A Little Life Update

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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. 

vase of dahlias on dry sink.

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. 

caramel apple muffins

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.

vase of dahlias on dry sink.

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. 

Christmas lights dining room.

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. 


We'll email this post to you, so you can come back to it later! Plus, I'll send you more inspiring ideas I think you'll love!

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.

michael wurm jr artist.

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. 

sketchbook with flower painting.

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

sunflower with bee/

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.

hayes cottage.
  • 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. 

steel vengeance cedar point roller coaster.

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. 

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  1. I admit to being remiss about reading your posts! YOur post is so heartfelt that I will make a point to read it from now on!
    I have previously sat down with a cup of coffee and loved looking at your wonderful pictures. Thank you for being a beautiful start to my day.

  2. Such a wonderful post! I’ve been following you for years but I haven’t been getting any posts 🤷‍♀️
    Perfectly Imperfect linked this in her blog today and I was so glad! I’m liking where you’re going….I have been really dismayed by the constant feeling from blogs and Pinterest that I need to update my decor, furniture, etc…every 3 months or so. And I realize that’s how they make their money. But I’m an average older homeowner that has downsized and living on a semi-fixed income so I can’t do that and I don’t have the space anymore to store items. I find myself still looking and skimming all the content but I find it makes me anxious 😁. I have to be content with what I have and creative with what I can do. Small changes. BTW, I love all your recipes and entertaining ideas! So glad you had that great trip with your Dad and brother and will have a wonderful one with your Mom! That’s what’s important.

  3. Hi Michael,
    I’ve been following your blog for a few years now. Your kitchen and pantry reno are one of my all time favorites! I really enjoyed reading your life update! I totally hear you about switching “project” gears with the seasons. I was working on inside renovations during the cold months. Once springtime rolled around, all of my attention shifted to outdoor projects, leaving a couple indoor projects dead in their tracks! Like you, my garden was pitiful this year. Between drought conditions, invasive weeds (I’m talking to you dewberry and horsetail!), deer, voles, bunnies and a very hungry groundhog, I didn’t get much produce at all!! I think I have to really beef up my fencing before the 2023 summer season arrives! Enjoy the autumn, your beautiful home and your art practice. 🙂

  4. Hi Michael!
    I enjoyed the update and would love to come along on your Holiday Decorating Pare Down journey, lol. Major changes in my household this year (all good), but I’ve redone my entire house and am doing the same thing you described. Thus, I would love to hear your process.

    Also, loving the recipes, and your art, plus you have an amazing smile! 😁

  5. Michael! I live in Saxonburg and I cannot wait to see what you paint as there are so many options and history to capture in this little town. I grew up here, moved to another part of Pittsburgh for a while, and moved back to Saxonburg 10 years ago now. I hope you enjoy your few days here. This will be a busy weekend in town.

  6. Michael, I love you posts! I think the best ones are when you’re just authentic and your true self. Like when you walked us around with you while re doing your basement. Don’t stress about Christmas, that’s not the true meaning of it anyway. I love your art, my dad has passed, but he was a commercial artist and painted beautiful outdoor scenes, now my sisters and all our children enjoy them!! You either have the talent or you don’t. You do!! I’ll be looking forward to purchasing a piece at some point!! God’s blessings to you as you grow and change with this crazy thing called life!!

  7. Greetings & appreciation from Oklahoma 🙂 I’ve so enjoyed your blog newsletter for I think about a couple years now, and here’s what’s very telling, in a favorable way. You know how you get perhaps certain newsletters at regular intervals in your inbox? Some of them maybe you skim over/don’t open right away, etc., let’s be honest. But yours, I ALWAYS know, is going to be like an encouraging friend popping in to share something wonderful, useful & lovely! In other words, I always am eager to get to it, make time to stop, open & read whatcha got for us. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your talents. Grace & peace for the journey……..

  8. Thanks for the update! I have recommended your blog to my friends, they love it too. I love how you reuse, in new ways, many of your collections for the different seasons. You are inspiring! The reciepes you share are great, that’s how I discovered you. Thanks again for sharing.

  9. It’s great to hear from you again! When you share your life updates, it feels like getting back in touch with a precious friend. Thank you for that content. I had 2 thoughts as I read your post:
    1. I’m very drawn to your painting style. I don’t know if I would be able to afford an original, but maybe at some point you could make prints of your work?
    2. In your downsizing of Christmas decor, it might be fun to have a drawing. Your could divide the goodies into a few boxes and have people enter the drawing. Each winner will be shipped a box of treasures. I love the “grab bag” feel of this!
    When those feeling of stress and anxiety creep in, remember you have a whole community of people who are rooting for you to succeed. Try to show yourself the kindness you would show another person.:)

  10. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs. I very much like to read your recipes and have tried a few; I must say they were as good as you said they would be! Please continue to do you do…if you need to re-create, take the time to delve into it. I like your recommendations and style. We will be here.

  11. I am thrilled to have recently discoverd your blog and boy do I have a lot of reading to do–I’m going to start at the beginning and work my way to the present post. I know that I am going to enjoy every minute after having only read a few posts. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your world.

  12. **Declutter and live with less. Oh PLEASE show me how 🙂
    There are days I just want to grab a Contractor size garbage bag and just start tossing !!!!!
    The Christmas feeling is natural, ( PLEASE DON’T TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY, its an age thing), You nailed it, I felt the same way!!
    I enjoy your posts, step back to decompress, but promise that you will be back !! <3

  13. Michael, every post you write is inspirational. Even though I don’t personally know you, through your writing I can sense what a down to earth, kind person you are. That with your creative talent make your blog one of my favorites. What a wonderful treat for your mom, not just to visit France, but to get to spend the time with you. As a mother of three sons, I know what a treasure that will be for her! Please keep posting!

  14. I just love what you post. You’re writing style as well as your choices in decor, food, art, etc are right up my alley. Self-care is very very important. Get rest, Make space in your life for yourself. I can hardly wait to see the new inspirations in your life.

  15. I, too, had a life style blog for nine years. I tried to press on after my sweet husband unexpectedly passed away but quickly realized he was my biggest cheerleader and took it offline. While I was actively blogging, I noticed the ever-changing world of social media and worried how I was ever going to keep up. I am awed by the massive amount of blogs out there now, which is why I only follow a select few…yours being one of them. I get your frustration but want you to know you would be missed if you stopped. Your future posts sound wonderful and am looking forward to reading them.

  16. I enjoyed reading the update. I haven’t been on instagram much this year. After reading your update, I realize I have missed quite a bit. I’m trying to focus on life outside of my phone. I do love seeing what you are creating in all areas from your yard to your art. I need to to hop on and see what I have missed. Be well.