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For over five years now, I’ve been using Google Reader as my place to read blogs. I follow over 200 blogs (that’s way too many), and it has made my life so simple. It’s become a part of my daily routine. For those of you who have no idea what Google Reader, it’s simply a website where you can subscribe to all of your favorite blogs and it delivers them to you in one place. Pretty amazing, right? Well, it was. As some of you may be aware Google Reader is retiring on July 1. Yikes.

So for those of you reading this post on Google Reader, I want to offer you some alternatives. And for folks who want an easier way to follow all of the blogs you love, I’d  also like to give you some options.

Personally, I am devoting my love and recommendation to Feedly. It easily imported all of the blogs I follow to its platform. The layout is really clean and simple. You can read full posts. Plus, there’s an app for my iPhone and iPad. Sold!

I’ve also heard fabulous things about BlogLovin’ so you may want to check it out if that’s your cup of tea. You can also check out Flipboard, which I believe is a Mac-specific app. I really know nothing about it; I’ve just heard it pop up a few times in conversations.

Last, but certainly not least, if you don’t follow a lot of blogs, or just want to know when I post, you can subscribe to IBC directly. You can enter your email address and you’ll receive an email each day with the latest IBC post. So fabulous! There are also links in the sidebar and below each post to subscribe by email if you wish to do so.

Subscribe to IBC

And you can stay in touch via social media. I usually share post information there as well. You can find IBC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

I’m curious, now that Google Reader is going away, what platform will you use to follow your favorite blogs? Let me know in the comments.

Hope you are all having a splendid weekend!

 

For over five years now, I’ve been using Google Reader as my place to read blogs. I follow over 200 blogs (that’s way too many), and it has made my life so simple. It’s become a part of my daily routine. For those of you who have no idea what Google Reader, it’s simply a […]




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Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

I know I just shared pictures of my dining room a week ago, but this time the table is set. And if I say so myself, it looks pretty darn amazing. So I thought you’d want to see it. Plus, I have lots of other fun finds to share with you about how it all came together. Ready?

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

First off, as I mentioned last week, I finally got some white dinnerware. Better Homes and Gardens just launched a line of porcelain dinnerware and serveware at Walmart. The quality is impressive and the price is fantastic, too.

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

I got the standard round set which includes 16 pieces (four place settings) for just under $40. There are also square settings, soft square settings, and ribbed settings. And they have some great pieces of coordinating serveware! I don’t have any yet because they aren’t available online or at my local Walmart. I’m on the hunt for them, though.

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Anyway, I’m crazy about my new dinnerware! I’ve been wanting some basic white plates for the longest time. They work beautifully with everything! You can dress them up or down, and food always looks so impressive on a white plate.

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Aren’t they lovely?

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

You might also have noticed some other goodies! I found some different chairs at HomeGoods for the head of my table. I’m just testing them out at the moment. I like them because they are lighter and more airy than my current ones. They also make the space look bigger and more open. What do you think? Do you like the look? Or do you miss the cowhide?

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

I also did some antiquing yesterday. I came across this antique wood-tray-thingy. (Yes, that’s the technical term.) I’m not sure what it is, but it makes a great statement in the center of the table. Right now I’m building a little centerpiece around it. If I were serving food, especially hot food, it could also work a trivet of sorts. It was $15. What a deal!

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

I also picked up this amazing blanket. It was $16. I am absolutely obsessed with Navajo-inspired things these days. As soon as I saw it, I knew it needed to come home with me. Aren’t the colors brilliant! It’s not in the best shape, but for $16, I’m okay with that. Plus, I think the worn spots give it character and a story.

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

The rest of the items on the table are things I already had around my house.  (Which means you may see some familiar items too.) That’s the part I love about decorating and setting a table. Over the years, I’ve purchased little trinkets and treasures that I love, and then one day l get to use them in unexpected ways.

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Each piece has a little story to tell. And while I’ve kept with a somewhat similar color palate, it’s quite the eclectic mix of items. I found the little crock-style pots at HomeGoods. The gold flateware is from here. The glassware is from here.

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

At each place setting, there is a little Weck Jar filled with herbs (mostly mint). I thought this was a cute idea if guests want to add some fresh herbs to their drink or meal. I also like the fact that each guest has something of his/her own. The jar could even be a fun party favor.

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

And that’s it, folks. My latest tablescape. What do you think? What’s your favorite piece or idea-to-steal?

Table Setting with Inspired by Charm

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! And don’t forget to check out the new collection from BHG next time you’re at Walmart!

 

 

A big thanks to my friends at BHG for providing me with my new dinnerware. As always all the opinions, thoughts, and ideas listed above are my own.

I know I just shared pictures of my dining room a week ago, but this time the table is set. And if I say so myself, it looks pretty darn amazing. So I thought you’d want to see it. Plus, I have lots of other fun finds to share with you about how it all […]




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All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

 

Can I share a secret with you? I’ve never made a pie crust from scratch. Never. I think I’ve had a fear of it similar to my previous fear of yeast. I think my fear might stem from the fact that it took my mom a few attempts to learn how to make pie crust like my grandma’s. Mom still gets teased about it to this day. Though, I will say, at this point, my mom’s pie dough is pure perfection and I would happily eat any pie she prepared.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

Though technically not a pie, I can officially say I conquered my fear with this fabulous crostata. And what better way to do it than a classic apple filling. There is something quintessentially American about pie, especially apple pie. With Independence Day just around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect treat for an impromptu porch party. Don’t you think?

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

My favorite part about this particular crostata is the cheddar crust. Apples and cheese are a match made in heaven. Plus, cheese is an American favorite. Cheese and apple pie are so deeply ingrained in our culture that some people can’t picture life without them! Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get what I mean. Anyway, cheese and apple pie are the perfect combination for a Fourth of July celebration. Plus, this recipe is as easy as … well … pie!

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart. (Thanks, Martha!) You can check it out here. I adapted it slightly to suit my needs. The pie dough comes together in a food processor, which makes it almost foolproof. I also opted to use Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese because I wanted to be able to see specks of orange in the crust. Plus, this particular cheese is so amazingly rich, creamy, and delicious – it was a perfect addition.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

IMG_9676All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

I know that some of you may be thinking that cheese is a weird addition to pie, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. It’s pretty subtle, but it adds a really unique depth of flavor to the dessert. It’s quite wonderful. And to make things even better, your guests will think you are pretty fancy for having cheese baked into your homemade crust.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All right, enough chit chat, time to bake!

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust

Here’s what you’ll need:

For The Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for surface
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1 cup shredded Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

For The Filling
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot preserves, warmed

Let’s get baking!

Pulse flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/4 cup water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. (I ended up using almost ½ cup of the water) Add cheese; pulse until combined.

Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to overnight. (You can freeze your other disk of dough for up to one month.) Roll out dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Toss together apples, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold edges in to form a crust; brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar (I didn’t have sanding sugar, so I just used standard sugar. I also sprinkle a little cinnamon on the top of the crostata.)

Refrigerate until edges are firm, about 30 minutes. Bake crostata until apples are tender and crust is golden, about 1 hour 20 minutes. (Mine baked for about 1 hour. I also covered it with a piece of aluminum foil about 40 minutes into the baking to prevent any burning.) Let cool slightly. Brush apples with apricot preserves.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

That’s it! As you can see, the recipe is fairly straightforward and simple. Be sure to factor in your dough cooling times. They may seem silly, but they are important. While, I’m no pie crust expert, I think my mom would be proud of how well I did on my first attempt.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

Now, I’m off to dig into this new American classic! What do you think of crostata? Will you be adding some cheddar to your piecrust?

 

  Can I share a secret with you? I’ve never made a pie crust from scratch. Never. I think I’ve had a fear of it similar to my previous fear of yeast. I think my fear might stem from the fact that it took my mom a few attempts to learn how to make pie […]




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Chunky Guacamole via Inspired by Charm

Okay, this somehow turned into food week here at IBC. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but don’t worry. I have some fun design / home posts planned for next week. – stay tuned.

Hump Day Giveaway via Inspired by Charm

A couple weeks ago, my mom told me about a new bookazine that she picked up at the store. (A bookazine is a magazine that is basically a book. There are no ads so it’s a bit more expensive [but totally worth it].). The bookazine she bought is Cook’s Secrets, one of BHG’s special interest publications. I had a chance to flip through it at her house and was instantly obsessed. As the title suggests, it’s full of fabulous secrets to make the foods you love taste better, look prettier, and be less work in the kitchen.

Hump Day Giveaway via Inspired by Charm

There are tips on how to make the best potato salad, boil the perfect egg, and make a velvety crack-free cheese cake. The list goes on and on. The bookazine also provides all sorts of useful culinary information such as picking the right kitchen knives and what type of salt to use with what foods / recipes. In my opinion, it’s a great publication and totally worth every penny.

Hump Day Giveaway via Inspired by Charm

My mom and I even tested two of the recipes. She made the Asiago-Artichoke Dip and I tackled the classic, yet wonderfully delicious guacamole. In fact, that’s what I had for dinner last night. Today, I’m going to share the guacamole recipe and then once I get a chance to make the Asiago-Artichoke Dip, I will share that with you. It’s pretty amazing. Well, both of them are pretty amazing.

Chunky Guacamole via Inspired by Charm

The key to excellent guacamole is really fresh ingredients. Obviously, since it is the main ingredient, a ripe avocado is very important. Ripe avocados are heavy for their size and feel soft under gentle palm pressure. Beyond that, everyone has their own way of making guacamole. Personally, I like mine on the chunky side, so this recipe is perfection to me. I also turned up the heat a little bit by adding some fresh jalapeño.

Chunky Guacamole via Inspired by Charm

Okay, enough chatter, let’s get cookin’!

Chunky Guacamole

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and coarsely mashed.
2 medium roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 of a small red onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice (typically one lime)
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Tortilla or pita chips for serving

Let’s get mixin’!

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, garlic, lime juice, jalapeño, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Gently stir in the mashed avocados.

Serve immediately or cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for up to 8 hours. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Easy and delicious, right?

Chunky Guacamole via Inspired by Charm

Being such a huge fan of this bookazine, I wanted to be able to share several copies with you. I made a few calls and got my friends at BHG to send me three copies to give away here on IBC! Woot, woot!
Hump Day Giveaway via Inspired by Charm
So today, I am giving away a copy of BHG’s Cook’s Secrects to three lucky winners! As usual, I will be using Rafflecopter to manage this weekly giveaway because it makes the process super easy. The widget will appear below; just give it some time to load. If you want to see a video or read more about how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway, click here.

All right, let’s do this!

To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below. (Those viewing this in an email or blog reader will need to visit the actual blog post by clicking here. The widget may not appear if you are on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.) Again, please allow a few moments for it to appear. Simply answer the question in the widget to be entered to win this fabulous prize! Bonus entries are available for following along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and BlogLovin’.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While comments below are always appreciated, you must use the Rafflecopter widget above to be entered to win.

Good luck, everyone!

This giveaway is available to readers Worldwide. You must be over the age of 18 to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end Monday, July 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm EDT. The winner will be randomly selected and will be named at the top of a post. I was not compensated to host this giveaway, but the amazing folks at BHG did provide the prizes.

Okay, this somehow turned into food week here at IBC. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but don’t worry. I have some fun design / home posts planned for next week. – stay tuned. A couple weeks ago, my mom told me about a new bookazine that she picked up at the store. (A […]




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Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

Before you read this post, there are two things you should know. First, I love sangria. Second, tinto is just a fancy Spanish work for red.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get going. A few weeks ago my friends at Black Box Wines sent me two boxes of their wine. Yes, boxed wine. I know what you are thinking. Boxed wine has a bad rap.

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

Well, if there is one brand that can change your mind, it’s Black Box. Not only is it reasonably priced, it’s delicious, stays fresh for up to four weeks, and gives you four bottles in one box. Pretty amazing!

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

A couple weekends ago my brother and his family visited, so it was the perfect time to get out the Black Box Merlot and whip up a big ol’ jar of sangria! It’s entertaining at its easiest! While there are many, many, many recipes for sangria out there, nothing beats this simple, classic one. You know it’s going to be delicious every single time.

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

I picked up the glass jar at Walmart a few years ago. It was about $10, and as far as I know they still sell them. The jar is the perfect size for a big batch of sangria! It also makes entertaining a breeze. Just set out the jar with some glasses, ice, and a big ladle and your guests can easily help themselves.

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

All right, let me show you how easy it is to put this together.

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

Sangria Tinto

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 cups simple syrup*
1 box Black Box red wine (I used Merlot.)
1 1/2 cups blackberrry brandy
1 cup triple sec
1 1/2 cups orange juice
4 oranges, sliced into thin rounds
4 green apples, cored and sliced thin
4 lemons, sliced into thin rounds

Let's put it all together:

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days. Serve over ice.

*Bring 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water to a simmer over medium-high heat until sugar is completely dissolved. I usually let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes to create a thicker syrup. Allow syrup to cool completely.

Print

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

Aside from cutting up all of the fruit, this recipe is fool proof. Also, if you don’t need this much sangria, you can easily cut the recipe in half. I should warn you, however, that once you start drinking the sangria you may not be able to stop. In fact, you may end up sipping it straight from the glass jar.

Sangria Tinto via Inspired by Charm

For more information about Black Boxes Wine or to check out their full collection by clicking here.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 9.44.31 PM

Cheers to great sangria and lots of enjoyable summer parties!

How do you plan to enjoy summer entertaining and Black Box Wines ?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Black Box Wines. The opinions and text are all mine.

Before you read this post, there are two things you should know. First, I love sangria. Second, tinto is just a fancy Spanish work for red. Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get going. A few weeks ago my friends at Black Box Wines sent me two boxes of their wine. […]




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Weekend Wanderlust: No. 20 via Inspired by Charm

Have you ever had one of those weekends when you do a little bit of everything? This was that kind of weekend for me. There was swimming, antiquing, cooking, relaxing, etc. It was delightful. I was actually hoping to get a bit more work accomplished, but I’m okay with the fact that I didn’t. That’s what summer is all about, right? I’ll catch up this week.

Weekend Wanderlust: No. 20 via Inspired by Charm

Cook – I whipped up a batch of my favorite corn dip for snacking by the pool this weekend. It is one of the easiest things to make and such a crowd-pleaser!

Antique – I hit up one of my favorite local antique shops and was so excited to find this vintage thermometer. I hung it on my porch. It adds a touch of weathered charm, plus it still works!

Celebrate – My uncle (who’s often confused with Santa Claus) was up visiting this weekend. It was his birthday on Friday so we celebrated with cake. Can I tell you a little secret? Store bought vanilla birthday cake, with vanilla icing, and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream is probably one of my all time favorite things to eat. My dad’s side of the family always has it for birthdays. Not only is it delicious, but that flavor brings back many happy memories.

Weekend Wanderlust: No. 20 via Inspired by Charm

Bake – I made a ginormous cake in a jar this weekend. It was red velvet with Cool Whip frosting and fresh berries. Delicious! Stay tuned for the recipe later this week. In the meantime, you can watch my first Instagram video that shows me putting ittogether.

Weekend Wanderlust: No. 20 via Inspired by Charm

Swim – Both Saturday and Sunday were gorgeous, so I was finally able to go swimming. It was a great way to cool down, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Weekend Wanderlust: No. 20 via Inspired by Charm

Soak – My brother’s wife made a batch of rummy worms on Saturday. Have you had them? They are so yummy! Basically you just pour some rum (or vodka) on gummy worms (or gummy bears) and let them set for a day. (Oh, I should mention these are obviously for adults only.) They are a fun and unexpected treat for parties

Weekend Wanderlust: No. 20 via Inspired by Charm

Surprise – I was whipping up my corn dip on Saturday morning when I received a message on my IBC Facebook page with a picture telling me I was in the July issue of Better Homes and Gardens! Let me tell you, I nearly lost it. I had no idea! I recently put together a shopping guide for them based on my Dream Buick Encore Design and it was featured / mentioned toward the back of the magazine. Talk about an amazing surprise and a dream come true. My face in Better Homes and Gardens! I’m still in shock. If you have the issue, be sure to check it out.

That was about all the excitement I could handle for one weekend. What sort of fun activities did you get into?

Have you ever had one of those weekends when you do a little bit of everything? This was that kind of weekend for me. There was swimming, antiquing, cooking, relaxing, etc. It was delightful. I was actually hoping to get a bit more work accomplished, but I’m okay with the fact that I didn’t. That’s […]




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Spike Strawberry Lemonade with Inspired by Charm #DrinkandLinks

Holy Bananas! It’s already Friday again. I have this nagging feeling that summer is going to go by so quickly this year.  Anyone else? Why does summer seem to fly by when winter seems to drag on? I wish it were the other way around.

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade with Inspired by Charm #DrinkandLinks

Anyway, today’s drink happened by accident. A few weeks ago I was at the liquour store and saw a fun-looking pink bottle. To me, It’s exciting to try new things so I picked it up. It’s called Sweet Revenge and the flavor is sour strawberry; basically fresh strawberries and citrus.

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade with Inspired by Charm #DrinkandLinks

The other night my friend Krista (the one that’s moving back to town) somehow got talking about it and she told me an amazing recipe to try. Just mix the Sweet Revenge with lemonade and strawberry puree.

So the following day, I whipped one up! Let me tell you, it’s pretty darn fantastic! If summer had a drink, this may be it!  It’s light, fruity, tart, and incredibly refreshing!

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade

serves 1

Here's what you will need:
1 ounce strawberry puree*
2 ounces Sweet Revenge
4 ounces lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade.)

Fill a glass with ice. The add the strawberry puree, Sweet Revenge, and lemonade. Stir to mix. Garnish with a fresh strawberry, lemon wheel, and a cute straw!

*To make strawberry puree, just throw some fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor and pulse until they become a liquid.

Print

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade with Inspired by Charm #DrinkandLinks

This could also be a fun drink to serve in one of those big drink dispensers or even as a punch with big scoops of lemon sherbet floating in it. Talk about yum!

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade with Inspired by Charm #DrinkandLinks

All right, let’s check out this week’s links:

Cheers to these Awesome People:

I hate how much I love the new Miley Cyrus song.

I don’t watch The Voice, but I’ve been playing Danielle Bradbery’s cover of Maybe It Was Memphis on repeat.

This outdoor design / buffet created by Sugar and Charm is gorgeous!

10 Ways to Strengthen Self-Work via The Simply Luxurious Life.

10 amazing life lessons you can learn from Albert Einstein

I just love Fifteen Spatulas YouTube videos. Do yourself a favor and check out her channel!

I assume you’ve heard Instagram has a video feature now. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. What do you think? Also, did you know you could check out people’s Instagram photos online. No smart phone required.

Don’t forget to enter this week’s Hump Day Giveaway! I mean, who doesn’t want Washi Tape?

Um, these classical sculptures dressed like hipsters made my day!

I’m currently reading this. It is a super simple read, but the advice is priceless.

 

Spiked Strawberry Lemonade with Inspired by Charm #DrinkandLinks

I hope all of you have a fabulous weekend! The weather is supposed to be pretty nice around these parts so I’m hoping to enjoy some time at the pool. What about you?

Holy Bananas! It’s already Friday again. I have this nagging feeling that summer is going to go by so quickly this year.  Anyone else? Why does summer seem to fly by when winter seems to drag on? I wish it were the other way around. Anyway, today’s drink happened by accident. A few weeks ago […]




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A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

For the past few weeks, my dining room has been a magnet for anything in my life without a specified place – books, glasses, mail, DIY projects, etc. I think most folks’ dining rooms go through this phase, right? Well, today I got the motivation to turn it back into a functioning dining room and get it ready for impromptu summer guests and parties. (Have I told you that my real-life BFF is moving back to town in less than a week? I am beyond thrilled!)

I also have been wanting a set of white porcelain dishes. I love my Fiestaware, but there’s nothing better than a set of white plates. I love both the look and the price of BHG’s new white dinnerware (at Walmart, no less), so I picked up four sets. I’m so pleased with it. I also got my hands on some of the new FEED line from Target. Loving the white canisters with wood lids. But more on those things next week. Anyway, I’m so happy to have my dining room cleared and ready for parties with my friends!

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

IMG_0441

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

A Summer Dining Room | Inspired by Charm

What do you think of my space?

For the past few weeks, my dining room has been a magnet for anything in my life without a specified place – books, glasses, mail, DIY projects, etc. I think most folks’ dining rooms go through this phase, right? Well, today I got the motivation to turn it back into a functioning dining room and […]




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Wishy Washi Tape Hump Day Giveaway via Inspired by Charm

Happy Hump Day everyone! I’m back with another fabulous giveaway. This is for all your crafty folks out there. I’m a huge fan of washi tape. I have a tiny little collection and I’m always adding random pieces of tape to mail, cards and packages. It just gives things that extra special touch. It’s all in the details.

Today I want to welcome and introduce you to one of my favorite sources for washi tape, Wishy Washi Tape.

Dreaming of cute packages and crafty goodies?  Look no further!  Bringing you the best in washi tape designs, Wishy Washi Tape is rockin’ in the selection department.  There’s always something new to be found even if you’re crafting is on a budget. Wishy Washi is even one of the few US companies that carries the original Japanese “mt kamoi” brand.

Wishy Washi Tape Hump Day Giveaway via Inspired by Charm

Today, Wishy Washi tape has a fabulous giveaway for the readers of IBC! This giveaway includes a set of four gold metallic rolls, one floral roll, a set of page flags (to help you get organized!) and one of the cutest tape dispensers I’ve ever seen!  Seriously, this tape dispenser is a polar bear!

As usual, I will be using Rafflecopter to manage this weekly giveaway because it makes the process super easy. The widget will appear below; just give it some time to load. If you want to see a video or read more about how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway, click here.

All right, let’s do this!

To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below. (Those viewing this in an email or blog reader will need to visit the actual blog post by clicking here. The widget may not appear if you are on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.) Again, please allow a few moments for it to appear. Simply answer the question in the widget to be entered to win this fabulous prize! Bonus entries are available for following along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and BlogLovin’.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While comments below are always appreciated, you must use the Rafflecopter widget above to be entered to win.

Don’t forget to get social with Wishy Washi Tape.  You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Good luck, everyone!

This giveaway is available to readers in the United State. You must be over the age of 18 to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end Monday, June 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm EDT. The winner will be randomly selected and will be named at the top of a post. I was not compensated to host this giveaway, but the amazing Wish Washi Tape did provide the prizes.

Happy Hump Day everyone! I’m back with another fabulous giveaway. This is for all your crafty folks out there. I’m a huge fan of washi tape. I have a tiny little collection and I’m always adding random pieces of tape to mail, cards and packages. It just gives things that extra special touch. It’s all […]




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Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

I figured it was time for another “Where Are They Now” post. You may remember that last year I made some outdoor shelves. Then, I turned one of those shelves into a vertical wall planter for some hens and chicks. It started off pretty slowly. Okay, really slowly. When this puppy first started. I just had a few little baby chicks from my brother’s driveway.

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

Anyway, during this last year I added a few more plants to fill things out. By the fall, it was getting slightly fuller. I left the planter hanging in that very spot all winter. Hens and chicks, unlike most succulents, can survive very cold weather. Still, I was a bit nervous about whether these would actually come back.

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

Well, I have good news. Not only did they come back, but they are thriving.

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

And I mean thriving, They are unbelievably-ginormous-growing-out-of-the-planter thriving. Seriously, who would have thought!?

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

I did give them a couple good doses of Miracle-Gro Plant Food this year. I also tucked in a little more dirt. Other than that, I’ve really done nothing to it. That’s my kind of gardening.

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I was even more thrilled to see that one of these guys was flowering. I didn’t know they did that!

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

All in all, I’m super pleased with this project. Since I still have people asking me about it, I figured a little update was necessary.

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

Some related posts: You can see how I built the outdoor shelves here; How I built the vertical planter; How I water it; And a little update on how it looked this past spring.

Hens and Chicks Wall Planter via Inspired by Charm

In other news, apparently I decided this would be my succulent porch. In addition to my colorful potted succulents, I just received this succulent wreath that I ordered from this Etsy shop. Isn’t it cute!? Understandably, it’s a little flat and beat up from shipping, but I think it’s perfect for the space.

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I’ve been struggling with what to hang on my front and back doors. I’ve just not been impressed with most wreath options these days so I was glad to find this happy addition to my back door. Now, I just need to tackle the front one. Any suggestions?

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That’s it for my update on the planter and my new wreath! Has anyone made a similar vertical planter? I’d love to see it!

I figured it was time for another “Where Are They Now” post. You may remember that last year I made some outdoor shelves. Then, I turned one of those shelves into a vertical wall planter for some hens and chicks. It started off pretty slowly. Okay, really slowly. When this puppy first started. I just […]




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Weekend Wanderlust via Inspired by Charm

With my brother and his family in town, I certainly had a fun weekend. Unfortunately, the weather has been unseasonably cold and rainy, but we certainly made the best of it!

Weekend Wanderlust via Inspired by Charm

Drink – On Friday, I whipped up a huge batch (four red wine bottles) of red sangria. It actually turned out really well, at least I thought so. There was such a big amount that it lasted us into Saturday where we drank it red solo cup style.

Wear – Friday, was also Flag Day, so I wore my best red,white, and blue outfit. I also got some fun new threads from Zara. They are quickly becoming my new favorite store. I just wish they had a sale or coupon every once in a while. I turn the big 3-0 this summer and I’m trying to dress a little more age-appropriate. It’s bittersweet I suppose.

Weekend Wanderlust via Inspired by Charm

Bake – I managed to successfully make a layered Jell-O Cake. (My last attempt, which I forgot to share it with you, completely fell apart.) The trick? I made sure both of my layers were completely flat by cutting off the rounded/domed parts after baking. I also froze the layers before I assembled them. It seemed to work. I also used the new Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting. It’s quite delicious! Do you know how to make a Jell-O Cake or would you like arecipe here on IBC?

Relax – On Saturday the weather was nice enough to go swimming, even though I stayed out of the water. Thankfully, my Dad has a pool at his house. It’s the perfect place to cool down and hang out in the summer.

Weekend Wanderlust via Inspired by Charm

Party – Although my Instagram feed would suggest otherwise, I only had a few glasses of sangria throughout the day on Saturday. I was just having fun! No, I wasn’t actually drinking out of the giant jar of sangria. Seriously.

Dance – The picture of me dancing on the table was just to honor a request from Ann Marie of White House Black Shutters. That table could barely hold me up.

Jump – I did, however. enjoy some time on the trampoline with my nephews and niece!

Read – Thanks to a fab suggestion from my mom, I picked up this new Special Interest Publication from BHG called Cook’s Secrets. It’s full of some really great cooking tips and lots of delicious fool-proof recipes. I’ll share more about that later this week. I may even have a few copies to give away! Stay tuned.

I hope you all had a happy weekend! What fun things did you do or find? Have a happy Monday. friends!

With my brother and his family in town, I certainly had a fun weekend. Unfortunately, the weather has been unseasonably cold and rainy, but we certainly made the best of it! Drink – On Friday, I whipped up a huge batch (four red wine bottles) of red sangria. It actually turned out really well, at […]




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Inspired by Baskets

I was completely inspired by a modern farmhouse that was pictured In the May issue of Better Homes & Gardens. The house was styled by Jill Sharp Brinson. I’ve been a huge fan of Jill and her work ever since I had the pleasure to meet her last year in Atlanta.

Inspired by Baskets

While I love so many of the home’s details, I was especially drawn to the front porch. Instead of using big planters, Jill opted for baskets. Filled mostly with greens, they added such warmth and texture and gave the space a casual, homey look.

While shopping at HomeGoods a few weeks ago I found two large baskets and a couple plastic planters that fit perfectly inside. I immediately thought of Jill’s work and just had to bring them home with me. Using a drill, bricks, potting soil, plus some gorgeous plants, I created totally unique basket planters of my own.

Inspired by Bakets

Inspired by Baskets

You can check out all of the details (and more pretty pictures) of how I put these together on DesignHappy, HomeGoods’ blog. I’ll see you there!

I was completely inspired by a modern farmhouse that was pictured In the May issue of Better Homes & Gardens. The house was styled by Jill Sharp Brinson. I’ve been a huge fan of Jill and her work ever since I had the pleasure to meet her last year in Atlanta. While I love so […]




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Strawberry and Arugula Salad

StrawberryMAIN

Nothing beats a flavorful salad on a hot summer day. But a salad that involves strawberries is even better! Today, I’m pulling recipe inspiration from one of BHG’s newest publications, Fresh. It’s a fabulous cookbook full of recipes for enjoying ingredients at their peak.

Come check out the recipe in my post over at Better Homes and Garden’s Delish Dish.  Click here for all of the yummy details!

Nothing beats a flavorful salad on a hot summer day. But a salad that involves strawberries is even better! Today, I’m pulling recipe inspiration from one of BHG’s newest publications, Fresh. It’s a fabulous cookbook full of recipes for enjoying ingredients at their peak. Come check out the recipe in my post over at Better Homes and […]




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Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

Well, my vintage food mill planter has made its yearly return. I love that I am able to consistently post about this because it is probably one of my favorite things to plant every year.

Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

This year it was pretty easy to plant since last year it got a bit of a makeover with a liner in an effort to hold in more water. All I had to do was squeeze in two plants and add some soil. So easy.

Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

Two years ago I was inspired to create the food mill planter from this post on Design*Sponge. Just a few days ago I saw the image pop up on Pinterest. It’s funny how great ideas keep circling around.

Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

Anyway, this year I took a new approach and planted some different plants in my food mill. The purple plant is called Purple Passion or Velvet Plant. It’s actually an indoor plant, so I’ll be able to bring it inside at the end of summer. Love that! According to my mom, it should flower as well.

Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

The other plant is called Fiber Optic Grass. Isn’t it the coolest?! It really does remind me of fiber optics or fireworks. My dad and his wife picked up four of them for me at a nearby greenhouse. They know exactly what I love. Thanks, Dad!

Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

IMG_9833Food Mill Planter via Inspired by Charm

I think it turned out pretty cute! What do you think? What odd or vintage things do you like to plant in?

 

Well, my vintage food mill planter has made its yearly return. I love that I am able to consistently post about this because it is probably one of my favorite things to plant every year. This year it was pretty easy to plant since last year it got a bit of a makeover with a […]




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We Rebuild

As I mentioned yesterday, last Thursday I joined my friends from BHG and hundreds of volunteers from the Meredith Corporation, Lowes, Rebuilding Together, and Crate and Barrel to work on rebuilding a community devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Our efforts were focused on several homes in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn.

It was such a joy and honor to be able to assist these families who so deserved and appreciated the help.

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After several inspiring and motivating speeches. we got to work. Split up in teams, our focus was a house located on Melba Court where the homeowners Dominic and Susan also pitched in! At this particular site, the volunteers rebuilt a garden, added a fence, painted the interior, installed tile, and even sided the house. Actually, that was my project. I teamed up with Liz Frantz, BHG’s Social Media Editor and Gayle Butler, the Editor-in-Chief to put new siding on the house. It was hard work, but we had a blast. It was a huge honor to work beside these talented and giving ladies.

We Rebuild

At the end of the day, the place was truly starting to come together. It was quite magical. It began to look like a home again.

Once the project is completely finished, I’ll be sure toshare more photos. You may even see the space in the pages of BHG Magazine.

If you are interested in helping this cause, enter BHG’s Pin-a-Thon via the link below and pin items on your summer wish list from shopBHG.com. BHG will donate $2 for each entry, up to $10,000! Click here to enter.

If you’d like to learn more about the Gerritsen Beach project, visit WeRebuild.com. I’m so grateful to the BHG team and Rebuilding Together for allowing me to be part of this amazing opportunity. It’s something I will never forget.

As I mentioned yesterday, last Thursday I joined my friends from BHG and hundreds of volunteers from the Meredith Corporation, Lowes, Rebuilding Together, and Crate and Barrel to work on rebuilding a community devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Our efforts were focused on several homes in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn. It was such a joy and honor […]




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Weekend Wanderlust: No. 18

As much as I love to travel, Dorothy was right – there is no place like home. After a busy four days, it was great to be back at my abode, especially with some warm weather and beautiful sunshine. Here’s a little peek at what kept me busy this weekend.

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Rebuild – I was in New York City on Thursday for the We Rebuild Day. It was an incredible experience. Liz Frantz of Better Homes & Gardens wrote a beautiful article detailing the day. Click here to read it. I will be sharing my recap tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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Shop – While in NYC, I had a couple of free hours so I walked down Fifth Avenue, one of my favorite places to do a little shopping. Anytime I’m in the city, I like to hit up a few of my favorite shops to do some clothes shopping. Two of my favorites are Zara and H&M. This trip I discovered a new favorite, Joe Fresh. The colors and styles are so bright and happy and the prices are beyond reasonable. Their polo shirts were only $12! I was tempted to buy one in every color.

Read – I also picked up the new book, Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisenberger. It’s the sequel to The Devil Wear Prada. I actually never read the first book, so I’m hoping that seeing the movie will be enough to get me caught up. Does anyone know if the movie and book were similar? Either way, I think this will make the perfect summer read!

Lunch – After my time in the city, I drove up to Connecticut to spend some time with Eddie Ross. Eddie is the new East Coast Editor/Producer for Better Homes & Gardens. I’ve been a big fan of Eddie’s for quite some time so it was a joy to spend a couple days with him behind the scenes of the shoot. He was so generous and welcoming. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to share at this time because the content is a bit of a secret until it’s out in the issue. I’ll share some behind-the-scenes shots as soon as the issues are released.

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Wear – I picked up this floral shirt at Zara. I’m totally in love with it. Have you jumped on the floral bandwagon? (And sorry about the ginormous picture of my face.)

Smell – I also got my hands on the new scent from LACAOSTE. It’s called L.12.12 Noir. I’m actually super picky when it comes to cologne, but I’m loving this. I’ll be giving away two bottles of this on the blog later this week.

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Bake – After traveling for four days, I was overjoyed to be home on Sunday. I spent the day doing laundry and catching up. Thanks to some amazing advice from my mom, I whipped up a quick apple crostata. There’s nothing like baking to really make all of your senses feel instantly at home. I’ll be posting the recipe soon. And there’s a secret ingredient in the crust. Any guesses?

I hope you had a delightful weekend! What fun things did you do or find?

 

As much as I love to travel, Dorothy was right – there is no place like home. After a busy four days, it was great to be back at my abode, especially with some warm weather and beautiful sunshine. Here’s a little peek at what kept me busy this weekend. Rebuild – I was in […]




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Soulful Saturday via Inspired by Charm

 

Soulful Saturday via Inspired by Charm

 

   




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Peachy Summer Ale via Inspired by Charm #DrinksandLinks

Thank you so much for all of the porch love this week. I’m so glad you are loving my updated space as much as I am. Now I just need a few days at home to enjoy it. I’ve actually been in New York City since yesterday. You may remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was joining Better Homes and Gardens to help rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. You can read more about it here. Anyway, yesterday we spent the day rebuilding, painting, gardening, and so much more. It was amazing to see hundreds of people come together for such a worthwhile cause. I’ll give you a full recap next week.

Peachy Summer Ale via Inspired by Charm #DrinksandLinks

Today I’m renting a car here in the city and driving to Connecticut for an extra special project. I may just be crawling out of my skin with excitement. I can’t wait to share all of the details! Feel free to follow along via Instragam, Twitter, or Facebook if you want a sneak peek of what I’m up to. I’ll share full details on the blog next week as well.

While I’m out of town I thought that a delicious drink and a few inspiring links would be the perfect way to wrap up the week.

Peachy Summer Ale via Inspired by Charm #DrinksandLinks

I’m a huge Sam Adams fan, and their Summer Ale is probably one of my favorites. I’m happy to drink it straight out of the bottle. Though I recently stumbled across a fun variation I want to share. All you need is a little orange juice, some peach schnapps and a bottle of Sam Adams Summer Ale.

Peachy Summer Ale via Inspired by Charm #DrinksandLinks

Peachy Summer Ale

1 ounce peach schnapps (What’s your favorite brand?)
1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 12-counce bottle of Sam Adams Summer Ale

In a large glass, add the orange juice and peach schnapps. Then, slowly pour in the beer. Using a spoon, give the mix a quick stir.

Peachy Summer Ale via Inspired by Charm #DrinksandLinks

It’s that simple! Serve, sip, and enjoy. It’s a fun and fruity variation on one of my favorite beers!

Now let’s take a look at some of my favorite links for the week.

Peachy Summer Ale via Inspired by Charm #DrinksandLinks

Cheers to These Awesome People:

I recently discovered Gabrielle Aplin and have been totally in love with her song, “Please Don’t Say You Love Me“.

Speaking of music, have you seen the new video from She & Him (Zooey Deschanel’s musical duo)? It’s adorable.

Remember the “Ship My Pants” commercial from Kmart? Check out their new one about “Big Gas Prices.” Hilarious!

Mounds and Almond Joy are some of my favorite candy bars. This recipe for Mounds Brownies looks delicious!

Did you know that the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada came out on Tuesday? I already picked up my copy.

For my fellow introverts. Kind of funny, but totally true.

I can’t recommend this post from The Simply Luxurious Life enough – 20 Ways to Prepare for Opportunity. Inspiring!

 

My Writing, Elsewhere:

Last week on Style Spotters, things were just beachy!

These White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies from BHG are yummy! Check out the fun, patriotic twist I gave them.

Remember my Whole Wheat Pizza Dough? Did you have a chance to check out the full pizza recipe on Delish Dish?

Peachy Summer Ale via Inspired by Charm #DrinksandLinks

That’s it for this week! everyone! What’s on your agenda for the weekend? I hope it includes a LOT of fun.

Thank you so much for all of the porch love this week. I’m so glad you are loving my updated space as much as I am. Now I just need a few days at home to enjoy it. I’ve actually been in New York City since yesterday. You may remember that a few weeks ago […]




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Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

I have been obsessed with these slate boards from the Brooklyn Slate Co. quite some time. I actually discovered them via Fab.com. (You may remember seeing them in a few recent posts including this one and this one.) The Brooklyn Slate Co. is such a fantastic brand. They get all of their slate from upstate New York and transport it back to Brooklyn where they cut it, clean it, and make it food safe. Talk about American made! They’ve teamed up with Fab.com to get their products to the masses. Including me!

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

Well, with all my porch projects this week, I finally got to play around with the slate boards I bought. Today I want to share three uses for them. (You got a sneak peak at those uses earlier this week.) I’m using the 12 x 18″ board for this post, but Brooklyn Slate offers a variety of sizes. This 5 x 18″ one is on my shopping list.

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

So let me show you what I’ve come up with.

 

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

To start, I decided to use the board as a placemat. This particular size is perfect for a standard dinner plate. (Even though, I later realized there is an actual placemat board.) I’m typically using white or colorful surfaces when it comes to plating, so it was fun to mix things up with a darker color.

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Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

This charcoal black works perfectly with the bright bold colors I’ve come to love. It really makes them come alive. It makes an ideal base for starting your table setting. Even the gold flatware looks extra special.

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

I also love that you can write on the boards. How fun is that? Whether it be your guest’s name, a fun quote, or something that ties in with the theme of your dinner – the options are truly endless. Since you’re just writing with chalk, you can easily wipe it away at the end of the evening.

 

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

Now that the table is set, we need a menu. Prop up the slate on a shelf or leave it laying flat. Then, using chalk, simply jot down your menu for the evening. It doesn’t getmuch easier than that.

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

Don’t worry too much about your penmanship as long as its legible. I love the look of something done by hand. I think it has a special way of making people feel appreciated.

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

Instead of using the board for your menu, you could list the recipe for a cocktail, a special message to the party’s honoree, or a favorite quote to set the mood for the evening.

 

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

Last but not least, as I showed you Monday, the slate board works great for its intended purpose – a cheese board.

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

The cheese and its accoutrements look fabulous and rich on a black surface. As I mentioned above, the slate has a way of making colors pop!

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

Again, using the chalk, you can list the name of the cheese or recommend cheese pairings.Your guests’ questions are answered without a lot of fuss so they can focus on having a good time. More of this cheese spread can be seen here.

Slate Boards, Three Ways via Inspired by Charm

So that’s it, three fabulous uses for a slate cheese board. Which is your favorite? What other ways would you use slate boards?

Don’t forget to head on over to Fab.com to check out the full collection from Brooklyn Slate Co.

A big thanks to my friends at Fab.com for providing me with the Brooklyn Slate Co. Cheese Boards to use in my post. As always all the opinions, thoughts, and ideas listed above are my own.

I have been obsessed with these slate boards from the Brooklyn Slate Co. quite some time. I actually discovered them via Fab.com. (You may remember seeing them in a few recent posts including this one and this one.) The Brooklyn Slate Co. is such a fantastic brand. They get all of their slate from upstate New York […]




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A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

This past weekend I spent a lot of time sprucing up my little side porch for summer. I’ve been trying to get my house in order so that I’m ready for company at a moment’s notice. That way, when someone says she or he will be stopping by or just shows up on a whim, I’m not in a state of panic trying to quickly make my house, or in this case my porch, presentable.

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

I’ve recently teamed up with Lowe’s as one of their Creative Idea Bloggers and couldn’t be more excited. One of our challenges this month was to create outdoor party decor. This was the just the excuse I needed to get my porch ready for a spur-of the-moment party or get-together. I wanted party decor that would last all season. To achieve this, I added three things to my space: sparkle, color, and candlelight!

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First up, I have three plant stands that I kept them on my porch all winter long, and apparently the weather got the best of them. Covered in rust spots, they needed a good coat of paint. In past years, I used black and later white. This time around I wanted something different – something special with a little sparkle. Want to guess what color I chose?

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

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Gold, baby! Okay, I may be taking this gold thing a little too far, but I can’t tell you how much I love this transformation. A few coats of Rust-Oleum metallic gold paint did the trick! The plant stands definitely are showstoppers. Who would have imagined gold could look so great outdoors?

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

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Once my plant stands were ready, I needed some color. One of the easiest ways to add a splash of color outside is with plants! I loaded up some of my favorites and tucked them in wherever I could.

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

I love the way plants look so different throughout the course of the day. Whether it’s mid-afternoon, or just before sunset, they really make a space come alive!

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

The glider on my porch, which belonged to my grandparents, is in need of a new paint job. But to be honest, I don’t mind a few chips here and there – it adds character. I did, however, want to jazz up the seat a bit with some colorful and comfortable cushions. These striped cushions were the perfect fit!

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

Last but not least, I scattered a few citronella candles around the space. I must have sweet blood because I’m a target for mosquitoes. Anyone else? I’m hoping that these candles will keep my bug-bite free!

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

So that’s my porch, dressed and ready for a party any time of day. It’s amazing what a little sparkle, color, and candlelight can accomplish! What do you think?

A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

Join me tomorrow and Friday as I continue to share ideas for the porch, including three ways to use slate boards and a delicious new cocktail recipe!

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A Party on the Porch with Inspired by Charm

For even more ideas, visit Lowes Creative Ideas. You can also sign up to receive their free Creative Ideas Magazine, which is loaded with inspiration! There’s also a magazine app so you can have inspiration on the go! And, don’t forget to follow Lowe’s on Pinterest or on Instagram!

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I am a member of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Network (along with some other really fantastic bloggers). I did receive a Lowe’s gift card to complete my porch projects. As always all the opinions, thoughts, and idea listed above are my own.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time sprucing up my little side porch for summer. I’ve been trying to get my house in order so that I’m ready for company at a moment’s notice. That way, when someone says she or he will be stopping by or just shows up on a whim, […]




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WW17M

While I wouldn’t characterize this weekend as relaxing, I did get a few big projects crossed off my to-do list. I guess that’s a good thing, right? I’ve also been battling a weird cold of sorts. Body aches, swollen glands, exhaustion, etc. I’m not sure how a person can catch a cold when it’s 80+ degrees outside.

Weekend Wanderlust No. 17 vis Inspired by Charm

Plant – I was so excited to get all of my flowers in the ground. I love planting, so this was a fun task. For the past couple years I’ve been going with reds, oranges, and yellows for my flowers, but this season I decided to mix things up with pinks, purples, and reds. I’m loving the change. I’ll give you a little tour once things start to fill in.

Landscape – Remember last week when I loaded up my car with all of those boxwoods? Well, I also got them planted this weekend and they look great! So much cleaner and more controlled than the daylilies that had been there. Thankfully, my brother was able to use the daylilies, so no plants were lost in the making of this new space. I’m happy about that!

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Shop – Speaking of plants, this weekend I found this amazingly huge cactus at Lowes. The cactus is probably 10 – 12 inches in diameter. The yellow color is so bright and vivid, too. It had to come home with me. Now I just need to see if I can keep it alive. Any tips?

Decorate – This week is going to be unofficially known as porch week on the blog. It wasn’t planned that way, but somehow almost all of my posts were photographed on my little side porch. I guess I’m just taking advantage of any opportunity to be outside.

Fly – Momma and her babies have finally left the nest. (And with all this porch activity, it couldn’t have happened at a better time.) While I enjoyed watching them, I’m a happy empty nester. The baby birds were pretty anxious and I was nervous about scaring them off before they were ready to fly. Plus, they left quite a mess when they departed. Not so fun.

Weekend Wanderlust: No. 17 via Inspired by Charm

Watch – I did have a chance to sneak in a little R&R in hopes of banishing my cold. I think it worked. I took some time to re-watch a few of my favorite episodes of the series, Pushing Daisies. Have you seen it? I only discovered it a few years ago (after it had been cancelled), but it is quite the gem! It’s witty, beautiful, and wonderfully magical. I can’t get enough. This was one of my favorite quotes from one of the episodes I watched.

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Tweet – I was also super excited to receive a tweet from two of my favorite companies! Both Target and Sam Adams Beer responded to my tweets. I know it’s such a silly thing to get excited about, but it somehow offers just a tiny bit of praise, and we could all use some positive acknowledgment every now and then, right?

That’s it for me. How was your weekend? Laid back or full of projects? What exciting things did you do or find?

 

While I wouldn’t characterize this weekend as relaxing, I did get a few big projects crossed off my to-do list. I guess that’s a good thing, right? I’ve also been battling a weird cold of sorts. Body aches, swollen glands, exhaustion, etc. I’m not sure how a person can catch a cold when it’s 80+ […]




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Some of the best parties are just for two. Whether you are planning a get-together with your someone special or an afternoon chat with an old friend, having a snack on hand is a must. Setting it up beautifully on your porch on a warm summer day makes it even better. Here is my recipe for a quick, easy, and gorgeous cheese party for two.

A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm

First up, the snack. Naturally, cheese is what comes to mind. The Extra Sharp Cheddar from Cracker Barrel is one of my favorite go-to cheeses. Its rich, full flavor makes it pair really well with in-season summer fruits. As you can see, I’m serving it with cherries and grapes. I also include some crackers and pepperoni for that classic flavor combination.

A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm

A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm

Next, the table setting. I’m a huge fan of pulling accessories, new and old, from around my house to create a unique and interesting tablescape. To give my table a little height and drama, I set a slate cheese board on an old soda create. Not only does this add interest, but my cheeseboard doubles as a centerpiece. The slate surface also is a perfect spot for making little notes and drawings with chalk.

A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm

A candle in a gold lantern adds sparkle and picks up touches of gold in the napkins and flatware (I told you I am obsessed with anything gold these days).

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A washi tape flag (Just add a piece of washi tape, sticky sides together, to the end of a stir stick and make a v-cut in the end) is a fun element and lets your guest know what kind of cheese he or she will be enjoying.

A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm

To complete the look, I put a natural element at each place setting. Plants create a welcoming touch and are a wonderful way to finish off a tablescape. This potted succulent can even double as a  favor for your guest to take home to remember your afternoon. How sweet is that?

A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm

A Cheese Party for Two via Inspired by Charm

Using things you have around your house keeps a small get-together inexpensive and ensures a personal look. As you know, I love mixing new and old. The old crate paired with the touches of gold literally gives me designer goosebumps. I love it. Well, that’s all the advice I have for today. Plus, my afternoon date is about to arrive. I’m off to enjoy some conversation, cheese, and maybe a bottle of wine.   Cheers, friends!

Some of the best parties are just for two. Whether you are planning a get-together with your someone special or an afternoon chat with an old friend, having a snack on hand is a must. Setting it up beautifully on your porch on a warm summer day makes it even better. Here is my recipe […]




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