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Thursday, December 18, 2014

cakepop 101 | a tutorial to cakepop success

cakepops. i love them and i love to hate them. once you pop, the fun don't stop. am i right? or am i right? i'm right.

you know who else loves cakepops? this girl...
does she deserve christmas cakepops? not with this scowl. does she get cakepops? of course. how could i say "no" to that scowl?

back in october when i was getting my brag on about the cakepops i made for kaye's 2nd birthday i received quite a few requests to post a little tutorial. well, the time came for me to make some christmas-themed pops and now i have step by step instruction to cakepop delight!

CAKEPOP TUTORIAL

supply list
  • 1 box cake
  • 1 can frosting
  • 2 packages lollipop sticks (found in the cake decorating section at walmart)
  • 1 - 2 package(s) candy melts. (also found in the cake decorating section at walmart)
  • sprinkles!
  • craft foam wrapped in tin foil for placing the cakepops in to dry (found in the craft section at walmart)

step 1
this is the easiest part. bake any flavor of box cake you like, cool it, cut it into equal parts, then crumble it into the tiniest of tiny granules. the tinier the better. 
step 2
then take any flavor of canned frosting (it doesn't have to be the whipped version) and add 1/2 the can. do not add more than half the can or your mix will be too heavy to be supported by the stick causing it to fall right off during the dipping process.

so as i was saying, add half the can of frosting to your crumbled cake and mix thoroughly.
step 3
take a large tablespoon of the cake/frosting mixture and roll it into a nice ball. i've found that by squishing it a little to start, then forming the ball makes the cake bind really well. once all your balls are formed, place them in your freezer to firm up.

step 4
it's time to melt your candy melts. this is super easy. just take a small saucepan and fill it about 1/3 full with water and bring it to a boil. once it's boiling, you'll remove the saucepan from the heat.

next take a glass bowl full of your candy melts and place it on the saucepan, over the water. (obviously, your glass bowl should be large enough that it doesn't fall into the saucepan.) make sure the bottom of the bowl isn't actually touching the water or you risk scalding the candy melts.

step 5
gather your sticks and your firm balls (that's what she said) from the freezer. 

dip the tip of the stick in your candy melts and push the stick about halfway down into the cake ball.

once all the balls have sticks, place them back in the freezer.
step 6
at this point i remove about six at a time from the freezer to start the dipping.

dip the entire cake ball into the melt and tap all the excess candy melt back into the dish...quickly. you don't want the melt to firm up before you have a chance to put the sprinkles on!

place the dipped cake pop over the bowl of sprinkles and sprinkle sprinkle.
step 7
place your completed cakepop in the craft foam to dry!

then gawk at your perfect baby in the background.
how did i get so lucky that my two best gals napped at the same time?

and just like that you have between 50 - 60 adorable cakepops to share with your nearest and dearest...pending you didn't eat any in the creation process.

ps. i TOTALLY didn't eat one single one! i'm so proud of myself. this NEVER happens.

final step
take pretty pictures of your cakepops all around your house. because that's what some of us stay at home moms do when our kids are sleeping. take random pictures that make us look a little crazy.

i think i like the way they look in front of the chalkboard the best.

and here's a closer look at what my setup looks like...
happy cakepop making!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

birth story | sawyer made us a family of four

seven and a half weeks ago sawyer-muffin made us a family of four.

i told myself at the time we were done-zo after sawyer. two kids and two adults. that's a nice ratio.

but day after day sawyer proves to be more and more perfect. a perfect baby. a patient little sister. an excellent running partner. a notable cuddler. she's just...the best. 

if i were guaranteed five more perfect babies like sawyer...well, i'd have like, two more babies. definitely not five. 

our muffy-muff arrived on october 24th. 10.24.14 - all even numbers if you care about that kind of stuff.
it started with me waking at 4 am to get showered, blow dried, and appropriately make-up'd before our family of three drove the hour to the big city for the scheduled induction.

when we pulled into the hospital parking lot, kaye's nana was there to pick her up for the day and night. when we said goodbye to kaye i couldn't help but wonder if she had any idea what was about to happen to our world.

my farmer and i made our way into the hospital where we got checked in and whisked away by the very best labor and delivery nurse there ever was. cathie - my bridesmaid, the nurse who helped deliver kaye, and now the nurse who would help deliver sawyer. 

it really doesn't get better than that. 

i decided a scheduled induction was the way to go for sawyer, because after going nearly two weeks overdue with kaye, with still no sign of any action, resulting in a scheduled induction with her...well, it just looked like the same situation all over again. my body was not responding to anything, i wasn't dilated, and i was 100% positive i didn't want to go past my due date. some may call me a quitter...i call me a winner with a plan.

once we settled into our room our doctor came in and gave me progesterone (in my whoo-ha) to get the party started. i was told i would start to feel cramping after a little bit and contractions after about an hour. we chatted for a bit more about ????

i have no clue what we chatted about because within two minutes of receiving the progesterone i was definitely feeling contractions. all i could think was how i wanted the doctor to leave so i could take off my brave face and start complaining about how badly my back and abdomen hurt.

our doctor left and i immediately confessed to cathie that we needed to order up that fancy epidural...stat. on the double. right now. 

within thirty minutes i was sitting on the side of the bed, curled around a pillow, cathie holding me stable through contractions as the anesthesiologist prepped my back for the goods. no shame in my game...i began feeling relief within minutes.

several hours passed and everyone gave their predictions as to when they thought sawyer would arrive. the general consensus amongst cathie, our doctor, and my farmer was between 3:30 and 4 pm. call it mother's intuition, but i just knew sawyer had other plans - quicker plans.

an hour or so passed - my water was broken, i watched some netflix, and all of a sudden i could feel some contractions. i was like, pump the brakes! i didn't pay for an epidural to feel contractions. my new best friend came back in and injected my line with what i now refer to as the hippo tranquilizer. all of a sudden my legs were gone. as in, i may as well not have had a lower body. i could feel 100% nothing. i can't say it wasn't a little freaky, but i can say it was better than feeling those contractions. the only bad part was i had no ability to move myself. i had to be flipped several times so the medication was distributed evenly between the left and right sides of my body...so my farmer and cathie physically had to pick me up and flip me. it really isn't fun to feel that helpless.

less than an hour passed - i watched some more netflix and all of a sudden cathie was back in our room explaining that she needed to see how dilated i was. i thought this was confusing because she had just told us that after my water was broken they wouldn't check me for awhile because of the risk of bacteria. so i asked cathie why she was checking me already so soon? low and behold, sawyer's head was right there. 

i'll never forget cathie telling me she was going to go out of friend mode and into business mode and then she asked me if i was ready to have a baby. i laughed. this was hysterical because sawyer wasn't supposed to arrive for at least two more hours. 

cathie was buzzing about the room getting everything ready, when our doctor came in, sat down, and asked for gloves. apparently sawyer was well on her way out. i gave a push and our doctor told me to stop. someone said something that i thought was funny, so i laughed again. (epidurals are awesome.) our doctor told me i should stop laughing or sawyer was going to make her debut. again, i found this funny, laughed some more, and just like that sawyer arrived. 

cover your eyes if you don't want to hear this, but sawyer was either really small, or i have a huge vagina, or i dilated to 27. maybe it was a combo of the three. but seriously, who laughs a baby out?

and the rest is history. we are a family of four.

SAWYER BELL SCHIERMEIER
october 24, 2014
12:58 pm
 6lbs 3oz - 20 inches
my farmer cut the umbilical cord. i held sawyer to my chest. and the feeling in my legs finally returned 45 minutes later. 
we had sawyer so early she was given a bath, a bow, and we were positive we would be headed home the next day to introduce her to her big sister. (kaye couldn't come to the hospital because she was just getting over a cold.)
unfortunately, sawyer decided that she didn't want to show the hospital staff that she could go #1, which is mandatory before we could be discharged. i was so frustrated because all i wanted to do was to hold my newborn in one arm and cuddle my first born in the other. 
sawyer eventually did her business by the second day and we were out of the hospital by 10 am. kaye was finally able to meet her little sister, and the introduction was the sweetest. every day kaye proves that she can be a great big sister...even with all her wild animal ways.
again, i can't believe how wonderful our sawyer-muff is. she makes our family that much more complete and brings smiles to our faces daily. she's beyond perfection.

Monday, December 15, 2014

a packed weekend | parties, champagne...and bowling

this weekend was one of those weekends i didn't want to end. as in...now it's monday morning and i'm sad about it because my farmer is headed back to the grind and i'm...well, i have no excuse to put bailey's in my coffee.

it all started on thursday when my farmer and i got all dressed up to attend a christmas party at a nice, little restaurant downtown. said party always takes place in the restaurants wine cellar, which means its always really chilly. this also means i left my down jacket and scarf on the entire evening, covering up my little black dress and the spanx i squeezed my booty into. but that's okay, because i got to sip champagne all night, eat the very, most delicious food, and chat with wonderful people. yay for the holidays! (ps. i'll do a full party recap soon-ish. but just know i didn't fall asleep at the dinner table this year.)


kaye had a fun weekend, herself. she attended a little birthday party and played so hard she got sweaty. (i guess girlfriend takes after her mom.)

not only did kaye get to attend a birthday party, but the next day we loaded up the family and took her bowling for the very first time with some good friends. we weren't sure how kaye was going to do because she decided to skip her normal three hour nap, but she was the best turtle-muffin we could have asked for. she threw zero fits, did lots of cuddling, got excited when she threw a strike, and only starting bullying the other kids around 7 pm...when she was past the point of exhaustion. please note how poorly we kept an eye on her. she's standing in someone else's lane...in the gutter.

in other news...i bowled a 151 in nine frames. the game shut down when we hit the hour mark. i would have loved to see how that 10th frame shook out.

and those good friends i mentioned...they have a baby girl named harper who is just four weeks older than sawyer. in a magical moment both of the gals were sleeping in their dad's arms. it'll be so fun to show them this picture years from now.

christmas parties, birthday parties, beer, and bowling. weekend...come back to me.

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