Blog Posts by Martha Stewart

  • 4 Goofy, Memorable Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

    Teach kids to approach even the most special days with a sense of humor. These quirky parties are fun to throw and easy to throw together. Now that's something to celebrate!

    Tiny Party

    The big idea here is that it's a small world after all.

    Hint at the charm of all things Lilliputian by sending an itsy-bitsy invitation of mostly envelopes -- each opens to reveal one a size smaller, with the last one holding colorful confetti and a wee card.

    Guests sip strawberry Tom Thumb milkshakes from cordial glasses and snack on gherkins and mini grilled-cheese sandwiches -- cut bread into quarters to make four servings.

    A party banner is 1 1/2-inch-high cardstock triangles taped to thread, with a message spelled out in letter stickers.

    Proving that good things do indeed come in small packages, everyone leaves with munchkin toys and mini art and school supplies in palm-size favor bags embellished with pretty flowers.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Polka-Dot

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  • Make Old Appliances Work like New (or Better)

    If you wipe appliances regularly with a damp cloth or sponge, most will require little additional maintenance. A buildup of grime, however, calls for a bit more elbow grease and sometimes even a particular cleaning solution. Before you get to work, be sure to consult the owner's manual or call the company's customer-service line, since manufacturers use a variety of materials to make their appliances.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Toaster Oven

    Basic maintenance consists of periodically cleaning out crumbs and wiping down the interior and exterior.

    Interior: Remove racks; wash them in warm, soapy water. If the inside of the toaster has a nonstick coating, wipe it with a cleaning pad that's labeled safe for this purpose. On a bare metal interior, you can use soap-filled steel wool. To avoid scratching a porcelain surface (or making it more difficult to clean the next time food cooks on), use nothing stronger than a nylon pad. Some toaster-oven interiors

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  • All Seam, No Stress: The Best Way to Organize Sewing Supplies

    Looking for a way to organize sewing supplies so everything is in one place? With a few upgrades, a standard spool rack becomes a catchall for lots of sewing supplies.

    Sources
    Unfinished wooden flowerpot, $1.50, factorycraft.com
    Thirty-spool thread rack, $15.25, junetailor.com

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Materials
    Spool rack
    Spools
    Felt
    Tiny wooden flowerpot
    Glue
    Seam ripper
    Small scissors
    Large pins
    Sewing-machine bobbins
    Embroidery floss

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

    1. Wrap spools in felt, and use them to store pins and needles.

    2. A tiny wooden flowerpot's drainage hole will slide over one of the rack's pegs (if you need to enlarge the hole, use a drill). Secure with glue, and fill with a seam ripper, small scissors, and large pins.

    3. Stack sewing-machine bobbins three to a peg.

    4. Wrap embroidery floss around plastic bobbins and slip them over the pegs.

    More from

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  • The Immunity-Boosting Wonder Spice That's Hiding in Your Takeout

    Turmeric's taste isn't as recognizable as, say, cinnamon's, but there's no mistaking how it looks. In fact, the Latin name for turmeric (Curcuma longa) comes from the Sanskrit word for "yellow." A culinary jack-of-all-trades whose use dates back thousands of years, this woodsy, slightly bitter spice has played an important role not only as a colorant and flavor enhancer for food, but also as a cosmetic, perfume, textile dye, and remedy for everything from digestive problems to psoriasis. In recent years, science has verified many of its traditional applications, with studies showing that this relative of ginger may help heal or prevent a laundry list of diseases.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Health Benefits

    Turmeric contains respectable doses of manganese, iron, and even fiber, but its high concentration of a bright yellow pigment called curcumin offers the most health promise. Curcumin, an antioxidant, fights inflammation, a major factor in a wide range of

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  • No More Cloudy Dishware Ever Again (Yeah!)

    Q: Why do my glasses look cloudy right out of the dishwasher?
    -Rachel Clarke, Hopewell, N.J.

    Related: Dishwasher Dos and Don'ts

    A: A common reason for cloudy glass is hard water, but there may be another culprit: minuscule, irreversible scratches, which can result from a reaction between glass composition, water, and detergent, says Beth Robinson, brand experience manager at KitchenAid. If the film remains after you rub the glass with distilled white vinegar, which removes hard water's calcium and magnesium buildup, it's likely due to this fine etching. If not, you likely have hard water; add a rinse aid (such as Finish) to the dishwasher's dispenser.

    More from Martha Stewart:
    10 Ways to Save Energy at Home
    19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time
    Martha Stewart's Ultimate Organizing Solutions
    12 Tools to Use in Your House in Unexpected Ways
    47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Are you loading your dishwasher properly?

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  • DIY Dry-Cleaning Tips Your Laundromat Doesn't Want You to Know

    While some items will always need professional attention, many fabrics can be freshened at home. Once you know which clothes and stains are good candidates, you can take care of them yourself without much effort or expense, in the comfort of your own laundry room.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Which Clothes Can Be Washed?

    Chances are you can launder more of your wardrobe than you think. Reading a garment's care label -- not only for the method of cleaning, but also for the fabric content -- is key to determining whether you can wash an item at home.

    The Truth About "Dry-Clean Only"
    Clothing manufacturers are required to recommend at least one cleaning method on their products' care labels. When a tag reads "dry-clean only," it doesn't necessarily mean that the item can't be hand-washed, especially if it's made of natural fibers, says Steve Boorstein, a former dry cleaner who now shares his clothing-care tips in books and on DVDs. But professional dry cleaning can

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  • 3 Earth-Friendly, Wallet-Friendly Ways to Heat and Cool Your Home

    Heating accounts for more than a third of the average annual energy bill, so it pays to make your system more efficient. Most homes in the United States are heated with either a furnace, which warms air and distributes it through the house via air ducts, or a boiler, which heats water and circulates steam via pipes to radiators. Both systems operate on nonrenewable resources (oil or gas) or electricity (which is typically generated by nonrenewables).

    Air conditioners use electricity to power evaporators and condensers, which pull humidity out of the air and lower air temperature. Given how much fossil fuels are burned to heat and cool our homes, it's easy to hope for a day when all living spaces will be constructed with solar panels or wind turbines. Until then, do what you can to keep your energy footprint small.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Careful

    Install programmable thermostats, which regulate the temperature in your home automatically.

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  • 4 Weekend Projects Using Things Your Already Own

    Give new life to outgrown clothing, fabric and paper scraps, and other materials lying around the house with our wallet-friendly craft ideas.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Fabric-Scrap Favor Packs

    Guests will say "goody" when they get these cheerful bags. Made of fabric scraps, they sew up in a snap.

    Materials
    Fabric
    Pinking shears
    Ruler or measuring tape
    Sewing machine
    Candy

    1. Cut an 11-by-7 1/2-inch piece of fabric with pinking shears.

    2. Fold in half, right sides facing; machine-sew one short and each long side with a 1/2-inch seam allowance; turn inside out.

    3. Fill bag with treats, and tie with a strip of contrasting fabric.

    Related: 19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time

    Patchwork Throw

    A diverse collection of castoffs becomes a dashing throw with a flexible design of squares and rectangles.

    Materials
    Rotary cutter
    Cutting mat
    Assorted menswear fabrics in similar weights (such as wool, flannel,

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  • Fido Wants to Know What's Cooking (and He's Willing to Beg)

    Homemade Dog Biscuits

    Show your four-legged friend some love with these tasty homemade dog treats.

    Related: Clean House Tips for Pet Owners

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup wheat germ
    1/4 cup brewer's yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
    1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more for brushing

    Related: Tips for Keeping Your Pets Healthy

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt; set aside

    2. Place oil in a large bowl. Add stock and flour mixture in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with stock. Mix well.

    3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about 3/8-inch thick. Shape biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife.(Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog's size.)

    4. If desired, you can spell out your dog's name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet

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  • The Only Workout You Should Be Doing on Valentine's Day

    Partner yoga can help you deepen both your poses and your relationships. "Doing yoga with a partner makes many poses more accessible, comfortable, and therapeutic," says Mary Aranas, who teaches at Pure Yoga and leads partner yoga workshops around the country. "By holding onto another person, you can balance better than you could on your own, move into poses more deeply, and hold them longer, which increases strengthening and stretching." Working in tandem also improves communication. All you need is a spouse, a friend, or another willing partner -- and neither of you has to be overly fit or flexible. Aranas chose the following poses, including tension-busting twists and restorative stretches, for their simplicity.

    Related: 25 New Ways to Eat Avocados

    Back-Bending Foundation

    Benefits: Increases lung capacity, stretches the torso, and lifts the spirit.

    How to Do It: Stand facing each other, feet hip-width apart so that you can comfortably hold each other's forearms with

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Pagination

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