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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

 

Doud Boys SkiingDoud Boys Sledding

We love every season in our home, but winter is especially fun because we have a lot more time together just as a family, without having to be in the shops every day! 

We have written out a Winter Bucket List of things that the boys want to do this season! It’s fun to see them get excited about getting outside or doing a project inside. Here’s our list:

  1. Sledding at the Winter Sports Park in Petoskey. The Winter Sports Park is a fun afternoon activity! They have a sledding hill, ice skating rink and even a spot to get hot chocolate and warm up! 
  2. Skiing at Boyne Highland’s or Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs. While the boys are learning to ski, I’ll hit the cross country trails! They have great classes for the kids to start out with and they have a lot of fun learning to pizza down the hills! Watch out, in a few seasons we may have some awesome skiers in the family! 
  3. When the boys want a day of water sports, we load up the car and hit the Avalanche Bay Waterpark at Boyne Mountain. This is a fun spot for kids of all ages - and it is fun for the parents too! It’s nice to escape the cold winter for a day and splash around inside! 
  4. The boys are at the age where they all love being outside, so we love to try to take Winter Hikes as often as possible! Michigan has so many great spots for hiking year-round. One of our favorite spots is the Petoskey State Park, which has winter accessible trails, which lead down to the waterfront! The boys love to see the water starting to freeze on Lake Michigan! 
  5. When the boys are ready to stay inside for a little while (after playing outside all day long!) they love a mug of hot chocolate and making a winter craft! The old art project of making a snow flake out of a coffee filter never gets old! 
  6. Last night, the boys wanted to write a letter to their very best friend, so they all pulled out the art supplies to mail him a sweet card! I love snail mail and I’m so glad that my boys love it too - I hope they never outgrow that sweet spirit of having a pen pal. 

It’s so fun as the boys are getting older to see what they enjoy to do when they aren’t at school! Along with playing legos for hours upon hours, this is their winter bucket list! What’s on your winter bucket list for 2020? 

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Nicole's Favorite Salad
This week, I wanted to share one of my favorite (and easy!) salad recipes!
I make this salad for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, or really any special gathering. 
Nicole’s Favorite Salad
What You’ll Need:
Romaine lettuce
Sliced red onion
Broccoli florets
Cooked bacon
Tomatoes
Dressing: 
In blender mix:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 tbls. celery seed
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp salt
Blend together just before serving
Add any of your favorite salad ingredients. You can add shredded cheese, cranberries...the dressing is what makes this salad really good!!
My mouth is watering, just thinking about making this salad for our family’s Christmas gathering! I hope you enjoy this scrumptious healthy dish!
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With the holiday countdown on, this week I wanted to share a few of my favorite places that I have been doing my Christmas shopping with this season. 

While I love shopping small and supporting local business, sometime as a busy mom and business owner, it can be hard to get out of the house and shop in person.  This year, I have mixed my small business shopping with some online shopping. My go-to online shops this Christmas season are Amazon, Target and Land’s End. 

I love to talk about my favorite small businesses that I support in the state of Michigan, but I also have a few that I like to support that are across the United States.  Some of my favorite small businesses that I have been supporting this season are:

  • Grandpa Shorters & JW Shorters  These local Petoskey shops have many personalized Michigan items and unique gift ideas. They also offer beautiful pieces of jewelry that feature Petoskey Stones. 
  • North Goods in Downtown Petoskey offers locally made artisan goods. I find inspiration in this store and so many creative gifts. As you know I love handmade, North Goods is my go-to handmade shop to visit. 
  • Freckled Hen Farmhouse: I love to shop Freckled Hen Farmhouse’s online shop! I have yet to make the trip down there, but I love to follow them on social media and see what beautifully curated gifts and products that they carry! Recently, I bought an adorable A-frame wooden ornament for our tree. It's so cute! 

Magnolia Sign

  • Magnolia: I had the opportunity to go to Waco and visit Magnolia and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to go back again! This year, I am loving their metal holiday signs that are in their shop! 
  • Vogue Salon offers Aveda products that I really enjoy and like to give as presents. Or I treat myself during the cold, harsh weather in Northern Michigan! The travel size hair products make great little gifts and I'm a fan of Aveda's make up line. 
  • Kilwin’s in Petoskey has the cutest Christmas decorations! Not only that, they also have wonderful baskets full of treats, or smaller pieces of sweets if you need some filler for your holiday stockings! If I am in need of a small chocolate gift, Kilwin's is my go-to. 

Check out all of theses shops to see all the unique products that they carry! In addition to these stores, I wanted to share with you some great deals and gifts I have ordered online recently.

Melissa and Doug

Over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, Target had Melissa & Doug toys for Buy One, Get One 50% OFF! John just turned ONE recently (read about his birthday party here!) and absolutely loves the wooden toy collections from Melissa and Doug. I can’t wait to see him open the toys we got for him this year. 

Another line that I love at Target is the Hearth & Home line from Magnolia! If you follow me on Instagram you know that my personal style aligns very closely with that brand. So I loved scrolling online to see what their holiday decor looks like.

Land's End Bean Bag

Land’s End is a classic. I tend to forget to shop here. They were running an amazing sale over the Thanksgiving weekend and I was able to purchase awesome bean bag chairs for the boys - and they are embroidered with their names on them! I love the quality and customer service of Land’s End. Their items last for years and they are always so attentive to help if there is an issue. I also was able to find the perfect personalized gift for Andrew (but shh! Don’t tell him!) 

While Marshall’s has an online shop, I usually just run in there to find the perfect hostess gift (when I’m not on the island and can't pick something up from Little Luxuries). This holiday season, I have found so many beautiful hostess gifts and some wonderful pieces of holiday decor. Marshall's can be dangerous for me as I go in looking for one item and walk out with much more!

I hope that you find some great holiday gifts!

xoxo,

Nicole 

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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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