The Southern Institute Community: Join the Discussion!

Join the discussion at The Southern Institute Community :

I have some ideas for this space that I call The Southern Institute. As the years have passed since I started this blog, I have changed and grown and so has this place. It’s just like life isn’t it? We don’t stay the same. We learn and we change our minds about things… we adopt new practices and habits in our lives and we want to talk about them with our friends! We want to share. We want community!

A dear blogging friend has encouraged me to start a group for all of us to come to; a place where students of life and creativity can connect and further discuss things like:

*what we are doing creatively
*health topics like essential oils and cooking healthy meals for our families
*parenting and motherhood
*taking care of ourselves

Basically everything that The Southern Institute is about and whatever else you have on your mind!

I’m calling it (drumroll please…) The Southern Institute Community! It will be a place where we can be free to talk like we would if we were all meeting in my living room over a cup of coffee.

I hope you’ll join me there, because I know how wonderful true, supportive community is. Click through either of the links in this post and request to be added…I’ll add you as soon as I see your request. Let’s make The Southern Institute Community a place that we can call our little home away from home.

Craftsy. Learn It. Make It.

This post contains affiliate links.

Craftsy is one of the greatest resources that us creatives have at our disposal.  I know you’ve seen their logo around the internet, but have you tried one of their classes?  If you haven’t I urge you to!  With several free classes to choose from, what have you got to lose?

What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more. 

Craftsy Logo  

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a CraftsyClass
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience. 

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting. 


What IS the Craftsy experience? 
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right. 

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee. 

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.

Frozen Chicken Soup.


Hello everyone! It’s Tiffany from The Nesting Project here to address an important issue in the month of January and during flu season: homemade chicken soup.  The unfortunate thing about homemade chicken soup is that when you need it your are usually least likely to feel like making it. So I’m going to share a process that I’ve come up with that helps me make sure I always have some on hand for my family or even care packages for friends who end up needing a little extra food TLC.

One of my favorite things to freeze soups and purees in is Mason jars. While I love canning I rarely need to do that when I can just stick it in the freezer. I did this for all the baby food I made for my daughter this year. I would just freeze it in Mason jars and then defrost it one at a time. The trick to doing this is make sure you leave room at the top (I leave about an inch). Another good thing about this is that when I make soups I always have so much left over and we rarely finish it all even when I try. So instead of having to throw it away I fill up Mason jars and then we have it for another meal the next week. Another way I use this? Tomato sauce. I make a large batch and fill up Mason jars and I have fresh tomato sauce all month.

Now back to my chicken soup. Whenever I roast a chicken or during a busy week get a rotisserie chicken I never throw away the bones. Usually there is plenty of bits of chicken left that make the perfect addition for chicken soup. To make this less time consuming I add chicken stock to it and the pasta into the soup instead of cooking it before. Everything goes in the pot and simmers for a couple of hours and then I have chicken soup for dinner or in mason jars as insurance against a cold.

It’s definitely one of those pantry staples you should try to have on hand for you or your loved ones.


Chicken Soup

Bones from 1 leftover roasted chicken

3 medium sliced carrots

3 medium stalks of celery chopped

1/2 of a medium onion chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

6 cups water

6 cups chicken stock

6 oz Rotini pasta (roughly 1/2 a box)

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste


In a stockpot add the olive oil, onion and garlic and cook on medium-high until translucent. Add the celery and carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and water. Then add the chicken bones along with the Italian Season. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1.5 to 2 hours. During the last 30 minutes take out the bones and clean any chicken meat off and put into the soup. Then add the pasta and finish cooking until it’s al dente.

Let cool and put into sterilized Mason jars while leaving at least an inch at the top. Add the tops and put in freezer.