What’s The Tea: 2020 So Far

Life

Friends, it’s been forever since I’ve shared a “What’s the Tea” post here on Inspired by Charm, so that’s what I’m doing today. Here’s an update on my life and several new-to-me favorites.

In my recent “Top Ten of 2019” piece, I asked for ideas for the blog, and one of you suggested a “What’s the Tea” post. The timing was perfect since I had been making a list of things I wanted to tell you and trying to figure out the best way to share them. I was even brainstorming new series ideas for letting you in on what’s happening here, totally forgetting about “What’s the Tea.”

So, my plan is to be a bit more regular with the “What’s the Tea” posts. I’ll try to do one once or twice a month to keep you updated on life and share new finds. lease let me know what you think about this in the comments below along with anything you’d like to read about in such posts.

2020 So Far…

I began January with lofty goals for 2020. As you can see by the lack of content here and on Instagram, it’s been a slow go. While one part of me is annoyed that I haven’t met the month with more gusto, another part of me has delighted in the rest and reflection.

I’ve decided to look at January as a trial month for 2020. After a quiet and slow month, I’m feeling a bit more energized about moving forward. Just this week, I’ve been much more consistent with my diet and exercise, more productive, and filled with a growing excitement to create.

I suppose that’s the goal after all. Listen to what you need, give yourself some grace, and move forward. I needed a break from everything, and now I feel ready to tackle what’s next. I hope you can do the same for yourself if you’re feeling like I did.

With that being said, I did want to share a few little gems with you today. I compiled a brief list of favorite new purchases and what I’ve been reading, listening to, and watching. I hope you have fun looking through the list and find something that helps you or makes your life happier.

Enjoy!

Recent Purchases:

I have been trying to reign in my spending since the holidays, but there are a few things I recently purchased and am loving.

Tidbits Planner – I’ve been hunting for the “perfect” planner since I started using planners. I’ve spent a bunch of money on them but never found the right fit for me. That was until this year when my friend and fellow blogger Cami of Tidbits created the Tidbits Planner!

I’ve been using it consistently since January 1 and can’t say enough good things about it! It has a smart layout that works for me, and there’s a lot of room for additional planning and list-making. Plus, it’s well-made, and the simple design is beautiful. The icing on the cake is that it’s a bound book but still lays flat.

Tidbits Day Planner - What's the Tea: 2020 So Far with Inspired by Charm #whatstheteawithIBC

Side note: These Frixion pens are my favorite! They are ERASABLE. I’m not a fan of pencil, but need something erasable for planning. These pens are the tea!

In other words, if you’re looking for a new planner, Tidbits Day Planner comes with my highest recommendation. You’ll find more about it here.

Meal Prep Containers – As I mentioned above, I’ve been trying to be more conscious about what I eat. The end of 2019 was not good for my waistline. Even though I don’t have a full meal prep schedule, I’ve been trying to make meals and snacks ahead when I can. I purchased these meal prep containers from Amazon and have been so impressed with them. (I purchased a set of the single compartment ones and a set with double compartments.)

Meal Prep Containers - What's the Tea: 2020 So Far with Inspired by Charm #whatstheteawithIBC

I use the containers to store overnight oats. I also cut up fruits and veggies so there’s something healthy to grab when I’m feeling peckish. When I’m cooking dinner, I try to prepare 3 or 4 portions so that I have a few meals ready to go. This is a huge time saver since I don’t have to prepare a full meal and clean up after it every evening.

Of course, you don’t need these specific containers; any container will do. But I have been using these daily and love them, so I thought they were worth mentioning.

Crafting:

I’ve partnered with Brother Crafts, and over the next few months, will be using their new ScanNCut machine. (It’s similar to a Circuit or Silhouette. With it, you can cut patterns, designs, labels, etc. from paper, felt, vinyl, etc. It’s a cool machine.

I’ll be sharing several different crafts over on my Instagram page. (You can see the first one here.) If there is anything you’d like to see or think I should create, please tell me in the comments below. I’ve had the itch to craft so I think this machine is going to be fun to play with.

Brother ScanNCut SDX125E - What's the Tea: 2020 So Far with Inspired by Charm #whatstheteawithIBC

Currently Reading:

I’ve said this on the blog many times: I love books but don’t consider myself a big reader. (I do admit I love listening to books on Audible.) However, one of my goals this year is to cut down on my phone time. So almost every night I’ve been reading at least a half of an hour before lights out. It’s been one of the best new habits. For my first book, I decided to read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I just started it a few weeks ago, and I’m already more than halfway through the book! (This is a big personal accomplishment.) I’ve been engrossed in the story and my new habit. (As you can see from my bedside table, my next book is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I’ve heard wonderful things about that book, too!)

Currently Reading - What's the Tea: 2020 So Far with Inspired by Charm #whatstheteawithIBC

Listening to:

I also recently started listening to a few podcasts. There are thousands of podcasts, which feels a bit overwhelming to me, but I found a few (5 or 6 at the moment) that I’m enjoying so much. I listen to them when I’m in the car or the kitchen. I was also excited to discover I can play them through my Sonos speakers (which I love) via Spotify. At some point, I will share all of them with you, but the one I’m loving at the moment is The Creative Exponent podcast. It’s hosted by Marian of Miss Mustard Seed and Shaunna of Perfectly Imperfect. I greatly admire both of these women and thoroughly enjoy their conversation and thoughts on creativity. If you’re in a creative field or want to tap into your creative side, give their podcast a listen!

What I’m Watching:

And finally, I’ve been watching a few television shows as well. I don’t watch much TV, but I wanted to find a couple of things for those times I want to hang out on the couch. And while I’m a little late to the party, I have been greatly enjoying Stranger Things. In actuality, I started watching it about a year ago, and for one reason or another stopped after about 7 episodes. Typically, I’m not a sci-fi person, and it does get a bit spooky and gruesome at times, but overall I love it!

I’ve also recently fallen back in love with Superstore. This was one of my favorite shows, but I hadn’t watched the past two seasons. I’ve now been catching up while on the elliptical. It’s been a good way to force some much-needed exercise upon myself. Any other Superstore fans out there? Cheyenne makes me laugh out loud every episode. I love her character!

And that’s a wrap on this first What’s the Tea post of 2020! I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on what’s happening over here. Have a wonderful week!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

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Comments

  • Susan McDowe at

    I read both those great books. May I suggest one I just read. it is written for young adults, but it appropriate for any age. The title is, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise. It is about a young girl and father who lost three members of their family. They travel the country in an old renovated school bus. They meet some great character and the themes are amazing.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I will look into that one, Susan! Thanks!

      xo Michael

  • Jennifer Park Cox at

    Love this type of post! Have you watched Schitts Creek. Can’t say enough good things about it Love your style – blog etc. you are amazing!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yes! I think I’ve watched it twice now. Hahaha. It’s my absolute favorite!

      xo Michael

      • Victoria at

        Hey! They film that show (or did!) 20 minutes away from my house! It’ was always fun to drive by on filming days!

  • Cami at

    What an honor to be found in your post! I love this series idea and found it incredibly enjoyable to read! I NEED those food containers and I’m inspired to read a book! Like you, I struggle to make time to read, unless it is a decor magazine! Does that count? ;). But I think some bedtime reading would be so nourishing! Always grateful for your kindness Michael! Hugs!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      It’s been a really great habit! It’s SO MUCH better than scrolling through my phone before bed.

      xo Michael

  • Susan at

    I’ve missed you on Insta! I have Where the Crawdads Sing and need to read it…. my daughter gave it to me. My problem is, once I start reading a book, I won’t put it down until it’s finished. Hoping for a snow day soon so I can have a good excuse for being a couch blob. 🙂

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks, Susan! And yes – I can be like that if I really love the book. It helps to read at night cause then I just get sleepy and I’m forced to put it down. Haha.

      xo Michael

  • Kimberly at

    I love the “what’s the tea” posts! I’m excited you will be doing them more frequently!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you!!

      xo Michael

  • Jeanne Larson at

    I loved this post! I’m looking forward to the next one already. The perfect mix of topics,too! Love everything you do…. you’re my all time favorite!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jeanne!

      xo Michael

  • Kristie at

    I love Superstore too! One of my goals for the year is to read more. Trying to make time for it first thing every morning instead of scrolling thru instagram.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yes!! It’s so much more rewarding than “the scroll”!

      xo Michael

  • Deborah P at

    I’m another fan of these type posts – a lot of little tidbits. And speaking of tidbits, not the planner, but the pen. I LOVE the Frixion pens and use them a lot. Have to stop myself from using them when writing checks, however – would hate for someone to erase the amount I put in and increase it. LOL

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Haha! Yes! I have to remember the same thing.

      xo Michael

  • Leah at

    I enjoy your updates. They give me lots of info and inspiration. Keep ’em coming! Thanks.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks, Leah!

      xo Michael

  • Sonya at

    My children and I love Schitts’ Creek as well!

    And we have another recommendation for you … Anne with an E! It is totally different from Schitts Creek but we love to watch (and rewatch) it! It can be found on Netflix. Give it a try!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’ve heard about this. I watched the trailer and it didn’t spark much interest. Maybe I’ll have to try watching an episode or two. Thanks for the reminder!

      xo Michael

  • K10 at

    I always love these posts! I’m intrigued by the Brother ScanandCut! And also the planner. I have also struggled with finding the perfect planner – and ERASABLE pens?!? Yes please! Lots of good recommendations for me to explore! I’m also an avid reader and loved both of the books you recommended. I’m a fan of yearly goals and always have a book goal. One way to help reach this goal is audio books. Most libraries have audio selections or you can join Audible. Studies show your brain processes an audio book the same way as if you were reading so I don’t feel like I’m cheating! Plus some authors read their own books (DAVID SEDARIS!) and it’s fantastic. Other times actors read books (Reece Witherspoon reads Go Set a Watchman). I also follow Reece’s book club and usually enjoy her choices. Anyway, audio books are convenient, like podcasts. You can listen in the car or the kitchen or when crafting. Win! My podcast list runs a bit darker than yours (My Favorite Murder) so I won’t share recommendations but I look forward to yours!

    Cheers to 2020!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yes! I LOVE Audible. I’ve “read” dozens of books through it. I’m usually listening to it (or podcasts) on my walks and long drives.

      xo Michael

  • Rhega at

    Great post. I am definitely trying the pens. I am a Project Runway fan and I think they use those pens too. I am always reading a “real” book and listening to an audible one. That way I have one for wherever I am. May I recommend The Dutch House. It is beautiful book so a great one to own but you must listen to it on audible. Tom Hanks is the narrator and it is fantastic! It is one of the few books that I wanted in both formats.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you for the recommendation! I will check that out! And yes – the pens are amazing. I didn’t know they used them on Project Runway!

      xo Michael

  • Susan L. at

    Just finished “The Great ALone” before Christmas–an excellent read! As for TV (streamed, that is…) recently loved all seasons of “800 Words” about an Australian dad who moves his kids to New Zealand after their wife and mother is killed in a car accident. He writes a column for a publication back home about his experiences. It’s called “800 Words” because that’s the exact number of words in each column. The column forms the frame for the action, but the episodes, alas, are not restricted to 800 words and provide a wealthy weigh-in of drama versus comedy and mayhem. Quite fun with an interesting cast of lovable (and despicable!) local characters.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      So interesting! I haven’t heard of that show. I’ll have to check it out.

      xo Michael

  • Sue at

    Hi Michael, I loved both books and Kristin Hannah is a favorite author. Our local library has been closed for remodeling for a few weeks and I’m having withdrawals. Thanks for the Tea.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yes! I’ve been hearing great things about her. Hope you’re library opens again soon!

      xo Michael

  • Karen H. at

    Hey Michael, love your idea of Whats’s the Tea” posts! Enjoying the comments too.
    My goal is to read more, and make use of the local library.

  • Caroline at

    I always enjoy your posts and adore your decorating! I’ve read both books and enjoyed both—compelling choices. I second the recommendation for The Dutch House; her books are always well done. If you ever feel like tackling a sad but gorgeous WWII novel, read All the Light We Cannot See. It’s the best, most beautiful book, in content and in writing, that I’ve read in recent years (and I read over 100 books a year, so I have a lot to compare it with!). Another recent book I’d recommend is The River by Peter Heller.

    • Elle at

      I second your recommendation of All the Light We Cannot See!

  • Ellen T at

    Love Superstore – the cast is excellent. I read the book – excellent also. Trying to not purchase new things as we are planing to move this year to PA (home for me). And right now I’m recovering from a knee replacement on 1/29. Love your blog.

  • Stephanie at

    When you’re done with Stranger Things, if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d suggest watching Dead to Me on Neflix. Great story, great performances. It’s both funny and dramatic at the same time. I really loved it.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Awesome! I will check this out. Are they still making new episodes??

      xo Michael

  • Hayley at

    Love these posts. And superstore! I’d forgotten all about it, thanks for the reminder.

  • Cathleen at

    Michael,
    I recently found your blog in a post from FOLK magazine. What a delight reading earlier posts and following along on your house journey. It’s been a slow start to 2020 for this house too, slowly finding our groove.

    I will be interested to see your progress with the ScanNcut. I recently gave my two Cricut machines to my staff and purchased the SNC. Like the rest of my 2020 it’s a slow go. Some generous folks on YT have posted helpful videos, so I hope you have taken SNC plunge too.

    Your videos have been a delight to watch and and your home decor is warm and inviting, thank you for sharing with all of us.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much, Cathleen! I’m so glad you are here. And yes – I’ve been having so much fun with the ScanNCut. I’m feeling a bit more comfortable. I’ll be sharing a couple tutorial (and SVG files) soon!

      xo Michael

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