Hey there! We’re Dana (mom) and Brendan (son). We currently live in Phoenix, Arizona. We run the blog Sweet Shoppe Mom, where we write about everyday life with teens. We want to be the resource for busy families with tweens and teens. We want to help answer your questions about what should I do with my kids? or what should I cook? how can we make our household run better? or help, I don’t understand what my teen is talking about.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I moved to San Diego for college at University of California – San Diego and stayed for 15 years minus one year in New York for graduate school. I moved to Arizona in 2006 and traded in my career as a molecular biologist for the sweet shop business in 2007 when I opened Simply Sweets Cake Studio (that’s the Sweet Shoppe in Sweet Shoppe Mom). I then fell in love with blogging and social media after experiencing the power of it in successfully building my cake business. In 2012, I launched Sweet Shoppe Mom with plans to document building my own shop in Scottsdale after sharing a commercial kitchen for so many years while balancing motherhood. However, running my own shop and being a parent didn’t allow for much time to blog about the personal side of the business so posts were sporadic.
In 2015 I decided to close the storefront so I could be more available to my son and was once again able to focus on blogging. As my son become a tween and now a teen, I noticed there was a lack of parenting blogs that address raising tweens and teens and we have continued to share our experiences and tips with our community. I shares my passion for cocktails, whiskey, local restaurants, and travel, on my second blog Cocktails and Cactus.
My sweets have been featured on the Martha Stewart television show, Phoenix Magazine, Arizona Brides, and Raising Arizona Kids. As a business owner, I was featured on GoDaddy’s national real customer campaign (television commercials, social media and corporate website), Raising Arizona Kids website and KTAR radio station. While I have closed up shop, I continue to find ways to make food fun using my creative cake decorating skills and love to share. For years this was the fun bento lunches I created for my son but unfortunately no teenager will show up school with a cute themed lunch so those days are gone. So mostly these days I used my skills for holidays and celebrations.
I love a good organizing project and my label maker is my favorite gadget. I love Anthropologie and am obsessed with shoes, especially boots yet I’m working towards a minimalist wardrobe (minus the shoes, lol). NYC is my favorite place to be but I also love the beach and the mountains. Bacon, BBQ and bourbon are my loves when it comes to eats and drinks.
About 6 years ago I was diagnosed with several food allergies including dairy. Because it is such a common food allergy and intolerance, I love to share eating dairy-free tips because so many people have asked how can I be a foodie with my food allergies. Happiness used to be a fresh baguette and a selection of cheese but once I gave it up, surprisingly I didn’t miss cheese. In fact, it helped me to discover really good food. Food has to be made with the best ingredients to taste good when you don’t smother it with cheese and cream sauce. Local restaurants are better able to accommodate food allergies and opened a whole new world to me.
Brendan is a teen (14) starting high school in the fall In Phoenix, AZ. Born in San Diego and moved to Phoenix when he was 6 months old. In his younger years he was a huge Scooby Doo fan, Nerf obsessed and loved collecting rocks out in our gorgeous Arizona deserts. He’s been playing baseball since he was 4 and just finished a successful but short (due to Covid-19 shutdown) baseball season on the middle school team.
In his teens years, he has put aside Scooby but still loves Nerf along with airsoft, Xbox (gamer tag @qfah), and TikTok (@qfahiscracked). He loves to visit NYC and to fish the lakes of Michigan. He’s a foodie and has judged 3 local food competitions (Arizona Taco Festival, Hotel Valley Ho’s Show Stopper Shake, and Hot Chicken Festival).
He’s becoming a fashionista, often dressed head to in Hollister, and loves the hypebeast and urban streetwear.
625 W. Deer Valley Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85027