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.

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little luxuries

A summer day at the lake is the perfect way to spend a day off of work! Every summer, we take Sunday’s as our family day. This summer, we’ve been stealing away to my parent’s cottage on a small lake in Michigan for the perfect summer time with the boys, my parents and my brothers!
When we were there a few weeks ago, I realized that somehow I forgot my bathing suit! (Mom Brain!) My mom actually had a spare bathing suit she convinced me to try - it fit perfectly! The fun part is, it was her suit from the 1970s, but it was still in great condition and the style was so classic no one would ever know it was some 50 years old! Now, it’s my go-to summer suit when we are swimming at the cottage! So fun to see what has gone out of style come right back in!
Nicole Doud
While we were at the cottage this past weekend, my mom made one of everyone’s favorite recipes: Blueberry Muffins! We grew up with these muffins and now the boys love to eat them! My mouth is watering just thinking about them filled with fresh Michigan blueberries!
Ingredients:
1/2 rolled oats
1/2 cup orange juice (or water)
1 1/2 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Prepare muffin tin with either grease or baking cup liners.
In a large bowl, combine rolled oats and orange juice; stir well.
Add flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, coining oil and egg.
Mix together.
Stir in blueberries
Spoon into muffin tin, filling 2/3 full.
Blend 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 18 - 22 minutes, until golden brown.
Makes 12 muffins.
MMM! I can’t wait for you to try this recipe and to hear if you liked it or not! Also, tell me, do you and your mom share any pieces of clothing that have gone in and out of style?
Xo,
Nicole

 

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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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Banana Muffin
Happy Saturday! With the weather becoming cooler on Mackinac Island, I was able to turn on the oven and make the boys a special breakfast treat of Banana Muffins with chocolate chips that they all just loved!
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 bananas
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg
1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Mash bananas and mix with honey, olive oil, egg, yogurt, milk. Mix all dry ingredients together and add to banana mixture. 
Place batter in greased muffin tin. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes! 
Going into the new school year, I know that the boys will love having these as a special treat! I hope you enjoy!
Xoxo
Nicole
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Now that the holiday weekend has slowed down here on the island, I wanted to share a recap of our Little Luxuries Fourth of July celebration! We had a blast on Wednesday and could not have asked for more beautiful weather throughout the whole day-it was a hot one, but the clear sky made for a perfect fireworks show in the evening! 

    

Throughout all three stores {Little Luxuries, The Artists Markets, and Canvas and Paddle} fresh lemonade and yummy candies were offered for the customers' sweet tooth from open until close. Oldies music was playing as we celebrated the only way we know how to...vintage style! 

     

                           

The boys, Andrew and I, celebrated together for most of the day with family and friends outside and had so much fun! Louis and Tommy fell asleep before the fireworks began, but within a couple years, I'm sure they will be able to stay up with the grown-ups to enjoy them as much as we do. 

    

M-185, the paved interstate road around the island, was packed with tourists and locals during the fireworks show, especially on Windermere Point and areas near the public library and Mackinac Island Public School. The bright lights and different shapes over the water made for some loud cheers from the spectators! It was the perfect way to end such a special day for our country. We love the USA! 

 

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as well! 

 

Nicole, 

xoxo 

                        

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I enjoy baking when I have the spare time and when my treats turn out! This afternoon I decided to make cupcakes with the boys since I have been promising them I would the last couple of months. We tend to always end up making muffins instead. (They are easier and quicker) 
I have to admit, the cupcake recipe I found today on Pinterest was SO GOOD!! All three boys (including Andrew) LOVED them! They are very sweet and fattening, so when you are in need of that amazing cupcake and you don't mind the extra calories, you must try the recipe below! 
PS: The frosting is amazing!! 
Banana Cupcakes
Ingredients: 
1 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup mashed over-ripe bananas(from about 2 medium bananas)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup butter , at room temperature
2 Tbsp vegetable oil , divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds, set aside. Mash bananas together with lemon juice, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, then mix in remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Blend in egg, then blend in egg white and vanilla. Mix in banana mixture. With mixer set on low speed and working in three separate batches, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk and mixing just until combined after each addition. Divide mixture among 14 - 15 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 18 - 22 minutes. Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Nutella Buttercream Frosting
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella 
In a large bowl beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Add Nutella and beat until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes and enjoy! 
Recipe by Cooking Classy.
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