Tuesday, April 9, 2013

JCP Commercial Introducing Martha Home

Here is one of the first long form commercials from JCP that introduces shoppers to the Martha Home collection.  There's a nice sneak peek at the upcoming Martha Pantry line, which is due on shelves next month. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Oh Macy's, Grow Up!

As the legal battle between Macy’s, JCP and Martha Stewart Living continues today after a failed attempt at court ordered mediation, I’ve become increasingly less fond of Macy’s and their whining. 

As part of court record today, Macy’s introduced a “new” complaint that JCP and MSLO violated the terms of “exclusive” merchandise with the introduction of some serveware items as part of the Martha Stewart Celebrations line, introduced last week on JCP’s website and in select stores across the country.   Macy’s contends that the wine glasses and other serving pieces (which are made of plastic, and are designed to be disposable) were in direct competition with those GLASS and METAL items that are currently carried in Macy’s stores under the Martha Stewart Collection label. 

Really?  Plastic is in direct competition with glass?  Seriously? 

Macy’s  claim goes on to say the designs for the disposable, plastic glasses are exact replicas of the Martha Stewart Collection.  Umm.. last time I checked, there are “universal” designs in most cases for the shape of a champagne flute, a white wine class, and a red wine glass.  You’re grasping, Macy’s.. you’re grasping. 

As a consumer of Martha products at Macy’s  I think the department store bully needs to focus on what is happening IN their stores rather than with expensive, ridiculous law suits.  In the numerous Macy’s locations around my area (and I’ve shopped them all), the “Home” departments are looking more like a bargain basement or a garage sale than a home department.  It’s frustrating.  It’s no wonder sales of Martha Stewart Collection merchandise just barely meet minimum for royalty fees.  In order to sell something effectively, it has to be merchandised well.  You can’t just cram stuff on a shelf and expect it to sell.  It doesn’t work that way, especially with the consumer demographic Macy’s is attempting to maintain.

Having Martha merchandise at both retailers would force them both to up their game and provide the consumer the best shopping experience, and the highest quality products at a fair price.  I’d love to be able to walk into either Macy’s or JCP and get “wowed” with selections and experience.  Instead, Macy’s continues to move forward with their bully tactics and in turn for exclusivity, provide the consumer with a mediocre experience.  It’s like saying the consumer wants Martha products, regardless of shopping experience.  I don’t think so. 

In the long run, Macy’s is shooting themselves in the foot.   Up your game Macy’s..  and stop being afraid of the competition.   Most of all, stop being a bully and stop your never ending whining. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Welcome to Martha Home

A day earlier than expected, JCP took the wraps off the new Martha Home products on their website. 

Click here to go to the JCP website and see the newest offerings from Martha.  The Home products include Martha Décor (which includes lighting, mirrors and rugs), and Martha Celebrations.  Also included in Martha Home are paint and yarn items from the Martha Stewart Crafts line and a selection of best-selling books from Martha.  Martha Pantry, a line of baking mixes, pastas, coffee, and more will be available next month. 

New Video Series from Martha and The Home Depot!

Martha and The Home Depot have teamed up for a new video series, "Home How-to." 

Beginning April 25th, subscribers to the video series will have access to 3 videos per week on a variety of home projects from decorating to gardening, simple home repairs, and more.  Subscribers will also have access to ready-made shopping lists to make completing the project of their choice even easier.

Subscribers will receive via email, a $5 savings coupon to use on their next shopping trip to The Home Depot. 

To subscribe to the Home How-to Series, click here

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Martha Celebrations Coming Friday, April 5th!


Martha Stewart announced today on her Sirius/XM radio show, "Mostly Martha," the new Martha Celebrations line at JCP will be launching on Friday, April 5th both in store and online at jcp.com.   

In approximately 500 JCP stores nationwide, special Martha Celebration shops are currently being built to display the line.  The Martha Celebrations shop is just one of many new shops that will be opening as part of the JCP Home makeover. 

The Martha Celebrations line includes paper party supplies, gift bags, wrapping paper, candies, balloons, and candles.  There is also a full line of decorating items available to make any celebration special.  The Celebrations line will offer seasonal merchandise for all the usual holidays that are cause for celebration. 

Take a look at this "b-roll" of the new Celebrations line:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Remembering: Outdoor Living Special Issues

While winter seems to have a death grip on us, I'm ready to begin the warm weather seasons and enjoy the great outdoors once again. 

Since mid-February, I've been in planning mode - sketching out garden plantings for this year, making my shopping list for plants to fill the numerous urns and patio planters, and designing the patio arrangement to turn the space into a true outdoor living space.

For inspiration, I pour over numerous publications; but I always spend a few hours with two past special issues from Martha Stewart - "Outdoor Living." 

The first Outdoor Living special issue was published in 2007 and each page was filled with great ideas and help for the beginning gardener, to the most seasoned.  Paging through this issue is always a nice trip back to the gardens at Turkey Hill. 

The second issue was published in 2008 and was just as useful and beautiful. 

True to the Martha Stewart standard, the information contained in these two publications is truly 'ever-green' and timeless.  It's just as useful today as it was when they were first published. 

While only two issues of Outdoor Living were published, I remain hopeful that MSLO will revisit the idea once again - even if only in digital form. 

Outdoor Living special issues were definitely a good thing. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Second Serving of Cooking School

Second Season Of Martha Stewart's Cooking School And Season One Of Martha Bakes To Premiere On PBS Beginning April 6th

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. today announced that the second season of the James Beard Award-nominated Martha Stewart's Cooking School and the first season of Martha Bakes will premiere on PBS stations nationwide beginning April 6, 2013 (check local listings). The programs will be presented in association with WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public broadcaster in the nation's capital. jcpenney and KitchenAid will serve as sponsors, along with charitable partner March of Dimes, for the second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School. KitchenAid has signed on as the exclusive sponsor for the first season of Martha Bakes.

The second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School comes on the heels of a successful first season which averaged approximately 1 million viewers each week and was seen in more than 92% of US households.  In each 30-minute episode of the second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School, which was both produced by MSLO and inspired by Emmy® Award-winning TV host Martha Stewart's bestselling book of the same title, Martha will demonstrate more classic cooking techniques and basics using her signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process. Episodes will include everything from soups, stews and seafood to roasting, sauteing and preserving.
"I'm very happy that Martha Stewart's Cooking School has been so well-received," said Ms. Stewart. "Cooking and teaching—my two biggest passions—are front and center on a show that viewers are finding accessible and useful. Home cooking is truly one of life's greatest pleasures, and it's wonderful to see that more and more, people are enjoying meals cooked in their own kitchens." 
Following the success of Martha Stewart's Cooking School, Martha Stewart will re-air Martha Bakes, a 13-episode teaching series that originally aired on The Hallmark Channel. Throughout the series,  exclusively sponsored by KitchenAid, Martha shares her best tips and techniques, giving viewers the confidence to create the finest desserts and delectable baked goods in their own kitchens. From the perfect cheesecake to flaky, melt-in-your mouth puff pastry, Martha's updated versions of the classics will set the standard.

"We couldn't ask for a more perfect fit. Our viewers have an affinity for cooking shows and they tune in to public television to learn," says Dalton Delan, executive vice president and chief programming officer of WETA. "These series are ideal for people who want to learn cooking and baking techniques — and who better to teach them than America's most trusted lifestyle expert?"
"We are so pleased that our stations will have the opportunity to bring their viewers more episodes of Martha Stewart's Cooking School and now Martha Bakes," said Donald Thoms, vice president of programming for PBS. "For decades, PBS has been a destination where viewers learn how to cook from some of the world's foremost experts, so we are happy that legacy will continue with new seasons of Martha Stewart sharing her culinary expertise."

In addition, MSLO has created and produced 13 original Martha Bakes videos and 13 original Martha Stewart's Cooking School videos exclusively for KitchenAid, which will launch on April 6th on marthastewart.com.  Each video, either hosted by an expert from MSLO's culinary team or narrated by Martha Stewart, focuses on delicious recipes, helpful tips and techniques to make baking and cooking easier and more fun for every home cook.

Full episodes of the second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School and the first season of Martha Bakes will also be available for viewing on PBS.org.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Barefoot Contessa in Your Freezer

Photo courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa
Food Network star and cookbook author Ina Garten, best known as the "Barefoot Contessa," has teamed up with Contessa Premium Foods (how ironic is that?) to produce a new line of pre-packaged, ready to cook "dinners for two." 

Based on Ina's favorite recipes and using the best quality ingredients, the dinners can be prepared at home in a sauté pan in about 10 minutes.  "Sometimes even the Barefoot Contessa doesn't have time to cook," Ina says. "I've already grilled the chicken, grated the cheeses, simmered the sauce, and chopped the fresh herbs, so in minutes you can make a freshly prepared dinner for your family. How easy is that?"

Dinners include Barefoot Contessa Penne Pasta with 5 Cheeses, Sesame Chicken & Noodles, Beef Stew Bourguignon, Tequila Lime Chicken, Shrimp Scampi & Linguine, Creamy Chicken Stew, Pasta Carbonara with Pancetta, Garlic & Ginger Chicken, and Jambalaya. The dinners for two will retail for approximately $8.99.

Ina has been closely involved in every step of creating her Barefoot Contessa Sauté Dinners for Two, and she also includes serving suggestions to make each dinner taste "Even Better." The dinners are prepared by Contessa Premium Foods Inc in its LEED-Gold-Certified "green" plant.

"Nothing tastes better than a freshly cooked dinner with great ingredients," says Ina. "Your family will think you're brilliant."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Special Savings from Staples!

I've been raving about the new Wall Manager from Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery and now you can take advantage of big savings from Staples when you design and purchase your own Wall Manager system.

Now, through Saturday, Staples is offering a 40% savings on all Wall Manager boards, including the accessory board, cork board, magnetic dry erase board, and dry erase calendar board. 

Here is the Wall Manager unit we designed for our home office:

I absolutely love this great organizational tool, and I'm sure you will too! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Martha Lighting at JCP

A well designed table lamp is an essential part of decorating any room. Martha Stewart has a new selection of table lamps as part of the new MarthaHome line at JCP. 

Available online and in stores, the MarthaLighting line is beautifully crafted and will enhance any room décor.  Prices start at $110. 

Spun Metal Buffet Lamp in Black

Colonade Lamp is available in white and aqua

The Colonade Lamp is also available in graphite. 

A more modern touch with the Metal and Marble Lamp

Spun Metal Buffet Lamp in Meringue White

The Mercury Ripple Lamp sparkles!

Spun Metal Urn Lamp in Smoke

A personal favorite - the Modern Cage Lamp

Spun Metal Urn Lamp in Wheat

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Save a Meal, Save a Farm

When life gives you a ton of heirloom tomatoes, make sauce!  Beekman 1802 has done just that, and it's sauce with a purpose. 

Brent and Josh, from Beekman 1802 are introducing the "Mortgage Lifter" Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce today on their website.  This is the first in a new line of food products from the farming duo.

In an email announcement, Brent and Josh explained how this new food line will assist other farmers:

"When we won "The Amazing Race," we promised in every interview that we would develop a food line with the winnings that would help American small farms pay off their mortgages, just like "The Amazing Race" helped us pay off our own.

And we're crazy-excited to announce that the first product will be officially released tomorrow - our "Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce." 25% of the profits will be given each year to one or more American farmers struggling to pay their mortgage. The remaining  75% will go right back into developing new products."

You can order the new sauce on line.  The more you order, the more you save!  Price cuts are available for larger quantities. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Wall Manager

Keeping organized is always a challenge and I'm always interested in new products that assist me in my organizing efforts.  When I learned of the new Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery "Wall Managers" I knew it would be an asset to our home office and fit the need for an entryway space where we tend to place keys, mail, etc. 

Available in chalk white or graphite black, the wall managers have individual accessories to customize the board(s) to fit your personal needs.  The base product is the accessory board that utilizes a click+lock system for drawers, letter bins, caddies, shelves, clips, hooks, and more.  Each board has a built in "level" system to make the wall manager is mounted level on any wall surface. 
With additional cork board, and magnetic dry-erase boards, you can design your own personal wall manager that works for YOU.  

For our entry, I put together a design that will serve as a communication command center, holding everything from mail, keys, invitations, notes, etc.  

Also new this spring, are Message Boards in a classic Martha flourish shape.  These lightweight message boards are made of cork with colorful borders in either Martha blue or black.  Each board comes with mounting squares that will easily mount to any flat, dry, clean surface. 
The Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery product line, available exclusively at Staples,  will have many new products this spring, including an expanded selection of removable dry-erase decals, flourish chalkboard decals, a variety of chalkboard labels and much, much more. 
Many Staples stores are in the process of stocking their shelves with the new wall manager items and other stock as part of the spring reset for the line.  You can view the wall manager system on the staples website. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First Look: Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

America's favorite farmers,  Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge have teamed up once again with the talented Sandy Gluck, for their newest book, "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook" due to reach booksellers in September of this year. 

September?! September?!  Yes, we have a growing season wait for the release, but it's good to have something to look forward to! 

This companion to their first release, "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook" features 100 dessert recipes from the farm and garden and is beautifully photographed by Paulette Tavormina.  If the photograph on the cover is any indication of what is on the inside, readers are in for a true visual treat.  I'm quite taken with the cover.  I'd love to have that print in my kitchen! 

We'll all be so busy in our gardens this year, September will be here before we know it! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mad Hungry Cravings and Spurtle Envy

What do you crave?  Is it a traditional dish made by your Grandmother?  Is it a family favorite that only Mom could make?  Is it that great grab and go meal from the take-out joint?  Cravings.  We all have them and thanks to Lucinda Scala Quinn, those cravings can easily be taken care of at home, in your own kitchen, made with your own two hands. 

Mad Hungry Cravings will be available at your favorite bookseller on March 19th.  This 300 page plus cookbook is chocked full of recipes that will soon be what you’re craving for.  Lucinda covers everything from breakfast to dinner with good food that is perfect any time of day.
While March 19th isn’t too far away, fans and friends of Mad Hungry who can’t wait (I’m one of those people…) will be able to order Mad Hungry Cravings from QVC on Sunday, February 24th at 1pm.  Lucinda will be on the air sharing recipes and more during the popular “In the Kitchen” segment on the shopping network. 

But wait!  That’s not all!
Tune into QVC on the 24th and viewers will be able to purchase for the very first time, the official Mad Hungry branded spurtles!   Lucinda gave her Facebook friends and sneak peek at the spurtles several weeks ago as part of the upcoming Mad Hungry product line.  I assure you, the spurtle will quickly become one of your favorite kitchen tools! 

Photo courtesy of Lucinda Scala Quinn

Are you Mad Hungry?  Your wait is almost over.  
Read my 2010 interview with Lucinda Scala Quinn here. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

MarthaPantry Launch Slated for April 2013

Several weeks ago, the JCP gave web visitors the first look (and hint) at the new product line from Martha Stewart, "MarthaHome." The splash page was not much in itself, given the pending court battle with Macy's over exclusive rights to Martha Stewart branded products in certain home categories.  That trial is set to begin this week, on February 20th. 

In recent interviews, JCP CEO, Ron Johnson shared a little insight, stating that there were many categories that were not exclusive to Macy's including window treatments, soft flooring, celebrations (a line of party/celebration supplies), and pantry goods.  Johnson went on to share that JCP was on target to open their new Martha Stewart stores (within a store) in May, 2013.  JCP will be unveiling an entirely made over home department in their stores at that time. 

Today, the JCP website was updated with confirmation (of sorts) that the first products to be introduced to consumers will be MarthaWindow, coming in March; MarthaCelebrations, coming in March; and the new MarthaPantry line of packaged food items.  As noted on the website, MarthaPantry will be available online and in stores beginning in April. 

Living Reduces Publication Frequency

It's a sign of the times.  Martha Stewart Living will decrease publication frequency this year, with a combined July/August issue according to the editorial calendar available in the 2013 media kit. 

With declining ad pages, and a downturn in circulation throughout the magazine industry, it comes as no surprise to see the decrease.  I'd rather see MSLO decrease frequency rather than cease publication of its flagship magazine all together! 

Despite the decrease,  Martha Stewart Living continues to publish more issues than most shelter/home magazines who average 10 per year.  The 2013 reduction will take Martha Stewart Living to 11 yearly issues. 

MSLO introduced the first August issue in 2001.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Mad Hungry" Returns to the Hallmark Channel

If you're a fan of "Mad Hungry" (and who isn't?), REJOICE!  Beginning Monday, January 21, "Mad Hungry" is returning to the Hallmark Channel!  The show will air from 1-2pm eastern.  Lucinda made the announcement on the "Mad Hungry" Facebook page on Friday. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Expansion

The highly successful Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line continues to expand with a  new line of briefcases, laptop bags, tablet sleeves, carry-all totes, and wristlets. 

Available in a variety of Martha Stewart inspired colors, all pieces in the expanded line are made of durable, easy to clean materials. 

The slim-fit tablet sleeve provides protection for your iPad or other comparable sized tablet device.  The snap closure also doubles as a pull-tab to remove your tablet from the sleeve.

Stylish and functional, the tote comes in a variety of colors and in two sizes. 

The tablet cover also doubles as a stand, for vertical or horizontal viewing

The smaller carry-all tote

The laptop bags are available in a variety of sizes and colors to protect laptops from 14-17"

The tablet sleeve in the Walnut color is particularly attractive.

Great for storing all your small accessories in one place, the wristlet will keep your phone, keys, cosmetics and more safe and dry. 

Examples of laptop bags in Martha blue and Walnut. 

The small laptop tote is the perfect size to hold a standard 15" screen computer.  Inside pockets keep your laptop safe while allowing room for other belongings.

The laptop briefcase has room for everything you need for an office on the go!

Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery is available only at Staples stores or online at Staples.com.