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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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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Nicole Doud
Wow, what a ride it has been the last 8 months, with our 2020 season in the books. Back in late May, I wasn't sure if a season was even going to happen. So THANK YOU for showing up, THANK YOU for ordering online, and THANK YOU for supporting our small businesses as well as all of Mackinac Island. I truly cannot thank you enough.

Our three storefronts are closed up until next spring, 2021. It's hard to even think that far in advance right now as I have been taking the last 8 months day by day. Our inventory is completed, the stores are sparkling clean, my team has dispersed across the state of Michigan and out of state - back home they go, onto other adventures. I had a great team this season. Almost every employee was new which made the beginning a challenge, but we stuck together and learned from each other and made the best of this shortened, unpredictable season. I sure miss my team already! 

Now that the stores are closed up and our winter season is upon us, my focus is our online shops and planning for 2021.
Starting, Monday, November 2nd, stay tuned for some fun new things happening with us VIRTUALLY!  

My family is now in Petoskey for the winter season. I will commute to the island twice a week and Andrew, my husband commutes more often as his grocery store remains open year-round. Now with a more 'normal' schedule I get to spend more time with our boys, start home projects, organize and have more family fun! 

Thank you again for showing up this summer and fall. We would not be where we are without you! 

Nicole
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