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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

Happy July 1st! Today on the blog, we’re sharing some of our favorite red, white and blue products for the 4th of July! 

One of our TOP sellers this season has been our enamelware serving trays, bowls and plates! With so many different designs, these plates have been a fun way to bring summer vibes and pops of color to your kitchen and dining experience! 
You’re never too old to use a straw, especially when these straws are eco-friendly paper straws! Celebrate red, white and blue with these colorful straws that will bring a smile to everyone’s face when they see them in their drink!
Enamelware cups that look like red (or blue) solo cups are a great addition to the party table! They are dishwasher safe, so no need to hand wash after the party!
 
New Year’s Eve party glasses are always fun, so why not have them for the 4th of July, too?! These red, white and blue glasses will be a fun for the kids! 
This white enamelware egg tray is great for hard boiled or deviled eggs on the food table! Or, simply leave it in the refrigerator for you to know the difference between the hard-boiled and non-hard boiled eggs! 

If you’re looking for a great hostess gift, check out our July box, that is filled with Michigan-made FOOD! It has great items from all over Michigan that would make the perfect gift to bring with you to a party or mail to someone you’re missing this summer  season!
Be sure to head to the website to see more great red, white and blue finds. We hope that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July! 
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True North Handbag | Sea Bags: Featuring an intricate compass rose printed on recycled sailcloth, this Handbag is the perfect gift for the one who has kept you sailing in the right direction or to keep as a reminder to stay true to yourself. The close-up view creates a unique, decorative pattern that continues on the back. Zip-top option features a recycled white sailcloth gusset with a white zipper. A matching Wristlet is the perfect companion for easy organization. Printed on recycled sails. Handcrafted from recycled sails on the working waterfront in Portland, Maine, USA.

Greetings from Mackinac Island Candles: These soy candles are made in the USA and are perfect for sending a Greeting from Mackinac to someone you love - or take one home for yourself!

Mackinac Island Tea Towel: Cat Studio original design is printed using the labor intensive hand-swipe silk-screen process with 12 colors (that's 12 screens used for each towel!). The design is framed with a hand-embroidered border on a 100% hand-loomed cotton towel generously sized at 20x29 inches. Three cheery woven stripes run down both sides and hand-dyed rick-rack at the top and bottom add a charming vintage touch. All this delightfully presented in a fab organdy re-usable pouch ready for gifting!

Island Girl Crew Neck Sweatshirt: Enjoy this new Island Girl crewneck sweatshirt with a new Island Girl logo: Lilac!

Mackinac Island is My Happy Place: This waterproof pouch, designed in Michigan is the latest original piece from Tandem for Two. We love this pouch and know you will too!

Elizabeth W Hand Spray: It’s like perfume for the hands! Three incredible scents to help your hands stay refreshed throughout the day.

100 Things to do on Mackinac Island Before You Die: To the Anishinaabe-Ojibwa people it was a gathering place, a sacred burial ground, and the home of the Great Spirit Gitchie Manitou. Throughout the 1600s French voyageurs, explorers, missionaries, and fur traders arrived at Mackinac Island. Its strategic location in the straits between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas made it a military outpost the British and Americans found worth fighting for through the War of 1812. By the late 1800s Mackinac was a destination for city dwellers seeking fresh air, scenic beauty, recreation, and amusements. Today, passenger ferries transport visitors to the car-free island, where getting around is by foot, horse-drawn carriage, or bicycle, the air is still clean, and the scenery spectacular. Most of Mackinac is a state park, fringed with grand Victorian cottages and the whitewashed fort overlooking the compact village of pastel-colored hotels and shops (including the famous fudge makers). 100 Things to Do on Mackinac Island Before You Die helps you make the best of a day trip and reveals dozens of reasons to spend a night—or longer—at this captivating spot.

Beth Mueller Otto Bowl: Beth and Nicole, owner of Little Luxuries, have worked together since 2009. Beth has created a beautiful collection of specially made pottery for Little Luxuries. Handmade in Vermont. Bowl is 3 inches in diameter x 1 inch deep. handmade and hand painted.

Jenna Kator Collection - Boyne City Handbag: Behind The Design: Boyne City is a small town attracting visitors all four seasons out of the year that enjoy boating, camping, skiing and street festivals. It is nestled along the shores of Lake Charlevoix and the readers of USA Today named it one of the Best Lakes in America. Boyne City is known as the State of Michigan’s “Premier Main Street” as it hosts several festivals throughout the year. The Boyne City Handbag is your daily go-to showpiece as its design fits every occasion.

Root Candles: The art of fine dining requires the careful selection and display of eye-catching dinner candles. The understated elegance of Root Dinner Candles will grace any table setting with unique character.

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Nicole Doud, Little Luxuries Owner

A few weeks ago on social media, I did a fun Q + A! These were questions submitted by Instagram followers and I wanted to share my answers here for those who do not have Instagram! 
Does everyone who lives on the island know each other? The year round community mostly all know each other. The number fluctuates from 400-500 residents year round.
Most of the housing I see is super expensive, are there more affordable ways to live there? If you work for a business that has housing then you can live in that employer’s housing at a good price. If you are looking to rent or buy on your own, then yes, it can be expensive. 
Do you own a car? If so, where do you keep it? We do own a car! We keep it on the mainland in Mackinaw City with Starline Ferry. You can park your car at Shepler’s Ferry, as well. They have different rates depending on where you want to park your vehicle. 
What do you miss most about the Mainland? Reverse question too- what do you miss the most about Mackinac Island when you aren’t there? Well, in the off season the businesses are not open on the Island, I miss getting a chai tea latte from Lucky Bean. When I’ve on the island, I miss just being able to get in my car and go someplace different. It’s easier getting to my parents cottage when we are on the mainland too. 
What’s your favorite spot to “visit”? I have quite a few favorite spots on the island. My favorite is probably walking by the West Bluff and through the Annex. I do love the trail Leslie Avenue too! 
 What is your favorite time of the year on Mackinac Island? Fall! 
How big is the school on Mackinac Island? The school has anywhere from 60-75 students K-12 grade.
Nicole & Andrew Doud
How do you manage grocery runs on the island? I am fortunate to be married to the local grocer!  But we usually get our groceries by the day for dinner. I’m not a meal planner! Ha! 
We love your island! We would love to live here, or rent for a few months. Is that realistic? Yes it is! Especially if you find a job with a bed and breakfast or some business that can house you. Finding a place to live on your own can be more difficult. Many retired couples work on the island for a fun retirement job. 
What’s the second best kept secret on the island? Because you can’t give away your first! Awesome question! After 6pm, you can go inside Grand Hotel in proper dress attire to the Cupola Bar at the very top. It’s gorgeous!  And there is no charge to get inside after after 6pm. 
Do some tourists drive you a little nuts? LOL! Of course some can! I have to remember they are just visiting for maybe the first time and I would have the same questions and interest as they do. We definitely like our peaceful moments but we love tourists too! 
What’s Christmas like? Christmas on Mackinac is really magical! The tree in the center of downtown, snow and just happy spirits. It’s a fun time! 
Does it ever feel annoying to have tourists in your town all of the time? At times, but for the most part we are just use to it!
What’s the best place to eat dinner? Depends on what you are looking for. My favorite is Woods restaurant owned by the Grand Hotel for a nice romantic dinner. Mary’s Bistro is a great family place and I also like Yankee Rebel and Island House! 
Does the ferry ride ever get too choppy where it’s dangerous? It can get choppy! The ferries will stop running if it ever gets too rough. That does happen in the fall usually.
Favorite Hidden Gem: I have a few! Crack in the island and Look Out Point by Sugar Loaf. 
Secret Garden Grand Hotel
What is your favorite place on the island? The secret garden by Grand Hotel is one of my favorite spots!
Doud's Market
How long has your husband's family been on the island? Since 1865! 
Did you have your wedding on Mackinac Island? We did! December 18th, 2010 we got married at St. Anne’s Church and our reception was at Woods restaurant. It was a beautiful wintry, snowy day!
How does school work for children on the island? School is just like other schools just smaller. Kids ride their bikes to school and in the winter times snowmobile to school. It’s so cute watching them all get to school. It really is a great school. There are sporting events and students have to travel by boat or place to get to the mainland for away games. 
It was so fun answering your questions! I plan to do this again and can’t wait to hear more of what you’re curious to know! 
Xo,
Nicole 
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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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I can’t believe that we are almost halfway through the month of June!
It’s time to start sampling new summer salad recipes for summer get togethers, family picnics and dinners outside! Along the way, I found this salad that is a fan favorite already! I found it on Julie’s Eats & Treats and made some minor adjustments to make it my own!
Dressing:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
Salad:
12 cups of leafy greens
9 oz. corn chips
1 cup bacon bits
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz. dried cranberries
It’s so simple! Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in the bender. Then, create the salad by placing it all in a serving bowl! Add the corn chips directly before serving so they stay fresh!
I know I’ll be taking this to many summer picnics! I hope you enjoy it!
Xo,
Nicole
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