Happy Monday!

It’s been a while since we’ve just chatted / gossiped / spilled the tea here on IBC, and I kind of miss it. This past Friday, friend and fellow blogger Stacy of Not Just a Housewife’s posted about changes in the blogging world over the past few years. She noted that some bloggers have pulled back on personal details and lost their voices due to fear of criticism or a need to have their blogs be super professional and polished spaces. Her message really hit home with me.

While change is inevitable and usually positive, it’s important to stop every now and then to make sure we’re headed down the right path. And while I’m not always the best at doing it, I think limiting comparisons to others and being exactly who we are is crucial to a happy life. – As you well know, I struggle with comparison and self-love, but I like to think I’m getting a bit stronger everyday.

Anyway, I’m veering from my point. What I’m trying to say is that I’m joining Stacy in striving to bring back more personality and realness to blogging. And while I realize I can never please everyone, what I can do is be myself and make no apologies for it. However, I am totally in love with you guys and appreciate your opinions. So if you have suggestions, questions, ideas for posts, or constructive criticism, please email me.

Make sense? Awesome sauce! Moving on.

First, thank you SO much for the Spring House Tour love. I didn’t want to go into too much detail in the actual post, but house tours stress me out. As I mentioned, during the past few months I’ve been frustrated with my home and lack of design motivation. I guess this is a natural part of the creative cycle with a side of “what will everyone else think.” At any rate, thanks in part to the arrival of spring weather, I’m feeling a renewed sense of design energy and hope to start tackling some long overdue projects around here.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

Speaking of spring, this past Saturday was gorgeous: 73 degrees F and sunny! So I loaded my backpack with water, snacks, and a good audio book and headed to Driftwood, PA for a hike. I’m planning to enjoy the great outdoors more this year, and hiking is high on my list. This Saturday I hiked the Fred Woods Trail which is about five miles long. Despite the lack of leaves on the trees, the views were fabulous, and it was a beautiful place to explore. I’m looking forward to hiking it again in the summer and fall.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

As I’ve probably mentioned, I write monthly posts for Shari’s Berries. This month I created a cocktail / mocktail to celebrate Mother’s Day. It’s a Hibiscus Tea Cooler, and it’s delicious. I’m under no obligation to share this information with you here, but I was super proud of the photography in this post. I tried something new, and it paid off. Anyway, if you’re interested, you can get the recipe here.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

And a few other things around the web that are totally worth checking out:

Now it’s your turn! Spill the tea, friends. What’s new with you? What things are you loving on the web?

Inspired By Charm Paint Colors
Comments

  • Stacy Risenmay at

    Who knew “the post that almost didn’t get published” would help you out 🙂 I’m glad you are getting recentered too. Your picture of hiking in the wilds of Pennsylvania is stunning! Isn’t it amazing how being in nature sets everything right again? Love you!

  • Lindsey at

    I miss your navy circle/dot fb profile pic….can you over lay your new gold foil font over the dot? It really popped on my newsfeed….but I do appreciate the new look 🙂 I liked the strawberry post…. Take your design outside….do your porch or deck and let the inside breathe, settle… And, did I see a link for a doughnut sammie? HELLO there went my T25 set! 🙂

  • Gwen at

    I am in the same exact place, Michael. For the past year or so, I’ve been creating “content” rather than sharing my life and infusing my blog with who I am. I’ve not been very “real” and I’m working to get back to that… to share more of me, to have a balance, because as my blog grows, it’s wonderful to see it as a business, too.

    Thanks for your heartfelt honestly. It’s so amazing to see a “big” blogger going through the same things.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some dancin’ to do! haha!

  • Kristen at

    All the moss in that hiking picture!!! Please tell me that I’m not the only one out there who is obsessed with moss?! My hubby says it’s weird.

    A wise woman told me that what other people think about you is none of your business. The words sound harsh but I think they hold a lot of wisdom. People will think whatever they want and unfortunately there isn’t much to be done about it other than continuing to be yourself and celebrating the people who celebrate you. I can only speak for myself here but I visit regularly because I’m inspired by you and enjoy seeing what you are up to. You are what makes this blog unique, after all! I’m glad you’ll be sharing more of yourself here again!

  • Lindsay at

    BIG ditto on “See You Again.” That video is such a tear jerker…especially the end when the road splits and the cars go in different directions. Love it.

    I loved what Stacy said last week too, and I always love the more personal blog posts. And don’t worry about whether or not people will like what you post (easier said than done, I know…). We all come here because we like your blog and have found inspiration here. Not every post will hit home with every person, but we come back because we like what we see here. You’re doing great!

  • Diane@InMyOwnStyle at

    Your photos are beautiful. The PA weather on Saturday was perfect. Wish it could be like that everyday. Love your photo of the Hibiscus Tea Cooler. You should be proud. Would love to know what you did …it sure did pay off. All of your photos are stunning, but I can see why you are proud of this one. XO

  • Sheila at

    We are in a time in America where we are allowing ourselves to “be muzzled” by critical attacks by others who do not share our same viewpoints/opinions. It started at the top with civil war within our government and has trickled down into every part of society as acceptable behavior.

    The specialness of your blog is in allowing your readers to know you personally. You inspire us with beautiful design ideas, diy projects, delicious recipes, allow us to be a part of family celebrations (mom’s birthday), and over all share your heart with us. We see your hard work, giftedness and talents and you allow us to know your setbacks, frustrations, concerns, anxieties, and weaknesses. We connect with your realness.

    You are our virtual friend and we eagerly come back to visit with you frequently, to hear your ideas and see what you have been up too. Don’t cave in to the “nay sayers”, keep the personal loveliness of your website, and know true friends will build you up, appreciate you and your work, and encourage you with their words. Be yourself! We really like who you are.

  • Karin at

    Michael, I love your blog. Don’t change a thing, because someone out there might be less than kind! That is THEIR problem, not yours:) I read blogs to get a peak inside someone else’s life and how they handle curve balls, successes and the likes. I don’t want sleek and shiny and perfect. My little jewelry blog is just at the very beginning. There is so much I have to learn and I am sure it could and would get ripped apart – if anyone actually read it! HA! But I am not going to let that stop me, because I love what I do. Thanks for sharing the link on “impostor syndrome”. I have had that for as long as I remember. And now I know I am not only the only one, but that I am a bright perfectionist;)

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence at

    Thanks so much for the mention! I’m new to your space as well. Definitely going to check everything out 🙂

  • Lois from PA at

    Michael…I’m new to IBC but have become an avid follower……I started my blog last year and was told “Don’t do this, Do that”……and I realized I started it to reach people all over and share our lives, laughs and those bumps in the road. I am a 9/11 survivor, and since that day I changed how I look at life…..My husband and I left NJ and built our dream home here in Pennsylvania and never looked back! My blog is still evolving but my direction is to share – I love your blog and visit first thing every morning…..don’t change, share your milestones as well as your setbacks. You would be surprised how you do “Inspire”!
    Country Hugs,
    Lois

  • Patty at

    What a wonderful video!!! I have copied the address down because I read to third graders every Thursday and I would love for them to watch this. We talk about things like this every week. Thanks for sharing.

  • Candice at

    Please stay true to who you are Michael. You have given me countless hours of entertainment, wonderful ideas and fabulous recipes. Best of all, it was like receiving them from the best friend I wish I had.

    P.S. Love the shot of the Hibiscus Tea. Just Beautiful.

  • Lisa B. at

    Love your blog. After a day of paper pushing my brain screams for something creative and beautiful.
    I love the few things around the web post. I think you should post that at least once a week.

  • Jeanette Bruffett at

    I’m glad to see your gonna infuse more Michael in IBC. I mean ..its all you…but I like the personal stuff. I like coming here and hearing you talk to us just as if we were sitting on that cute sofa sipping something yummy you just whipped up! The internet can be a fun inviting place full of awesome people but I know how hard it is when the mean nasties come out to play :/ Be you….be all of you because that’s what the world needs. I need that. thank you 🙂

  • Angela Boone at

    Michael, your blog and your home are amazing! IBC is one of my favorites.

    I am a relatively new blogger, balancing blogging, a teaching career, mmotherhood, marriage, and trying to make our home our dream home. We’ve been in our home two years and we love it. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but I’m having fun doing it.

  • michele at

    I’m not a blogger and I don’t follow blogs, but I found your page from a link on fb to your pasta, bacon, goat cheese dish and I very much enjoy your voice, especially when you include what doesn’t work with what works. I’m tired of the perfectionism of today, I appreciate reading that I should not tackle the cactus lime cookies at the end of the day if I’m cranky and prone to moodiness.

  • Claire Brody at

    For what it’s worth, the blogs that I am addicted to are those with voice. I love following you on Instagram because I feel like I know you in a creepy way. I think it’s essential to show voice through blogging and I honestly hate how blogging has turned into this no voice, robot thing. That sounds harsh, and I’m not a harsh person, but it’s something that I feel strongly about. Blogs have to have some kind of authenticity in my opinion. I love everything you do! Don’t change a thing!! xo

  • Nicole at

    Hey Michael – whatever new photography technique you tried, worked. Those red cocktails look gorgeous! Also, I enjoyed your article about adding color to your home. I just bought a new couch – it’s the first piece of “real” furniture I’ve bought for my home and it’s great but the rest of the room is a dud. I’m stuck and can’t figure out what rug would go and what curtains to get. I’ll try to use some of your color advice!

  • Jamie at

    Wonderful post. I read Stacey’s too. I struggle with those same issues you mentioned. I personally love blogs that are more personal. It’s hard to open up but when I do it always brings positive feedback.
    Hugs, Jamie

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