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

Mackinac Island Lilacs

Mackinac Island Lilacs

This year, we are really missing having all of you here for Lilac Festival! Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau is doing a great job to bring you virtual events over on their social media pages, so be sure to tune in on their Instagram & Facebook!

The Barn Social Lilac

We wanted to highlight some of our favorite memories from last year’s lilac festival! Last year we had so many fun artists at Artists Market that you were able to interact with. The Barn Social was there doing a live painting, Mary Lou Peters was also there meeting you while live painting. Red Cabin Studio popped in for you to meet, along with so many other artists that we love!
Mackinac Island Lilac Festival
One of our favorite events every year is the parade! The boys love this part of the week and I admit, I do too! It’s always so fun to see how creative the different businesses can be! The boys also love heading down to Windemere Point for all the children’s activities. In past years, there was a lilac planting class at St. Anne’s that was always really neat to see, especially since you got to take home your own lilac plant! 
There are so many lilac goodies in the shop, but I just wanted to take a minute to highlight a few! 
Lilac Pin
Lilac Enamel Pin: Show off your love for Lilacs with this lilac enamel pin! Perfect for a denim jacket, backpack or tote bag!
Beth Mueller Pottery
Beth Mueller Lilac Pottery: Beth Mueller pottery is a favorite around the shop, especially when it has lilacs on it! The online shop is stocked with lilac pottery just for you! While you're there, check out the new Otto Bowl by Beth Mueller that makes the perfect sized jewelry holder.
Lilac Tray
Lilac Trays: These lilac trays are made exclusively for Little Luxuries! They are perfect for afternoon tea or an evening cocktail with your favorite snack! Head to the website to shop!
We really wish that you were hear to smell and see the lilacs! We’re trying to share all our favorite products of lilacs on our social media pages, along with current pictures of the lilacs to help bring a little joy to your day.
 
Xo,
Nicole 
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Please enjoy these free printable coloring page of Doud's Market, Little Luxuries and Mackinac Island designed by Katie Doucette, a Michigan designer. 
To download the coloring sheets, click here.

Doud's Market Coloring Sheet

Little Luxuries Coloring Sheet

Mackinac Island Coloring Sheet

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French Toast Bake

This year, like everyone else, we will just be celebrating Easter as a small family, without our parents. While the boys will miss their grandparents, we will be sure to spend time FaceTiming our family, so that it’s almost like we are all together.

I want to do everything I can to make the day as special as possible for our family. I found this French Toast Bake that I know everyone will love and I’m so excited to have it for Easter breakfast this year!

The secret is, you have to make it the night before! If you know you are going to want to make this, just make sure you prepare on Saturday night before bed!

Ingredients:

1 loaf of sourdough bread*

8 eggs

2 cups of milk

1/2 cup of heavy cream

3/4 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of vanilla

*If you don’t have sourdough bread, try another bread like brioche, challah, pullman or French bread! The trick is, you don’t want the bread to get soaked and mushy from the eggs!

Topping:

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon or salt

1/2 cup of cold butter, cut into pieces

  1. Cut the loaf of bread into cubes and put in a greased 9 X 13 pan.

  2. Mix together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour over the bread.

  3. Cover and place in the fridge to settle overnight!

  4. Mix together the remaining topping ingredients. Add the butter until it has formed a crumbly mix and store overnight in a container.

  5. In the morning, put the topping on the bread / egg mixture.

  6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

  7. Enjoy! We’ll probably add some fresh fruit to the side with orange juice for the boys and tea for me! 

For the complete recipe and more details, visit: https://lilluna.com/french-toast-bake/.  Picture credit to Lil Luna. 

I hope that you have a very Happy Easter weekend. Tell me, what are you making this weekend for your family? 

Xo Nicole 

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Black Bean Brownies
Recently, the boys wanted a sweet snack, so I tried a new recipe for them - brownies with a twist! On Pinterest, the recipe was just called “Healthy Brownies”, so I was intrigued and thought we would give them a shot! The secret that made them healthy: black beans! 
Ingredients:
  • 1 Can of Black Beans
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil) 
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Can be Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
Directions:
Melt the coconut oil, then mix all of the ingredients together in one bowl with a mixer to make sure that the batter is smooth. 
Bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes 
Black Bean Brownies
I loved them! The boys missed having more of a sweet treat and maybe thought they were “too healthy”!
Do you have any “healthier” brownie recipes that you would recommend? 
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Nicole's Favorite Salad
This week, I wanted to share one of my favorite (and easy!) salad recipes!
I make this salad for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, or really any special gathering. 
Nicole’s Favorite Salad
What You’ll Need:
Romaine lettuce
Sliced red onion
Broccoli florets
Cooked bacon
Tomatoes
Dressing: 
In blender mix:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 tbls. celery seed
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp salt
Blend together just before serving
Add any of your favorite salad ingredients. You can add shredded cheese, cranberries...the dressing is what makes this salad really good!!
My mouth is watering, just thinking about making this salad for our family’s Christmas gathering! I hope you enjoy this scrumptious healthy dish!
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