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

We're SO excited about Jenna Kator's Spring Collection! The 2021 Spring Collection was inspired by her favorite spots on Mackinac Island! Here is the Spring Collection that we're LOVING and know you will too! 

Behind the Design:
Take a moment to explore Mackinac Island State Park by foot, horse or bicycle and discover the many visual treasures of high limestone bluffs, breathtaking water views, enchanted forests and geological formations such as the famous Arch Rock. The park covers more than 80 percent of the island's 3.75 square miles, encompassing most of the island's historic and natural sights.

The Mackinac “Island” Backpack is the perfect tagalong companion for your daytrip adventures.

Take a relaxing carriage ride down Huron Road, the home to Mackinac Island’s charming cottages such as the Baby Grand, on the East Bluff while looking over the rooftops of the downtown and harbor below.

The East Bluff Handbag is charming yet statement-making.

Behind the Design: 

Be sure to pack your camera and get ready to climb up 200 steps on the east side of Mackinac Island to discover Arch Rock; a true natural gem like no other. The limestone geological arch formation stands 146 feet (around 15 stories) above the Lake Huron shoreline, the breathtaking view at the top makes it worth the hike!

The Arch Rock Handbag’s step above design that will captivate you.

 

Connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, the deep blue waters of the Straits of Mackinac showcase spectacular views of the Mackinac Bridge. Nestled in the middle of the straits is Mackinac Island, one of Michigan's most popular summertime resort destinations; just a 16-minute ferry ride away.

The Straits of Mackinac Handbag will keep you connected all summer long as your go-to showpiece that lets you unplug with friends while embracing the feeling of joy.

M-185 Sling Bag
Behind the Design:

Let the breeze blow through your hair while taking in the many scenic views including the Mighty Mackinac Bridge as you bike around Mackinac Island’s eight-mile route that runs alongside the picturesque shoreline. You will hear bike bells and the relaxing clip-clop sounds of horses rather than car horns beeping because it is the only state highway in the nation where motor vehicles are not allowed; traffic on it is only by foot, horse or bicycle.

The M-185 Sling Bag is for the active girl-on-the-go who also enjoys life’s simple things.

We are so excited Jenna focused this collection on Mackinac Island, the gem of the Great Lakes and for many, our happy place. The different styles are all very unique where I hope you can find one that fits your style and needs. 

Hope you can make it into the shop in person this spring and summer to see them first hand! 

Nicole

xo.

 

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This week, Andrew and I have been in St. Augustine, Florida with the boys. It has been so fun to see a new spot and to just get away from the cold for a little bit! Plus, we have not been away on vacation since November 2019! 
Since I’m at the beach, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite beachy items we currently have available on the online store + a few things I love to have with me when I go to the beach! 

 

I love these two new dresses that we got in for spring / summer! They are so nice to just throw on when it's warmer outside or even over a swim suit! Shop the light blue one and navy here!
There's always a need for a tiny toiletry bag or pouch when traveling. I love both of these- the silicone one is fun and bright, while the clear ones help me see that I remembered to pack everything without digging through the pouch! 
Of course, I've packed my pouches FULL of items from the Bath & Body section! Including my favorite lotion from Farmhouse Fresh, called Whoopie Cream. We're currently out of that one but we do have another one I love called Sweet Tea Shea Butter in stock that is amazing
This Shea Butter whip is a jarful of refreshment! You'll be tempted to sip this creamy, supple shea butter that calms even the severest of dry skin. Scented like a southern sweet tea with peach, ginger, and white tea - a light herbal treat!
We can never be at the beach without sunscreen, with our fair skin! I packed the ThinkBaby sunscreen that has been great! BONUS! It's on sale over on the website here.
Of course, lip balm! I usually forget to pack this on vacation, but was so glad I remembered to throw it in my bag! Shop our favorite Green Daffodil Lip Balm Here! It has SPF in it too!
Wax-free soy lip balms include vitamin E and SPF 15, which penetrates into your skin for extra care and long lasting protection to ward off dry lips. Use only essential or flavor oils to scent our lip balm, so they are safe. A unique oval shape tube to keep your lip balm from rolling off your desk or night stand and they also fit nicely into your pocket.

Never forget to pack a hat! Especially one that represents our favorite spot! Shop my favorite Mackinac hat here! 
Finally, guess what I packed in? 
My new favorite tote! I'm so excited about this burlap bag. It's been perfect for the beach! You can shop for it here!
This week at the beach has been so much fun! I hope you've been following along in my Instagram stories as I've shared a little what we're up to! If you have a beach vacation coming up soon, enjoy shopping this list as you start to pack!
xo,
Nicole  
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February 24, 2021

Winter on Mackinac

Ferry service to Mackinac Island stopped the first week of February and after one week of only being able to fly to Mackinac Island, the ice bridge from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island formed. For most islanders, this is a favorite time of year - to be able to freely leave the island and head to the main land within 20 minutes. The ice bridge is 3.5 miles in length and is lined with Christmas trees so islanders can follow the path. 
Mackinac Ice BridgeMackinac Ice Bridge
Andrew introduced me to the ice bridge in 2009, my first winter on Mackinac. Some winters an ice bridge is not formed if the weather is too mild, and other winters, the ice bridge can last up to two months long. My first winters on the island, we had longer ice bridges. Andrew hauls the groceries for Douds Market from St. Ignace to the island which saves him A LOT of money instead of having it flown over. It costs .30 cents a pound to fly something over! It adds up very quickly! 
The ice bridge is one of the most amazing experiences, yet it can be very dangerous too. Islanders have been crossing for years and even horses use to take the hike across the ice as well! 
Mackinac Ice Bridge
Mackinac Ice Bridge
This past Friday, we loaded up the boys and took the ice bridge to Mackinac. This is a favorite moment for Louie and Tommy! The sun was shining, blue skies...it could not have been a prettier February day. Johnny and I sat in a sleigh behind the snowmobile Andrew drove with Louie and Tommy on both sides of him. This year, the ice bridge was not the best, very bumpy which made traveling the bridge much slower. But nonetheless, spectacular. We took in our views, took in all the sunshine and headed to our happy place! 
Mackinac Ice Bridge
Since 2017, we have been back and forth between Petoskey and Mackinac Island. We made this choice after Louie was born and our work became busier in the off-season. Meeting with reps, traveling to gift shows, as well as seeing family and friends .... it all became too difficult to do living on a remote island with a limited boat schedule. We have the best of both worlds; living on Mackinac and in Petoskey, MI. We love both towns, but of course, Mackinac is our true home and happy place.
Mackinac Ice Bridge 
Our short-lived winter weekend was packed with snowmobile rides, ice skating, visiting Douds Market, dinner with family and seeing friends as well as fitting in work at my shops and at the grocery store. There is never enough time to fit it all in! The ice skating rink is located near Fort Mackinac. I think this is one of the cutest rinks we've seen! Mackinac State Parks has done a fabulous job keeping the rink groomed, offering skating accessories and a happy environment for residents to enjoy. 
I am so grateful we were able to get to our tiny island via ice bridge and get our winter island fun in before the warmer temps came this week! You can follow along on instagram to see our adventures and life on Mackinac and Petoskey. 
Mackinac Ice Bridge
Nicole xo
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We’re SO excited to have the Imani Collection in the shop! These banners are beautiful AND serve an amazing purpose!
This is their story: 
“Sixteen women looking for a better way to provide for their families. Sixteen women who believed they were worth more than the saturated fruit selling street markets. 
Sixteen women intrigued enough by Jenny’s vision to stick by her side and grow together.
Imani Collective started in a small village outside of Mombasa, Kenya. 
Our founder, Jenny Nuccio, traveled there looking to help fund education projects for kids. As she got to know the families she realized that the children who were struggling the most came from single income homes where their mother’s did not have many job opportunities and often sold fruit for mere pennies a day. Jenny fell in love with the people and decided to move to Kenya full time to learn from and invest in the community. Through broken English and Swahili, she and the sixteen women awkwardly laughed their way into deep friendship and mutual partnership. They taught her how to cook over an open fire, how to wash her clothes, and of course, how to carry her water like a local. In return, Jenny taught them how to sew. Through creating this collective, she realized they were not just better together, they are their best together.
Imani Collective now employs over eighty Kenyan women + men  in Mtepeni Village and Mombasa, along with half a dozen women stateside. Together, we unleash a woman’s greatness through empowerment + opportunity + community.” 
Check out their products on our website. We currently sell their beautiful banners that we know you’re going to love! 
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February 19, 2021

Health & Wellness

I am no health expert, but I would like to share with you that are interested what I take on a daily basis to keep my immunity up. The last four years I have really been trying to figure my own health issues out naturally instead of taking an antibiotic. I grew up with asthma and allergies as a kid and into an adult. Smoke, pets, different trees and grasses, and mold all irritate my sinuses. It seems like when the seasons change, my body would change. I played sports all through school and I relied on my Albuterol inhaler, as well as the purple disc inhaler called Advair, allergy shots and prednisone. Looking back, I can't believe I took all of those so regularly just to be able to breathe well. I was diagnosed with mono when I was a sophomore in high school.  I was devastated as it was during my basketball season AND right before the homecoming dance! I was out for two weeks. Since getting mono I seemed to always get sick in the fall and it was hard to get rid of my colds because they led to my chest and sinuses. Finally, I had enough. I decided to see a doctor who studied Integrative Medicine. She had me get my blood drawn and after reviewing my test results she asked if I ever had mono. She said the virus is still with me and that is why I keep getting colds so easily. 
First step, was cutting out dairy. Not that I used dairy too much in my diet, but by cutting it out this really helped my sinuses. I only drink almond milk now, stay away from ice cream, white sauces, too much cheese, etc. What we eat really affects our bodies. 
I started taking a probiotic, Vitamin D-3, B-12, B-6, Vitamin C, elderberry on occasion and quercetin. I just started taking quercetin last March. This has helped me immensely! If you have sinus issues - quercetin could be very helpful for you! 
 
This is the definition of quercetin: Quercetin is used for treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels including “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol, heart disease, and circulation problems. It is also used for diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, peptic ulcer, schizophrenia, inflammation, asthma, gout, viral infections, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), preventing cancer, and for treating chronic infections of the prostate. Quercetin is also used to increase endurance and improve athletic performance.
I also began getting acupuncture and going to the chiropractor on a regular basis. Acupuncture has been amazing for me. It helps with sore muscles, immunity, energy, and more. Seeing my chiropractor weekly not only aligns my body correctly, it also aids in prevention from getting colds. 
I have learned that you need to take the right brand of vitamins as well and the correct dosage. Vitamin D-3 is SO important for our bodies, especially during the pandemic we are living in. Did you know those who have died or became very ill from covid-19 were deficient from vitamin D? What an easy way to boost your immune system is by taking 5,000 IU vitamin D daily at least. 
We cannot just think our bodies will be okay if we do not take care of them. What are you doing to boost your immunity? Eating potato chips and sugar is not the answer. Investing time and good things for our bodies is important. 
Below are the vitamins I take daily. Again, I am not a health expert, this is only what I have learned the last few years and I am only sharing what I take. Consult an expert or do your research. 
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