love is in the air

It’s Valentine’s Day!  Are you the type of person who goes all out–flowers, candy, chocolate,and jewelry…maybe even making your sweetheart a special dinner or gift?  Or are you uninterested in the hype?  Is your philosophy that “Valentine’s Day was created by the card and candy companies” and you don’t give it a second thought?

I’m in the middle, I guess.  I enjoy an excuse to celebrate and love to spend time with my hubby, so I have no problem with Valentine’s Day, but I don’t go overboard and am ok if we don’t do gifts or anything crazy…a nice, quiet dinner is good.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year and enjoyed a yummy meal at Bonefish on Saturday, so tonight will be pretty quiet.  But, if you’re celebration is only just beginning, I’ve come up with a few fun elements for your special time.

A great outfit!

{sweet and sassy}

A sweet card

you can download this one for free at Ruffled

A good meal:

you can get the recipe HERE

and, of course…

an amazing wine!

{my favorite–Moscato D’Asti}

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!

hello february!

It’s February!…which means Valentines Day is just around the corner.  Yes, I know, it’s a holiday created by the card and candy companies but it’s still a good excuse to show some lovin’.

I found this great website on Pinterest {where else?!} that has a bunch of great Valentines Day printables–everything from cards to art prints to sweet little love notes.

Check out Sprik Space to download yours for FREE!

On another note, it’s time to change your desktop calendar.  Be sure to visit Smashing Magazine for all the new February designs.  They’ve got some good ones!

And finally, DON’T FORGET!  The giveaway for the Bloomie from Little Blue Prints (now called Winder & Main) ends tomorrow at midnight!  The winner will be announced on Friday, Feb. 3rd–don’t miss out!

Happy 1st day of February, friends!

more for the new year

I attended a True Couponing class this weekend and have now added “To become a Couponer” to my list of New Year’s resolutions…which brings the total to ONE! …not really a big new years resolutioner…  But this was cool and I am determined to learn the ways of True Couponing so that I will be able to, not only save money on groceries for our family [of 2] {We really do buy a lot of groceries!}, but give back and bless others once I have built up a “stock pile”.

Unlike all of those extreme couponing shows on TV, True Couponing is a faith-based organization and it isn’t about hoarding or buying enough_________ (<– insert toiletry item here) for 10 years…and then selling it at a garage sale for full price.  It’s about getting what you need for your family, plus a little extra for the best price possible while using the resources provided (store coupons, manufacturers coupons, printable online coupons, and BOGOs).  Then, once you’ve built up a little extra, and are able to bless someone else either with the extra food or the money you’ve saved, you pass on the blessing.

I won’t go on anymore, but if you’re interested in checking out the website go to TrueCouponing.com.  Look for seminars in your area–they put them on and they’re FREE!

All that to say, I bought my Sunday paper yesterday (2, actually) for the coupons and found this great picture in the Orange Extra.  It’s one of the Orlando Sentinel’s photographer’s favorite photo of 2011.  Each photographer got to pick their favorite, but this picture was featured.  It was taken using a custom infrared setting, and I’m pretty sure the pagoda was originally red.

I thought it was a really beautiful picture so I made a color-story out of it.  Some inspiration for you?

{image via The Orlando Sentinel, photographer: Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda}

On another note, I wanted to share this great printable calendar from Creature Comforts {great blog, btw!} with you–  I just think it’s the cutest!  Not only will it be printed for my own {kid-free} home, but it will also be going in my new nephew’s room {whose arrival is set for mid-February!}.  Of course, as each new month comes out, we’ll update it…and possibly save the image for framing :).

You can download it yourself HERE

If you’re more of a computer desktop calendar type of person, check out Smashing Magazine’s website.  You can download a variety of free desktop calendars!  Here are a few of my faves:

A new DIY and giveaway are coming soon so keep reading!

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!

a freebie and a confession

The Lord has been testing me lately…and I feel like I’ve failed.  Things haven’t been going as I’d like in many facets of my life and, in my normal, control freak fashion, I’ve gotten upset, frantic even… searching high and low for ways that I can fix these issues, correct them, make everything work out.  I keep going  to God feeling like a failure because, despite all of my efforts, I can’t seem to get everything back into place.

For me, it’s not right until it’s perfect {you may be able to relate}, and this continuous imperfection, these little daily reminders that something {or a lot of somethings} is wrong can be very hard to deal with.  And for this control-freak, not being able to find the answer or solution that will make everything go back to normal simply adds insult to injury.  My pride is hurt.

The Lord is faithful, though.  He reminds me that He hasn’t abandoned me and that He, in fact, knows what’s best for me better than I do…so even if I can’t find the solution, He’s already got it all worked out.  As much as I’d like Him to, He won’t be “waving a wand” and making everything perfect all of the sudden, but He is using these imperfections and trials to strengthen me.  And even when I fail, whether it’s at finding a solution or simply trusting in His plan for my life, He loves me all the same.

Since my sinful, human brain can forget His sweet reminders so easily, I thought I’d create a reminder for myself {and you, if you need it}, so I made this bookmark.

I love this verse.  It’s such a powerful reminder of how big the Lord is and great His works are; not only does He supply us with unending, boundless grace even when we try to do things our way, fail, and then blame Him, but He points out that He can even use our weaknesses for His glory and good…no matter how hard we work to mess things up.

It’s like a child, working feverishly on a partially constructed puzzle; slamming his little hand down onto that one, frustrating piece, trying desperately to force it to click into place, even though he knows it’s not right, that it will never fit….but knowing that he just can’t figure out any other way to make it work.  It’s not until his wise father comes behind him, calmly, gently stops his forceful banging, and quietly turns the puzzle piece just one small quarter turn, clicking it into place.

I am that child…working feverishly and getting nowhere.  Thankfully, the Lord is much wiser than I am and has the grace to love me despite my simple mindedness!

If you’d like the same reminder, you can download the bookmark here.  Just print, cut, hole punch, and add ribbon!  Hopefully it will be useful for you!

Happy Tuesday, friends!