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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

Photo from The Cozy Cook

Since I've been having more time at home this winter and spring, I've been spending more time in the kitchen! This fall, I was gifted the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook and I have been really enjoying cooking out of it! Here is one of her recipes that I just tried, Pioneer Woman Meatloaf! 

It takes just 20 minutes to prep and 1 hour and 10 minutes to cook. I love it when the prep time is that short! Gives me plenty of time to get the kitchen tidied up while it cooks or even time to play a family game! 

Ingredients:

 

Meatloaf:

  • 1 cup Whole Milk

  • Sauce:

    • 1+1/2 cups Ketchup

    Directions: 

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    • Add the bread to a large bowl and pour the milk on top of the slices. Let them soak for 5 minutes.
    • Add the remaining meatloaf ingredients and use your hands to combine. Try to ensure that the bread is sufficiently combined into the mixture, although try not to overmix as the ground beef will become tougher and lose some flavor.
    • Form the meat into a loaf, (about 5 inches wide), and place it over a broiler pan to allow the fat to drain. Lining the bottom of the broiler pan with foil will make for easier cleanup.
    • Line the bacon over the top of the loaf and carefully tuck the ends under the bottom. The bacon can be used to help support the shape of the loaf. I like to line them so that they are touching, but not overlapping so that you can easily slice in between each piece of bacon when it’s cooked.
    • Combine the sauce ingredients and brush 1/3 of it over the meatloaf.
    • Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes on the middle rack. Remove it from the oven and brush another 1/3 of the sauce over it. Bake for another 25 minutes.
    • Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes prior to slicing, letting it rest allows the juices to absorb back into the meat, cutting in too early will cause the juice to run out of the loaf.
    • Serve with the remaining sauce and enjoy! These are delicious with mashed potatoes + green beans! 

    If you don't have the Pioneer Women's Cookbook, you can purchase it here! or use the recipe found on The Cozy Cook, that shares this amazing meatloaf! 

     

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    I can’t believe that the boys will be back to school very soon! They are getting excited to see their friends and I’m getting excited for more structure!

    I’ve been on Pinterest lately, looking for some new recipes to incorporate into our meal schedule! Here are a few that I’m going to be making as we head back to school - these look easy and delicious!

    This first one is a make ahead breakfast idea, which I love for the busy mornings! 

    Greenletes has made these Mushroom Freezer Breakfast Burritos that look amazing! They are packed full of nutrition, which is great! She offers ideas of what to sub out if you don’t like mushrooms, or the cheese she uses, etc! 

    Photo from Greenletes 

    I love trying new things! This next recipe that I found is Nut Free Cold Noodles from Chelsey Amer's Nutrition Blog. Again, this recipe is filled with protein and nutrition making it an excellent dinner option!

    Photo from Chelsey Amer's Nutrition Blog

    This final new recipe I’m trying is from Greenletes, again! :) She has so many amazing options, but this one looks especially delicious: Coconut Fried Rice! I can’t wait to try! 

    Photo from Greenletes

    Have you started thinking about back to school meal prep? If you know me, you know that I don’t meal prep a lot! But these are three recipes that I’m going to try this fall and add to the rotation! They look too good and easy not to try! 

     

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    It’s been a while since I highlighted some of my favorites in the shop! We have so many new goodies this summer and so I’m highlighting what I love!

     

    Island Girl Pomegranate Sweatshirt: This is the perfect sweatshirt to remind you of summer days on Mackinac! It’s comfortable and cozy and a classic fit!

    Little Luxuries’ Diner Mug: I truly believe that life is made in the little moments and the little things. Something that brings me joy is drinking my tea out of this Little Luxuries’ Diner Mug. It’s a classic styled mug that is timeless!

    Little Luxuries’ Burlap Tote: New this summer, this tote is the perfect bag for a day at the beach, pool or for running errands. It’s sturdy and great for groceries, car trips and more! When you purchase the tote, you’ll get 10% OFF future purchases when you bring it into the shop!

    Island Girl Reusable Bag: I love to leave this bag in the car for groceries or if I’m on the island, I love using it to grab my groceries from Doud’s! It’s sturdy and great for groceries or an afternoon spent at the park! 

     

    Mackinac Tervis Water Bottle: Say hello to the NEW Mackinac Island Island Girl Water Bottle! You're going to want to have this with you all summer long! It is designed to keep your drink cold for up to 48 hours, plus it has a leak proof lid, which makes it the perfect water bottle to throw into a tote!

     

    Mackinac Tray: Made exclusively for us, this tray is the perfect keepsake from your trip to Mackinac Island. Use it to serve your morning beverage, display jewelry or just as decor in your home. 

    Nat & Noor Hair Clips: I love the classic look of these barrettes from Nat + Noor! They pair perfectly with any outfit and the colors are fun for summer! 

    Inspirational Wire Journal: New this year, these wire journals are the perfect inspirational notebook for all your thoughts, lists and sentiments. Designed by Katie Doucette, this journal makes the perfect gift for a friend or to keep for yourself! 

    Little Fish Boateak Pearl Earrings: Boateak is new this summer and I love the classic look of their jewelry! Made on Hilton Head Island and shipped to Mackinac Island, this jewelry line fits in perfectly with the Island lifestyle. These earrings are classic and pair well with any outfit. 

    Wavertree & London Australian Soaps: These soaps are amazing! They are great for sensitive skin and help to seal in moisture.

     

    I hope you'll stop in and shop my favorites or check them out in the online shop! 

    Xo, 

    Nicole 

     

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    With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I wanted to write a quick note on the festivities that happen in our home for this lovely holiday!


    I love decorating a little bit here and there for the holidays, especially the “small” holidays, too! The boys realize the importance of each holiday and decorating, even in little ways, brings me so much joy!

    Our decorations come from various places. The paper napkins are usually from Hobby Lobby or the dollar store! The peppa pig valentine box is Tommy’s and Louie made his valentine box out of a tissue box last year!

    I always put up a new banner for each holiday! The stitched felt heart banner and the sparkles banner are both from Etsy - I love to shop small when I can! The tie died heart banner hanging from the mantle the boys made.  I found little red hearts to spread around the candle on our kitchen table. I love to visit antique stores and that’s where I found the cute scrabble Valentine’s sign!

    Of course, I have to make snacks that are holiday themed as well! Two new recipes that I found on Pinterest for this Valentine’s Day season are Valentine’s Day popcorn and Heart Shaped Quesadillas.

    Valentine’s Day Popcorn from here. This recipe is super easy and super sweet!

    • 10 Cups of Popped Popcorn (I usually make our popcorn the old fashioned way over the stove top!)
    • 3 tbsp. Butter (Sweet Cream, Salted)
    • 3 cups Mini Marshmallows
    • Pretzel M&M's – Red
    • Valentine's Mix M&M's
    • Valentine’s Day Sprinkles
    • Confetti Heart Sprinkles

    Mix & Enjoy! I bet the boys will always ask for popcorn this sweet from now on!

    When the boys get home from school on Valentine’s Day, I plan to make them Heart Shaped Quesadilla’s!

    If you have a heart shaped cookie cutter, use it to cut your tortilla into the perfect heart! If you don’t have one, scissors will do!

    Place one heart on a greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with love and shredded cheese, then place the second heart on top! Cook in the oven at 350 for about 3 minutes - but keep your eye on it, just in case. Then, enjoy!

    What are your Valentine’s Day traditions? I’d love to hear all about them and maybe add an idea or two to our fun plans!

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