Mother. Grandmother. Writer. Entrepreneur. Media mogul. Domestic goddess. Ex-con. Martha Stewart has played more roles in her lifetime than she probably ever planned for, all of which have contributed to the often sage advice she regularly doles out. In honor of Stewart's 75th birthday, here are 20 gems—straight from Martha’s mouth.       

1. ON FINDING INSPIRATION

“I'm very inspired by nature—you could say Mother Nature. I look at things around me and get all kinds of inspiration daily. I also look at a lot of art. In New York, I get a tremendous amount of ideas by looking at the paintings and the sculptures, adapting artistic endeavors to crafts. There is a lot of inspiration around us that we can see every day and turn into projects.”

From a 2013 interview with Parents

2. ON OFFERING FRIENDLY DECORATING ADVICE

“I learned many years ago never to criticize, only compliment. Even if their home is horrifyingly awful.”

From a 2014 Reddit AMA

3. ON MISCONCEPTIONS

“I have been perceived as arrogant … I have sometimes probably forgotten, and I know I have, forgotten to pat the back of someone, or said, thank you, you know, enough times, or even maybe once sometimes …  I wish I were perfect. I wish I were just, you know, the nicest, nicest, nicest person on Earth. But I'm a businessperson in addition to a creator of domestic arts. And it's an odd combination. No excuse. But if I were a man, you know, no one would say I was arrogant.”

From a 2004 interview with Larry King

4. ON THE PROFITABILITY OF PERFECTION

“I’m a maniacal perfectionist. And if I weren’t, I wouldn’t have this company. I have proven that being a perfectionist can be profitable and admirable.”

From an interview with Oprah Winfrey

5. ON STICKING TO YOUR BELIEFS

“You have to stick up for your own ideas. You have to stick up for your beliefs. It’s like any kind of business. If you have really strong feelings and really strong design sensibilities, you have to persevere in those sensibilities. Otherwise, you will be run over, you know, like some giant trailer truck coming and just flattening you. And eliminating your creativity. And that happens.”

From a 2009 interview with The Henry Ford

6. ON WHY SLEEP IS OVERRATED

“I’m always on the lookout for those good, simple solutions to everyday problems. And it's the energy that enables me to run around and do the things that I like to do. I don't need a lot of sleep. I find that when you have a real interest in life and a curious life, that sleep is not the most important thing. More important is the discovery. And I'm really trying to discover everyday good things.”

From a 1995 interview with the Academy of Achievement

7. ON MARRIAGE

"I was married for 30 years. Isn't that enough? I've had my share of dirty underwear on the floor."

From an interview with US Weekly

8. ON BEING OPEN TO CHANGE

“You have to be open to change. I never stop making sure that what I say is the best of what could be said about a particular thing. It's a constant evolution. If I planted a tree one way yesterday and somebody tells me of a better way to plant a tree, I think, 'You know, they're right, that's better.' Then I change my way to accommodate the new way of planting trees.”

From a 2006 interview with Seventeen

9. ON LOSING HER FREEDOM

“I'm not afraid to go to jail. I'm afraid to be incarcerated. I mean, it's a lack of freedom. My freedom is taken away. Anybody in their right mind would fear incarceration. But the thing of going into a jail doesn't—I mean I'm not so afraid of that.”

From a 2004 interview with Larry King

10. ON PRISON FOOD

“There was nothing remarkable about the food at all.”

From a 2014 Reddit AMA

11. ON LEARNING SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY

“Learn something new every day. If you learn something new every day, you can teach something new every day."

From a 2013 interview with Parents

12. ON SEX

“Always take a bath before and after … and don't forget to brush your teeth.”

From a 2014 Reddit AMA

13. ON SETTING STANDARDS

“I don't do anything unless I think it's going to be good, I'm real picky about that. I have set a standard, and I'm going to stick to the standard.”

From a 1995 interview with the Academy of Achievement

14. ON TURNING EVERY DAY INTO AN EXPERIENCE

“Oh, I have an experience a day, at least. And it's not like seeing Jesus Christ in a dream or something like that, it's not a religious kind of experience that I experience daily. It's more involving nature, involving natural resources, involving a special quote said by a special person.”

From1995 interview with the Academy of Achievement

15. ON THE ONE INGREDIENT THAT DOESN’T BELONG IN ANYONE’S KITCHEN

“I think truffle oil is one of the few ingredients that doesn't belong in anyone's kitchen. It is ruinous of most recipes.”

From a 2014 Reddit AMA

16. ON HAVING AN OPEN MIND

“Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success. The great artists have been open-minded, even though they may seem, like Picasso, to be very directed, you can be directed and open-minded at the same time. I think you have to be really intensely serious about your work, but not so serious that you can't see the lightness that may also involve your life. You have to have that lightness too. You have to not be so heavy-handed and so ostentatious. It's very important not to be.”

From a 1995 interview with the Academy of Achievement

17. ON LIFE SKILLS

“Of course I know how to roll a joint.”

From a 2013 interview with Andy Cohen

18. ON TAKING THE TIME TO FIND YOURSELF

“Broaden yourself. You don't have to focus when you're 20. I think the broader you are, the better it is. Later you can focus on your real interests and ideas. The ultimate goal is to be an interesting, useful, wholesome person. If you're successful on top of that, then you're way ahead of everybody.”

From a 2006 interview with Seventeen

19. ON LIFE GOALS

“I wish I were closer friends with Snoop Dogg.”

From a 2014 Reddit AMA

20. ON THE IDEA OF “MARTHA STEWART FOR PRESIDENT”

“Sounds like a good idea, but I think there will be another strong woman candidate.”

From a 2014 Reddit AMA