Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Introducing Caroline Celine


Introducing Caroline Celine, my niece!

Born December 16th, 2019 at 4:29 PM.

My baby sister (who is 22 and not a baby...) is the first of the kids to have a baby, and my oh my have we been excited. Our mother has always said she wanted to be a grandma, I think the first time she told me this I was in high school and freaked out by her confession. She always said in due time, but that she couldn't wait. Around Summer of 2018, I think, I can remember my dad talking to his brother, who has several grand kids already, that he was never going to get to be a grandpa.. well now look at them! They are thrilled. My middle sister is already an aunt to her fiance's nephews, but is excited about being an aunt to a girl.

I remember the day I was told my sister was pregnant. I thought my family was playing a joke on me. They do that a lot, and I fall for it a lot, I am not proud of it lol..... I was at my Coach job, my baby sister called a family meeting, but I was unable to make it home due to work. Calling a family meeting from her was not uncommon, normally it was to watch a movie together or something like that, not really what you would expect a normal family meeting to be about. But this was one different. My middle sister texted me at work and said that baby sister is pregnant. I was instantly like, " haha that's not funny..." well, she wasn't lying. I was both upset and happy at the same time. I asked my manager if I could make a phone call, and she agreed. I called my family and was put on speaker phone, I asked, "are you really pregnant??" to which my dad replied, she really is. My dad doesn't joke about stuff like that, so I knew this was real. I cried, again of course I did, I am a big baby and was so, so happy!!! The reason I was upset at all is because I couldn't be there for this life changing moment in our family.

I think my sister being pregnant brought us sisters together in a different way than we ever thought possible. All 3 of us. It is bigger than just us now.

Okay, enough already. Please enjoy pictures of my GORGEOUS NIECE!!

Caroline and Aunt Torrie

Caroline and her "brother" Cooper

Christmas Eve, little family

Dear Caroline Celine,

I love you, to the moon and back. I love to the ends of the Earth. I will always have your back. I will always be here for you. I will always lend you my shoulder to cry on, my ear to listen, and my car when your mommy and daddy say you're grounded. You can always come to my house to stay or play, you can always count on me for anything. Just know my name is Cool Aunt Torrie though, that's the deal here kiddo. I will love you forever. Now stay little, and stay imaginative.


Aunt Torrie ๐Ÿงก

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Thanksgiving Recipes

Happy be-lated Thanksgiving! 

So, I uploaded pictures of the food I made for Thanksgiving to my personal Instagram, and you asked for the recipes, so here they are! I found all of them on Pinterest, so I will link the original recipes as well.

I did have to alter the recipes slightly, I will mention that within the recipes with ****

It was my first time making all of these items, and I will definitely be making them again in the future! My personal favorite were the Brussels sprouts! Also, using the image that was shown on Pinterest for the butter, it took me so long to make it and I forgot to take a picture of it... ๐Ÿ˜…

I recommend making this first, as it takes a total of 6 hours. ****I had a little bit of a harder time with the consistency due to not owning a food processor, and it failed to mention that in the beginning of the recipe, or in the ingredients/what you need section- my only call out to this recipe, other than that, it made more than enough and is delicious!

Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Butter ~ theviewfromgreatisland.comEquipment

  • crock pot
  • Food processor****


  • 5-6 apples
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries they can be frozen and thawed
  • 1 stick of cinnamon or powdered cinnamon to taste   ****I used 3 sticks of cinnamon and probably could have used more, it was a vary faint cinnamon taste with 3 still.****
  • honey optional   ****I used, and it helps thicken the recipe to the "butter" like texture!****


  • Wash the apples well, and cut them into large chunks, discarding the core and seeds. Add to the crock pot.
  • Rinse the cranberries and add them to the crock pot. Give the fruit a stir and then cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Give the pot a stir every once in a while to prevent sticking. If the mixture is sticking you can add a bit of water, but I didn't have to, the natural juices of the fruit should be sufficient. ****I used about a cup of water and it started the "melting" of the fruit a little faster and easier!****
  • Puree the softened fruit in a high speed blender or food processor, working in 2 batches. ****I do not own a processor, or a high speed blender that is idea for making this recipe, I used a handheld blender. It worked just fine, only issue would be it is a little thicker than it might have been with the processor.****
  • Push the puree through a mesh strainer with the back of a large spoon, Force the puree through, you should be left with just a light layer of solids. Rinse out the strainer between batches. ****I recommend, if you use a handheld blender like I did, to get a strainer that is a little larger mesh holes, because it is thicker than a small holed strainer will allow to push through... if that makes sense. I also personally dug out the apple skins that were making it chunky to make it more smooth.****
  • Rinse out the crock pot and return the strained puree to the pot. Bury a stick of cinnamon into the puree. Cook on HIGH, uncovered, for another 2 hours, or until thick and spreadable, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. When the fruit has thickened, spoon it into clean glass jars. Let cool, and then cap and refrigerate. The butter will keep for 4 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to a year in the freezer. (If you plan to freeze, leave a little space at the top of each jar to allow for expansion.)
  • Makes 2 1/2 cups

Loved this, so good on toast in the A.M. too!

  • 2 pounds thin/baby carrots peeled, tops chopped off or to 2 inches*
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon McCormick® salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon McCormick® pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Either line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray OR spray your baking sheet with cooking spray. See Note**. Add carrots to the center.. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients and pour over carrots. Toss until evenly coated. Line carrots in a single layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on carrot thickness, until fork tender, stirring after 20 minutes.*** Roast longer for more caramelization. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

****I have a gas oven and it took about double to bake them until tender, I also did not shave the carrots 

*Thin carrots are often called baby carrots- not to be confused with baby-cut carrots.  They are  young, thinner carrots that are not tough or woody. They can often be found in the organic section of your grocery store. If you want to use different carrots then cut extra thick carrots in half lengthwise and adjust cooking time - carrots are done when they are fork tender or roast longer for more caramelization.
**If you use thinner carrots, you might not want to use foil because the carrots will caramelize better in the shorter roasting time without foil.
***When you stir at 20 minutes, the Glaze will have liquefied and there will seem like a lot of moisture but the carrots will absorb the moisture/Glaze as they continue cooking.


  • 1 pound butternut squash peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts ends cut off and halved (if they are large, cut in quarters)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon diced ****I did not use bacon, as we have vegetarians at work and wanted them to be able to enjoy this dish!****
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup halved pecans optional ****I did not use pecans, was made for work and didn't know if anyone had any nut allergies!****

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine diced butternut squash, brussels sprouts, bacon, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper; mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Transfer veggies to prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring around halfway through cooking.
  5. In the last 7 minutes, add pecans, if using. ****I did not use pecans.****

Meanwhile, prepare the maple glaze.
  1. In a small saucepan whisk together maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Set saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer; stirring often, simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.
  3. Take veggies out of the oven and brush with prepared glaze.
  4. Arrange on a large plate or bowl and serve.

****I really want to make a sriracha sauce for this recipe, a spicy twist!****

Serves 8-12

2 large bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt                                                                  
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
  2. Fan the pears slices out inside of the pie plate. Top with blueberries.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs, ginger, vanilla, salt and milk. Sift in the flour and whisk until batter is well combined and very smooth, with no lumps of flour.
  4. Pour batter over the top of the pears and blueberries.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until custard is set and the top is a light golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
****I learned that I should have used a slightly deeper pie dish and arranged the pears in a more aesthetically pleasing way, but overall this was a hit with the family! Not super sweet, but super flavorful! Will definitely be making this again, as it was so easy and didn't take too much time to prep or bake!!****

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Enchanted Woods Baby Shower

Enchanted Woods Baby Shower

In case any of y'all don't know, my baby sister is pregnant! And due, so, so soon! November 9th, 2019 we got to celebrate and throw her a baby shower. Most of the work was done by our mother, Angii, and she did a beautiful job! The theme was Enchanted Woods, and it was held at a castle. Everything was GORGEOUS!

Here is a snap shot of the event through some photos, I have linked the venue, the bakery, some of the decor and the dress my sister wore!

Comment with your favorite part of the shower!

Enchanting Mama to be; Sidney

**Disclaimer: The symbols on the sign in the background are NOT swastikas!
It is a sign explaining that the image throughout the tiling of the castle, are facing
backwards- it is the Buddhist symbol for good luck!**

Mom & Dad to be; Alex & Sidney

Torrie, Sidney & Lauren

Me and Sidney

Dad, Mom, & Sidney

Grandma, Grandpa, & Sidney

We want to thank everyone who came to shower Sidney and Alex with love and necessities for the day that the baby arrives! We hope everyone had a great time, for anyone that is still interested in helping out the parents-to-be, but did not get a chance to attend the shower, they are registered on Amazon! You can reach out to me via Facebook or text message for delivering options. 

Baby is due December 19, 2019, and we are SO EXCITED!

I have links below to the specifics from the shower:

Registry: Amazon
Dress: Windsor Store (The white is sold out, so I linked the black!)
Flower Crown: Amazon 
Decor: Plates- Amazon
            Napkins- Amazon
            Wood Chip Pumpkins- Hobby Lobby
            White Craft Pumpkins- Hobby Lobby
            Sequin Table Clothes- Amazon
            Floral Garland- Hobby Lobby
            Wood Stump Centerpiece- Amazon
            Wood Flowers- Sola
            Tulle- Hobby Lobby
            Cake Topper- Amazon
            Wine bottles were DIY

Introducing Caroline Celine

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS POST OMG OMG!!!!!!! Introducing Caroline Celine, my niece! Born December 16th, 2019 at 4:29 PM. My baby sis...