Blog Posts by Martha Stewart

  • 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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  • 2 Easy, Adorable Alternatives to Store-Bought Valentines

    Handmade Valentines for Kids: Heart-and-Lollipop Flowers

    This Valentine's Day, encourage kids to show sweet sentiments with tokens of affection that go beyond the store-bought card. With just a little TLC, colorful hearts flourish as the petals of a new flower variety --one with a lollipop center and stem.

    Materials
    Card stock
    Construction paper
    Hole punch
    Scissors
    Glue
    Lolipop

    Related: 19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time

    1. Use card stock to make a half-heart template about 3 inches high and 1 1/4 inches wide. Fold a 12-by-3 1/2-inch piece of construction paper in half vertically, and trace four half-hearts along the fold.

    2. Cut out hearts; unfold.

    3. Stack hearts; punch a hole 1/4 inch up from bottom. Position petals to form a flower, making sure holes line up. Secure by applying glue around holes; let dry. Write name on a petal. Insert lollipop.

    Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

    Handmade Valentines for Kids: Cupcake

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  • 7 Health-Food Myths Your Mom Got Wrong (and 3 Times She was So, so Right)

    Of all our cultural myths and misunderstandings, food fallacies seem to run especially rampant. We absorb "guidance" from our families ("Eat your margarine"), fad-diet books ("Bread is the root of all evil"), the nightly news ("Milk saves the world!"), and that beacon of frequently off-the-wall information, the Internet. "People are extremely confused about what to eat," acknowledges New York-based physician Jana Klauer, M.D., author of "How the Rich Get Thin". She and other prominent nutrition experts helped us set the record straight, exposing seven myths you might have heard -- but shouldn't believe.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Myth: A calorie is a calorie.

    In fact, our bodies can distinguish one type of calorie from another. "We handle fat calories, carb calories, and protein calories differently," says Andrew Weil, M.D., author of "Eating Well for Optimal Health." "Some tend to be stored as fat; some tend to be digested more quickly." Knowing the

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  • Just Try to Resist These Rainbow-Hued Recipes (Or Actually, Don't)

    The Reds

    Dine on a gorgous rainbow of fruits and vegetables, nutritionsts like to remind us, and we'll net nature's full spectrum of health-promoting nutrients. But what does an "eat-your-colors" diet look like after the first few salad bar creations? We've come up with a handful of inspiring dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that taste as vivid as they look.

    Resveratrol:
    Good Sources: red wine, red grapes
    Benefits: The wonder-working polyphenol neutralizes free radicals and may inhibit inflammation.
    Cooking Tip: For a quick hit, roast whole grapes with garlic and fresh thyme. Add frozen grapes to fruit salad (bonus: they'll keep the dish chilled).

    Capsaicin:
    Good Source: chile peppers
    Benefits: Hot stuff, indeed: This helps stave off hunger and even burns some calories. It also relieves pain.
    Cooking Tip: Add minced chiles to scrambled eggs and stir-fries.

    Lycopene:
    Good Sources: tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, bell peppers
    Benefits:

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  • 5 Reasons to Get Brassy with Your Accessorizing

    Brass has the richness and warmth of gold, at a fraction of the cost. These blank bracelets, rings, and charms are so affordable -- starting at just 50 cents apiece! -- that you have the freedom to try endless enamel-paint combinations. Before you know it, you'll have enough modern, colorful pieces for all your loved ones on Valentine's Day.

    As brass jewelry ages, it acquires a patina that contrasts nicely with bold paint colors. You can find so-called brass blanks at metalliferous.com and fancifulsinc.com, and through craft-supply dealers on Etsy.

    Related: 13 Crazy Beauty Tricks That Really Work

    How to Use No-Bake Enamel Paint

    The key to a successful cure and a consistent finish is the perfect mixture of one part color to two parts activator. Squeeze dime-size drops onto a silicone mat, then mix with a toothpick. (If you mix your own shades from the paints, just make sure to keep the activator-color ratio at 2 to 1.)

    Materials
    Brass blanks
    Rubbing alcohol

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  • 4 Simple Snow-Day Crafts for Tiny Refugees

    Our kids' art projects make it easy for children to create beautiful crafts all by themselves.

    Treasure Chests

    Here's a simple way for kids to store their collections: Accordion-fold a strip of paper, and glue the first and last pages to the inside of a box's lid and bottom. Keep some pages empty so the collection can grow.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating



    Painted Umbrella

    On rainy days, let your children play Picasso by painting a fanciful pattern on a child-size umbrella.

    Materials
    Nylon umbrella
    Paintbrushes
    Permanent waterproof paint
    Newspaper
    Smock

    1. Follow the paint manufacturer's directions: Some fabric paints require the addition of fixative; others require ironing the umbrella after painting.

    2. Carefully cover the work surface with newspaper before you begin, and have your child wear a smock.

    3. Once finished, keep the umbrella open overnight; the paint must dry completely before you close it or use it.

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  • 5 Tasty Toppers to Reach for Instead of the Salt Shaker

    The wrong topping can undermine the healthiest intentions, like bacon bits (real or fake) showered over a fresh salad, or a salt blanket on grilled salmon. But who wants to sacrifice the seasonings and flavors that add so much enjoyment to food? You don't have to.

    Healthy "sprinkles" -- a mix of herbs, spices, seeds, and seaweeds -- add a burst of flavor while lending a nutritional boost to meals. Used regularly, even a few dashes on food can add crucial antioxidants and minerals to your diet, notes herbalist Rosemary Gladstar.

    Take "zahtar," a traditional Middle Eastern mix (shown on next page). It makes a healthy stand-in for salt, and mixed with olive oil, a sublime dip for pita bread. Other blends combine nutrient-rich herbs to create a welcome enhancement to salads and vinaigrettes.

    Our search for tasty, good-for-you toppings went beyond salt and pepper -- and memories of Molly McButter or Mom's hippie popcorn with nutritional yeast. Here are four of our favorites, plus

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  • 4 Things to Consider Before Buying that Bouquet

    If you're thinking flowers this Valentine's Day, remember that conventional bouquets can come with some thorny issues. Eighty percent of cut flowers purchased in the United States are imported from countries where workers are often not receiving fair wages and governments do not restrict the use of dangerous pesticides. (For example, a 2006 Harvard study showed that children born to women working in the Ecuadorian flower industry had impaired brain development due to prenatal pesticide exposure.) Happily, the marketplace for healthy, eco-conscious flowers is continuing to blossom. You can even find responsibly grown bouquets from mass retailers like FTD.com and Costco. So, show how big your heart truly is by talking to your florist or checking the website or packaging for the green labels below.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Fair Trade-Certified

    This label means the flowers come from sustainable farms that provide fair wages and safe, clean conditions for

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