SONP 2014: Old Navy Re-Fashion
Old Navy refashion at The Southern Institute

What it the Summer of No Pants series, you might ask? The Summer of No Pants, or SONP, is a summer-long handmade style series. From the first day of summer to the last, we ditch our pants in favor of skirts and dresses. We’re celebrating femininity, personal style, and the handmade life. It started as a sewing competition and, but it has evolved since then. So whether you can sew or not, everybody can wear No Pants!

When Marigold, the brainchild behind SONP, asked me if I’d be a guest blogger for the series I just had to say yes. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I can usually come up with something… I just keep my eyes open and my wheels turning at all times. I was shopping at Old Navy with the kiddos the other week and was cruising the clearance racks when I found this lone striped dress peeking out. I LOVE stripes! I pulled it out only to find that it was an XXL, about 4 sizes to big. BUT lots of fabric to play with, right? So I asked how much? $.99!!! I grabbed it up as fast as I could and decided right then and there that my SONP post would be a re-fashion.


There’s the original dress up there. I completely forgot to take a pic of me in it to give you an idea of how large it was. It literally fell off of my shoulders. I started thinking about what to make out of the fabric. A skirt? I could just cut it off at the waist and add elastic. Should I just tailor it to fit me and keep the style? Nah. I wanted to do something different. Then it hit me! Selvedge Design’s Foxglove Tank, modified into a dress…that was it! I had just finished my first Foxglove Tank and really liked the way it turned out, so this seemed like a good idea. I used the pattern as is, making only a couple of changes. I took the sides in by about 2 inches on each side and then used the entire length of the original dress, keeping the original hem. The length ended up quite a bit shorter since I was cutting from the middle of the original dress, but I think it turned out quite well, don’t you?

Old Navy Refashion at The Southern Institute
Dress back

I used the sleeves to make the knit strips that face the neckline and arm holes… I love the contrast, even though you can’t see it when the dress is on. For some reason, knowing that it’s there makes me happy.

Old Navy Refashion at The Southern Institute

So join us and ditch those pants! Embrace the dresses and skirts and show off those legs… let ‘em breathe, ladies! Use the hashtag #SONP2014 on Instagram and show us how beautiful you look.

Lime-Coconut Krispie Treats

Lime-Coconut Krispie Treats from The Southern Institute

Rice Krispie Treats are one of our favorite treats to make. They’re gluten-free and just plain yummy. I’ve loved them ever since I was a child. Abby and I have had a lot of fun experimenting with different flavors and shapes over the past several months. We’ve made dark chocolate cherry treats, and heart shaped treats with pink candy drizzle for Valentine’s day. For the summer I wanted to try something with a bit of a citrus twist and I was dying to use my DoTerra essential oils… could it work?

Why lime, you might ask?

Doterra Lime oil

Plus, it just tastes great, right? I’ve been putting a drop of DoTerra lime essential oil in my water every morning to cleanse my body and I love it. It’s refreshing and it tastes great! I thought it would taste so good paired with coconut, so I combined the two in a Rice Krispie Treat! Here’s how I did it:

-Combine 3 TBSP of unsalted butter and one 16 ounce bag of mini marshmallows in a large stock pot. Heat over low-medium heat until melted. Remove from heat.

-Stir in 3 drops of DoTerra Lime essential oil to the marshmallow/butter mixture, stir well.

-Add 6 cups of Rice Krispies and unsweetened shredded coconut to the marshmallow mixture and combine well. I think I added about 3/4 cup of coconut (I didn’t measure it. Add as much as you like.)

-Press mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 Pyrex or glass baking dish. Press flat with wax paper and allow to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!

These turned out to be so delicious! The lime flavor is not overwhelming, but definitely noticeable. It makes for a really yummy summertime treat! I hope you like them!

I’m Forty! (A Fundraiser for Enchanted Makeovers)


1974. The year I was born. Yesterday I turned 40 years old, and I kind of can’t believe it. For the last few months I have been pretty excited about this birthday milestone. It seems like forty is the age where you’re past a lot of the “hard” stuff, like finding a mate (at least I am), having kids, figuring out what you want to do with your life, etc. At forty you know who you are better than you did at thirty. Hopefully you are more comfortable with yourself. I know I am. I’m in a place where I don’t necessarily know exactly everything that I want, but at least I know what I don’t want, and I’ve been eliminating those things, slowly but surely. I’m looking forward to the decade ahead. I’m looking forward to watching my children come into themselves and I’m looking forward to growing closer to my husband. I’m excited to continue to nurture the relationships that have proven to be the most enduring thus far. I’m excited to grow more as a person, as a mom, and as a wife, and as a Christian. I think it’s going to be a great time in my life, and if the outpouring of love that I have received over the last week is any indication, I have a lot of people behind me. It has been uplifting to say the least.

When you’re on the receiving end of such an outpouring of love and friendship, you cannot help but want to pass that on. I know that there are many women out there who are not at a safe point in their lives now. Many of them have sought refuge for themselves and their children in women’s shelters. You may not know this, but I got my college degree in social work and have always had a special place in my heart for those who are hurting and in need. I wanted to give back during my birthday month, so I chose a non-profit organization by the name of Enchanted Makeovers and set up a fundraiser through I love Enchanted Makeover’s mission and I think you will too!

Help me reach my goal of raising $1000 for Enchanted Makeovers this month at

Since 2007, Enchanted Makeovers’ mission has been to transform homeless shelters for women and children into places that inspire behavioral and psychological change. Through our various projects, mentoring programs and makeovers of the physical space, women and children are introduced to a way of thinking that helps to shift their outlook about their lives and possibilities for the future. The shelter is transformed into a “beacon of hope”. Mentoring programs such as the“Sacred Sewing Room”, “Stepping into the Dream”and “Capes for Kids” develop important life and coping skills.

Enchanted Makeovers

Being someone who loves to sew I just love what Enchanted Makeovers is all about. My goal is to raise $1000 for their organization by the end of July. Would you help by making a donation? Whether you can donate $5 or $50, you can make a difference in the life of women who have been told that they have little to no hope. You can help bring possibilities and confidence to someone who desperately needs it. I hope you’ll join me! Visit the Enchanted Makeovers Fundraising Page to make a tax-deductible donation today!