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

2020, the year of our new normal.
This year, masks became our new normal. Everyone created a Zoom login for countless online meetings. School constantly fluctuated between online learning and masked learning. We counted how many guests could be in the shop at once. We ate and cooked at home more than ever before. 
In February, we took a family trip to NYC and Andrew and I escaped to Mexico in March. Those trips were fun escapes before we realized that we would be spending more time at home than ever before! 
This year was an unexpected gift in a lot of ways. We had more family time than we would have ever expected. The boys started distanced learning, we relocated from Petoskey to Mackinac early and spent our days in the fresh, cool air all throughout the spring.
I learned to pivot to more of an online shop than ever before and you showed up LOVING all the fun options! I was excited to offer Surprise Boxes, Curated Boxes, Online Trunk Shows and more! It was so fun to box up your orders for yourself, for friends and for those you loved on the front lines.
I'm ending the year grateful for the boys, grateful for our health and grateful for you. 
Xo,
Nicole 
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Christmas Break is well under way! It’s been such a busy month, but with school finally out, it’s time for me and the boys to do fun Christmas crafts!

Here are some of the fun Christmas crafts that I found on Pinterest that I’m hoping we’ll do over the holidays:

Image from: One Little Project 

Popsicle Stick Christmas Trees found here

These are so easy to make, but will be fun for the boys!

Here’s what you’ll need to make these ornaments:

  • 3 popsicle sticks (one with about 1″ cut from the end of it)
  • 1″ x 1″ square of brown card stock
  • A star cut from glittery card stock
  • A piece of twine, approximately 6″ long
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors and a craft/utility knife

And to decorate them, you can use whatever you have on hand!

  • Tiny pom poms
  • Sparkly pipe cleaners
  • Jingle Bells
  • Rhinestones
  • Buttons
  • Glitter

Image from Growing A Jeweled Rose

Another fun craft is No-Cook Cinnamon Ornaments that will be the perfect addition to the Christmas tree or a great gift for the grandparents.

Other Items You’ll Need:

What To Do:

  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Then, add 3/4 cup of very warm water and mix well.

You can find the entire recipe and craft idea here.

Image from The Resourceful Mama

Another favorite that I’m excited to try with the boys is this Burlap Reindeer Ormanent from the Resourceful Mama found here.

What You’ll Need:

  • Burlap cut into triangles
  • Googly eyes
  • Mini Clothespins
  • Small Red Pom Poms
  • Glue
  • Craft Jute Twine or String

Directions:

1. If you have the premade triangles like we did, you can skip this step. If not you will need to cut your burlap into small triangles. 

2. Glue two googly eyes onto the burlap and a red pom pom for the nose.

3. Add two small clothespin for the antlers.

4. Form a small loop with the twine (or string) and glue to the back of the reindeer ornament to hand the ornament.

I can’t wait to be creative and craft with the boys this holiday season using fun craft ideas like these from Pinterest! If you don’t follow me on Pinterest, give me a follow here! Tell me, what other crafts are you doing this holiday season?

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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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Mongolian Ground Beef Noodles

 

This past weekend, I made this new recipe and we all LOVED it! It was so delicious and incredibly easy.

For the ingredients list you need —

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 4 tsp minced ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 green onions diced
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a medium skillet with high sides on the stovetop, brown the ground beef along with the ginger and garlic until beef is cooked through. Use the back of a wooden spoon to make sure meat is broken up well. Drain any fat and return the pan to the stovetop.
    2. While the ground beef is cooking, get a pot of water started for your pasta noodles. Be sure to salt the water well so that your noodles soak up that flavor.
    3. Combine the remaining ingredients -- the soy sauce, beef broth brown sugar, red pepper flakes, pepper, and hoisin sauce in a small dish and pour into ground beef mixture.
    4. Let them saute in the pan for about 3 minutes to allow the ground beef to absorb the flavors.
    5. Once your pasta is done cooking, transfer the noodles to the mixture. Mix thoroughly and allow to cook for a couple of more minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
    6. Top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds for the perfect noodle dish!

This recipe and picture is from https://jenaroundtheworld.com/mongolian-ground-beef-noodles/. I’m saving it to our recipe book for future, easy meals!

I hope that you try it and love it as much as we do!

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Tortellini Minestrone Soup

One of my favorite soups to make for winter is Tortellini Minestrone Soup! It was so chilly and rainy this past weekend, so it was the perfect meal to warm us all up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 4 Large Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, Peeled & Diced
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Diced Tomatoes with Juice
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Kidney Beans, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Basil 
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 (9-ounce_ package cheese tortellini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Set a large pot over medium-high heat with olive oil. Once hot, add in the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice and the beans. 
  3. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano and basil.
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the veggies soften, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the tortellini and cook until they float, about 3-5 minutes
  6. Serve the soup with a sprinkling of cheese on top.

This recipe takes just around 50 minutes to make and is so delicious! Tell me, what’s one of your favorite soups to make for winter? 

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