I volunteered to make a pasta salad for a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ and decided to dig for inspiration to mix up my stand-by recipe. I found an old Martha Stewart antipasti pasta salad recipe and gave it my own spin with a few different ingredients. It wasn’t an exact science — I tossed radiatore pasta with balsamic vinegarette and lots of salt and pepper. Then I folded in a handful of chopped tomatoes, capers, provolone cubes, a jar of green olives, diced salami, finely minced red onions and lots of torn fresh basil leaves and chopped chives. It was a hit and will likely be the new ‘stand-by’ pasta salad for BBQs this summer!

I needed a sweet treat to snack on during the Oscars and thought I’d have a little fun updating a classic: the chocolate chip cookie. Martha Stewart’s soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe is just about the most perfect cookie specimen there is, but I couldn’t help but mix it up for the biggest movie night of the year with some movie theater candy. I followed the original recipe, and then swapped out the chocolate chips for a mixture of M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, and Raisnets. Spoiler alert: they were crazy tasty. I’m thinking these will be an annual Oscars night staple!

Movie Theater Cookies 1
Movie Theater Cookies 5
Movie Theater Cookies 3
Movie Theater Cookies 8
Movie Theater Cookies 2
Movie Theater Cookies 6
Movie Theater Cookies

The summer is halfway over and I have a major item to tackle on my “Kate’s Summer of Fun” bucket list (why yes, I have come up with a theme name for this summer). That item? See an outdoor movie and throw a fabulous picnic while I’m at it. Luckily my neighborhood has a whole movies-in-the-park series this year, I just need to get myself into gear and make it to one. I clipped this great cheese pairings piece from a recent Martha Stewart magazine to use as inspiration for some picnic treats — don’t you just want to try them all?


You know how brides start to get nervous and crazy as their wedding gets closer from all of the stress? See, I’m pretty relaxed about the wedding, but what I am stressed about is that with the big day just 3 months away, that’s only a few more issues of my favorite bridal magazines showing up in my mailbox! I might not be able to give up my Martha Stewart Weddings after the vows are said and done — especially after this gorgeous race-track inspired wedding in the most recent issue. Black and white stripes are playing a big part in our wedding decor, so these ideas are getting bookmarked! See the rest of the wedding here.

Martha Stewart Weddings Race Track

I’m off to New York today to wrap up the year and head home for the holidays, so I have a festive little guest post to share with you from Navya of The Little Flower Cottage:

When Kate mentioned that she wanted to do a guest post on gift wrap styling,  I jumped at the chance to share what I’ve been whipping up in my own little workshop this season! I don’t know about you, but for me, receiving a beautifully wrapped package is almost as exciting as what’s inside.  This year I went with some simple polka dot kraft wrapping paper (a TJMaxx score!)  that I embellished with sprigs of pine, cinnamon sticks and gold glitter. I didn’t feel like the white dots were festive enough so I brushed on a thin layer of glue and dusted away with some Martha Stewart glitter. Presto!  An instant touch of glam to otherwise rustic packaging.  I can’t wait to hand them off to friends and family next week!


Ready for the last installment of Handmade Holidays? There is no sweeter gift than homemade treats! 

Remember when I said this was the easiest DIY holiday present? I lied — it gets easier! Grab a package of Tollhouse chocolate chips from the grocery store and using the recipe on the back measure out all of the dry ingredients, layering them one by one in a mason jar. Next, write the recipe out on a pretty piece of paper and stick it on top of the jar, and finally, adorn the front with a personalized message and some ribbon (I printed my message out on Martha Stewart Avery Labels). How easy was that? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Handmade Holidays Gift ideas here, here, here, and here!

Miss me? I was off a few days having “pinch me, is this for real?” moments at Alt Summit NYC. There were several times during the event that I geeked-out over the fact that I was hearing Martha Stewart speak just ten feet away from me; that I was rubbing shoulders with Kevin Sharkey on the roof of the Martha Stewart headquarters, and peaking into the offices of Darcy Miller to snag a view of her floor to ceiling inspiration boards — not to mention meeting so many of my favorite blogger friends in real life!

By far though, the highlight for me was hearing Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swiss Miss talk about the importance of side projects (ahem, like this little ol’ blog here) and her steps towards living a creative life (Check out Sarah’s great recap of these steps). Her speech and many others throughout the day had a common theme — take the risk to do what you love, and things will work out — advice I need to take to heart!

Want to see some more of my trip to Alt Summit? Follow me on Instagram!

My mom gave me some crafting materials for Christmas, and among the presents was a Martha Stewart Pom-pom kit. I have wanted to use these at a party for-ev-er, and was so excited to hang them from the ceiling for NYE. Unfortunately the ceilings in my ancient apartment must have 30 layers of lead paint on them, because it was impossible to get tacks into the surface to hang them up.

Plan B: decorating the mantle. My boyfriend suggested I use them to make a display above the fireplace with some big glittery numbers.

A late night trip to Michael’s and we were on our way… I cut numbers out of foam, slid them on a stick, and glittered-the-heck out of those babies.

The numbers stood up on another block of foam…

… and then I nestled them behind the pom-poms…

Of course the night ended with drunken guests wearing pom-poms on their heads and tossing them around the room. We’re clearly not ready to be  grown ups yet. At least I got good pictures at the beginning of the night.

I absolutely love cooking, but its a total challenge in my pitifully tiny excuse for a kitchen. This weekend though I was motivated left and right to cook… first ol’ Martha tempted me with pictures of her Christmas brunch. Caramel drizzled camembert anyone? How about a fried egg in a steaming hot popover? Holy drool Martha.

I also indulged my indulgent side and watched Julie and Julia with a glass of wine on Saturday night. Is it possible to gain weight from watching someone cook? Who cares, anyone that loves butter that much is all right with me.

Inspired, I made an attempt at beef bourguigon on Sunday night, and it was heavenly… and for anyone that wants my review: the book, and the recipe, were better than the movie. But isn’t that always the case?