipes to crafts that can be completed in less than a day, Mary Beth’s ideas are designed to bring smiles to the faces of her followers.

“For most people, life is not perfect, and it’s not everything it appears to be on the outside,” she told us. “I really want to encourage people, because encouragement is such a necessity in life. The little things matter, and that’s true with everything.”

Mary Beth said, for example, that while a couple may consider making a craft or dinner together a small feat, it can actually create a foundation for bigger things in life that truly matter. She’s just giving them a head start.

In addition to discussing recipes and crafts, Mary Beth shares tips for cleaning and organizing — two keys to maintaining a warm, welcoming, and love-filled home, she said.

The site itself is also well-organized, so it’s easy to find an activity for a particular holiday, event, or meal. Mary Beth draws inspiration from her own life as well as that of readers.

“Time is so valuable, and I like things that are tangible and achievable. On the internet, you can get involved in everything that your life isn’t,” she said. “I wanted to share things about what your life can be. I want people to know that they’re more than enough and more than adequate.”

Mary Beth Founded the Site to Support Creativity

Mary Beth said she started The How-To Home because she was living a lifestyle that included no time for creativity or fun. As a single mom who worked all the time, she was exhausted and struggled to find joy.

“I was working 60 to 80 hours a week at two to three jobs at a time. I found that so much of my creativity was lost. It was gone, and I had no idea how to get it back,” she said.

She started the blog to help herself smile — and to share smiles with others.

Photo of The How-To Home Founder, Mary Beth Sharkey

Mary Beth Sharkey started The How-To Home because she felt overwhelmed with work and needed a creative outlet.

“I started it to find my groove and my creative self again, even though I was still working a lot,” Mary Beth said. “I wanted to share things that weren’t overwhelming, things they could do if they felt their lives were missing an inner desire to create.”

Plus, she figured she wasn’t the only person who didn’t have a mother to call and ask how to use an ingredient in a recipe or how to organize a room in her home. Mary Beth lost her mother when she was a young mom herself, but she said she remembers and appreciates everything her mother did to maintain a happy home.

“When you’re younger, you don’t realize all that your mom did. My mom worked for IBM, but she stopped when she was preparing to have me. I didn’t realize what she had given up and all the hard work that went into keeping such a nice home,” Mary Beth said. “Now, when I think ‘What do I do?’ I think about what I saw her doing.”

She also spent a lot of time figuring out how to overcome her own loneliness and life’s challenges. Mary Beth said she decided to focus her energy on not just making magic in her own home but also encouraging others.

“I remember having an aha moment the first time I saw Martha Stewart. It sparked a love of cooking in me,” she said. “Then I went to magazines, books, and the web. I’m always looking for more inspiration.”

Valentine’s Day Projects Allow You to Connect With Your Partner

Couples can try out plenty of projects from The How-To Home to spend time together, Mary Beth said. She even has an entire section devoted to ideas for Valentine’s Day — among other holidays.

Mary Beth encourages couples to connect through cooking. Her current favorite recipes are Chicken Teriyaki and Chocolate Lava Cake. Most of her recipes are designed to easily be adjusted, so couples can make two servings instead of four. However, she said, larger recipes often make for a pretty delicious lunch the next day.

“You can each bring something to the table, so to speak, as in your different tastes. For example, if someone likes spicy and you don’t, you can come to a middle ground. That’s a great way to learn to compromise,” Mary Beth said. “When you cook together, it’s just fun. You’re both in the kitchen, and you can have a deep conversation while you’re doing it.”

Screenshot of The How-To Home Valentine's Day dessert section

Couples can dive into the blog’s Valentine’s Day section to find romantic desserts meant to share.

Beyond experimenting with recipes and crafts, Mary Beth said there’s something valuable about spending time with another person without the television being on.

“Crafts and projects, many of which I’ve done myself, are simple and meant to take just an hour or two. It’s a cute way to add that romance to your house for the day,” she said.

The How-To Home Strives to Share Inspiration

Mary Beth said she likes to focus on doing the little things in life that lead to deeper connections and lasting happiness, and that mission is reaffirmed each time she gets to know how she affects the lives of her readers.

“They’re often shocked when I respond, but I love to get their emails,” she said. “They ask for advice and ideas, and it’s a nice way to build a relationship. It means a lot to me, and it makes a difference on the site.”

Most people visit The How-To Home looking for projects and recipes that aren’t overwhelming and can be done in a few hours. Looking toward the future, Mary Beth is planning to create more mini-manuals on homemaking to teach people that it doesn’t take a backbreaking amount of effort to build a loving home.

“I want to help encourage and guide people,” she said. “When you’re going through something difficult, you often don’t realize that everything you learn can be used to encourage someone else. It can make a difference in other people’s lives.”

Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.