Cake pops are surprisingly easy

Cake pops are surprisingly easy to make {Heather's Handmade Life}

I always admired parents who made cake pops. They seemed so fancy and I’d imagined they’d spent hours in the kitchen, perfecting each little ball of cakey goodness before dipping it and decorating it.

While I’m definitely better at baking than cooking (which isn’t saying much), I don’t like making cupcakes because I find it a pain to frost them individually. I prefer to just slap some frosting on a cake — much faster — and maybe toss on some sprinkles. I assumed cake pops were way out of my league.

But when we threw a “mobile” birthday party for our daughter back in April, I realized cake pops would be really convenient. We wouldn’t need to pack napkins or muck around with globs of frosting and we’d also avoid the crumbs that come from half-eaten cupcakes.

I was shocked to discover that cake pops were MUCH easier than I’d imagined. They were actually kind of fun to make! They were tidy to eat, really delicious and a huge hit with our party guests (and their parents).

So, if you’ve been tempted to try making cake pops but figured they were too difficult, here’s exactly how to master them on your first try …

Cake pops are surprisingly easy to make {Heather's Handmade Life}

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene … 

DIY pergola picnic table

DIY pergola picnic table {Heather's Handmade Life}

When you’re a certified indoor person and avoid the sun like a vampire, it’s a challenge to have children who love (and need) to play outside.

Even with my collection of oversized hats, sunglasses and tubes of fancy sunscreen, I’m all about sitting in the shade. I don’t like to feel hot, I’m prone to heatstroke, and working as a drugstore cosmetician in high school and university left me extremely paranoid about sunburns.

I wanted a spot where I could sit outside our house semi-comfortably to supervise the kids in their little pool. A large umbrella seemed like the obvious solution. But we live on top of a very windy hill, and umbrellas are a joke. (Well, and a weapon, since they’re likely to catapult through the air whenever the wind picks up.)

Picnic table
Here’s the picnic table we started with …

My next thought was a retractable awning attached to the house to cover our (very small) back deck. But those started at $500 and the majority were several thousand dollars (yikes), plus there was a good chance the wind would destroy it anyway.

“I just need some kind of little roof,” I whined to my handy husband on a particularly sunny day. “Just something to cover me. We could almost just . . .” I paused, looking at the picnic table sitting in the backyard. “We could just put a roof on the table! …”

DIY pergola picnic table {Heather's Handmade Life}
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Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home … 

Work-at-home meal hack

Work-at-home meal hack {Heather's Handmade Life}

When I’m working, I’m completely zoned out and don’t register that I’m hungry until suddenly I’m STARVING and ready to eat anything in sight. I feel like I’m too busy to stop and make something — even if it’s just opening a can of tuna and making a sandwich — so I used to run upstairs to the kitchen and grab a handful of crackers, a bowl of cereal, a granola bar, or another non-meal that takes mere seconds to prepare.

Then I started doing this …

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