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.

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little luxuries

I can’t believe that it’s already August and the boys will be headed back to school soon! The summer just flew by! 
I’ve started back to school shopping - and I found so many cute goodies on Etsy! Have you ever back to school shopped for your kids there? They have SO many personalized items that make it fun for the boys’! 
Here are my favorite finds so far!
How cute are these personalized pencils from The Pencil Boutique on Etsy? I love the idea of personalizing pencils for the shops, my office and even for the boys to take back to school! 
I love this back to school / last day of school sign for the boys to hold! I’m sentimental for all the pictures - especially back to school pictures! 
This personalized homework folder is so adorable! I think I’m ordering one for the boys and myself! I love having their names on as many school supplies as possible - it’s easier for me to make sure they are in the right backpacks the next day! 
I found this jumbo pack of sticky notes that is perfect to keep around the house to add to the boys’ school folders whenever necessary! 
Picking out your pencil box is always such a big deal, making sure that you’re finding the perfect one! I love having the boys be able to pick out their favorite color and then put their name on it! 
Have you seen this awesome back to school classroom kit from honest? It includes disinfecting spray, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizer gel. This is such a nice way to appreciate the boys’ teachers as they head back to school! 
These two cute pouches are for me! I love to throw all my pens and pencils in my tote bag and I always lose them! So having a cute little pouch is always perfect!
Have you started back to school shopping? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve found!
Also, I wanted to include this fun FREE lunch note printable - I’m going to include these little notes in the boys’ lunches their first week back!
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            Sadly, summer is coming to an end and college students are getting prepared for the upcoming semester. Looking through our stores we have so many products that would be the perfect addition to this school year. I found 5 products from Little Luxuries, Canvas and Paddle and The Artist Market that are essential for college students. See our favorites below:

 Little Luxuries Of Mackinac Island 

1Canoe2- Peach Today Notepad:

          In college you always want to stay organized with this note pad you are able to have your schedule on one side and your tasks on the other side. Having goals is always important so having this feature at the top is great to always remind you to keep going!

Swig Mug 18oz.:

            Having this mug handy will be a lifesaver in college. This mug can keep drinks cold for up to 9 hours and hot for up to 3 hours. Weather you need a cold sip of water to stay hydrated or need hot coffee to help you keep going through the day this insulated mug is perfected to do just that!

Hand Sanitizing Wipes:

            Not only are these wipes easy to take on the go but these sanitizing wipes can be used both for surfaces and skin which is great for college students.

Island Girl Tote:

       This reusable Island Girl tote is perfect for college students! It could be used for groceries, trips back home and even to hold all of your books for classes.

Mackinac Sherpa Blanket:

            With the cold season coming ahead and if you go to school somewhere cold this double-faced Sherpa blanket is perfect to keep you warm and can match any college room aesthetic.

Canvas and Paddle 

Mackinac Awesome Fudge Coffee:

            Caffeine is a must for some college students, this Michigan made fudge coffee is a must have! Having a little taste of Mackinac fudge is a great way to help you study day or night.

Shopping List:

            Has anyone ever lost their shopping list? I know I have!! This jumbo shopping pad is a great way to keep track and organize what you need from the grocery store. Plus, it is made in Michigan!

Storage Bowl:

            Storage is always important when it comes to college students, these multipurpose storage bowls are great for snacks, food in the fridge, or even your jewelry. The black and white pattern can match anyone's room décor.

Stormy Kromer Hat:

            With summer and warmer weather winding down, and colder weather will be here before we know it! This cozy Stormy Kromer hat is ideal to keep anyone's head warm which can be helpful for those cold walks to class.


            Customers love the backpacks at Canvas and Paddle. They are durable and essential to   hold your books, laptop, pens and pencils and more!

The Artists Market of Mackinac Island 


            Want to add a little personality to your laptop or water bottle? These stickers are a perfect addition. Stickers are a great conversation starter in class and are a fun way to decorate your water bottle or laptop with.

Essential oils:

            College can be taxing as everyone knows, we have a handful of essential oils that can help from stress relief, help sleeping, and more, we have it all!

Alleviation Aromatherapy:

            A great addition to the Essential oils is the Alleviation Aromatherapy we have. All you need to do is sniff the oils to help with countless things such as sinus, migraines, and if we need boost of energy. They are small and can fit anywhere, which makes it perfect for on the go college students. 

Soap and Washcloth:

            Having products that serve two purposes is even better for college students. This fun multicolored ball is soap and a washcloth in one made of wool. Each color has a different essential oils, so come and pick your favorite scent today!

Key Chain: 

Never lose your car keys or dorm keys with this key chain. This product is not only cute but the perfect size where you can easily find them in your backpack or purse.

I hope you enjoyed learning about our top back to school essentials. Shop online or in the the store, we are open till 10 pm!


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Are you looking for a new summer recipe? We have found an incredibly delicious watermelon and feta salad from Cooking for Keeps!
By this point in the summer, I am always looking for fresh inspiration - it's still too early to bring out the fall menu, but we are all tired of the same old summer dishes! This Grilled Watermelon and Feta Stacked Salad is an amazing new dish to try!
  • 8 ounces whole feta cheese, cut into four smaller squares (length wise, they should be about 3”x3”)
  • ½ large watermelon cut into 8 squares the same size as feta
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Prepare a grill or grill pan to a very high heat.
  2. Place balsamic in a small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened and similar in texture to syrup, about five minutes. Let cool.
  3. Drizzle watermelon with a little bit of olive oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper. Grill VERY quickly, just getting a slight char, about ten seconds per side.
  4. Toss arugula with about a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place watermelon squares on platter, top with feta, and another watermelon. Place about ½ cup of arugula on top of watermelon and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.

This recipe from Cooking for Keeps will be a winner for everyone at your dinner table - and we bet that they will be asking for the recipe!




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July 22, 2021

Chicago Yacht Races

This weekend, the 112th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac took place! 
The course from Chicago to Mackinac Island is 289.4 nautical miles, with 231 boats participating. 
There are more than 3,000 sailors that compete in the race! The race is the oldest freshwater distance race in the world, as it starts from Chicago Lighthouse off Navy Pier and ends at Round Island Lighthouse off Mackinac Island. 
To read more about the race, head to the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac website here: https://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/article/slower-than-usual-but-still-satisfying.
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Sharing my favorite online finds over the past few weeks! I’ve been so busy in the shops, I haven’t really been doing a lot of online browsing, but here’s what I  found that I’m currently loving!

Nature's Truth Peppermint Refreshing On the Go Hydrating Mist: I love having this for room spray! 

Nutella: The boy’s LOVE these Nutella packs for when we are on the go! Just grab some crackers and one of these packs and you have the perfect snack!

Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath Epsom Salts: I love using these Epsom salts for when I want to take a bath, or for the boys! The lavender scent is so soothing, relaxing and refreshing!

Casual Dress: I wanted a new dress for summer. Something that is comfortable and practical. I found this cute option - best thing is - it has pockets! 

Patio Conversation Set: I am SO excited for this four person seating group! It’s going to go outside on our back deck and will be great for nights around a fire!


Patio Umbrella: I also grabbed a patio umbrella to put over the new patio furniture!

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