Sunday, January 29, 2012

Martha Stewart's Cooking School Enhanced e-Books

Martha Stewart's Cooking School can be in session any time you have the time with these great new enhanched e-books, available through iTunes for an iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. 

Martha Stewart's Cooking School is divided into six 'lessons' from stocks and soups to desserts. 

To learn more about Martha Stewart's Cooking School culinary master class e-books, log into the iTunes store.  

The Best of Martha Stewart Living: Organizing

The latest "Bookazine" from Martha Stewart Living is on the newsstands and it's all about organizing. 

This glossy, instructional guide offers the homemaker over 200 excellent ideas on keeping their home neat, tidy, and well organized. 

This "Best of" bookazine covers nearly every space in the house;  entryways, kitchens, bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, kid's rooms, utility rooms, and home office.  Each section features some of the best ideas from past issues of Martha Stewart Living magazine, and helpful how-to for some of the organizing projects. 

As an added bonus, each section contains "get the look" hints, with product recommendations to recreate the organizing tip in your own home.  While many of the "get the look" suggestions feature Martha Stewart products - it also suggests numerous other product recommendations.  (The Container Store seems to be a favorite place!)  It's an excellent resource for readers.  Each section ends with several "good things" as well, with simple, 'why didn't I think of that?' hints to make organizing easier. 

I have read and re-read this bookazine time and time again.  There is so much inspiration within the pages, it's hard to put it down! 

While some may squawk at the 9.95 cover price, I think these "very best of.." bookazines are a steal and so valuable.  I hope Martha Stewart Living will keep them coming!  I'd love to see one on gardening this spring!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martha Stewart Home Office is Here!

I stopped at one of our local Staples stores tonight and much to my delight, the display of Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery was up and stocked!  I snapped a few pictures (click to enlarge):

Labels, and binders and more, oh my!

A lot of different labels.  there are very cool chalkboard labels.. and chalk. (sold separately)

Journals and binders galore!

Spiral notebooks for recipes, ideas, or secret love letters

Dividers, sheet protectors and pockets

Create your own planner.  Everything you need in one place!

Cool dry-erase large labels and boards

The stack and fit boxes/desktop organization is very cool

These pockets for storage and filing have SO many uses!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Window Shopping - Sort of...

I was browsing through a few websites the other day and ran across a few interesting and beautiful items.  I love window shopping... on line and in person!

This butterfly centerpiece was something that caught my eye.  I think it would look beautiful on a table set for a lovely spring brunch.  I love the mix of greenery (albeit silk.. not real). Available at Grandin Road.

There is also a matching butterfly wreath.  

Now, I'm not sure I would ever buy or use these... but some creative soul could put these to an interesting use... cabbage leaf placemats.  Available at Grandin Road. 

Perhaps cabbage is the in thing for 2012.  Here is a cabbage swag for your front door.  Available at Grandin Road. 

I LOVE this tapered pedestal cake stand from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's.  I purchased one of these!  (who could resist?)  Available at Macy's. 

Another spring time inspired piece of table decor from Grandin Road.  A moss table runner.  I saw this and immediately thought about an Easter table, or using it on a sideboard during Easter.  How would you use this?

The new Martha Stewart Collection song bird china is beautiful.  It immediately reminded me of my friend Elaine. 

I DO NOT need another piece of dishware, but these are from the new Skylands Blue collection that is part of the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's.  Tempting... very tempting. 

This Victorian platter was interesting and it caught my eye.. Available at Grandin Road, this is something I could see my friend Andrew owning.. or perhaps Josh and Brent. 

I'm a sucker for a good kitchen tool and I think this new hand beater/mixer from the Martha Stewart Collection may be the next addition.  I can only think it would be easier to use this than to hand whisk egg whites! 

From the good folks at Williams Sonoma, these delightful "hugs and kisses" smores for Valentine's Day would be oh so cute to give to that special someone.  I wonder how hard it would be to make these... hmmmm...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Things and Good Things

For those of us that follow Martha Stewart closely, it was an interesting news week of ‘things’ and ‘good things.’ 

The Hallmark Channel announced this week that the Martha Stewart Show will end its run after this, the 6th season.  The show will continue in production through spring, with repeat episodes through the summer months.
Citing high production costs and less than expected ratings, Hallmark made the decision to end the show.  There was a hint that ‘something’ was stirring when MSLO President and COO, Lisa Gersh  mentioned during a recent UBS presentation,  that the company was looking to make television more profitable by moving production in-house and not renewing their expensive lease on the Chelsea studio.  Another hint was the noticeable absence of a Christmas holiday special this year. 
Hallmark and MSLO have both indicated they will continue to work together to find new television opportunities for Martha and other personalities within the brand.  

My Take:
While it would be easy to “Chicken Little” the cancellation news and think the sky was falling around Martha, this could actually be an excellent opportunity for MSLO to get television right (again).  The live audience, celebrity guest format was never my favorite and by many accounts from fans and followers, it wasn’t their favorite either.  This is an opportunity for MSLO to reconsider a return to the more instructional format of the previous “Martha Stewart Living” television show.   As a viewer, I would like to see the show move to Bedford. 

My favorite episodes from “Living” were those filmed at Turkey Hill.  Return to the edited, smooth, instructional format and instead of celebrities promoting their new film or book, and feature the talent within MSLO to build out future brands.  The Bedford location can be filled with Martha products to continue to promote the merchandising division.  I think about what Martha did to Jadeite… after having a set filled with it, collectors went crazy (me being one of them).  It wasn’t a blatant promotion; it was just there – and people want to mimic Martha’s style.
 I would also suggest that Martha become less food-centric.  While cooking demos may be easy – they are expensive.  This is an opportunity for MSLO to fill a gap that is being left behind by television giant HGTV.  Over 40 hours of programming on HGTV is now devoted to “house hunting” and real estate.  This is a grand opportunity for MSLO to showcase decorating, gardening, crafts and all aspects of homekeeping.  There is no need to drop food all together; but find a better balance of information. 

We’ll have to wait and see how television plays out. 

Also announced this week was the change in the Martha Stewart Living brand of paint at The Home Depot.  In a statement from The Home Depot, they announced that they would stop carrying the Martha Stewart Living brand of paint – but the palette of colors would now be available using the Glidden paint bases.  This change is due to lower than expected consumer demand. 

My Take: 
So, is this a big deal? Not really. Glidden has made great strides in the competitive paint business. In recent consumer studies, Glidden ranked well with consumers in overall performance as compared to other midrange priced brands. I do hope that The Home Depot will not lose sight of the appeal of the palette, keeping it prominently displayed

I’ve used Martha Stewart Living paint and I like Martha Stewart Living paint.  Because I tend to be a very “brand loyal” consumer, I hate to see the brand disappear.  However, the paint bases for both Glidden and Martha Stewart Living paint are produced by the same company, so I don’t expect to see a huge difference.

I do caution The Home Depot to NOT be too hasty in their future decisions.  The introduction of the Martha Stewart Living brand came at a point where the economy had tanked.  While we are experiencing a very slow recovery, I think it’s unreasonable to expect consumers to immediately change their shopping habits.  To gain a greater market share of female shoppers into Home Depot stores, there must be selection and the stores need to be an appealing place to shop.  I understand the ‘warehouse’ feel of a Home Depot store, but I’ve never been impressed with their merchandising.  If they want and expect the Martha Stewart Living brand to fly off the shelves, then they need to merchandise it in such a way that it will. 

My friend Andrew, on his fabulous blog Martha Moments, recently posted photos of the “new” Turkey Hill in Westport, CT.   The new owners of the property completely renovated the house and pretty much wiped out any look/feel of the Turkey Hill we once knew and loved. 

My Take: 
Okay... for all practical purposes it’s a house and property that is owned by someone and they are free to do with it what they choose.  To those of us that have followed Martha through the years, Turkey Hill holds a special place in our hearts – since it all began at Turkey Hill. 

Andrew and I always dreamed that one day, we would take Turkey Hill and turn it into a National Martha Museum (I need SOMEPLACE to put all this Martha stuff I have!), complete with staff in crisp J Crew khaki’s, crisp white button down shirts, neatly pressed aprons (complete with logo), and garden clogs.  We used to laugh about staff even wearing small circle logo earrings to complete their uniform.    So much for a Turkey Hill museum.  I guess we could always try for Lily Pond…
I always loved Turkey Hill.  Readers and viewers got to know Turkey Hill pretty well.  I’ll miss the traditional, Federal style home.

The Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery product line debuted on the Staples website and will be rolling out in stores throughout the month. 

My Take:
Oh, happy day!  (See previous post)  I love the line, I love the colors, I love the design.  THIS is a good thing indeed!

Just as we are starting our new year, the February issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived in my mailbox. 
My Take: 

We have another hit from editor-in-chief Pilar Guzman.  I have loved every issue of the magazine since Ms. Guzman has taken the helm.  I love how the magazine is going back to Living basics.  It reminds me month after month of what I call “classic” Martha content.  I can’t sing the praises of Pilar Guzman loud enough. 
A special full sized Organizing issue is due to hit the newsstands on January 30th.   This is the second “very best of Martha Stewart Living” special issue (the 2011 Holiday issue was the first) devoted to one of the core content areas of MSLO. 

My Take:
The last time MSLO tackled the subject of organizing was in a digest-sized special issue in 2005. 

I’m always looking for organizing ideas – and revisiting some of the very best ideas from Martha Stewart Living will be a welcome way to spend the cold, winter month of February.  Who wants to take bets that this issue will be sponsored by Avery and Staples?  Timing is perfect with the rollout of the Home Office line.          

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Martha Stewart Home Office

Just in time for the new year, and the inevitable resolution to be more organized in 2012, the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line is now available in select Staples stores and on the Staples website.  The full roll out of the line is expected through the months of January and February. 

From binders to tags and labels, the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line will help you keep your home office organized with style.  This is a Martha Stewart merchandise line I've long been waiting for!  Here's just a small example of what you'll find: 

Binders, in two sizes (standard 1" capacity and small planner size binders) with a smooth finish or a textured Shagreen finish.  Also included are planner pages, calendars, lined paper, divider tabs, labels, and more, so you can create an organized system for your home office.   

It's almost tax time and what better way to get organized than with a variety of filing options.  From filing boxes, and accordion files;  to folders, tabs, and tags, you're sure to find options that fit your needs. 

More of a journal keeper?  The Martha Stewart Home Office line offers a variety of writing journals in two sizes.  Optional tabs can be used to organize your journal. 

Keep your desktop well organized with the entire line of Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery "Stack and Fit" boxes and desktop accessories.  Each piece is designed to stack and fit together for a desk organization system that works for you. 

Martha Stewart Home Office Stack and Fit letter trays and small boxes round out the desk accessories. 

These are sticky notes that are sure to get your reminder noticed!  I love the flourish design. 

Larger storage boxes help keep you organized.  The boxes are available in a variety of colors in the Shagreen textured finish.  The labels and label holders are sold separately. 

I found this high quality, excellently designed line to be reasonably priced.  The entire Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line is available on the Staples website.  To see the entire line, click HERE.