What’s the Tea: Spring 2019


Well, my friends, somehow we’re already five months into 2019. It seems like I blinked, and the calendar fast forwarded to May. I don’t know about you, but I simply adore this time of year. It’s been a joy to see everything come back to life. I’m living for these warmer days when I’m able to work and play outside. It’s magic.

I haven’t posted one of these “What’s the Tea” updates in a while, so I thought I’d pop in today and catch you up on everything.

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Let’s talk about the blog. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been sharing as much recently. This is for a few reasons. The main one being that 60% of my house is unusable at the moment due to my kitchen renovation. I did set up a tiny kitchen in the basement, but even that got covered in dust because the crew needed to access wiring and plumbing and such.

I knew that life and work would be messy during renovation, which is why I’ve been blogging about the kitchen redo and also why I took on the One Room Challenge, I thought both projects would allow me to continue sharing and connecting with all of you. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the many changes as my plans take shape.

During the next couple of weeks, the new hardwood floors will be installed, and the existing ones will be refinished. As each day passes, I feel as if we’re moving one step closer to normalcy.

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Although I knew this renovation would upend things for a while, I didn’t realize what an impact all the disturbance would have on me. I’ve come to realize how much I count on my home to be a refuge from the world. I’m also an introvert so having a crew of people here every day and no place to recharge myself due to the construction mess all around me has been a challenge.

Despite the disruption to my peace and quiet, I am grateful to have a great group of professionals working in my house. They are task-focused and productive amidst the hustle and bustle all around them.

I’ve also been offering myself a lot of grace. Perhaps this is the season to be slow. Life has been crazy for the past couple of years, so taking time to inhale is a good thing – something that should be celebrated. It reminds me of this quote I love so much from Brené Brown.

“Tonight we will exhale and teach. Now it’s time to inhale. There is the in-breath and there is the out-breath, and it’s easy to believe that we must exhale all the time, without ever inhaling. But the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale.”
-Brené Brown

With all of that being said, as the ORC concludes this Wednesday (be sure to check the blog then for the reveal!), I’m going to “get back to work” (even though I’ve been working this whole time) to produce new creative, delicious, and inspiring content for the site.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Goodbye, Sebastian

While I have mentioned this on Instagram, I have yet to share it on the blog. At the end of February, my cat Sebastian passed away.

When I graduated college in 2005 and moved into my first apartment in Philadelphia, getting a cat was one of the top things on my to-do list. Sebastian was that cat. It was love at first sight when I adopted him from a local SPCA.

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To make a long story short, I noticed in January that his back paws were extremely sensitive. I took him to the vet, and he was put on medicine. Shortly thereafter, he came down with a terrible cold. Again we went to the vet. That’s when they discovered he had a mass on his lung (which was causing metastasis in his paws.)

After several long weeks of caring for him, I eventually realized it was his time.

Saying goodbye was more difficult than I expected. As much as I love each of my cats, Sebastian and I just seemed to have a special bond. I miss him, but time is helping to heal the loss.

I’m also thankful that Frankie came into my life when he did. Adopting him was meant to be. He and Jax (my other cat) have become close. I am certainly glad to share my space with them.

Life Coach School: Scholars

Those of you who have been following for quite a while might remember that I decided to move to Pittsburgh roughly two years ago. (It was intended to be temporary, but then I ended up buying a house!) This whole process was a way to shake things up a bit and help me find some happiness.

Life is a rollercoaster, and there have been a lot of ups and downs since then, but I’m still happy I made the move. Like most folks, however, I have areas in my life that I want to improve. For the past year or so I’ve been listening to “The Life Coach School Podcast” with Brooke Castillo. During that time, I’ve fallen in love with her perspective, advice, and teachings. She has a program called Self-Coaching Scholars that I had been wanting to join for months. Well, I finally pulled the trigger. It’s a substantial monthly investment, but I’m hoping it will pay off.

If you’re looking for guidance in your life, I definitely recommend checking out her podcast. It’s free. I’m not in any way selling this program. I just thought it was worth mentioning. If it can help me, maybe it can help you, too. (Also, if there are any fellow Scholars out there, let’s connect!)

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Other Tidbits:

I think that’s all the big stuff for now but In other news …

Since so many of you asked, I’ll be sharing an update on my front yard soon. The landscaper had to repair the lawn because the crew didn’t do it correctly the first time. I’m trying to let the grass fill in a bit before I snap new photos. Despite the troubles and weeds, it’s such a big improvement over the way it looked when I first purchased Bayberry House.

If you’re not on the list already, I would love to have you join the IBC mailing list. You’ll receive emails on new posts, inspiring ideas for the season, and a look back at the 2000+ posts here on IBC.

And this is where I ask you for your input. As always, if you have questions or would like to see something specific here on IBC, now is the time to share. Just let me know in the comments below. I always love hearing from you!

And I think that will do it! Have a happy 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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  • Michele Cellura at

    I actually have remodeled my kitchen twice in the past 34 years ( and various smaller remodel jobs to keep the house updated) ….even tho I am very social, the disruption in my “private space” was indeed challenging and something I dreaded on some days! Not having a kitchen with 4 children home the first time around , plus adding another 2nd floor bedroom over the other end of the house at the same time was insane, so I feel your pain! Its so rewarding after all is said and done tho!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      This is somehow comforting to know. Thank you, Michele. And yes! I’m looking forward to the reward at the end!

      xo Michael

  • Lisa at

    Hi Michael,

    I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Sebastian. There’s nothing like an animal’s unconditional love and friendship. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    BTW- I just added the Podcast to my Spotify list.

  • Sandy at

    GM Michael!
    Happy Monday. The last picture above with the pink flowers and maybe a succulent in the mix, curious to what that is? I couldn’t tell if it was an inside plant or you have out on the patio.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I honestly have no idea. It’s a “succulent planter” so I assume it’s in the succulent family. I just purchased it at a local greenhouse as an outdoor plant.

      xo Michael

  • Sharon at

    I feel so sad for you and Happy at the same time. I too had to put one of my precious little buddies down and thought I wouldn’t adopt another because losing a pet is so hard and I to still had a buddy at home. One day I went to the vet to get my cat special diet food because she is so overweight when I happened to look into the glass enclosures. Well as you can guess the rest is history. A red and white kitten they named Bizzy as I well know why now. They said she was around nine months, while I think she is a little younger. I renamed her Izzy and it is the best thing I ever did. She is the sweetest, mischievous kitten and her and Emmy still have their little snarls at each other once in awhile. She has brought me so much happiness and love. I too am like you. I am a widow and miss my darling husband more each day. I am so happy for you and finding something to brighten your days and absolutely love your blog. I get more compliments on your recipes. Thank you for everything you give all of us and I’m sorry this was so long. Waiting to see your progress and have a great weekend. 😊

  • Maxine at

    So sorry about Sebastian. Tiger kitties are so special…..you did the right thing….hard for you but the compassionate thing for Sebastian…glad you have two other kitties…it does help although he can never be replaced. Love your logs..recipes ….great drink recipes too.

  • Julie J at

    I am so sorry for your loss. The internet may seem impersonal, but there are real people on the other end of these messages, and real feelings for you. We send our warmest thoughts of consolation to you and your other cats. Thanks for the tea, Michael.

  • Christy at

    I’m sorry to hear about Sebastian. It is heartbreaking to lose our fur-babies.

  • Emily F at

    I am so sorry about Sebastian!!! 😢😢 what a beautiful, sweet boy.

  • Colleen at

    I’m so sorry about your baby Sebastian. It just sucks to lose a pet. Sounds like you were an excellent friend to him and he was your bud. I found it very helpful to plant some special things in the yard to commemorate our past pets, it makes me happy to see them and remember.

  • Jason at


    So sorry to hear of the loss of Sebastian, thoughts and prayers to you! I’m excited to see more of the kitchen and I appreciate your discussion of the disruption. I’m contemplating several bigger things at the house and it’s good to have discussion around that aspect of it as it’s definitely a consideration to prepare for.

  • Karen at

    Once the renovations are done, things will be better-I imagine a kitchen redo must be one of the most difficult to live through, but so worth it in the end! I love the pics of your cats, and they always make me want to adopt a couple. But I frequently babysit a friend’s kitty, and she is super curious and naughty! So then I think mmmmm- maybe no kitties for me. I am on day 2 of our new GAF roof install, and the constant noise is making me batty! Grateful for all your content Michael, it brings me joy!

  • Sandy at

    I’m so sorry for the loss of Sebastian. I truly enjoy your blog. Can’t wait till we see the entire kitchen remodel. We did ours fourteen years ago and I definitely know how you are feeling. But when the project is completed, you will smile from ear to ear. I’m refreshing our kitchen with a new paint color, new drapes, and unfortunately, a new dishwasher.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much! And yes – I’m looking forward to the new spaces. Best of luck with your refresh!

      xo Michael

  • Julia at

    I’m so sorry that you had to let go sweet Sebastian, Michael. It’s so hard to lose a beloved family member and it’s good that you have Jax and Frankie to comfort you. I can’t imagine living without at least one cat.
    Sending you a big hug.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much, Julia. And yes – one cat is a must!

      xo Michael

  • Helen at

    I love reading your postings!!!! You provide great INFO that is sooo usable in decorating and updating my home. Please don’t stop sharing in home and gardening ideas that will spark our interest. Will share some info or ideas on updating guest rooms and how to make an office area in our home look less office and more cozy.

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