Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas wish list 2012

I've selfishly put together a Christmas wish list. You can think of it as one of those 'gift ideas' lists... but it's not. It's a Robin list. Sure maybe one of your loved ones has similar taste and you get a great idea for a last minute (4 days people!) gift, but these ideas are all mine. Think of it as a semi organic gift ideas list (that just happened to be Robin approved).

Most of these are links to amazon but for sure not the best prices or anything. They're just links so you can see what they are. Not sure what size scooper is best, or what's the safest electric blanket out there is. Also I'm usually on top of all things chap-stick - but where have these 100% naturals ones been?! The essential oils I want need to be narnia themed - as in pine/forest/winter esk. For winter themed kitchen spray and a holiday smelling house.

 
Apple Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter

Tiny Silver Heart Necklace in Sterling Silver - Sweet Gift, Dainty Everyday Necklace

Yes I finally broke down and got an iPhone 5 so that adapter may come in handy. So far the battery has been doing great but it can't hurt right? I got it for an amazing deal of $127 at Best Buy, so I was thrilled (even if that blog ad money may never come)!

I've had this tiny heart necklace on my etsy wish list for forever. I love all the tiny things in this shop. Yes I know if I'm going to buy scentsy I should buy local, or from the thousands of scentsy bloggers out there. This is just a link. The digital timer is for a. the Christmas tree lights, and b. for our crock pot which is old school and doesn't have one built in. I had one of those timers with the pins you pull in/out, but it doesn't work right. Our Christmas lights were essentially on 30 minute blinking blocks. #notcheery The Amato's need their homemade soup, and they want it when it's convenient for us. #whatshowisthatfrom?

One of my favorite book themes is 'memior' so this book is on my list. Hope it's good. As usual I'm looking for book recommendations for 2013. Remember this?

Hope everyone has a great Christmas! Hope you can celebrate with family, friends and loved ones. Be happy and safe.


*These links may contain affiliates

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Books I've read 2012

Hello 2013! Hello forty three books that I've read this year! 43?! I've been a busy Robin. Back in my mid year recap I'd only read 22. If anything I'm consistent. Almost all of these consist of library books, both physical and audio books on CD & digital download. I like them digital and I like them free.

2012 Books I've Read
  1. Holidays on Ice - David Sedaris
  2. Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult
  3. I know this much is true - Wally Lamb
  4. The Jane Austen Book Club - Karen Joy Fowler
  5. Dreams of Joy - Lisa See
  6. A Gate at the Stairs - by Lorrie Moore
  7. The Buddha in the Attic - By Julie Otsuka
  8. Bringing up Bébé - Pamela Druckerman
  9. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Time Mark Haddon
  10. A million little pieces - James Frey
  11. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling
  12. The Middle Place - Kelly Corrigan
  13. Two Kisses for Maddy - Matt Logelin
  14. The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
  15. The House I loved - Tatiana de Rosnay
  16. The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
  17. The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
  18. Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil - Tom Mueller
  19. French Kids eat everything - Karen LeBillion
  20. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
  21. Seriously I’m Kidding - Ellen Degeneres
  22. The Butterfly’s Daughter - mary alice monroe
  23. Bloom - Kelle Hampton
  24. Whitethorn Woods - Maeve Binchy
  25. French Women for all Seasons - Mireille Guiliano
  26. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A novel - Melanie Benjamin
  27. Heart and Soul - Maeve Binchy
  28. Faith - Jennifer Haigh
  29. Carry On, Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse/Martin Jarvis
  30. Let's pretend this never happened - Jenny Lawson
  31. The shoemaker's wife - adriana trigiani
  32. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
  33. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
  34. Just my Type - Simon Garfield
  35. The King's Speech - Mark Logue & Peter Conradi
  36. Young House Love - Sherry & John Petersik
  37. Packing for mars - Mary roach
  38. Hitler - A. M. Wilson
  39. Where we belong - Emily Giffin
  40. Objects of our affections - jill smolinski
  41. The New kids - Brooke hauser
  42. Wildwood - Colin Meloy
  43. The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
My top favorites
Least favorites :/
  • Packing for mars
  • Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
  • A Gate at the Stairs
Funniest
  • Holidays on Ice
  • Seriously I’m Kidding
  • Let's pretend this never happened
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Most Depressing
  • Two Kisses for Maddy
  • A million little pieces
  • Hitler
  • The House I loved
Kids Books
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Wildwood
Also I should add that I read the book Lift by Kelly Corrigan about 5 times this year. I just listen to it over and over in the car when I have no current book and there's nothing on the radio. It's very short, and this is not an exaggeration.

To see my 2011 books check this out.

I have more books that are coming up next that I can't wait to read! Any recommendations?!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Amato Christmas 2012


Little elves must have been busy at our house since it's all Christmas-ified. From the tree, to fresh twigs and down to the tiny Santa hat our groom owl is wearing we are official ready for Christmas!



Lots of organic pine cones are our decor this year - picked from the ground last year from a nearby park. Local AND organic! Hey. We have our stockings - see here. I'd like to add some cute r & t labels to them. Something stitched in felt, or perhaps wooden lower case letters hanging on ribbon. We'll see what the elves get up to.


I cut these red berry twigs from a tree in our back yard. I can't believe how perfectly red these are! They were all green in the summer, now the organic twigs are perfect holiday decor. Free too.

We have all our Christmas cards on the side table. Careful of burning candles yes. We practice safety. You can spy our own Christmas card from this year. Thanks Shutterfly! The back of the card is the best part. It shows Cornelius with his hipster glasses, and it says 'meow'. Love it! #hipstercat



Behind the tree is a special treat. What in the Amato household we like to call Narnia. Yes behind the wardrobe type Narnia, all pine needley and fresh. It's Christmas spray. We have a timer spray thing that spurts out (deadly chemicals) Christmas air freshener at intervals when we turn it on.


Who's ready for the holidays?!?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIY Sweater Stocking

My next project after the homemade sewn pillow with my early Christmas gift is going to be Christmas themed. What's something easy to make with my very limited skills? What holds little presents and hangs from the mantle?

A stocking!!

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I'd actually won a little blog contest the week of Christmas in 2011 so we have 1 etsy made stocking. I really like the quality of it and in all honesty should have bought a second to have a matching set. We were broke last year so I used my free winnings to buy one lone stocking. Tony prefers a more knit, chunky style stocking anyway... so on with the sewing.

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First we went to the thrift store to grab a stocking worthy sweater. It turned out to be a women's wool sweater with a nice turtle neck piece. That will come in handy later.

This was a very easy project. I cut off part of one of the sleeves to practice my stitches. I finally got the bobbin threaded and my stitches tight so I could move on. I flipped the sweater inside out and traced the outline of my existing stocking with red sharpie. I liked the shape of this one and traced about 1/2 inch outside, careful not to mark my real stocking up.

This happened to line up with the neck line and the width matched so I used that as a decorative part of my sweater stocking.

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I simple sticked around the shape, then cut the sweater. I decided to sew, then cut in case the edges frayed. This was multi layered knit so that black layer looked like it would fall apart fast if I cut first. Then I flipped the neck over so it hung around the top. I sewed a little loop and sticked it on.

It didn't really come out perfect. If you look inside it's really messy, but overall it looks like a real stocking. So I'd say it was a success! I stuffed it with a little tissue paper so it'd look prettier hanging from the mantle - instead of a wet limp sock.

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ta da!

One option to hang your stocking if your stocking doesn't have a loop are those pieces you use for curtains. You get them in packs of 7 or so at Target or Home Depot - they're little clips on a metal rings that you attach curtains to rods with. That's what my stocking with on the right came with. Pretty handy if I do say so. Granted we don't even have an actual hook to hang them from. We do have a mantle though - which is a start! I grabbed a heavy book (food gastronomy something?) and tucked them under that.

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Up next - the full Christmas spirit of decorating. Organic twigs included.

Monday, December 10, 2012

New toy at our house

There is a new toy at our house. It's like Christmas has come early! It's a sewing machine!

While spending Thanksgiving with my parents I did one craft project and then the machine was mine! How awesome! Since my mom hasn't touched the thing in years and I have an inkling to craft I hauled it down to Richmond. It's an oldie, but a goodie. Everything original is saved in mint condition. I think the sewing world community would recommend a tune up/cleaning, but we'll see how far this takes me.


My first project was a pillow. All the sewing knowledge from 7th and 8th grade came in handy. I actually remembered how to work the thing! What I forgot, I just looked up in the handy book that despite being from the 80's (or earlier!) is still in great condition.

I had 2 shirts from spring cleaning that I was going to donate to the thrift store but loved the fabric too much. I decided they'd make the best pillows. It was pretty easy, even for a beginning such as myself. I even found 2 old pillows that I could deconstruct in order to stuff my new ones. Easy peasy.



I basically cut off the top of the shirt and straighted out the fabric and sewed around the sides to make a rectangle. Then stuffed it and sewed it up. It's sorta lumpy but... my first project. I have a yellow shirt with a seahorse pattern that is a future pillow.

What's up next? Here is a hint for my next project:



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