When I first started this blog, I had a stock template and then I tried to make my own header (which was so not good)…case in point:
Then, I had my blog redesigned by a student who did a pretty great job and my template hasn’t changed again until now.
So what prompted the change? Truthfully, I felt my old design was a little…young looking. A little juvenile almost. I loved it for a long time but I was ready for a look that was cleaner and more modern but that still had the feminine touches I love---like bows!
I am so thrilled with the final design---I really think it captures my aesthetic. From the very start Meg was incredibly responsive and totally got what I was looking for. We did several rounds of edits and after many many rounds of tweaks (Meg is a sucker for detail just like I am!) we finally agreed it was just perfect!
In honor of my new blog layout, I wanted to interview the designer herself to tell you a little more about her blog and also to comment on the design process. Meg is also giving away a blog design to one lucky winner---more details on that below!
Why did you start your blog?
My blog, O. is Me, was started about three years ago to catalog a lot of my wedding details. I started out as a "newlywed blogger" and then it slowly progressed into more of a lifestyle blog. I mostly write about beauty, food, pregnancy and now new motherhood. I have let my blog evolve with my life and it is so very me. I love to do beauty tutorials and also tackle issues associated with pregnancy and motherhood.
What has been the most rewarding part of motherhood?
I'm only about six months into motherhood, but it has been the most challenging and rewarding experience. I love that I actually created a human - a beautiful girl that has forever changed my life and priorities for the better. Life now is all about what really matters and not to get caught up in the minutia of society. Things that would normally bother me just don't anymore, simply because it's not worth my time. I'd rather focus that energy on my beautiful family!
What surprised you most about motherhood?
I was most surprised at how natural it felt to be a mother. As soon as Kennedy arrived, I immediately knew what I needed to do to meet her needs. I've always heard people talk about "mother's intuition" and it is a real phenomenon.
Tell us where you love to shop
I love classic style with trendy pops. I try to infuse my wardrobe with classic pieces and bargain shop for trends. I love getting classic pieces at Banana Republic, J. Crew and LOFT, and bargain shop at places like Marshalls, Old Navy, and Target. I will say, though - fashion and I are currently having a love-hate relationship. I gained close to fifty pounds while pregnant with Kennedy, and I am still working that weight off. I am thirteen pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, which is an accomplishment in itself, but I still can't wear about 80% of my wardrobe and 95% of my pants. It does get frustrating to walk into my closet and feel like all of those pre-pregnancy clothes, particularly my jeans, are staring at me. It doesn't make much sense to go out and buy a new wardrobe 2 sizes bigger, so I have been holding myself over with flowy dresses and buying a few bottoms at bargain prices. I can't wait to donate those clothes to charity. All new moms are different, though. My advice is to not worry if you are not back to your size immediately. Just make do and be patient. You'll get there!
Where do you love to shop for Kennedy?
I received so many clothes as soon as we found out we were having a girl. Let's face it, girl clothes are just way cuter! I have from Gerber to Baby Gap and Stuart Weitzman maryjanes! This girl's wardrobe is already pretty fabulous. For daily use, I have a lot of Carter's and Circo (Target) brand stuff that she plays in at home or with her babysitter. I love scouring the racks at Marshalls and TJ Maxx because they have a lot of super cute stuff (lots of Ralph Lauren) that is cheap. I love her little Ralph Lauren dresses and rompers I got from there. I also like Baby Gap. She still has plenty of clothes that we received as gifts, so I haven't had to do much shopping for her! I know that will change soon. You'll have to keep me away from Janie and Jack. I just adore that store, although I do not adore their prices.
What are some of your hobbies?
When I am not busy teaching, directing theatre, or being a mommy, I love music. I have sung with the Houston Symphony Chorus for a while, although I had to take a break to be a mom. I am classically trained in vocal performance, and I also play the piano. I enjoy all things makeup and beauty - my makeup collection is one of my prized possessions. I also enjoy shopping, froyo, and trying as many cupcake places in Houston that I possibly can. I am a bit of a purist and love Sprinkles cupcakes the best.
You are a fulltime momma and teacher---how do you make the time to design blogs? Very carefully! The bulk of my design work takes place in the summer when I have more free time. My prime time design hours are the wee hours of the night. I am a night owl by nature. Luckily, I have a baby who is pretty good about sleeping and this can be accomplished. I do not design for many at a time, as well. I will announce when I have openings and I'll take about 3-5 people in a month. If I can do more, I do more. I don't want to overwhelm myself
What do you love about designing blog templates?
I love to be able to take one person's vision and make it a reality with my creative control. I may not be the most skilled at graphic design, I'm not formally trained, but I have a passion and a vision. I am self-taught, and if I don't know how to do something, I figure it out. Each time I design a blog I learn something new. I like visiting blogs I design and seeing a little creation that I was a part of. It's like what I do as a high school theatre director. I spend 2-3 months in rehearsal, putting together a play and infusing it with my vision. I place actors, I drill them, I evoke the emotional core, I set the tone, I oversee all the technical elements, and I sit back on opening night and marvel at my creation. Yeah, that's kind of what blog designing is like, too.
What do you love least about it?
That it really does take much time and effort to perfect the look I want and what the blog owner wants. I am a stinking perfectionist by nature and I WILL. NOT. STOP. until it is perfect. There have been many a nights where I meticulously work on one stupid line in the code and all of a sudden it's 4 a.m. Whoops.
Do you find it easier to design a blog when someone has a specific look in mind or when you are more open to do whatever comes to mind?
I can dig either way. On one hand, I like being given complete artistic control. I create art 187 days out of the year in my day job, so it's a no brainer for me. However, I do like being given specifics. I like picky people. I think they get my picky and perfectionist nature. Who wants to guess what Veronika was like to design for? I'll give you a hint - we're birds of a feather.
How can bloggers best communicate with designers to explain what they want?
I like bloggers to send me links of blogs that they like and tell me what exactly they like about them. The more examples I get, the better feel I have for what I need to accomplish. I also like setting a color palette pretty early on. Pinterest is a great place to look at color palettes. In fact, you can check out my color palette board to see how I get color inspiration. A lot of times the color palette evolves as the design gets to its final stages.
How do you come up with all of your ideas?
I get inspired, firstly, through other blogs. When I design, I get inspired through trial and error. I get in Photoshop and just go until I find my inspiration. I'm not sure if that makes much sense, but it works for me.
Thank you Meg! Loved reading your answers!
Meg is pretty booked as far as June goes, but do not despair! Today, she is giving away a complete blog makeover at her blog for one lucky winner! Go visit Meg’s blog and enter!
What do you think of my new design!? I took a lot of your suggestions---I created a favorites page so that I could post all of my most-loved products, I’ve added new left sidebar tabs that were requested (like product reviews, fitness and home tour) and I’ve added ALL of my social media icons at the upper right corner. I’ve also updated my blog roll and changed the way my archive section looks.