Friday, October 29, 2010

New Holiday Issue and Cookie App for iPad

You know the holiday season is about to begin when the Martha Stewart Holiday special issue hits the newsstands. This year, it's all about cookies once again. 

This beautifully designed issue provides great cookie inspiration for every baker, from novice to expert.  With 101 recipes to choose from, there will be something for everyone this holiday season. 

Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies is divided into specific cookie loving categories:  for Traditionalists; Trendsetters; Those far away; those near & dear; Little ones; Grown-ups; Health-conscious; and Hedonists.  There are returning favorites as well as new recipes that are sure to become part of a new holiday tradition. 

This special holiday issue release (on newsstands, Monday, November 1st) coincides with the release of the new iPad app "Martha Stewart Makes Cookies" slated for release on the same day.  Martha Stewart Makes Cookies, will feature more than 50 recipes, ranging from classic shortbread to chocolate-chestnut meringues, and will present them on a nicely rendered "cookie runway" that allows for easy perusing.

The $8 app will include a number of features to help you on your path toward cookie baking expertise, including video tutorials, built-in cooking timers, shopping lists that can be e-mailed from the app, and a glossary of baking tools.  It sounds like a very good thing.  I'll be test driving the app on Monday and will be sure to share my thoughts. 

Happy start to the holidays!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Martha Stewart Holiday Special

Martha Stewart will be hosting a holiday open house this season with her brand new holiday special, "Martha Stewart's Holiday Open House" on the Hallmark Channel. 

Martha Stewart has been inspiring us to make our holidays both beautiful and meaningful for almost 30 years. In this holiday special, Martha opens her Maple Avenue home to demonstrate unique Christmas craft, culinary and decorating ideas. Throughout the hour Martha enlists the help of some celebrity friends such as Jennifer Garner and Claire Danes to help create edible gifts, decorate her home and prepare for her holiday open house.  Air dates are yet to be announced. 

A seasonal 'must' is the original Martha Stewart holiday prime time special that aired on CBS in 1995.  "Martha Stewart's Home for the Holidays"  is the quintessential Martha special and one I watch year after year.  I never tire of this classic holiday how-to special.  Thankfully, I copied my old worn out VHS tape to DVD a couple years ago!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

So What's All This #EarlyRisers Thing About?

Most recently, I've been asked by several friends who follow me on Twitter, what all tweets are about with the hashtag #EarlyRisers. 

Our local ABC-TV affiliate WXYZ-TV has opened the doors to social media with the various newscasts throughout the day.  For those of us that wake early and watch the 5-7 a.m. news, it's the #EarlyRisers.  The 5, 6, 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts are the #backchannel and #7at7. 

The interaction with the anchors and producers while they are on the air has given new life to the news.  Instead of watching "the people in the box" talk to us, we can now talk to them, in near real time.  Nearly every anchor, meteorologist, and traffic reporter is on Twitter.  The true leader of the social media anchor pack is our evening anchor, Stephen Clark, who created the #backchannel.  You can read about the creation and evolution of the #backchannel on Stephen's blog

Because of my schedule, I've always been an early riser.  I start each day with my favorite morning coffee, the 5 a.m. Action News, and my computer.  It's my time to check email, check the various blogs/websites I watch closely, and to catch up with Twitter friends as the coffee runs through my veins to jump start my day.

Twitter has afforded David and I the opportunity to not only communicate with our favorite news team, but to become friends.  Here is a short video from our pals, the morning news team,  after one of their morning broadcasts.    Meet Vic Faust, Anchor; Alicia Smith, anchor; Erin Nicole, Traffic Reporter; and Keenan Smith, Meteorologist.  How can you not love these people?!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New at the Beekman 1802 Mercantile

The Beekman 1802 Mercantile has been one of my favorite places to shop since the online store began a couple years ago.  When a trip to Sharon Springs, New York to visit the Mercantile in person isn't possible, the online store brings the best of the Beekman directly to your door. 

Josh and Brent are always looking for and creating new products.  Here are a few of our favorite new products:

Beekman Basics:

Friends, fans, and followers of the hit television show "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" and Beekman 1802 will love the new Beekman Basics line of high quality accessories that allow you to show your Beekman pride. 

The Beekman Basics long sleeve T, honors the namesake of the Beekman Farm, William Beekman.  Available in two colors (sage, shown above and natural, shown below), this is the perfect shirt to wear out and about or while doing your chores.  Durable and soft, this shirt will become a favorite, like a pair of well worn jeans! (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)

There's no reason you can't be eco-friendly and chic at the same time, right?  The Beekman 1802 Carry-it-all Tote is made of recycled cotton canvas and generously sized.  The flat square bottom provides you maximum space for all of your essentials.  (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)

The Beekman 1802 Do-It-All Apron is an essential you'll want to have.  Made of a sturdy weight cotton, this apron will keep you well protected no matter what you're doing.  The apron coverage area is adjustable. (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)  

Seasonal Goat Milk Soaps

Shhh... don't tell Brent, but on our visit to the Beekman Farm last spring, I could hardly keep my nose out of the scented oils that represent the four seasons.  Each scent perfectly captures the season and I'm thrilled to see these four new soaps. 

Imagine jumping into a pile of fallen leaves.  Walk through the kitchen at the farm and smell the seasonal spices of a fresh baked pumpkin spice cake.  Cozy up to the first fire in the fireplace.  The Autumn season is full of these wonderful scents and are perfectly captured in this beautifully created seasonal soap. (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)  

Whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens.. these are a few of my favorite things.  Some may think that winter is void of scent (short of the holiday season) but I have to disagree.  One whiff of this beautiful scent will take you back to the first time you jumped into a snow drift or made a snow angel.  (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)

The blades of the first green grass, the warming spring breezes, and the first blossoms of spring all come to life in this wonderful scent that reminds you of the new beginnings the season brings.  Crisp, clean, and natural, spring is always a favorite.  (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)

When you walk through the garden during the summer months it's easy to go into sensory overload!  The summer scent captures the best of the summer and will easily take you back to a time when living is easy.  Transport yourself to those lazy, hazy days of summer every morning when you start your day.  (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)

Indulge yourself with a milk shake.  No, not the kind you find at your favorite soda shoppe; but with a milkshake bath soak.  For those days when you just want to pamper yourself, whip up a Beekman 1802 Milk Shake, add it to your bath, and relax.  Made of pure dehydrated goat milk and mineral salts, the Beekman 1802 Milk Shake is available in any of the seasonal scents.  You'll feel "pretty like you mean it" after enjoying one of these shakes.  (photo courtesy of Beekman 1802)

As we begin thinking about the holiday season ahead, we can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy a brown paper package tied up with string, from the Beekman 1802 Mercantile.  You can visit the Mercantile if you're in Sharon Springs or you can order online.  See the complete line of products by clicking here.

Martha Stewart Crafts: Holiday 2010

Martha Stewart Crafts continues to grow with the release of the 2010 holiday line; the largest holiday craft line yet. 

With 150+ crafting and food packaging products to choose from, all crafters and bakers are sure to find products perfect for their holiday projects. Here is a peek at the wide variety of holiday food packaging boxes for this year with some returning favorites as well as all new designs; 

Snowflake Compartment Box $14.99

Candy Cane Matchbox Box $14.99

Candy Cane Compartment Box w/ Window $14.99

Snowflake Treat Boxes $14.99

Elegant Matchbox  $14.99
Scandinavian Tree Compartment Box $14.99

Scandinavian Treat Box $16.99

Scandinavian Treat Boxes $7.99

Winter Wonderland Treat Boxes $14.99

Winter Wonderland Compartment Treat Boxes w/ Window $14.99

Snowglobe Treat Boxes $9.99

Snowflake Doily Treat Boxes $9.99

There are so many products to choose from! You can view the entire line here

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Martha Helps Bring Kids into the Kitchen

I was very happy to see the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's offer these great cooking sets designed for kids. 

What kid doesn't love pizza?  Here's a chance for them to make one right along with Mom or Dad.

We know how Martha loves to bake - so why shouldn't kids learn the same valuable skills?

Time with Mom or Dad in the kitchen can be valuable learning time with this great mix and measure set.

It's fashion first in the kitchen!  This adorable "Mommy and Me" apron set is perfect when time together is in the kitchen. 

All of the kids cooking sets are available on or visit your local Macy's store. 

Ladybug Cupcakes

When my dear friend Katy asked me if I would make cupcakes for her daughters first birthday party, I quickly said, "yes!"  Little did I know that she had ladybugs on her mind for the cupcake decor! 

The cupcakes were made in over sized muffin pans.  A delicious white cake filled the liners to the brim and laid the foundation for a coating of red/orange butter cream icing for the body of the ladybug. 

Everything about these little bugs is edible, right down to the little antenna's made from small slices of Twizzlers.  I hope these adorable little bugs are enjoyed by all the guests! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Martha Stewart: One Smart Cookie

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will release its first app for the iPad on November 1. 

"Martha Stewart Makes Cookies" will feature over 50 of the best cookie recipes with full color photos, step-by-step directions, shopping lists and more. 

Specific details and screen shots from the app are not yet available.  Martha did demonstrate the new app during the cookies and milk party at the Food Network Food and Wine Festival. 

The release of this first app specific to the iPad coincides with the release of the new holiday cookie special issue also slated for release on November 1.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall at Our Home

The colors of autumn are truly starting to come alive here at our home.  These photos were taken just this morning:

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Cookie Issue Arrives November 1

A new Martha Stewart Holiday:  Cookies special issue will be hitting the newsstand shelves on November 1st. This will be the third special cookies issue under the holiday magazine title. 

No cover art is currently available.

November Living Arrives

It seems like the fourth quarter issues of Martha Stewart Living are arriving at a fast pace.  The November issue was on my doorstep this afternoon.  I've always considered the November issue to be the kick-off to the holiday season and it never disappoints me. 

The beautiful issue (again, noticeably thicker than issues earlier in the year!) is full of wonderful articles that will not only inspire your homemade Thanksgiving; but serve as 'comfort reading' as the weather begins to cool down and we spend more time inside. 

Here's a little bit of what you'll find in this issue:

Breakfast for a Bunch:  Just plan ahead and scale up with crowd-ready dishes like baked french toast or a delicious yogurt parfait with granola, raspberries and candied ginger. 

Welcome All:  Make extra room for family and friends this holiday season with affordable accessories and MSL's simple strategies so more can be merrier!

Harvest Pies:  Refined or rustic, make the most out of the season's apples, pears, and quinces with delicious recipes for Thanksgiving desserts.  With two recipes for every fruit, there are twice as many ways to indulge in fall's sweetest flavors. 

Branching Out:  Remake the traditional family tree.  Try celebrating your heritage with one of the six striking ideas found within the pages of this issue.  Photos, silhouettes, and even baby spoons result in displays as original as your relatives!

A nice touch for the month of November is a special pet section.  Flip the magazine over and you'll find another full cover with Martha's Chow, GK grinning at you.  MSL devotes a special section of the magazine to man's best friend, including good things and great finds for the dog in your life, along with party ideas for your pets, cozy collars, leashes and beds.  Plus, pet questions are answered by Marc Marrone in "Ask the PetKeeper."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Product: Martha Wrap

Update:  This post was updated on Thursday, 10/7

Martha Stewart is doing a soft launch of a new grocery product, "Martha Wrap," a parchment lined aluminum foil. 

Martha has always demonstrated using parchment under a tent of aluminum foil to prevent the transfer of any metallic taste onto food.  This product combines the insulation of foil with the nonstick protection of parchment in one easy to use roll. 

Used for roasting,  baking and steaming, this product is oven safe up to 420 degrees and is also freezer safe.  Martha Wrap is thicker and up to five times stronger than regular foil which makes it resistant to tears. 

Martha Wrap is currently only available at Safeway stores at a price point of $4.99 per 40 ft roll. 

I think this is a great product idea and hope that wider distribution will be available later this year or early in 2011.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Holidays at Home Depot

My dear friend, Elaine was shopping in her local Home Depot and came across  a nice selection of holiday decor from Martha Stewart Living.  Ornaments, trees, wreaths, lights and more will be available this year. 
She was ready with her camera when she ran across the collection.  Take a look at what she found:

It's nice to see Martha Stewart Living holiday available once again!

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Call to Action

As a member of the Human Rights Campaign, I receive weekly partner emails from HRC's President, Joe Solmonese.  This was his letter this week: 

This was a tragic week for our community. In a chilling reminder of how difficult life can be for LGBT teenagers, we learned of a number of bullying and harassment-related suicides across the country. Over the course of just the past few weeks, four teenagers have taken their own lives because of ruthless tormenting based on their real or perceived sexual orientation. Among them are: 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University who took his own life after his roommate and a friend secretly recorded him in his dorm room with another man and broadcast it on the internet. Friends and family remember him as a talented violin player who they thought would have a full and rewarding life. We also recently heard about Seth Walsh, 13, who liked fashion and talking with his friends on the phone; Asher Brown of Texas, also 13, who was only in 8th grade; and Billy Lucas of Indiana, 15, who was not out as being gay, but was perceived as gay by many of his classmates. And these are just four of the many kids taking their own lives. In just the past year, seven students in one Minnesota school district took their own lives, including 3 gay teens.

Studies consistently show that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students are more likely to attempt suicide and face violence at school than are their heterosexual peers. In fact, in 2009, The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network surveyed 7,261 middle and high school students and found that at school nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school in the past year and nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Studies also show that young people having just one supportive adult in their life are more likely to thrive. It is our responsibility to make sure that the most vulnerable among our youth know that they have someone to talk to and someone who respects them for who they are. The deaths of these students are tragic because they did not have to be. Each of these young people was full of potential.

My friends, we have a crisis on our hands. We don't have the luxury of time to act. We must do something before another child takes his or her life. This week we called on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to speak out immediately and to push every school in the nation to implement anti-bullying policies inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. We also call on Congress to pass key legislation that would work to address this issue including the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA, H.R. 4530, S. 3390) introduced by Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado and Senator Al Franken of Minnesota and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA, H.R. 2262. S. 3739) introduced by Representative Linda Sanchez of California and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. The SNDA prohibits any school program or activity receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating or ignoring harassing behavior against any public school student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The SSIA requires that schools and districts receiving federal funds adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Both bills would ensure that schools would have a responsibility to ensure that proactive steps are being taken in order to prevent discrimination, including bullying and harassment, against students based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The recent teen suicides are not a new problem. Sadly, this has been going on for decades. Fortunately, there are resources out there for those in crisis. The Trevor Project and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are available 24-hours a day for those in need. Additionally, our Religion and Faith Program has provided resources and called on clergy and other faith leaders around the country to write and speak about this week in connection with both their Sabbath observances and the lead-up to National Coming Out Day.

HRC is committed to making our schools safe places. Our Welcoming Schools program provides a model of best practices for elementary schools in order to teach children respect and tolerance early on to prevent violence later in middle and high schools. Please help pass the word on about this program to anyone you know involved with an elementary school. It could save a child's life.

To learn more about the Human Rights Campaign and the important work that is underway, please visit their website at