Category Archives: Blogging

A day in the Life: CleverlyInspired

We are all home again today..thank you polar vortex (insert sarcasm here). I had this post ready to go….but obviously my day looks a lot different from this today. When my kids are home I tend to project more than write….but here is a general snapshot of a typical day…

What do you do all day? How many hours do you work? What is blogging like everyday? What if I want to start blogging?? I have fielded these questions in the past and so I thought I would share with you a little snapshot of what my day tends to look like….The best thing about blogging is that I make up the rules and I do what works for me. My kids are older and they don’t require as much of my time like they did when they were younger. This evolved for me…gradually getting into a “bloggin groove” so to speak. I don’t really fret anymore how often I post…or whether I posted a recipe yesterday…so I should share a DIY today…it has to be an organic flow of information. Otherwise, it is forced. Blogging should never be forced.

A few bloggin rules that tend to work for me…3 post a week, I try to not have more than one sponsored post a week (if any, with exception of holiday time, that is “bread and butter” time for bloggers), only hit publish if I truly find it interesting myself, and don’t fret if it all goes to crap:)

Nobody, like nooooobody is waiting by their computer to see what I have to say next. I post when I can post…that simple. With that said…..here is a typical day….at CleverlyInspired headquarters:)

 

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7:30-8:30: Wake up. Try to shake the force field of the flannel sheets that are pulling me back and saying “oh, just 5 more minutes….” . I am NOT a morning person. I am fairly grumpy for about the first 15 minutes. It is just how I am made…and I can’t change it. My family and close friends know this…”Don’t enter into conversation with Tracie before you see her with a coffee cup.” My kids make their own breakfast most days. They get up on their own with an alarm clock…get their school stuff ready…make their lunches. They are pretty self sufficient in the morning….I am really just there for a kiss goodbye or to whip up the occasional waffle. And that is totally worth waking up for:)

 

8:30-9:30: Coffee and Catch up. Breakfast (either a sauté egg white and coffee, or a bowl of cereal and coffee, or rye toast and cream cheese and coffee. Whatever it is….there will be coffee.) is eaten in my office while I check in for the day. I return emails, get the day’s post up (normally by 8:30 on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays). I take time to share the post on social media.

 

9:30- morning: Dressed and put some laundry in. Attend to any housecleaning issues that need attention that day. On this particular day, I am back to writing. I have a guest post do for SheKnows and it is due at noon. Depending on the type of post, they can take as little as 30 minutes to write or as long as an hour. I typically will be at my computer most of the morning…in and out of doing house maintenance. I find that I enjoy editing pictures and organizing my thoughts best in the morning…but by the time 11:30 or so hits I am ready to have a change of scenery. So in general, blogging the better part of the morning is fairly accurate.

 

11:30-1:30: Lunch and errand running. Today happens to be grocery day….so I grab a quick sandwich and a clementine and head out the door. I need to return a few things to Lowes and then hit Kroger. I try to make a meal plan for the week so I only need to grocery once…maybe twice. It makes it nice to know what we will eat all week and keeps me out of Kroger:)

 

1:30-3:00: On this day I am creating a blueberry recipe for a post I am working on so I get to be in the kitchen (which I find fun). I find it easiest to work on food related post when the house is empty. I can set up my equipment and props…cook and bake…and photograph..all fairly efficiently. After I am finished baking and cleaning up…I am back to the computer to edit and write a bit more. In between laundry loads:) I spend a little time measuring and hashing out ideas for a  project in the master bathroom too…

 

3:00-4:00: The hour before my kids come home I try to get the house back in order. This includes vacuuming, starting dinner and general maintenance. Today, I am gathering clothes and unwanted things so I can drop them to Goodwill tomorrow. I also made the mashed potatoes for dinner and put the steak in a little marinade. Also, I clean up breakfast dishes that are waiting there:)

 

4:00-6:30: Kids come home and start up homework…chat about our day…grab a snack. Hubs come home around 5:00ish and we hang out a bit and catch up in the coffee bar. Dinnertime and clean up. We eat early…it just seems to work out for us.

 

6:30-7:00: I tend to go back to my office to tie up and loose ends and return any other emails that may need attention before tomorrow. After those are done….I power down the computer and office is closed until tomorrow.

 

7:00-9:30: Family hang time/study time/chill time. My kids are not in any sports or activities at the moment…..so it has been very nice to just hibernate at night. We are normally in bed by 10:00…watching the news or reading. My hubs wakes up at 5:45…so we are early to bed most nights:)

 

Squeezed into a nutshell…there is my typical day:) However, everyday is different and that is what I love most about blogging.  I normally have post ready to go about a week ahead…so for example this post…I wrote it last Monday. And next weeks post are all ready scheduled and ready to go. This is what works for me….but you may like a different system…like I said…there isn’t one right or wrong way. It is completely personal.

I have a few other post about my little blogging journey. I am nooooo expert….but then again nobody is an expert in blogging. Some have practiced it longer…yes, but nobody should be preaching “this is the only way to do it”…. It’s like that movie line in You’ve Got Mail….

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(source: buzzsugar)

Fox: It wasn’t… personal.

Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?

 

Make it personal….make it you…make it interesting to others….that is what a blog should be. No two are the same…so stick to what you know and do it the best you know how.

Just my 2 cents:)

Hubs and I leave tomorrow for the beach to get a few projects going down there. I hope you can join me on instagram or facebook where I will be sharing some things along the way! Let’s hope the polar vortex doesn’t follow us!

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Blog Makeover and tour

 

Print

 

I was chatting with my fabulous blog designer Allison a few months back about updating the look on the blog. We both thought that I should do away with the “character” and instead use my own picture. The longer I blog, the more I learn…and first and foremost this blog needs to connect with people. I know when I visit blogs that I love….I hear the voice of the writer and there words “come to life” a bit more when I can connect a picture of them with their words. I hope you agree;)

I really love what Allison was able to come up with based on very little input from me. Really, the only direction I gave here was that I was in love with the idea of branches and jars….I mean how cute is this….

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It is soft and feminine and lovely…but yet clean and classic and modern too. It is simply perfect. After we had this “vase” concept….we came up with a color palette. It is much different from what I had before…but I really love that the backdrop is white…it allows the pictures to really shine through.

While she was redesigning…we decided to change things up a bit on the side bar. My hope is that past projects are easy and quick to find. There are several ways to search for things….and I am going to explain them a bit…

 

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The header has remained unchanged. Each tab at the top has a pull down menu to ease in finding exactly what you are searching for. The connect buttons at the top link directly to my pages on those sites (Facebook, twitter, pinterest, Subscribe in reader, email, YouTube, instagram, google + and Vine)….no short on ways to connect huh;)?!?! You can also click on the “follow me on bloglovin” which is a fabulous way to read all your blogs in one place.

The slider on the left will rotate the past 7 post. You can click on it if you see one that you missed. Below the slider is the most current post in it’s entirety.

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Scrolling down some more you will see a Search box and a sign up box. You can enter what you wish in these boxes and press enter / or subscribe. When you subscribe…you will be asked to enter an email address…CleverlyInspired post will be emailed directly to your email box. I also placed some popular places I have been featured in the past….and under sponsors I have links to my referral page with Social Spark and Clevergirls.

Below that is all my “room reveal” projects. Just click and you will be taken to that particular post..

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Keep scrolling and you will see “recent pins”…which are items I have recently pinned on pinterest…along with an instagram box showing recent photos. Under that is an archives button where you can pull up past post by month.

 

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On the footer section of the blog I placed recent happenings on facebook along with recent tweets. You can also be connected to fabulous finds that I have picked on Amazon (this is an affiliate link) Along with my recent selections in my etsy shop. Just for your browsing enjoyment.

So tell me….do you like the new look?? I cannot thanks Allison enough from Green Tangerine designs. She is amazing!!!!

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

DIY photo backdrops

Well, our new white pine wide plank floors are laid and they are gorgeous! Sanding was almost finished today…and our house smells like a “Carolina pine forest…” (name that commercial). Any who, we are in love! They are so stunning and perfect for our bedroom and my office. I have been sharing some pics on Facebook and Instagram…and I will share some here a bit later this week. Thanks for all your excitement…it is really coming together beautifully.

Last week, I shared a few favorite tips for styling a photograph. I wanted to follow that up by showing these easy and cheap backdrops that you can make in a minute. They store easily and you can make a bunch for a little cash.

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I found some of the prettiest gift wrap at TJMaxx….I thought it would make such a pretty backdrop for photos. I made some backdrop boards with some foam board from the dollar store and some glue. Really quite simple, I know you don’t need me to explain…but here is how I went about making them.

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I cut the wrapping paper to the size of the board and made it overlap by half the length of the board. That way I can tape the paper up on the wall to have the background be the same as the surface. I would caution to not use a lot of glue or the paper will pucker. I just glued the edges with rubber cement. The nice thing about these boards is that I can just slide them into a narrow space when I don’t need them and they will not get creased or damaged.

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Oh the possibilities! I would check your local TJMaxx or Homegoods….I have found several there for only 2.99 a roll!DIY photo backdrop @cleverlyinspired (3)

Sharing at

Home stories A to z, Blooming Homestead, Serenity Now

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

CleverlyInspired Media Kit

 

Be inspired to be clever in your own home.

-Tracie Stoll Author/Creator

 

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CleverlyInspired is a blog dedicated to inspiring others to be clever in their own life. Projects, cooking, decorating and remodeling…all on a budget. Since October 2010 , author Tracie Stoll has been speaking through captivating pictures and easy tutorials to give her readers a clear and crisp vision of what they can accomplish on their own. Analytics can be provided. Please contact me for details.

Social Media Numbers

  • Facebook readers:   8,500
  • Pinterest followers:  12,500
  • Twitter:  1000
  • Instagram: 3600

Advertising Opportunities

  • 3 Social Media “shares” $150 (client can choose instagram, facebook or twitter)
  • Sidebar Ad’s 150×150   3 month min.                   $350 (for first 3 months)
  • 350 square ads               3 month min.                   $175 per month
  • Corporate sponsored post/ social media campaign $750 and up 
Corporate sponsored post are considered on a case by case scenario based product and on readership needs.
The following is included:
– A post consisting of 200-300 words
– High quality photographs featuring the product and how I would use it.
– Social media sharing on pinterest, facebook and twitter.
– To be published at an agreed upon date.
-Proper disclosures will be included in any sponsored post.
-all links will be “no-follow” to adhere to Google restrictions

Please feel free to email CleverlyInspired for specific ad campaign needs and speaking engagements.   

Payment is accepted through PayPal or check.

Contact information:

Email:          cleverlyinspired@gmail.com

Facebook:  cleverlyinspired

Twitter:    cleverlyinspire

Instagram: cleverlyinspired

Property of CleverlyInspired.

 

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Pro’s and Con’s : Haven Conference 2012

I am not going to write a long post about my time at the Haven Conference this past week. I know many of my readers are not bloggers…so they don’t really “care” much to hear about it all (and for those who are bloggers who may have wanted to go but couldn’t…could get annoying seeing all these post in blogland about how fabulous is was. But I wanted to list a few things about the conference just so you know what it was all about…

Pros:

1. Driving alone to Atlanta gave me plenty of time to sing at the top of my lungs. (hey, I just met you…and this is crazy…so here’s my number….call me maybe…I could go on..shall I? Ok, I will spare you my entire playlist.) It was very fun actually.

2. Bloggers are incredibility funny, sweet and oh so creative. I enjoyed meeting them in person and talking “shop”. Most matched up perfectly with their blogs…others not as much. But all around…a fabulous group of woman.

3. I got to build with Ana White…and better yet when she called me up to help she said “and you are Cleverly Inspired”…say what Ana…huh, seriously girl you don’t read my little blog…to which she responded…huh yes, where do you think I get my inspiration. (I know she probably was foolin me…but I don’t care…I love her. ) She is sweet, kind, generous..and a true craftswoman of woodworking.

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Cons

1. Haven 2013 is a whole year away. Boo…

2. Sherry and Katie cannot come over and have coffee and let the kids play in the backyard while we mull over fabrics for our next project. I adored meeting Katie Bower and her bff Sherry. Geniune, classy, hilarious and kind are all ways I would describe them.

3. Haven is over…and now it is back to laughing with each other only online. I hope to meet my Kentucky girls soon to rehash all the Haven goodness.

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(thanks to Kim at Sand and Sisal for shooting this pic…it really did happen, ha! Kim…you rock!)

Special shout out to Jessie and Chelsea (my roomies)…how lucky that we got to hang out and laugh?!? Also to my home girl Traci….where is our picture girlfriend??? You are one of the sweetest people I know. The ladies from East Coast Creative –Monica and Jess…so great dining with you and chatting..also Beckie…you are a gem!

I met so many great people that I now consider friends. Can’t wait to meet up again! Thanks to the Haven team for all your hard work!!!

If you want to learn more about Haven and see some post about it…head over to Southern Hospitality today!

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.
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