Monday, December 31, 2007

{ the art of doing nothing...}


My plan, originally, was to dig in over the holiday break and work on getting my blog in shape for a January kickoff. Instead–with my husband on vacation, things slow at my 'real job', a fun–but hectic–December behind us, and my daughter's school closed–I opted to take a much needed break from the real world and spend some time cocooning with my family.

I had forgotten how blissful it can be to simply do 'nothing'. No alarm clock, no commitments, no traffic, no deadlines...Instead, we've indulged in late night movies, snuggling in our PJs till noon, constructing blanket and pillow forts and sitting fireside with cups of decadent hot cocoa (topped with whipped cream of course).

An unexpected bonus of this mini escape from reality is the opportunity it provided to declutter my mind and organize my thoughts for 2008. For the first time in many years, I actually took the time to reflect on the past year and think about and plan my resolutions/goals for the new year. Who knew that doing nothing would prove to be so productive??? I look forward to sharing some of my resolutions with you as I dive into my 2008 blogging goals. In the meantime, I hope this inspires you to take a break yourself and get busy doing nothing for a bit. Cheers to a peaceful and inspiring New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

{ Fun Finds }

I discovered these caroling cuties at an estate sale I stumbled upon over the weekend. I love their charming little puffs of hair. They'll be perfect on the pink tree in my daughter's room.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

{ tutti bella }

Whew...what a whirlwind! Around here it's 'Tis the Season' for birthdays. Both my daughter and hubby have December birthdays, so December is a very festive month for us (and a bit overwhelming at times too).

We went all out in honor of Miss Bella's 7th birthday...transforming our garden studio (my office) into a 'sparkling winter wonderland' and hosting 10, six and seven year old girls for a one-day glitter sprinkling, cake eating, cider sipping,
teddy bear making extravaganza!!!

Mind you, this little room has undergone quite a rennovation over the last year...Below
is a shot we took last year, right after the groovy fake wood paneling was removed from the walls.

We then insulated, sheetrocked and painted, removed the green "carpet" and floated a new concrete floor which we plan to glaze and finish oh, "any day now".

With all of that work out of the way, staging a party would be easy peesy, right??? Perhaps I underestimated the prep work involved. Here's how things looked after taking everything out of storage and taking inventory of my winter wonderland 'props'...

I had all of the basics and, fortunately, 
also discovered some amazing budget friendly finds that really helped to pull it all together. Have you seen these adorably festive tablecloths from IKEA? They come in a giant wrapping paper type of roll and you just cut and use what you need...perfect if you have multiple tables to cover. I covered three and still have tons left on the roll. The colorful "take out" boxes from the $1 Spot at Target were filled with treats and craft supplies for the girls. The fabuLESS glitter snowflakes from the Dollar Tree mixed perfectly with seasonal creations from Wendy Addison and D. Sharp to create the winter sparkle around the room and twirling from the ceilings.

Oh yes, it was a fun and exhausting week of prep. When Bella walked into the room she slowly looked around and took it all in. Then said, "WOW Mommy, I don't know what to's beautiful!!!!" She must have said, "Thank you for all of your hard work on the room," at least 3 times throughout the big day. Her thoughtfulness just melted my heart...such a sweet and perceptive girl that one

It was a magical party...filled with grade-school chatter, girly giggles, and happy, giddy shrieking (lots of shrieking). Take a peek at some of the details...

Winter wonderland

Winter Wonderland for Bella

I hope the girls arrive soon...we need some stuffing!

Bear Time

Can someone help me stuff the arms and legs...?

Bella turns 7 b

May I borrow the pink glitter glue when you're finished with it?

Bella turns 7

The girls sipped on french pink lemonade and hot apple cider while snacking on holiday cookies, served on the new
12 days of Christmas plates I recently received from hubby. We sang in celebration and as Bella carefully recited her birthday wish in her head,

I indulged in my own birthday wish...hoping that we could, perhaps, slow the passage of time just a bit. Is it just me, or are birthdays bittersweet for you as well? I'm so proud of this smart, clever, and thoughtful little person my daughter is becoming. At the same time, I often secretly wish that I could just box her up and keep her this little forever. I suppose all parents wish this from time to time.

Happy birthday my sweets...may all of your daydreams & wishes come true.

Now...let the Christmas season begin!
*party photos courtesy of Opa, Grandma and Grandpa...thank you all!

Monday, December 10, 2007

{ sew perfect }

One present down...just a few more to go...

Over the last few months, my 7-year-old daughter, has frequently mentioned wanting to learn to sew. It's something I've been dying to do myself–I've sewn little more than a loose button since taking a sewing/home economics class in 7th grade. So, I started researching children's sewing machines thinking one would make a great Christmas gift for Miss B 
and provide fresh inspiration for some fun mother/daughter DIY projects in 2008. Imagine my delight when I discovered this:
I simply adore Hello Kitty. When I was about 12 or so, my mom worked at a local Hallmark store. I had just started taking on babysitting jobs and often would take care of my brother at home for a couple of hours while she worked. Occasionally, as a reward for my help, she would bring me home a surprise package from her store. Lucky for me, the store carried a small line of Hello Kitty items. I had Hello Kitty pens, pencil holders, name it...small, treasured tokens of my mom's appreciation. Then, one day we heard a Sanrio store had opened in San Francisco, right in Union Square...I could hardly contain myself! The two of us planned a special trip to SF, just to go to the store. I still vividly remember taking BART to the City and walking into that beloved store for the first time...a breathtaking, dream-come-true experience for a Hello Kitty obsessed tween. (Thanks again mom!)

Needless to say, my (er, my daughter's) Hello Kitty sewing machine has been ordered and is on its way...I wasn't even concerned with whether or not it actually works. (Fortunately, I read several great product reviews on Target after the fact). I'm so excited to open it...Oops, I mean for Bella to open it on Christmas morning. Now, if I can hunt down a gem like this in time for Christmas, my gift giving wishlist will be complete.

Update: The manufacturer inadvertently sent this model which I decided to keep as it's a little bigger and provides more sewing features.

Friday, December 7, 2007

{ a little of this and a little of that... }

While SHOPtalk won't officially launch until sometime in January, I've realized that I really need to spend some time trying out different ingredients to get this whole blogging thing juuuuust right. Nobody's handed down a magic recipe to follow...I'm just going with my gut and wingin' it with some good ole fashioned trial & error. So consider the next few weeks a 'soft launch' of sorts...please bear with me as I dig in and find the right mix. The result (I hope) will be something yummy for all to enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A little about moi...

Thanks to my mother's knack for finding one-of-a-kind items, I was always surrounded by things I loved while growing up. I would often tag along on the hunt for that must-have item and relished the giddiness we shared upon discovering our new, treasured finds. Through these cherished outings we developed a shared passion for distinctive, hand crafted goods and one-of-a-kind items. This eventually inspired us to open our own specialty retail shop--a successful endeavor we poured our hearts and souls into for nearly 6 years.

These days, you'll find me developing and implementing creative marketing and communications strategies to help other companies reach their business goals. {I'm always open to new and interesting opportunities, so give me a shout!}. In my spare time, I do my best to keep up with my clever, energetic & amazing eight year old daughter.

S.HOPtalk { a play on both my name and the inspiration behind this blog } aims to celebrate the thrill of the hunt and chronicles my passion for discovering and sharing items that recall a favorite memory, fulfill a long-time wish, or inspire creativity. I hope upon visiting S.HOPtalk that you, too, find yourself inspired...and surrounded by things you love.

Happy hunting!

Suzanne {HOPkins}

I'd love to hear from you...
Contact me @ shoptalkbuzz at gmail dot com

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Contact Me

I'm always on the hunt for one-of-a-kind items and love discovering and sharing new designers and shops. If you make something fabulous or have a buzzworthy tip you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you.

Email: SHOPtalkbuzz at gmail dot com

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