Hi. I’m The Faux Martha.

about the faux martha

But first I’m Melissa. I’m a designer, home cook, baker, dishwasher, wife, mother, friend, cozy minimalist, author, simplicity chaser, and a believer in ordinary magic.

The Faux Martha is a cozy minimal blog concentrated on designing beautiful, simple solutions for the everyday—from dinner time to the dining room. This space is heavily influenced by my other half and husband, Kevin (Kev), a child psychologist, my 6-year-old daughter, Hallie (Hal), our newest member, Linden (Linnie). We live in Minneapolis at The Fauxhouse and recently restored a chalet-frame cabin called The Minne Stuga. Come stay! You’ll find posts on recipes, our home, minimalism, design, conversations, and motherhood. Where life stops and dinner starts is a bit blurry.

Who is The Faux Martha? It’s you. It’s me. It’s anyone who finds themselves dabbling in dinnertime, hosting, decorating a home, filling a pantry, or cleaning a bathroom. You know, the unassuming, everyday tasks that add up to life. You don’t want to just do them. You want to do them well, beautifully, sustainably, without losing your mind (or identity) along the way. Maybe you feel like a fraud most days, like a faux, like me. Standing at the counter, praying the homemade rolls rise. Standing at the couch, hoping the final-sale pillow looks as good as you had imagined in your head. Standing at the mirror, hoping no one realizes you’re learning as you go, making lots of mistakes, with grey hair to show for it.

About my design philosophy

I prefer simplicity to chaos. In fact, I need it. My brain wiring is naturally chaotic. So is life. For that reason, I lean on minimalism as a tool in my toolbox to make the everyday more doable. This tool touches everything from the way I design a recipe, to the way I decorate my home, to the way I work, and schedule my calendar, too. Negative and white space—I love it; I need it.  Where minimalism starts and stops in this space is a bit unpredictable. Let it be.

About the food

These are the recipes that dress our table week in and week out. During the week we make quick minimal dinners, mostly plant-based. But when a craving for hamburgers or chicken fajitas hit, we jump on it. By weekend we bake the slow and classic way. I’m a purist at heart. Butter, cream, milk, eggs, and flour (especially wheat) all have a place in my kitchen. I prefer a handful of tried and true recipes that I can change up from season to season, which is what you’ll find here. Aside from my deep love of food, I love its reminder to stop everything and gather. Can you hear it?

About my cookbook

The Minimalist Kitchen: 100 Wholesome Recipes, Essential Tools, and Efficient Techniques published in April 2018. It’s a deep reflection of this space. You can read more about the book in detail here.

History of The Faux Martha

A lot of years ago, I went against everything I learned in marketing class and named my blog after an existing brand—Martha Stewart. My grandma called me Martha in high school and college for my many domestic interests. I also watched taped episodes of Martha Stewart while working out. You know, doing what the cool kids were doing. The name seemed fitting, so I bought the URL, and now we’re married for better or worse.

I started this space at the end of 2008 to document life after moving away from my Texas family. It quickly turned into a food blog. I’d spend hours on the weekend in my tiny Chicago kitchen, as a graphic designer by day, as the wife of an always studying husband in graduate school, cooking the weekend away, learning to cook. Four years in Chicago, two in New Haven, and now we live indefinitely in Minneapolis, a city I’ve fallen in love with. We built a home here, which has also become a large part of this space. You can follow along as we slowly decorate The Fauxhouse, our minimal city farmhouse. We recently restored a cabin—for you, for me. You can follow The Minne Stuga posts here.

Thank you for your presence here. I hope you come hungry and leave full.


Blogging is my hobby turned job, but still very much a hobby. I love this space. To splice together a living, I partner exclusively with a small handful of brands that we naturally use—the ones in our pantry and around our house. These are brands that feel like a part of our family. If you’d like to work with The Faux Martha, please contact us. You’ll also see some affiliate links within posts and ads around the site. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me, that allow me to do work that I love, that continue to make this website a free resource.

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