By Meredith Maran and CAROL MEMMOTT
Updated June 17, 2013 12:00 PM

>Jen Lancaster, 45, spent a year following Martha Stewart’s lifestyle tips. What could possibly go wrong?

Why did you decide to do this?

Whenever something would go wrong, my husband would say, “Do you think Martha Stewart has to chase her cats off the Thanksgiving buffet?” I needed actionable information.

How did you start?

My first big project was Easter. I went all out and learned some important lessons: Chocolate melts on a sunny day and 15 lbs. of candy is too much for eight children.

Successes? I followed her recipes for four Thanksgiving pies (one had 25 steps). It took 11 hours. When everyone started to dive in, I thought, Oh no! They were too pretty to eat!

Anything “too Martha” for you? I’m never going to build my own chicken coop.