It has been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these life update posts. In fact, I think it’s been over a year. I need to get in the habit of doing these more regularly. A reader sent me a message the other day mentioning how much they had enjoyed my life update posts in the past and it reminded me that I needed to do another one.
To structure this post, I will be addressing questions that I’ve recently received, mentioning things that I’ve been thinking about, and sharing things that I’ve been up to. If I miss anything or you have other questions/thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below. It’s always nice when this is a conversation rather than me just “blah, blah, blahing” at you.
What’s up with all the recipes?
Great question. So, if you follow along closely, you might have noticed that there’s been an influx of recipes over the past few months. (Maybe even all of 2022 if we’re being honest.) Let me explain the reasoning for this.
First, I’m just in a different season at this very moment. This is my 14th year of blogging (crazy right?) and over the past couple of years, I’ve just been kind of going through the motions. That’s not to say there haven’t been things that I have loved sharing or things that were exciting to share, but recently I feel like I’ve been just checking off boxes.
Because of feeling this way, I thought that this year I would just put a pause on things, try something new, and see how that felt. I haven’t had any major breakthroughs yet, but it may just take a little more time.
The second piece that has influenced all the recipes is more from a business standpoint. Inspired by Charm is my full-time job and thus it is how I pay my bills. So, while ideally, I would always love to work from my heart and passions, I have to put some business thought behind my actions. For years now, 95% of my top 100 posts are recipes. (And what I mean by top posts is the blog posts that are visited most.) Therefore, a big percentage of my revenue is coming from recipes.
Taking those two things into consideration, it just made sense for me to focus on recipes for a time as I forge my path forward. It was either that or disappear altogether for a period of time. And while “peacing out” sounded really nice, it wasn’t a practical option since this blog is my bread and butter.
One final note on this topic: If you enjoy my decorating, interiors, crafts, etc. posts, and want to see more of them, please engage with them. Pin them to Pinterest, like them on Instagram, share them to your social media accounts, link to them on your blogs, leave comments, etc. Engagement and viewing them often is what makes these posts successful. If I start to see that these styles of posts are serving the blog better, then I’m able to do more of them. (And even if they don’t, I have no current plans to become a strictly food-based blog, so I will continue to share all the interests of my life.)
Will there be more decorating, interiors, crafts, etc.?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, I’ve been working on content plans for the rest of the year and I have some fun ideas and brainstorms. I also still have several rooms in my house that are unfinished and need some love and attention. I just want to be in the right place mentally and creative-wise when I go to do them. Consequently, they are on hold for now.
Blogging has changed a lot in the past 13 years. I’ve changed too. The reality with strictly interior/decorating blogging is you constantly need new spaces to makeover, you have to buy new things, you’re constantly sharing links to products you don’t own.
There is nothing wrong with any of these things and many of my favorite people follow all or some of these avenues. In the past, I’ve done some of these things myself. However, as I grow older, the desire to constantly change my decor and shop for new things has greatly diminished. In fact, I’m trying to figure out how to declutter and live with less. (Yes, I can share more about this in future posts.)
In addition to these things, I’m also trying to figure out where my style is these days. I feel a bit of a shift coming and I haven’t decided what that looks like yet.
Here’s what I am craving design-wise:
- Vintage – I have loved vintage forever but I’m craving it more and more. In fact, when I visit home decor stores anymore, I find that I’m not interested in 90% of what’s new.
- Color – While I still use color in my spaces, I’m craving it in greater and more pronounced ways. I want to mix things up, use colors that don’t match, go bigger and bolder, etc.
- Pattern – Lately I’m very attracted to patterns such as bold stripes, quirky designs, fanciful florals, fun polka dots, etc. I just want patterns everywhere and I want to mix them all together.
- Curated Quirkiness – Quirky is a must. I love the unexpected. This is one of my riskier design cravings because I can get carried away with it, and if things get too weird, I lose confidence. It’s a delicate balance, but quirky is something I still want.
With all of that being said, I’m just trying to figure things out and I’m taking this year to do it. I’d also like to work out how to best take you along on this journey, so stay tuned for more.
I can’t wait to see what you do for Christmas.
Thank you. I hear this a lot. While I assume that this sentence is always meant with kindness and admiration, in recent years it sends a flood of anxiety through every inch of my body. Christmas was (and in many ways still is) one of my favorite times. However, in recent years I tend to dread the holiday more and more. Last year’s Christmas may have been my most anxiety-ridden holiday. Realizing that a lot of this is self-inflicted, my goal is to figure out how to release the overwhelm and stress of the holiday and get back to what makes it truly magical.
If you are one of the wonderful people that enjoy my holiday content, thank you. One of my first steps in releasing myself from the pressure is to say here that things will likely look different this year. I’m not spending thousands on new decor. I’ll likely post a little less, so some things may look similar to years past. I also plan to go through my 30+ totes of Christmas decor and donate things I don’t use anymore and things that I’ve been saving for “one day.” I donated a bunch last year and it felt so good! I suppose I just want to be more intentional and find a way to do less while still having things feel special, magical, and nostalgic.
Have no fears though as I hope that this process will allow me to create better and more intentional content. Quality over quantity, right? And if you’re interested, perhaps I can take you along on how this all unfolds in my head.
How’s your art practice going?
It’s been such a joy!
Back in May, I did a daily flower challenge wherein I painted a new flower every day for the entire month. Having some direction and eliminating the “what should I paint today” dilemma worked wonders for me. In fact, I was selected by two of the judges as a winner of the 30-day challenge. I also submitted two of the pieces to a local student art exhibit and they were accepted and placed on display.
Speaking of I also started an instagram account to share my art practice and journey. If you’d like to follow along you can find that here: @michaelwurmjr.
Since that challenge, I’ve sort of floundered a bit. Recently, I was listening to a podcast and one of my favorite artists, Peggi Kroll Roberts, mentioned that she likes to give herself assignments… things she can practice and focus on. I think this would be very helpful for me too. Part of my struggle with practicing my art is deciding what to paint, what medium to use, etc. Having an assignment might give me the focus I need to clear the questions and clutter in my head in order to just get to work.
I do have some exciting events on the horizon. In September there is a local plein air festival in Saxonburg, PA that I plan on participating in. Painting outdoors and from life has been a goal of mine. Later in the same month, it is my intention to hit the road and drive a bit south of Nashville to take a three-day workshop with an artist I admire SO much. I couldn’t be more excited.
Looking WAY far ahead, next year I booked a trip to France with my mom to do a week-long painting retreat. Say what?! I know. We can’t wait. My mom recently retired and this is my little gift to her. She’s never been out of the country and I haven’t been to Europe since college, so it will be the trip of a lifetime.
I may be getting a little ahead of myself here (as I usually do), but I would love to lean into this path more as I move forward in life. With all the changes in blogging and social media, I know that this isn’t something I can see myself doing forever. A stronger art focus could be my next path.
Will there be an art sale?
Yes, but I’m not sure when or how. I had originally planned to set up an online shop and do a sale in late August, but that just never happened. I’m still looking into it, but I may also just do a quick little sale via Instagram or something like that. Time will tell, but I’ll be certain to share here, on Instagram, and via the Inspired by Charm mailing list.
Get on this LIST!
Speaking of this, if you’re not signed up for the Inspired By Charm Mailing List, I highly recommend that you do so ASAP. With all the changes in social media (which I’m not going to get into here), I’m going to be relying on the mailing list more and more moving forward. This will be THE BEST way to stay updated with all things IBC. Join me HERE.
Projects on the Horizon:
While I’m not working on any major home project this year, there are a few things I want to work on / start working on again.
- Fence – This is actually already in the works and should be installed sometime in September. I’m having the backyard fenced in which will allow me to proceed with more of my gardening plans.
- Basement Studio – Yes, I realize I didn’t post a studio tour. That’s because I never really finished the studio. Once spring hit, my priorities shifted elsewhere and projects went unfinished. I hope to get back to this space once the colder weather rolls in. (If you’re looking for the last update you can find that HERE.)
- Laundry Room – I suppose this is the same situation as my studio space (both are in the basement). However, I want to treat this area as its own and have fun with it.
- Guest Bedrooms – I prepped two guest bedrooms for makeovers and kind of left things there. You can see some of the updates for one of the rooms HERE. I will continue to work on these spaces as soon as inspiration strikes.
I’m sure there will be more, but that’s my current list; these items should keep me pretty busy for now.
What else is new?
- I just celebrated my 39th birthday. It’s odd to think that this will be the last year of my 30s.
- For my birthday weekend, I took myself on a little antiquing adventure and went to some of my favorite places in Pittsburgh. I found lots of new things that I’ll be sharing with you soon.
- I recently took a trip to Bluemont, Virginia, and stayed at the most adorable and beautifully decorated home: Hayes Cottage. (You can check it out HERE on Instagram.) It exceeded my expectations and I’ll be sharing all about it in a dedicated blog post SOON. You’re in for a treat.
- My garden did horribly this year which is why I haven’t talked about it much. Mother Nature, some furry friends, and bad soil were my nemeses. Let’s just hope next year will be better.
- Shortly after the above-mentioned trip, my dad, brother, and I took a two-day trip to Cedar Point, the “rollercoaster capital of the world” in Sandusky, Ohio. We try to go there every few years. Within a day and a half at the park, we rode 36 times on the coasters and walked 18 miles. It was a blast.
That’s a Wrap!
Phew! And I think that might be it, for now at least! Maybe you’ll have a ton of questions in the comments and I’ll need to do a follow-up post. We shall see.
If you enjoy these posts, please let me know below. It might be just the encouragement I need to do more of them.
As always, thank you for following along with me and Inspired by Charm. I can’t believe we’ve been on this journey for 13 years! Wow. I wouldn’t be here without you.