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

 

Nicole Doud

Do you ever wonder what a seasonal shop does during the off season? Here are a few things that we do to stay busy and get ready for the upcoming season!
*Spend time with family and friends! Since we are open 7 days a week for 7 months a year, I rarely get to spend time with extended family or even friends! A lot of the off season is spent with our loved ones, catching up and making memories! I also spend a lot of time with the boys when they aren’t in school. I love to take the time to make cookies for them, read them extra books or make a fun arts and craft project!
*Take trips! When it isn’t a pandemic, we spend a lot of time taking weekend trips, heading South for warmer weather! Andrew and I usually take a trip just the two of us to celebrate our anniversary and the end of one season before the next season begins! It’s nice to have just time for the two of us and to explore somewhere new!
*Evaluate the past season. Brainstorm what worked and what didn’t! I want to make sure that each season, we are improving and becoming the best shop we can to keep on selling the goodies that bring a smile to your face! 
*During November and December when the storefront is closed, we are very busy mailing out online orders and then opening on select days for Island residents to do their holiday shopping. 
*Order for the upcoming season! I spend a lot of time perusing catalogs, searching for new, unheard of artists and looking for unique goods for all three shops! This is one of my favorite things to do during the off season. Dream about new goodies that you’ll love!
*In January, I start to hire for the next season! If you’re interested in applying, read about the positions we have open HERE and then send an email with your resume and references to me (Nicole) at littleluxuriesmanager@yahoo.com
*Purge! I love a good deep clean! I spend a lot of time going through the shops, getting rid of old displays and thinking of ways to display goods!
*House projects! Since I’m so busy during the summer, I spend some days doing house projects, deep cleaning and decorating various spaces. Out with the old, in with the new!
The off season is filled with memories being made with our family and friends, plus administrative work to prepare for the upcoming season! It’s a lot of work, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Nicole
Xo 
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Favorite Christmas Movies

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite Christmas movies of all time that I love to watch by myself or with the boys! 
There’s nothing better than cuddling up on the couch in front of the twinkling tree watching a classic Christmas movie this month. To top it off, sipping on your favorite cocoa with marshmallows 😊
Little Women
Christmas Vacation
Rudolph
A Charlie Brown Christmas
The Holiday
Santa Clause
The Grinch
Home Alone
Elf
I hope you can cozy up this month and watch some of your favorite holiday classics! This weekend and next week, I plan to cuddle up on the couch with our new Mackinac Sherpa Blanket, Hammond’s Hot Cocoa and Marshmallows in my Warm + Cozy mug with the Christmas tree lights on and soak up the holiday magic.

 

XO,
Nicole 
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Tortellini Minestrone Soup

One of my favorite soups to make for winter is Tortellini Minestrone Soup! It was so chilly and rainy this past weekend, so it was the perfect meal to warm us all up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 4 Large Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, Peeled & Diced
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Diced Tomatoes with Juice
  • 2 (14-ounce) Cans Kidney Beans, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Basil 
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 (9-ounce_ package cheese tortellini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Set a large pot over medium-high heat with olive oil. Once hot, add in the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice and the beans. 
  3. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano and basil.
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the veggies soften, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the tortellini and cook until they float, about 3-5 minutes
  6. Serve the soup with a sprinkling of cheese on top.

This recipe takes just around 50 minutes to make and is so delicious! Tell me, what’s one of your favorite soups to make for winter? 

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Happy Weekend! I can’t believe how quickly the weeks seem to fly by - before too long, we will be heading back to Mackinac for a new season!
Doud Family
Last weekend, our family loaded up and headed to Forbush Corner Nordic Ski Center in Fredric, Michigan for a day of fun in the snow! We were able to meet up with our friend Susan for our winter adventure! 
Doud Family
This cross country ski area in 2019 and is known for its trail system. There are trails for skating and skiing and snowshoeing. Forbush has rentals available, which makes the trip a lot easier! They also have a warming room, where the boys loved warming up with some hot chocolate!
Doud FamilyDoud Family
The snow was coming down good and it was just beautiful! I had a feeling our boys wouldn't last long in the cold and trekking through it. I was wrong! Tommy led the way and little Johnny did not want to be carried! He went face first in the snow a few times even and got right back up and wanted to keep walking. It was adorable! All three boys were so tired from the fresh air that they slept the entire way home!
Doud FamilyDoud Family
We had such a great experience at Forbush Corner - I can’t recommend it enough for families to go visit! 
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Doud Boys SkiingDoud Boys Sledding

We love every season in our home, but winter is especially fun because we have a lot more time together just as a family, without having to be in the shops every day! 

We have written out a Winter Bucket List of things that the boys want to do this season! It’s fun to see them get excited about getting outside or doing a project inside. Here’s our list:

  1. Sledding at the Winter Sports Park in Petoskey. The Winter Sports Park is a fun afternoon activity! They have a sledding hill, ice skating rink and even a spot to get hot chocolate and warm up! 
  2. Skiing at Boyne Highland’s or Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs. While the boys are learning to ski, I’ll hit the cross country trails! They have great classes for the kids to start out with and they have a lot of fun learning to pizza down the hills! Watch out, in a few seasons we may have some awesome skiers in the family! 
  3. When the boys want a day of water sports, we load up the car and hit the Avalanche Bay Waterpark at Boyne Mountain. This is a fun spot for kids of all ages - and it is fun for the parents too! It’s nice to escape the cold winter for a day and splash around inside! 
  4. The boys are at the age where they all love being outside, so we love to try to take Winter Hikes as often as possible! Michigan has so many great spots for hiking year-round. One of our favorite spots is the Petoskey State Park, which has winter accessible trails, which lead down to the waterfront! The boys love to see the water starting to freeze on Lake Michigan! 
  5. When the boys are ready to stay inside for a little while (after playing outside all day long!) they love a mug of hot chocolate and making a winter craft! The old art project of making a snow flake out of a coffee filter never gets old! 
  6. Last night, the boys wanted to write a letter to their very best friend, so they all pulled out the art supplies to mail him a sweet card! I love snail mail and I’m so glad that my boys love it too - I hope they never outgrow that sweet spirit of having a pen pal. 

It’s so fun as the boys are getting older to see what they enjoy to do when they aren’t at school! Along with playing legos for hours upon hours, this is their winter bucket list! What’s on your winter bucket list for 2020? 

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