Baking Show Inspiration.

baking inspiration at
It is rare for our family to find a T.V. show that we all enjoy watching together. With one daughter who is about to turn twelve and two sons ages six and nearly eight, their interests can be widely varied, so imagine my surprise when all six of their eyes were glued to the screen with intrigue when they found me watching the Great British Baking Show on PBS a few weeks ago.

If you’ve never seen this show, it’s just like any other competition where there is a group of people who are competing against each other by completing a series of challenges, with judges voting one person off each week until there is one winner left. Unlike American versions of this type of show, the contestants are so kind to each other! They are helpful and encouraging to one another, and they genuinely care about each other, which is so refreshing. The judges are not jerks either, offering constructive criticism when warranted and encouragement when deserved. It’s a great show for the whole family to watch and the kids just love it!

The Great British Baking Show
Last Sunday’s episode was Advanced Dough, and one of the challenges was for the contestants to make donuts. Our mouths watered as we watched each of the remaining five contestants bake up their amazing donuts, some of them looking like they just came fresh from some of the best bakeries in New York. We were inspired! After the show was over we pulled out one of our favorite recipes, Apple Cider Donuts, from my good friend Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots.
Baking inspiration at
apple cider donuts at

Luke was my assistant and we whipped up a batch of donuts, just like they did in The Great British Baking Show, well almost just like them. We did our very best and had a wonderful time together. We measured and mixed, tasted batter, and watched our donuts bake to perfection. Then we ate them for dessert!

Boy Eating a Donut
What inspires you to create? Is it something that you’ve seen, felt, heard? Is it a favorite show or a photograph you’ve seen? I’d love to hear what inspires you!

DIY Holiday Gift: Cookies in a Jar

If you are anything like me, the holiday season also means a little bit of scrambling at the last minute! I’m always a fan of easy, fun, unexpected last minute ideas for a holiday gift. And guess what? Today I have the perfect one just for you.

I give you:

Cookies in a Jar!

Here’s how you can put this simple holiday gift together in no-time.

You Will Need:

  • A large Mason Jar and lid
  • Brown Kraft Paper
  • Scissors (I used some scalloped craft paper shears)
  • Yarn
  • Cookies
Step 1

Once you bake your cookies, prep your “cookie workshop” area with jars and paper.

Step 2

Once your cookies have completely cooled, stack them in a jar until they reach the rim. Cut out a square of paper to tie around your jar lid.

Step 3

Tie the paper around the lid with your yarn. Add a fun ornament if you wish!

See how easy that is? And they look great! Not too fussy, but unexpected and thoughtful.

These also make great teacher’s gifts. Happy Holidays friends and enjoy the season!

Creative Me Linky Party.

The Southern Intitute

Hi everyone!  Welcome to the Creative Me Linky Party where you share your creative side and inspire others to be creative too!  It has been a really busy week around these parts, and I’m wondering…

Do the holidays bring out your “Creative You” or do they suck all of your creative energy?

I’m afraid I am tending towards the latter this year.  I am the craft blogger that does not have her mantle beautifully decorated (GASP!).  I haven’t made a bunch of beautiful decorations for the house, and I haven’t been baking up a storm.  I’ve been taking care of sick kids, teaching childbirth classes one night a week, trying to keep up with all of the extra practices and programs that come at this time of the year, and squeezing in Christmas shopping without the kids whenever I can.  So there hasn’t been much time to be creative.  My mantle is decorated with a string of lights haphazardly thrown over the framed picture hung over our fireplace, a lovely daily advent calender from Dayspring, and a toy Santa riding a little wooden horse.  Totally random.

But my favorite decoration on the mantle and one of my most treasured Christmas possessions is a little pink wooden tree, decorated with glitter and sequins, that my dad made for his mom when he was a little boy in Boy Scouts.  He gave it to me a few years ago, and it always sits where everyone can see it.  It’s so special to me because I know how proud he must have been when he gave her that tree and I can imagine, because I have felt this way myself, how much love filled her heart when she took it from his eager little hands.

I hope that you have one of those holiday treasures in your home.  The one that warms your heart and holds special memories for you.

This week’s featured blog is Piggy In Polka Dots who shared Bowling Cupcake Toppers… which I love!  Cupcake toppers are so much fun.  Abby had a bowling party for her 5th birthday party (before I was crafting and blogging) and I wish I would have had some of these for the cupcakes!  They are adorable.  Thanks so much for linking up with Creative Me last week, Piggy!

Now it’s your turn to share your projects with us this week!  Here are the guidelines for the Creative Me link up, I’d love it if you’d play along nicely. :)
  1. Follow The Southern Institute and display the Creative Me button somewhere in your post or on your blog.  
  2. Don’t have anything new?  Show us something from your archives…old to you is new to us!  
  3. You can link up as many things as you’d like, the more the better your chances of being the featured link next week!  
  4. Visit at least two other blogs and leave some comment love.  We are a community that supports one another, right? Right?
  5. You can link up your shops as long as you sell handmade goods.  (I also have advertising and sponsored posts available here on the blog if you’re interested.)

Don’t forget to grab and proudly display the “featured” button if you’re project has been featured at The Southern Institute.

The Southern Intitute

Have a great week!  Don’t get too stressed out with the business of the season, and when you feel like you need a place to relax, come by The Southern Institute and pay me a visit!