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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

Easter Weekend is almost here, which means fun treats, egg hunts, pastel colors galore, egg dyeing and more exciting memories to be made! As the boys get older, it’s fun to see them remember the traditions that we celebrate each year and look forward to doing those same fun things again! Here are a few cute pictures of the boys enjoying our Easter traditions last year:
Doud BoysDoud Boys
Doud Boys
Last year, I made this sweet and savory Bunny Munch that everyone, kids included, loved! I plan to make it again this Easter for all to enjoy.
Moritz Fine Designs
Ingredients:
-4 cups chex cereal (your preference on wheat, corn or rice)
-2 cups stick pretzels
-2 cups cheerios
-1 cup candy coated Easter eggs (Hershey’s, Cadbury, M&M’s, or whatever you prefer!)
-1 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips
Directions:
-Mix all ingredients (minus the white chocolate chips)
-Microwave and melt the white chocolate chips for 90 seconds, pausing to stir as needed, until it is completely melted.
-Pour the chocolate over the mix and stir in thoroughly.
-Place the mixture on wax paper and put in the fridge until it is hard and ready to enjoy!
Recipe and Photo Credit from Moritz Fine Designs
Another tradition that the boys are starting to love is dyeing eggs! Instead of purchasing Easter Egg dye, we have tried making it! An article from Country Living had a recipe where you use different kinds of fruits and veggies to make the coloring, which is fun for the boys to see how that works!
Country Living
The recipe is simple:
-1 Quart of Water
-1 Tablespoon of Salt
-2 Tablespoons of Vinegar
-2 Tablespoons of the fruit, vegetable or spice for coloring
Directions:
-Mix all those ingredients together and boil.
-Simmer for 30 minutes, strain the dye, let it cool and then dip your eggs!
Recipe and Photo Credit from Country Living
 
I hope that you enjoy Easter Sunday surrounded by your loved ones, with sweet treats and colorful eggs!
Little Luxuries
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Living on Mackinac Island with three young boys is always an adventure! During the summer, Andrew and I stay busy with work, but in our home, Sunday’s is a very special day of the week. On Sunday, we reserve the entire day just for the family. 
We start the morning with a big breakfast at home, then we venture outside to see what the day will hold! Usually we head downtown and visit some of our favorite spots on the island! Our boys love to go places! 
Great Turtle Toy Store
Stops usually include Great Turtle Toy Store to browse the latest toy selection, popping into Little Luxuries, The Artists Market and Canvas and Paddle just to check in, then we head to Doud’s Market, where the boys run around the store for a few minutes and grab a snack. With little boys, the mornings start early, so this is just all before lunch! If it is nice out, we will have lunch in Marquette Park, thanks to Doud’s Market. 
Doud's Market
Since we have the entire Sunday to spend together as a family, we also have time for a bigger activity. The boys have their favorites that we do often: 
The Butterfly House: The Butterfly House on Mackinac Island has between 50-100 different varieties of butterflies! Louie and Tommy's favorite butterflies are the Monarchs.
    Fort Mackinac: With live demonstrations and tours, this fort is every kid’s dream! All of the buildings on the Fort are set up with period settings, giving them each a unique theme and teaching important points about Michigan’s history. Not to mention, the fort has an amazing view of the island! 
      Fort Mackinac

      Grand Hotel: Weather permitting, Andrew and I will leisurely roam the grounds while the boys are a little faster at exploring their favorite spots on the beautiful trails. If the weather isn’t as nice, we can all head inside to the arcade games, which the boys always love!

        Grand Hotel
        After a fun day of exploring Mackinac Island and all of our favorites, we will head back home to grill out for dinner. The excitement isn’t over, however! After a tasty dinner, we visit Windermere Hotel for a tasty treat. If it’s not quite bedtime, the boys will play on the playground at the school playground before we head home to end the evening. 
        Living with children on Mackinac Island is definitely different than living anywhere else! Andrew and I love sharing our favorite place with our boys, knowing that it is their favorite place too. We can’t wait to see you and your family on Mackinac Island soon! 
        Nicole Doud
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        Favorite Recipes Edition II: Oatmeal Energy Bites

         

        Oatmeal Energy Bites

         

        When everyone is hungry, it’s helpful to have a quick snack to have easily accessible. You want your snack to be healthy, tasty and kid-approved. I’ve found these Oatmeal Energy Bites that everyone (even the pickiest eaters!) can agree upon.

        Ingredients:

        1 Cup Rolled Oats

        1/2 Cup Almond Butter (or Peanut Butter)

        1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

        1/2 Cup Raw Honey

        1/4 Cup Ground Flaxseed

        Directions: 

        Mix all the ingredients together.

        Roll out teaspoon size balls onto a baking sheet (it’s easiest if you cover the baking sheet in parchment paper for a quicker cleanup!)

        Freeze them for one hour.

        Store in the fridge or freezer and enjoy!

        Once you try them, they will become a staple in your family and something the kids will always want you to keep on hand!

        This recipe and the photos was taken from Hip2Save.

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        cafe deletes

        Photo Courtesy: Cafe Delites

        There’s no better feeling than knowing at the end of a long, busy day (when you’re going 100 different directions in a limited number of hours) coming home and knowing that you have one of your favorites on the menu for dinner! This family favorite is easy and perfect for the mid-week stressful days.
        I make Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken often in our home. Almost all the boys love it (minus one slightly picky eater!) and best of all, it’s quick and easy! Seriously, it takes only 25 minutes total. Additionally, it’s a healthy option that the entire family will enjoy. I found this recipe from Café Delites, via Pinterest. To view more of my favorite recipes on Pinterest, visit here! 
        bruschetta1
        Photo Courtesy: Cafe Delites

        Without further ado, Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken:

        Ingredients:

        Chicken: 

        • (2) large boneless, skinless chicken breasts halved to make 4 fillets
        • (3) teaspoons of Italian seasoning or Italian herbs
        • (2) teaspoons minced garlic
        • Salt to taste
        • (1) tablespoon olive oil, for cooking

        Topping:

        • (4) Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
        • (1/4) cup red onion finely chopped
        • (4) tablespoons of fresh basil, shredded
        • (2) tablespoons olive oil
        • Salt to taste
        • (1/2) cup of freshly shaved parmesan cheese

        Balsamic Glaze:

        • (1/2) cup balsamic vinegar
        • (2) teaspoons brown sugar 

        Instructions:

        1. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic and salt. Heat oil in a grill pan or skillet, and sear chicken breasts over medium-high heat until browned on both sides and cooked through (about 6 minutes each side). Remove from pan; set aside and allow to rest.
        2. Combine the tomatoes, red onion, basil, olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt. Top each chicken breast with the tomato mixture and parmesan cheese.
        3. Serve immediately with balsamic glaze (optional).

         

        Balsamic Glaze: 

        1. (If making from scratch, prepare while chicken is cooking.) Combine sugar (if using) and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes or until mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze. (If not using sugar, allow to reduce for 12-15 minutes on low heat).

        signature

         

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