Category Archives: martha in the making

my favorite things: kitchen-inspired vanity

Jewelry and cake plates. Two things that you can truly NEVER have enough of. One of my favorite things in the world is having a pretty vanity area…made complete by a cake plate, some china, an Anthropologie ceramic farmer’s egg crate, and matching Anthropologie ceramic bowls. And lots of pretty, sparkly baubles.

Today, I am busy hiding up in my bathroom color-coding my earrings, organizing my hair bands, and cleaning out old Mascara tubes. Next I’m going to clean out my sock drawer.

My masterpiece. After polishing, arranging, organizing, rearranging, and then rearranging some more.

One of my favorite things to do is spend hours carousing the aisles of little bead stores around town…I’ve compiled a collection of hundreds of antique-looking beads to make these cute bracelets! The bead store is always a good pick-me-up.

I love these bowls – they are very multi-purpose. I store craft supplies, earrings, candy, pushpins, and all sorts of things in them.

This is the perfect container for all of your smaller earrings – it’s great for easy access to those diamond studs (cubic of course!) and it shows off your shiny collection!

easter cards

This might be a little bit of Easter overkill by now, but I just had to share these homemade Easter cards I made last night while watching The Office, Community, and Modern Family. It was a big TV night at my house.

These cards are so easy to make – all they require are some white and light turquoise cards (my favorite color in case you can’t tell from the logo…and everything else on this site), a few scraps of fuzzy fabrics (I used stretch velvet), a hot glue gun (can’t live without it), and some embellishments. The embellishments I used were ribbons, mini-rosettes, and Martha Stewart’s mini pearl stickers in white. I saw them at Michael’s and just HAD to have them.

Here are the finished cards:

In case you are in need of a template for the bunny and duck fabric cutouts, I’ve posted mine below (be sure to size the templates for the card before printing):

mud pudding springtime treat

When I was in first grade, I attended a tiny little school with fifteen other first-graders, the girls clad in little schoolgirl pleated skirts and the boys in khakis with polo shirts. Of that entire year, I can only remember three things about my first-grade experience.

The first of these memories is the day that Katrina, the mean, loud “party” girl (if you can call a first-grader that) that always wore pigtails and had red rubber bands on her braces (I knew this was trouble) told me that my eyes were “crooked.” We were standing by our cubbies putting our lunch boxes away, and out of the blue, my delicate, insecure first-grade mind was in a state of frenzy. It was scarring. I then ran to the bathroom crying, frantically inspecting my eyes to see what the problem was. What I realize now is that there are always going to be people like Katrina that try to make others feel insecure. Even in my MBA program, I was told – in another Katrina moment, minus the crying – by a twenty-eight year old (see, it doesn’t go away with age), that I “blink an abrnormal amount.” She then went on to ask if I have an eye disorder.

Thank you, Rohini!

The second memory from my first-grade experience was the time logged at the sports field with my best friend watching the two cute twins at my school play tag. We would watch while simultaneously planning our double wedding…it was really irrelevant who married which twin, because either way we’d end up sisters. We were very strategic for six-year-olds.

The third memory I have of first grade was our Earth Day snack booth where I was introduced to the most delicious, fun, creative treat in the world – mud pudding. I thought it was the COOLEST idea to make pudding with oreo crumbs and gummy worms that actually look like mud and dirt… whoever thought of that genius idea clearly knew the minds of first-graders and their fascination with eating snails, dirt, real mudpies, and whatever else we could get our hands on. Clearly this treat had a big impact on me, as I felt the urge to recreate this joyful moment fifteen years later.

Mud Pudding


3 cups of nonfat milk
1 package of Oreos (crushed)
1 package of Instant Chocolate Pudding (Jell-O)
1 package of Cool Whip (I recommend Truwhip, a natural alternative with no hydrogenated oils)
Gummy worms

1. Crush Oreos into small pieces to use as the “dirt” in this yummy muddy treat. You can also buy pre-crushed Oreos, which makes the job much easier!

2. One bicep workout later…you’ll have crushed Oreos that look like this:

3. In a bowl, combine milk with the package of instant pudding. Beat with a whisk for two minutes or until smooth.

4. Let sit for five minutes until the pudding begins to thicken.

5. Mix three large dollops of Cool Whip with about one-third of the Oreo crumbs. You don’t need to be too precise here – you just want enough Cool Whip to form a sticky mixture that holds the Oreo crumbs together.

6. Scoop Oreo and Cool Whip mixture into the bottom of teacups (fill about ½ inch).

7. Scoop pudding into teacups almost to brim. Leave enough room for a thin layer of more Oreo crumbs on top.

8. Sprinkle Oreo crumbs on top of pudding until coated.

9. Add two gummy worms to each dish.

10. Refrigerate for 45 minutes until firm.

11. Serve!

ideal bookshelf

There are so many times when I wish I could paint more than just roses (and very elementary, low-quality roses at that), and now is one of those times.

I found this blog, Ideal Bookshelf, in InStyle’s Valentine’s Day gift guide, and was instantly hooked. This has to be one of the cutest ideas ever.

And it got me thinking, what’s on my bookshelf?

We’ve got the captivating operations, managerial economics, and financial accounting books that I have accumulated throughout my years and years of business studies… then the Atlas Shrugged, Don Quixote, and War & Peace-type books. There are dozens and dozens of Lunch in Paris, Summer in Tuscany, Nice Girls Do, Fabulously Fashionable, and Belle in the Big Apple-type books. The chick-lit, read-on-the-beach type of books.

I tried to recreate the Ideal Bookshelf’s genius idea with a few of my favorite book titles. The keyword is tried. It’s a really poor attempt at painting my ideal bookshelf with watercolor pencils, but you get the idea!

the chicken pie shop

One of my favorite restaurants is the Chicken Pie Shop, a restaurant actually devoted to making their famous chicken potpies. It’s a little hole in the wall… the type of place that people keep coming back to for the rest of their lives.

It looked delicious. Except that I ordered the wrong thing… a salad.

If there’s one thing to learn from this experience, it’s that you do not order a salad at a restaurant devoted specifically to chicken potpies. Big mistake.

And now, after deep, long-lasting regret, I am making my very own chicken potpie. With the help of my grandma and her “heirloom recipe.”

These potpies are just a little bit healthier than the gravy-coated chicken pie stew that awaited me at the Chicken Pie Shop… but that doesn’t mean they are any less tasty!

Grandma’s Heirloom Chicken Potpie Recipe

Makes 2 Large Chicken Potpies

You will need:
-2 boneless, skinless fresh chicken breasts (white meat)
-2 medium-sized white potatoes
-2 sweet white husks of corn on the cob
-2 stalks of celery
-1 yellow onion
-3 carrots
-1 tablespoon flour
-2 Pillsbury pie crusts

1. Preparation:
a) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
b) Wash all vegetables.
c) Cut corn off the cob and be sure to remove all silk strings.
d) Peel and slice carrots (1/2 inch pieces).
e) Peel and chop potatoes (1/2 square inch chunks).
f) Cut celery stalks (1/2 inch pieces).
g) Slice onion.

2. Vegetables:
a) Place corn, sliced carrots, and chopped potatoes in a large saucepan.
b) Fill saucepan with water until vegetables are completely submerged in water.
c) Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
d) Cook on medium to high heat for 20 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots appear soft, though not overcooked.

3. Chicken:
a) Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the grain of the chicken in 1 inch cubes (an option is to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken).
b) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan.
c) Add cubes of chicken to saucepan, and add salt and pepper for seasoning.

d) Sauté until chicken is lightly cooked and no longer pink.
e) Add onions and celery to chicken stir-fry, mix together, and heat for 5 minutes.

f) Turn off heat after 5 minutes.
g) Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour (this will make the yummy gravy inside).

h) Mix!

4. Mixture of Vegetables and Chicken:
a) Add vegetable mixture of carrots, corn, and potatoes to chicken sauté – be sure to add some of the liquid to add moisture to the pie.
b) Stir, place lid on saucepan, and let sit without heat for 10 minutes.

5. Pie Crust:
a) Unroll pie crust and fix in pie pan, smoothing down the bottom of the crust to remove air bubbles.

b) Scoop vegetables and chicken into pie crust. Spread 3 tablespoons of butter across hot vegetable and chicken mixture.

c) Unroll other piece of crust and place on top of vegetable and chicken mixture. Attach bottom crust to top crust and fold together to make a pleat (visible below).

d) Cut 4 vents into top of pie.
e) Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

little miss easter

I was always a big fan of Easter.

This year, I spent the day making these cute paper covered Easter egg decorations.

They’re easy to make too! Here’s how you do it:

1. Start with your supplies:

-Plastic Easter Eggs
-Mod Podge (I used Gloss-Lustre, but the Matte works great too!)
-Small foam brush to apply Mod Podge
-A book or newspaper (I hope it’s not sacrilegious to use pages from The Notebook)
-Embellishments (ribbon, buttons, mini rosettes, etc.)
-Glitter – optional, but EVERYTHING needs a little glitter (I used Martha Stewart’s white gold glitter)

2. Coat plastic egg with Mod Podge and begin to apply newspaper (or pages from The Notebook like me), coating thoroughly. Cover egg entirely, and coat with another layer of Mod Podge to keep smooth edges.

When you’re finished, they should look like this:

3. From here, it’s all up to your personal taste. I embellished mine a few different ways:

a) Glitter

For glitter, coat the plastic egg with one more (light) layer of Mod Podge, and then lightly sprinkle glitter over egg.

b) Letters

Almost every time I read the newspaper, I collect the headlines and organize the letters into tubs like this:

If you do this, it’s really easy to look through your little letter tubs and put together cute Easter words to decoupage onto the eggs!

c) Ribbons, Buttons, and Mini-Rosettes

I used a hot-glue gun to attach the ribbons, buttons, and mini-rosettes to the eggs. Use a similar color theme so that the eggs look cute next to one another!

Here are some close-up shots of the finished products, 4 hours later.


Latest Posts