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!

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.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Create With 8 Contest.

Looking for something to do this weekend?  How about joining in on the fun and entering Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Create With 8 Contest?  Did you know that it’s National Craft Month?  Well, Jo-Ann’s is on a mission to show the world that creativity does not have to be complicated and their doing it with their Creativity Made Simple campaign.

Being creative doesn’t require a box full of supplies and hours of your time!  We want you to rediscover your creative side.  Here’s how the contest works:

  • Grab the 40% off coupon below.
  • Go to your local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store and find 8 supplies to create a fun and simple craft for the chance to win $1000 in Jo-Ann’s gift cards! (See here for the guidelines)
  • The contest is open through March 31st.
  • There are two ways to win and four $250 gift cards are up for grabs!
  • Two winners are selected by a panel of Jo-Ann expert judges.
  • Two winners are selected by popular vote on Facebook, so SHARE, SHARE, SHARE your craft!!
I just visited the Facebook page and viewed the entries so far and there are not that many yet.  You all totally can do this!  We were just chatting on The Southern Institute Facebook page about the projects that you have been working on this week… I know that you have some awesome ideas for this contest!  What do you think you’ll create?  I’d love to hear that one of you won one of the $250 gift cards!  Have fun and good luck!

I have not been paid by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores to write this post.