cool sites and free downloads

It’s the start of another month!  August–my birthday month-has officially made it’s debut…and it’s going to be a hot one.  I’m so excited for my birthday this year because my sweet sister-in-law is taking me to see Mumford & Sons in concert!  Last year I got tickets to see Adele from my parents and this year Mumford…I’m loving this concert ticket birthday streak.  Here’s a picture of the tickets.  Pretty cool, huh?

Since the whole announcement that Facebook was buying Instagram was announced, Instagram has had a huge re-emergence.  I admit, the news made me download it.  And I’m glad I did, because I love it!  If you’ve ever thought that you’d like to have a way to display all of those cool shots you upload on your phone, you’ll want to check this out.  Printstagram is a website that takes your images from Instagram and puts them into mini photo books, posters, and prints like these…

Prices are around $10-$12. Definitely worth it for a keepsake of all those little memories.

And, since it’s the start of another month, we can’t forget about the desktop wallpapers from Smashing Magazine.  Here’s a preview…

Have you been watching the Olympics?  My husband is DVRing the entire thing!…got a lot to catch-up on but I love to see USA doing so awesome.  Makes me proud.

Happy August 1st everyone!

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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!

a milestone

Today my Mom was honored for serving as a nurse for 35 years!  Someone joked with her saying, “so you started when you were 5, right!?”

The time she has spent helping others has flown by so fast.  She’s been a nurse for my entire life and I’ve never imagined her doing anything different.  Despite my perceptions that the time has gone quickly, I can’t even imagine the depths of her sadness, having to witness (and sometimes carry) the pain of others, or the victories she’s delighted in when the sick are cured.  It takes a strong person to be a nurse… and amazing perseverance and tenacity to be so strong for so long.

The celebration was quite lovely–a high tea.

Even though this was what I shared with my Mom for Nurse Appreciation Day, it is something I am proud to share every day:

“Thank you for over 30 years of service as a nurse-for placing the needs of others before your own, for being willing to provide care to hurting friends, family, and even acquaintances, and for kissing my boo-boos & bandaging my scrapes. You are a wonderful mom and nurse and I am lucky to have you!”

oh, the places we’ll go

Are you ever scrolling through Pinterest, watching a commercial, or browsing a magazine and stumble upon one of those snapshot pictures that only show a storefront or a sidewalk or a small spot in the sun…and even though it doesn’t show the whole thing, you know that you’d love to be there?  And you have no idea where it actually is, but wherever it is, it just looks awesome.

I keep having those moments.

{Maybe I’ll create a pin board named “I don’t know where this is, but I want to go there”}

I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve had a vacation…that was actually a vacation and not a to-do trip, and when I see pictures like these, it makes me crave one.

What do you think?  Wanna go?!

a free printable {or two} for you!

I realized recently that I haven’t designed any fun freebies lately.  Life has been getting the best of me and I’ve just put it on the back-burner.  Since I missed it and I thought it was time you got a freebie from EC, I’ve designed the “Just Because” collection.  This set of four cards work for all occasions {although, hopefully they’re not too girly to give to a guy}, so feel free to download, print, and share!

Download the full collection here:

Just Because Card Collection

Enjoy!