Hi!
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

This holiday season, I am thankful for so many things and just wanted to take a minute to name a few: healthy boys, Andrew, a wonderful home on Mackinac Island, a community filled with love and support, and you! I am thankful for customers who return each season to Mackinac Island and who love Mackinac as much as we do!

Little Luxuries, Artists Market, and Canvas and Paddle would not be here without your constant support and enthusiasm, so thank you! During season, the shops are filled with so much laughter and enthusiasm that it always reminds me of why we are open! 

I hope that each time you enter the shops, you can find happiness in the environment and find joy in the little luxuries that you take to your own home. 

With all that this holiday means, I am overcome with gratitude for another wonderful year and look forward to what the new year and new season will hold for our family, Mackinac Island and you.

Xoxo,

Nicole 

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While going through my recipe box this week, I found some of my favorite recipes that I like to pull out for the holiday season.

This Turkey Dressing recipe is a family one on my mom's side.  

Turkey Dressing

  • 1 loaf bakery style bread
  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • 1 stick oleo
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut bread into cubes, set aside in large bowl. Fry onions and mushrooms in oleo; add salt/pepper, cook until tender, add to bread cubes. Fry sausage until brown, drain fat, add to bread mixture. Mix in remaining ingredients of soup and eggs, Use to stuff turkey or place in casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour covered, til brown on top. Uncover the last few minutes in oven. Enjoy! 

I can’t wait to have you try this favorite recipe of my family. Let me know what you think!

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

Xoxo,

Nicole 

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  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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