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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

Lavender Hill Farms

One of our favorite places to go as a family is Lavender Hill Farm, in Boyne City.  It is one of the largest lavender farms in the entire state of Michigan, boasting 25 varieties of lavender. 
Lavender Hill Farms
Doud Boys
They have walking trails that will take you through the fall foliage which we did with the boys just a few weeks ago. It was so beautiful to see all the leaves changing. The trail is longer than a mile, but you can turn around at any point you want and head back.
Lavender Hill FarmsLavender Hill Farms
Lavender Hill Farms
One of my favorite parts of Lavender Hill Farm is their boutique shop. It’s filled with so many lavender goodies, such as spa products or a lavender treat to eat! Almost all of the products are made by local artists and women owned companies. We love supporting local whenever we can! Their dried lavender bunches are some of my favorites. The purple color makes such a pretty display piece and the smell is so calming. They sell candles, spas, sachets, lavender lemonade and so much more! 
Lavender Hill Farms
I hope that you have a chance to make it to Lavender Hill Farm sometime soon! 

 

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Grab Donuts from Cannon Ball: Cannon Ball is located at British Landing and is the halfway point when you are biking around the island. If you want to get a donut from Cannon Ball, be sure to get there early before they sell out!
Taste Caramel Apples from Sander’s: Don’t you remember growing up and eating tasty caramel apples? Relive those fall memories on Mackinac by visiting Sander’s for a delicious caramel covered apple!
Take a walk down Main Street to look at Halloween decor: This is one of our favorite things to do as a family! Take a walk from the Island House Hotel to Windemere Point looking at all the spooky decor!
Eat Lunch at Fort Mackinac’s Tea Room: The Tea Room is run by the Grand Hotel, so the food in delicious and the view of the leaves changing is spectacular!
Carve a pumpkin: We can’t wait to carve the pumpkins that will decorate the front doors at the shop! Stay tuned to see what the staff comes up with!
Hike to Fort Holmes: Many people never make it up to Fort Holmes, but the views from the top are incredible and it’s a lovely walk up there. On your fall stay, make time to head up there!
Visit Fort Mackinac: If you haven’t visited the Fort on past visits, do it this fall! It will be less crowded and you’ll learn so much history about Mackinac Island!
Jump in a Pile of Leaves: Look around Mackinac Island for a fun pile of leaves to jump in! You’ll probably be able to find a pile to jump in on your hike up to Fort Holmes.
 
Grab a Warm Drink from Lucky Bean: You already know my favorite drink is a Vanilla Chai Latte with Almond Milk! What is your go - to fall drink? 
 
Take an art class at Watercolor Cafe: Be sure to check out what fun art classes are happening this fall at Watercolor Cafe! 
 
Get the Best Apples from Friske Orchards, Found at Doud’s Market: We love Friske Orchards in Northern Michigan and we are proud to carry their fresh apples every fall! 
 
Pick up your favorite bottle of Witch’s Brew Wine at Little Luxuries: It is our secret wine blend enhanced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other natural spices that makes this a crowd pleaser and favorite of Leelanau Cellars' fans. Perfect for entertaining, this wine will explode with intense flavor when served warm but can also be served chilled as an ingredient in sangria.
Is there anything you would add to your fall bucket list of things you really want to do on the Island? Be sure to let us know!
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Once again, here we are at the beginning of a new school year! Tommy is going into Kindergarten this year and Louis is going into First Grade! They are so excited for a new school year!

I love back to school shopping - all the new pretty pens, paper and accessories! If you haven’t shopped our new Back to School collection on the website, click here to shop!

Here are a few items that I’ve grabbed for the boys as they head back to school:

Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears: Even though John isn’t going to school this year, I read great reviews about this toy that will facilitate learning for him! It will encourage color recognition and basic math for him all while he is just playing!

 

Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch BoxThis 5 compartment lunch box comes in three fun colors - blue, green and purple. It’s the perfect way to send a little of everything in just the right amount. It is BPA free and leak proof. It makes sending a variety of food so much easier - remember having to put 5 different Tupperware containers in your kid’s lunch last year? This will be such a time saver!

Clif Kid ZBar: I had to get the boys their favorite bar for the beginning of the school year! They LOVE these Clif Kid bars - especially the chocolate chip and brownie flavors! They are organic and NON-GMO and have just the right amount of sweetness in them!

Lunch Box Cards: One more thing I’m excited about for the new school year is sending little lunchbox notes to the boys! Write your message in the white rectangle and cover it with the scratch-off sticker provided. Scratching will reveal your hidden message! These tiny notes are the perfect size to slip into a lunch bag or pocket of someone special.

We all know that this school year is going to be way different than usual, but I want the boy’s to be excited about going back, so if I can do that with fun lunch time surprises, then that’s what I’ll do! Tell me, what are you doing to make sure your kid’s know that this year is still exciting and special?

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A summer day at the lake is the perfect way to spend a day off of work! Every summer, we take Sunday’s as our family day. This summer, we’ve been stealing away to my parent’s cottage on a small lake in Michigan for the perfect summer time with the boys, my parents and my brothers!
When we were there a few weeks ago, I realized that somehow I forgot my bathing suit! (Mom Brain!) My mom actually had a spare bathing suit she convinced me to try - it fit perfectly! The fun part is, it was her suit from the 1970s, but it was still in great condition and the style was so classic no one would ever know it was some 50 years old! Now, it’s my go-to summer suit when we are swimming at the cottage! So fun to see what has gone out of style come right back in!
Nicole Doud
While we were at the cottage this past weekend, my mom made one of everyone’s favorite recipes: Blueberry Muffins! We grew up with these muffins and now the boys love to eat them! My mouth is watering just thinking about them filled with fresh Michigan blueberries!
Ingredients:
1/2 rolled oats
1/2 cup orange juice (or water)
1 1/2 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Prepare muffin tin with either grease or baking cup liners.
In a large bowl, combine rolled oats and orange juice; stir well.
Add flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, coining oil and egg.
Mix together.
Stir in blueberries
Spoon into muffin tin, filling 2/3 full.
Blend 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 18 - 22 minutes, until golden brown.
Makes 12 muffins.
MMM! I can’t wait for you to try this recipe and to hear if you liked it or not! Also, tell me, do you and your mom share any pieces of clothing that have gone in and out of style?
Xo,
Nicole

 

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Today on the blog I’m sharing some of my summer essentials for myself and the boys!

I recently purchased two tops that I love from Target. They are the perfect shirt for summer in the shop - cool and breezy and a good price!

Women's Bubble Elbow Sleeve Blouse - Universal Thread™

Nicole Doud

Women's Plaid Short Sleeve Collared Button-Front Shirt - Universal Thread™ Red

Recently, I bought a pepper plant from the Magnolia Line at Target! It’s the perfect addition to any room in the house! 

Faux Pepper Plant - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

The boys LOVE this new 2-1 shampoo / body wash that I got them! It’s toxin free (which makes me happy!) and, tear free and smells great! Plus, it’s called Fresh Monster! What little boy doesn’t love that?!

Fresh Monster Shampoo & Body Wash Ocean Splash

I’m a bath girl, I LOVE soaking in the tub! These 24 bath bombs from Amazon have 6 different scents. They are organic and natural and I bet that you’ll love them as much as I do! The boys are just as excited about them as I am AND they keep our skin extra soft!

 

This is my favorite laundry detergent! The garden - fresh scent isn’t too strong and I love that it’s a plant based solution. 

Nicole Doud

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent, Cruelty Free and Biodegradable Formula, Honeysuckle Scent, 64 oz

The boys are out in the sunshine everyday, almost all day! This sunscreen is great for the boys - the best part is - it’s water resistant and is easy to apply. 

Alba Botanica Tropical Fruit Kids SPF 45 Sunscreen, 4 oz

 

These are our current summer essentials! Tell me, what are your summer essentials? 

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