Sweet Shoppe Mom

Monday, October 5, 2015

Spooky Fun Halloween Lunches { tutorial }

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackAndGo#CollectiveBias

I love to make fun holiday themed food. Over the years I've collected cutters, cupcake liners, napkins, skewers and picks, and edible markers for making fun lunches. I love to use divided lunch boxes, also called bento boxes, which get added to my son's lunch box along with an ice pack.

I have a variety of cutters that work great for sandwiches. Sandwich cutters are great because they are designed specifically for sandwiches and maximize that amount of bread that is used. I like to use cookie cutters because there are so many available - find ones that fit sandwich bread nicely. I also like to use small cookie cutters or also those sold as cake decorating fondant cutters.

I like to use colorful cups within the bento boxes - cupcake liners or silicon baking cups work great for this purpose. Skewers and picks (often sold as cupcake toppers or appetizer picks) are great to use with fruit.

Step 1: Use cutters to create a themed sandwich:

Using cookie cutters or sandwich cutters:

Make the sandwich. Please your cutter on top to get the best fit. Firmly pressed down with your hand. While pressing down on cutter, slide around on a cutter board - this will be the best cut. Remove and flip sandwich (this side always looks best).

Using cutters with small cutouts or impressions:

For cutters that have small cutters or inlays for details, I use the detailed pieces first on a single piece of bread. And sandwich fillings to second piece of bread and top with detailed piece. Cut with large cutter.

Using small cutters:

These are great if you want to maximize wasted bread. However, if my son is around when I'm making lunch, he often snacks on the excess pieces. Add fillings to one slice of bread. Use small cutters to make cutouts on second slice of bread. Add the cut piece to the bread with the fillings.

helpful hint: if you using sandwich fillers such as lettuce or lunch meats, cut the bread first and add then add the fillers - trim with a knife so they fit the shaped bread

Step 2: Use edible markers

Edible markers are often sold at craft or cake decorating stores. The ink is edible so you can draw on the food - so fun!

Step 3: add fruits, veggies and snacks to the bento box. Use cupcake liners and skewers to make it themed.

Step 4: Add a colorful napkin

Step 5: Add an extra touch to afternoon snacks.

Besides lunch, I also pack a daily snack in my son's lunch box. I like to add a fun short message to these. Some of my favorite ideas:

Draw a Jack-o-lantern face on an orange with a marker
Write a message on the cheese stick
Use a toothpick to inscribe a message on a banana - the message will darken in a few hours
Use a marker to write on Snack Pack Pudding Cups

Getting in the Halloween mood, I decided to make these Halloween Cookie Parfaits for my son and neighborhood kids - a dessert version of a walking taco! Now that the evenings are cooler here in Arizona, all the kids gather in the street to ride bikes and scooters or play ball - I knew they'd love these sweet treats. The containers are plastic and don't leak so perfect for outdoor snack while the kids are running around. Its a dessert version of a 'walking taco', so fun!

During our grocery trip to Walmart we picked up Reddi Wip Original, Snack Pack Pudding Cups, and Go-Paks! along with supplies for the week's lunches.

The cups come in so many fun choices. And they're only $1!

TEDDY GRAHAMS Honey Graham Snacks
RITZ Bits Cheese Cracker Sandwiches
Mini NILLA Wafers
Mini OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
CHIPS AHOY! Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
NUTTER BUTTER Bites Sandwich Cookies
Mini OREO Golden Sandwich Cookies

For an extra Halloween touch, I used Halloween themed sprinkles and candy corn

Need a coupon?

What fun Halloween snacks are you planning on making this year?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Zombie Baseball Player - Costume Tuturial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TrickOrSweet #CollectiveBias

We love to make our own costumes. I like to create a costume using thrift shop finds combined with creative makeup. My son has been obsessed with zombies for a few years now and decided he wants to be a Zombie Baseball Player for Halloween this year. A Zombie Halloween Costume is an easy transformation anyone can create. And you can personalize to their favorite hobbies or characters - over the years my son has been a zombie skateboarder and zombie pirate, Perfect for trick or treating, Halloween party or a Trunk or Treat event.

Supplies needed:
  • old clothing and accessories - baseball shirt, baseball bat
  • red food coloring (large bottle)
  • squirt bottle
  • scissors
  • makeup sponges
  • white Halloween makeup
  • gray Halloween makeup
  • charcoal eye shadow
  • hair gel
  • black hair spray
  • black lipstick


note: Makeup can be found in the Halloween and makeup aisles at Walmart

Step 1: Using a makeup sponge apply white makeup to face.

Step 2: Using a makeup sponge or fingers, dab gray color in a few places on the face.

Step 3: Using a soft eye makeup brush, apply charcoal eye shadow around eyes.

Step 4: Apply black lipstick to lips.

Step 5: Rub a small amount of gel on your hands and use hands to spike hair.

Step 6: Spray hair with black hairspray.


Step 1: Find some clothes and accessories that you can thrash. We used an old baseball shirt from last season and we found a beat up baseball bat at a local thrift store.

Step 2: Thrash the clothing. Using scissors make cuts and holes all over the clothing. Rip the clothing in a few places for a more authentic look.

Step 3: Place clothing on an old towel. Pour red food coloring into a squirt bottle. Apply red coloring to shirt near the rips and splatter in a few additional places. You can also add use dirt, charcoal or black eye shadow to the clothing.

Step 4: Beat up the baseball bat (use a hammer, drag it around on the street, rub some dirt on it - give it to your kid and they'll have a blast 'zombifying it')

Get dressed, grab your bat and a trick or treat bucket and your zombie is ready for Halloween!

Trick or treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat

Are you ready for trick-or-treaters?  We headed off to Walmart to stock up on CANDY.  We picked the Hershey's Trunk or Treat bag with 220 pieces and the Hershey's Green Monster bag with 210 pieces - I think we're set with all of our favorites including Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, KitKats and Whoppers.

Hosting a Halloween party? Check out our party quick tip video


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How to Create an Organizing Kit

I find myself often reorganizing parts of my house and was often missing things I needed which meant I had to leave what I was working on and would often get distracted. I always have my label maker with me but often found there were more things I needed. When I organize a space, I often move things around, redecorate and make small repairs and its great to have everything you need to get the job done.

I needed paper to make a shopping list.  A new set of shelves needed to assembled first but I needed some tools. A piece of furniture would be more useful in another room so it has to be moved - furniture sliders make it easy to move large pieces of furniture by yourself.  Can't remove the price tags for some newly purchased baskets - Goo Gone to the rescue.  Look at those dirty fingerprints - where's my sponge?

My solution - create an Organizing Kit.

I re-purposed an old scrapbooking caddy leftover from when I used to attending scrapbook nights. A plastic cleaning caddy, tool bag or bucket would also work great.

Kit Contents:

This post contains affiliate links. I was not asked to write this post and all opinions are mine.

Friday, September 11, 2015

10 Tips For Organizing Your Fridge For a Healthy Lifestyle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #SipandBeFit #CollectiveBias

The last few years I've been making life style changes for better living for my family. An organized and stocked fridge full of healthy and fresh food is key to living better through simple solutions. An extra bonus - an organized fridge also helps you to save money by not wasting food and encouraging you to eat at home instead of grabbing more expensive prepared foods.

I made a trip to Walmart to pick up some fresh food, drinks and a few containers for organizing. Once home I emptied everything out of my fridge, tossed everything that had expired and wiped down the fridge. A sparkly clean fridge just makes me smile. Check out these great Walmart digital coupons

1. Keep it stocked: Cooking meals from scratch is often healthier (and more budget friendly) than eating out. To make it easier, I make sure to keep a well stocked fridge and freezer. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lunch meats, healthy drinks. bread and tortillas. I always keep an updated grocery list so I never run out of key ingredients - I use iGrocery app on my iPhone so I always have my list with me when shopping.

2. Keep it visually appealing: Sparkly clean fridge. Cute bowls. Clear glass containers full of colorful fruits and vegetables prepped to eat. Containers. Fun labels. Patterned shelf liner. Sparkly clean. When your fridge sparkles and makes you smile, your fridge will provide you with inspiration to cook a healthy meal or reach for a healthy snack.

I found this great shelf liner at Walmart - its both visually appealing and makes for easy cleanups. It has a grip bottom to keep in place but it also easily removed.

3. Storage bins: I love to organize with containers. I've found they are so useful for organizing things - everything is grouped together so its easy to find. Everything is also neater because its nicely contained to a specific spot.  I use a mixture of ceramic bowls and plastic baskets in my fridge.

The bottom drawer of my fridge is huge taking up the entire width of my fridge. Food was sliding all over the place. I added three plastic paper trays to divide the drawer into sections - lunch meats/bacon, cheese and tortillas.

4. Make it simple: Have fruits and vegetables washed and cut so its easy to grab a quick snack.

5. Keep drinks chilled and easy to grab: I picked up some bottled drinks at the store including Vita Coco Pure, Fiji water, Snapple Straight Up Tea and Snapple Diet Peach.

I also picked up these great baskets which store drinks perfectly and make it easy to grab a drink and go.

5. Water bottles: I regularly use reusable water bottles but always keep a stock of bottled waters to easily grab for outings to the water park or baseball game - these venues allow sealed water bottles to be brought in which then makes it easy to stay hydrated with healthy water instead of consuming less healthy drinks.

6. Turntables: Turntables are a great organizing tool for small items so nothing gets lost in the back. I have one in my fridge along with several in my cabinets.

7. Labels: I love to create labels and have an obsession with my label maker. Not only do I love the look, but I've found them to be so helpful for family and guests - everyone knows where to find things and more importantly, return them back to their correct home.

I printed my labels on clear label maker tape and applied them over a bright green polka dot washi tape.

9. Leftovers Shelf: Its great to put all the leftovers in one place so that these get used up before they start growing mold and become unidentifiable. I also keep a Sharpie near the fridge to date bottles when I open them and use freezer tape on containers of leftovers so I can mark them with contents and date.

10. Meal Prep Shelf: I have a shelf to organize all the ingredients together for dinner so its to know that I have all the key ingredients and don't risk having a family member snack on an ingredient that was being saved for my dinner recipe. I like to keep a glass baking dish on the shelf for meat in case of drips. Much easier cleanup than having to wash the refrigerator fridge shelves.

What's your best fridge organizing tip?

More great ideas #SipandBeFit

Check out this great Ibotta rebate

#SipAndBeFit Sweepstakes!