Monday, March 9, 2015

It Was A Good Thing.....Where is Martha Now?

As I work on my blog, I often think of the people who had the most influence over my home decorating styles, cooking experiences and gardening failures.  (Failures were caused by my brown thumb and ability to kill all things green, even those that are plastic.)  Through my successes and failures, one person consistently stands out as someone I consider to have had the most influence on me.

Years ago, long before the world of HGTV, DIY Network, and Food Network; long before blogging on home decor, DIY projects and cooking was popular, there was a model turned homemaker who paved the way for the rest of the "all things home" world.  Her name was Martha Stewart.


Martha was born and raised in New Jersey.  At an early age (10), she began her entrepreneurial efforts by babysitting for Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra AND organizing their children's birthday parties.  By 15, she was modeling for Chanel.


In 1976, she and a modeling friend started a catering business...in her basement!  Martha became the pioneer in entertaining, meal preparation, home decor, crafts, gardening....you name it, she did it.  But wasn't Julia Child the pioneer in the cooking world, you might ask?  Maybe, but I'm not writing about Julia Child, I'm writing about Martha Stewart.  Although, rumor has it that Martha once had dinner with Julia Child, thus launching her career.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to substantiate this tidbit.

Martha was the "go to" source when I was a young wife and mother.  She wrote the book on how to fold those blasted fitted sheets.  Actually, she wrote lots of books.


I couldn't wait to read her books on entertaining, decorating, cooking, and gardening.  She had the "Midas" touch  - her plants lived, her food didn't burn, and her chickens laid golden-colored eggs.  They were actually blue and green eggs, but she made money off of them (that "Midas" touch).  

It's a good thing was a phrase tagged at the end of every sentence (similar to the current that's what she said hype).  I would sit riveted to the TV when her show was on.  I loved seeing into her home and wanted to emulate everything she did.  I even committed an egregious sin - I coveted Martha Stewart's life. For me, being invited to one of her fabulous dinner parties or even being able to Trick-or-Treat at her house on Halloween, would be the ultimate coup.


Give me a break, I was young and fantasized alot.

Over the years, the "empire" grew.  More books were published, a new magazine emerged, her own line of household products appeared in stores, and there were more guest appearances on TV.  Everyone knew and wanted to be Martha.  Even Saturday Night Live spoofed her...topless! But we won't go there.


It seemed she had the inside track on everything.  We later found out she did (I forgot to mention that Martha also once worked as a stockbroker).  Which resulted in a little prison stint -- something that is never good for anyone's career.  Just ask Wesley Snipes!

Even though it seemed that Martha bounced back from her days in the big house, the Empire was never the same. Her TV shows were not renewed, guest appearances waned, publications flailed and book sales plummeted.  Fortunately, her company became profitable once again in 2006 and she was back at the helm as chairman of her company in 2012.  

So the age old question is, where is she now?  Right here.  Looking as good as ever!


While Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia isn't as lucrative or as large as it once was, Martha is still alive and kicking - wait, that was a Simple Minds song.  The image above is from a 2013 news article at DailyMail.com.  Her website, MarthaStewart.com is still available, offering recipes, household cleaning hints, craft projects, decorating advice and gardening tips.  For a 73 year-old, she is still hanging on in the ever-changing world of the internet and "all things home".  She even has a blog, martha up close and personal.




What about you?  Did Martha Stewart influence you in any way?  As you think about it, I am going to water my cactus and remove the scorched casserole from the oven!  It's a good thing!








*all images were borrowed from the internet: buzzfeed.com, dailymail.co.uk, theatermania.com, merrimentdesigncompany.com, gigglesgalore.net, and NEW YOU magazine via dailymail.co.uk.

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94 comments

  1. Something a little interesting you might not know about Martha, she was known as Marty at Nutley (N.J.) High School. A friend of mine in N.J. went to school with her. And in an article about her in the N.J. Star Telegram back in the early nineties she said that she rarely sleeps more than four hours a night and one of her fondest memories from childhood was eating onion sandwiches with her father in the kitchen in the middle of the night.

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    1. Very interesting!! Thank you for this information! Although onion sandwiches are a little gross, I'm sure she learned how to "doctor" them up to be very tasteful. :-)

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  2. So many interesting facts!! I remember when she was on trial and someone asked if I thought I could be on the jury - I said "no way, she taught me how to fold a fitted sheet!" ha/ha Crazy, huh?

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    1. Jamie, most definitely! And we never bite the hand that feeds us, or in this case, shows us how to fold those horrible sheets!! Thank you for the comment!

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  3. Well, I can't say that I am a Martha fan. I wasn't there for her rise to fame though so I never had that connection. It's nice to have people that we can admire and have a connections with though.

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    1. She did pave the way for so many others, so that was "a good thing". Excuse the pun! :-)

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  4. I grew up with Martha Stewart as well but did not follow her that much but I also did not follow Julia as I figured I was not good at the things these ladies did so why waste my time trying when I could do things I was good at.

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    1. I'm not good at alot of those things either, but do like to challenge myself, occasionally. However, I did learn my limits and left the craft projects to Martha and her friends. :-)

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  5. Martha Stewart seems to be good at everything. She really is talented in being business savy.

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    1. She definitely has a head for business, but sometimes, she stepped on some toes while climbing the corporate ladder. I wonder if she regrets some of those decisions?

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  6. I think Martha helped pave the way for the current DIY, Pintrest,etc. trend. Thanks for sharing her background.

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  7. Carla, I do agree! Where would all of Food Network and HGTV people with out her??!! Thank you for commenting!

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  8. I think as much as we hate to admit it, many of us have been inspired by her in one way or another!

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  9. Holy crap, she's 73??! She looks amazing!!

    I had no idea she had been a model. This contributes even more to my theory that she sold her soul to the Devil at a young age. She's just way too crazy talented. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. She does look amazing for her age! And a little airbrush in her photos doesn't hurt either. :-) She was so beautiful when she was young and yes, is crazy talented! Thank you for your comment!

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  10. Funny, I don't know why but I have never really liked Martha Stewart. My husband is always teasing me about it.

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    1. Probably because in her younger days she was not a very nice person and was difficult to deal with. According to her daughter's book, she just ran over everyone to get what she wanted!

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  11. Every time I am folding my fitted sheets, I think of Martha :) Yes, she was the one who taught me how to do it perfectly! I too enjoyed watching her shows, and yes, I remember a bowl of those colored eggs. Love her! Thank you for this great post!

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    1. Thank you! I do miss her older shows because they were interesting and educational. I think she became QUEEN because of the fitted sheet folding. Every woman in the world struggled with that until she taught us the right way to do it! Thanks so much!!

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  12. I love this blog. Never been much of a Martha fan, mostly because I am intimidated by her. But your blog is great. I spent some time browsing around, that Apple Crisp and Chicken Pot Pie look the best. I will be trying those for sure real soon.
    Thanks

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    1. Thank you so much! That is encouraging as I'm brand new to the blogging world and am still feeling my way around! The Apple Crisp is wonderful, but I can't take credit for the taste since it is a mix....you will enjoy it! The Chicken Pot Pie is always a hit with my family! Thank you again and have a great evening!

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  13. My mom loved Martha Stewart. I was neutral. Now as a wife and mom myself... she's just too perfect. It's intimidating. Oh well.

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  14. I never followed Martha but I always knew if I needed to know how to do something, or if I wanted to add a touch of class to something she would be the one to turn too. She does seem to have a certain sense about her to know what is 'just right' Unfortunately most of us can never measure up to her standards. At least I know I can't !

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    1. Neither can I, but like you, I know if I want or need something, her website is a great "go to" place!

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  15. I agree that she has been an inspiration both in business and in the home. You don't get to the top btw without hurting someone, not necessarily intentionally. A man never gets degraded for doing the same things like she was.

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    1. Yes, and sitting at the top probably isn't all it's cracked up to be! Thank you for your comment!

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  16. As someone still in my 20's, I remember growing up and admiring her. I've always longed to live a similar life (at least the life she portrays) - dinner parties, a lovely and clean home, festive holidays, a wonderful homemaker - it's almost nice to see her life is not perfect, though! It's a reminder to me to just do my best, and do what I enjoy because I enjoy it, and not because I want a life someone else lives.

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    1. My best friend loves Martha Stewart. When we would talk we would always ask, "what Martha thing did you do today?" Sometimes we were successful in trying her different recipes or projects, sometimes not so much. Her home in Connecticut was gorgeous and always looked so pretty. While we couldn't have similar lives, we feel that she pushed us to try a little harder! Thank you for the comment!

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  17. I love this post! I'm a huge Martha fan. I absolutely admire her.

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    1. Thank you! She's savvy, that's for sure!!

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  18. Wow! I didn't know any of that about her youth. She was STUNNING! I remember the first time I heard about her, my college roommate's older sister was a huge Martha fan. I wasn't ready for homemaking yet, so it all went a little over my head :) But eventually I came to be amazed by the diversity of her skills, to not only be able to cook, garden, and create but build a business too. She's one of a kind.

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    1. She was gorgeous! I love the first photo. I believe her husband took that picture of her.

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  19. I honestly don't pay too much attention to the world of the rich and famous. But goodness, I had no idea that Martha Stewart was once a model! You'd think everyone would mention that. But I suppose everyone forgot, considering the very different route she's taken since those days. Very neat to learn that "fun fact" thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you! I don't believe alot of people realize she once modeled. Everything else she accomplished put that fact on the far back burner! :-)

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  20. I never knew she was once a model! She is a beautiful lady and so talented. I have always admired how organized and beautiful everything seems to be around her. I wish I had a tenth of her talent.

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  21. It's interesting to learn a little more about Martha's background. I'm not a big fan of hers, but I do admire her business-savvy. When you think about all she's been able to accomplish as a woman, despite setbacks, she really is amazing.

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    1. It was interesting to learn some of the facts...that she started at 10 organizing birthday parties...who knew, right?

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  22. Reminiscing on Martha...Always looking for her shows on TV...way before all this

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    1. I wish that her older show still came on. I didn't like the new one on that funky set at all!

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  23. Oh my gosh, I SO wish I had some mad Martha skillz! At this point I don't even have the ability to THINK about being anything like her, but I swear, she and my mom share some of the same genes!

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    1. I wish I were more like her...her spring cleaning methods and Halloween decor were the best!

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  24. I subscribe to her magazine Living :)

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  25. I've learned a ton from Martha, too, The prison thing was unfortunate, but doesn't change all that she has added to the homemaking the world… Her roasted sweet potatos and pears recipe is one of my favorites :-)

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    1. It was most unfortunate. YUM...I will need to try that recipe!

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  26. Martha is a very driven woman and, in my opinion, the decorating world of DIY, HGTV, etc. would not be what it is without her.

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    1. My husband and I were having this same discussion the other night. That those channels (the ones that snubbed her) wouldn't be where they are without her!

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  27. She really is "somebody". Even to the other end of the world to a person like me who doesn't keep up with the latest movies, musics, hollywood stars, I know her name and what she does and that she's really good at it!

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    1. She is most definitely great at what she does -- as well as selling it to other people! :-)

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  28. I have always been intrigued by Martha and have read a book and magazine or too by her. I've always felt like some of her stuff was just too complicated for me to replicate.I love looking at the pictures though!

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    1. Most of what she does is beyond my abilities, but some of her recipes are really easy to do, so I stick to those! :-)

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  29. Ohhh, I love Martha! Always wanted to be like her, always failed :-) Because I guess there can only be one Martha in the world! I love trying her recipes, DIY, anything!

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    1. LOL...only one, but it never hurts to keep trying!

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  30. While not a big fan of Martha, per se, I found your post and your blog site very enjoyable. I do LOVE decorating, and will visit you again. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you very much! I appreciate your kind words!

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  31. I've never been much of a Martha follower but I did enjoy her appearance on Two Broke Girls a season or so back when the girls were stalking her. She cracked me up in that episode. Maybe her next challenge should be comedy.

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    1. I think you are on to something there!! :-)

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  32. I've always had a soft spot for Martha Stewart. I know if I use one of her recipes or craft tutorials, it will likely come out right! (unlike a lot of what I see on Pinterest). I hadn't seen the earlier photos of her -- so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are welcome and thank you! She was so beautiful. Interesting that she altered her career path!

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  33. I have mad respect for her hard work and success. I often enjoy her recipes (when I don't find it too complicated) and decorations. I admit I have backed off from her stuff but mostly because it feels too unachievable for me. Her tastes are more expensive than my budget. I'm more the upcycle type. lol But I do respect her!

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    1. I hear you! :-) I can't afford her either, but I do like getting ideas from her!

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  34. I have to admit I've never been a big fan of Martha Stewart, though I do enjoy some of her recipes. Love how you write about her though!

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    1. Thank you so much Marie...had to do a little research. Some of the things I knew, some, not so much! :-)

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  35. I didn't grow up with Martha, but I have enjoyed some of her decorating pics that I've seen! Very interesting bio of her....thanks for sharing!

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  36. I think Martha played a large roll in my creative pursuits... she did it all, and she did it effortlessly. I think she brought domestic back, but I have been put off in these last few years by her feelings towards bloggers. I think a lot of the DIY and craft bloggers were created by her books, shows and tutorials. But, she has said some rude things about the worth of bloggers, while at the same time profiting off them appearing on her shows and even making a whole show filled with bloggers in the audience. I think her star has set, but I appreciate all she did.

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    1. I don't think she has ever been a really "nice" person. From what I read, she sort of stepped on all the people she was in business with early on. And how ironic...she has a blog...LOL

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  37. Yes, there was a time when she influenced me and I watcher her shows and read her website. But I gave up trying to be her. I can't be that perfect! I have embraced my imperfections and accepted myself for who and what I am. Now days, I like to keep things simple.

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    1. I think, over the years, we fooled ourselves into thinking she was the "perfect" model for us to follow when it came to cooking, decor, cleaning, etc. What we have found is that she is just as flawed as we are in some of these areas! Thank you!!

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  38. Martha Stewart has truly touched our generation. From her home inspired decorating techniques to the magazines to food. Thanks for reminding me of the impact she has made.

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  39. Thank you for your comment! She has made a huge impact! :-)

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  40. Hi Benita!

    Martha was definitely a household name, and to be honest, I think she was (maybe still IS) always someone who didn't really worry about risk. If she felt like doing something, she just went ahead and did it. Despite the stock thing, her willingness to step out of her comfort zone and just do what she loved always seemed to put her several steps ahead of others in her various fields.

    Admit it - no one saw that Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg Episode coming :-D We can learn from her huge mistake, but more importantly, from her guts and will to follow her passions.

    Thanks,

    Alexander

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    1. Hi Alexander....you are definitely right!! And no, no one saw Martha and Snoop Dogg together...LOL. Thank you so much for your comment!!

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  41. I had no idea she was a model! I was never really a fan. My mom's generation was, but being I was not as crafty, I just never became interested. But for 73 years old, she has had quite a life!

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    1. I don't know why she never really talked that often about her modeling career. She was quite stunning.

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  42. It's been a while since I've thought about Martha, but as inept in the garden and kitchen I was and still am, I always admired her abilities and especially her business savvy.....her daughter had a show for a little bit didn't she? :)

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    1. Yes, I believe she did, but I never watched it. I saw a snippet one time and it was bizarre, so I left it alone. :-)

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  43. So interesting, I do think it's kind of sad that she hasn't reallybounced back as much for all that she's done in her life!

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    1. I'm sure it's hard to keep up in an ever-changing industry. Cooking shows started with Julia Child and now everyone has one!

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  44. Wow, I never saw the modeling photos of Martha, that first photo is stunning! I haven't followed Martha Stewart all that much, but I have gotten some recipes from her site.

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  45. Can't say I was ever a huge Martha fan, but you can't deny her work ethic and creativity.

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    1. Not at all! She worked very hard over the years.

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  46. Fan or not, you can't deny the fact that she has had a major impact on teaching women about entertaining, cooking, gardening, baking and of course, folding sheets. Thanks for the look back at her early career.

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    1. You are welcome and thank you! She did change alot of things for women!

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  47. Oh my gosh I remember the episode of SNL where Martha Stewart was spoofed topless! Wasn't Sarah Michelle Gellar hosting that episode? I used to work at Kmart years ago, which sold the Martha Stewart brand of home goods. I still have a few of her branded products.

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    1. Yes, that was the one! I wanted to put a photo of that spoof, but thought it might not be a good idea...LOL. It was hilarious!!

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  48. My older sister was a Martha junkie and since I idolized my sister, I thought Martha was awesome. Whatever your opinion may be of her, she is a strong, independent woman who made a lot of money doing what she loves.

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    1. I thought she was also and then I read a few bad things about how she treated people. That part I didn't like, but I do admire her tenacity and business savvy. She was great at what she did. I miss her show, alot!! Have a great evening!

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  49. I would say that she influenced me the most when it came to baking and cooking-- I've never been disappointed with any of her recipes. Several of my favorite recipes are Martha Stewart recipes (I have 3 or 4 of her cookbooks). I was never put off by her perfectionism, instead I used what I could of her almost limitless fantastic ideas. I thought the whole insider trading thing (and prison sentence) was ridiculous.

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    1. I've always loved her recipes also and you are right, they never disappoint! I think they made a "scape goat" out of her because there are tons of men who do that stuff every single day and they are still sitting in their offices!!

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