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

This holiday season, I am thankful for so many things and just wanted to take a minute to name a few: healthy boys, Andrew, a wonderful home on Mackinac Island, a community filled with love and support, and you! I am thankful for customers who return each season to Mackinac Island and who love Mackinac as much as we do!
Little Luxuries would not be here without your constant support and enthusiasm, so, thank you! During the season, the shops are filled with so much laughter and enthusiasm that it always reminds me of why we are open! 
I hope that each time you enter the shop, you can find happiness in the environment and find joy in the little luxuries that you take to your own home. 
Nicole
xo
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Here are a few of our favorite Thanksgiving Tablescapes we found on Pinterest. To see more of our favorites, follow us on Pinterest here!

 

Shot from tendollarbux.com

Shot from thespruce.com

Shot from bozideas.com

Shot from https://www.pinterest.com/bugsley549/_saved/

Shot from simplebites.net

Shot from have-need-want.com

 

Shot from blesserhouse.com

 

Shot from joyfullygrowingblog.com

 

We hope you enjoy these favorite looks for fall and get inspired to create your own beautiful table this holiday season. But regardless of what your table looks like, it's the people and memories that are gathered together this holiday season.

Nicole

Xo 

 

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Have you been in the mood to make pumpkin baked goods? I know I have! I made these Flourless Pumpkin Muffins from Eating Bird Food this past week and they were so tasty - it was hard to eat just one!

Here is her recipe: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ⅓ cups almond butter
  • ⅔ cup canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ⅔ cup chocolate chips, I used Lily's chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare muffin tin by spraying well with cooking spray, or line the tins with paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
  • In your blender add all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and blend on high-speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  • Fill each muffin cavity about 3/4 full with the muffin mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean without any batter. (See below for cook time for mini muffins). Allow muffins to cool for 5-10 minutes or until they are firm enough and cool enough to handle. 
  • Allow muffins to cool for 5-10 minutes or until they are firm enough and cool enough to handle. Remove from tin and let cool completely on a wire rack. Muffins are always best fresh, but these will keep airtight at room temperature for about 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

I hope you make them and enjoy them! Tell me, was it hard to eat just one? 

 

Recipe and Picture from Eating Bird Food. https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/flourless-pumpkin-spice-chocolate-chip-mini-muffins/

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With the chillier temperatures in the air and it getting darker earlier, I have been wanting to find the perfect soup for dinner. After searching Pinterest, I found a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup and decided to give it a try!

This recipe is from The Cozy Cook and is a great soup for when you want to be warmed up and have a cozy meal at home. 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Meatballs

  • 1/2lb. ground beef, 80% lean
  • 1/2lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, homemade is best
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated into a powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt & freshly ground pepper

Soup

  • 1 ¼ cups carrots, diced
  • 1 ¼ cups yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth,
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • salt/pepper
  • ¾ cup acini de pepe pasta, , uncooked
  • 8 oz. fresh spinach

To Garnish

  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Stove Top Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients, don’t overwork the meat, we want tender meatballs.
  • Roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches for 2-3 minutes. The inside of the meatball will finish cooking in the soup.
  • Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and season with salt and pepperif desired.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the meatballs and pasta.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Stir in the spinach.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve!

Crock Pot Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients. Don't overwork the meat.
  • Roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
  • This Crock Pot allows you to brown the meatballs on the stove top first. I recommend this as the brown bits left on the bottom of the pot transfer lots of flavor into the soup.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and browned meatballs.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • Add the acini de pepe and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the Spinach.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and serve!

I hope you decide to give this a try and like it as much as our family did!

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Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

Shot from Eat Yourself Skinny

I made and shared this recipe last year, but it’s SO good I had to share it again for fall. It’s the perfect fall recipe that the whole family will enjoy! 

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells from the blog Eat Yourself Skinny 

INGREDIENTS

20 jumbo pasta shells

For The Filling:

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 cup grated pecorino cheese

1 large egg white

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

½ cup chicken broth

¾ cup crushed tomatoes

¾ cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp pecorino cheese

2 tsp. fresh sage, minced

½ tsp. basil

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup pecorino cheese (for topping at the end)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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.

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.

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.

Using a pastry bag (or a spoon), fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of filling.

In a 9" x 13" baking dish, spread about ¾ths of the marinara in the bottom of the dish and arrange shells on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove foil, sprinkle with additional pecorino cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until hot/bubbly and cheese is melted.

Top with remaining sauce and serve!

This is a recipe that I loved making  every fall! I made it last week and the whole family loved it! Happy Fall, I hope you enjoy it! 

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