Friday, September 30, 2011

Annabelle at 11 months

Our baby is almost one year! Crazy how quickly life goes, but she is the funniest little thing, and oh so sweet:)
 The bows just keep getting bigger and bigger:)

What's New:
  • Annabelle's new favorite thing is to bark! The first thing she does when I get her out of bed in the morning is say, "Woof Woof"! She absolutely LOVES dogs... barking at them or pictures of them. I think one of her birthday gifts should be a walking, barking, stuffed dog! (Trav won't get a real one...or so he thinks;)
  • When we ask, "What does a monkey say?" She instantly says, "ooh, ooh, ahh, ahh". It's just adorable:)
  • Annabelle has figured out how to climb off the side and back of the couch. Most of the time she goes down backwards, but occasionally she frog leaps right off the front!
  • Climbing into the stroller is Annabelle's new favorite adventure (video below)
  • We have a baby Tarzan! She walks around the house beating her chest with her fists, while grunting.... absolutely hilarious! We need to get that on video... 
  • There are 3 little flowers that velcro to a decoration above her bed. She has decided she loves to pull then off, put 'em on, pull 'em off...etc. She does this again, and again, and again. The funniest thing is in the morning she will talk for a minute, then get quiet again (we think she might have gone back to sleep) but no, she is just pulling the flowers off before starting to talk again! 
    • She has THE BEST scowl face! I'm not sure she knows what she's doing but she will give people the dirtiest look when she doesn't get what she wants!
    • Fits... all babies do it. Luckily, Trav and I still find Annabelle's fits hilarious. She rolls around crying on the floor, then pauses to see how we'll respond, and then does it again. (video below) 
    •  Travis is playing BYU intramurals flag football. At his last game, Annabelle stood on the sidelines and clapped for her Daddy. So cute!
    • Annabelle has convinced Grandma Tolman she deserves ice cream, smoothies, and chocolate covered pretzels! What's life without Grandma's letting you get away with everything?! 
    • Annabelle now waves goodbye! Her wave is more of the whole arm going up and down instead of the hand-wave... it's just cute:)
    • She gives sweet,  but VERY slobbery kisses:)
    • And finally, her latest thing is attempting to make the "fish face!"

    Enjoy some recent pictures:)
      Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Grandma

      The Scowl

      Daddy's turn for lunch! Annabelle was waving her hands really big and hit the spoon! Hence, scowl #2 for getting her messy;)

       Cabela's trip! Annabelle couldn't figure out where Daddy was:) 
      Travis now has a redneck bucket list. This includes: wrestle a gator, make gator-skin cowboy boots, drive in a demolition derby, bow hunt, and ride on a swamp boat!
      He's always full of surprises;)

      Our trip to Cabela's was to show Annabelle the animals. Trav found this backpack and we thought Annabelle looked like it was her 1st day of school!
      Annabelle's morning fit:)

      Climbing in the Stroller... sorry the video is sideways, but still enjoy!

      We love, Love, LOVE our baby girl and can't wait to celebrate her turning One on October 24th!

                                                                                                   Two Proud Parents:)

      Thursday, September 29, 2011

      Wallowing in the Mud!

      Travis & I ran a 10k mud-run last Saturday... talk about wallowing in mud and getting 100% dirty! 

      The race website says, "The Dirty Dash is a mud run obstacle course where a military boot camp meets your inner five-year-old’s fantasy and subsequently converts boy to man and then…man to swine."  

      In the beginning...

       I couldn't get over Dustin's redneck shorts!

       Ya gotta love the boy's pig tatoos!

       And we are off!

      One Muddy 10k later...

       Annabelle was so excited to see us, but couldn't understand why we wouldn't hold her!

      Travis soaring into the mud pit!

       Mud Run= One of the greatest & dirtiest things we've done!!!

      Monday, September 26, 2011

      Antiqued Table & Chairs

      It has been 9 months since Travis and I have had a dining room table! How awful is that considering all the value that comes from a table and chairs?! Well....we found this solid, oak wood treasure online for only $40 dollars! I think Janene, whom we have nicknamed the "Craigslist Queen," would be so proud of our find;) The table's previous condition wasn't too shabby, but we wanted a different "look". Antiquing was the answer: much more work than we imagined, but well worth it! We absolutely love it and can't wait to eat our first family meal.

      The chairs before their makeover...

       Step One: Apply "stripper" to the old paint and stain


       Step Two: Sand, sand, & sand some more! Annabelle did the cutest thing: She walked over, grabbed the sandpaper from my hand, and started sanding the legs of the chair!

      Step Three: Apply primer where you want to antique  
      Step Four: Paint 2 coats of white paint
          Step Five: Stain the chair seats (color: Dark Walnut)
      Step Six: Sand over dried white paint for that "antiqued look"

      Step Seven: Glaze over the white paint, let it sit for 5 minutes, then wipe off
      Step Eight: Apply 2 coats of clear coat finish


      Viola! Beautiful & Fabulous Antiqued Chairs 


      The pictures don't do it justice, 
      BUT... here is our Beautifully Antiqued Final Result! 

                                                                            Team Tolman

      Strawberry-Banana Buttermilk Bread

      You have your typical banana bread and your average strawberry bread. Why not combine the two and make a delicious combo... 
      Strawberry-Banana Buttermilk Bread!

       2 cups rolled oats
       2 cups buttermilk
                  -Combine & let stand 5 minutes
       2 eggs
       1/2 cup vegetable oil
       2 tsp vanilla
       1 1/2 cups brown sugar
                   -Beat together and add to oat mixture
       2 cups flour
       2 tsp baking powder
       1 tsp baking soda
       2 tsp salt
                   -Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to wet ingredients 
                    until moist
       1 1/2 cups browned banana
       1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped 
                    -Fold fruit into batter
                    -Grease muffin or bread pans & fill 3/4 full
                    -Bake at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes until cake-tester 
                     comes out clean 
                    -Enjoy warm with a spread of butter or strawberry jam:) 
       Sometimes day-old baked bread isn't quite as good as "just out the oven". Simply slice the loaf, broil until golden-brown, add a bit of butter (Smart Balance is our favorite), and devour once again! 
                                                                                 The Tolman Bakers

      Sunday, September 18, 2011

      100 Cupcakes & a Wedding Tower:)

       Saturday night was the Utah reception for my brother-in-law Dustin and his fabulous new wife, Jana. I wanted to design the cupcake display as part of their wedding gift, which I thought turned out fabulous! It was a lot of fun and I was re-considering my little girl dream of being a wedding planner:)

       Three Flavors: Orange Dreamsicle, Root Beer Float, and Travis' new favorite, Mexican Hot Chocolate!

       Orange Dreamsicle was a fabulous cupcake to test! I made a basic yellow cake. Once they cooled, I filled the center with a mixture of homemade whipped cream and orange concentrate... so good! 

      Final Product! Once filled, I topped the cupcake with a swirl of orange & vanilla buttercream icing and a clementine just for fun:)

       Travis aboslutely LOVES anything and everything from Mexico! So... a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcake was a must. Choose your favorite chocolate cake recipe (My momma's) and add 1 cup of dark chocolate chips, cinnamon, and extra vanilla. The smell of these baking was mouth-watering!

       I topped the cake with chocolate buttercream icing, a dollop of homemade whipped cream, a dash of cinnamon, and some Ghirardelli chocolate shavings! These were a big hit:)

       Root Beer Float is just a fun cupcake to make. The batter is a plain white cake but in place of the liquid I added actual A&W Root Beer! The icing is a basic buttercream with root beer flavoring.

      I love inventing new recipes for cupcakes! Caroline King & I decided a cupcake shop was our calling in life. We met a few times this past winter to experiment with recipes. It was a blast and when Team Tolman finally settles down (hopefully San Antonio) maybe we will open "The Sugar Shack," filled with all our creations:) 

      Wedding Cupcake Tower


       I got the tower idea from Janene: my amazingly creative, beautiful sister-in-law! She did something similar for my baby shower and I aboslutely LOVED it:) I changed the idea to fit more of a wedding style and thought the tower turned out pretty-darn fabulous!

      I started with some random, unattractive boxes and covered them with a simple, elegant wrapping paper with "love" written all over. I then wrapped the two bottom tiers with teal ribbon. (Sadly I didn't get a picture of the front where the ribbons were tied in a bow.) The ribbon is held on with glue dots to keep it in place. Add the delicious cupcakes and... Viola! A beautiful centerpiece.

                                                                                                         Just Me