7.31.2015

Martha in Hamptons Magazine

Martha is featured on the cover of the new issue of Hamptons Magazine with a full feature interview inside that includes recent photos of her home on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton. In the interview, Martha discusses how she first found the historic 1873 house - the oldest on Lily Pond Lane - and some of the recent changes she has made to the grounds. She also lists her favourite nurseries in the area, some of her favourite activities in the Hamptons and where to find the best local farm stands. Click here to read the full interview and see more photographs. To learn more about Lily Pond Lane, click here.
Martha on the porch at Lily Pond Lane. She is wearing an Armand Diradourian sweater and white leather leggings from Shari's Place in Southampton.
Last summer Martha re-shingled the house and replaced the iconic teal trim colour with a tone called "Carton" from her Martha Stewart collection of paints, giving the house a more monochromatic look. She painted all of the outdoor furniture this colour as well. She also removed many of the climbing roses from the porch and has invested in more trees (such as Japanese maples) and foliage plants for the garden.

7.30.2015

The September Issue

The September issue of Martha Stewart Living will hit newsstands on August 10th, but it has started showing up in subscriber mailboxes, which is exciting. So many fans look forward to the September issue: an issue traditionally devoted to the home and interiors. I love this cover! It's refreshing to have a cover that is not devoted to food for a change. After all, "Living" encompasses so much more than that. I can't wait to receive my copy in the mail and slowly page through its contents.

7.29.2015

Lucinda Scala-Quinn at TED

Full disclosure: I am not really passionate about home cooking. But I am in awe of those who are, and I strive to do my best in the kitchen, as most fans of Martha Stewart do. Both of my grandmothers, my paternal grandfather, my dad, my Aunt Sharron and many of my friends and colleagues have all inspired me to cook for myself, to eat healthily, to get creative in the kitchen and to share what I make with the ones I love. It is the memories I have of those delicious, simple meals they made every single day that often sustain me in the kitchen when I am feeling frustrated or (dare I say?) incompetent. I am not a natural-born cook and it is not an innate passion as it is with some, but I do try and the rewards are always worth it.
Martha Stewart has been a great teacher, too. As has Ina Garten and Nigella Lawson. There is a whole host of popular chefs and cookbook authors that have given me that gentle push to try something new in the kitchen. Lucinda Scala-Quinn, the editorial director of food and entertaining at Martha Stewart Living, an author in her own right, is another inspiration. I love her message. I love her passion for food and home cooking. A few days ago she shared this passion with a vast audience as part of the TED series. It was produced independently of the TED Conferences and was filmed and edited by Tijo Media at the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage in Richmond, VA. I urge you to watch her speech and listen carefully to its message: cooking with family, dining together as a family and even preparing for a meal together can shape a person's outlook on life and can have lasting effects and rewards. Click here to watch it.
I have both of Lucinda's "Mad Hungry" books and both are highly recommended. Feeding Men and Boys and Cravings are designed for the home cook who knows cooking can be fun, interesting, imaginative and rewarding - if at times demanding and challenging in our busy, hectic lives. Each book is filled with recipes that will make your mouth water. More than this, the books impart a very special kind of wisdom about the meaning of food and our relationship to it. Lucinda's next book "Mad Hungry Family: The Essential Recipes" will be out in May, 2016.

7.20.2015

Two New Books from Martha Coming Soon

There are two books on the way that Martha Stewart fans can look forward to. The first is called Martha Stewart's Appetizers and will be released on September 8th. The second is a book about weddings to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. It will be released on December 1. You can pre-order them both at Amazon.com. Find out more about them below.
MARTHA STEWART'S APPETIZERS: 

Hors d’oeuvres made modern: Today’s style of entertaining calls for fuss-free party foods that are easy to make and just as delicious as ever. With more than 200 recipes for tasty pre-dinner bites, substantial small plates, special-occasion finger foods, and quick snacks to enjoy with drinks, Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is the new go-to guide for any type of get-together. It also includes a chapter on cocktails. Clarkson Potter. Hardcover. 256 pages. Order here.


MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS: IDEAS & INSPIRATION

With rich photography, expert voice, and taste-making style, Martha Stewart Weddings—a brand-new volume, the first in nearly two decades—is at once a guide to and inspiration for planning a wedding.

Since the debut of Martha Stewart Weddings in 1995, it has been the premier resource for couples looking to plan and personalize their big day. To coincide with the brand’s 20th anniversary, the magazine’s team of experts has compiled a comprehensive guide to their distinctive way of creating a customized celebration. It’s packed with the original ideas, real-wedding photographs, and tried-and-true advice for which the brand has become known. From the engagement to the day itself, every detail is covered. Readers will learn what goes into making a “Martha” wedding, which includes dreaming up a cohesive theme and color palette, as well as finding a dress and suit, registering for gifts, enjoying showers and bachelor(ette) parties, hiring vendors, choosing the flowers and cake, and orchestrating a sweet send-off for the evening. With 300 full-color photographs, Martha Stewart Weddings will be the most gorgeous and practical wedding book on the market and a keepsake for every bride. Clarkson Potter. Hardover. 272 pages. Order here.

Paper Goods Projects: The New Book by Jodi Levine

I was really excited to hear that Jodi Levine's new crafts book will be out this August! It's called Paper Goods Projects and it's filled with brilliant, imaginative ways to turn everyday paper items into terrific creations. This is the second book by the former editor of Martha Stewart Kids magazine and it's going to be a must-have for anyone interested in paper projects - for kids and adults alike. (Her first book, Candy Aisle Crafts, is also essential.) There are 60 projects in all, perfect for birthday parties, rainy afternoons at home and holidays.
The projects are designed with the supermarket in mind, based on the notion that anything made of paper can be re-purposed and re-imagined into something colourful and fun: coffee filters, cupcake wrappers, paper doilies, cardboard boxes and balloons, to name just a few. The book is organized into four chapters, grouped by the materials:
  1. Coffee Filters & Cupcake Paper
  2. Paper Plates, bags, and Doilies
  3. Balloons
  4. Recycling Bin
The photographs by Amy Gropp Forbes brilliantly illustrate the how-to process for each craft as well as the finished project. Paper Goods Projects will be in bookstores on August 11th, but you can pre-order it at Amazon.com. Visit Jodi's and Amy's website for more information and inspiration: supermakeit.com
Coffee Filter Water Lilies, from the Coffee Filter chapter. So pretty!
The Big Box Town, with interchangeable components, from the Recycling Bin chapter.

7.12.2015

A Special Delivery

I was so delighted on Friday to receive a package from a reader of this blog who has since become a friend of mine. In a kind gesture of generosity and thanks, my friend Kevin sent me some treats from the new Martha Stewart Cafe in Manhattan: a package of Martha's Blend coffee, a tin of Martha's Breakfast Blend tea and a beautiful chambray apron with red straps, emblazoned with the Martha Stewart Cafe logo. I was honoured and humbled to receive such a kind gift. I can now also attest, first hand, to the quality and deliciousness of the items sold at the Martha Stewart Cafe, which is now accepting online orders from anywhere in the United States. If you are contemplating getting anything from this cafe store, I urge you not to hesitate.
The items arrive wrapped in black tissue paper and sealed with a Martha Stewart logo sticker. (I, of course, saved the sticker!)
These were the contents of the package sent to me by my friend, Kevin. The apron is gorgeously made of American chambray and was specially designed for the cafe by Hedley and Bennett of Los Angeles.
This morning I tried the breakfast blend tea: perfection! It is an organic black tea with subtle citrus notes with a wonderful aroma. Its taste is light but not weak (it has a lot of body) and with a little splash of milk it is just perfect. (I used a fancy tea cup for my inaugural tea tasting this morning.) I do not drink coffee on a regular basis so I will save the coffee blend (whole beans) for company.

7.05.2015

Good Thing: Making a Bee Bath

Bees are tireless workers. I would imagine that flying from flower to flower, back to the hive and then back again would work up quite a thirst. Many of us, however, seem to forget that insects need to drink too. Creating a bee bath (or several!)  in your garden is an ideal way to encourage bees to linger a while longer, which could have untold benefits for your garden. (Did you know that bees are responsible for the cross-pollination of nearly 90% of the world's flowers?) When I recently read about this ingenious idea on another blog I felt compelled to share it here. It has all the hallmarks of a garden "Good Thing" and I'm guessing it will resonate well with many Martha Moments readers.
This beautiful bee bath was created by Sally in Australia. She places blossoms amid the stones to encourage the bees to stop by for a sip. Visit her blog Under The Mango Tree for more inspiration.

Creating a bee bath is simple. All you will need is a large ceramic, plastic or galvanized tray and stones of various sizes. Place the tray at ground level and fill it with a shallow amount of water. Place the stones strategically around the tray, to create islands for the bees to land upon to sip the water. (Do not submerge the stones completely). Be sure to replace the water at least every two days to keep mosquito larvae from growing and to prevent stagnation or evaporation. Place the bath in an area where bees tend to frequent.

Bee baths don't just benefit bees. Many beneficial insects will enjoy the access to fresh water. If there is an area of your garden that is infested with aphids or other leaf-sucking pests, placing a bee bath nearby will encourage lady bugs and other predatory insects and arachnids to the area as well. Before you know it, the aphids will have been eaten up.