Howdy, friends! I thought I’d use today’s post to fill you in on life since I posted a What’s the Tea a couple months ago.

First of all, where did summer go? LIke me, did you have a lot you wanted to accomplish, but only checked a few things off your list?

Thankfully, despite not doing everything I planned, I did have a fulfilling summer. I was back in St. Marys for several weekends to celebrate Independence Day, our family reunion, and my own birthday. I’ve always enjoyed spending these times with people I love so it’s great being able to hop in my car and scoot back when needed. The three-hour drive seems to fly by.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

Also, an update on my self-watering planters for those who’ve asked. They’ve been amazing. In case you’re new to this conversation, I wanted planters for my St. Marys’ house that would take care of themselves when I’m not there. My friends at Grandin Road and Frontgate were kind enough to supply me with these two planters (here and here), and I couldn’t be more pleased with the planters.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

They are hollow and hold several gallons of water. I need to add water every 2-3 weeks which works perfectly with my visits home. So if you’re in a similar situation, or just want potted plants without the daily watering, I highly recommend these guys.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

In July, I took a trip to Texas with a group of blogger friends. We visited Round Top, Texas for a short retreat. With a population of 90. it’s the most magical little place. Twice a year there is a huge flea market/antique festival that draws thousands. It’s a wonderful spot to visit (even if you’re not antiquing). We stayed at The Vintage Round Top which I highly recommend.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

You might remember that my brother visited me in Pittsburgh this summer. (He stayed overnight, and I made blueberry muffins for breakfast.) Well, this past weekend, my Mom came down to see my new place. I gave her a tour of my neighborhood, plus we went shopping, visited a flea market, and ate at a few restaurants I’ve been wanting to try. It was a good to spend time with her.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

Sidenote: I’ve been trying to share some of my big and not-so-big adventures on Instagram Stories, so If you want to follow along there, I would love to have you. It’s a great place to connect. Also, if you’re not part of the IBC Mailing List, you can sign up here. I’ve been sending out a fun weekly newsletter with a special note and links to content to help inspire your cooking, decorating, and entertaining adventures.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

Since I brought up Pittsburgh, I assume many of you are wondering how this new adventure has been treating me – if the move has been a good one. I will probably save deeper thoughts on this topic for a dedicated post, but I don’t want to leave you hanging. To sum up my feelings and thoughts about my current state, I’d say, “Treading water, but happy to be in the pool.”

I’ve officially been here three months (but closer to two as family happenings kept me in St. Marys for a bit). I had grand expectations and assumed that I would have tons of friends, be involved in many activities, go on magical dates, and be living my best life in no time. But that just hasn’t been the case. Things are taking a little longer than I had hoped, and mostly I have my own fears and insecurities to blame.

But with that said, I’m still excited to be here and happy I took the leap. I definitely have been enjoying the city. And I’m still crazy committed to putting myself out there and finding the things, places, and people that bring me joy. I hope that my feet are a more firmly planted in the not-too-distant future.

Again, I’ll try to explain more in another post … if you’re interested.

What's the Tea with IBC | Inspired by Charm

A few more things …

I started watching The Handmaid’s Tale and can’t recommend it enough. It’s not a “happy” show by any means, but it does have some moments of heart and courage. The art and cinematography are stunning.

My blogging pal, Courtney of Pizzazzerie just released her latest entertaining book, and it is stunning. If you like hosting parties or want to start hosting them, you need this book. Check it out here.

 

I’ve recently been asked by Amazon to curate my own IBC shop on their site. You can check out and shop my Amazon favorites here. I’ll be updating them frequently, so check back often.

Anyone else super excited about the new Kesha album? I won’t say I love all the tracks, but I do have a few tunes on repeat.

I’ve recently discovered the joy that is Justin’s Honey Almond Butter and can’t seem to get enough. Also, Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend is delicious on everything.

Finally, in case you missed it, Inspired by Charm is a finalist for Best Style & Design Blog in the 2017 Saveur Blog Awards! I am so grateful for the nomination.

To help, please cast your vote for Inspired By Charm. You can vote once a day from now through Wednesday, September 6. Thank you so much! Please VOTE HERE.

All righty, I’m sure I’m forgetting a ton, but there you have it. Feel free to keep the conversation going in the comments or ask some questions, and I’ll do my best to answer. Have a great week!

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Comments

  • Kim at

    Michael, I am so happy for you! And I am proud of you, too, in an oddly maternal way. LOL! But seriously, I hope you’re proud of yourself for being in the water. I moved a lot (!) the first 15 years out of college and I was single most of that time so always having to put myself out there again. It’s not easy – even with practice. I found friends in unexpected places/times. Someone as cute, kind and interesting as you will do great!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • Erin at

    Finding your groove after a move definitely takes time! We moved back in May (just to a new neighborhood) and we’ve still not feeling settled and at home yet. We too thought we’d make all these new connections right away with people, but it turns out we may be the ones who have to make that happen!
    Looking forward to hearing about how it all comes together for you… and it will!

  • Elle at

    I appreciate your candor and joyful spirit. Moving is an exciting adventure. Have fun making memories to savor!

  • Colin at

    Summer certainly seemed to fly by! I can hardly believe we are in the middle of August already. I can certainly relate to your stress of moving. I’m closing on a house at the end of this month!!!

  • Kathy K. at

    It’s difficult for everyone to meet and make new friends, so just know that. Some are just better at hiding their anxiety. What’s always worked for me is just join thing you love. Art classes at a local college for example. Birds of a feather, flock together. Photography, volunteer in community. Work (part-time) at a local coffee shop just to get to know your neighbors. Remember, you know exactly who you are, and you are a kind wonderful person and would be a great friend to anyone. Love yourself and people will love you! My son was shy as a child and I always explained that there are two types of people in the world. People that love being up on the stage and people who love being in the audience. They both need each other, perfect harmony.

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