Sweet Shoppe Designs

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Holiday Gifts for Under $10

 Amazing gift ideas from Juli–all under $10!


At this time of year, there are so many people you don’t want to forget, but how can you afford to get everyone on your list a gift? So, if you aren’t ultra crafty and just need something you can pick up to give as a gift for under $10, here are some of our favorites. (Prices don’t include shipping in some cases, but most online retailers are offering free to reduced price shipping if you join their e-mail list.)


 Hostess Gifts

1.  Urban Paisley Kitchen Towels – Cost Plus World Market $9.98

2.  Snowflake Glass Mugs (2 sizes) – Crate and Barrel  under $4.00 each

3.  Chesapeake Bay- Gingerbread Candle – TJ Maxx  $6.99

4.  Cake Stand – H & M  $9.99

5. Snowman Soap and Lotion Dispenser – Pier One $7.96

6.  Red Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer – Cost Plus World Market  $9.99

Gifts under $10 Teen Boys (ages 14–18)

1.  Grinch Boxer Shorts – Target  $9.99

2. Ceramic Ramen Noodle Cup – Spencer’s Gifts  $7.99

3. A classic – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (paperback) – Barnes and Nobel $7.99

4. iHome Colortune Noise Cancelling Ear Buds – Target  $9.99

5. Darth Vader Cup and Hot Cocoa Mix – Wal-Mart  $8.98



Teen Girls (14–18)

1. Forever In Love Cosmetic Bag – Forever 21  $8.80

2.  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (hardback) – Barnes and Nobel $9.99

3. eos Three Pack of Lip Balm – Target $7.99

4.  Designer Fabric Key Fob (monograms are hot with teens right now!) – Etsy $8.00

5.  Corner Acrylic Make-up Organizer – The Container Store  $6.99

6.  e.l.f. Party Nail Polish Cube – Target $10

Younger Kids (5–10)

1. Hello Kitty Mesh Jewelry Organizer – Wal- Mart $7.00

2. Easel Chalkboard – IKEA $9.99

3.  Harmonica – Pier One  $4.00

4.  Do It Yourself Chopsticks, set of two – Cost Plus World Market $5.98

5.  Dora Gardening Set – Wal-Mart $9.97

6. Hoyle Skinny Playing Cards 2-pack  (perfect for little hands that can’t hold full sized cards) – Amazon.com  $7.99

7.  Finger puppet theater and puppets – IKEA  $4.99


Men’s Gifts

1. Habenero 4 Hot Sauce Gift Pack  - JC Gourmet Gifts $9.49

2.  LED Head Light (perfect for when your guy is working on something outside at night, or for camping) – Home Depot $7.98

3.  Humerous Flasks – Target  $9.99

4. Superman Caped Socks – Thinkgeek.com  $9.99 (they have other super hero’s so you can your guy’s fave!)

5. Etekcity® Magnetic 0.67X Wide Angle / Macro Lens for Apple iPhone – Newegg.com  $7.98

6. Stanley 10 Piece Screw Driver Set - Amazon.com  $8.28

Women’s Gifts

1.  Owl slippers – Kmart  $9.99

2.  Chevron Infinity Scarf – Amazon.com $7.99

3.  Love and Toast Gin Blossom Handcreme – Loveandtoast.com  $9.00

4.  Sportline 2 Funciton Pedometer – Wal-Mart  $4.97

5.  Monogram Mugs – Cost Plus World Market $4.89 each

6.  Herb Scissors – Crate and Barrel  $8.95

If you are interested in seeing even more ideas, check out our Under $10 Gifts pin board on Pinterest.  Have fun shopping!


30 Days of Gratitude: Day 13

SugarBabe Jacinda shares her gratitude for being a parent helper at school.

Last week I had the opportunity to chaperon my daughter’s school camp. The kids were all aged between nine and eleven. I spent 3 days/2 nights with 70 students and a dozen other parents/teachers, and honestly, I came away as buzzed about it as the kids.

I tend to be a little cynical when it comes to the amount of money we have to pay for school camps. Is it a reasonable amount? Do the kids really get that much out of camp? Are they charging too much? Well I can safely say now, after being THERE with the kids, that every cent is totally worth it and then some.

To see the kids participate in so many activities outside their comfort zone, to see them work through fears successfully, building self-confidence and teamwork along the way . . . it was amazing. I felt so blessed to witness it all, and to be a part of such an incredible experience. They had archery, go-karts, a flying fox, a confidence course, a balance course, a rope maze, kayaking, and a huge water slide. The whole camp was built around increasing their courage, and I saw it over and over again as individuals pushed themselves just that little bit further than they thought they could go.

Here are a few photos of Brooke enjoying her camp:

When I thought about what I was most grateful for, being a parent helper at school was top of my list. I won’t always be available (or needed) at future activities. I’m sure as my daughters get older, having a parent along on trips won’t be the fun that it is now, so I’m making the most of it while I can. Later this week I’m helping in my younger daughter’s class too. It makes my heart glad to know that right now, my girls love it when I help out at school, and I’m thankful to be available to do so.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf

Nikki shares 24 days of Elf on the Shelf ideas.

This year will be our family’s third year to welcome our little Elf, Buddy, on December 1st. I have so much fun coming up with ideas for Buddy every day before Christmas and I thought I’d share what he got up to around here last year for you here. Some of these ideas are my own, and some I found on Pinterest.

December 1 – Buddy showed up that morning with a “North Pole Breakfast” and a note from Santa. Yes I went way overboard with the sugary treats. My kids didn’t eat but a few bites of a doughnut I think but it sure looked cute!

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 2 – The kids woke up to find Buddy watching his own movie, snacking on popcorn and juice. He even signed the DVD case for them.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 3 – My kids love A Charlie Brown Christmas so I picked up these little figurines for them and had Buddy trapped inside the box.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 4 – We woke up to find Buddy playing with all the Angry Bird toys. My kids LOVED this one. They thought it was so funny that they were playing together.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 5 – Buddy brought Christmas Snacks – I found the cute stick on labels for the fruit punch at the Dollar Store.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 6 – Buddy tried to do a little decorating with tinsel.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 7 – We woke up to a toy parade with Buddy leading the way.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 8 – My daughter Ella’s Birthday is December 10 and so the day of her party she woke up to find Buddy in her room with a bunch of balloons.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 9 – Video letters from Santa on the iPad.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 10 – This day Buddy had a note from Santa with a warning to behave since they’d had a bad day the day before.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 11 – I found this adorable Charlie Brown Tree at Hallmark so the kids found Buddy with it on this morning.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 12 – I found this cute printout through Pinterest and filled a cheap glass Christmas tree with Hershey Kisses

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 13 – Some days I get too busy and forget about Buddy til the last minute…so this day was a quick idea – we found him watching a movie with Cinderella.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 14 – Unfortunately a nasty tummy bug hit our house, so I picked up some Jello Jigglers and left a get well note from Buddy for the kids. They really enjoyed this one.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 15 – I always try to keep an eye out for cheap toys and props that I can use with Buddy. I’d seen a few ideas similar to this on Pinterest so I found a cheap fishing game and had him playing with it that morning.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 16 – My kids seem to always enjoy the mornings when they find Buddy playing with their toys. They are convinced he uses magic to bring them all to life so it’s fascinating for them.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 17 – Buddy brought a new “Buddy” ornament for the tree. I found this one at Hallmark

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 18 – Another morning when Buddy got in a mess trying to decorate.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 19 – I had so much fun with this one and the kids LOVED it. The little sign that the birds are holding says “Tell us where you hid our eggs!” My son Avery got such a kick out of this one.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 20 – I had a bunch of leftover Halloween Candy, so the kids found Buddy buried in it.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 21 – A reminder of what Christmas is really all about. I sat with my kids on that morning and we talked about the Christmas story.

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 22 – A little gift from Buddy…Angry Birds slippers

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 23 – Pinterest inspired again

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

December 24 – Buddy brought supplies for decorating Christmas Trees on Christmas Eve

24 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on the Sweet Shoppe Designs Blog

The kids know that Buddy leaves with Santa in his sleigh on Christmas Eve. I wrote a note from Buddy the first year he was here but the kids were so excited about opening presents that it got lost in the shuffle, so this year I didn’t bother with it. The best thing about Elf on the Shelf is that you can be as elaborate or as simple as you want with it. I know some people simply leave Buddy in different spots for the kids to find every day, and then I’ve seen some examples on the internet that are super elaborate. I just like to have fun with it. My kids won’t be small for long and I like to create as much innocent fun for them as I can at Christmas Time. I hope our little Elf Adventures have inspired some of you!

Fantastic Patriotic Kits

Nikki highlights some of the amazing patriotic kits and products in the Shoppe.

Every year the designers add some fabulous new patriotic kits to the Shoppe so be sure to check them out just in time to scrap all those fun July 4th photos!

Life 101-July: Be Free To Be You by Jady Day Studio & Meghan Mullens

All American Guy by Heather Roselli and Meghan Mullens

Tis Of Thee by Traci Reed

Red White And Blue {special pack} by Studio Basic

Miss Independent by Shawna Clingerman

Miscellany: Star Spangled by Penny Springmann

Capitol City by Misty Cato

Sweet Liberty by Melissa Bennett

We The People by Libby Pritchett

Ignite the Night by Julie Billingsley

Freedom by Jenn Barrette

DJB Fonts: Stars & Stripes Font by Darcy Baldwin {fontography}

DJB Fonts: Betsy Ross 2013 Font by Darcy Baldwin {fontography}

Typography Resources

Nikki shares some fabulous typography resources from around the web.

What did we ever do without the amazing World Wide Web? These days countless resources for just about any thing or any topic that we may need are right at our fingertips. I remarked to my husband just the other day about how incredible it was that most of us walk around with the internet literally in our pockets. Today I’m going to share some fabulous Typography Resources I’ve come across using that amazing World Wide Web.


This site describes itself as “a showcase of typography and text effects.” It’s a great visual site for inspiration and also has links to other typography resources.


This is a cool site for testing different fonts side by side. You can type in your own sample text and then choose up to 3 fonts to get a side by side comparison of how they look.


This is another great website for visual inspiration. It also has great articles on different aspects of typography. If you’re a font nut, this website is for you!


Wordle is a fun site that most of us are familiar with. But if you’re not, you should really check it out. Basically, it’s a word cloud generator. You can enter in the url of your blog, etc. (as I did at the top of this post with the Sweet Shoppe Blog) or enter in any words you want. It’s very easy to customize and a fun way to use type on your scrapbook layouts.

Ransom Note Generator

This site is just what it says it is. You enter in whatever text you want, and it generates an image of those words using various “cut out” letters . . . kind of like you see in ransom notes.


This is another cool word cloud site. Their site states:

Tagxedo turns words — famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters — into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.”

Pretty cool huh? And you can also add them to t-shirts, mouse pads, coffee cups, etc. and have the option to buy.

Of course these are just a handful of the typography resources out there. There are countless sites where you can download free fonts, get visual inspiration, or anything else font/typography related.

Typography For Your Home!

Rebecca shows us some beautiful uses for Typography in home decor and more!

I don’t usually keep up on trends. But, there is one trend that you can’t ignore, and that is typography! Everything from quotes, to alphabets, to monograms . . . there is a print for everyone’s style.  These prints aren’t just for walls. I found them on pillows, towels, cards, tote bags, and jewelry!

Here are some examples I found at Etsy . . .

All You Need is Love by Almost Sunday Inc

You are My Sunshine Subway Typography Word Art by Words For the Soul

Custom A-Z Alphabet Soup Print by Modern Pop

Paw Print Pillow by Brandi Fitzgerald

Flour Sack Towel by Sweet Magnolias Farms

Bridal Shower Invite by A Fine Time Invitations 

Typography Cuff Bracelet by Accessoreads

Country Chic Flower pots by Onion Skin Designs

Pride and Prejudice Typography Tote Bag by Bookish

So many things can be decorated by type . . . it’s a simple and elegant way to dress up any room! So the next time you see a cool quote on a journal card or a favorite alpha, why not create a stunning piece of art for your house!

Using Lists to Stay Organized

Nikki shares different ways to use lists to help you organize your scrapping goals.

One of the best ways to stay organized is the use of lists. Most people use lists for the typical things . . . grocery shopping, trip planning, daily “to-dos.” Lists can also be a great way to help you organize your scrapping goals.

Using Lists to Keep Track of Daily Goals

This is probably the way I use lists in my scrapbooking the most. As my kids have gotten older I seem to have less and less hours in the day because we are so busy. I’ve found that setting aside particular mornings to scrap is the only way I have time these days. So when I sit down at the computer, I look at what layouts I need to scrap for that particular amount of time and make a list. This is particularly helpful in getting Creative Team Assignments done. I’ve also found myself adding in things like “organize my to scrap folder” or “spend time in the gallery leaving comments.” I keep these short lists on my “sticky pad” on the PC, so it’s there in front of me the entire time I’m at the computer.

Using Lists to Keep Track of Weekly Goals

I think weekly goals are pretty essential if you are a member of any Creative Team. Most designers have new releases once a week, and I know when I myself was on several different teams the only way I could keep up with what was needed for what day was to make a list. But even if you’re not on a Creative Team, making weekly lists for your goals would be a great help. I do a weekly P365 layout, and to keep up with what photos I’ve taken and what happened each day, I keep short lists on my iPhone’s notepad. Another great idea is to list what kits you purchased that week and what photos you might have to go with them. That way you can get those scrapped and get your folders all ready for the next week’s purchases.

Using Lists to Keep Track of Monthly Goals

Each month there are specific holidays or events that we want to get scrapped. Make a list each month of those dates and even jot down ideas for kits/templates, etc. that you could use for those layouts. If you do a monthly “in review” layout, you could also list particular photos you want to be sure to snap. Many of us are Creative Team members with monthly assignments. I’ve found that keeping a sticky note close by with each assignment and when it’s due each month is essential for me to remember them all. Of course these types of lists could be as detailed or simple as you like.

Using Lists to Keep Track of Yearly Goals

There are several year-long projects that many people are involved with, and using lists to help get those organized is essential. If you are doing Project Life, there are countless ways you could use lists to keep track of what you want to include on each layout . . . and you can even include lists ON your PL layouts. I’ve seen examples of this in the galleries, and I always think it’s a cool addition to those pages.

You can also use lists to simply have a visual of what types of projects you want to accomplish for the year . . . Project Life, P365, P52, year books, baby birth books, etc. Make those lists and then get ‘em done!


Organizing Photos and Albums

Today we are going to talk about another aspect of organization—organizing your photos!! I have never been good with keeping things organized. I do it for a little bit, and then I get lazy. I notice that when I let my photo organization get away from me, my scrapping suffers. If I can’t easily find a photo to scrap, then I get stuck in the rut of using the same pictures over and over because they are what I can find!! Today we’re going to look at a few ways to organize your photos so you’re never left wondering where those awesome photos are hiding!!

Here is the breakdown of how I organize my photos: I have a master folder for each year. Inside the yearly folder, I have a folder for each month. This is such a simple way to organize. If I have a pretty good idea of the kind of photo I’m looking for, then I just go to that particular folder and search for that photo. The only thing that I find lacking in this particular method is that if there are months that you take lots of photos, finding that one perfect photo can definitely be a challenge, Especially if you’re like me and don’t weed out the duds (photo is out of focus, someone is blinking, etc)!! Sugarbabe Rebecca also organizes by Year > Month > Date, and then she adds key words of the pictures in that folder.

SugarBabe Lydia is one of my organizing gurus!! She also organizes photos by date but tags her photos with keywords. She even uses tags like “silly,” “fun,” or “siblings.” When she is looking for photos to use with specific kits, she can just search for that tag and she has a great array of photos to choose from!!  She also tags her photos with “2012 to Scrap” and “2013 to Scrap.” She has smart folders that pull in photos with those tags. After she scraps the photo, she can remove the tag and the photo is automatically removed from the folder!!

SugarBabe Kim does most of her photo organizing in AcDSee. Here is her folder structure. To Scrap > 2012 > 0325 party grandma. When she clicks her folders, she can see all of the photos she has tagged for that category. From there she is easily able to search for a template or kit to go with her photos.

For those of us with YEARS of photos to scrap, designer Julie has a WONDERFUL idea!! When you are overwhelmed with which photos you want to scrap because there are just so many to choose from, create a folder and put a maximum of 10 unscrapped photos for each year in the folder. That’s not to say that your other photos aren’t as important, but if you could choose just 10 memories for a specific year, you wouldn’t have to be so overwhelmed with getting every memory scrapped. When you have just 10 photos in that folder, you can be on the lookout for specific kits to go with your chosen photos. I am in love with this idea!! There are so many times I want to catch up on certain years, but I don’t because I’m never sure which photos to scrap! Sadly, I end up not scrapping any from those years because it can be so overwhelming!!

Do you print your photos? Before I started digital scrapbooking, I spent SO much money on printing photos. I only print the photos that I frame around the house. While considering Project 365, I found a website that has a really awesome idea. With Shuttercal, you can upload your daily photos and journaling. At the end of the month, they print and ship your photos to you and at the end of the year you have a cute little box full of photos. If you don’t do Project 365, you can still implement that sort of idea. Buy some cute storage containers and print your very favorite photos!!

Really, there is no right or wrong way to organize photos. Everyone has their personal preferences. Hopefully, you were able to pick up a few tips and tricks to implement into your photo organization.

Are You Ready for Some Spring Cleaning . . . and a Bonus Challenge?

Lydia introduces our April Blog Theme . . . and a bonus challenge

It’s finally spring here in my part of the world. We are enjoying the sunshine, warmer weather, and afternoons at the park. Ahhh . . . I love it!

This time of year always makes me want to do some deep cleaning and get my house in order. I think I’m pretty normal in that regard. There’s just something about spring that makes you want to freshen up all areas of your life. I even got a good start on my spring cleaning by clearing out my closet last weekend. It felt so good to get rid of some old things that I don’t need anymore. And, every time I’ve walked into my neat, clean closet this week . . . well, it just feels good. :)

We’d love it if everyone in our wonderful community could have that same good feeling . . . free of clutter and feeling organized. So, this month on the Sweet Shoppe blog, our focus is going to be on organization and spring cleaning. You’ll find posts about organizing your scrap supplies and fonts, organizing your time, recycling and repurposing, and so much more, including plenty of layout and product inspiration. Be sure to take an occasional break from your own organization and cleaning projects this month to see what the Sweet Shoppe staff has in store for you here on the blog.

To kick things off, take a look at our image board below and then read on to learn how you can earn a bonus point for your April Challenge Portfolio.

Blog Bonus Challenge: Earn 1 bonus point for your April Portfolio by using the image above as inspiration for a layout of your own. You can use anything from the image . . . the grid design, the colors, or something about one of the individual images . . . as your inspiration. Then, upload your layout to the Pinterest Portfolio Challenge Gallery and list it as a Blog Bonus Challenge in your tracker post.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a fantastic day!