It may have taken me five months, but I finally found the final two chairs for my dining room table. I had been searching for something comfy and cozy, yet still wildly unexpected. I considered a few possibilities along the way, but none of them seemed right for me. That was until I stumbled upon these faux cowhide-inspired chairs from Wayfair

Comfy, yes. Cozy, yes. Wildly unexpected, you better believe it! 


I am aware that these chairs may not be for everyone. I get that. When I first opened the box, I was a bit nervous about my choice. After spending just a little time with them, however, I couldn’t be happier.

What I love most about these chairs, as pointed out by my mother, is that they make my house feel more like home. For the past five years, I’ve decorated my home as a bed and breakfast. I am now free to experiment and play with all of the fun patterns, styles, and colors that I love. When you add in elements that make you happy, it allows your home to instantly come alive. 

The details, quality, and durability of these chairs are also outstanding. And obviously, their style is unlike any other piece I could find in the market. That’s one of the things I appreciate most about Wayfair. With thousands of products, it’s likely they will have just what you need.

 Please pardon the stuff on the table. I was experimenting and couldn’t quite decide what I wanted on there, so it all stayed. It works. Kind of.

Also, without an official office in my home (coming soon), I find myself spending hours at the dining room table. It’s an excellent makeshift desk, and now I have the perfect chairs to go with it. I’m in chair heaven.

 Clearly.

So tell me, what do you think of my new seating?

Have a delightful weekend, everyone! 

 

A big thanks to the awesome folks at Wayfair for supplying me with these beautiful chairs at no cost in exchange for my review. Please note that the opinions, thoughts, and ideas listed above are my own. I really do love and recommend these products. 

It may have taken me five months, but I finally found the final two chairs for my dining room table. I had been searching for something comfy and cozy, yet still wildly unexpected. I considered a few possibilities along the way, but none of them seemed right for me. That was until I stumbled upon […]




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Posted By at 4:57 PM
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I’m so excited about today’s post! Not only is there cake involved, but I’m teaming up with one of my favorite bloggers for an amazing food styling challenge that she is hosting on her blog. Amanda of I am Baker has asked twelve amazing bloggers to bake, style, and photograph cakes – chocolate cakes to be exact. Each month Amanda is featuring a different cake and blogger. How fun is that? And guess who is Mr. March? Yours truly!



The challenge was to bake a chocolate cake, and then, spending no more than $25, buy accessories and props to style the photoshoot. Thankfully, I can say I successfully completed the challenge. But you be the judge. Head over to I am Baker to read all about my experience.


I got a little carried away and ended up taking way too many pictures, so I’m sharing some of my favorites here along with a few that weren’t featured by Amanda. I hope you enjoy them. I would love to know what you think. Don’t forget to stop by I am Baker and give Amanda some IBC love! I am so thankful and excited she asked me to be part of the challenge! 


Thanks, Amanda!




Cookies and Cream Cake

Here’s what you will need:

Cake:

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 package Oreo cookies for garnish

Let’s get baking:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans (Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper, then butter the parchment.) Lightly dust the pans with flour, shaking out the excess. Set aside. (Instead of buttering and dusting, I just used an “oil baking spray with flour.” Worked like a charm!)

Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add instant coffee granules to a cup of boiling water. Then pour the coffee into the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined. In another bowl, stir together the sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients and the melted chocolate to the dry ingredients, and using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat on medium speed for two minutes.

Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in their pans on a rack for 30 minutes. Then remove from pans and allow to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

(This recipe was doubled for this cake)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese (Use Philadelphia brand. Generic cream cheese is a no-no.)

1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

Let’s get baking:

With an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment; beat butter, salt, and cream cheese (on medium speed) until completely smooth. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and about 1 tablespoon of cream, and continue beating. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons cream until desired consistency is reached. Now you are ready to frost your cake!

After your cake is frosted, chop up some Oreo cookies into bite-sized chunks and put them on your cake. Be as fancy as you like with your decoration or keep things simple and rustic with a mound on top. 




What do you think? Who wants a piece?


I’m so excited about today’s post! Not only is there cake involved, but I’m teaming up with one of my favorite bloggers for an amazing food styling challenge that she is hosting on her blog. Amanda of I am Baker has asked twelve amazing bloggers to bake, style, and photograph cakes – chocolate cakes to […]




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Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Chicago with my new friends at Cracker Barrel cheese for three days and be immersed in the world of cheese. I know, it sounds terrible, right? Well, since cheese is probably one of my most favorite things in the world, I went without hesitation. While I expected to have a blast, I really had no idea about all the magic that was in store for me.



Upon arrival in Chicago, I headed to the Kraft Headquarters, specifically to the research and development department for Cracker Barrel cheese. There I met up with nine amazingly talented bloggers. We learned about cheese, how it’s made, and how to taste it.


 Did you know that Cracker Barrel just won two awards at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest®? They were best in class in the medium cheddar category and second runner-up in the entire competition. Kudos to them!

That first evening we had an amazing dinner at Little Goat. This is the second restaurant created by the uber-talented Stephanie Izard. You may know her from Top Chef. I can’t begin to describe the meal and experience. It truly was beyond words. Plus, we had wine paired with every course. Does it get any better than that?

The following day was a gastronomic tour of Chicago. We began at Webster’s Wine Bar where we learned how to pair wine with cheese.  I’ve always found it interesting how wine can really bring out the flavors in food and vice versa.



After that, we hopped back on the trolley (Yes, we were taken around the city by trolley!), and headed off to Vosges Chocolates. There we paired chocolate truffles and cheese. While this may sound odd, it was pretty epic. We also had the chance to sample a chocolate bar with bacon in it. I’m fully convinced that bacon does make everything better.



Our next stop was The Haute and the Dog where I got a classic Chicago Dog, which at this point I could barely finish because I was already stuffed. I did want to point out how much I love this ginormous “Meat” mirror. It was love at first sight. This may be recreated at some point in my own house. Stay tuned. 



As if we hadn’t put enough food into our bellies, we headed back to our hotel, Public Chicago, for happy hour and a private session with our own mixologist. Swanky stuff, I’m telling you!

Following happy hour, we went to ING for dinner. This restaurant is known for its flavor-changing experience. You start your meal off eating normally. Halfway through you take this natural miracle berry that changes the way your tongue recognizes flavors. From what I understand, it makes sour things taste sweeter. It was a pretty wonderful and unique experience.

On the final day, we had an unbelievable brunch at Boarding House. Not only was the food delicious, but this place is visually stunning. The ceiling of the first floor is covered with over 6,000 wine glasses. The ceiling of the second floor is covered with over 3,000 wine bottles. I can’t begin to describe how remarkable it is.


After brunch, we had a food styling session with Laura Bednarski. We even had time to do our own food stylings. Not too shabby, right? We then had a cheese pairing session organized around the seasons, which was led by Mike Wisner of the Cracker Barrel Culinary Team.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the folks at Cracker Barrel cheese and everyone else who was involved in this incredible experience. This truly was an event I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m also happy to say that I have nine new blogger friends!


From left to right: Karly Campbell of Buns in My Oven,  Robyn Stone of Add a PinchMegan Pence of Country Cleaver Colleen Levine of Cheese + ChampagneJoanne Ozug of Fifteen Spatulas, and yours truly. In front: Courtney Whitemore of Pizzazzerie and Andrea Fellman of Savvy Sassy Moms,

Missing from the photo: Camille Styles of Camille Styles and Monique Kilgore of Divas Can Cook.


Cracker Barrel cheese was even kind enough to offer the readers of IBC a coupon for you to experience their amazing cheese at home (while supplies last). Click here for that.

And this just might be my favorite picture. Clearly Courtney and I are having a moment here. 


If you’d like to see more pictures, you can find them on Instragram. You can also find some short videos via Vine. I’m @inspiredbycharm for both applications. Most of these images and videos are in my Twitter feed as well. The photos I did not take in this post are used with permission and credited to Todd Rosenberg/Cracker Barrel.




I am part of the Cracker Barrel BlogHer Team. While, I was compensated for this post and given this fabulous all-expense-paid trip to Chicago, all of the opinions above are my own. Cracker Barrel Cheese definitely is Cheddar, Perfected.

Photography // Todd Rosenburg for Cracker Barrel 

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Chicago with my new friends at Cracker Barrel cheese for three days and be immersed in the world of cheese. I know, it sounds terrible, right? Well, since cheese is probably one of my most favorite things in the world, I went without hesitation. While […]




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interiors

Last week I showed you how I spruced up my living room with some fun new accessories. As promised, I’m back with all the details on my new air plants. (This past October I bought two and have been so happy with them, I just had to get more.) 

Air plants (a.k.a. Tillandsia or Tilly) are amazing little plants that don’t require soil or traditional watering to survive. Most have grassy or finger-like leaves through which they absorb water. To get these plants the moisture they need, you just soak them in water for about 20 minutes every week. Pretty amazing, right? I seriously need to hold myself back from buying every kind I can find. 

I’ve been purchasing my plants from Air Plant Shop. I started ordering from them for no particular reason, but I’ve been super happy with their service. Plus, they frequently have sales. 

Anyway, I labeled some pictures so you can see which plants I received. Just an FYI: you most likely won’t get an air plant that is blooming. They are also smaller than they appear online. I was surprised at first.


So those are my new little friends. Aren’t they the coolest things? I will admit they freaked me out a little at first, but now I’m totally in love and want them all over my house. 


Do you have air plants in your home? Which variety is your favorite? Tell me everything!

Last week I showed you how I spruced up my living room with some fun new accessories. As promised, I’m back with all the details on my new air plants. (This past October I bought two and have been so happy with them, I just had to get more.)  Air plants (a.k.a. Tillandsia or Tilly) […]




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Join the conversation.






travel_thumbnail_2016

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Chicago with my new friends at Cracker Barrel Cheese for three days and be immersed in the world of cheese. I know, it sounds terrible, right? Well, since cheese is probably one of my most favorite things in the world, I went without hesitation. While I expected to have a blast, I really had no idea about all the magic that was in store for me.



Upon arrival in Chicago, I headed to the Kraft Headquarters, specifically to the research and development department for Cracker Barrel Cheese. There I met up with nine amazingly talented bloggers. We learned about cheese, how it’s made, and how to taste it.


 Did you know that Cracker Barrel just won two awards at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest? They were best in class in the medium cheddar category and second runner-up in the entire competition. Kudos to them!

 

That first evening we had an amazing dinner at Little Goat. This is the second restaurant created by the uber-talented Stephanie Izard. You may know her from Top Chef. I can’t begin to describe the meal and experience. It truly was beyond words. Plus, we had wine paired with every course. Does it get any better than that?

 

The following day was a gastronomic tour of Chicago. We began at Webster’s Wine Bar where we learned how to pair wine with cheese.  I’ve always found it interesting how wine can really bring out the flavors in food and vice versa.


 

After that, we hopped back on the trolley (Yes,  we were taken around the city by trolley!), and headed off to Vosges Chocolates. There we paired chocolate truffles and cheese. While this may sound odd, it was pretty epic. We also had the chance to sample a chocolate bar with bacon in it. I’m fully convinced that bacon does make everything better.


 

Our next stop was The Haute and the Dog where I got a classic Chicago Dog, which at this point I could barely finish because I was already stuffed. I did want to point out how much I love this ginormous “Meat” mirror. It was love at first sight. This may be recreated at some point in my own house. Stay tuned. 


 

As if we hadn’t put enough food into our bellies, we headed back to our hotel, Public Chicago, for happy hour and a private session with our own mixologist. Swanky stuff, I’m telling you!

 

Following happy hour, we went to ING for dinner. This restaurant is known for its flavor-changing experience. You start your meal off eating normally. Halfway through you take this natural miracle berry that changes the way your tongue recognizes flavors. From what I understand, it makes sour things taste sweeter. It was a pretty wonderful and unique experience.

 

On the final day, we had an unbelievable brunch at Boarding House. Not only was the food delicious, but this place is visually stunning. The ceiling of the first floor is covered with over 6,000 wine glasses. The ceiling of the second floor is covered with over 3,000 wine bottles. I can’t begin to describe how remarkable it is.


 

After brunch, we had a food styling session with Laura Bednarski. We even had time to do our own food stylings. Not too shabby, right? We then had a cheese pairing session organized around the seasons, which was led by Mike Wisner of the Cracker Barrel Culinary Team.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the folks at Cracker Barrel Cheese and everyone else who was involved in this incredible experience. This truly was an event I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m also happy to say that I have nine new blogger friends!

 


From left to right: Karly Campbell of Buns in My Oven,  Robyn Stone of Add a PinchMegan Pence of Country Cleaver Colleen Levine of Cheese + ChampagneJoanne Ozug of Fifteen Spatulas, and yours truly. In front: Courtney Whitemore of Pizzazzerie and Andrea Fellman of Savvy Sassy Moms,

Missing from the photo: Camille Styles of Camille Styles and Monique Kilgore of Divas Can Cook.

 

Cracker Barrel Cheese was even kind enough to offer the readers of IBC a coupon for you to experience their amazing cheese at home. Click here for that.

 

And this just might be my favorite picture. Clearly Courtney and I are having a moment here. 


If you’d like to see more pictures, you can find them on Instragram. You can also find some short videos via Vine. I’m @inspiredbycharm for both applications. Most of these images and videos are in my Twitter feed as well.


 


I am part of the Cracker Barrel Blogger Team. While, I was compensated for this post and given this fabulous all-expense-paid trip to Chicago, all of the opinions above are my own. Cracker Barrel Cheese definitely is Cheddar, Perfected.

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Chicago with my new friends at Cracker Barrel Cheese for three days and be immersed in the world of cheese. I know, it sounds terrible, right? Well, since cheese is probably one of my most favorite things in the world, I went without hesitation. While […]




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Posted By at 4:24 PM
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Weekend Wanderlust No. 8

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Celebrate – This weekend I was so excited to spend some much needed time with friends. We decided to attend comedy night at a local winery. Ha-larious! 


Drink – Later that night, I did my first official Irish Car Bomb. I suppose at the age of 29, that’s something I should have done a while ago. Although it was okay, I can’t say I will be doing a lot more in the future. Have you ever done one?

Relax – This Sunday I was truly tempted to join my cats on their day long nap-fest. They generally sleep a lot, but I think they know when it’s Sunday because they barely move. More power to them.


Party – I’m totally in love with this “Treat yo self” banner. You watch Parks and Recreation, right? Probably my favorite show on TV. If not, watch this little video clip to understand why I’m loving this so much.


Advice – The other day I stumbled upon this quote. It’s a nice reminder of how incredibly important it is to cut ourselves some slack sometimes, and to forgive ourselves for mistakes we’ve made on this journey. Let it go and enjoy the ride, right?

Paint – Speaking of love, how awesome is this aqua light fixture? It adds so much interest and life to the space, not to mention a splash of color. It kind of reminds me of Kate’s (of Centsational Girl) light fixture in her daughter’s room. A quick coat of spray paint can make an amazing difference. 


Design – Isn’t this plate wall (and the entire space) marvelous? I mean, seriously what a genius idea! This is an excellent example of taking a somewhat-dated concept and bringing it back to life in a completely wonderful and modern way.

Network – I was super excited when my new business cards arrived on Saturday. They are fabulous! I decided to go with a round card and I’m so glad I did. The cards were designed by the uber-talented Bethany of B*Spoke Studio.


Decorate – Last week I had a few new pieces of furniture delivered to my house – two chairs and a cabinet. The cabinet is beyond perfect. The chairs, on the other hand, are a bit riskier, but I’m crazy about them. I can’t wait to show you!


Hope you had an inspired weekend. What new things did you find or do?



Celebrate – This weekend I was so excited to spend some much needed time with friends. We decided to attend comedy night at a local winery. Ha-larious!  Drink – Later that night, I did my first official Irish Car Bomb. I suppose at the age of 29, that’s something I should have done a while […]




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rupaul1

Lessons From: Amy PoehlerAdeleZooey DeschanelOprahJimmy BuffetAmy Poehler (Part 2)RuPaul, Tina Fey

Lessons From: Amy Poehler, Adele, Zooey Deschanel, Oprah, Jimmy Buffet, Amy Poehler (Part 2), RuPaul, Tina Fey




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interiors

Thank you so much for all the shelf love the past few days. I’m glad you all are liking it. I have a feeling I will be playing around with them over and over again. Design is a journey, not a destination. 


Anyway, I wanted to share some of the other fabulous Threshold finds that I added to the rest of the space. Can you spot any?


First, I wanted another table lamp for this room. As much as I love my overhead light, I actually tend to prefer using table lamps verse overhead lights. If you need a table lamp and love making your own combination of base and shade, head to Target. The Threshold collection is particularly awesome. It even has a little size guide to tell you which base first which shade. So smart!


To tie in some of the wood elements, I found modern tripod-inspired wood based. I paired it with a gray herringbone shade. The combination looks perfect. It also add a touch of masculine energy to the room.


You’ll may have also noticed a few new things in the background.



I feel in love with these glass terrariums and their little black boxes. These are probably one of my most favorite purchases for quite some time. 


I just added a few black stones, also from Threshold, and tucked in a couple of my new air plants (more details on those coming soon).  Super simple. 


 I thought about planting some succulents inside of them, but I always have the worst luck with those things. Moisture builds up in the jar, the plants die, and they are a pain to keep clean and looking fresh. In my opinion air plants are the way to go.

So that’s it, a little living room update. What do you think? It’s still a work in progress. I need something for the windows. I have a few blank walls that are in some serious need of art or decorating. I also need to do something about that dresser I showed you last week. Yikes. But progress is progress and I am well on my way.

A big thanks to the awesome folks at Target for supplying me with these beautiful Threshold products at no cost in exchange for my review. Please note that the opinions, thoughts and ideas listed above are my own. I really do love and recommend these products. 

Thank you so much for all the shelf love the past few days. I’m glad you all are liking it. I have a feeling I will be playing around with them over and over again. Design is a journey, not a destination.  Anyway, I wanted to share some of the other fabulous Threshold finds that […]




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Apparently it’s “shelf styling week” here at IBC. Who knew? I don’t question the motivation; I just go with it. I will say that it feels so-o-o good to be getting some projects checked off my list. What once was my little inn is finally feeling more like my house every day.

You remember the shelves I made in my bedroom-turned-living room, right? If not, you can read about them here. Well, I finally picked up a strip kit to contain all of the TV cables and cords. I found it at Home Depot for about $20. It works great. It’s running down the right hand side of the shelves. I also used a smaller strip along the bottom which you’ll notice in the photos below.

For now, the TV will remain on the mantel. The portion of the wall that is painted teal is actually cement blocks so drilling through it to hide the cables was not an option. 



Even though I had a lot of fun accessories and books to fill my shelves, I wanted  a little more interest and pizzazz. After creating my instant entryway last month, I knew just the place to find what I needed – the new Threshold collection at Target.  Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to go to Target, right?

What I discovered on this trip was that the Threshold line is really all around the store, not just in the home section aisle. Not only are there lamps and frames, but there are candles, beautiful vases and much, much more! Love that.

For this shelf redo, I pulled colors and materials that I was already using in my space – gold, pink, and teal. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I took my time building this shelf display and will probably continue to do so until it’s just right.


Though, I will admit I’m pretty happy with the results at this point in time. Let’s check it out.


Tada! You know me, I love color, so this display is my kind of decorating. Though, you will notice lots of white touches, too.  (Oh, and yes, I did sneak a few pieces from the Nate Berkus line into my display as well. I mean, come on, that line is fabulous.)


As I’ve seen other designers do, I decided to put all of my books in color order. Instead of hiding these beautiful covers, I wanted them on display.


To keep things looking cohesive, I pulled in both white and gold. White is a color that is found throughout my house. I use it to bring all of my rooms together. Besides, I think it adds a fresh and clean look.


I also wanted to bring in a few metallic touches. Gold was the obvious choice as my light fixture is gold. I found two beautiful Threshold frames that add the perfect touch of metallic. Now I just need to get a couple pictures for my frames. I’m thinking I can find some fun ones from my cruise


As I mentioned yesterday, when styling shelves it’s best to keep playing with the arrangement until you are happy with it. Try a variety of accessories and use things you absolutely love. In this particular instance, I grouped items with similar colors. I also kept a few empty spaces. Your eyes need a place to rest now and then as they take in all of the gorgeous details you worked so hard to create. 

So, those are my shelves. Isn’t it amazing how a little love, attention, and beautiful accessories can make all the difference? And guess what! I added a few more beautiful pieces to my living room. I’m excited to be sharing those with you tomorrow. 

What do you think of my newly styled shelves? What is your favorite Threshold piece? 

A big thanks to the awesome folks at Target for supplying me with these beautiful Threshold products at no cost in exchange for my review. Please note that the opinions, thoughts and ideas listed above are my own. I really do love and recommend these products. 

Apparently it’s “shelf styling week” here at IBC. Who knew? I don’t question the motivation; I just go with it. I will say that it feels so-o-o good to be getting some projects checked off my list. What once was my little inn is finally feeling more like my house every day.You remember the shelves […]




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interiors

My dining room shelves got a much needed makeover this past weekend. While I’ve had some random pieces on my shelves since the holidays, they just didn’t look thought out or put together.


So, this weekend I cleared the shelves and attempted to change the look. I also got some new air plants (more on those later this week) and I was excited about incorporating them as well.


I don’t know about you, but when I decorate or style shelves, a mantel, or a bookcase, it always takes multiple attempts to get things looking right. And by multiple attempts I mean dozens and dozens of tweaks over the course of at least an hour or two.


I find it best to start with a blank slate. Take everything off the shelves and dust / clean them. Then I take a moment to figure out the look I’m going for or story I want to tell. For now, I wanted something fresh and neutral with a hint of green. I then run around my house, gathering anything that I think will fit into this scheme and lay it all out on the dining room table. 



Once I have everything I could possibly need, I start filling the shelves. I can’t say I really have any particular plan when I’m doing this, I just do what I think looks good. Just take your time and have fun with it. 


Sometimes it helps to set up your shelves and walk away for a few minutes and come back and look at them again. It’s such a visually stimulating process so it helps to give your mind a break and cut the frustration. 


In the end, as long as you love it, that’s all that really matters. For more ideas, you can check out my shelves inspired by a lemonade stand and coffee bar, my Ode to Oz, or if you’re feeling seasonal, my holiday display.


What do you think of this latest look?

My dining room shelves got a much needed makeover this past weekend. While I’ve had some random pieces on my shelves since the holidays, they just didn’t look thought out or put together. So, this weekend I cleared the shelves and attempted to change the look. I also got some new air plants (more on […]




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Posted By at 4:10 PM
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Weekend Wanderlust No. 7

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Plant – I’m officially getting the spring itch. Anyone else? I noticed online that some folks in certain areas of the country are already mowing their lawns and planting flowers. I’m jealous. We just got four inches of snow this weekend with more expected today. I’m thinking winter may not end this year. Anyway, I’m happy to report that my hen and chick wall planter looks like it may have survived the winter. I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to see if it really fills out this year.


Grow – Speaking of plants, I also purchased some more air plants last week. With the success of my other little guys, I was more than happy to get some new ones. I’ll share my purchases later this week.


Watch – On Friday evening my Mom and I went to see Identity Thief. I laughed, I cried. I loved it. Plus, there was a mini-makeover in the movie. I firmly believe that if a movie has a good makeover, I’m guaranteed to love it.


Decorate – This weekend I stumbled upon these two bathrooms (left & right) via Pinterest. How cute, fun, and colorful are they! I especially love the bright bold color above the wainscoting. 


Eat – I managed to whip up a pretty good salad of mixed greens, blackberries, avocado, goat cheese and grilled chicken. Who says eating healthy can’t be delicious?


Bake – Not quite as healthy, but still fabulous and delicious. These Cinnamon-Bun Bites from Martha Stewart look amazing! They also involve yeast, so I may just have to make them for A Year of Yeast next week. What do you think?


Fly – This morning I’m getting on a plane and heading to Chicago for three days. Any folks from Chicago? I’m so excited because I’m meeting with folks at Kraft / Cracker Barrel. We will be touring, eating, and drinking all over the city. I have a feeling it’s going to be a magical three days. A gastronomical dream. Even if I do come back several pounds heavier. A boy’s gotta do what a boy’s gotta do. Right?


Celebrate – In fact, the party started on Friday when I received a ridiculous amount of cheese, spreaders, and wine. I mean, talk about heaven in a box! 


Hope you had a sunny weekend. What exciting things did you find or do?

Plant – I’m officially getting the spring itch. Anyone else? I noticed online that some folks in certain areas of the country are already mowing their lawns and planting flowers. I’m jealous. We just got four inches of snow this weekend with more expected today. I’m thinking winter may not end this year. Anyway, I’m […]




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interiors

living room 

living room 

upstairs hallway

my bedroom

my bedroom

 

my bedroom

upstair hallway

 future office or guest bedroom 

downstairs hallway

kitchen

 

kitchen

dining room

 gift shoppe or future studio / office

 gift shoppe or future studio / office

Yep, that’s my house. Nothing stylized. Nothing cropped out or edited. That’s it in all of it’s wonderful and messy glory. I’m calling all of the above pictures “the before,” so please don’t judge me too harshly. While there are aspects of each picture that I love, I obviously have a lot work to do. Since I’m showing you these spaces at their worst, they can only get better, right? If starting is half the battle, this is my start. I have a bedroom that I need to make “my own” rather than a space I’ve created for guests. I have a hole in my ceiling with wires hanging out. I have stacks of books that have no home, empty walls, a pink room with a black flowered border. I could go on and on.

As I alluded to on Monday, I’ve been in a bit of a rut. I’m not sure why, or how it happened, but I’m in deep. For the past couple months I’ve been in survival mode – only doing what’s necessary to get by. I go to bed, wake up the next day, and do it all over again. Of course, I’m thinking the whole time that the next day will be different. Now, I don’t really want this to be a Debbie Downer sort of post. I’m just trying to get out of this hot mess and I’m hoping this post will help in some way. Maybe not, but it’s worth a shot, right? Either way, I need to find my mojo to start creating again. I want to make this house my home and share the process with all of you.

I was talking to a friend online today, and she said, “You’re in the worst place right now.” While that may seem kind of harsh, it’s the kind of honesty I wanted and needed to hear. She went on to say, “Right now you’re climbing up hill. You gotta get to the top before you can come down. You just can’t make it a priority to pine for something you don’t have. Fill your life with things you CAN control.”

These past several months I’ve had my eyes only on the future, both personally and professionally. Instead of celebrating all the wonderful things that are right in front of me (amazing blog opportunities and partnerships, beautiful friends and family, my health and home), I’ve been obsessed, yes literally obsessed, with finding “better” things (someone to share my life with, more opportunities, fancier things). I’ve been searching for joy and happiness. Little did I know that it was literally sitting right in front of me. I have been so focused on the future that I have been ignoring all the beautiful things in my present. I stumbled across this article thanks to another friend. While the entire piece is wonderful, the final paragraph really summed up the the article beautifully. It reads, “We should base our happiness on the life we are living – on the beauty that is already ours, on desires that don’t shift from moment to moment.  We choose to find our happiness now – in life itself.  In fact, we don’t even need to ‘find’ happiness. We can be happiness. Stop searching. Stop chasing. Happiness is already here.”

I’m not sure if this post really has a point, but I thought it was only fair to explain to you where I’m at in life right now. Yes, as the pictures show, things are a bit ugly and messy. While I can’t say I’m completely out of my rut, I’m feeling a lot better than I did yesterday. I’m feeling a little more inspired. So, please stick with me.

You are all amazing, and I’m so thankful to those of you who have emailed and responded in the comments over the past few months. Without even putting this out there, you’ve realized something was different and have offered words of encouragement and support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

While attempting to get my life back in order, I’m also looking closely at IBC and where I want it to go and what I want it to be. With a new blog design (coming soon) and a switch to WordPress, I’m excited about the plethora of possibilities. Since all of you are such a huge part of this, I would really love and appreciate your feedback. What do you love about IBC? What do you dislike (please be constructive)? What do you desperately want more of? What do you miss? Seriously, tell me everything. I need a little help. We’re in this together. Please don’t make me beg.

Thank you for allowing me to share this hot mess of a post with you and for allowing me to be me, especially at times like this. You rock.

living room  living room  upstairs hallway my bedroom my bedroom   my bedroom upstair hallway  future office or guest bedroom  downstairs hallway kitchen   kitchen dining room  gift shoppe or future studio / office  gift shoppe or future studio / office Yep, that’s my house. Nothing stylized. Nothing cropped out or edited. That’s it in […]




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Posted By at 9:39 PM
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diy

Ombre Easter Eggs – the Kitchy Kitchen // Gold Leaf Easter Eggs – Sugar and Charm

Golden Marbled Eggs – She Knows // Gold Easter Egg – Studio DIY 

Dipped Eggs – Fabulous K (via Trend Hunter) // Golden Eggs – Stylizimo 


… and I’m so mad I didn’t think of it first.


Do you ever see something on Pinterest or your favorite blog and think to yourself, “This is genius. How did I not think of that?” It happens to me on a weekly, if not daily, basis. This time I’m extending a huge round of applause to all of the bloggers and other creative folks who decided to leaf, speckle, or spray Easter eggs with gold. I’m a fan. Big time.


I should also mention that I’ve been gold-crazy in general lately, so falling in love with these eggs was bound to happen. I actually just stumbled across this Nate Berkus video and it helped me put into words why I’m loving gold so much these days. Nate says, “… add metallics. I think it creates a really special moment. It feels festive year round in the home. And it feels like it just raises the sophistication level a little bit.” I love that.


What do you think of these gold eggs? Will you be giving them a try? How have you incorporated gold into your space? Tell me everything. 


Ombre Easter Eggs – the Kitchy Kitchen // Gold Leaf Easter Eggs – Sugar and Charm Golden Marbled Eggs – She Knows // Gold Easter Egg – Studio DIY  Dipped Eggs – Fabulous K (via Trend Hunter) // Golden Eggs – Stylizimo  … and I’m so mad I didn’t think of it first. Do you ever […]




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Posted By at 9:19 PM
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Plan – First, sorry for being so quiet around here these days. I’m in a bit of a rut. After I shared my big news, I’ve been struggling with how I want to move forward, where I want to take IBC, all that good stuff. Ultimately it’s a decision I need to make, but I love you and value your opinion so I asked for your input via social media today. What would you like to see on Inspired by Charm? More of … ? Less of … ? If you haven’t already done so, please share your thoughts in the comments. 


EatPost cruise, I’m attempting to be more conscious about what types of foods go into my body. Healthy is always a good option, right? On Friday, I roasted some asparagus, yellow squash, and red onions for dinner. I just drizzled all the chopped veggies with some EVOO, sprinkled on a bit of salt and pepper, and popped it in the oven at 400 degrees F until tender. It was the perfect dinner. Though, it would have been a lot healthier if I had not chased the meal with a bottle of white wine. Yes, an entire bottle. 


Watch – After dinner, my white wine and I finally watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’m not sure if it was because of the wine, but the movie was fantastic. Some of you may have seen me tweeting a few of my favorite quotes. I cried like a baby at the end, but it was the good kind of cry. The movie is definitely worth watching so be sure to check it out.


Shop – On Saturday my Mom and I did some shopping. I know I mentioned it before, but you seriously need to get to Target to check out their Threshold line and the new spring line from Nate Berkus. Fabulous stuff! I’ll be sharing my purchases soon.


Freak Out – Speaking of Nate Berkus – I instagrammed a picture of this beautiful gold-dipped bowl and tagged him in the post. Literally, an hour later he liked the post. Biggest fan-boy-freak-out moment ever. Therefore, March 9, 2013 will be officially known as “The Day Nate Berkus Liked My Instagram Post.” I should also mention that on Sunday he retweeted a tweet from Target I was tagged on. This is why I love social media. Also, did you know his show is off the air? Devastating news. Looks like I need to cross that dream off my list.


Wear – I fell in love with this look from Express. I have the button down and t-shirt, but was super disappointed that the red pants are no longer available. Now, I’m on the hunt. What do you think of bright colored pants for men?


Listen – Sunday I did a lot of lazing around. In an attempt to focus, I did take some time to listen to a few recordings of After the Jump. These are radio programs from the fabulous Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. They offer really solid advice about finding your voice, becoming your brand, and being present. The programs run about 20 – 30 minutes, but they are invaluable and free.


Snuggle – I also managed to get this admittedly adorable shot of me and Sebastian. A moment to cherish, right?

Hope you had a super weekend. What new things did you find or do?


Plan – First, sorry for being so quiet around here these days. I’m in a bit of a rut. After I shared my big news, I’ve been struggling with how I want to move forward, where I want to take IBC, all that good stuff. Ultimately it’s a decision I need to make, but I […]




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Lessons From: Amy PoehlerAdeleZooey DeschanelOprahJimmy BuffetAmy Poehler (Part 2), RuPaul

Lessons From: Amy Poehler, Adele, Zooey Deschanel, Oprah, Jimmy Buffet, Amy Poehler (Part 2), RuPaul




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life


Those of you who follow me via social media probably already know this, but last week I went on my cruise. While I made an attempt to keep things moving here on the blog, I was pretty quiet everywhere else. Thankfully, being on a ship in the middle of the ocean allowed me to turn off technology for a week. It was blissful. To be quite honest with you, I really didn’t miss it. I hardly took any pictures as well. My two sets of friends had cameras, so I just relaxed. I did manage to grab a few shots on my phone to start and end the cruise, but that’s about it. 


This was my first cruise, and it was certainly magical. Not only did we get to travel around the Caribbean, but we had stops in Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico. So much to see! Plus, we ate and drank pretty much whatever we wanted during the entire week. Talk about stuff! After all of that, I’m struggling to get back into the swing of things. Post-vacation blues, I suppose. I think we all need a week of vacation every month. Right? Who’s with me? Looking ahead, March and April are going to be busy months around here, so it’s time for me to get out of vacation mode and move forward with more new and exciting adventures. It also looks like spring is on the horizon! I was just checking the ten-day forecast, and it sounds promising. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. It’s been a long winter, and after a week in shorts, tank tops, and flip flops, I’m ready for warmer weather! 


How was your week? What’s new in your world? Are you ready for spring?


Those of you who follow me via social media probably already know this, but last week I went on my cruise. While I made an attempt to keep things moving here on the blog, I was pretty quiet everywhere else. Thankfully, being on a ship in the middle of the ocean allowed me to turn […]




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Posted By at 9:41 PM
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Lessons From: Amy PoehlerAdeleZooey DeschanelOprahJimmy BuffetAmy Poehler (Part 2)RuPaul

Lessons From: Amy Poehler, Adele, Zooey Deschanel, Oprah, Jimmy Buffet, Amy Poehler (Part 2), RuPaul




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