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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

Mongolian Ground Beef Noodles

 

This past weekend, I made this new recipe and we all LOVED it! It was so delicious and incredibly easy.

For the ingredients list you need —

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 4 tsp minced ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 green onions diced
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a medium skillet with high sides on the stovetop, brown the ground beef along with the ginger and garlic until beef is cooked through. Use the back of a wooden spoon to make sure meat is broken up well. Drain any fat and return the pan to the stovetop.
    2. While the ground beef is cooking, get a pot of water started for your pasta noodles. Be sure to salt the water well so that your noodles soak up that flavor.
    3. Combine the remaining ingredients -- the soy sauce, beef broth brown sugar, red pepper flakes, pepper, and hoisin sauce in a small dish and pour into ground beef mixture.
    4. Let them saute in the pan for about 3 minutes to allow the ground beef to absorb the flavors.
    5. Once your pasta is done cooking, transfer the noodles to the mixture. Mix thoroughly and allow to cook for a couple of more minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
    6. Top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds for the perfect noodle dish!

This recipe and picture is from https://jenaroundtheworld.com/mongolian-ground-beef-noodles/. I’m saving it to our recipe book for future, easy meals!

I hope that you try it and love it as much as we do!

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While I’m shopping small for gifts for family and friends, I’m also doing a lot of online shopping for the boys, since they are usually with me when I shop. It’s quick and easy, and I know these are some fun gifts that the boys will love this holiday season.

Minecraft Sheets: It’s fun to get the boys new sheets especially now that we are back in Petoskey for the winter! We know how much kids LOVE Minecraft these days, so I was so excited when I found these Minecraft sheets! 

HobbyKids Plush: One of the boys’ favorite shows on YouTube is HobbyKidsTV! I know they will love to have this plush with them when they are watching their show!

LED Airplanes: Do all boys love airplanes as much as my three do? These fun LED Light Airplanes will be perfect for outside play! 

Kids Dream Bed Tent: I am SO excited for this fun gift! This Kids Dream Bed Tent will make the boys feel like they are camping when really they are just sleeping in their normal bed! It will make nighttime so much more fun when they know they get to climb inside their own bed tent!  

Little People Big Dreams Coloring Book: I love it when the boys do craft time! Coloring is such a simple way to have them be creative. 

Inspiring Writers Book Gift Set: I love reading to the boys! I love that these books are already teaching them so much about history and instilling in them the value that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up!

Those are some of the gifts I’ve started ordering for the boys! Andrew on the other hand, I’ve barely started shopping for!

One of the gifts I’ve found for him is Versace Man Aftershave Balm. While it’s practical, it’s also something that he loves! Self care isn’t only for the ladies! 

If you’re looking for a present for someone who loves to bake, purchase this beautiful George & Viv Very Merry Pie Dish! If you add your favorite pie recipe to the dish, along with these beautiful dish towels from the shop you’ll have a wonderful present! 

I’ll share more later of what other presents I come across, but I’m so excited to see the boys faces on Christmas morning when they open their presents!

We are adding more fun holiday gifts to the shop each week, so I’ll be sharing more goodies over on social media - be sure to follow along!

Xo,

Nicole

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25 Items at Little Luxuries that are under $25.00 and perfect holiday gifts! 

    1. Baitx Evergreen Candle: The sweet smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree in your home. It has notes of citrus and a woody balsam core that makes you think you’re standing in the middle of a Christmas tree farm!
    2. Moisturizing Waterless Hand Cleanser- Grapefruit: Cleanse + Sanitize + Moisturize:  For waterless hand cleansing sanitizer as an alternative when water and soap are not available. Made with our unique formulation containing 62% ethyl alcohol with our own blend of oils and skin conditioning ingredients that leave your hands feeling moisturized, refreshed, and thoroughly clean. 
    3. Lucky Stars Mug: Give someone this Quotable Mug with the Irish Blessing to encourage them along the way and bring a smile to their face every time they pull it out of the cabinet!
    4. Cherry Republic Sour Patch: Have someone on your list that has a sweet tooth? This Michigan made candy is perfect for them! 
    5. Spiral Notepad: These cute little pads make the perfect gift paired with a Little Luxuries pen! 
    6. Island Girl T-Shirt: Know someone that loves Mackinac Island? Surprise them with an Island Girl of Mackinac t-shirt to remember their favorite days perusing in the shop before going on a bike ride. 
    7. 1Canoe2 Bandana: Bandanas are in! Shop these stylish accessories for a pop of color! Wear in your hair, around your neck or style on your tote bag!
    8. Dog Blanket & Bone Set: Calling all dog lovers! This is the perfect present for someone who loves their furry pets and would be hurt if you forget to get their pet a present this year! 
    9. Nalgene Water Bottles: A new favorite this year, use your Little Luxuries Nalgene Water Bottle to stay hydrated at work, the gym or on the go
    10. Manicure Set: Stay polished on the go with this 5 piece manicure set! Kit includes tweezers, scissors, clippers and emery board
    11. Tartan & Ticking Dish Cloths: How cute are these holiday dish towels? The perfect hostess gift or just drop in the mail to send to your extended family members as a way to say “I’m thinking of you this holiday season.”
    12. Mackinac Island Map Tote: Everything you love about Mackinac! Now on a durable and colorful tote.
    13. Sleep Mask: Our sleep mask is not only stylish but blocks out the light while lavender aromatherapy calms and soothes the psyche.
    14. Mackinac Bath & Body Lotion: Michigan made goat's milk lotion. You will fall in love with this wonderful moisturizing lotion that comes in four different scents.
    15. Amano Rainbow Studs: The perfect earrings for your stylish friends! If these don’t bring a smile to your face, we don’t know what will!
    16. Wee Bee Jammin’:  Just the right amount of Champagne has been added to the classic strawberry preserves. The color is bright with a little sparkle! Serve it with brunch....add some to a mimosa or prosecco! Cheers!
    17. Whole Bean Lake Charlevoix Coffee: Paired with a mug or by itself, this medium roast coffee will bring a smile! It’s micro-roasted artisan coffee from right here in Northern Michigan.
    18. Tried & True Hand Cream: NEW to the shop this fall, this hand cream will help with the rough winter air! Choose from Gardenia Lily, Lavender Vanilla and more!
    19. PDM Ornament: Handmade ceramic Michigan inspired Christmas ornaments that will look great on your Christmas tree!
    20. Cotton Baby Blanket: Need the perfect baby present? Add this muslin swaddle blanket to the gift! It’s the perfect size and gets softer with each wash.
    21. Birch Christmas Tree: Welcome the Christmas season with these beautiful birch stemmed Christmas trees.
    22. CatStudio Glass: This original design celebrates the Great Lakes....the world's largest body of fresh water.
    23. Michigan Things Print: Do you use your hand as a map when showing people where you're from? Do you know how to play Euchre? Do you head Up North in the summer? Do you call pop...pop? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you must be from Michigan! Celebrate what makes Michigan and the people who live here special in this new original design featuring 20 of our favorite "Michigan Things."
    24. Face Mask: Brightening crystal mini masks - brighten & clarify. Free of parabens. Let’s make this crystal clear - we think you’re a gem. Self-love is very important, so get ready to enhance your self-care regime with our sheet mask crystals and never let anything dull your sparkle!
    25. Cocktails to Go: Travel-friendly kit includes the top-shelf ingredients and instructions you need to craft and enjoy cocktails on the go!
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Tortellini Minestrone Soup

One of my favorite soups to make for winter is Tortellini Minestrone Soup! It was so chilly and rainy this past weekend, so it was the perfect meal to warm us all up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 4 Large Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, Peeled & Diced
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Diced Tomatoes with Juice
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Kidney Beans, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Basil 
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 (9-ounce_ package cheese tortellini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Set a large pot over medium-high heat with olive oil. Once hot, add in the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice and the beans. 
  3. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano and basil.
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the veggies soften, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the tortellini and cook until they float, about 3-5 minutes
  6. Serve the soup with a sprinkling of cheese on top.

This recipe takes just around 50 minutes to make and is so delicious! Tell me, what’s one of your favorite soups to make for winter? 

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Holiday Bucket List

Have you already written out your holiday bucket list? I've made mine with the boys and I can't wait to start tackling these fun and festive projects!

xo, Nicole 

Nicole's Holiday Bucket List

1. Make a homemade ornament
2. Bake your mom's or grandma's favorite holiday recipe wearing your Christmas apron!
3. Complete a holiday puzzle
4. Build a gingerbread house
5. Watch Christmas Vacation in your favorite Christmas pj's
6. Go on a winter family hike
7. Send out holiday cards to friends and family
8. Make homemade bread for your neighbors
9. Give a toy or canned goods to those in need
10. Listen to your favorite Christmas music while baking cookies
11. Sip on hot cocoa while watching the Hallmark channel
12. Read your favorite Christmas book over Facetime to your nieces and nephews
13. Drive through your town looking at Christmas lights
14.Send Christmas cards to a nursing home
15. Dress up in your best holiday outfit and go out for dinner or make a fancy meal at home
16. Support your local businesses and buy gifts in your town/city
17. Support your favorite small business online shop!
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