Blog Posts by Martha Stewart

  • 5 Tips for Throwing a Stylish Baby Shower (Because You're a Cool Mom)

    When Martha Stewart Weddings editorial director Darcy Miller decided to throw a baby shower for her friend and colleague Kate Berry (the magazine's style director), she searched high and low, online and offline, for items that would personalize the shower. Here are Miller's best tips for ensuring a splendid celebration.

    1. Personalize the Affair

    Weave in the guest of honor's interests and style wherever you can. "I know Kate loves gold touches, and made sure there were some gilded details in the decorations. She also loves baby animals, which is why bunnies and fawns showed up so much in the decorations." says Miller.

    Related: 8 Surprising Ways to Tame Your Sweet Tooth

    2. Elevate the Presentation

    Keep the food spread visually appealing: "I like to group like with like, displaying bites in an organized, pleasing way."

    3. Ask for Custom

    If you can't find exactly what you want, go to the source and see if it can be created for you. "Etsy is filled with vendors who

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  • 3 Healthy Living Tips for Busy People (We Get It, We Really Do)

    Eating right is always a challenge, but it can be especially tough when you're on the go. That's when you need energy and healthy nutrients most -- and when you have the least time to make sure you get them.

    Dr. Jana Klauer, nutritionist and author of "The Park Avenue Nutritionist's Plan," shares tips for smart eating under hectic circumstances.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Avoid Energy Lows

    Busy people tend to power their high-octane lifestyles with quick fixes like coffee and junk food. Dr. Klauer cautions against over-reliance on caffeine. "It'll give you a temporary jolt at best, which leaves you more tired later on," she says. The same goes for soda and candy, which contain processed sugars that cause a spike in blood sugar, followed by a sugar low that results in fatigue and hunger.

    Instead, counter the afternoon yawns with a healthy snack that will give you more lasting energy. Nutritious protein shakes, like Dr. Klauer's Everyday Nutrition

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  • Talking Dirty: Is Hygiene Compromising Your Health?

    Irene Chansawang washes her hands 20 times a day. She doesn't get manicures or pedicures because she thinks nail salons are too dirty. She wouldn't dream of getting into the shower at the gym without wearing flip-flops, and keeps antibacterial wipes in her desk drawer.

    "I wish it was a cultural norm in this country to wear those SARS masks when you're sick," says the self-professed germophobe.

    In fact, all of us are like petri dishes: If you looked at your skin under a microscope, you would see it teeming with bacteria. But some scientists are suggesting that instead of running for the hand sanitizer, we should be grateful for the bugs -- some of them may be keeping us healthy.

    The common wisdom is that the only good bug is a dead bug -- and in an age of flus like H1N1, it's no surprise. Every subway pole, doorknob, or coughing coworker could be a source of life-threatening illness. Physicians say a little common sense is still the best strategy to ward off colds and flu.

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  • You're in Luck: An Adorable Last-Minute Way to Get Your Green On

    On March 17, the "wearing of the green" can be as simple as adding a cute clover accessory, especially for girls and boys.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Green felt
    Sewing supplies
    Headband or hatpin
    Hot-glue gun
    Shamrock template

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

    1. Print our template onto card stock and cut it out.

    2. Trace template onto felt and cut out. Lightly pinch center of clover and sew to hold in place, first with a vertical stitch, then a horizontal one, giving the shape dimension.

    3. Glue to headband, or pin to lapel or collar. (For a boy, try a boutonniere.)

    More from Martha Stewart:
    10 Ways to Save Energy at Home
    Dishwasher Dos and Don'ts
    19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time
    Martha Stewart's Ultimate Organizing Solutions

    Watch for More:

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  • 2 Easy, Inexpensive Upgrades for Your IPhone (Case)

    An iPhone upgrade doesn't require dropping major dime. Give your phone a whole new look with these adorable DIY cases. Talk about easy on the i's!

    Related: 13 Crazy Beauty Tricks That Really Work

    Embroidered iPhone Case

    This perforated case lends itself well to different kinds of designs: Try backstitching or cross-stitching.

    Sources
    iPhone 5 case, $27.50, by Leese Design, purlsoho.com

    Stitching Instructions

    Backstitch: Insert needle from wrong side, coming out at 1. Insert at 2; pull out at 3. Insert again at 1, and pull out past 3, creating equal stitches. Insert at 3, and continue.

    Cross-stitch: Using phone case's perforations as a guide, create a row of diagonal lines, then stitch back over the row, making Xs.

    Materials
    Cross-stitch phone case
    Scissors
    Embroidery needle, size 8
    Embroidery floss
    Embroidered case pattern

    1. Print out pattern. (You can also print a blank grid template and create your own design.) For cross-stitch ideas, go

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  • Give it a Whirl: Marbling Methods and Home-Decor Projects

    Try something free and loose, colorful and creative. One simple process brings personality to many corners of your home.

    Marbling is the opposite of paint-by-numbers. The process is artistic and painterly and colorful -- but the true joy is in the reveal, and in seeing how swirls of color in a tray of liquid translate to a piece of paper or fabric. "You have to embrace the surprise," says crafts editor Silke Stoddard, who developed the projects below.

    To be sure, masters of this craft -- which flourished thanks to European papermakers and bookbinders in the 18th and 19th centuries -- can precisely re-create patterns, but that often entails specialized equipment such as combs, feathers, and rakes. The designs here were made with literally nothing more than a coffee stirrer. "I wanted to simplify marbling, and take it out of that fussy old-world place, and make it modern and playful and organic," Silke says. Indeed, while this technique has often been used to dye eggs and

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  • DIY Striped Top (Because Nautical's Always in Season)

    Adorn an entire garment, or just a pocket or cuff, with crisp nautical stripes.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Materials
    T-shirt
    Painters' tape
    Craft paper
    Stencil brush
    Craft paint

    Related: 25 New Ways to Eat Avocados

    1. Create striped design with painters' tape. (If you want stripes on front and back of shirt, tape both sides, though you'll only paint one at a time.)

    2. Place craft paper between shirt layers to keep paint from bleeding through. With brush, dab on paint. Let dry.

    3. Remove tape. Follow directions on paint bottle to launder.

    More from Martha Stewart:
    13 Crazy Beauty Tricks That Really Work
    19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time
    8 Surprising Ways to Tame Your Sweet Tooth
    47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Watch for More:

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  • We're D(r)ying to Give This Laundry Room Redo a Spin

    Martha recently turned a closet into a laundry room that's every bit as functional as a much larger space. A few smart strategies made it doable -- and now the frequent tasks of washing, ironing, and folding are less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Whether you're just sprucing up your laundry area or planning a total redo, you can borrow these ideas for your own home.

    Related: 19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time

    Laundry Room Basics

    This compact space has everything you need and makes the most of every inch. Above the washer and dryer, sturdy, deep shelving holds the soaps, cleaning supplies, and towels that are used often; each shelving unit has a handy row of pegs for hanging items. A cabinet in the corner provides more storage -- and a surface for folding. An oversize homemade ironing board tops the washer and dryer, giving plenty of room for pressing tablecloths and other large linens; a smaller board is good for shirtsleeves and collars.

    DIY Dryer Sheets

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  • Declutter Your Data: 5 Easy Computer Organizing Hacks

    Your memory may not be what it used to be (whose is?), but it doesn't matter as long as you can search your computer and email for reminders and backup. Try these systems for efficient filing and retrieving.
    Confronting an unholy mess every time you turn on your computer negates the benefits of an organized workspace. Here's how to electronically clean up your desktop and use your computer to better organize your life.

    Related: 10 Ways to Save Energy at Home

    1) Tidy your digital desktop.

    Create folders. Filing away documents on a computer -- and subsequently retrieving them -- is infinitely easier than putting paper into folders and then into a drawer. So actually do it! Set up a system, such as a filing by project or task, or by month and year (or whatever works best for your specific needs), then start putting things away.

    2) E-shop efficiently.

    Systematize your passwords. Lots of people use slight variations of the same password for different sites -- and then

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  • How to Score Vintage Home Decor that Looks like New

    Photo Credit: Hunters AlleyThe creative team behind One Kings Lane knows a thing or two about unique interiors. Discover your own eclectic vintage and flea-market finds with the help of these tips from Andrea Stanford, One Kings Lane Vice President of Designer and Vintage Sales, and General Manager of Hunters Alley, the shopping site's just-launched vintage- and handmade-home-goods destination.

    Related: Martha Stewart's Ultimate Organizing Solutions

    Have Fun!

    Never be intimidated by shopping for vintage; it should be fun! Start by educating yourself. I love learning from people who are experts in their fields and truly passionate about their collections. Always ask questions about an item's maker or history. Visit flea markets and antique shows and browse online. As you become more familiar with certain eras or categories of decor, shopping will become so much more fun -- and you can truly enjoy the hunt!

    Start Small

    One of the easiest ways to start collecting vintage is to buy catchalls, vases,

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