Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Best of Martha Stewart Living: Holiday Handbook

If there's one thing that traditionally signals the start of the holiday season, it's when the special holiday issue from Martha Stewart Living hits the newsstands.  Yesterday, my friend Elaine emailed and told me she found the issue at Costco.  Today, I found it at Target.  The official newsstand date is Tuesday, November 1st. 

This year, the holiday issue is a little different than in years past. The introductory letter on page one describes the publication as a 'bookazine' which is fitting, given the high gloss sturdy cover and higher quality paper for the pages.   This issue, titled, "The Best of Martha Stewart Living Holiday Handbook" brands itself as a collector's edition, and I have to agree.  Anyone who enjoys the Martha Stewart way of Living will want to add this to their stack of "keepable" magazines (sorry.. 'bookazines'). 

As the title indicates, this is a "best of" issue, with some of the holiday best from the last 20 years of Martha Stewart Living magazine.  From holiday spirits (in terms of cocktails) to keep your guests merry, to classic Martha decorating ideas for the home, trees, and more, this issue is a fine holiday resource and truly is a handbook of how-to inspiration. 

MSLO has another special issue in the works; the 20th Anniversary special issue of Martha Stewart Living.  While not much has been said about the issue, it is due by the end of the year.  I would anticipate it to be available for the holidays (a nice stocking stuffer for the Martha-ite in your life).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beekman Book Signing to Benefit Wisconsin Church

Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge will be heading to Wisconsin November 19 and 20 to attend a special dinner in their honor, and sign copies of their popular new cookbook, “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.”

The dinner and book signing events will help support community outreach programs and the operations budget of Saint Boniface Episcopal Church in the city of Mequon, where Dave and Jackie Purcell (the parents of Josh) have been members for over a decade.

Parish Rector, Father Kenny Miller, met Josh and Brent for the first time last December.“ We immediately had an entrepreneurial connection, “ said Fr. Kenny. “Much of Josh and Brent’s business model, and who they are as people, translates well to how we in the church try to reach out to people in the communities.” Fr. Kenny found the two season run of “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” impacted him as a person and as a priest. “If you genuinely try to share your story or in the church’s case, God’s story, with the people you cross paths with and you are authentic in your care and love for those around you, you by an unconscious choice, share love, God’s love and draw others closer to you and to God.”

Father Kenny hopes the events will raise awareness about Saint Boniface. “it is my hope that with God’s grace and their [Josh and Brent]help, more people will discover the great secret of Mequon: Saint Boniface Episcopal Church. We are a welcoming, open community that welcomes all of God’s children, just as you are.”

“All are welcome, all have a place, all have a name.” Wonderful words for the LGBT people everywhere who often feel a spiritual disconnect with a church community because of ‘who they are.’

Josh, an Episcopalian, has attended St Boniface in the past and is looking forward to returning. “Saint Boniface is a welcoming environment to all persons, of all faiths and beliefs, and has built a very vibrant community,” Kilmer-Purcell says. “They perform valuable community services, and Brent and I are thrilled to help them raise funds in any way that we’re able.”

Brent, Fr. Kenny Miller and Josh

Event Details:

Saturday, November 19, 2011, 7:00 PM:

Space at the $100 a plate dinner is by reservation only, with every plate also receiving a signed copy of the “Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” and a complimentary package of the original Beekman 1802 Goat Milk Soap. There will also be three silent auctions of an array of Beekman 1802 products, some of which are exclusive only to the Beekman 1802 Mercantile, located in Sharon Springs. This event is open to parishioners and the public. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance. Please contact the Saint Boniface Church office Monday thru Thursday, 9 am – 2 pm to make your reservation. 262-242-2994 The dinner event will be held at the church. Copies of the best-selling book, “The Bucolic Plague” by Josh Kilmer Purcell will also be available for sale and signing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM:

Following the 10:00 Christ the King Sunday Service, Josh and Brent will sign copies of the “Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” in the Narthex from 11:30 – noon. This time is reserved for parishioners only. From 12 noon to 2 PM, the book signing will be open to the public. Several groups of Beekman 1802 products will also be on display and will be offered as raffle prizes. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

While David and I are unable to attend this specific event, we are planning a visit soon to see Jackie and Dave as well as attend services at Saint Boniface. We are both excited to meet Father Kenny and experience for ourselves the “all are welcome” spirit. We hope you will do the same.

“All are welcome.” Words of hope. Words of love.
For more information on Saint Boniface Episcopal Church, click HERE to visit the website

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Martha Stewart Then and Now - Entertaining

In 1982, Martha Stewart became a household name with her first book, "Entertaining."  Today, Martha makes her mark once again with the publication of her newest book, "Martha's Entertaining, a year of Celebrations." 

For those that love 'classic' Martha - this book is for you.  THIS is the Martha Stewart we grew to appreciate all those years ago. 

Martha's Entertaining is not a rewrite of the original Entertaining book; rather, it's an updated look at entertaining with classic, breathtaking elegance. Martha opens her homes for her readers as she shares a very intimate and personal look at entertaining throughout the year. 

Beautifully written and beautifully photographed, this book is sure to be the new classic standard. 

I was pleased to hear from my friends at Barnes and Noble - they sold almost all their inventory in just a few hours.  This book is sure to be on it's way to the best seller list!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

A genius.  A great man.  A visionary. 
Rest in Peace.
Steve Jobs

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Building Walls

 Saturday, October 1st, David and I participated in our first volunteer adventure with Habitat for Humanity - Detroit.  The event, coordinated by our ABC affiliate in Detroit, WXYZ - Channel 7 and Habitat was called the Build up. 

In January, Channel 7 launched an incredible program called "Detroit 2020."  This program is designed to UNIFY the community for the common good,INSPIRE the community to serve in their own way to help Detroit make a comeback, and ACT - encouraging the citizens of Detroit and the surrounding region to get involved in making positive change for the city.  This multi-year program looks at where we've been, where we currently are, and at all the possibilities for the future.  Anything is possible if we all make "Unify, Inspire, Act" our own personal creed. 

Channel 7 made a call to action to the community to volunteer a portion of their Saturday to help build walls for two houses that will soon be built for deserving families in Detroit.  They took that call to action to Twitter and Facebook as well.  Channel 7 was a ground breaker in the utilization of social media to interact with viewers using the Twitter hashtags #backchannel and #EarlyRisers. 

The response was overwhelming.  The #backchannel, #EarlyRisers, and the community at large came forth in large numbers to participate in the event.  125 volunteers lifted their hammers and did their share to make a difference. 

When David and I first heard of the Build up  I knew that I wanted to do something more than give of my time.. I wanted our company, which specializes in logo-wear, promotional items, and event planning to play a part.  I sat down at my computer and started to create a logo for the event. 

The logo, found at the top of this blog post, symbolizes that a single home, for  deserving family can help lift the entire community.  The logo was accepted by Habitat for Humanity and Channel 7.  We then worked with our partners at the Embroidery Shoppe in Westland, MI to donate tee shirts to all the volunteers who registered and worked that day.  What a thrill it was to see so many people in their t shirts! 

In our business of logo-wear and promotional items - it's all about building team spirit and giving something back to those that give of themselves.  The shirts were a small token of thanks for an incredible team of people from all walks of life, in and around the city of Detroit.

Here are several photos from the event: 

The crowd gathered early... at 7:30 a.m.  It was a blustery, wet, cold day!

A proud moment for me was seeing the large banner hanging in the warehouse, with the Buildup logo on display.

One of our morning anchors, Alicia Smith gathered a group to provide some direction for the day.  This build up was her brain child to bring the Twitter family together to ACT together for the common good of the city.

Assignments were given and the work started! 

Walls were being built and stored for use in the next two Habitat for Humanity home builds.  The gentleman in the grey t shirt in the photo above was tireless in his work on Saturday.  He was a super volunteer!

Teamwork was key.. and in this case, steel-toed boots were also a sure bet!

David and I were loading these 13 foot wall headers into a large semi and being filmed for a story and an upcoming commercial.

Do these jeans make my butt look big? :-)

When walls were raised and transported outdoors.. there was such an incredible feeling of accomplishment. 

A true highlight for me was meeting some of my Twitter friends that I talked to every single morning.  We finally had the chance to meet face to face.  Left to Right - Todd, Michael, Me, Ken, and Dan.  Amazing guys that I look forward to waking up with every weekday morning.  We call ourselves #TeamAmigos and we truly are.

The #TeamAmigos took a photo with our two lead news anchors, Stephen Clark and Alicia Smith.  They really know how to rally the troops!  David joined us for this photo as well. 

I can't even begin to explain how good it felt to participate in this event.  Knowing that the work we did will help a family be safe, give them a 'hand up' in these tough economic times, and better their future meant the world to be.  You can't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Understandably, we get caught up in in our daily lives and think we do not have time to volunteer for a good cause.  Find the time to give.  If even an hour - your time makes a difference.