Well, I’m guessing your stockings are no longer hung by the chimney with care since Christmas has been over for about a month now.  I usually post about what I’d like to find in my stocking BEFORE Christmas, but this year I’m writing about my stocking wishes after the fact.

Actually, in Italy, we do the stocking thing on the night of January 5th, not December 24th.  So I’m not all that late for the Italian holiday, which, fyi, is known as the Befana.

I made my stocking list on Pinterest this year and think that it’s a fabulous way to keep track of these kinds of presents.  Why?  A) You have a picture that gives you an immediate visual and 2) You have a link that (usually) takes you to a site where you can buy that item or at least find out more about it.  If you’re playing Santa for someone and they have a list like this, it makes your “job” so much easier!  Plus, Santa’s helpers can leave comments like, “I heard through the Elf grapevine that this stocking stuffer has already been accounted for.”  (Disclaimer: I’m currently rather obsessed with Pinterest, so my opinion here may be slightly biased)


THE Ultimate Stocking: 2011

It’s that time of year again!

Ultimate Stocking time, of course. This is a tradition I started in 2003 (can you believe it?!) and it’s still going strong (at least in my heart). The Ultimate Stocking is a space for you to share with the world what you hope to get in your stocking this year.  Just leave your list in a comment below and rest assured that your prayers will be answered (mine always have!)

I was reading over previous years’ stuffings and discovered I almost always hope for the same thing, so I’m going to try and mix it up a little this year.

Santa, if you’re listening, here’s what I’m hoping for:

  • A magnetized pin box
  • A roller cutter like one of these
  • Sewing chalk (for marking lines and tracing patterns)
  • An attachable light for my kindle (All the best places to read seem to be dark corners…)
  • The broken part on sewing machine (Since you’re all-knowing, I guess you can figure this out, it’s the thing that makes the thread turn.  I’m improvising with a chopstick right now)
  • A gift certificate to World (just a few  months)
  • A  yard stick that has the metric system on it too
  • Tickets (anywhere, to anything, surprise me)
  • Something to make my jewelry not tarnish anymore (maybe a jewelry box would help too…)
  • Gift certificate to shoe and/or clothing store
  • Magnetized notepad for the fridgerator
  • A purse hook (this one’s really tacky, but this is the idea)
  • One of Aunt Cindy’s pecan pies
  • A jar of Aunt Carmel’s homemade sweet pickles
  • Seeds for next year’s garden
  • Little pinzer hair clamps
  • Pedicure gift certificate
  • Sewing lesson (how to read patterns/take measurements…)
  • Homemade Christmas tree ornaments
  • Christmas music
  • A bottle of Opi nail polish
  • Fresh White Musk body spray (Lori Bennett gave me some a couple of years ago and it’s lasted forever without getting that nasty old perfume smell.  I love it!)

As usual, everyone who shares their stocking hopes will be entered in a contest to win a fabulous MoltenChocolate prize!  Merry Christmas!

The Ultimate Stocking Competition 2008

Now that we’ve finished stuffing turkeys, it’s time to start stuffing stockings!  That’s right, folks: MoltenChocolate’s annual Stocking Stuffer Contest is officially on!  Have you been pining for a new pair of gloves, but don’t know how to get the word out?  You’re in luck, because Santa Claus himself reads my blog everyday (Google told me).  What do you want in your stocking this year?  Leave a hint for Santa in a comment below and automatically recieve a fabulous MoltenChocolate prize!  Your stocking wishes don’t necessarily have to be realistic and extra points are awarded for creativity.

Here are a few things I’m hoping for this year:

  • An acai berry
  • Something handmade
  • Salad hands
  • Real maple syrup
  • The world’s largest plastic container of reduced fat peanut butter
  • Plastic baggies
  • Givenchy or Bvlgari perfume (Givenchy: the one in the purple bottle, Bvlgari:classic)
  • Jewelry cleaning cloth
  • 2 bottles of vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Sesame seeds
  • Small gift certificate to (like $5-$10)
  • Sturdy wide toothed comb for wet hair
  • Burned movies: Anne of Green Gables The Continuing Story (not AofGG or AofA, which I already have, but the 3rd edition), Home Alone, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady
  • Dried cherries & dried cranberries in large quantities
  • Magazine subscription
  • Interesting wine glass charms
  • Something from
  • Jewelry box, if it fits, mostly with spaces for earrings & necklaces
  • Books
  • A year at home with the family
  • Tickets to a theater show or concert
  • Trip to Paris or other interesting European city
  • Paper panettone molds (good luck, Santa, they’re like impossible to find!)
  • And, if Santa’s really feeling spendy this year, a really good digital camera, but this is optional

Remember, everyone who participates receives a fabulous prize!  If you need some ideas, try checking out the entries from years past:

Sockaholic 2003

The Ultimate Stocking Competition 2007

Merry Christmas!


Christmas in Italy


Christmas decorations went up this week around town. I enjoy Italian public Christmas decorations – they’re simple and to-the-point. In Verduno they put a big Christmas tree in the middle of the piazza and decorate it with plain white lights. There’s an electric light sign that says “Buone Feste” (happy holidays) at the main town entrance, and big bulb white light fringe scattered from one side of the street to the other at rooftop level. Festive, but not overdone.

Here at the Crane/Badellino household, we haven’t quite gotten around to decorating for Christmas yet, but I did move the Halloween pumpkins from the front of the house to the back of the house tonight. So we’re making progress.

Last year during after-Christmas-sales I bought the kind of Christmas cards that you have to put a picture in. I was inspired at the moment. But I’ve decided I find photo Christmas cards kind of arrogant, so I’m trying to decide what to do with them… I’ve never seriously sent Christmas cards before, this was to be the first year. Maybe I’ll cut out pictures of random people from magazines and use those instead of a picture of me. Yeah.

Christmas treeI’ve been trying to convince Luca that we NEED to get a Christmas tree. Last week at the supermarket they had trees a little taller than me bound up in netting so that you couldn’t exactly tell if they were Charlie Brown trees or not. But they were only €10! So I picked one out and put it in our shopping cart. And in the meantime, about half of the needles on the damn tree fell off on me. Needless to say, I put that sucker back in a snap. (And am still finding pine needles in my pockets!) So I’ve been scowering the streets for random large branches that may have broken off of pine trees in attempt to bring holiday cheer into the house. Wish me luck…

Stocking Stuffers

stocking.jpgMy Mom reminded me today that stocking time is quickly approaching!

*Sidenote: I can’t wait to go home–that’s right folks, from the 19th of December until my birthday (turning the big 27 in 2008), you can find me in LeRoy, NY.*

In past years, we’ve brainstormed together to create a list of season’s best stocking stuffers. And since I’m a firm believer in the beneficiality of holiday rites, I say, “Let’s do it again, by Jove!”

The Ultimate Stocking of 2007

Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin (used paperback edition perfectly acceptable) ELVES HAVE ACCOUNTED FOR THIS ITEM!

Dried Cherries & Cranberries

Pentel Metal Tip 0.7mm Ball Black Ink Pens

A Simple Silver Necklace with a very small clasp, so that I can change the charms.

Variety of Exotic Spices

Heavy Duty Potato Masher new.gif

Black Nylon Socks are always a big hit, and a great filler!

Pencils with Erasers

Nutmeg Grater

Tweezers with plastic tips like Mom’s and Phoebe’s new.gif

Magazine Subscription that comes to me in Italy  (preferably Bon Appetit, Gourmet or Food & Wine) new.gif

A Cool Contact Lens Case

My Signature Perfume (I don’t know what that is yet…I love BVLGARI, but that’s my sister’s signature scent, so I can’t use that. I guess what I really need is: A book or guide of some sort on how to pick a perfume that’s right for you.

A Good Recent Family Photo (or perhaps we can arrange to take one…)

A Coupon to Go See or Rent Becoming Jane

An Insulated Lunch Bag

I need some serious fashion help, therefore: a book about dressing with style new.gif

Mouse Pad

One of those plastic clips that keeps your toothpaste near the top of the tube (Uncle Charlie had one on Nantucket)

A Pecan Pie

Dad’s French Toast (After stocking opening)

A Pumpkin Shaped Cookie Cutter

Travel jewelry case

A Turkey Dinner (Thanksgiving style. Okay, okay, obviously this is not going to easily fit into my stocking. Neither is the pecan pie. I’ll settle for eating them together at some time during the Christmas season).

What do YOU want in your stocking?!? Everyone who posts a comment detailing the contents of their Ultimate 2007 Stocking will be entered in a contest to win a Fabulous MoltenChocolate Prize!! Enter now!! The Elves are waiting…

Home Sweet Home

It is so good to be home in good ol’ Le Roy. 

Not that I don’t love Italy and all, but there’s something about sitting next to the Christmas tree in my favorite over-stuffed red chair and reading books in my mother language all day long that just warms my belly.

Living in the lap of luxury!

Unfortunately, I’ve got this constant nagging stress of applying for dual citizenship–What a pain in the A**!!!!  I’m not even going to go into the gory details of this torturous process.  All I have to say is that if they don’t accept me, I’m going to be moving back to the US in a hot one-two.

On the positive side of the dual citizenship application process are all of the exciting things I’ve learned about my family history.  I don’t know why geneology buffs ever earned the Dork-o-rama stigma that they have.  It has been absolutely fascinating researching the lives of my great grandparents.  I’ve met a whole other side of my family that I didn’t even know existed!  (Holla Simoni’s!!!)

Plus I discovered NARA.  As Americans we are very lucky to have resources like the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.  I had no idea that this  gigantic government library-of-sorts even existed until six months ago.  You’ve got to go check it out!  And the highly qualified people that work there are fabulously efficient and knowledgable.  I think I missed my calling, I should have become a librarian, I would be a great librarian.  If I ever become a millionairess, which at this point in my life seems veramente dubioso, I would consider donating money to them.  (In the end I would probably have to give the money to women or children in Africa or the Middle East, but I want to emphasize how much I appreciate their help in the last few months).

Okay, well I just spoke with the Italian consulate again–to make an appointment for submitting my application.  It turns out it’s harder to get an appointment at the Consulate than it is to get a dinner reservation at The French Laundry!  The first appointment they have available is in the middle of MAY!!!  Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.  Oh Help.

I can’t believe there’s no snow here yet!!!!  Hellow!  All I have to say is that it better freaking snow before Christmas.


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