Sunday, October 31, 2010

{Trick or Treat}

So as Halloween comes to an end I thought you all might like to see how my little Tink turned out....I'm not going to lie...I think she is the cutest Tinkerbell I have ever seen!

 Tink and her little Cowboy

My little Tink

I'd say we had a successful Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! 

Eeeek! I entered a photo challenge :) Wish me some luck and check out some of the other photos!
The Paper Mama


Saturday, October 30, 2010

{It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!}

Pardon me as I break out in a sing songy dance..... we might not even be through Halloween yet but I have not been able to stop thinking about Christmas! It is my all time favorite time of year so when I received an email asking me to preview Shutterfly's new Holiday Card line I just couldn't resist. And let me just tell you they have some amazing stuff!Just look at all the gorgeousness they have going on...I really am not sure how I am going to pick just one!

(My new FAVORITE holiday color...)

 ( will grow to know that I have a slight obsession with 3's. And all the swirliness...Perfection!)

(I can just see Averee all wrapped up to send as our Christmas card)

(Ummm Just gorgeous! I'm thinking I love this one since I heart paisley so much!)

                                                         Swirly Fun...Swirling Ornaments
(So much delivers all you need for Christmas with a little extra punch of fun!)

Simplicity...Gorgeous Gift Tag
(So simple yet so stunning....I'm melting)

(I know it says Merry but every time I look at this I think Joy)

(I'm thinking...New Years Eve Invitation!)

Shutterfly seriously has hundreds and I mean HUNDREDS of designs to choose from! And if you have never ordered from them before they really deliver you a quality product. Hurry on over to Shutterfly, take a look and get a jump start on your Holiday. I'm pretty sure you will not be disappointed with the selection they have!

Fellow Bloggers:

Would you like 50 of these gorgeous cards absolutely free (yep I said FREE)? Simply click here to head over to Shutterfly to find out how. It is super easy to do! If you like feel free to mention that you heard about this promotion from The Real Life Mom. :)  Happy Blogging!

Non Bloggers:

Don't worry...I wouldn't leave you out! If you head to Shutterfly now they have free shipping on orders over $30 and 25% off on cards when you buy 50 or more (this one ends November 3rd).


This post is part of a promotion sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected and agreed to participate in this promotion and in return will be compensated with a code for 50 free cards.

Friday, October 29, 2010

{Last Minute} DIY Halloween Costumes

As I watched Kathie Lee and Hoda the other day on the Today show they had a segment with easy, last minute, DIY Halloween costumes and I thought it was only far to share! And I added a few others that I found and thought you might enjoy :)

  • Pillsbury Dough Baby and Baker: Super easy just dress your baby in a plain ol' white onsie, buy a child's chef hat and print a Pillsbury logo from your computer and tape to the hat. You might want to add a strap which could easily be done with some hot glue and elastic. For parent, just put an apron on, get a rolling pin and sprinkle some flour on your clothes.
  • Tootsie Roll and Sugar Daddy (or Mommy): Simple wrap your wee one in a solid color blanket or pillow case, print out a tootsie roll logo and place logo on the blanket or pillow case. For parent just wear all one color and place candy wrappers or printed logos all over your clothing.
  • Spider mommy and baby: This is so cute yet very simple. Just dress your baby in all black, create spider legs using men's tube socks (black) and stuff with batting. Parent wears all white to act as a "web". Attach legs either to parent, baby or baby carrier (your choice). Using a baby carrier attach baby to you :). You can of course adjust the color of your spider if have a brown carrier like we do :) Also, if time allows you could add some pipping to mom's clothing to create a "spider web" look.
  • Ballerina/Skeleton Ballerina Check it out here...DIY costume
  • Octopus: Dress baby in a bright solid colored outfit. Make legs using bright colored tube socks in similar colors and fill with batting. Attach to babies outfit!
  • Sushi: This is adorable! Just dress baby in all white. Attach a orange pillow (or really any color that could work as sushi) to back of babies shirt. Wrap around center of pillow and babies belly with green ribbon.

     Spider baby and mommy web. This version is slightly different as it does not use a baby carrier. (Photo from Martha
    Octopus Baby (Photo from Parents . com)
    Your very own Sushi (Photo from Parents . com)
    Skeleton Ballerina...Learn how to make a Tutu here
    Hope you've enjoyed! Can't wait to see all of your little "monsters" Halloween photos! Happy Haunting!
    Here's some places where I like to share... Just a Girl Tatertots and Jello

{And the Winner is...}

Congratulations to Christina, the winner of our giveaway! Wooo Hoo!

I would like to thank all of you for participating in this giveaway! I appreciate you taking the time to follow only this journey and I am so thankful that I was able to giveback to my readers in some way!

Look for an email in your Facebook inbox Christina so that I can get your products to you!

Thanks again!

In an effort to follow along the giveaways standards a few entries were removed due to not following the mandatory entry. I do appreciate you following along! Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Do you ever look back and remember what it used to be like to a meal without being interrupted or leave the house when you want to and not have it focused around nap time. How about cooking meals because you want to or just simply making a meal because it is your favorite not because it is the only thing your little one will eat. Or eating a meal and being done...never mind cleaning the high chair, cleaning the floor, cleaning the dishes, cleaning your child, pre-treating all the clothes involved, washing said clothes...And remember those times when you could take a nap just because you were tired and felt like it or even go to the restroom by yourself. Yeah....I remember those days.

Yes, I remember. But you want to know what else I remember? All these amazing times that I am having. I feel like a kid all over again (I'm just a lot more tired this time around!) I remember the sweet kisses my little lady leaves for me, the snuggles that she provides, the giggles.....oh the giggles! You know....I don't think you can ever quite be prepared for motherhood and I don't think you ever really believe that it wont be just perfect. But the great thing about motherhood is you get to make it your own. You get to help this little being learn to be part of this world. You get to teach them how to be a good person and how to love. And remember my favorite thing is the "imperfect"! If we were all perfect where would the fun be in that! Take advantage of these times we have, if you need help ask for it! We have all been through our own struggles and can all offer our advice or a helping hand. Through the screams of a wee one to the tantrums of a toddler...even if we can't do anything to fix it...I've always found comfort in knowing.....I'm not alone. Here's some of our memories from this week...Memories we will have forever...

Yes, I remember.....and I wouldn't trade these memories for the world!

I decied to participate in a photo challenge! You can check it out here :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

{Wordless Wednesday} Fall Festival

I love the fall. I have always thought that spring time was my favorite but I love reminiscing in the fall. And I am loving the effect cross processing has right now....if you couldn't tell :)

 {My Angels}

 {Family Portrait}

Av loved every minute of the festival. She squealed and laughed on all the rides, enjoyed all the great yummy food and I think genuinely enjoyed hanging with her mommy and daddy. And guess what....we loved every minute of it as well! It was a beautiful day with my beautiful family!

Share your Wordless Wednesday too!
The Paper Mama
Go Graham Go
My Wee View
A little king and I
A Beautiful Mess
Live and Love Out Loud

{Alligator Cake} Tutorial

With it being Breast Cancer Awareness month and all I thought that it would be a great time to share my how to for making an AMAZING {Pink} alligator cake. I created this for Averee's first birthday because every little girl deserves a pink gator for her birthday!

Since a first birthday is essentially the last of a babies first (what you think I'm being dramatic?!?) I wanted needed something fantastic...something incredible...I mean my little girl was turning 1! This was my baby's right of passage into toddlerhood! We already knew that the theme was anything and everything Pink...which I really dont' think you can go wrong with. But I was stumped on what to do for her cake. Finally it hit me....her most favorite thing in the whole world is her stuffed alligator so it made sense that she needed an alligator cake and well the pink part was just an obvious. I went to about 1000000 bakeries to ask them to design this for me. They either laughed or said it would be at least $75. Yikes! So I figured what the heck...I'll give it a shot and worst case is it turns out least Av wouldn't remember it!

To start you will need:
Mix boxes of cake as directed. I did this is 3 separate bowls so that I could precisely measure. Place one mix in bundt baking pan, one in 9 x 13 baking pan and use last one to make a batch of cupcakes. Bake and then let cool.

Once cake has cooled you can begin forming your alligator. Starting with the bundt cake cut it into 3rds. These 3 pieces will form the body of your cake. Place them together on the center of your board (I covered by board in aluminum foil first) to form a spiral (see photo below). Next take your 9 x 13 sheet cake. This is going to become your alligators head and tail. Cut cake into a triangle with a flat top (for the nose). Place remaining pieces aside. Place alligator "head" (the flat triangle) onto board. Use remaining pieces to form tail. I just kept cutting them down to create smaller pieces to finish the tail. I also used two small rectangle pieces to place on top of the alligator head to create a 3D effect for the eyes. Next take 6 cupcakes. Use 4 to create the legs and use 2 as the eyes. For the eyes use toothpicks to hold in place. Here is what your cake should look like once assembled (this is without the cupcake eyes).

Now comes the fun part! Take your decorators icing and coloring gel and mix your icing to desired color (our goal was bright pink!). Be sure to save some in plain white to create the eyes of your alligator. Now transfer pink icing into decorators bag with star tip. Begin icing! If you are like me I had never used a decorators bag before so I practiced on a plate first. It is honestly super easy!

After the entire alligator was iced I took my mini marshmallows and cut them on a diagonal. This makes the pieces pointy. I simply placed these around the alligators mouth, feet and face to create teeth, claws and nostrils.

Last, I look gummy fish and cut them down to make the alligators eye balls.

Here is the finished product in all her pink glory! Pretty awesome right!

And here's the birthday girl....I think it is safe to say that she LOVED her pink alligator! :)

(Photo courtesy of Lindsay F.)

I had so much fun creating this alligator for my daughter's first birthday and I am super excited about coming up with more cake baking ideas for her future birthdays! It was a little time consuming but a lot of fun (plus if you make your own cake you get to lick the bowl....and the icing! Yum!)

Here are a few tips:

When sure not to wear white. Or maybe actually I would recommend it...I was completely covered from head to toe in pink....including my white shorts...but I guess that's what bleach is for.

Freeze your cake prior to cutting or icing. This was the first time I tried this and let me tell you everyone LOVED it and couldn't get over how moist the cake was. The party was Saturday so I baked the cakes Thursday night, wrapped them in saran wrap and then foil and placed in the freezer over night. Friday afternoon I pulled them out and immediately got to work. It made the cutting process super easy because the cake did not crumble. And like I said....the cake was delicious!

If you have a large board available it will make transferring your alligator easier. The alligator was presented on the cake boards but I made the cake at my home and needed to get it to my parents home (where the party was at). My husband happened to have a large board in the garage that we slid the alligator/cake board onto and placed into the car. It made it so that we didn't need to worry about the cake board bending from the weight of the gator.
Have fun! If you haven't learned by now I find beauty in the "imperfect." I think that when something has a few flaws it is what gives that item it's character. So go ahead and try something out....if it doesn't work out oh least you can say you tried!

I would love to know any ideas you have for creative baking!

This alligator can of course be made in any color you choose. I wish there were more photos but this was before I decided to start blogging my ideas. If you would like more tips or have any questions please feel free to contact me at Michelle _thereallifemom(at) Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 25, 2010

{The Pumpkin}

I love pumpkins. I especially love the smell of anything pumpkin...Candles, pies, coffee...whatever it is I have never been disappointed when it comes to something pumpkin related.

As I was perusing the internet tonight searching for recipes on what to do with pumpkin insides (ya know the gross guts that we always throw out?) I came across this yummy deliciousness. Although it doesn't help me take care of those insides I can't wait to try it out! I'm thinking it is the perfect recipe for a Sunday morning Halloween breckie (ie breakfast :) ).

And according to Martha they are actually good for you? Apparently pumpkins are filled with carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and alpha-carotene which in real people terms means it helps protect against eye disease (macular degeneration) and helps to prevent tumor growth!

Woo Hoo! Can't wait to get baking this weekend and do something good for my families health...Thanks Martha!


Makes 12 muffins
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar, plus 2 tablespoons more for sprinkling (Sugar In The Raw Turbinado Sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 12 jumbo muffin tins (each with a 1-cup capacity) with oil; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk oil, pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs, and 1 cup sugar to combine; add 1 cup walnuts and reserved dry ingredients. Mix just until moistened (do not overmix).
  4. Divide evenly and spoon batter into muffin tins; sprinkle tops with remaining walnuts and sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan.
Seems easy enough to me! What's your favorite thing about the fall? And anyone have tips on what to do with those insides???

Don't forget about the great giveaway going on right now! Be sure to check out how to win some free Mary Kay products! You have until October 28th at midnight to enter. I mean it doesn't get better then free and it is so easy to enter!

And just for's some other pumpkin recipes that look divine!
Pumpkin Spice Waffles
Pumpkin Spice Fudge
Pumpkin Mousse

Photo and recipe courtesy of 

Here's some of the places where I like to share:
Market Yourself Monday @Sumos Sweet Stuff
Tatertots and Jello

Sunday, October 24, 2010

{My Very First Giveaway}

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for stopping by....feel free to take a look around!

This has been a huge week for the RLM. First, RLM  {Tutu} Cute Tutorial was featured over at Jellybean Junkyard and Kojo Designs! Then the RLM Facebook fan page reached over 50 fan's! Wooo Hooo!

So in celebration of all of your support it is time to give back to you and let me just tell are going to be excited!

You could win a Mary Kay TimeWise 3 in 1 cleanser and Moisturizer! A $40 value!

If you are not familiar with Mary Kay's TimeWise line let me tell you a little about it...

First, the 3 in 1 offers exactly cleanses, exfoliates and refreshes in just one easy step! I know for me the less steps that I need to take the better off I am! You can also choose for your specific skin type! Woo hoo!!

Next, you have the age fighting moisturizer. It's formulated with antioxidants that help to moisturize for up to 10 hours and help to guard against the causes of aging skin. It hydrates, smooths, firms and softens! For me...anything I can do to help my skin is a bonus! It receives a lot of wear and tear as a RLM!

These two products are part of the TimeWise Miracle Set which has received the prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal! This highly respected seal is only granted for the very best products and whose companies stand behind their product claims. Of a group of panelists who tested the products, 83% had a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles as seen by a dermatologist!

And if it wasn't enough that Mary Kay offers great products....they also are doing good for the environment through their Pink Doing Green program. For every 10 product flip/top containers they receive back they will plant a tree along with the Arbor Day Foundation!

I have personally used these products for years and LOVE them! Mary Kay's TimeWise line has done wonders for my skin!

So let me Pamper you....for FREE....Here's how to enter...


1. "Like" The Real Life Mom on Facebook (you can easily click the box on the top right as well) and leave a comment below telling me you've done so.


2. Follow of The Real Life Mom via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment telling me you've done so.

3. Check out and let me know what your favorite product is and why.

4. Send me a photo of your creation to based off of a RLM tutorial that you have followed. Leave a comment below telling me you have done this (All photos submitted will potentially be featured on the RLM blog.)

The winner will be chosen via on October 29, 2010.  Last valid entry can be entered on October 28, 2010 at midnight EST.  Winners will be notified via direct message on facebook and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen via

US Residents Only.  Winner will receive 1 TimeWise 3 in 1 cleanser and 1 TimeWise moisturizer in their choice of normal/dry or combination to oily. RLM will be responsible for shipping.

Each entry into the giveaway must be entered via a separate comment below. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

{OMG}!!!!! RLM was featured!

Sooo since I am having major issues with Facebook today...Don't's driving me up the wall! I figured I would create a post!

The Real Life Mom {Tutu} Cute Tutorial was freakin featured at Jellybean Junkyard! Thats right...I said featured! I cannot even being to tell you how excited I am about this! When I started this blog I never ever thought anyone would actually read it and now this!?! Wow is all that I can say!

Be sure to head over there and leave a little love! It is a great site with a ton of ideas to offer!

Thank you everyone for your continued support and thank you Jellybean Junkyard for the feature!
Jellybean Junkyard

And if my day couldn't get any better....RLM was featured again!!! That's right...get excited :) This time it was over at Kojo Designs! Beyond excited right now! Thank you for featuring my {Tutu} Cute Tutorial and thank you to all of you have visited and followed along! This is seriously more then I could ever have imagined! Be sure to check out Kojo Designs!
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