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.

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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, Artists Market, and Canvas and Paddle would not be here without your constant support and enthusiasm, so thank you! During 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 shops, you can find happiness in the environment and find joy in the little luxuries that you take to your own home. 

With all that this holiday means, I am overcome with gratitude for another wonderful year and look forward to what the new year and new season will hold for our family, Mackinac Island and you.



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Doud BoysDoud BoysDoud Boys
September has been off to a busy week for us here in the Doud household! Louis has started kindergarten, with Tommy in Pre-K! With these big changes of the boys in school, we are commuting over to Mackinac Island, while having Petoskey as our home base. This is the first year that we have ever done this, so we are learning a change of pace this fall until the shops close down at the end of October.
The temperatures have dropped drastically since Labor Day, with the highs in the 60s during the day and it getting down to the low 50s / high 40s at night! At this rate, it is going to be a very cold fall.
Summer was wonderful on the island, as usual! The boys had a bucket list that we checked things off of, which included visiting Fort Mackinac, horse back riding lessons, the Watercolor Cafe and a few other Mackinac Island favorites.
Heading into fall, I’m excited for cozy weather, hot chai tea lattes, the colors changing and the slower pace of life on Mackinac Island. As always, thank you for your support of Little Luxuries, The Artists Market and Canvas and Paddle.
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Little Luxuries
Hello June! 
We're so happy June is here and we really hope the weather warms up for us this month! June means Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island.  We cannot get enough of the fresh, floral fragrance from our lilac bushes.  If only they were in bloom a little longer! We have a great lineup of in-store events at Little Luxuries and the Artists Market during the festival. Follow us on our social pages to stay up to date! 
Our growing boys are ready for summer weather and outdoor activities. We can't wait to enjoy pool time, bike rides, ice cream treats and more outdoor adventures. Our oldest, Louis, just mastered riding his bike with no training wheels and Thomas, who just turned 4 years old is now learning to ride a bike with training wheels. Baby John is loving the new foods we are giving him and always laughing at his big brothers! 
Our friend, Kate Dupre, recently opened her own business called Watercolor Cafe next to the Mackinac Island State Park boat marina. We are so happy for this new adventure for her. It's off the beaten path a little, so be sure to check it out on your next trip to the island, you won't be disappointed. It is located where the old J.L. Beanery was.  My favorite is the iced chai and the smoothie bowls! 
Jenna Kator 
Jenna Kator Trunk Show Event - Jenna Kator, the lovely MI handbag designer will be at the store on Saturday, June 22nd from 2pm-4pm sharing her inspiration with you and her latest collection. 
Little Luxuries
Lilac Festival - Lilac Festival will be happening June 7th - June 16th! When you are on the Island for the festival, stop in to see our lilac goodies on display! We have so many candles, pillows, lotions, pottery and more lilac inspired items! 
Polka Dot Mitten
Polka Dot Mitten has been restocked for the season, with a few new, fun designs! Stop in to see this Michigan artists' work and find out just why we love her work so much!
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Living on Mackinac Island with three young boys is always an adventure! During the summer, Andrew and I stay busy with work, but in our home, Sunday’s is a very special day of the week. On Sunday, we reserve the entire day just for the family. 
We start the morning with a big breakfast at home, then we venture outside to see what the day will hold! Usually we head downtown and visit some of our favorite spots on the island! Our boys love to go places! 
Great Turtle Toy Store
Stops usually include Great Turtle Toy Store to browse the latest toy selection, popping into Little Luxuries, The Artists Market and Canvas and Paddle just to check in, then we head to Doud’s Market, where the boys run around the store for a few minutes and grab a snack. With little boys, the mornings start early, so this is just all before lunch! If it is nice out, we will have lunch in Marquette Park, thanks to Doud’s Market. 
Doud's Market
Since we have the entire Sunday to spend together as a family, we also have time for a bigger activity. The boys have their favorites that we do often: 
The Butterfly House: The Butterfly House on Mackinac Island has between 50-100 different varieties of butterflies! Louie and Tommy's favorite butterflies are the Monarchs.
    Fort Mackinac: With live demonstrations and tours, this fort is every kid’s dream! All of the buildings on the Fort are set up with period settings, giving them each a unique theme and teaching important points about Michigan’s history. Not to mention, the fort has an amazing view of the island! 
      Fort Mackinac

      Grand Hotel: Weather permitting, Andrew and I will leisurely roam the grounds while the boys are a little faster at exploring their favorite spots on the beautiful trails. If the weather isn’t as nice, we can all head inside to the arcade games, which the boys always love!

        Grand Hotel
        After a fun day of exploring Mackinac Island and all of our favorites, we will head back home to grill out for dinner. The excitement isn’t over, however! After a tasty dinner, we visit Windermere Hotel for a tasty treat. If it’s not quite bedtime, the boys will play on the playground at the school playground before we head home to end the evening. 
        Living with children on Mackinac Island is definitely different than living anywhere else! Andrew and I love sharing our favorite place with our boys, knowing that it is their favorite place too. We can’t wait to see you and your family on Mackinac Island soon! 
        Nicole Doud
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        cafe deletes

        Photo Courtesy: Cafe Delites

        There’s no better feeling than knowing at the end of a long, busy day (when you’re going 100 different directions in a limited number of hours) coming home and knowing that you have one of your favorites on the menu for dinner! This family favorite is easy and perfect for the mid-week stressful days.
        I make Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken often in our home. Almost all the boys love it (minus one slightly picky eater!) and best of all, it’s quick and easy! Seriously, it takes only 25 minutes total. Additionally, it’s a healthy option that the entire family will enjoy. I found this recipe from Café Delites, via Pinterest. To view more of my favorite recipes on Pinterest, visit here! 
        Photo Courtesy: Cafe Delites

        Without further ado, Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken:



        • (2) large boneless, skinless chicken breasts halved to make 4 fillets
        • (3) teaspoons of Italian seasoning or Italian herbs
        • (2) teaspoons minced garlic
        • Salt to taste
        • (1) tablespoon olive oil, for cooking


        • (4) Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
        • (1/4) cup red onion finely chopped
        • (4) tablespoons of fresh basil, shredded
        • (2) tablespoons olive oil
        • Salt to taste
        • (1/2) cup of freshly shaved parmesan cheese

        Balsamic Glaze:

        • (1/2) cup balsamic vinegar
        • (2) teaspoons brown sugar 


        1. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic and salt. Heat oil in a grill pan or skillet, and sear chicken breasts over medium-high heat until browned on both sides and cooked through (about 6 minutes each side). Remove from pan; set aside and allow to rest.
        2. Combine the tomatoes, red onion, basil, olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt. Top each chicken breast with the tomato mixture and parmesan cheese.
        3. Serve immediately with balsamic glaze (optional).


        Balsamic Glaze: 

        1. (If making from scratch, prepare while chicken is cooking.) Combine sugar (if using) and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes or until mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze. (If not using sugar, allow to reduce for 12-15 minutes on low heat).



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