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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

French Toast Bake

This year, like everyone else, we will just be celebrating Easter as a small family, without our parents. While the boys will miss their grandparents, we will be sure to spend time FaceTiming our family, so that it’s almost like we are all together.

I want to do everything I can to make the day as special as possible for our family. I found this French Toast Bake that I know everyone will love and I’m so excited to have it for Easter breakfast this year!

The secret is, you have to make it the night before! If you know you are going to want to make this, just make sure you prepare on Saturday night before bed!

Ingredients:

1 loaf of sourdough bread*

8 eggs

2 cups of milk

1/2 cup of heavy cream

3/4 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of vanilla

*If you don’t have sourdough bread, try another bread like brioche, challah, pullman or French bread! The trick is, you don’t want the bread to get soaked and mushy from the eggs!

Topping:

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon or salt

1/2 cup of cold butter, cut into pieces

  1. Cut the loaf of bread into cubes and put in a greased 9 X 13 pan.

  2. Mix together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour over the bread.

  3. Cover and place in the fridge to settle overnight!

  4. Mix together the remaining topping ingredients. Add the butter until it has formed a crumbly mix and store overnight in a container.

  5. In the morning, put the topping on the bread / egg mixture.

  6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

  7. Enjoy! We’ll probably add some fresh fruit to the side with orange juice for the boys and tea for me! 

For the complete recipe and more details, visit: https://lilluna.com/french-toast-bake/.  Picture credit to Lil Luna. 

I hope that you have a very Happy Easter weekend. Tell me, what are you making this weekend for your family? 

Xo Nicole 

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Fruit Pizza

I made mine in a heart shaped pan because it was for Tommy. ❤️ 
My mom made this often growing up for our sporting events and family gatherings. It's SO good and so easy!
Two Packages of Sugar Cookie Dough
One Container of Cool Whip
One Package of Cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
Assortment of fruit - you can use blueberries, grapes, strawberries, kiwi, melon, whatever you love! 
Fruit Pizza
Spread the cookie dough on a baking sheet, bake until golden brown, let cool. Combine cool whip, vanilla and softened cream cheese together. Spread over cookie dough. Sprinkle your fruit on top. Enjoy!
I hope that you can enjoy this recipe and that it will bring a smile to your family's faces during this time at home! 
xo Nicole
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  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 

 

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Favorite Recipes Edition II: Oatmeal Energy Bites

 

Oatmeal Energy Bites

 

When everyone is hungry, it’s helpful to have a quick snack to have easily accessible. You want your snack to be healthy, tasty and kid-approved. I’ve found these Oatmeal Energy Bites that everyone (even the pickiest eaters!) can agree upon.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup Almond Butter (or Peanut Butter)

1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Raw Honey

1/4 Cup Ground Flaxseed

Directions: 

Mix all the ingredients together.

Roll out teaspoon size balls onto a baking sheet (it’s easiest if you cover the baking sheet in parchment paper for a quicker cleanup!)

Freeze them for one hour.

Store in the fridge or freezer and enjoy!

Once you try them, they will become a staple in your family and something the kids will always want you to keep on hand!

This recipe and the photos was taken from Hip2Save.

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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! 
bruschetta1
Photo Courtesy: Cafe Delites

Without further ado, Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken:

Ingredients:

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

Topping:

  • (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 

Instructions:

  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).

signature

 

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