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

Sharing a recipe that we all love in our home! The recipe is from Gimme Delicious: Chicken and Avocado Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce! 

Tacos

Shot from Gimme Delicious 

Here’s the Recipe and Instructions from the website:

For the Chicken

  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic crushed or minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • squeeze of lime optional

Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek Yogurt or Mayo
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Assemble

2 avocados, sliced

6-8 small tortillas corn or flour

Instructions

To Make Chicken

  • Chop 2-3 medium chicken breasts into small bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, chili, cumin, onion powder, and salt. Add in chicken and toss to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or up to 48 hours. 
  • To cook: Heat a large heavy-duty or cast iron skillet on high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and chicken. Cook chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat until charred and cooked through, 8-12 minutes. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of lime (optional). 

To Make the Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • Add the sour cream, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt & pepper to blender or food processor. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minutes or until creamy. 

To Assemble:

  • Char tortillas on stove-top if desired. Add some of the chicken to the warmed tortillas. Top with avocado and cilantro sauce. 

It’s perfect the perfect recipe for a weeknight- it should only take 30 minutes total to make! If you give it a try, let me know what you think!

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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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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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With how busy this season is, I find that having staple, go-to meals is perfect for making sure that everyone eats as a decent hour and making sure that it’s easy for me!

Here are three hearty and healthy fall meals I keep on constant rotation in our home!

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells: This recipe is from Eat Yourself Skinny and can be found here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells

For The Filling:

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
  • Pinch salt and pepper

For The Marinara:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp pecorino cheese
  • 2 tsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup pecorino cheese (for topping at the end)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta shells according to the package instructions, until al dente, and drain. Rinse with cold water and arrange on a baking sheet to cool until ready to stuff.
  3. To make the filling, mix together pumpkin, pecorino cheese, egg white, nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, salt and pepper in a large bowl until all incorporated and set aside.
  4. To make the marinara, drizzle olive oil in a large skillet and saute garlic until fragrant. Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, pumpkin, pecorino cheese, sage, basil, nutmeg and salt mixing well until everything is combined. Bring to a boil then turn down heat to medium/low, cover and allow sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes. This is when you can stuff your shells.
  5. Using a pastry bag (or a spoon), fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of filling.
  6. In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, spread about 3/4ths of the marinara in the bottom of the dish and arrange shells on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil, sprinkle with additional pecorino cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until hot/bubbly and cheese is melted.
  8. Top with remaining sauce, serve and enjoy!

 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies: This recipe is from One Little Project and can be found here.

 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped leftover chicken or 1 small fresh chicken breast, fully cooked.
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables peas, carrots, corn and green beans, defrosted
  • 1 package refrigerated biscuit dough

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Combine the chicken, mixed vegetables and cream of chicken soup in a medium bowl and stir well.
  • Separate each of the biscuits and place them into the compartments of a greased muffin tin.
  • Using your fingers, push down on the dough starting in the middle, then working the dough up the sides of each of the muffin compartments, as high as it will go.
  • Add the filling to each of the compartments (approximately 2 Tablespoons each).
  • Bake at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Notes

You can substitute the refrigerated biscuit dough for refrigerated crescent roll dough if you prefer. Just cut out circles or squares of the dough to put in the muffin tin. Biscuit dough gives it a salty and firm texture. Crescent roll dough will give it a sweeter and softer texture.

 

Chicken Noodle Casserole:

This recipe is from Kleinworth & Co. and can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 2 large chicken breasts- cooked & shredded about 2 cups of shredded chicken- leftovers are great for this or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 15.25 oz can whole kernel corn - drained
  • 1 15 oz can no salt sweet peas - drained
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 22.6 oz can cream of chicken condensed soup
  • 1 tbsp minced onions
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • 1/2 cup french dried onions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray- set aside
  • Cook noodles to package directions (usually boil for 6-8 minutes) drain & place in a large bowl
  • Add in cooked chicken, corn, peas, condensed soup, milk, minced onions, granulated garlic, cheese & bacon bits
  • Fold to combine & transfer to prepared baking dish
  • Top with french fried onions
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbling & hot throughout
  • **Note: per reader feedback I do not advise substituting the egg noodles with another kind, such as elbow macaroni. Those tend to soak up more of the moisture & leave the casserole dry.

 

Let me know what you think of these recipes and what recipes you keep on hand for the busy fall days!

Pictures are from their respective websites. 

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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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