Saturday, October 10, 2020

Announcing Baby Ickes !!

Hello everyone, if you haven't already heard, I have some exciting news to share with you all! We are expecting!! 

Baby Ickes, due February 2021 (Fun fact: Ickes is pronounced Ick-kiss)

How we found out:

On June 4th, 2020, I was in a small rush to get to work as I was running slightly behind- I had my lunch, my jacket, my coffee cup and my backpack ready and headed to the car. I opened the passenger door to drop off my items, I bent over to put them on the seat, and when I went to stand up straight again I was greeted by a huge shot of pain in my lower back to the point where it took my breath away and I felt like I couldn't move. I sat on my back porch step for a minute to catch my breath and calm down before attempting to stand up again. When I decided it was time, I was really gonna be late for work now, I stood up and basically had to crawl on my car to get to the driver seat. I got in the car and realized this was bad. I called Eric to come get me and take me to the hospital, I called my Mom and I called my boss to tell them I was not going to be in today and was on my way to the hospital.

When Eric got home we quickly went to the ER, fortunately getting in was a quick process and they assessed my back and diagnosed it with a strain. They still had to run a few tests just to be sure. That is when the doctor came in and told me I am pregnant! I was happily shocked, and cried and was in awe of the information she had just shared with me. I sat there alone in the room (Eric couldn't go back with me due to covid restrictions) and just took in the news to myself. I was trying to think of ways to tell Eric in a 'cute' way when we got home. I came up with a plan.

On the way home I was so nervous. Would he be excited? Would he cry? 

When we got home, I was still having some back pain, but I did the best I could with such short notice and only being able to hobble everywhere. I ran, not really ran, upstairs to pee on a stick and triple confirm that the hospital was right- they were. I had Eric take the dogs out and while he did that I grabbed a pie we had in the fridge, wrote "Sur-Pie-S!!" on the box, left the test on the box and placed in in view on our kitchen counter. My lunch was still on the counter from the mornings chaos, so I sat down at our dining room table, and asked Eric to put it away for me. I opened my camera on my phone and put it in video mode, and quietly followed behind him into the kitchen. 

He noticed the test right away, and it took him a moment to realize what it said before he turned around and saw me standing there recording him in tears. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel, it's a short one, but oh so sweet!

That weekend we decided, and it just so happened to work out, that telling our families were in the cards. So, that Saturday we went to my hometown and told my family, and Sunday we told his. 

All I can say is that this lil lovebug of ours has already stolen a lot of hearts, especially the ones that belong to mommy and daddy. (woah, so weird, cuz I'm mommy.....)

We are beyond thrilled to become parents and would like to thank everyone who has already reached out and helped us in so many ways! 

Anyone else expecting? How did you find out? Are you excited, nervous, scared, like me?! Comment below with all the stories!!

With love,
Torrie ๐Ÿ’•

Baby E's Regstries!


So we have been receiving quite a few requests asking about Baby E's registry; so I figured I would make it (hopefully) easier by posting all the links here!

I created a bablist registry that actually contains all of our other registries inside one- it is super cool because it actually lists multiple places you can purchase the item and the list of various prices! Most of our items are registered at BuyBuyBaby and Amazon. If you click the Amazon registry it will take you directly to our Amazon link, same with the BuyBuyBaby link! Both actual registry links will contain more items than on the babylist website- because I wanted to post the larger/more expensive items on the babylist for everyone to see.. 

Babylist website; other registries on the site!

Example of pricing and locations to buy

Example of pricing and locations to buy

I also opted for group gifting! If you wish to contribute towards a certain item, please visit the actual registry it is listed on, either BuyBuyBaby or Amazon to finish that process. You can also send them directly to us if you are unable to make it to the shower or want to give sooner, our address is linked to all registries!

I did not really put diapers, wipes or clothing on the registries because I kinda figured that is a no brainer? Please feel free to buy whatever sizes in any of those items you wish! We are using the Pampers Brand for diapers and wipes!

Amazon Baby registry link 

BuyBuyBaby registry link

If this does not make sense or you have questions, please reach out to me or Eric!!

Thanks in advance for all the love for Baby E ! We love you all!!! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Covid19: My Story

Hello all!

I wanted to write a post about my personal experience with Covid19. Yes, I somehow managed to be part of the ever growing number of people who got to experience Covid first-hand.

Photo credit: Heywood Hospital

I remember waking up the morning of April 13th, which was a Monday, to get ready for work. I was not feeling like myself at all, I couldn't really put into words what I felt, but it was an all around "I don't feel good" feeling. I had called off work to watch my symptoms because I had a gut feeling it was worse than just a cold or tummy ache. Throughout the day, I monitored my symptoms and decided that I was going to do a virtual doctor's visit in regards to Covid. I jumped so quick to do the doctors visit due to the line of work I am in, I deal with hundreds of people a week on a very up-close and personal scale. I did not want to take any chances with my or anyone else's health. I did the virtual appointment with a doctor from the Cleveland Clinic, and he put me into a 14 day quarantine. I was shocked, because I didn't feel like I had what everyone was describing as the crazy bad symptoms of the virus. I also was not shocked, because my gut has seriously never steered me wrong. I called my job and let everyone that needed to know, know. My boyfriend also had to quarantine with me because we briefly worked at the same job, and we live together. 14 days together was not bad at all, I enjoyed it.

My symptoms:

Dry cough
Hard to breathe
Body aches
Loss of smell
Overall feeling of being sick

With these symptoms, due to my age and not being a healthcare worker, the virtual doctor's visit I had deemed me ineligible for covid testing, which was a bummer. My mother was very adamant about me finding somewhere that would accept me to be tested, as was I. We finally found somewhere that was a great possibility and I had to undergo another virtual doctor appointment and make a trip from Cleveland to Warren to a drive-thru testing center where Eric and I were both tested.

After the 14 days of quarantine were up I was trying to go back to work, I gave them a day I was hoping to be back by, but that I was finally able to receive testing for the virus, so I could not come back until I received the results.

It took about 3 days after the invasive nose swab test, I received the call from my local Board of Health, and the results were positive. Even after 14 days of being quarantined! I was shocked again, even more scared because I knew I was definitely a person who had it, and now was going to be off work for even longer. Eric's phone call took what seemed like for forever to receive, and when he received it, his result was negative! Again with a shock! How could I have it but he didn't? We did some careful thinking and it's possible that he had it and was already over it, or that he had it first and it took awhile for me to get it, or that we both had it at the same time and I was just having a longer case than his. We won't really ever know. 

Upon receiving the positive result, I had to undergo extensive questioning about where I have been (grocery stores, gas stations, etc.) when I was there, if I had things delivered to my house, the people I have been in contact with family and work wise, and I had to be sent a letter of isolation from the Board of Health. I was not allowed to leave the house under any circumstance or I could be in trouble with the law. Talk about a lot going on. I told my place of work and had to be put on a medical leave that turned into short term disability, and had to make sure I received documentation from everything that was going on to be able to work, and the Board of Health was only snail mailing them so my leave from work ended up being 6 weeks long!

My symptoms, in my opinion, were never really super severe, the overall experience was just more scary than anything. I am finally back to work and it feels really good to be able to say I am feeling better and able to continue helping the Greater Cleveland area in this unprecedented time.

Thank you to everyone who reached out, who helped me and Eric with getting groceries, who sent us care packages, and words of encouragement. It meant so much to us to have support and love during this time.

While this virus is still affecting many, take this time to educate yourself on the symptoms, what to/not to do, and if you can help someone in need.

Visit the Cleveland Clinic website for information, testing, and donations, here.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Happy Anniversary

Warning: This post is mushy, full of love, and kinda long. Enjoy!

This post is very near and dear to my heart. I know this person won't be expecting a post about them, but I think they totally deserve this recognition.

Some/most of you who know me in person have either met or heard of this person in my life, because I am obsessed with them..

Everyone, meet the most caring man ever, my boyfriend, and my future, Eric James Ickes Jr.

Some things you may not know about Eric and I; we have been dating for a little while. We met while we both worked at the mall. Our love story is quiet the story. But I am going to tell it briefly and just tell the world how special Eric is to me.

I remember the first day I saw Eric. I worked at Sunglass Hut in the mall at the time, and as some of you may recall it's kind of like working in a giant fishbowl, all the outside walls are glass. Eric worked as a security officer for the mall. I saw him making a scan by our store and literally almost gave myself whiplash with the double take I did to look at him. I worked there for about a month or so before I saw, him, so I was talking to my boss and asked her what she knew of the "new" security guy. Turns out he wasn't new at all, I just had never seen him. He worked at the mall doing this job for about 3 years... Long story short word got to his supervisor that I was inquiring about him, and she came to chat with me. She had nothing but good things to say about the boy, she was right with everything she told me too. I truly don't remember how we got to start talking, but I had heard some things through the grapevine that he was recently out of a long term relationship, some drama with that as with any breakup. I agreed to go on a date with Eric.

2nd trip to Castle Noel, 2019
Our first date I was such an anxious mess. I was anxious because I had been single for a very long time, and while I went on a few dates recently before ours, they all turned out to be duds and from what it sounded like, Eric was not a dud. I wanted to make a good impression and of course anxiety set in to help that.... He picked me up at my apartment and brought me my favorite thing in the entire world, better than flowers for a first date, ice cream. Mind you it was Winter time in early December, so it was fine in the car while we went on our date. He took me to Castle Noel. Sound familiar? That's because I wrote a post about it immediately because it is such a cool and fun place! Fun fact: if you read that post you might have noticed Eric actually made his debut in that as a photo credit hahaha
I remember the car ride back we listened to Travis Scott's Sicko Mode, singing at the top of our lungs together. It was like we already knew each other. He dropped me off at my apartment, and we hugged goodnight. He should have kissed me, but he didn't. He was a true gentleman.

I soon made the mistake of telling him I just want to be friends due to the drama that was still happening with his ex. He was very persistent that the drama should not affect my decision towards him because honestly, it wasn't fair of me to judge him based on that. He was absolutely right. But I was scared, I could tell I already really liked him and could see it going somewhere special. And I am not the best with changing my mind after it is made up. He was still a gentleman and persistent about pursuing me. He approached me at the mall one day after and told me he was going to respect my decision and move forward. And just like that, I was saying never mind in my head, I wanted to be with him. It was so weird.

We started officially dating in February, and have been inseparable since.

Medina County Fair 2019
Today, we have been together for 1 year. And while I know that 1 year is not the longest time, it feels like we have known each other for a lifetime and I can't wait to spend the rest of my lifetime with him.

I love you Eric James ๐Ÿ’–

I decided to not continue this post in a story telling format, and instead list a few of the things I love most about Eric.

1.) I love his eyes, the color is so different

2.) I love his jokes, he is the funniest & silliest

3.) I love that he is down to Earth, balances me out

4.) I love that he is an awesome dog daddy

5.) I love this certain smile he gives me when he is being silly or trying to hide a surprise, he hides behind a pillow or blanket to conceal his smile

6.) I love that he supports my Rae Dunn & other silly habits

7.) I love that he listens to my "girly" music with no problem

8.) I love that he would do seriously anything to see me smile & make my day

9.) I love that he likes me enough to maybe want to marry me one day..........

10.) I love that he is my soul mate

A snap shot of our first year together:

Eric took me to my first Cavs game! 2019

Ira Trailhead, Akron, 2019

Family camping trip to Mohican State Park, 2019

Hinkley Reservation, 2019

Birthday Concert! Blossom Music Center, 2019

Our first house together! Cleveland Heights, 2019

First picture EVER! 2019

Trapped! Date Night! Cleveland, 2019

First Family Christmas photo! 2019

Mohican State Park, 2019

My best friends wedding, 2019

Birthday Steelers game! 2019

Cleveland Orchestra date night! 2019

First New Years together! 2020

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!!****

Announcing Baby Ickes !!

Hello everyone, if you haven't already heard, I have some exciting news to share with you all! We are expecting!!  Baby Ickes, due Febru...