Introductions | Meet Jen

Design is ever-evolving and sometimes we [humans] are not…we get stuck in a rut or get comfortable with the same things.  When this happens with a designer, their designs can go a little flat….not terrible, just dull…with room for improvement.  And it’s hard, sometimes, to stay on top of all of the latest trends and know what’s in and what’s out.  You feel like you’ve just gotten the hang of using a particular style in a cool way…or you love something so much you want to use it over and over and then all of the sudden…BAM! it’s not “current” anymore and there’s something else that’s all-the-rage.  It can be daunting!

In my experience, design, I mean good design, is often a collaboration.  It goes back to the old adage “two heads are better than one”.  Nobody’s perfect.  We all have different strengths and weaknesses. And it seems to me that we all have a little room for improvement. So when there’s another person there to bounce ideas off of, provide their own spin on things and offer experiences from a life that’s different than your own, it just makes the design better.

Meet Jen.

Jen

Jen is my design partner.  She’s also a mom of two adorable little boys, an amazing artist, a lover of nature and animals, a part-time comedian (kidding! but I do think she’s pretty hilarious) and all-around great person to work with.

I wanted to introduce you to Jen for a couple of reasons. One: you’ll be seeing more of her [and her work] on Bungalow.  She’s constantly creating things and you need to see them…I just have to get her to slow down enough to take some decent pictures!

And two: she has a great blog of her own that’s worth reading.  I already mentioned that she’s hilarious but you’ve GOT to meet her boys.  The Donovan Boys is all about her seemingly usual experiences with two little ones that somehow turn unusual, fast (can anybody relate?!).  Be sure to check it out!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Look for more of Jenna & Jen in 2014!

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special surprises

I have been blogging for over two years now.  It’s been an adventure, that’s for sure.  From starting with lots of inspiration to actually growing my blog to have it’s own little following and then opening my shop, I’ve had lots and lots of learning experiences.  For a long time, I was almost obsessed with comparing Everyday Clever to other blogs {other much more “mature” and established blogs}–I constantly got “blog envy” and felt that my blog was lacking.  Recently, life-changes have forced me to put things on a bit of a “slow-down.”  Unlike many pro-bloggers, I am not a stay-at-home mom and my blog is not my business–it’s my hobby.  I need the stability of an outside job because I have to bring in a certain amount of incomes.  This is fine, it’s where God has placed me right now {and, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I do}, but things with work have been quite busy {not complaining}, and I’ve had to prioritize.

Unfortunately, my blog has been lowered on the totem pole of priorities.  It makes me sad, because I love having a creative outlet and motivation to try new projects and share new ideas, but I know that it’s sort-of a must right now.  With all of that being said, I had felt a little like all of the work I’ve put into my blog over the past 2 years was starting to waste away and that things were slowly on the decline, until this week.

This week, for the first time ever, I received a special surprise from a fellow blogger–Reni @ Bliss and Tell.  The gift wasn’t huge, but it was so cute and really gave me some renewed feelings about the future of Everyday Clever.

Reni designed my oh-so-beautiful business cards a few months ago, after I won the giveaway Jami was hosting at Freckled Laundry.  She’s a creative spirit herself and does a great job marketing herself and her business.  This week, she sent me this little packet of gift tags that are absolutely adorable!

While my posts are not as frequent as they used to be, I have no intention of giving up on this little blog.  Even if no one reads it, it has become an important part of my life and despite life changes and financial duties, I plan to keep it going.  Reni’s {small but thoughtful} gift made me realize that connections with other women and the ability to share creative ideas and inspiration… and life-experiences {struggles, victories, and everything in between} matters to me.

I hope it matters to you to and that you’ll keep reading.

Thanks, Reni!

tools for bloggers

Aside from being a blogger, I love to read other blogs, and I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people in a similar situation right now–they’ve got blog funk.  This is surprising considering it’s Spring and Spring is usually when creative juices are really flowing, but it seems that a lot of us in blog world are just in a slump right now.

Ez over at Creature Comforts is doing a series right now on “Overcoming Bloggers Block.”  Aside from being helpful for bloggers, her tips wouldn’t be bad for even a non-blogger to try.  Check out step 1 HERE. {be sure to peruse around while you’re there–great stuff!}.

Here is one of her daily color inspirations–I love the birds!

Another great thing going on is at Harbour Breeze.  Rita is doing a 7 day series on “Selling Handmade Online”.  There will be different guest bloggers each day for the different topics which are as follows:

Day 1: “Meet the Teachers”
{4 bloggers tell their handmade business stories.}
Day 2: “Product Branding”
{graphic design and store banners}
Day 3: “Organizing a Workspace”
{when you live where you work!}
Day 4: “Presenting your Product”
{tips for photographing}
Day 5: “Wrapping up a Sale”
{packaging for shipment}
Day 6: “Promoting your Shop”
{getting the word out}
Day 7: “Balancing it all”
{multitasking in life!}
These helpful tips could definitely be a way to get {us} bloggers out of that funk.  Even if you’re not a blogger and you don’t sell anything handmade online, the guest bloggers are all great and have wonderful blogs that you might enjoy reading so be sure to stop by!
On one last random note, have any of you ever heard of Tocca perfumes?  I found this sampler on Pinterest today and was thinking of ordering it.
Anyway, happy Tuesday, friends!

big news for everyday clever

Over the past month, I’ve been working with Dr. Daisy Sutherland, who I met through a social media networking group on Facebook, in the expansion of her business.   Her website, Dr. Mommy Online, was started as a way to help educate people on healthy living, in general.  She is a Chiropractor who has grown into an entrepreneur, published author, and mentor who also has her own radio show!

(you may have noticed this button on the side bar…)

  Her new, updated website, Dr. Mommy and friends, includes different topics and tips written by other women (like myself) that apply to daily living and encourage a healthy lifestyle.  Some of these categories include faith, parenting, health, business, relationships, and organization and she has asked me to “share my wisdom” (her phrasing, not mine 🙂 ) in the “At Home” section.  So, from now on, you can get more of Everyday Clever and my “wisdom” at Dr. Mommy Online, At Home.  I will be posting twice a month, the 2nd and 4th weeks on Wednesday, so be sure to come on over and check it out.

Today is the BIG reveal of the newly updated, Dr. Mommy website.  Even though my first post won’t be available until next week, you can still check out my bio at the About tab and read all of the other tips from other contributors.  One of them is a former colleague of mine, Jennifer Bennett.  I’ve talked about her website before–www.mysoulmission.org.  She will be writing on faith for the website, so check out her posts too!

Here is a picture of Jennifer and I with another friend of our back in our days as teachers: (Me, Jennifer, and Melody)

I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of women!  I hope you enjoy reading it!

Don’t forget about the giveaway going on from Little Blue Prints.  The Bloomie is up for grabs until February 2nd at midnight!

Go HERE to see how you can enter.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

top 10 in 2011

I have to say, I am a little excited about the end of 2011.  The end of this year has been rough, and 2012 seems like one, big, clean slate.  I need one, big, clean slate…I mean, don’t we all?

In the anticipation of a new year and a fresh start, I have compiled a list of the top 10 posts from 2011.  Everyday Clever celebrated it’s 1 year anniversary in 2011 and I’m proud of how far it’s come.  This list wasn’t created based on statistics or “hits”.  It’s just a list that I came up with (in no particular order) based on how satisfied I was with the post (well, and a little feedback from others, too). 🙂

1. top ten fabrics of 2011

2. diy| t-shirt scarf

3. printable| “a freebie & a confession”

4. tutorial| lemon sugar scrub

5. video| 25 ways to tie a scarf

6. recipe| my favorite dessert

7. boots!

8. asa’s room: idea boards

9. my very favorite blogs

10. tutorial| moss covered letter

I hope you’ll enjoy browsing through some old material.  You never know what you might’ve forgotten about.

Which one was your favorite?!  I’d love to get your feedback!

See you in 2012, friends!