THE NEW LOOK

... What do you think? 

I had been concocting a blog redesign for several months, and I knew I sought something cleaner. Something less distracting. Something with fine, thin lines. I'll admit that I'm somewhat of a minimalist, so I was very drawn to white backgrounds and subtle borders. Less clutter, have you. 

And so I found Blog Milk. Ana, the creator behind the site, is a designer who offers themes to both Blogger and Wordpress users. Her designs have precisely what I crave--space, neatness, and approachability. The theme I selected has, to me, the perfect amount of minimalism. However, it also leaves room for me to make a change here and there—a different font, a change in color. In other words, it’s a versatile design that allows for modest, personal changes. 

Admittedly, I was quite hesitant to spend money on a new design. Most designs I see average $150, an amount I was not willing to sacrifice. But suddenly, as I said before, there was Blog Milk—a store with designs that were far more affordable. Designs that I knew would not disappoint. All the same, a blog theme isn’t necessarily something a young woman should purchase when she’s worrying over whether or not she can make her $500-a-month student loan payments. Yet I “justified” my purchase with Christmas money and the fact that I had wanted to redesign my page for at least half a year. That didn’t stop Hans from teasing me, however. 

“Dawwwwwwwn,” he drolled in the background. “You can do it yourseeeeeeelf.”

I sighed. “No, see, that’s the thing. I CAN’T. I don’t WANT to do any of the coding.”

“But you know some code!”

“I know some basic HTML, not CSS! No.” I shook my head, clicking away and typing in information. “I’m getting this.” I dropped my voice to a Smeagol-like cadence. “I wants it.” 

That said, however, I shouldn’t have begun my redesign so late in the evening. I was tired from work, sleep-deprived. When my automatic download didn’t begin, I shot Ana an email. 

“Well, did you get it installed?” Hans asked as I stood up from my computer chair, stretching. 

“No,” I yawned, my fingers just scraping the ceiling of our basement apartment. “The download didn’t start. I don’t know what happened. So I shot the girl an email and will just wait to hear back from her. It’ll be fine; I’m not worried.”

“Good. Now how much did it cost?”

I avoided a direct answer. “More than what you would’ve wanted to pay.”

“I wouldn’t have wanted to pay anything.”

“I know, I know. But I really, really like this one. I couldn’t have done it myself. I can’t wait to actually get it installed and set up.” 

By the next day, I had heard from Ana, who informed me that—instead of purchasing a theme—I had purchased an installation. After I read her email, I sat there, stared blankly at my screen, and told myself, YOU ARE A MORON. (In other words, I had paid Ana to install a theme I never purchased in the first place.) 

The wonderful thing about Ana, however, is that she explained my mistake to me kindly and lightheartedly. She was exceedingly prompt about providing a refund as well. I, not being as much of a sleep-deprived dolt as I was the night before, repeated the purchasing process, thanking her profusely. 

 “I’ll send you a link when it’s finished,” I promised. 

And so, here it is. A clean, fresh, new look for Candidly Clyde. Happily enough, this layout allows for bigger photos. I’ve also added a header and navigation bar. For those of you who would like to know more about me—or who have wondered from where my blog title originates—there is an extended about page. I have also added a search bar. Feel free to browse previous posts by means of “Indianapolis,” “hoarding grandma,” “things my mother never should’ve told me,” or “CATS.” 

Overall, I am very, very fond of this design. It was incredibly easy to install, and I enjoyed picking out fonts and colors. (One of my favorite inclusions is Sue Ellen Francisco, a font whose handwritten look I enjoy.) A big thanks goes to Ana for creating and sharing such a theme. If you are interested in redesigning your own blog, and are considering purchasing a pre-made creation, I encourage you to check out Blog Milk

I do hope you enjoy the new look. Let me know anything and everything about what you think. 

12 comments:

  1. The new layout is fantastic! Love the new fonts and everything! And bigger picturessss - a must-have on a photo blog! I too am such a minimalist when it comes to layouts.

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  2. I like it a lot! It looks very professional!

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  3. I adore the new layout! It's pretty different, but I love the minimalist look.

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  4. Dawn, this layout is really great!!! I am sitting over a new layout, too, so I absolutely know, what you are talking about and how difficult it is :)

    I like how clean and organised your blog now looks, so that there is more emphasis on the actual content. And the Sue Ellen Francisco Font fits perfectly!

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  5. Oh golly! You are THE BEST! This cracked me up and I truly, really think this goes so well with you and your personality. Love the personal touches you've added. Have a perfect week! xx

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  6. I am going to have to check this out. My blog needs a re-design :)

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  7. I'm always into seeing the amazing designs that people have come up with. Redesigns are always nice every once in a while ;)
    xo TJ

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  8. Looks great! I really like the minimalistic look too.

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  9. the new design looks pretty, Dawn!

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  10. The design looks great, and it sounds like Ana is exactly the kind of person to do business with! It definitely makes me feel better knowing that my money goes to someone who provides great product and service!

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  11. Aaaand you literally just convinced me to impulse buy one of blog milk’s themes…I love it! And now my blog is no longer a source of layout frustration (knowing how to code would be sa-weet!)

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