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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

Have you been in the mood to make pumpkin baked goods? I know I have! I made these Flourless Pumpkin Muffins from Eating Bird Food this past week and they were so tasty - it was hard to eat just one!

Here is her recipe: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ⅓ cups almond butter
  • ⅔ cup canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ⅔ cup chocolate chips, I used Lily's chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare muffin tin by spraying well with cooking spray, or line the tins with paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
  • In your blender add all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and blend on high-speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  • Fill each muffin cavity about 3/4 full with the muffin mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean without any batter. (See below for cook time for mini muffins). Allow muffins to cool for 5-10 minutes or until they are firm enough and cool enough to handle. 
  • Allow muffins to cool for 5-10 minutes or until they are firm enough and cool enough to handle. Remove from tin and let cool completely on a wire rack. Muffins are always best fresh, but these will keep airtight at room temperature for about 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

I hope you make them and enjoy them! Tell me, was it hard to eat just one? 

 

Recipe and Picture from Eating Bird Food. https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/flourless-pumpkin-spice-chocolate-chip-mini-muffins/

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With the chillier temperatures in the air and it getting darker earlier, I have been wanting to find the perfect soup for dinner. After searching Pinterest, I found a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup and decided to give it a try!

This recipe is from The Cozy Cook and is a great soup for when you want to be warmed up and have a cozy meal at home. 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Meatballs

  • 1/2lb. ground beef, 80% lean
  • 1/2lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, homemade is best
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated into a powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt & freshly ground pepper

Soup

  • 1 ¼ cups carrots, diced
  • 1 ¼ cups yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth,
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • salt/pepper
  • ¾ cup acini de pepe pasta, , uncooked
  • 8 oz. fresh spinach

To Garnish

  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Stove Top Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients, don’t overwork the meat, we want tender meatballs.
  • Roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the meatballs in batches for 2-3 minutes. The inside of the meatball will finish cooking in the soup.
  • Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and season with salt and pepperif desired.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the meatballs and pasta.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Stir in the spinach.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve!

Crock Pot Method

  • Gently combine the meatball ingredients. Don't overwork the meat.
  • Roll the meat into 1-inch balls.
  • This Crock Pot allows you to brown the meatballs on the stove top first. I recommend this as the brown bits left on the bottom of the pot transfer lots of flavor into the soup.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and browned meatballs.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • Add the acini de pepe and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the Spinach.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and serve!

I hope you decide to give this a try and like it as much as our family did!

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Here’s what’s been in my cart recently from Amazon! Fun goodies for the boys, new sweaters for me and fun and spooky decorations for Halloween!
Bat Stickers: Have you seen these Bat Stickers? They come in 4 different sizes and are going to be so fun for me and the boys to put all over the house! 
Halloween Pumpkin String Lights: We are really getting into the Halloween spirit in our house this year with these lights! I know the boys will love them. They will be fun to have outside, as it is getting dark so early!
Plaid Button Down Long Sleeve Shacket: I had to join the trend! This looks like it will be perfect for days on Mackinac this fall!
Minecraft Costume: Do your kids love Minecraft as much as my boys do? This is one of their costumes for Halloween! So fun (and easy!!) 
Tell me, what’s new that you’ve loved from Amazon? 
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Do you love to listen to podcasts? During my commute to the island, I love listening to a podcast! It really helps set my mood for the day!
A new podcast that I recently found is Emily P. Freeman’s, The Next Right Thing.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the BIG things. But listening to this podcast, I’ve been reminded of just breaking it down and working to focus on the little steps that make up the bigger decisions.
Tell me, what’s your favorite podcast? I’d love to know and give it a listen! 
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Even though it’s still SO warm outside, I’ve been starting to get ready for the cozy fall weather that is coming! Fall is my favorite season! I love the chilly mornings, the warm breezy afternoons and the cozy nights. 

I love that fall means more of a routine for the boys as they head back to school. I love that I can drink a chai tea latte without getting instantly too hot, but instead feeling so cozy!

Speaking of coziness, I’ve been looking for new fall sweaters and cardigans. Here are some of my new favorite sweaters that I’ve found for fall!

Shop my favorite fall fashions here: https://a.co/9draCkR

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