Hey, Friends! Happy New Year! I hope each of you had a joyous holiday filled with friends, family, and lots of love.
I can’t say that I particularly “needed” a break, but it sure was nice to take time off.
While I’m just about ready to get this new year started, I thought it was only appropriate to take a quick (or rather lengthy) look back at 2015. Without getting into the nitty-gritty, 2015 was not my year. There were some struggles in my personal life (which I tried to keep off the pages of IBC) that got me down. Basically it was a hot mess. Bring on 2016!
However, many really wonderful things did happen in 2015. In part, I created this post as a way to focus on all of the awesomeness that 2015 brought and all of the beautiful experiences that came about because of this blog. One thing I learned from last year is that it’s important to focus on the positives. Putting together a post such as this seemed like a fitting way to begin 2016.
This post also serves as a recap of what happened on IBC throughout the year (broken up by month), highlighting some of my favorite posts. So, for those who are new or those who just want to walk down memory lane, this post is for you.
Let’s do this!
Like most years, 2015 started off slowly here on IBC. (As you’ve probably noticed, after the holidays it takes me a while to get back into the groove.) However, I did share some of my favorite recipes, including a childhood favorite – Cinnamon Sour Cream Bread and a new recipe for Chili Beef Wraps.
I also launched my new “A Year of …” Series. In 2015, I tackled A Year of the Skillet. I kicked things off with this Skillet Cookie Cake. Note to self: Make that again ASAP. You can find all of A Year of Skillet recipes here.
February was a crazy month as we celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday. In typical “Michael fashion,” I completely stressed out about it and made it much more involved than needed. However, it did make for some beautiful blog content including this DIY tassel garland and two delicious recipes: Parmesan Garlic Shimp and White Chicken Chili. (If you have yet to attempt the Chicken Chili recipe, you must give it a try. I’ve made it several times since the party. It is so-o-o good!)
Beyond the big bash for my mom, February was a long, cold, rough month. It usually is. That’s about the point I’m sick of the snow and ready for warmer days.
I was so happy to see March arrive as it brought a lot of excitement.
First, the new Inspired by Charm launched. The blog got a new look with improved functionality. Plus, the IBC logo got a makeover. I’m still in love with the changes. We’ve come a long way, baby!
Secondly, I spent a little over a week in California. I enjoyed the break from the bitter Pennsylvania cold so much that I extended my work trip into a mini-vacation. After spending a weekend in LA, I rented a convertible and drove up the coast to San Francisco. It was something I’d dreamed of doing, and it was a blissful experience.
Thanks for the fabulous adventure San Francisco! See you on the flip side! ✌️#deuces #IBCinCA #IBCinSF A photo posted by Michael Wurm, Jr (@inspiredbycharm) on
The cold weather finally broke in April, and signs of spring were everywhere. That inspired lots of “green”-related posts, such as a recipe for My Go-To Green Smoothie, tips for propagating succulents, and Key Lime Cactus Cookies.
In May, I was finally able to get outside and start working on those projects. I planned a little deck project and had the roofs replaced on my porches and garage. We also drank margaritas, installed another gallery wall, and made cupcakes.
In addition, I took a trip with my friends down to Wildwood, NJ. We didn’t have the weather you expect at the beach, but it was still a wonderful place to get away and start the summer.
Unfortunately, June was a mixed bag. The month started off great. As part of my work with Carnival Cruise Lines, I began the month by hopping on a boat headed towards the Caribbean.
Sadly, a couple days into the trip I received word that my grandfather (Pop) had passed away. Thankfully, I was able to get off the boat the next day and fly home. After lots of time spent with family remembering Pop, I got back to work. I had a new deck installed on the back of my house, did some more thrifting, and worked on a few DIY projects, such as these Gold-Leafed Citronella Candles. I also shared my Summer Home Tour. Of course, there were recipes. A Year of the Skillet continued with Mini Blueberry Pies, and we celebrated the summer with Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Margaritas and White Sangria.
With summer in full swing, I decided to start making over one of my guest bedrooms. Inspired by all of the fresh berries of the season, I created a couple delicious recipes: Strawberry Rhubarb Mason Jar Cobblers and Berry Banana Smoothie Bowls. We also partied in paradise. I also had the opportunity to travel down to Baltimore. It was my first visit to the city, and it was a fun experience. I had one of my best-ever meals there at a place called Woodberry Kitchen. If you’re ever in the city, don’t miss it.
I welcomed August with two exciting events. First, I turned 32. Secondly, on that same day, I went to Chicago to take part in the GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure. I traveled from Ohio to Georgia with a group of bloggers to shop the World’s Longest Yard Sale. We were looking for items to decorate a Habitat for Humanity house. I decorated the little boy’s room. It was definitely one of the most memorable moments of my blogging career. Once that room was complete, I got back to work at home on my guest bedroom makeover by hanging a light and painting the space. At the end of the month, I traveled to Maine with another group of bloggers for Camp Gathering and experienced another one of my best-ever meals at a place called Earth at Hidden Pond. (I also shared a recipe for Zucchini Bread Blueberry Crisp, which was inspired by that meal.) And, we can’t forget a few more recipes from August, which happen to be two of my favorites: Mason Jar Blueberry Pies and Emily’s Cheerio Treat Bars. Yum!
September was another crazy month. I kicked off the month with the announcement that I would be teaming up with Lowe’s to provide an IBC reader with a fall room makeover. I spent much of the month designing, planning, (and stressing) about this project. Toward the end of the month, I traveled to the winner’s home in Ohio and executed the makeover. While I didn’t share the finished room until October, it was announced and completed within a month. You can see the makeover here. This was definitely a new experience for me, but one I’m so very proud to have accomplished. Between my travels, I hosted my Fall Home Tour on IBC. I also shared some fall-inspired recipes, including Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie, Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, and Chocolate Pumpkin Tiramisu.
The jet-setting continued in October. First, I headed to Boston for Wayfair’s Heart Home Conference. Even though I’ve been to a few conferences, this one was extra exciting because I was asked to teach a session. Jen from City Farmhouse and I taught a class on how to make custom napkins. My DIY Gold-Leaf Napkin tutorial is here. A few days after that trip, I took my annual Friendcation. Eight of us hopped on a ship and cruised through the Caribbean for some R&R. After a hectic fall, it was just what I needed.
Friendcation 2015!!! Let the fun begin!! ???? A photo posted by Michael Wurm, Jr (@inspiredbycharm) on
Before things got too festive or hectic with the holidays, I shared a weekend bathroom remodel. In addition, I showed a few other updates around my home, including the progress on my guest bedroom makeover and the new rug in my dining room.
November also brought one of my favorite DIYs of 2015. This colorful wrapped wheat was a big hit and made the perfect embellishment for my Thanksgiving table.
Another exciting November happening was finding out that a Christmas Tree I created a few years back was featured in Romantic Homes magazine!
December proved to be one of busiest months on IBC. During the 12 Days of Christmas series, there were lots of festive posts and holiday giveaways. Two of those posts were my 2015 Adele-inspired Christmas Tree and my Holiday Home Tour.
The 12 Days of Christmas also inspired me to create another one of my favorite (maybe all-time favorite) DIYs: Wood Stockings.
(On a personal note, this month was particularly challenging for me from a design / confidence standpoint. Behind-the-scenes, I struggled with the concept for my holiday decor. I know that might sound odd, but there were sleepless nights. However, once the decorating was done, I was so pleased with how it all came together. The icing on the cake was when I got a little love on Instagram from the girls at A Beautiful Mess and House Beautiful Magazine. They both were inspired by my spaces. Even more exciting, Nate Berkus featured my dining room on his website. I suppose the stress paid off.)
I also need to mention my Jingle Juice Holiday Punch. This turned out to be the most viewed page on IBC for the month of December. It’s well deserved, too; that stuff is delicious!
And with that, 2015 is a wrap!
What was your favorite part about 2015 on IBC? What do you hope to see in 2016?
Now as I’m eagerly waiting to see what 2016 will bring, I’m even more excited to have the opportunity to share it all with you. Thank you so much for your support of IBC through the years. Wishing you all a happy, blessed, love-filled new year.