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

 

Nicole Doud

Do you ever wonder what a seasonal shop does during the off season? Here are a few things that we do to stay busy and get ready for the upcoming season!
*Spend time with family and friends! Since we are open 7 days a week for 7 months a year, I rarely get to spend time with extended family or even friends! A lot of the off season is spent with our loved ones, catching up and making memories! I also spend a lot of time with the boys when they aren’t in school. I love to take the time to make cookies for them, read them extra books or make a fun arts and craft project!
*Take trips! When it isn’t a pandemic, we spend a lot of time taking weekend trips, heading South for warmer weather! Andrew and I usually take a trip just the two of us to celebrate our anniversary and the end of one season before the next season begins! It’s nice to have just time for the two of us and to explore somewhere new!
*Evaluate the past season. Brainstorm what worked and what didn’t! I want to make sure that each season, we are improving and becoming the best shop we can to keep on selling the goodies that bring a smile to your face! 
*During November and December when the storefront is closed, we are very busy mailing out online orders and then opening on select days for Island residents to do their holiday shopping. 
*Order for the upcoming season! I spend a lot of time perusing catalogs, searching for new, unheard of artists and looking for unique goods for all three shops! This is one of my favorite things to do during the off season. Dream about new goodies that you’ll love!
*In January, I start to hire for the next season! If you’re interested in applying, read about the positions we have open HERE and then send an email with your resume and references to me (Nicole) at littleluxuriesmanager@yahoo.com
*Purge! I love a good deep clean! I spend a lot of time going through the shops, getting rid of old displays and thinking of ways to display goods!
*House projects! Since I’m so busy during the summer, I spend some days doing house projects, deep cleaning and decorating various spaces. Out with the old, in with the new!
The off season is filled with memories being made with our family and friends, plus administrative work to prepare for the upcoming season! It’s a lot of work, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Nicole
Xo 
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2020, the year of our new normal.
This year, masks became our new normal. Everyone created a Zoom login for countless online meetings. School constantly fluctuated between online learning and masked learning. We counted how many guests could be in the shop at once. We ate and cooked at home more than ever before. 
In February, we took a family trip to NYC and Andrew and I escaped to Mexico in March. Those trips were fun escapes before we realized that we would be spending more time at home than ever before! 
This year was an unexpected gift in a lot of ways. We had more family time than we would have ever expected. The boys started distanced learning, we relocated from Petoskey to Mackinac early and spent our days in the fresh, cool air all throughout the spring.
I learned to pivot to more of an online shop than ever before and you showed up LOVING all the fun options! I was excited to offer Surprise Boxes, Curated Boxes, Online Trunk Shows and more! It was so fun to box up your orders for yourself, for friends and for those you loved on the front lines.
I'm ending the year grateful for the boys, grateful for our health and grateful for you. 
Xo,
Nicole 
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Stocking Stuffers
Looking for the perfect stocking stuffers this holiday season? We’ve picked out some of our favorite little luxuries from the shop that we know you’ll love giving and they’ll love receiving!
Crystal Clear Brightening Mini Mask: Gifting to someone that loves self-care? Gift them a face mask! These masks help promote smooth skin, while also hydrating the skin- which we all need during the long winter months!
Musee Bath Balms: These new bath balms are so beautiful and we want everyone to shop them because of how much we love them! The shop is filled with many different scents and varieties - Just Breathe, Golden Hour and Dreamweaver. There are bath balms for the kids too - featuring a baby shark, Amelia Earhart. 
Wooden MI Map Ornament: Perfect for any fan of the Mitten state, this fun ornament features a silhouette of Michigan’s two peninsulas and highlights the cities, foods, icons, culture and natural beauty that make our state so great! 
Snuggle Season Mug: This mug is one of our favorites for the long winter months! Bundle up with this mug, hot cocoa and marshmallows under your coziest blanket for the cozy winter season. 
Hammonds Dunking Spoon: If you give a mug, you also have to give something to go inside the mug! 
Farmhouse Candle: We have so many holiday and winter scents in stock! One of our favorites is Sugar + Spice: Fill your home with the sweet smell of the holidays! Gingerbread mixed with Cinnamon, Clove and bourbon!
Olive Oil Soap: Rich and herbal, Nablus sage olive oil soap is a sage experience that will delight your dermis. This soap is made with 100%  certified virgin olive oil and is perfect for hydrating your skin during the winter.
Christmas Tea Towel: Help them spruce up the kitchen with this truck and buffalo check ruffled tea towel. 
To make it easy for you, we’ve put together some pre-made stocking stuffer boxes.
Or if you’d rather, put them all together in your cart and add a few more things like jewelry, Michigan made food items or something they’d love from our Island Girl collection.
Xo, 
Nicole 
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December is here and truthfully I cannot believe the last month of 2020 is here. It's been a mix of emotions as we all can relate. Normally this month our family has holiday functions every weekend and school + community events on week days. This December, those functions are not happening, but our online businesses are keeping me busy. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! As much as the online business is so much different than in the store, it is fun being creative through social media! I enjoy explaining some of our products to you so you can better understand them. Ask me anything, I'm here to help! 
This Sunday is the Christmas tree lighting on Mackinac Island and it will be virtual so all of you can experience the joy of the perfectly lit tree on Main Street. 
Go to the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau's facebook page to find the details to join in! 
Everyone has so many different holiday traditions. A few that our family has started since the boys have been little are Elf on the Shelf, gingerbread house making, a chocolate advent calendar, Christmas light drive, Christmas eve homemade pizza, and Christmas morning crepes. Check out my favorite crepe recipe here!
This month I will be sharing photos of our Christmas decor in our own home, photos of Mackinac Island and family recipes. The stores are open every Tuesday in December for island residents and December 26th - January 1st from 11am-3pm. 
I will continue sharing some of our favorite products through Instagram and Facebook and new items are still arriving. 
I hope you are able to spend this holiday season with loved ones and you can find peace and joy during this special time. 
Nicole
xo.
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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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