The Real Good Life

Does This Sound Like You?

She is focused on her career and family. She makes time to exercise. Well, at least she thinks about exercising. She keeps up with the news. She takes care of her friends. But you know what she really wants? A chocolate brownie, a glass of something indulgent, and some time to veg at the end of the day.

She’s not striving for perfection (anymore). She has finally figured out that perfection is unobtainable and now she just wants to be happy. Unfortunately, what makes her happy may change by the day, so she still takes on more than she can chew.

This woman knows the best way to stay healthy is to cook her own dinner, but “ugh, does she have to?!?” Also, she knows she should bring something to her coworker with the new baby, but she just can’t find time to make a casserole.

Does she write a thank you note to those that donated to her 5k charity run or does she clean the house? Does she get up early to make lunches or spend the time flat ironing her hair? Maybe she’ll just read a good book into the night which leads to sleeping in instead. Oops.

 Hers’ is the REAL good life.

Braise Cooking School SemesterHi! I’m Maggie Joos and I’m living the real good life.

After several years of figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, I realized I keep circling around one topic – food. I went to college at the University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!) to get a hospitality management degree to open a restaurant. Turns out the hours stink. I spent many years in the association world planning events for the benefit of daydreaming over luxurious dinner menus I didn’t have to pay for and a frequent flyer account few twenty-somethings can claim. Unfortunately, these job perks are no fun once a family waits at home. After a few years testing the waters as an entrepreneur in other industries, I think I’ve finally found my home.

The REAL Truth

In between mama duties to my two little ladies, hanging with the best man on the planet, and trying to take enough Zumba classes to combat my sweets intake, I’m here to help you out. When I’m not cooking for my customers, I love to walk to local restaurants here in Shorewood, Wisconsin, buy more produce than I’ll ever use at our farmers markets, and make messes with my daughters in the kitchen or the backyard. I am a contributor for the MKE Moms Blog and an avid reader of the lightest fiction this side of the romance section. (Please don’t judge.)

I call vacuuming once a month a deep house cleaning. Boxed mac and cheese is our lunch at least once every other week. I still don’t get Oprah. Diet Coke is my drug of choice. The smell of coffee is one of my favorites but I’ve never drunk a cup. Yoga and/or a quiet beach is where I go to church. Writing is my therapy. Empire waist dresses are the answer to all my pear-shaped prayers.

At 25, my life goals included being the next Mrs. Fields. Now I’ve realized I don’t want to work that hard. Life is too short to miss out on time with family or the chance to help a friend. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be perfect, so it’s time to let it go. I’ve never put down the pom poms I carried in high school and still am at the ready to cheer on anyone looking to pursue a dream. Do you have one?

How Can I Make Your Life Easier?

In the real good life both time and money are finite resources. You’re doing great, friend, but something has to give on the way to “superwoman-hood”. Our meals provide a cost-effective and convenient option to get dinner on the table or to help out a neighbor with minimal input on your part. Life is too short to be stressed all the time. Go enjoy your family, friends, kids, and (my favorite!) alone time. Be grateful. Let me help.

You have many fires to put out on any given day, so let me take care of dinner. Play with your kids or hit the gym. I’ll take care of planning the menu, grocery shopping,  and meal prep. You know – all the work that happens before the fun can begin. Turns out I work best in the kitchen (and under pressure), so I don’t mind!

While there are many fancy diets and plans out there, I specialize in wholesome, unfussy, and delicious food. I do my best to support organic, local, and seasonal ingredients, but promise to always have a gooey dessert on the menu, too. Yep, I still believe there is a place for flour, sugar, cheese and meat in a well-rounded diet as long as you’re getting your fruits and veggies in there, too.

Special diets and picky eaters can be accommodated. Let’s chat before you place your first order. I’m sure we can make something your head and your heart will love!



Here are the amazing folks that make the magic happen in (and outside of) The Real Good Life Kitchen!

Maggie – Owner and Floor Sweeper

After several years of figuring out what she wanted to be when she grows up, Maggie realized she kept circling around one topic – food. Maggie went to college at the University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!) to get a hospitality management degree to open a restaurant. Turns out the hours stink. She spent many years in the association world planning events for the benefit of daydreaming over luxurious dinner menus she didn’t have to pay for and a frequent flyer account few twenty-somethings can claim. Unfortunately, these job perks are no fun once a family waits at home. After a few years testing the waters as an entrepreneur in other industries, Maggie thinks she’s finally found my home.

Her favorite dinner would be a homemade pepperoni pizza made in a cast-iron skillet, fresh bread with roasted garlic to spread and a French silk pie. Yes, the whole pie. 😉

To Maggie, the real good life is ugly and beautiful, hard and perfect. It’s stressful and it’s amazing. It’s not all great. It’s not all bad. It’s good. It’s real. It’s real good.

FUN FACT: Maggie moved into the house she lives in because it came with a backyard full of fruit trees. That never happens in the middle of the city!

Brooke – Kitchen Manager

Brooke’s passion for food preparation began while working at a resort in northern Wisconsin during her college years.  She started working as a waitress and eventually spent more and more time behind the scenes learning how the food was prepared.  Her favorite part of working in the restaurant kitchen was expediting during meal service or, making sure the ordered food is made correctly and presented beautifully and timely to the customer.  She is curious by nature and there is always something to be learned in a kitchen.  That is part of what she loves so much about cooking, baking, tasting and working with a group of people with all kinds of experience.  Every day she learns something new.

Brooke’s dream meal this year will probably consist of lots of small bites or tapas.  Ideally, an homage to many birthdays ago when she lived in Spain for a semester.  Small cups of red wine or sangria and plates of olives, toast with different savory toppings, altramuces (salted lupins seeds), tortilla espanola, albondigas (meatballs) and finish with some dark chocolates.
To her, the real good life is simple.  Food, family, adventure and a cozy spot to relax.
Brooke comes from a large family.  She has 6 sisters and 3 brothers and is the 5th child of the bunch.  Being around kids and babies is second nature to her which is probably why she loves them so much.

Lindsay – Online Manager

Although Lindsay lives all the way up north in Kelowna, BC, Canada, she crossed paths with Maggie through a Facebook group for creative entrepreneurs. Lindsay had just launched her freelancing online marketing business, Lindsay & Co. and turns out her services were exactly what we needed at The Real Good Life. She is an entrepreneurial spirit who moved from Toronto to her hometown of Kelowna as a newly single mom which prompted her to start freelancing and sharing what many consider to be her “superpower” with other small business owners. Not only is this a job, it’s her passion.

Her favorite meal would have to be something with middle eastern flavors like Moroccan chicken tagine and couscous or flame grilled steak kabob with Afghani rice. But, the dish wouldn’t be complete without a few shakes of hot sauce, harissa being her heat of choice!

Lindsay’s idea of The Real Good Life is easy. It’s living the hygge life with her daughter which includes cozy nights in blogging, dim lighting, board games, tasty food and unlimited hot coffee.

FUN FACT: Lindsay attended university in Washington state and played Division 1 volleyball at Eastern Washington University (Go Eags!). She’s 6’1 and just recently retired from the sport thanks to a torn ACL injury.

Tiffany – Kitchen Genius and Creative Gal

Tiffany’s life in cooking and baking has been a constant evolution of experiences.  Braise culinary semester gave her a base combined with excessive amounts of personal time learning to cook and bake.  Tiffany created and led the Kids Can Cook program during her time employed with Ronald McDonald House Charities. She believes in community and cooking.  Cooking is creation and she never wants to stop creating.

She tells us figuring out her favorite meal is such a hard question! Pasta Carbonara, a seasonal veggie perfectly cooked and salted caramel apple pie made with love is what she finally agreed to.

To Tiffany, the real good life is living every day grateful with a full heart.  For her, that comes with food that nourishes your body and soul.  She wakes up every day excited to think about what she is going to cook for dinner.  That’s the real good life.

FUN FACT: Tiffany did a three-month archaeological excavation in Orvieto, Italy.  It was the hardest thing she has ever done in her life and the thing she is the proudest of.  It also prepared her for the heat of standing by an oven all day!

Sarah – Baking Babe and Kitchen Master

After working at a local cafe in high school and helping her mother with her catering business, Sarah attended Johnson and Wales University and received a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. That brought her to Small Town, Iowa where she baked for a local restaurant for a few years before getting married and having three children. She’s been a stay at home mom for 11 years and finding a job that fits in with that lifestyle was a challenge until she came across The Real Good Life where she cooks for families just like her own.

Sarah tells us that honestly, she would consider anything she doesn’t have to cook (or clean up) herself as the most perfect meal. Though she does prefer making her own birthday dessert because homemade dessert is just better.

Sarah’s definition of “the real good life” is doing what she loves without making compromises that she regrets. She loves being home raising her children, and she loves the flexibility she has to work here. It makes her feel good to know that others can focus on their family and not need to immediately feel the pressure to make a great meal when they get home.

FUN FACT: Sarah loved Clifford books so much as a kid; just the idea of having a dog the size of her house sounded pretty amazing. That translated into having a Great Dane as a pet. She got her first Dane in June of 2017 and she doesn’t think she’ll ever own any other breed of dog.

Matt – Delivery Driver and Resident Dude

Matt graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he had a couple of delivery jobs.  One was a local pizza place in a small town and the other place was a local deli that made pizza, sandwiches, and soup.  He currently works at UPS along with The Real Good Life.  He works in operations early mornings at UPS and then makes the rounds to your doorsteps on Wednesday afternoons.

Matt’s perfect birthday dinner would include a seafood pasta combination.  He enjoys pairing his food with wine or beer.  (Editor’s note – so do we, Matt. So do we!) The flow of separate courses is his favorite part of a special occasion meal although it’s tough to save room for dessert.  He does have an extreme sweet tooth. (Again, us too, Matt!)

To Matt,  the real good life is simply enjoying each part of life.  We work hard to treat ourselves, so we should enjoy these things with our friends and family.

FUN FACT: Matt played ultimate frisbee in college.