Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

It’s that time again! We’re in a new season (though admittedly well into it), which means it’s time for another free printable recipe card!

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

In case you’re new to IBC, you may not know that last year I created and shared four seasonal recipe cards. I offered these as a free download to all of you. Because the cards were so popular, I decided to carry on the tradition this year. Your comments and emails on how you’ve used the cards for special events, bridal showers, parties, etc. have brought me such joy. It’s been rewarding to again be able to offer a new card for each season.

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

The year’s recipe cards are designed to go together. Therefore, you’ll notice a similarity between the overall design of this new card and the spring one. (You can find that here.) For this summer recipe card, I was inspired by the fresh fruits and veggies of the farmers market. Since so many of the cards in the series have had flower-themes, I thought something different would be fun.

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

With lots of fruits and veggies to choose from, I decided to limit my design to eggplants and peaches. I love how the colors play off each other; plus, it’s a totally different palette from the other cards I’ve created. (Don’t tell the other guys, but these might be my new favorite.)

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

I’m also pleased that these cards can transition into the fall, which makes me feel a tad less guilty about sharing them this late in the season.

As always, feel free to print them out and use them in your own kitchen for jotting down new seasonal recipes. Of course, you can also gift them to friends and family. This printable is free. It’s my gift to you.

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

You can download the 2017 Summer Recipe Card Printable here.

If you do use them or give some away, I would love to know! Please tag me on Instagram @inspiredbycharm or shoot me an email at inspiredbycharm@yahoo.com.

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by CharmFarmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

Farmer's Market Peach and Eggplant 2017 Summer Recipe Card Free Printable | Inspired by Charm

I hope you enjoy this new design as much as I do. Happy Summer!

 

 

Special thanks to Dash Creative for bringing my vision to life.

It’s that time again! We’re in a new season (though admittedly well into it), which means it’s time for another free printable recipe card! In case you’re new to IBC, you may not know that last year I created and shared four seasonal recipe cards. I offered these as a free download to all of […]




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Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been living in my apartment for close to two months now. (I actually moved in about three months ago but didn’t get to spend much time here during that first month.) As you can imagine, I’ve been busy making this new space feel like home.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

In previous posts. I shared some coffee table styling tips as well as my new-old bar cabinet. However, I never gave you a look around my living room, so that’s what I thought we’d do today. There haven’t been any major changes, but it’s always fun to take a little tour.

Before we do that, I need to mention that this space (like my entire apartment) is a work in progress. As a blogger, I’d like to present a completed and perfect space to you, but that’s just not my reality right now. So instead of showing you nothing, I ‘m going to show you a portion of my current living room and invite you to enjoy watching how things evolve in the coming months (and years!). Hope you’re cool with that.

So, where do we start? How about the sofa?

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

This is the Deklab Leather Sofa (in Saddle) from West Elm. You might remember that this was the first piece of furniture I purchased for my new home. (It’s a big upgrade from the outdoor chair and garbage-can box I used as a table when I first moved in. Ha!)

I really like this sofa. I wanted something that looks masculine yet soft and cozy. Success! The leather does scratch easily (which I assume is the norm for a leather sofa), but a little leather conditioner takes care of any marks pretty quickly.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

The pillows and throw weren’t purchased specially for this space. They just happened to work nicely at the moment, so I went with them.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Same goes for my coffee table. This guy (which is no longer for sale) is something I bought years ago and used in the guest bedroom in my St. Marys house. After recently changing the decor in that room, I figured why not use the table here for the time being. (Surprisingly, that tabletop fern garden is still alive (though I did forget to water it one day, so that may not be the case next week. Fingers crossed!)

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

For additional seating, I bought one of these Roar + Rabbit Swivel Chairs (in Wasabi). I enjoy having a swivel chair here because I (or my guests) can face the couch or check out what’s going on outside. It’s a win-win!

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Just behind the chair, I whipped up a quick DIY project. At a local shop, Von Walter and Funk, I spotted a lamp made from an old wood tripod and socket kit (which they sell). Remembering I had a wood tripod at home, I decided to make one for myself. I’ll be sharing more details on that soon.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Some other goodies in this space include a pair of cacti I found at Walmart several years ago. They hadn’t grown much over the years, but now they are flourishing thanks to the abundance of sunlight.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

I also found this vintage stool at HomeGoods. It may not stay here forever, but it creates a nice little moment next to the sofa. It was such a great find; I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, it ties in with the weathered look of my beverage cabinet, which is now well stocked with liquor and wine.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Above the cabinet, I switched out the art because I fell in love with this piece (that I used in my recent bedroom makeover) from Minted. It’s currently leaning against the wall (as is 90% of the artwork in my place) because I’m not sure about the final placement.

The lamp is from Grandin Road. It’s another piece that was meant for somewhere else but found its way here. The side table (which you can’t see) is one of the round tables from my colorful porch refresh. It most likely won’t stay, but it’s serving a purpose right now.

Tips and styling ideas for decorating an eclectic and cozy living room.

Finally, I also swapped out the overhead light in this space. Previously there was a semi-flush drum shade. This Luna Pendant (in brass) from Schoolhouse Electric was the perfect upgrade and coordinates beautifully with the fixture in my kitchen.

And that’s it! You have been officially updated. What do you think?

I will circle back next week to show you the opposite side of this room where my television is, I’m still waiting for the stand to arrive

More apartment updates are on the way! Stay tuned.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been living in my apartment for close to two months now. (I actually moved in about three months ago but didn’t get to spend much time here during that first month.) As you can imagine, I’ve been busy making this new space feel like home. In previous posts. I shared […]




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Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

Last week my brother was in town for a concert so he spent the night at my new place. (He’s my first official guest!) Before the show, I drove him around to a few of the microbreweries in my neighborhood. We grabbed some dinner, and then I dropped him off at the concert venue.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

That’s when I scooted back to my apartment to whip up these Really Good Blueberry Muffins. I decided to make muffins because I thought that with a cup of coffee, they’d be the perfect way to start the next day.

Blueberry muffins will forever be one of my favorite sweet breakfast foods. Donuts and cupcakes are at the head of the line (obviously), but I’ll never turn down a homemade blueberry muffin. This is the time of year when my mom always made them. Just a quarter mile down the road from where she lives (and where I grew up), there was a large blueberry patch so fresh blueberries were plentiful every summer.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

If I remember correctly, blueberry muffins were also one of the treats (along with sour cream bread) that Mom would make for me to take back to college.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

I love that food can hold such fond memories and allow us to time travel to different points in our lives through familiar and meaningful flavors.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

I didn’t use my mom’s recipe for these muffins because 1) I don’t have it (We’ll save it for another time.), and 2) I wanted something with a crumb topping. This recipe is a combination of a few I found online. The result was some really good blueberry muffins (hence, the name).

What’s especially great about this recipe is that the prep is minimal, and you don’t need a mixer. Just grab a couple bowls and you’re good to go.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

Also, I’m guessing that you’ll have most of the ingredients in your pantry or fridge. (Not having to run to the store makes any recipe exponentially better!) Just remember to pick up some fresh blueberries when you’re at the farmers market or your favorite grocery.

Let’s bake!

This Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe is the best treat for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon snack.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins

Makes about 18 muffins

Here's what you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups blueberries, divided
1 tablespoon flour

Streusel Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a couple muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined. Then whisk in the sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until almost combined.

In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour and toss them until coated. (This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.) Then, gently fold them into your batter.

To make the streusel topping, mix together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and stir with a fork until crumbly.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffins tins, filling them about 2/3 full. Divide the remaining 1 cup of blueberries onto the top of each muffin. Then sprinkle each with the prepared streusel.

Place the muffin pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool for 5-8 minutes in the pan. Then remove the muffins and allow them to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Print

Breakfast is served!

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

While these muffins are fabulous on their own, they would also make a great addition to a brunch or afternoon picnic.

Really Good Blueberry Muffins recipe for breakfast, brunch, or anything in-between!

Enjoy!

Last week my brother was in town for a concert so he spent the night at my new place. (He’s my first official guest!) Before the show, I drove him around to a few of the microbreweries in my neighborhood. We grabbed some dinner, and then I dropped him off at the concert venue. That’s […]




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Birthday Cake Martini cocktail recipe for the perfect celebratory libation. | Inspired by Charm

Have you noticed there always seems to be a birthday around the corner? That’s why I thought I’d share this Birthday Cake Martini with you. It’s the perfect way to celebrate someone’s special day.

Birthday Cake Martini cocktail recipe for the perfect celebratory libation. | Inspired by Charm

I love this cocktail because the combination of ingredients makes it a cake in drink form. While the flavors of this martini alone are sweet and delicious, the sprinkles on the rim add color, fun, and memorable detail. To make sure your sprinkles hold on tight to the glass, rim it in honey. The honey also provides another layer of sweetness. Now, this cake-inspired martini only needs a candle. And don’t think I didn’t consider it, I just couldn’t figure out the logistics.

Birthday Cake Martini cocktail recipe for the perfect celebratory libation. | Inspired by Charm

Birthday Cake Martini cocktail recipe for the perfect celebratory libation. | Inspired by Charm

After just one sip, there’s no doubt a celebration is happening.

Birthday or not, let’s shake one up!

Birthday Cake Martini cocktail recipe for the perfect celebratory libation. | Inspired by Charm

Birthday Cake Martini

Makes 1 martini

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 ounces whipped vodka
1.5 ounces amaretto
1 ounce white chocolate liqueur
2 ounces half and half
Honey and sprinkles for garnish

Begin with two shallow dishes or plates. To one, add a teaspoon of honey. To the other, add the sprinkles. First, rim the edge of the martini glass in the honey, and then dip it in the sprinkles. Set aside.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, amaretto, white chocolate liqueur, and half and half. Shake vigorously. Strain into your prepared martini glass.

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Those sprinkles are something else, aren’t they? I’m thinking that all martinis need a sprinkle rim.

Birthday Cake Martini cocktail recipe for the perfect celebratory libation. | Inspired by Charm

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. And if it happens to be YOUR birthday, consider this martini yours. Cheers!

Have you noticed there always seems to be a birthday around the corner? That’s why I thought I’d share this Birthday Cake Martini with you. It’s the perfect way to celebrate someone’s special day. I love this cocktail because the combination of ingredients makes it a cake in drink form. While the flavors of this […]




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Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

This post is sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios.

One of the things on my list of “musts” for my new apartment was a functioning office. Surprisingly, despite my typically indecisive brain, I was able to make this happen pretty quickly.

Today I’m excited to show you my space thus far. (But don’t get too excited. It’s just a desk, chair, and some plants.) I’m also going to share two smart snacking tips in collaboration with my friends at Wonderful Pistachios (because snacks are life and pistachios are one of the highest protein and fiber snack nuts).

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ll be telling you how you can win a healthy snack makeover (by yours truly) for your office.

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

Since I blog from home, a comfortable desk and chair are work essentials. So even though I’m taking my time designing my new apartment, I knew I couldn’t take too much time with in finding these furnishings.

Fortunately, when I was in New York City back in May, I stumbled across this desk and fell in love with it. I knew instantly that its clean lines, touch of brass, and warm wood tone would be perfect in my office. What’s funny, however, is that I probably wouldn’t have given the desk a second glance had I just seen it online.

I’m hoping to add a splash of color down the road with additional accessories, a rug, and other furnishings. In fact, I may take inspiration from the green and red-purple hues (which come from antioxidants) of the pistachio!

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

For me, shopping online is the bomb dot com, but being able to visit stores and see and touch products in person has been design-life-changing. Colors always seem to be different, and even though I usually measure things, my brain apparently has a hard time visualizing scale.

So the desk arrived, and it worked beautifully in my space.

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

My only complaint is that it’s a bit challenging to keep the surface smudge free. While I love the glass top because it blocks zero of the natural light, my skin tends to be oily, so it’s apparent wherever I’ve touched the desk. However, the many pros outweigh that one itsy bitsy con. and thankfully, cleaning the desktop is easy.

Down the road, I may look into a large desk pad or placemat of sorts to help with the situation. As you’ll see in a minute, I already have a little wood board for things like snacks (i.e., pistachios) and glassware.

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by CharmTips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

My office chair ended up being a quick and easy online purchase. I knew that I wanted black leather with a touch of brass/gold, and that’s exactly what I found. The gold is a bit more orange than I would like, but overall I love it. So does Jax! Anytime I’m working on the computer, he jumps up and sits right behind me.

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

You can find links to these things (and some of my other apartment goodies) on SHOP IBC.

Besides those key pieces, I added some plants, including an orchid and this rubber plant. I blame it on all the windows, but I’ve gone sort of plant crazy. I just can’t seem to get enough.

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

As you might have seen in the before photos, there’s still a lot of space to fill in this room. Behind the desk, I’d like a big credenza for storage. (And by storage, I mean a healthy snack drawer full of Wonderful Pistachios and other healthy treats to hold me over while I’m working. Pistachios are a great alternative to snacks high in added sugars and saturated fats.) I may also buy a sleeper sofa for guests. However, because I have the necessities, I can take my time with the rest of this space.

 Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

Okay, with furnishings out of the way, let’s talk snacks.

I’ve teamed up with Wonderful Pistachios for two reasons. First, I love snacking on pistachios. Did you know that these Colorful nuts are one of the lowest-fat, lowest-calorie nuts around? This delicious, heart-healthy snack is one lean, green protein machine!

I personally like having them close by because, not only are they a healthy snack, but they are also fabulous for portion control because you have to crack open each shell to get to the good stuff. They are known as the Mindful Nut, because according to The Pistachio Principle they may help slow you down while snacking allowing you to eat more mindfully. Goodness knows, I need all the help I can get when it comes to slowing my snacking down! Don’t we all?

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

Sidenote: Have you tried the new Sweet Chili flavor? My brother had them at his house when I visited several weeks ago. They are insanely good.

When I’m working, I like to pair pistachios with flavored water. I’m trying to keep lots of fresh citrus on hand so I just pop a few slices into a glass of water with mint (which is growing on my patio.) It’s such a delightful combination.

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

The second reason I’m excited about teaming up with Wonderful Pistachios is that they are offering a fabulous giveaway directly from me to you. Healthy snacking at work can often be challenging, so I want to help provide you (and your office) with healthy snacks options like Wonderful Pistachios. That’s right, I will be personally delivering snacks to the winner’s workplace.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Here’s how this will work. I’m inviting you to post a photo of your healthy workspace on Instagram. Have fun and get creative. Show us your office snack bar, your personal healthy snack drawer, a snack plate of nutritious items artfully arranged. (Bonus points for including Wonderful Pistachios!) Use the hashtags #WorkSmartSnackSmart and #WPGiveaway and tag @GetCrackin

Wonderful Pistachios will become the new go-to healthy, filling, and easy to portion snack in your office. Now Get Crackin’!

One grand prize winner will receive an Office Refresh for their company, including Wonderful Pistachios products for a year, plus a new refrigerator. ($9,500 approximate retail value)

10 runner-up prize winners will receive a Wonderful Pistachio prize pack. ($160 approximate retail value)

I will help Wonderful Pistachios pick a winner based on the entry that best defines a “healthy workspace.” Click here for the full contest terms and conditions.

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

Tips and Decorating Ideas for Creating a Home Office - modern industrial style | Inspired by Charm

How’s that for exciting? Now go and enter. And good luck to each of you!

I’ll be back here in the coming weeks and months with more office (and apartment) updates.

This post is sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios. One of the things on my list of “musts” for my new apartment was a functioning office. Surprisingly, despite my typically indecisive brain, I was able to make this happen pretty quickly. Today I’m excited to show you my space thus far. (But don’t get too excited. It’s […]




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Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm
This post is created with America’s Dairy Farm Families and Importers, in partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Did you know that National Ice Cream Day is July 16? I think we should celebrate with these homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Yep, that’s right, today I’m mixing three classics for one epic dessert. So if you’re a fan of ice cream, waffles, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this recipe is for you!

When I think about summer, I often think of ice cream. And when I think about ice cream, I am filled with fond memories of stopping at the local ice cream shop with family or friends. Growing up in a small town, sometimes there wasn’t much to do, so going out for ice cream was a big deal.

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

That’s why I’m thrilled to be making these ice cream sandwiches. It’s keeping the summer ice cream tradition alive. (Not that I really need an excuse to eat ice cream.)

With these ice cream sandwiches, you can go as homemade as you like. In the recipe below, I’m made the strawberry jam and peanut butter waffles from scratch and purchased my favorite ice cream.

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

You can certainly make your own ice cream at home if you have a recipe you love. In fact, making ice cream can be another enjoyable summer activity to do with friends and family. Milk, and foods made from milk (like ice cream), are a delightful way of connecting with what real food is about. Plus, you can’t beat the taste of homemade. Feel free to go traditional and use an ice cream maker or find a fun variation to get your kids involved.

I definitely recommend making the waffles at home because they are super simple. Plus, they provide the peanut butter element in this magical dessert trio, so you need to be able to incorporate that. Speaking of peanut butter, this waffle recipe uses real peanut butter AND peanut butter chips to give you plenty of that great flavor.

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

I made my waffles in this adorable little waffle maker that I picked up at my favorite home store for under $10. I couldn’t believe how well it worked and how evenly the waffles cooked. Mini waffle maker for the win.

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Using a few pints of fresh strawberries I bought at the farmers market, I also whipped up a quick batch of jam. It’s an easy recipe for those who’ve never made homemade jam. Plus, it only requires three ingredients!

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Now that everything is ready, it’s time to assemble our ice cream sandwiches. Let’s do it!

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

 

Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 8-9

Here's what you will need:

Strawberry Jam:
2 cups sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream

Peanut Butter Waffles:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups milk
1 cup peanut butter chips
Cooking spray

Begin by making your strawberry jam. (Please note, you will only use one cup of jam for the ice cream sandwiches. My recipe makes 3-4 cups. Feel free to halve the jam recipe or use your favorite store-bought strawberry jam.)

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add the strawberries and continue to cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Heat to a boil. Continue cooking until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate. Pour the jam into a jar. Cover and refrigerate until cool.

Once the jam is cold, you'll want to incorporate a cup of it into your vanilla ice cream. Begin by lining a 13x9 cake pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Remove your ice cream from the freezer and allow it to soften slightly. (Let it melt only enough so that you can stir it a bit. Do not let it melt completely). Stir one cup of the cooled strawberry jam into the ice cream so that the two are roughly combined. (You do not need to fully mix the jam into the ice cream. Simply stir the ice cream enough so that the jam is evenly distributed and looks swirled).

Use a spatula to put the ice cream into the prepared cake pan. Smooth the top and re-freeze until firm.

In the meantime, prepare your waffles. I used a mini waffle iron, but use whatever kind you have. (You can quarter a large waffle if needed). Begin by preheating your waffle iron.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, eggs, melted butter, and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined. Finally, fold in the peanut butter chips.

Prepare your waffle iron with cooking spray. Add batter so that the iron is about 2/3 full. Cook until the waffle is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter. Allow all of the waffles to thoroughly cool.

Remove the jam swirled ice cream from the freezer. Cut the ice cream with a knife or cookie cutter to fit your prepared waffles. Layer between two waffles. Enjoy immediately or return to the freezer in an airtight container until you're ready to serve.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Voila! Sweet, summer-inspired success.

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

The combination of flavors here is classically killer. I know I’m a fan. The ice cream makes these sandwiches the perfect way to cool down on a hot afternoon or finish off a tasty summer barbecue. Don’t you agree?

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Oh, and be sure to stay tuned to IBC each month for more Undeniably Dairy inspired recipes! Whether it’s savory pizzas topped with cheese, creamy yogurt parfaits, fabulous artisan cheese plates, or inventive ice cream sandwiches – they are all dairy, my friends.

Homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Be sure to give this recipe a try on National Ice Cream Day! I promise you’ll enjoy it.

This post is created with America’s Dairy Farm Families and Importers, in partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. However, the views and opinions are my own. Did you know that National Ice Cream Day is July 16? I think we should celebrate with these homemade Peanut Butter Waffle and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches! Yep, […]




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Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

One of my favorite breakfasts consists of four ingredients: yogurt, fresh berries, honey, and homemade granola. I’m definitely one of those people who likes something sweet in the morning, so although this might not be the healthiest option, it’s better than a donut or big bowl of Lucky Charms.

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

For many years I’ve purchased pre-made granola from the store, and it suited me just fine. However, recently I thought I’d try making my own, using all of the granola-esque goodies that I love.

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

In case you’ve never made granola, it’s actually quite simple. Things like rolled oats, nuts, flaked coconut, and seeds get tossed together in a big bowl.

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

Then oil, honey, and seasonings are mixed together to form the “glue” and flavoring for that bowl of dried goodness.

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

Once those two pieces are in place, everything gets combined and baked at a low temperature for a couple hours. (At which point your entire house smells nothing short of amazing.)

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

One of the best things about granola is that you can change the ingredients to suit. Don’t like almonds? Try cashews. Not a fan of seeds? Add more nuts. As long as you keep the volume about the same, substitute with what you prefer to make it your own.

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

Once the granola is cool, store it in an airtight container for about a month. My guess is you’ll have eaten it before then. However, it’s always helpful to know the shelf life.

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

I love to eat my granola on yogurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey. However, feel free to get creative. Swap the yogurt for milk and enjoy it as a cereal or use it when making crisps and cobblers. It also tastes great on its own as a snack.

Let’s whip up a batch!

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

Homemade Granola

Makes about 2 1/2 quarts

Here's what you will need:
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
1 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Begin by preheating your oven to 275 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, flaked coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the oil, honey, brown sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt. Heat on medium-high, just until the mixture is about to boil. Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract, and stir to combine.

Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture. Toss to evenly coat the dry ingredients.

Divide the granola in half and spread it in an even layer on two large baking sheets.

Bake for 1 hour at 275 degrees F. Stir the granola once while baking. Remove from the oven; then stir the granola and place it back in the oven for an additional 1 hour, lowering the temperature to 250 degrees F. Stir again halfway through baking.

Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely. Break up any large chunks. Store the granola in airtight container(s) for up to one month.

Print

Pretty easy, right?

While store-bought granola can do the trick, there’s something about homemade that is so good. I think it comes from knowing exactly what’s in it and how it was made. It feels personal and rustic. I just can’t get enough.

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

Homemade Granola Recipe delicious for breakfast with yogurt or on it's as a snack. | Inspired by Charm

I hope this granola brightens your morning as much as it does mine. Enjoy!

One of my favorite breakfasts consists of four ingredients: yogurt, fresh berries, honey, and homemade granola. I’m definitely one of those people who likes something sweet in the morning, so although this might not be the healthiest option, it’s better than a donut or big bowl of Lucky Charms. For many years I’ve purchased pre-made […]




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Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

The giveaway has ended. Thanks to everyone that entered. Congrats to the winner, Kerry T.! Have fun shopping at HomeGoods!

 

When I first posted photos of my new home in Pittsburgh, one of you asked to see my bathroom. Well, today is your lucky day. Not only am I sharing a look at my bathroom, but I’m also directing you to some decor hacks to add style to any bathroom. PLUS, I’m giving away a $100 HomeGoods gift card! (Be sure to enter toward the bottom of this post before you click away.)

I’ve never been much for sharing bathroom spaces on Inspired by Charm because I didn’t have a bathroom worth sharing. Most of the bathrooms in my St. Marys home need a major makeover. Not only that, but they don’t have windows, making them a challenge to photograph. Now that I have two presentable bathrooms, I’m more apt to share.

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

As you might expect, because I’m renting, I’m stuck with builder basic. Part of my brain is already thinking, “Get a new light fixture, swap out the mirror, change the hardware, etc.” However, I’m trying to be smart about the changes I make here since I know that, one day, I’m going to have to switch it all back. (That’s one of the things I don’t love about renting.)

Whether I decide to change the mirror and light fixtures is still TBD, but that’s not going to stop me from creating a stylish and welcoming bathroom in the meantime.

As you may know, I write a monthly post for the HomeGoods Design Happy Blog. My latest post talks all about my bathroom and specific hacks for adding style to any builder grade bathroom. You can check out that post here.

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

In a nutshell, it’s about bringing in personal style with unique, decorative, and functional touches.

For example, I had enough space for a basket with a lid. Not only does this add great texture to the room, but it provides additional storage for towels as well as a surface for things like bubble bath and a small vase of flowers.

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

It’s little details like these that personalize a space. No matter what type of bathroom you have. you can easily add such items.

I think it’s also important to get creative when styling a space that’s typically rather bland. Remember that creamer and sugar set from my beverage station? I decided to try it in the bathroom to corral cotton swabs and balls. It serves a purpose and looks cute. Winning!

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

I also picked up a brass and glass lantern and filled it with bath bombs. It’s a triple threat with bling, color, and scent. (I’m crazy excited that I now have a tub large enough to allow me to enjoy a bath bomb.)

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

Sidenote: Did you know you can make your own bath bombs? I have a DIY tutorial that will show you how. You can find it here.

In addition, I used a large-scale piece of art in the space for a pop of color and interest. I also opted to mix up my bath towels for a more collected look.

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

While this room certainly has a long way to go, I’m thrilled it’s a bit cozier and that it has a touch of my personal style.

Simple Tips to Style Your Bathroom - bathroom decorating ideas / decor hacks | Inspired by Charm

If you’re wanting to update the decor of your bathroom (or any room in your home), I thought a $100 gift card to HomeGoods might help. Who’s down for a giveaway?

I’m giving away one $100 HomeGoods Gift Card to one lucky IBC reader.

To enter to win, use the entry form below. (Those viewing this on a blog reader may need to visit the actual post by clicking here.)


This giveaway is open to readers in the United States. You must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, July 7. The winner will be randomly selected, contacted by email, and announced at the top of this post.

Good luck!

I hope you enjoyed this peek at my bathroom and picked up a few tips along the way. I have lots more apartment updates to share with you. Have a happy weekend!

The giveaway has ended. Thanks to everyone that entered. Congrats to the winner, Kerry T.! Have fun shopping at HomeGoods!   When I first posted photos of my new home in Pittsburgh, one of you asked to see my bathroom. Well, today is your lucky day. Not only am I sharing a look at my […]




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Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

With summer in full swing and temperatures on the rise, let’s cool down and celebrate with Sangria Rosé Popsicles!

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

In case you didn’t know, this is Popsicle Week! For five years, Billy, the blogger behind Wit and Vinegar has been hosting a fun series in which 100+ bloggers share their tasty frozen treats throughout the week. In the past, I’ve watched (and drooled) all week long, so this year I’m particularly excited to be participating. (After you’ve read this post, be sure to head over to Wit and Vinegar to check out all of the recipes here.)

When I was thinking about possible recipe ideas, the first thing that came to mind was a sangria-based popsicle. Sangria is one of my favorite summertime treats, so it could only get exponentially better when frozen on a stick, right?

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Taking inspiration from the Sangria Rosé recipe I shared with you last year, I made a popsicle to match. This is what winning at life looks like.

Sidenote: If you need a sangria recipe, I have bunches of them here.

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

One of the things I love about popsicles is that you can use almost any liquid you love, add a stick, and freeze it, and you’ve got a popsicle. Making popsicles at home might seem complicated or out of reach, but it’s truly that simple.

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

To make these Sangria Rosé Popsicles, just combine wine, limoncello, and juice.

I used Notorious Pink, a rosé from France because I’m in love with it. It’s so delicious on its own, so why not turn it into sangria. For my juice, I opted for a Strawberry Lime juice that I picked up at Trader Joe’s. You can use whatever you’d like. Even something as basic as orange juice would be great. Just pick a juice that complements the fruit you’ve chosen.

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Add your fruit to the popsicle mold (I use and recommend this one.), pour in the sangria mixture, and add a stick. Freeze until solid. That’s it.

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

For the fruit, I suggest berries, peaches, and kiwi.

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Because these popsicles contain alcohol, they don’t freeze super hard and will melt more quickly than a typical popsicle. So, eat them right after you get them out of the freezer or serve them in a wine glass. Don’t they make for a beautiful presentation? I also think it could be kind of fun to serve them in a glass of wine.

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

And that’s it, friends. Cheers to Popsicle Week, and double cheers to summer!

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Sangria Rosé Popsicles

Sangria Rosé Popsicles
Makes about 12 (depending on your popsicle mold)

Here's what you will need:
1 bottle (750 ML) rosé wine
1 cup limoncello
1 cup fruit juice (I used Strawberry Lime from Trader Joe's.)
1-2 cups fresh fruit

In a pitcher or pan, combine the rosé, limoncello, and fruit juice to create the sangria.

Next, add 6 or 7 pieces of fruit to each compartment of your popsicle mold. Then fill each compartment with the sangria mixture. Add the popsicle sticks and freeze until firm. (If your mold has 10 compartments, you will have a bit of sangria left. Enjoy it in a glass or use a second popsicle mold.)

Once the popsicles are frozen, run some warm water over the molds to loosen the popsicles. Remove the popsicles and enjoy them immediately.

Print

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

I hope you’ll join in on the fun of Popsicle Week. If you need a recipe, head on over to Wit and Vinegar for 100+ options. Billy will be adding recipes throughout the week so check back often.

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

Sangria Rose Popsicles are the perfect boozy summer dessert treat. | Inspired by Charm

With summer in full swing and temperatures on the rise, let’s cool down and celebrate with Sangria Rosé Popsicles! In case you didn’t know, this is Popsicle Week! For five years, Billy, the blogger behind Wit and Vinegar has been hosting a fun series in which 100+ bloggers share their tasty frozen treats throughout the […]




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Join the conversation.






4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm



This post is sponsored by Tomcat.

As you probably know, I don’t have much of a yard. (This goes for my house in St. Marys as well as my apartment in Pittsburgh.) However, I’m fortunate to have an outdoor area at each place. Because my grandparents had a vegetable garden, it’s always been something I’ve wanted for my own space. I have wonderful memories of their garden and hope to continue the family gardening tradition. (Plus, there’s nothing better than produce fresh from the garden or field.)

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

I’ve tried growing container vegetables in the past, but I’ve never had much success. This year I’m giving gardening a shot again with help from my friends over at Tomcat. They make a line of animal repellents that are ideal for those of us who want to protect our gardens from critters using essential oils that deter with a smell and taste our animal friends hate.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

Today I’m going to share 4 steps to a raised vegetable garden, including how to keep it protected. Let’s dig in.

1. Build a Bed

Of course, you’ll need something to plant in. You can build your own raised garden by creating a box in your yard with lumber. However, since I don’t have the outdoor space for this type of bed, I opted for this pre-built furniture-style piece.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

What I love is that there is plenty of room for plants, plus storage below for garden tools, pots, and a few cute accessories.

Choose the option that works best for you. Also, keep in mind what you’d like to grow. For example, vegetables such as zucchini and pumpkins will need a larger space to spread out and might not be ideal for an elevated bed like this one.

2. Add Soil and Plants
With your bed ready, fill it with soil. Since my garden is in a container, I used a soil intended for this purpose. This is important because this particular soil is designed to retain moisture in a confined space. If you’re gardening in an above-ground bed in your yard, a typical garden soil would work just fine.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

For my plants, I went with a salad theme. I planted lettuce, kale, cherry tomatoes, and peppers. I realize it’s probably a no-brainer, but when you’re tight on space, plant things you know you’ll enjoy eating.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

With luck and proper care, your harvest will be plentiful, so you should like what you’re growing. If you like to experiment with new goodies, shop for them at your local farmer’s market first. You can grow these new favorites next year.

3. Keep it Protected
After all your hard work, the last thing you want is to find that your beautiful garden has become a new salad bar for mother nature’s furry (and not-so-furry) friends.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

As my first line of defense, I planted a few marigolds. Their scent keeps away things like beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms. A bonus benefit is the punch of color they give the raised bed. (If you do your research, you’ll find there are a few varieties of marigolds that are edible. What a fun addition they would be to your summer entertaining.)

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

To further protect my new garden, I used Tomcat Repellents Animal Repellent Granules. What I love about this repellent is that it uses essential oils that deliver a smell and taste that animals naturally hate. It’s also safe for use on edible fruits and vegetables when it’s used as directed. In one easy step, you can protect your garden.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

Tomcat Repellents also has spray varieties that serve the same purpose. Check out the full line here.

4. Make it Cute
So now that our garden is planted and protected, let’s make it cute! It wouldn’t be an Inspired by Charm garden without some beautiful and eclectic touches, right?

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

Before I filled my raised bed with soil, I decided to add a few gold knobs and handles to the exterior of the planter. They are handy for hanging garden tools and gloves. And they give a little character to the piece. You can find knobs and handles like these almost anywhere. Choose ones that fit your home and style.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

I also tucked in a few birdhouse picks I painted black. The birdhouses add character while the coat of black paint keeps them looking chic.

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

One of the things I especially like about this particular planter is the bottom shelf. It’s a great place to keep a watering can and extra pots, plus, I can display a few fun accessories such as my garden gnome with a gold hat. IIsn’t he the perfect blend of functional and quirky?

4 Steps to Creating and Styling an Outdoor Raised Vegetable Garden | Inspired by Charm

That’s it, my friends: 4 steps to create a raised vegetable garden. It’s pretty easy, isn’t it?

Also, don’t forget to keep your garden happy with Tomcat Repellents. To learn more about their many products, click here. Happy gardening!

This post is sponsored by Tomcat. As you probably know, I don’t have much of a yard. (This goes for my house in St. Marys as well as my apartment in Pittsburgh.) However, I’m fortunate to have an outdoor area at each place. Because my grandparents had a vegetable garden, it’s always been something I’ve […]




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A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm
This post is sponsored by Stearns & Foster.

Well, friends, my new space in Pittsburgh is finally starting to look like home. Last week I told you about the design plan for my new master bedroom. Today, I am thrilled to show you how it’s starting to come together.

Let’s take a peek, shall we?

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

Progress, right? Let me tell you, it sure beats sleeping on an air mattress (which I was doing until quite recently). A few small touches (and some not-so-small touches) have transformed this space into a welcoming retreat. And by not-so-small touches I mean my new Stearns & Foster mattress. It’s heaven.

In case you need a reference, here’s the room when I first moved in. (You can also check out my design plan here.)

IBC in PGH | Inspired by Charm

And here we are today.

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

I’m breathing a little easier at this point. While I still have work to do, changes to make, and color to add, I couldn’t be happier with where this room stands today.

As I mentioned last week, the plan for this room started with my a new king-sized Stearns & Foster mattress. Although it’s currently hidden under layers of bed linens, it’s really the crowning jewel of the space. I’m not a great sleeper, so anything I can do to create a comfortable environment where I can rest my head at the end of the day is super important. That starts with the mattress.

There are certain pieces in the home I don’t skimp on. I spend 7-8 hours a day (ideally) on my mattress, so comfort and quality are key. I also will be keeping this mattress for a while. Because a Stearns & Foster mattress is hand-crafted with the highest quality materials, I plan to bring it along no matter where life takes me.

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

So once the bones of the room were in place, I was ready to start decorating.

The design for this space was inspired by the wilderness. As you can see, there’s a nod to camping/glamping amidst the comfort and style.

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

Because the bed frame in my St. Marys home is tufted in blue velvet, I wanted to go in a completely different direction in this space. That’s why I opted for this low profile wood frame with a saddle-toned leather headboard. Because of all the gray tones in my floors and doors, the wood adds much-needed warmth to the room.

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

I chose neutral bedding because I wanted the flexibility it offers for using different pillows and throws as the seasons change. Currently, I’m keeping things light and bright.

While I do plan to add more color with a rug, dresser, curtains, and accessories, I so love the color I was able to bring in with this fun woven stool and my “Keep it Wild” banner.

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

During my first week in my new apartment, I spotted this banner at a shop that’s just down the street from me. I was immediately attracted to the color, font, and overall design. It also fits this new life adventure. Every time I see it, it reminds me to have fun, relax, and take time to enjoy life a bit more.

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

Another piece I’m terribly excited about is this beautiful white and black buffalo checked chair. I’ve had my eye on it for quite some time, so I was thrilled to finally be able to incorporate it in my home. I think it fits quite nicely with the aesthetic I’m after.

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

As you can see, the cats are enjoying it, too. (If a chair passes the “Cat Nap Test,” you know it’s a good one.)

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

I also love this big, beefy, wood framed mirror. Since this room has only one window, a mirror helps bounce some of the light around. Plus, a full-length mirror is great in the bedroom for that daily “outfit check.”

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

Of course, I still need things like a dresser (which has been ordered), rug, and lamps. But they’re coming. All in good time.

A lot of the accessories are things I already owned. You know I’ve decided to take my time in creating and designing this new home so I don’t want to rush anything just to “get it done.” I’ve also been having so much fun shopping at my local stores, and I certainly don’t want that to end anytime soon!

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

For more details on sources for these pieces, be sure to visit SHOP IBC. I’ve linked up things and shared whatever was still available online.

So what are your thoughts about how my master bedroom is coming together? Is it what you expected?

A New Master Bedroom design. Ideas for styling a modern, masculine, and cozy bedroom. | Inspired by Charm

And don’t forget to enter the HGTV Stearns & Foster sweepstakes for a chance to win your own Stearns & Foster mattress and $1,000 for your own bedroom makeover. Just click here to enter.

To get more information on Stearns & Foster, visit them online or click here to find a retailer near you.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Stearns & Foster. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post is sponsored by Stearns & Foster. Well, friends, my new space in Pittsburgh is finally starting to look like home. Last week I told you about the design plan for my new master bedroom. Today, I am thrilled to show you how it’s starting to come together. Let’s take a peek, shall we? […]




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Eclectic Mid-Century Inspired Color Lovers Bedroom Makeover | Inspired by Charm

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since I shared the plans for my guest bedroom makeover. Today, I’m excited to bring you the reveal of my Color Lovers Bedroom Makeover.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, last month I announced that I had teamed with nine other bloggers for a Color Lovers series. Inspired by color, each of us has transformed a room in our homes. Last month we shared our plans; today we’re back with the reveals. Once you’re finished peeking around my room, be sure to visit all of the other bloggers linked up at the end of this post.

Since the conversation about this makeover started back in February, I opted to focus on a bedroom in my St. Marys house…. I know I’ve been talking a lot about my Pittsburgh place lately, but today I’m taking you back to where all the IBC fun started.

If you’ll remember (check out the post here if you don’t), this room had been clad in pinks and corals. While the design and colors totally worked, it just wasn’t what I wanted any longer. As I shared in my planning post, the impetus for changing the room was my visit to the Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh.

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

When I started my planning, I found this gorgeous rug that fit wonderfully in my design. However, when I went to order it, I discovered it was on back order. Whomp. Whomp. Thus, my final design has changed from what I previously showed you. (Thankfully, it’s the same design, just in a different color.) So, instead of greens, golds, and oranges, I now have blues and greens (and a tiny hint of orange.) Go with the flow, my friends.

But honestly, it doesn’t matter to me because the room came together beautifully. What do you think?

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Overall, I achieved the look I was after while still keeping it very Inspired by Charm.

Originally, I toyed with the idea of painting the window frames and fireplace charcoal black to mimic my inspiration photos. However, because my future with this home is TBD, I thought that having one room with black trim might not be such a good idea.

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Instead, I decided to use my designer muscles and change the color palette through accessories.

Mission accomplished. (Btw, Sources for products linked towards the end of the post.)

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

This goes to show how a few changes (and a new color scheme) can totally alter the look and feel of a room.

And can we talk about that light fixture? You know I’m light fixture crazy. I love how it plays so nicely with the shape of the mirror.

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

I was also super excited to get a side chair in this space. It was desperately needed. It also gave me an excuse to keep my gold pouf. It’s still one of my favorite things.

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

I also used artwork that wasn’t in my original plan. However, these new pieces are even better than what I’d previously found. NYC will always have a special place in my heart, and the abstract piece pulls in all the colors so beautifully.

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic


Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

And that’s it, my friends, my color-inspired makeover is complete!

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

ROOM SOURCES:

Let’s talk sources since I’m sure you’re curious.

The overhead light, gray and gold planters, and white chair are from The Mine. The green bench and round mirror are from Birch Lane.

The artwork is from Minted. You can find the abstract freckle piece here, the Brooklyn Bridge photo here, and the Soho photo here.

Other sources: The pillows and bedding are a mix of new things from Target and items that I had (mostly from HomeGoods). The daybed is from West Elm. The rug is from Rejuvenation. The wall sconces and window treatments came from Urban Outfitters several years ago.

A big shout out to The Mine, Birch Lane, and Minted for sponsoring the Color Lovers series. They here kind enough to provide each of us with a few pieces to help in styling our makeovers.


Color Lovers, Guest Bedroom, Makeover, Color Makeover, Bedroom, Design, Bedroom, Mid-Century Modern, Modern, Eclectic

Now, before you head off to enjoy your day, be sure to visit the rest of the bloggers in this series. They are super talented ladies who’ve worked hard to create and share their spaces with you. I’m certain you’ll love them all as much as I do.

Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm

Jennifer Rizzo
Four Generations One Roof
In My Own Style
Fox Hollow Cottage
Tatertots & Jello
Southern Hospitality
Duke Manor Farm
Kelly Elko
DIY Showoff

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since I shared the plans for my guest bedroom makeover. Today, I’m excited to bring you the reveal of my Color Lovers Bedroom Makeover. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, last month I announced that I had teamed with nine other bloggers for […]




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Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

This post is sponsored by NESTEA.

If you’ve yet to create a functional and stylish beverage entertaining area in your home (or just want to refresh the one you have), then this post is for you. Today I’m excited to share a few tips to put together your own simple and stylish beverage station.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

As you may know, I’ve been working with NESTEA as they launch their delicious new and reformulated iced teas that have fewer ingredients and a simpler recipe. If you haven’t yet sampled their new real brewed iced tea, you really should. It’s great stuff. My personal favorite is the Slightly Sweet Black Tea. Anywho, through this fun series, I’ve shown you the NESTEA Tiny House (which I helped design), shared a simple summer table setting, and given you three beautiful ways to style your coffee table. Today, I’m back with a new (old) piece I purchased for my Pittsburgh digs and how I styled it.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Let’s get to it!

1. Be Different
In the early phases of planning for this space, my thought was to have some sort of rolling cart. Carts seem to be a popular option these days, and I do like the look of them. But given that my kitchen island is on wheels, I realized that would be too many rolling carts. So, when I came across this vintage piece, I knew it would be the perfect solution for my space.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

In its former life, this cabinet was a pie safe. The door panels, which are now glass, were originally tin. I prefer the glass because it’s lighter visually and showcases what’s inside.

2. Shop Vintage
Whenever you’re accessorizing a space, one of the things I recommend is hitting up your local thrift store and vintage shops. While new pieces are nice, there’s something special about giving old items a second life. They have a backstory that the modern ones don’t.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Plus, you’re also more likely not to have something that everyone else has. Shopping vintage is a one way to make your home unique.

3. Think Multipurpose
I also like to use pieces in unconventional ways. For example, if you need bowls to hold garnishes for your drinks, what other containers do you have that are more interesting?

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Here, I’m using a cream and sugar set for garnishes that go great with iced tea. I put lemons on the tray and raspberries in the sugar container. When I filled the creamer with water, it became the perfect place to tuck fresh mint. I also found this mini letter opener which can be used as a little pick to grab the lemons.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Having things that do double duty lessens clutter and is a smart move if your home is tight on space. My creamer set can return to its original function once it’s done here.

4. Mix Your Glassware
When it comes to glassware, I find it best to mix things up. To make this work, start with classic, clear glass. Every drink will look great in it. Plus, it matches everything and will work for any occasion.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm
Also, it’s okay to break the rules in certain situations. If you’re hosting a party and serving NESTEA, try offering it in a stemmed glass to make it feel even fancier or serve your beverages in small glasses so your guests can sample all of the offerings.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

To add interest to your traditional glassware, mix in a few unique finds. Vintage and thrift stores are loaded with glassware treasures, so start there. These work for special occasions or look great when put on display.

5. Embrace Change
If you know me well, then you won’t be surprised that I’ve changed the look of this cabinet about a half a dozen times since I brought it home. And that’s okay. No matter what you’re decorating, have fun with it and keep trying new things until you love the results.

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

Tips to Create a Simple and Stylish Beverage Station | Inspired by Charm

So what do you think of my new beverage station? Rolling carts are so 2016, right? Haha. I kid. The point is to find what works best for you and your space. I hope these tips were helpful.

Now, I’m off to enjoy a cold NESTEA with a sprig of mint and slice of lemon. Be sure to swing by NESTEA.com where you can get a free bottle of their new real brewed iced tea to sample yourself.

This post is sponsored by NESTEA. If you’ve yet to create a functional and stylish beverage entertaining area in your home (or just want to refresh the one you have), then this post is for you. Today I’m excited to share a few tips to put together your own simple and stylish beverage station. As […]




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Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm
This post is sponsored by Stearns & Foster.

I am thrilled that so many of you are enjoying seeing how my new home is starting to come together. It is truly a joy to take you on this journey with me. One space I haven’t shown you yet is my master bedroom. Today, I thought it’d be fun to share my plan for the space, and then next week, I’ll give you a look at what I’ve done so far.

The Mattress: When I decided to make this move to Pittsburgh, one thing I knew I need right away was a mattress. (I spent the first couple weeks here on an air mattress which is not that much fun.) For the mattress, I turned to Stearns & Foster. Well, actually, they turned to me. It just so happened that they teamed up with Jonathan Scott and a few HGTV influencers (I’m honored to be one of them!) to help transform ordinary bedrooms (or in my case no bedroom at all) into beautifully-crafted retreats. Talk about perfect timing, right? (Details on how you can win a Stearns & Foster mattress are at the end of this post.)

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

Since we spend seven or eight hours (ideally) on our mattresses each day, choosing the right one was very important to me. I’m generally not the best sleeper, so creating the ideal environment for sleep is a must for me, and a handcrafted mattress with exceptional details was the best place to start.

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

After a bit of research, I was beyond excited to welcome one into my home. Stearns & Foster mattresses are beautifully designed for comfort with the highest quality materials and handcrafted with exceptional details to complement a well-designed bedroom. No matter how long my journey keeps me in Pittsburgh, this is a mattress that will provide indulgent comfort for years to come.

The Plan: With my mattress chosen, it was time to consider how I wanted this room to look. As I thought about a design direction for this space, I took inspiration from the wilderness. And by wilderness, I mean pine trees, plaid, national parks, camping, wood, and leather. My idea was to create a masculine camping/glamping aesthetic filled with comfort and style.

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

Make sense? Can you envision it?

Moving to Pittsburgh has been an incredible life adventure for me so I wanted to recreate that wild adventure vibe in my space while still being true to my style.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the space just yet, but I thought you’d love to see a few details. The bed frame is wood and leather. I wanted to incorporate leather into this space for a couple reasons. First, I have leather details in the rest of my apartment, so tying everything together just made sense. Second, the wood and leather are a nod to the beautiful detailing on the Stearns & Foster mattress.

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

For my bedlinen, I found this beautiful cotton and linen blend duvet cover with a broken chevron pattern which I’ll be pairing with a bold black and white buffalo checked covered chair. Crazy, right? The idea here is to have fun with patterns and texture. When you think about camping, it’s about utility rather than being all matchy-matchy.

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

I also found this super fun “keep it wild” pendant at a shop down the street from me. It’s the perfect sentiment for this space and life in general. I think it will be just the addition I need to tell the story of this new space.

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

I’ve also purchased some other beautiful accessories for the space to add to the rustic charm. I think you’re going to love it.

Creating a New Master Bedroom | Inspired by Charm

As with most of the rooms in my new digs, it’s going to take time to develop. I won’t have a dresser for a few months because it’s on backorder. The story of my life!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this preview. Be sure to join me back here next week when I’ll be revealing my New Master Bedroom.

For more information about Stearns & Foster, head on over to their website (or find a retailer here) to learn how their beds are made or choose the perfect mattress for your space.

You can also take part in the Stearns & Foster Bedroom Suite Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of their matresses and $1,000 towards your own bedroom makeover! Click here to learn more about the sweepstakes and to enter. Good luck!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Stearns & Foster. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post is sponsored by Stearns & Foster. I am thrilled that so many of you are enjoying seeing how my new home is starting to come together. It is truly a joy to take you on this journey with me. One space I haven’t shown you yet is my master bedroom. Today, I thought […]




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Tuesday Tunes 24 - This is June Summer Music Playlist | Inspired by Charm

It seems like forever since I’ve shared a Tuesday Tunes playlist here on IBC. The goal was to share one or two each month, but it’s been about three months since my last one. OOPS! I think that’s a clear indication of how bananas the past several months have been. How can June be almost over already? What the heck happened?

Typically, I have a theme for my playlists, but today’s tunes are just a random mix of what I’ve been listening to. They are a good representation of the variety of music I’m drawn to. There’s some Miley Cyrus (who’s new music I can’t get enough of), The Lumineers, Lady Gaga, and even a track from Phish. In general, I don’t like the latter’s music, but I truly do enjoy this one song.

With lots of trips back and forth to Pittsburgh over the past couple of months and a brain that won’t stop analyzing and worrying, this playlist has saved my sanity many a time.

Tuesday Tunes 24 - This is June Summer Music Playlist | Inspired by Charm

Even though these songs don’t necessarily “go together,” if you’re heading out on a road trip or just need a distraction at home or on your next walk, I hope they’ll help you destress and quiet your thoughts.

 

 
 

As always, you can listen to this Tuesday Tunes playlist using the player above or directly on Spotify here.

Feel free to follow me on Spotify for all of my playlists and sneak listens to upcoming Tuesday Tunes. Hope your week is off to a great start!

It seems like forever since I’ve shared a Tuesday Tunes playlist here on IBC. The goal was to share one or two each month, but it’s been about three months since my last one. OOPS! I think that’s a clear indication of how bananas the past several months have been. How can June be almost […]




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This post is sponsored by NESTEA.

I’m finally getting settled in Pittsburgh. After a crazy May, June is giving me a chance to get some furniture, put things in order, and generally make this new space my home. On my last trip from St. Marys, I brought over a coffee table I’m no longer using in my spare bedroom over there. The table got me thinking…

As you know, for the past month or so, I’ve been working with NESTEA. They recently redesigned their look and their teas. Their new recipes are simpler with fewer ingredients. It’s a totally #newNESTEA. My favorite is the slightly sweetened black tea, but they have a variety of real brewed and fruit flavored iced teas as well. Pop on over to NESTEA.com to grab a free bottle and choose your favorite.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Inspired by the idea of simplifying, I thought I’d share three simple coffee table styling ideas. Pulling these together was somewhat of a challenge for me since I don’t have my usual array of accessories to work from here in Pittsburgh. However, I actually like this situation, because it proves you don’t need a stock room of props to create a beautiful and joy-filled space. Less is more, my friends.

Let me walk you through my three designs and share a few tips along the way.

Perfectly Pretty
First, let’s start with something pretty. And when I think of pretty, I think of flowers, so that’s exactly where I started. With this small coffee table, I found that using three different elements seemed to work best. (As is often advised when designing, “Work in odd numbers.”)

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

For height and texture in this design, I placed the flowers in a tall smoke glass vase. I opted for hydrangeas and peonies and packed them in tight to create a little ball of beauty. Flower arranging doesn’t get much easier than this.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

And, yes, that’s Sebastian “supervising in the background.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Since magazines and books are naturals on a coffee table, I stacked up three of them and topped them with a candle. The candle adds sparkle and gives off a lovely glow when lit.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

I finished things off with an oversized wood chain link. I love bringing in something like this because it’s unusual and likely to stir up conversation when guests are visiting.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Young and Quirky
Speaking of out-of-the-ordinary and interesting, that was the theme for my next table. For this styling, I took inspiration from NESTEA and the Tiny House I helped decorate. (More on that here.) The folks at NESTEA were kind enough to send me the brass wiener dog I used in the house. I just can’t get enough of him and look for any excuse to use him in my decor.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Again, for this table design, I used a grouping of three. I placed a plant on top a stack of books. To me, a plant, flowers, or some botanical element is a must for styling. The third element was my little wiener dog. He gives the look a playful touch and a bit of bling for good measure.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

To finish off the table, I used a small tray. Right now the tray is holding my favorite NESTEA and glasses for company, but you can fill it with anything you’d like. Coaster, remotes, a deck of cards … whatever needs a home. Having a tray or box on a coffee table is a great idea for corralling those little items you’re never sure what to do with.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Think Functional
FUNCTION is the inspiration for my final simple coffee table styling idea, which includes this amazing fern arrangement that I picked up at a local flower shop. (I probably won’t be able to keep the ferns alive, but they’re stunning for now.)

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

Going for a group of three again, I paired the fern garden with a beautiful brass watering can. Now, I know a watering can on a coffee table is strange, but when the can is this gorgeous, I don’t mind at all. It adds interest and sparkle which are important elements when dressing a coffee table. Plus, the folks at the shop told me this fern likes to stay wet, so the watering can is a visual reminder.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

The final item is the wood tray you saw earlier. I wanted to show you how a tray can work for holding remotes and such. Rather than being scattered around the table, a tray or box keeps them handy and organized.

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

And that’s a wrap. What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

Simple Coffee Table Styling Ideas to add style to your living room decor | Inspired by Charm

I hope you found these simple coffee table styling ideas helpful for decorating your own space.

This post is sponsored by NESTEA. I’m finally getting settled in Pittsburgh. After a crazy May, June is giving me a chance to get some furniture, put things in order, and generally make this new space my home. On my last trip from St. Marys, I brought over a coffee table I’m no longer using […]




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This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm
This post is sponsored by NABISCO.

Today I’m remixing another old-fashioned dessert just in time for summer BBQ season! It’s a RITZ Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake.

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

This icebox cake is the perfect combination of salty and sweet topped with fresh summer berry flavor! My friends over at NABISCO asked me (and you!) to remix our backyard BBQs this summer. So I thought I’d create this classic icebox cake in a new way using RITZ Crackers, homemade whipped cream, and fresh berries. It’s a wonderful way to cool down and enjoy the flavor and fun of an unforgettable summer.

Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

This recipe idea is based on a classic one. The traditional dessert is a no-bake recipe consisting of RITZ Crackers, whipped topping, and grape jelly. Yep, that’s it. However, I decided to take it to the next level by whipping up my own whipped cream and adding cream cheese and mixed berry jam. I also topped the whole thing off with a pile of fresh berries because … why not?

Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

To create my version, you start by whipping up a big batch of whipped cream. Cream cheese, powdered sugar, and mixed berry jam are then combined and slowly folded into the whipped cream to create the sweet and fluffy part of this dessert.

Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

Now, the fun starts. The cake is formed by layering RITZ Crackers with this sweet berry filling.

I started mine on a cake plate. Then, I added just the outer ring of a spring form pan. Doing this isn’t required, but I found it helped to hold everything together and ensure that the layers didn’t slide as they set.

Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake summer dessert recipe | Inspired by Charm

I began with a layer of crackers, then a layer of mixed berry whipped cream. I put my whipped cream into a piping bag which made adding it to the crackers much easier. I then used a small offset spatula to level everything off.

Continue adding layer by layer until you reach the top. I used about 6 sleeves of RITZ Crackers (1 1/2 box) and most of my mixed berry whipped cream. You can reserve a bit of your whipped cream to add the fresh berries on top before serving.

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

Next, the whole cake gets refrigerated for 4-5 hours or until you’re ready to serve it. Before serving, add a dollop of the reserved mixed berry whipped cream and top with a mound of fresh berries. How’s that for Remix Your BBQ dessert? Mission accomplished, NABISCO!

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

As I mentioned above, the resulting dessert is the perfect combination of salty meets sweet. The addition of mixed berry jam and fresh berries add just the perfect taste for summer. You’re going to be the king or queen of your next BBQ.

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

For more fun, try some of these easy and inexpensive BBQ decor ideas:

  • Instead of fresh flowers, use seasonal blooms such as geraniums and petunias to add color to your party.
  • Pick up some inexpensive handkerchiefs to use as decor. They can dress up a table, line a basket for chips, or function as a napkin.
  • Use some galvanized steel server ware. It’s a beautiful and trendy metal for outdoor entertaining.
  • Save your fancy glassware for inside. Opt for mason jars with paper straws. They are durable and fun.

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

I think your summer BBQ is ready. Let’s whip up this cake so we can get to the fun!

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

RITZ Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake

Serves 16-18

Here's what you will need:
4 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
16-ounce cream cheese
1 1/2 cups mixed berry jam
5-6 sleeves RITZ Crackers
2 cups fresh berries to garnish

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Continuing whipping until firm peaks form. Set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, whip together the cream cheese, mixed berry jam, and 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold into the prepared whipped cream until evenly combined. Divide into three large piping bags. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Assemble the cake by arranging a layer of RITZ Crackers on a cake plate or serving dish using a springform pan ring as a guide. (The springform pan ring is optional but recommended.) Pipe about 3/4 cup of the mixed berry whipped cream on the crackers. Spread the whipped cream out evenly with a small offset spatula. Repeat the cracker and filling layers until you reach the top of the pan or desired height. The top layer should be the mixed berry cream.

Refrigerate for 4-5 hours or until ready to serve. When ready to serve, top with any extra mixed berry whipped cream and a mound of fresh berries.

Print

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love how simple and delicious ingredients can make a beautiful and delicious dessert in no time!

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

This will definitely wow your guests this summer. It’s the perfect dessert for any celebration.

And don’t forget the tunes for your summer BBQ. As part of the “Remix Your BBQ” campaign, NABISCO is teaming up with Lady Antebellum for their YOU LOOK GOOD WORLD TOUR. They will be at select stops throughout the summer sharing more remixed recipes.

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

For more information about “Remix Your BBQ,” including recipes and a chance to win tickets to see Lady Antebellum, head on over to NabiscoBBQ.com.

Also be sure to show off how you remix your BBQ by using the hashtag #NABISCO and #BBQRemix.

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

This Ritz Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake is the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. | Inspired by Charm

I hope you enjoyed my delicious remix of a classic desert with this RITZ Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake. Cheers to summer!

This post is sponsored by NABISCO. Today I’m remixing another old-fashioned dessert just in time for summer BBQ season! It’s a RITZ Cracker and Mixed Berry Icebox Cake. This icebox cake is the perfect combination of salty and sweet topped with fresh summer berry flavor! My friends over at NABISCO asked me (and you!) to […]




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Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

Well friends, slowly but surely I’m getting settled into my new place. I have decided to take my time and enjoy the process, so don’t expect any grand reveals anytime soon. However, now that life has settled down some, I’m excited to show you around a bit. Let’s start with the updated lighting.

Before I signed the lease on my new apartment, one of the questions I asked was if I could change the light fixtures. I have this weird obsession with light fixtures (it’s one of my favorite things to choose for a space), so having the option to swap out builder basic for bold and unique was a must.

And, although I’m new to apartment living, I think little changes like these can make a huge difference when you’re trying to make a rented space look and feel more like home.

You might remember from my first tour of the apartment that I have four overhead fixtures – one in the kitchen, one above the sofa, and two in the entry hallway. They functioned well but lacked the style I was after so an upgrade was in order.

In the kitchen, I went from this …

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

… to this.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

Big improvement, right?

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

This is the Tangled Chandelier in Natural Brass from Schoolhouse Electric. I have been crazy obsessed with this fixture since it came out a couple years ago. In fact, I was considering putting it in my St. Marys’ kitchen.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

Recently, it got a lot of attention in blogland, which kind of bummed me out. With this new space, I’m trying to avoid all things “trendy” and do my own thing. I considered not purchasing it for that reason. However, after lots of thought and research, it seemed like the best fit for my space, so I went with it.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

And I’m so glad I did. I think it works exceptionally well in this location. The exposed bulbs and wires tie in with the industrial elements in the space, while the brass is likely to complement the more modern and traditional pieces I hope to incorporate down the road.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

Isn’t it amazing how a simple light fixture can totally change the look of a room? It’s definitely making this feel more like home.

Over in the entryway, I used a more modern / mid-century modern-looking piece.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

This is the Possini Euro Metro fixture from Lamps Plus.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

The reason I selected this piece is that I’m a huge fan of the Modo Chandelier from Roll & Hill. However, with a $4K price tag, that one wasn’t happening.

In addition to the affordability of the Lamps Plus fixture, I like that its white globes match the white bulbs of the kitchen fixture. (There is a method to my madness.)

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

My only gripe with this chandelier is that I wish it was a tad larger. It doesn’t come in multiple sizes, so it was sort of a “take it or leave it” situation. I took it.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

This space is still painfully empty, but once I bring in a bench, rug, sideboard with lamps, and some accessories, I don’t think the chandy will look so small and lonely. Here’s hoping!

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

I have another fixture on order for the living room and am looking for something sort of basic for the hallway, but that’s still undecided. I’ll be sure to give you an update when they are installed.

Also, as I mentioned in last week’s newsletter (You can sign up here if you aren’t already on the list.), I have updated the SHOP IBC page to include a section for my apartment. There are only a few things in there at the moment, but I will do my best to keep it updated with my purchases in case you have questions on where things are from or want a sneak peek at what I’m purchasing.

Finally, for my fellow apartment dwellers, I installed these fixtures myself. My dad taught me well, and I have a lot of experience after swapping out almost every fixture and light switch in my other home. I do recommend getting permission from your landlord before making any electrical changes. Hire a professional or get trained to do the work yourself. Also, hang on to the fixtures and hardware that came with your apartment so you can put them back up when you move.

Updated Apartment Lighting - unique and stylish chandeliers to decorate your apartment | Inspired by Charm

That’s it for my apartment light update. What do you think? As you can see from the glimpses of other details in the space, I have lots more to share. Stay tuned, my friends!

Well friends, slowly but surely I’m getting settled into my new place. I have decided to take my time and enjoy the process, so don’t expect any grand reveals anytime soon. However, now that life has settled down some, I’m excited to show you around a bit. Let’s start with the updated lighting. Before I […]




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Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

This post is sponsored by NESTEA.

I wonder if I could make a career out of creating fun table settings? Oh wait, I’ve already sort of done that. #winning Anywho, today I’m back sharing a fun green-inspired tablescape and a few simple tips for joyful entertaining.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

As you probably know, I’ve been working with NESTEA as they launch their delicious new and reformulated iced teas with fewer ingredients and a simpler recipe. (By the way, you can get a free bottle of the new NESTEA here.) To help spread the word about their real brewed tea varieties and classic iced tea flavors, they created the NESTEA Tiny House which I helped decorate. The Tiny House showcased the concept of less is more in a beautiful, trendy, and fun way.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

Inspired by the #newNESTEA and influenced by their Tiny House (more details on that here), I thought I’d put together a simple yet beautiful green-inspired table setting to continue the fun.

With the table set, I’m going to show you around and share some simple tips for entertaining and creating a fabulous table of your own. There is joy in simplicity, and my hope is to show you how you can easily make something simple that’s beautiful and special.

Let’s get started!

1. Begin with Color
Have I engraved this tip in your brain yet? Whether I’m sharing advice for decorating or party planning, I always tell folks that color is the place to start. Not only does your color scheme guide your decor but it also helps you be less distracted by beautiful things outside your palette.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

For this particular tablescape, green was an obvious color choice. It’s the color ofNESTEA’s logo, and it played a big role in decorating the tiny house. To go along with it, I chose two neutral colors: white and brown. The white adds a crisp, modern touch to the table, and the brown wood tied brings in another touch of nature. (It’s also a great nod to the color of Nilgiri tea leaf in the new NESTEA.)

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

2. New and Old
When creating a tablescape, I recommend mixing old and new. (This is another tip that works for home decor as well.) When you mix old and new, you instantly get a collected look. The mix of items also tells a story, such as “This piece belonged to my grandma. I just found this piece at my favorite store. This was an old sign that I turned into a tray.”

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

Obviously, having things on your dinner table that tell a story creates conversation and connections. Plus, they sure look beautiful.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

3. Nature-Inspired
During the summer months, I love hitting up my own yard for fresh greens and flowers. They’re there for the taking, so why not use what you have? Whether it’s a branch from one of your trees, a potted succulent, or blooms from your cutting garden, nature’s bounty brings texture and interest to your table.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

In fact, for these greens, I didn’t even have to step off my porch. These speckled flowers from my climbing hydrangea, along with a few branches from a nearby tree, added height when tucked into a vase. Done!

4. Less is More
Beyond the place settings, I’ve only added six decor items: two glass buoys, one sign-turned-tray, one large vase, and one mini vases. That’s it. When you use interesting and dynamic pieces, you don’t need a lot.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

Decorative pieces that are functional (like the sign I’m using as a tray) are a double win. I also think that using larger shallow objects, such as the glass buoys, are a smart idea because they can be quickly removed when it’s time to eat.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

5. Think Outside the Box
My final simple tip for joyful entertaining is to think outside the box. That is, how can you use things in a new, different, or unexpected way?

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

For example, I used long thin cutting boards as placements. Sure, they don’t fit perfectly under the plate, but it’s enough to keep the plate steady and in place while your guests dine. Plus, depending on what you’re serving (How about some delicious summer kabobs?), they could act as a plate for the main course. As I already mentioned, a sign reading “Lake” became a graphic tray with zero time and effort. If I had wanted to make it more functional, I could have added handles, but I decided that wasn’t necessary for my tablescape.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

Keep things simple by getting creative with what you already own. The more purposes one item serves, the more valuable it is. It also means you can bring less stuff into your life and home.

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

Simple Tips for Joyful Entertaining - summer tablescape and green-inspired table setting - dining room decor | Inspired by Charm

That’s it, my friends! Now that the table is set and the iced tea is poured, it’s time for the grub. I hope you enjoyed a look at my table and picked up a few ideas for creating a sensational yet simple tablescape.

Thank you to NESTEA for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.

This post is sponsored by NESTEA. I wonder if I could make a career out of creating fun table settings? Oh wait, I’ve already sort of done that. #winning Anywho, today I’m back sharing a fun green-inspired tablescape and a few simple tips for joyful entertaining. As you probably know, I’ve been working with NESTEA […]




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What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

I try not to do these “What’s the Tea” updates too frequently because I know that most of you are here for design tips and recipes. Occasionally, life warrants another update, so please bear with me.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

Several weeks ago I told you that my Gram had a stroke. Unfortunately, she was not able to recover, and I am deeply saddened to tell you that she passed away a little over a week ago. She spent time in the hospital and a nursing home, and her condition was up and down. In her final days, we fed her, held her hand, hugged and kissed her, and said prayers. She struggled in the end. As hard as it was to say goodbye, it was time. Her service was held two years to the day after my grandfather (her husband) passed away.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

As much as I’d love to chat about my grandparents right now, I’d be just a babbling mess of tears, so I’ll save my stories of them for future posts. I did, however, want to give you an update and thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

It probably goes without saying, that May was a busy and trying month. I’m very happy that June is here. The sun is shining, and although Gram is no longer with us, I have another angel watching over me as I try to figure out my life.

Just this past weekend, I came back to my somewhat abandoned apartment in Pittsburgh, and now I’m finally starting to settle in. (I share daily updates on Instagram Stories … if you’re interested.) My first day back here was tough. The cats came with me this time, and watching them struggle to adjust to their new environment broke my heart. Coupled with the recent loss of Gram, it wasn’t much fun around here.

However, five days in, things are getting better. The cats are adapting to the new space which makes me so happy. And I seem to be adjusting, too.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

I am genuinely happy to be living here. As I drive the streets and walk the sidewalks of Pittsburgh, I think of all the things I want to do and can do. All the places I want to eat and all of the experiences I want to create. It’s almost overwhelming but in the best possible way.

I am feeling a little pressure, however. (Which is mostly of my own making) I want everything to happen at once, even though I know that is totally unrealistic. Time seems so fleeting, and I feel like I’m running out of it.

On top of that, I’m also anxious about making friends, I’m nervous about going on dates. I’m trying to push myself into new adventures, but at the same time I need and want to feel comfortable. (Or does comfort need to go out the window at this point?) How does a person do these things in his mid-30s? Ack! I should have all of this taken care of by now. Anywho, for now, I’m taking things day-by-day, moment-by-moment, and just hoping for the best.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

I have made great progress in my apartment, however. As you can see, I’ve found several pieces to start making this place feel like home. I promise to whip up a mini-home tour for you soon. Be warned, however, that this is the only section that’s somewhat presentable. Behind the camera, my TV is sitting on the box it came in. Not cute.

In other news, I need to get my food intake back on track. Living in the city doesn’t mean I’m on a permanent vacation where my diet can consist mostly of cinnamon rolls, pasta, cheese, and multiple glasses of rosé. With the progress I’ve made in losing weight this year, the last thing I want to do is backslide. Thankfully, I have several farmers markets nearby, lots of places to run, and a gym in my building. I truly have no excuse.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

While I’m certain I have more life updates, I think that’s about enough for today. Before I sign off, though, I have a quick question for you. Do you enjoy these more personal / working-through-life style posts? I ask because I always have lots of thoughts rolling around in my head. I’m happy to share them, but I know this can easily verge on oversharing. I’m curious about what you might like, so any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Hope you’re having a wonderful week, my friends!

I try not to do these “What’s the Tea” updates too frequently because I know that most of you are here for design tips and recipes. Occasionally, life warrants another update, so please bear with me. Several weeks ago I told you that my Gram had a stroke. Unfortunately, she was not able to recover, […]




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Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm
This post is created with America’s Dairy Farm Families and Importers, in partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The views, ideas, and options are my own.

Did you know that June is National Dairy Month? To celebrate, I’m going to show you how to make Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

As much as I love getting creative in the kitchen with new ingredients and fancy food trends, there’s something special about the classics. Strawberry Shortcake (or in this case, Mixed Berry Shortcakes) is high on my list of favorite classic desserts. What I love most about this recipe is that it takes me back to my childhood. It was one of those desserts (along with tapioca pudding) that my mom often made. You knew it was going to be a great meal when it ended with shortcake, strawberries, and whipped cream.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

For this recipe, I’m teaching you how to make whipped cream from scratch. If you’ve never done this, you’re in for a treat because homemade is the best. Not only that, it’s simple. But to make it, you will need heavy whipping cream. This is a must.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Fun fact: Did you know that the milk you drink is most likely from a farm in your locale and that dairy products contribute to the farm-to-table movement? Milk is produced in every state, and on average milk travels 300 miles from farm to store. So while you’re out picking up some fresh summer berries, also grab some milk, cream, and butter from a local farm! (And did you also know that 97% of dairy farms are family-owned and operated?)

I hope you enjoyed the milk facts I just laid on you. We are celebrating National Dairy month after all! For more undeniably dairy fun, check out this “dairy” cute video here.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Ok, back to this homemade whipped cream. I used my stand mixer and whipped the heavy cream up with a bit of vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Don’t have a stand mixer? No worries. You can beat the cream by hand. You’ll get some arm exercise at the same time.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Whip the heavy cream until it just forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to overmix because, if you do, you’ll start creating butter. And while that’s equally delicious, we don’t want butter layered in between our shortcakes. The final cream should be fluffy but not too firm.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Speaking of shortcakes, we’re making those from scratch, too. You can certainly substitute angel food cake for this, but for me, shortcake is the way to go. Thanks to the butter and eggs, it’s a bit denser and really soaks up all those delicious juices from the berries.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Once all of that is ready, mix together your berries with sugar and a splash of lemon juice. Then let them sit for a while to draw out that sweet juice of summer.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

With that, your shortcakes are ready to assemble. I decided to use large wide mouth mason jars for this.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

The jars fit the farm-to-table vibe and allow you to see all of those beautiful layers: clouds of homemade whipped cream, dense shortcake, and bold summer berries. Perfection!

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

To add your homemade whipped cream, I recommend using a piping bag fitted with a star tip. This makes it super easy and pretty, too.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Now our mixed berry shortcakes are complete! Let’s eat!

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream

Makes 8 servings

Here's what you will need:

Shortcake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk (for egg wash)

Macerated Mixed Berries:
3 pints fresh berries (Strawberries should be hulled and chopped.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

Homemade Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set it aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using the paddle attachment and low speed, mix in the butter it is about the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream in a measuring cup. Then, with the mixer on low, add them to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. The dough will be sticky.

On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/2-inch thick using a rolling pin. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut about 16 shortcakes. Place them onto the prepared sheet pan. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. Allow to cool on the sheet pan.

In the meantime, prepare your berries by tossing them in a large bowl with the lemon juice and sugar. Let the berries macerate for 1-2 hours, stirring them once or twice during this process.

To prepare your homemade whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, with your mixture on medium speed, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Continue whipping for several minutes until the cream is fluffy but not too firm. Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

Once the shortcakes have cooled and the berries have produced sufficient juice, you're ready to assemble the dessert. Begin by cutting the shortcakes in half with a serrated knife. lace half of a shortcake into the bottom of the mason jar. Top with berries and then whipped cream. Repeat this process again. Finish with a shortcake top, a dollop of whipped cream, and additional berries to garnish. Serve immediately.

Tell me these aren't the most scrumptious-looking treat you've ever seen.

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Tell me these aren’t the most scrumptious-looking treat you’ve ever seen.


Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

As I mentioned earlier in this post, going homemade and farm-to-table is recommended for a dessert like this. The freshest ingredients will give you the best flavors.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream - easy summer dessert recipe from Inspired by Charm

So, as we celebrate National Dairy Month, whip up some fresh cream and pick up your favorite fresh berries. Then treat yourself to one fabulous dessert.

This post is created with America’s Dairy Farm Families and Importers, in partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. The views, ideas, and options are my own. Did you know that June is National Dairy Month? To celebrate, I’m going to show you how to make Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream. As much as […]




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Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Recently, I decided to refresh my side porch for the summer, and today I thought I’d give you a peek. In an ideal world, I’d invite all of you over to sip sangria and visit. But since there aren’t enough seats for everyone, I figured this mini-tour would be the next best thing.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

For the past two years, I’ve been styling my side porch pretty much the same way, so a change was in order. It actually all started when I spotted this fun pillow at HomeGoods. That became my jumping off point for some colorful summer porch styling.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

I also decided to get new tables because my old ones were beginning to rust again. Far too many coats of spray paint had also left them looking a bit shabby.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

For my coffee table, I opted for a pair of round iron and wood-topped side tables. Their shape adds a bit of interest, and they can easily be moved around as needed.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

I also pulled in a few simple side tables which offer places to set a drink, plant, or decorative accessory.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

 Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

During the past couple of years, I had been using a reddish orange bench for my coffee table. It suffered a few dings and dents this past winter, so I patched the bruises and gave it a fresh coat of black paint.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Now it doubles as a side table and a place to show off a few plants.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Normally, I fill my porch with annual flowers, but this year I went with lots of succulents. The latter require much less water and will still look great even though I won’t be here to water them daily. (Side note: if you’re looking for big succulents, hit up Home Depot. I love their selection!)

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Some other fun accessories (mostly from HomeGoods), a few ferns, and a simple outdoor rug (from Walmart) complete the space.

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Although it’s not a major change, it was fun to switch things up and try something new this year. And best of all, it’s just in time for summer!

Colorful Summer Porch Styling - outdoor summer decorating ideas | Inspired by Charm

Over on the HomeGoods blog, Design Happy, I’m talking more about this space and sharing 4 Tips to Add Color and Style to Your Porch. Click here to head on over there for more inspiration.

Recently, I decided to refresh my side porch for the summer, and today I thought I’d give you a peek. In an ideal world, I’d invite all of you over to sip sangria and visit. But since there aren’t enough seats for everyone, I figured this mini-tour would be the next best thing. For the […]




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Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm

Well friends, as I promised a while back, I’m tackling a mini-makeover of one of my guest bedrooms. Earlier this year some blogger friends and I decided it would be fun to team up for a bloggers’ series. For the series, each of us would pick a room in our homes and give it a new look inspired by color. We’re calling our series Color Lovers.

Today all of us bloggers in this series are sharing “before” images of our respective spaces and giving you a sneak peek at our plans for them. (I’ve linked all of the other bloggers at the end of this post, so be sure to check out everyone’s spaces.)

For this fun series, I opted to refresh my coral bohemian-inspired guest bedroom. While this space has always functioned fine, I was never especially excited or happy about it, so it was the perfect choice for this project.

Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm

Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm

My plan is to keep the layout of the room pretty much the same and just tweak some of the furnishings, accessories, and paint. As regular IBC readers know, I recently moved to a new apartment in Pittsburgh. Because I’m still unsure about the future of my house in St. Marys, a major and costly room makeover just didn’t make sense right now.

However, I still want a big change for this room so my hope is to take it from tropical bohemian to hipster hotel.

Let’s take a look.

Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm

Yeah, it’s quite different, right?

I often pick up inspiration while traveling, and that’s where the idea for this space came from. Back in February, when I was visiting Pittsburgh, I stayed at the Ace Hotel and fell in love with the decor of its restaurant.

Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm

In case you’ve never been to an Ace Hotel, the vibe is vintage with modern touches. Think record players and colors from the 70s with thick black borders and touches of marble. Hipster is probably the most appropriate word for it. And even though, I don’t consider myself “hipster,” I adore the aesthetic.

Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm

I’ll be sourcing all of the items above when I post the reveal on June 27. (The rest of the bloggers in the series will be sharing their reveals then, too.) During this series, we all have the pleasure of working with The Mine, Birch Lane, and Minted to source some of the decor and accessories for our spaces. So, if you’re desperate to find some of these pieces, those are good places to start.

While I’m thrilled to have a direction for changing this space, I am still undecided on a few details and also debating whether to paint. If I do paint, it would most likely be just around the fireplace, a feature wall, or some modelings. We shall see!

Whatever happens, I’m so excited to get this color-loving makeover started so I can share the reveal with you at the end of June! I may even pop back in between to give you a little update. You can also follow along with my Instagram Stories where I’m sure I’ll be teasing you with a few things from my room refresh.

If you love makeovers, be sure to visit all of the bloggers in the series by clicking on the links below.

Guest Color Lovers - Bedroom Makeover: Before | Inspired by Charm
Inspired by Charm (You’re here!)

Well friends, as I promised a while back, I’m tackling a mini-makeover of one of my guest bedrooms. Earlier this year some blogger friends and I decided it would be fun to team up for a bloggers’ series. For the series, each of us would pick a room in our homes and give it a […]




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Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm
This post is sponsored by NESTEA.

A couple weeks ago, I told you that I was working with my friends at NESTEA to decorate a Tiny House in NYC. It took a couple months to bring it all together, so it was great to finally see the result of our collaboration.

The Tiny House was created to show the idea of “less is more” and that by simplifying our lives, we’re able to focus on what’s truly important and enhance our joy.

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

The timing of this opportunity with NESTEA was perfect since I have been making changes in my own life to increase my happiness. As I travel between my house in St. Marys and my apartment in Pittsburgh, the advantages of having less have become apparent. I know this sounds kind of backward because having two residences instead of one is the opposite of less, but I’m referring to the “stuff” I have in each of those places.

As I work to create simplicity in my homes, today I thought I’d share a few tips for how to do this. Whether you’re starting out in a new space or reinventing your old one, I hope these ideas help you maximize your joy!

Keep Only What You Love
I’ve always used my job as an excuse to “have a lot of things.” Since my home is my stage for Inspired by Charm, I’m constantly wanting to keep things looking new. That means shopping for things each season to give my spaces a fresh and updated look. And while I love this (because shopping and decorating are my jam), a house can only hold so much.

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

Recently, I’ve been trying to follow the principle of when something new comes in, something old must go. For example, if I get a new set of throw pillows for my bed, the old ones should be donated rather than stuffed in a tote and stored away. This instantly eliminates the excess.

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

Now, I totally understand that I can’t just get rid of everything. Decorating is a passion, so I do like to change things up seasonally. That’s why I’m working to create a dedicated area in my basement or attic where I can store sentimental decorations that I plan to use again and again. Simplifying is about balance, too.

In Color Order
Let’s talk about simplicity in decor. No matter what your style (even if you’re like me and want to keep things eclectic), you can still find a beautiful sweet spot between extravagant and simple. You can see below how I was able to incorporate a few of the tiny house accessories into my own home just by working within a color scheme.

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

With any design (even when I’m planning a party), I often turn to color as a guiding principle. If you can limit the colors in a space, you can instantly keep things simple and cohesive. Take the Tiny House for example. The goal for the home was to honor the NESTEA green and incorporate that throughout the space. This was a great idea because it instantly gave us a theme. It simplified the design process as well because I could focus my efforts on finding things in that color scheme rather than searching through every possible color palette.

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

For balance, I choose to incorporate a few touches of blue. While simplifying is wonderful and powerful, maintaining a balance is also important. An example is the new NESTEA. While the recipe has fewer ingredients and a simpler recipe, there’s still room to play with levels of sweetness (from unsweetened to slightly sweetened) and flavor (lemon, raspberry, and peach.) The goal here is to add joy, not remove it.

Design With Purpose
One other thing to keep in mind with your decor is to have things with purpose whenever possible. Can a basket add texture while providing a place to store towels or magazines? Can a bedside clock look chic and as it gives you the time? Can banquette seating offer hidden storage? Can open shelving in the kitchen function as wall art and storage?

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

Anytime something can do double (or triple) duty, I think it’s a win. Again, it something serves a purpose and brings you joy, it’s worth keeping in your home. Also, keep in mind that “purpose” can also mean that something makes you laugh or brings a smile to your face. Be it a gold unicorn bust or a brass wiener dog, it’s important to allow things in your life and home whose sole purpose to make you happy.

Keep Organized
Like many people, I struggle with staying organized. There have been multiple occasions when I’ve bought something new, forgetting I already had something similar stored away. Or I’ll buy something because I just can’t find the one I already own. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!)

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

Therefore staying organized and having a place for everything can be helpful when it comes to simplifying. For example, store your tools in a tool chest instead of having them scattered around in various drawers. Keep all your jeans on one shelf or in one section of your closet. Have a dedicated area for mail rather than allowing it to pile up on every flat surface from your door to your desk. It’s a joy suck when you realize your electric bill is a week overdue because you can’t find it and now you have to pay a late fee.

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

No matter our intentions, I know that at times we are all restricted by life, time, and money. In a perfect world, we’d follow every “good” principle and life would be dandy. There’s no need to drastically change things in one day (unless that works for you). Try making small changes over time. The goal is to simplify and maximize the joy in your life (not cause stress.)

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

Find Joy in Simplicity in Your Home | Inspired by Charm

For more information about the NESTEA Tiny House that I helped to decorate, check out my post here. Also, be sure to sample the all-new NESTEA. It’s mighty tasty. Their real brewed tea (in black and green tea) comes in a variety of sweetness levels. They also have fruit-flavored teas, including lemon, raspberry, and peach. You can get a free taste at NESTEA.com Cheers!

Thank you to NESTEA for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.

This post is sponsored by NESTEA. A couple weeks ago, I told you that I was working with my friends at NESTEA to decorate a Tiny House in NYC. It took a couple months to bring it all together, so it was great to finally see the result of our collaboration. The Tiny House was […]




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