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.

Read a little more about me.

browse

search

newsletter

 
hello there

Sign up for our occassional newsletter to learn about new goodies and upcoming events!

 
 

little luxuries

With the holiday countdown on, this week I wanted to share a few of my favorite places that I have been doing my Christmas shopping with this season. 

While I love shopping small and supporting local business, sometime as a busy mom and business owner, it can be hard to get out of the house and shop in person.  This year, I have mixed my small business shopping with some online shopping. My go-to online shops this Christmas season are Amazon, Target and Land’s End. 

I love to talk about my favorite small businesses that I support in the state of Michigan, but I also have a few that I like to support that are across the United States.  Some of my favorite small businesses that I have been supporting this season are:

  • Grandpa Shorters & JW Shorters  These local Petoskey shops have many personalized Michigan items and unique gift ideas. They also offer beautiful pieces of jewelry that feature Petoskey Stones. 
  • North Goods in Downtown Petoskey offers locally made artisan goods. I find inspiration in this store and so many creative gifts. As you know I love handmade, North Goods is my go-to handmade shop to visit. 
  • Freckled Hen Farmhouse: I love to shop Freckled Hen Farmhouse’s online shop! I have yet to make the trip down there, but I love to follow them on social media and see what beautifully curated gifts and products that they carry! Recently, I bought an adorable A-frame wooden ornament for our tree. It's so cute! 

Magnolia Sign

  • Magnolia: I had the opportunity to go to Waco and visit Magnolia and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to go back again! This year, I am loving their metal holiday signs that are in their shop! 
  • Vogue Salon offers Aveda products that I really enjoy and like to give as presents. Or I treat myself during the cold, harsh weather in Northern Michigan! The travel size hair products make great little gifts and I'm a fan of Aveda's make up line. 
  • Kilwin’s in Petoskey has the cutest Christmas decorations! Not only that, they also have wonderful baskets full of treats, or smaller pieces of sweets if you need some filler for your holiday stockings! If I am in need of a small chocolate gift, Kilwin's is my go-to. 

Check out all of theses shops to see all the unique products that they carry! In addition to these stores, I wanted to share with you some great deals and gifts I have ordered online recently.

Melissa and Doug

Over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, Target had Melissa & Doug toys for Buy One, Get One 50% OFF! John just turned ONE recently (read about his birthday party here!) and absolutely loves the wooden toy collections from Melissa and Doug. I can’t wait to see him open the toys we got for him this year. 

Another line that I love at Target is the Hearth & Home line from Magnolia! If you follow me on Instagram you know that my personal style aligns very closely with that brand. So I loved scrolling online to see what their holiday decor looks like.

Land's End Bean Bag

Land’s End is a classic. I tend to forget to shop here. They were running an amazing sale over the Thanksgiving weekend and I was able to purchase awesome bean bag chairs for the boys - and they are embroidered with their names on them! I love the quality and customer service of Land’s End. Their items last for years and they are always so attentive to help if there is an issue. I also was able to find the perfect personalized gift for Andrew (but shh! Don’t tell him!) 

While Marshall’s has an online shop, I usually just run in there to find the perfect hostess gift (when I’m not on the island and can't pick something up from Little Luxuries). This holiday season, I have found so many beautiful hostess gifts and some wonderful pieces of holiday decor. Marshall's can be dangerous for me as I go in looking for one item and walk out with much more!

I hope that you find some great holiday gifts!

xoxo,

Nicole 

add a comment | share this

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.

Xoxo,

Nicole 

add a comment | share this

While going through my recipe box this week, I found some of my favorite recipes that I like to pull out for the holiday season.

This Turkey Dressing recipe is a family one on my mom's side.  

Turkey Dressing

  • 1 loaf bakery style bread
  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • 1 stick oleo
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut bread into cubes, set aside in large bowl. Fry onions and mushrooms in oleo; add salt/pepper, cook until tender, add to bread cubes. Fry sausage until brown, drain fat, add to bread mixture. Mix in remaining ingredients of soup and eggs, Use to stuff turkey or place in casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour covered, til brown on top. Uncover the last few minutes in oven. Enjoy! 

I can’t wait to have you try this favorite recipe of my family. Let me know what you think!

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

Xoxo,

Nicole 

add a comment | share this

  John DoudBlueberry Smash CakeJohn Doud

I can’t believe that my baby, John turned ONE this past week! We celebrated with family and friends on a chilly Sunday afternoon. 

John loves blueberries SO much, so I decided to make his smash cake a blueberry one! I love turning to Pinterest to find inspiration for such occasions. I found the perfect Blueberry Smash Cake for him.

The recipe is from a site called ChowHound and was so easy to make! 

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium ripe banana (about 3 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Butter the cake pans and then lightly dust them with wheat flour. Two 4” spring form pans are recommended.
  3. Heat frozen blueberries on medium / low heat until blueberries are soft / burst. Estimated time: 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once they are cool, use a blender to smooth out the berries. Allow mixture to continue to cool.
  4. Whisk together flour, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix banana, applesauce, milk and maple syrup in blender.  Add in the egg and almond extract.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredient bowls. Don’t worry about overmixing!
  6. Split the batter into two of the 4” cake pans. Bake for approximately 20 - 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes our clean, let the cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Place a knife around the edges and transfer to wire racks to cool.
  7. Mix the frosting ingredients with a mixer, carefully folding in the blueberry mixture. TO frost the cake, the best way to do it is to start from the bottom layer first, then add the second layer and frost with a spatula.
  8. Now, prepare to serve to your ONE year old for them to smash!

John loved his cake so much, that I might just have to make it again - we probably won’t have him eat it as a smash cake this time though!
                    DoudJohn Doud

We love this time of the year, as we celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our wedding anniversary and just having more time to spend together as a family with those we love close by.

We hope that you’re surrounded by loved ones this weekend, doing all the fun festive things.

Xoxo

Nicole 

 

add a comment | share this
Doud FamilyDoud FamilyDoud Family
Today’s blog post is about Petoskey, Michigan, where our family lives when we are not on the island. I wanted to give a few highlights to our favorite spots in the area:
  1. Grain Train: It’s a lot like Doud’s Market and when I can’t shop at Doud’s Market we love the Grain Train. Friendly staff, quick in and out, healthy snacks, great deli options, and the health and wellness section has a lot of good finds.
  2. North Perk: Centrally located downtown Petoskey! They are the perfect place for a chai to do work, hot cocoa date with my boys or a place to catch up with a friend.
  3. JW Shorters: my go-to gift shop away from Little Luxuries, plus Grandpa Shorters’ and Katydids (sister stores) are right next door and carefully curated just how I like my shops. Jennifer Shorter, their owner, does an awesome job! 
  4. Mim’s: I love Greek food! And now my boys do too! They call Mim’s the Gingerbread House because of its cozy, quaint appearance. We love the artichoke hummus with warm pita bread, the kids grilled cheese meal, the sampler and the original gyro are all delish! 
  5. Petoskey State Park: This is the perfect little place to “escape” to and it has a gorgeous beach - be sure to stay to watch the sunset!
  6. If you’re looking for a great place to go for a walk, we love to head to the Bay View Association! This historic neighborhood is an easy and beautiful walk from our home. 
We hope that when you aren’t on Mackinac Island, you can enjoy one of my other places to visit in Northern Michigan, Petoskey. If you find any other cool spots that I missed, be sure to let me know! Would love to hear your faves.
 Xoxo,
Nicole
North Perk PetoskeyPetoskey State ParkNorth Perk PetoskeyGrandpa Shorter's
add a comment | share this