Blog Posts by Martha Stewart

  • Plan a Kid-Friendly Picnic (and Even Better, Let Them Pack)

    What better way to take advantage of a sunny day than with a picnic? The components are so easy to make that kids can do most of the work themselves. The biggest challenge is organizing and packing everything so that it arrives at the destination intact.

    Now we'll show you how to dress ham and turkey sandwiches with cream cheese spreads that hold up well in the heat, serve fruit salad in ice cream cones, and prepare ranch dip in baking cups to cut down on dishes.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Chop Vegetables

    Wash vegetables, then pat dry so they'll stay crisp. While an adult chops celery and peppers, kids can snap green beans and put cherry tomatoes and cut vegetables into plastic bags.

    Prepare Trail Mix

    Raid your pantry for dried fruits, nuts, and other bite-size sweet and salty snacks. We used dried bananas and cranberries, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, pretzels, cashews, and peanuts. Put a handful of each into a

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  • Gift Within a Gift: 4 Creative, Eco-Friendly Wrapping Ideas

    Courtesy of Studiopatro

    By Christina Weber of Studiopatro

    Traditionally, linen tea towels were designed to commemorate coronations and celebrations. We love them today as modern heirlooms -- wrapped around gifts, they become special keepsakes. Packaging a gift with a tea towel is simple and impressive, not to mention environmentally kind. And the thoughtfulness is always appreciated by the lucky recipient. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Plant Wrap

    I love this idea in the springtime, for Easter or Mother's Day especially. I go to my local nursery, pick out a culinary plant that's ready for the garden or window box, and wrap a tea towel around the pot for a special touch.

    Bake towel (similar to pictured), $24

    Related: 12 Tools to Use in Your House in Unexpected Ways

    Courtesy of StudiopatroBottle Wrap

    Whether it's a dinner party or a birthday celebration you're off to, a favorite bottle (wine or champagne, tequila, olive oil) wrapped in a colorful,

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  • Instant Easter: 7 Last-Minute Ways to Get Hopping

    Adding a bit of holiday cheer to your Easter celebration shouldn't take a month of Sundays. With bunny-shaped templates and simple eggcup upgrades, here are 25 quick, easy, and creative ways to get in the spring spirit.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Decorated Egg Weights

    Don't let your tablecloth blow away. Anchor your party table covering with plastic eggs filled with jelly beans. Secure gingham ribbon around the eggs with hot glue, and thread through openings you've hole-punched into the corners of the cloth.

    Related: 12 Tools to Use in Your House in Unexpected Ways

    Easter-Egg Balloons

    Dot balloons with office supply stickers and tie them to a string to brighten up your outdoor Easter celebration.

    Related: Martha Stewart's Ultimate Organizing Solutions





    Paper Basket Bouquets

    Try a twist on Easter baskets, and make a paper basket bouquet for every place setting. All you need are small brown paper bags and baby-food jars

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  • This Ultra-Modern Organizer is One Heck of a Bright Idea

    The family command center gets a modern upgrade thanks to Day-Glo Plexiglas. A sturdy pegboard base proves perfectly suited for sorting mail, displaying photos, and storing small items.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Materials
    Wooden pegboard
    Gray spray paint
    Neon Plexiglas sheets
    Marker
    Plastic cutter
    Sandpaper
    Electric drill
    Plastic drill bit
    Neon acrylic rod
    Gray elastic cord
    Handsaw
    Mallet

    Related: 8 Surprising Ways to Tame Your Sweet Tooth

    1. Working in a well-ventilated area, spray the pegboard with gray paint until evenly coated; let dry completely.

    2. Use a marker to indicate the size Plexiglas pieces you'd like to cut (ours measure 4" by 6", 6" by 6", 6" by 9.5", and 1.75" by 5.75"), making sure that the corners of the piece line up with holes in the pegboard. (Tip: You can also order Plexiglas in custom sizes from tapplastics.com.)

    3. Using a plastic cutter, score the Plexiglas along the marker line. Place

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  • Plan an Unforgettable (and Utterly Darling) Easter Egg Hunt

    Easter Egg Hunt Invitations

    A cheerful clip-art invitation sets the tone for your Easter gathering.

    Print clip art onto card stock. Cut out card, and fold in half. Join the backs of the two halves with double-sided tape or a glue stick.

    Print the Easter Egg Hunt Invitation

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating



    Easter Basket Tags

    Inexpensive baskets are adorned with clip art tags for kids to write their names on, so there are no mix-ups at your Easter-egg hunt party.

    Print onto card stock, and cut out. Punch a hole at the top, and thread with string or ribbon. Use open space to write a name on each.

    Print the Easter Basket Tags

    Related: 25 New Ways to Eat Avocados



    Sticker Easter Eggs How-To

    You can use any stickers to embellish eggs. Kids enjoy the activity, and stickers offer an easy way to seal a plastic egg or designate special eggs in a hunt.

    Materials
    1/4-inch round stickers (or 1/4-inch hole punch)
    Adhesive

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  • The Definitive Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen (Or so Says Martha Stewart)

    Doing dishes, wiping spills, and sweeping crumbs -- this busy space needs daily attention, as well as routine maintenance.

    Counters & Backsplash

    Your approach depends entirely on the material.

    Engineered Stone (such as Silestone)
    Spray it with all-purpose cleaner; wipe with a microfiber cloth.

    Granite
    Wipe it with a cloth dampened in a mixture of warm water and pH-neutral stone cleaner.

    Soapstone or Laminate
    Wipe it with a soft cloth dampened in a mixture of mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Spot-treat stained laminate with a thick paste of baking soda and water.

    Stainless Steel
    Use a mild abrasive, such as Bon Ami, and warm water. Fully dry; buff with a clean, dry cloth.

    Tile
    Wipe tiles with a soft cloth dampened in a mixture of mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Clean grout with a thick paste of baking soda mixed with water.

    Unfinished Butcher Block
    Wipe it with a soft cloth dampened in a mixture of mild dishwashing liquid and

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  • Nesting Grounds: 4 All-Natural Easter Grass Alternatives

    In place of traditional neon synthetic grass, try any of these all-natural, reusable varieties for Easter baskets and decorations.

    24 Excelsior Wood Shred

    Often used as packing material, this neutral filling showcases colored eggs and candy.

    $2 for 3 oz., save-on-crafts.com

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Sheet Moss

    Use this soft material as a base in decorative baskets or for spring flower arrangements.

    Sheet-moss soil cover, by Mosser Lee, $4 for 325 sq. in., homedepot.com

    Wheatgrass

    Plant the fresh-smelling herb (available at health-food stores) in a plastic-lined basket. Snip some to add to smoothies and juices.

    Related: 19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time

    Organic Cut Dry Grass

    Eggs look right at home in this lifelike nest. After Easter, add it to the compost bin.

    Tim's Real Easter Basket Grass, $6 for 4 oz., realeasterbasketgrass.com

    More from Martha Stewart:
    13 Crazy Beauty Tricks That Really Work
    8 Surprising

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  • Spring Cleaning's Not Over Until You've Done This

    Envelope-Backed Pillow Cover

    A thorough spring cleaning isn't really complete without considering your décor as well. One easy seasonal swap: Replace dark-colored or heavy-fabric pillows with linen or cotton options in lighter hues. It's an inexpensive way to refresh your interiors -- especially if you make the pillows yourself.

    Related: 10 Ways to Save Energy at Home

    Materials
    Pillow insert
    Disappearing-ink fabric pen
    Sewing machine and sewing supplies
    Fabric

    Related: Martha Stewart's Ultimate Organizing Solutions

    1. Measure the dimensions of the pillow insert. To determine the size rectangle you'll need, add 1 inch to the height for seam allowance, and multiply the length by 2, then add 6 inches. (For instance, an 18-inch insert would require a 19-by-42-inch rectangle.) With the fabric pen and a ruler, draw the dimensions of the rectangle onto your fabric; cut it out. Place the rectangle right-side down. Double-hem the left and right edges: Fold each edge

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  • Get Your Chicks in a Row: Easter Crafts to Make with Kids

    Egg Chickens

    This brood is all smiles, er, beaks as they pose for a family portrait to welcome their latest addition. (The photo hanging behind them was taken before the baby was born.) Mr. Rooster crows that his new son is a good egg, and Mrs. Chicken is pleased that both children inherited the family's felt features.

    Materials
    Utility knife
    Paper clip
    Paper towels
    Ear syringe
    Dyeing mixture: 1 teaspoon vinegar, 20 drops food coloring, and 1 cup warm water
    Homemade drying rack of pins and foam board
    White glue
    Tempera paint or marker
    Egg creature templates

    1. Emptying eggs lets you save your creations. An adult should pierce egg at both ends with a utility knife, widening one hole a bit. Poke a straightened paper clip through wide hole; stir yolk. Place ear syringe in smaller hole; squeeze. Contents will pour out. (Wash hands well.)

    2. It's easy to make dye: Cover the work area with paper towels. In a jar, mix 1 teaspoon vinegar, 20 drops food

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  • The Healthiest Thing You're Already Doing (and How to Do it Better)

    There's no question: The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can transform your health. Research shows that a regular walking regimen decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure -- even cognitive decline. On top of these impressive findings, many people who walk regularly report less stress, better sleep, more energy, and a sense of empowerment from taking an active role in their health. Easy on the knees and compatible with even the most hectic of schedules, walking may be considered the ultimate life enhancer.

    But while it's intuitive enough for even a child to learn, walking becomes transformative with intention. We've sought out some of the foremost experts on walking and asked them how to apply this accessible exercise to goals that matter most: getting fit, coping with stress, improving posture, raising overall vitality, and finding inspiration. On the following pages, you'll find all you need to jump-start, enhance,

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