Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Ultimate in Organized

This organizational arrangement would be the ultimate for any home craft and/or project room!
I found this bit of organizational inspiration at the container store website. I love the look and I do believe I would be able to fill every box and bin within minutes!

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Macy's Commercial

The newest Macy's commercial that includes Martha. This is a great commercial!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's in the Bag

One of the little 'quirky' things in my Martha collection (it is safe to discuss it here, isn't it?): shopping bags. I've been collecting these Martha shopping bags for a while.. some I received at annual meetings and others I've found on eBay. Why do I have these? I don't have a clue. I just like them!

Lemon Pound Cake

One of my favorite spring time taste treats is a lemon pound cake. The recipe is from a Barefoot Contessa cookbook (as Ina would say, "how good is that?").

Each Easter I make several small loaves to give as small Easter gifts to a few friends. (mini loaf pans are a good thing!) Each loaf is glazed with a lemon simple syrup and a lemon glaze (lemon juice and confectioners sugar). They'll make you pucker for sure!

The freshness of the lemon just welcomes spring and reminds you of the warmer days ahead.

Happy Easter

This week, we've welcomed Spring and we celebrate the Easter holiday.
Regardless of any religious affiliation, Easter symbolizes renewal. While some think of renewal during the New Year holiday, Easter has always been a time for personal reflection and making a commitment for a fresh start. Easter opens the door to warmer weather and nature is renewed once again with a fresh burst of color and bloom. With the first glimpse of color in the garden there truly is a sense of renewal. The death and rest of winter gives way to new energy and a new take on daily living.
I've always loved Easter. Not so much for the chocolate bunnies or brightly colored Easter eggs; more so knowing that Easter is the gateway to renewal in the garden.
As much as I love to cook, as much as I love to decorate, as much as I love to indulge in a craft project from time to time, my true love comes from countless hours in the garden. Gardening is hard work without a doubt; but I don't see it as work. It's one task that takes me completely away from my day to day thoughts and transports me to a different place. Feeling the rich soil in my hands, nurturing the emerging stems of a plant and caring for it during its short life cycle is 'therapy' for me. I can have a day from hell and after just a few minutes in the garden, all is right with the world.
My dear, dear friends have shared their baked goods and their crafting creations. It will soon be my turn to share with them my passion... my gardens.
As we celebrate this time of renewal and life I think of my dear friends that are spread throughout the country. Our friendship renews me every single day and inspires me to be the best person I can be.
Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Keeping It Neat

Okay.. so maybe I'm just a little compulsive about keeping things in order.. neatly arranged.. and easily found.

My pal Claudine recently blogged about her clean up and reorganization of her craft room.. this is one wall in mine.. actually, it's not a craft room.. it's a 'project room.' Well.. ACTUALLY it's a very small spare bedroom that was turned into a 'project room.' David refers to it as the 'stuff' room. Please ignore the extremely ugly wallpaper in the background... I just haven't taken the time to take it off the wall! (Thankfully only one wall was done in this 80's extravaganza!) For now, it's a mish mash of cheapo storage shelving pieces and a very old dresser! BUT.. everything is in it's place!

One day.. there will be floor to ceiling shelves, all the storage boxes will match, all labeled with the P-touch, the gross wallpaper will be gone and life will be great!

Faux Bois Wrapping

In keeping with my friend Elaine's theme on faux bois, I decided to wrap a gift that I'm sending out in wonderful faux bois paper and ribbon. I love the look!

Friday, March 14, 2008


In a recent Los Angeles Times interview with Martha Stewart, she hinted that availability of Martha Stewart segments through viewers such as an iPhone will soon be available:

We have a wonderful library of amazing segments, all pretty much evergreen how-to segments. That was my goal when I started out in television. The older show can be broken up in smaller segments that everyone likes to watch on their iPhones, their hand-held device -- if they're in a grocery store and they want to figure out how to make escarole soup, they can dial up "escarole soup." Soon they'll be able to do this. Martha will show them how. That's what it's all about. And ultimately that's where it'll all be going.

Within the same interview, Martha discusses the "On Demand" service and the addition of Time Warner Cable as a provider of Martha Stewart On Demand:

We're very planned out. It's been planned for a very long time. . . . The content will be available as a total show. We're now on video-on-demand on Comcast and soon to be on Time Warner Cable. We're the most popular of the video-on-demand on Comcast in the home and food arena. We have several hundred different segments available now. We're selling a million a month of segments. That's very, very good. Evergreen is the key word!

If this pans out in the near future - I see a new iPod will be in order! I'll want to store as many segments as possible!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

At the recent Bank of America Consumer Conference, Susan Lyne, President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia gave the first real hints that the relationship with Kmart will likely dissolve at the end of the existing contract in 2010. "Right now we do not believe Kmart is out likely partner going forward..." said Lyne. “However, as of January 2010 we can be in any other mass retailer,” and the company is free to pursue new deals now, she added.
While Susan Lyne did not hint at any current contract discussions, a logical quality choice of retailer would be Target. In discussing desirable conditions for a new mass market partner, “What is important for us is to be with someone who is investing in their business,” she said.
Target, known for it's reasonable prices, quality merchandise, and ever growing number of stores would be a perfect fit for a line of Martha items. From what I see, a Target shopper would more likely be a Martha shopper. It would seem that this would be the best choice of outstanding mass market retailers.
When questioned about the size of another mass market line, Susan Lyne did caution against expecting another Kmart-sized contract, which spans multiple product categories and in its heyday approached $1 billion in annual sales.
Since the company is now free to search out and negotiate other contracts, I would suspect that we would hear an announcement by the years end or the early part of 2009.
Target and Martha? That would make me a very happy guy!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wall Quotes

This morning, we ventured just two miles from home to a new, huge, Target store. First things first, this particular Target was beautiful! Now, if only Martha would hook up with Target, I'd be in heaven! Okay.. back to my Target find...

While browsing the aisle, I found something called "Wall Quotes." There are several different quotes to choose from (most of them were a bit too sappy for me..). These quotes are removable vinyl transfer letters that are already laid out and ready to be applied to your wall. All you have to do is position, rub with the included tool and peel off the paper!

I remembered seeing something similar during the holidays on one of the HGTV holiday specials and liking the idea. For less than $20.00 I could give it a try!

As you enter the house, there is a small portion of wall that we had placed a wire card holder we found at Ikea. (actually, I think it's for very light curtains... but we used it to display some of our holiday cards, and I've used it for a shopping bag display) I thought I would just hang a few pictures with the quote above. I may end up just framing pictures in a nice arrangement instead.. we'll see how it works!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

On Sale March 11th!

(This review is reprinted from

As she's done with wedding cakes, Christmas tree ornaments, and holiday wreaths, Martha Stewart has cornered the market in cookies. We could rebel and select the more folksy cookie cookbooks, but I say grin, bear it, and get the butter and eggs ready at room temperature.

This is one of the Martha Stewart empire's most appealing tomes. With 175 cookie recipes and a picture next to each, the book also includes hints on packing cookies, decorating cookies and choosing useful tools and essential equipment to get you started, as well as 11 pages featuring each and every biscuit pictured side by side to help you choose, whether it's light and delicate, crumbly and sandy, or rich and dense cookies that suit your fancy.
Like with all MSL books, this one offers gorgeous pictures, detailed instructions, educational head notes, and recipes suited to both the beginner and advanced bakers.

Anyone who subscribes to Stewart's magazine or watches her program is sure to have tasted several of these recipes before, yet there are enough new entries here to keep even the die-hard fans happy.

The test: Favourites include the rich and chewy Grammy's chocolate cookies, the coconut cookies with passion-fruit curd (delish!), the delicate tuile leaves, the fussy fortune cookies, and the spicy chocolate black pepper cookies. The iced hermits studded with candied ginger are worth the price of the book alone.

Who this book is for: Everyone! Even if you don't like to bake, chances are you make cookies. And as homemade cookies are always better than store-bought, cookie baking is one pastime everyone should adopt.

Spring Forward

As our neighbors just to the south and to the east are getting hammered by yet another winter storm, I've been planning a dinner menu for a "Spring Forward" dinner. The power of positive thinking...

If you drive south for an hour you will find yourself in the thick of this winter blast. That's a bit too close for comfort! While they originally predicted we would get up to 12" of snow, the storm decided to move a bit further east (thank you, Mother Nature!).

To celebrate our 'spring forward' time change and our slow creep into Spring, we will be entertaining a few friends this evening with a spring dinner menu:

It may still be cold outside - but Spring will be present during dinner! Sometimes it's good to celebrate the small things in life...

Don't forget to set your clocks forward - unless you live in Arizona.. you'll stay right where you are!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Walking Listening Down Memory Lane

Yesterday at work several of us were talking about the 'classic' television and radio days growing up in the Detroit area. The television airwaves were filled with local programming and there was one radio station that dominated.. AM 800.. CKLW.

CKLW was a powerhouse top 40 radio station. Based just across the river in Windsor, Ontario CKLW could be heard (on a clear night) in 28 states throughout the United States and through most of eastern Canada. Not only was CKLW known for it's top 40 format, it was one of the first stations to specifically gear it's programming to the 'hits of the hits' in music for the time.

Keeping pace with the 1960's, CKLW was loud. It was fast. It was what you listened to if you were young, hip, and ready to rock and roll! Transistor radios (yes, they really existed), car radios, and home radios were tuned to CKLW to hear the lastest and the greatest from the Beatles, the Supremes, Dave Clark Five, and countless other hit makers. It was the dominate force in radio.

The discussion about CKLW prompted me to do a Google search. I was amazed to find something on You Tube that took me back all those years. As I was listening, suddenly I was transported to such a simple time... the fabulous 60's and 70's. Childhood memories were flooding my thoughts, remembering when....

Back then, Detroit was on Central time, not Eastern time. Even though CKLW was in Windsor, literally just across the river, it was an hour ahead of us. Things have changed and Detroit and Windsor are now in the same Eastern time zone.

Even though I was just a wee lad in the 1960's this brought back such vivid memories!