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I'm Nicole. I am a wife, mother, shop owner on Mackinac Island, and lover of handmade. The little things and little moments inspire me. Follow me on my blog as I write about shop news, my travels, island life and motherhood.
Nicole
xo.

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little luxuries

  John DoudBlueberry Smash CakeJohn Doud

I can’t believe that my baby, John turned ONE this past week! We celebrated with family and friends on a chilly Sunday afternoon. 

John loves blueberries SO much, so I decided to make his smash cake a blueberry one! I love turning to Pinterest to find inspiration for such occasions. I found the perfect Blueberry Smash Cake for him.

The recipe is from a site called ChowHound and was so easy to make! 

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium ripe banana (about 3 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Butter the cake pans and then lightly dust them with wheat flour. Two 4” spring form pans are recommended.
  3. Heat frozen blueberries on medium / low heat until blueberries are soft / burst. Estimated time: 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once they are cool, use a blender to smooth out the berries. Allow mixture to continue to cool.
  4. Whisk together flour, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix banana, applesauce, milk and maple syrup in blender.  Add in the egg and almond extract.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredient bowls. Don’t worry about overmixing!
  6. Split the batter into two of the 4” cake pans. Bake for approximately 20 - 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes our clean, let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Place a knife around the edges and transfer to wire racks to cool.
  7. Mix the frosting ingredients with a mixer, carefully folding in the blueberry mixture. TO frost the cake, the best way to do it is to start from the bottom layer first, then add the second layer and frost with a spatula.
  8. Now, prepare to serve to your ONE year old for them to smash!

John loved his cake so much, that I might just have to make it again - we probably won’t have him eat it as a smash cake this time though!
                    DoudJohn Doud

We love this time of the year, as we celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our wedding anniversary and just having more time to spend together as a family with those we love close by.

We hope that you’re surrounded by loved ones this weekend, doing all the fun festive things.

Xoxo

Nicole 

 

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Doud FamilyDoud FamilyDoud Family
Today’s blog post is about Petoskey, Michigan, where our family lives when we are not on the island. I wanted to give a few highlights to our favorite spots in the area:
  1. Grain Train: It’s a lot like Doud’s Market and when I can’t shop at Doud’s Market we love the Grain Train. Friendly staff, quick in and out, healthy snacks, great deli options, and the health and wellness section has a lot of good finds.
  2. North Perk: Centrally located downtown Petoskey! They are the perfect place for a chai to do work, hot cocoa date with my boys or a place to catch up with a friend.
  3. JW Shorters: my go-to gift shop away from Little Luxuries, plus Grandpa Shorters’ and Katydids (sister stores) are right next door and carefully curated just how I like my shops. Jennifer Shorter, their owner, does an awesome job! 
  4. Mim’s: I love Greek food! And now my boys do too! They call Mim’s the Gingerbread House because of its cozy, quaint appearance. We love the artichoke hummus with warm pita bread, the kids grilled cheese meal, the sampler and the original gyro are all delish! 
  5. Petoskey State Park: This is the perfect little place to “escape” to and it has a gorgeous beach - be sure to stay to watch the sunset!
  6. If you’re looking for a great place to go for a walk, we love to head to the Bay View Association! This historic neighborhood is an easy and beautiful walk from our home. 
We hope that when you aren’t on Mackinac Island, you can enjoy one of my other places to visit in Northern Michigan, Petoskey. If you find any other cool spots that I missed, be sure to let me know! Would love to hear your faves.
 Xoxo,
Nicole
North Perk PetoskeyPetoskey State ParkNorth Perk PetoskeyGrandpa Shorter's
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Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

 

I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes - Pumpkin Spice Cookies! They are simple to make and really, one of the best cookies ever! I found the recipe from And All The Trimmings, a blog that featured season recipes and cooking tips.

The frosting on the cookies is so easy to make and SO delicious!

Recipe:

  • 1 box spice cake
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (can of real pumpkin, not the pie mix!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stick of butter (softened)

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees

2. Prepare a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or with grease and flour.

3. Dump the cake mix, pumpkin puree, egg, and soft butter into a bowl and mix it all just until combined.

4. Drop spoonfuls of dough about two inches apart on the cookie sheet…or ….you can squeeze blobs of dough out of a pastry bag onto the cookie sheet.

5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. They bake quickly! Makes about 25-30 cookies (this is only from my memory, so I could be wrong.

Cinnamon Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth.

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.

3. Mix until blended and creamy; make sure to scrape the bowl with a spatula occasionally to get any cinnamon hiding at the bottom.

4. Frost the cookies once they’ve cooled.

Enjoy!!

xoxo,

Nicole

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Happy Sunday evening! Again another week has passed and this is our last week of the 2019 season! 

This past weekend we celebrated the Women’s Wellness Weekend on Mackinac Island! Little Luxuries shut down for a quick two hours while 120 women had a private trunk show with Jenna Kator and her new fall line. Women shopped til they dropped and helped clear out some of our 40% OFF inventory items as the season comes to an end. It was a fun event, with champagne, cupcakes and endless laughs! 

Jenna Kator Trunk ShowJenna Kator, Women's Wellness Weekend

Jenna Kator, Women's Wellness Weekend

Almost as quickly as it started, another season is quickly coming to an end. Most of Little Luxuries’ crew have headed off the island, as the 2019 season is ending. During the off-season, staff goes back to school, some work other seasonal jobs, travel, visit with family and friends and rest before the next season. This year, I had a great group of girls who loved to have fun, work hard and enjoyed living on Mackinac Island! As girls have been leaving, I’ve been sharing over on our Instagram page what their favorite things to do on the island were or what favorite products we carry. Check it out! Little Luxuries 2019Little Luxuries 2019

Women's Wellness Weekend

Soon, we will be accepting applications for 2020 staff members to join our team. If you or someone you know is interested in working for Little Luxuries, Artists Market of Mackinac and Canvas and Paddle, be sure to keep your eye out for hiring information or send an email through our website. 

Xoxo,

Nicole 

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Artists Market of Mackinac
The 2019 season is rapidly coming to an end - I can't  believe how fast the seasons seem to go here on Mackinac Island. This was the Artists Market of Mackinac's fifth season in business and it was such a great year! Every year, we have the opportunity to represent over 100 emerging artists from all over the United States and Canada. Some of the artists are one person operations, while other's are made up of small teams.
Artists Market of Mackinac Artists Market of Mackinac
We had artists make live appearances in the shop throughout the season like Mary Lou Peters, The Barn Social, Mulberry Pines, Genesis One Designs and Red Cabin Studio! Favorite products this season included "Married on Mackinac" ornaments, Iconic Detroit coasters, unique jewelry, block prints, Mackinac inspired mugs, "Been to the Beach" framed artwork and so many other treasures. Each year, it is my pleasure to be able to represent these artists on Mackinac Island. To all the artists that trust us with your artwork, thank you! My staff and I love getting to know your work, being able to share the process of how it's made and tell more about your company to each customer that comes in the door! Thank you for making such wonderful products and for such an amazing 5th season!
Artists Market of Mackinac Island
Artists Market of Mackinac
To all our customers, thank you! We would not have had such an amazing 5th year without your support! As we do close for the 2019 season, we look forward to a season of rest and preparing to welcome back artists in the spring of 2020! We look forward to bringing back many familiar faces and incorporating a few new ones, as well. If you saw something in the shop that you liked this year, remember to shop directly through the artist this winter! A full list of all the artists in the shop can be found here
xoxo,
Nicole
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