March 17, 2011

A Look Back…

Working on the new design last week reminded me of all the changes Kevin and Amanda has been through over the years. Kevin bought me this domain name for the one year anniversary of our first date — which is coming up in just a few days! At the time, we weren’t even married yet. We were two short months away from the wedding…

Blog Designs

Here’s what Kevin & Amanda looked like when it first launched, back in March of 2002. I had my own webpage back then, and it was basically just a venue to share photos, essays, and all things wedding related with friends and family. We didn’t have blogs, Flickr or Facebook. Or even MySpace. I had a free Geocities site, but I was quickly outgrowing the size limitations on free accounts. On our anniversary, Kevin asked me what domain name I’d want if I were to ever get my own.

Kevinandamanda.com, of course! I answered without hesitation. With a grin, he playfully replied, “Let’s check and see if it’s taken”. He pulled up kevinandamanda.com, with me looking anxiously over his shoulder. It was a countdown. To our wedding.

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The next summer, Kevin & Amanda got a makeover. Back then I was completely in love with Gigi and Marydale.

And it stayed like that for a really, really long time. About four years.

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Eventually, after I started making fonts, I started using one of my favorite new fonts at the time, Pea Glo-Girl, and the photo was changed to a sepia tone, when that was all the rage.

Here’s where I fell in love with Century Gothic, which from then on was main font of this site until the most recent design.

Blog Designs

In 2006, I jumped on the bandwagon and turned Kevin & Amanda into a blog. Here’s one of the first blog designs, from April of 2008.

Blog Designs

In June, I launched a major blog redesign. Before, I had basically only been changing the background, header image, and sidebar buttons. Those were easy. But after a couple years of getting to know CSS and tinkering with PHP (the two languages my WordPress blog runs on) I was able to make a few structural changes. I wanted each post to look like a letter written to you, from me, complete with the date up top and my signature at the bottom.

Blog Designs

The comments were one of my favorite features. Sweet little post-it notes from you guys, written in alternating colors.

Blog Designs

In November of 2008, I got on a major designing kick and changed the design of Kevin & Amanda every month for the next 5 months.

I wrote one post in November.

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I loved this background though. Here you can see my signature that I used to sign each post.

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Here’s December of 2008. I wrote 2 posts this month.

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January of 2009. I wrote 3 posts this month. I’m really digging these backgrounds.

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February of 2009. I loved this completely pink Valentine’s Day design.

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March of 2009. This design stuck for the new few months.

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Fall of 2009. This design was inspired by a scarf. This scarf. I scanned my scarf to make that colorful paisley background.

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The recipe blog has been through a few changes itself!

Blog Designs

This comments section is still one of my all time favorites. I loved how you could click on that crumpled piece of notebook paper to type your comment.

Your comments are always my fav.



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71 Comments






1
clare March 17, 2011 at 5:20 am

The most talented own blog designer I read… and looking very smart may I say!

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2
Jessica @ How Sweet March 17, 2011 at 5:35 am

Wow, you are so talented Amanda!

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3
Shruthi March 17, 2011 at 5:42 am

Could you give us some lessons on updating the blog designs, or a run through of how you created one of your blog designs?? loved all of them, from the beginning….

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4
Tara Lee Conklin March 17, 2011 at 6:03 am

It’s always fun to look back and see how things in our lives progress…as we progress.

Curious Amanda, where did you learn CSS code? I’d love to start tinkering more w/ my blog and I’m finding so much information out there is outdated (the tutorials and “how to….to your blog”)

I think a personal website/blog should be a reflection of the person(s) running it and gosh has it been a struggle trying how to find the know-how to get into the nitty gritty of customizing mine.

BTW..some of your tutorials have been the easiest to follow! Thanks Amanda.

TLC

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5
Amanda March 17, 2011 at 6:15 am

I learned from w3schools.com. Love their Try it Yourself Editor so you can play around with the code before implementing it on your site! :)

6
YEISHA March 17, 2011 at 6:21 am

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! YOU ARE SO TALENTED AMANDA. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! THANKS FOR ALL THE HANDY TUTORIALS-KEEP ‘EM COMING!

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7
The Mrs. (Success Along the Weigh) March 17, 2011 at 6:22 am

It’s always fun to look back and see how you’ve evolved! Of course even at its most simple, the site was always adorable!

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8
MadiS March 17, 2011 at 6:41 am

I love your blog. It’s a great inspiration to me! Thanks for all! ^__^

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9
Marcee Rodgers March 17, 2011 at 6:48 am

What a neat post! Thanks for sharing”)

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10
Sandy_in_MD March 17, 2011 at 6:55 am

It was fun taking a look back with you. I think it is wonderful that you are so creative!

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11
Oh, It's Just Perfect! March 17, 2011 at 7:06 am

It’s so fun to see it from the beginning until now. Thanks for sharing :)

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12
Tara Lee Conklin March 17, 2011 at 7:17 am

Thanks Amanda!!! You are a ROCK STAR gal!. –

I hope you post some of your great tutorials for us visual learners soon.

Another question: How/where can I learn how to make a custom Twitter feed like you have in your side-bar? I am not crazy about the Twitter widgets and would love to have something unique with twits in their separate bubbles.

So much to learn and design….I may have to quit my day job. ☺

Cheers AB.
TLC

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13
Chrissy Farnan March 17, 2011 at 7:30 am

I love your blog, Pup adventures, trips, tips and recipes. I made shrimp and grits two nights ago and it was heavenly!!

Thank you for sharing all your talent and fun!!

Chrissy

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14
Laura Olds March 17, 2011 at 8:10 am

Loved remembering the old look of KevinandAmanda.com. I was introduced to it sometime in that second design. I love all the other changes you’ve made, too! Really neat post. I need to learn some more CSS. I guess it’s lucky I live with someone who can teach me! :)

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15
Heather @ Sweet Sins 2 Share March 17, 2011 at 8:40 am

I wish I could figure out how to customize backgrounds and change those things up! I am so so about my blog design but when you can’t just do what pops in your head you are so limited! I am with the other commenter’s a tutorial on how you create some of this would be awesome and amazing and no one else is more fit for the job then you!! (Did I butter you up enough there to convince you that we all WANT and NEED a tutorial on this???) ;)

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16
Amanda March 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hi Heather! Have you seen the blog design tutorials I have here, and also the ones here?

17
Tara Lee Conklin March 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

OK ok one last question… PROMISE… ☺

Do you host your own website? if not where? Is a true “website” or a “hosted blog”?

It’s great how you are able to customize it on the fly.

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18
Tami March 17, 2011 at 9:16 am

That is fun to see! I wish I had done that with mine. I still have the backgrounds, but no screenshots. Too bad. I change my backgrounds seasonally for the most part. Takes a lot of tweeking! Right now I have my son’s digital drawings as my header. Not my fav header, but I promised him I would put them on my blog someday and someday is now!

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19
Shannon March 17, 2011 at 9:20 am

Wow! Thanks for sharing! It’s fun to take a look back to a just a few years . . no flickr, myspace, wonder what we’ll have in another 5 or 6 years. . crazy! I love coming to your blog and seeing the new changes! Makes me want to start a blog, and actually keep up with it! ha!

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20
Misti March 17, 2011 at 9:26 am

I remember reading your website before it was a blog after I found a link on Scrapjazz a long time ago. I was surprised to see your blog linked on several other blogs and to see your following a few years later because I had no idea you’d developed it so much!

And now here I am, a lurker!

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21
Kathy - Panini Happy March 17, 2011 at 9:52 am

That was so much fun to walk back through your designs! Just as life evolves so does this online outlet we have, eh? You’ve just affirmed my decision to do a redesign this spring – gotta reinvent from time to time!

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22
Kristen March 17, 2011 at 9:56 am

This is so interesting Amanda… I love that you have saved screen shots over the years and shared them. It gives me some peace and comfort knowing that it took you a long time to get where your website is today, not saying that any of them were bad, but you can tell how your design technique has gotten stronger. As a student, I sometimes get a little ahead of myself and want to brilliant right away, but I know that it will take some time… thanks for reminding me :)

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23
Christy March 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I’m the same way Kristen. I am just now venturing into the blog world and want my design to be just right, but I know it will take time and a lot of practice before it looks great. I have to remind myself that all the great blogs I’ve been following lately have been around for years. Maybe someday I will have a decent following too. Keep playing. :)

24
Nancy March 17, 2011 at 10:03 am

Love getting all the news from you. It’s really fun and interesting!

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25
AnaBel March 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

I’m not sure how many years ago it was, but I stumbled onto your blog when searching for fonts. I fell in love with not only your fonts, but your blog, your photography, your puppies, your recipes and everything else! You are a talented and amazing woman, and Kevin is a wonderful man (and sooo romantic and thoughtful)! Thank you so much for doing what you do and sharing it with us, and happy 1st date anniversary!

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26
Susannah March 17, 2011 at 10:28 am

Wow! What an evolution, huh? And you know what? I can’t read your blog without getting hungry!

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27
Jen March 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

Hi Amanda! I recently stumbled on your blog and I LOVE it! It’s very well put together – you’ve put a lot of thought and talent into creating it. I just recently created my own. I’ve been working on ways to draw readers to my blog. Do you have any tips and how long did it take to consistently receive comments and feedback – letting you know there are readers following your blog?

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28
Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic March 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

I love that you have a record of how all of this has evolved over time. You are one crafty and talented lady, Amanda! I think it’s so sweet that Kevin secured your web address name for you! I always look forward to your posts and the evolution of your design. Keep up the great work! ox

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29
Shirley Larsen March 17, 2011 at 11:02 am

Everything you have done is awesome!! THANKS!

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30
Amy March 17, 2011 at 11:28 am

As a new reader, that was fun looking through the genesis of your site! What a sweet gift.

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31
teresa March 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

I KNOW I have said this before…but I must say it again!
You my dear…
can do ANYTHING!
xo
I’m not even going to ask how you got all those pics of your old blog looks! ;o)

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32
HeatherB March 17, 2011 at 11:49 am

I remember quite a few of the older “looks”. So glad you have stood the test of time. And what a sweetheart, surprising you with your own domain. And he knew what you would pick! :)

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33
Andree Close March 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

You are so clever with your blog. I always love your idea’s and beautiful pictures!

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34
Peggy March 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Amanda – you are just too cute!! You inspire me to want to create a better blog…. you are fun and entertaining…. please come visit me and leave me a comment or advice….. thank you for sharing… you are amazing!

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35
Grace March 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm

i agree, you NEED to make some tutorials on how you do the stuff you do!!! We don’t just WANT it, we NEED it, lol :) But really, I’m asking this from the bottom of my heart, P.L.E.A.S.E make just a few, please! that would be awesome!!!

luv,
-gracie

P.S. you are both AWESOME!!!!!!!

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36
Sandra March 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

i love those backgrounds and i enjoy getting your e-letters!!

You are an inspiration to….
nature
bloggers
people
children….

Everybody

keep up the amazing work!!

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37
Carrie March 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Hi Amanda, Love the new design! Wow…you are one talented gal. Thanks for sharing that talent with all of us!

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38
creole wisdom March 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

When you first posted your new design a few days ago it got me thinking about when I started reading your blog (or at the time, website). I think it was in 2004, maybe 2003. The years fly! I have always enjoyed your writing and creativity. You are probably one of my favorite bloggers out there :)

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39
D March 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I’ve got to let you know that you have been and still are my blogger hero. You inspire so many with cute designs and tutorials. Thank you Amanda:-)

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40
Pauline March 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Amanda,
Time flies! Years ago when I started to scrapbook I found your site. You had just gotten married. I have followed you since. I watched Miley and Howie grow up as well as your website. My husband told me a was a stalker! lol I even remember when you had Miley and Howie on live feed. They would be basking in the sun. You are my favorite blogger and I look forward to many more years!

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41
LCSmithSAVED March 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm

That was a fun little roadtrip down memory lane! I haven’t known u that long, but am delighted to see more of your creativity – you are amazingly talented at all you do! Thanks for the fun :~)

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42
Sweepstaker March 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm

It’s fun to watch all the screenshots and as your new reader, it feels nice to see what your blog look like back then and you sharing it to us. It’s like I never missed anything. Thanks for showing this. :)

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43
Jennifer March 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

That’s great that you gave us a history of kevinandamanda.com! I loved the previous blog layouts and backgrounds. Did you make all of those or did you get them from somewhere?

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44
PatriciaD March 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I love, love, love the look back at all the looks of your blog…really cool. I’ve loved your fonts, too, but rarely comment back. Just had to say THANKS!! BTW, I love your puppies, too. Mine are Chihuahuas, too but just as cute and adorable…I think!!

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45
Kristin S March 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm

OH, this was a fun journey to see. I love seeing the changes all in one spot.

How I dream of changing my blog but have absolutely no clue how. I might pay someone. It is very not me.

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46
Vanessa March 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I love this post! Did you learn everything about css and php by yourself? nice job, indeed! I love your blog and fonts by the way! hugs!!!

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47
Brooke March 18, 2011 at 12:14 am

I’ve been following you ever since that second or third design. I think I first bookmarked you in 2005/2006.

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48
Kristin Murdock March 18, 2011 at 11:08 am

Really so impressed, Amanda. As many comments have already said – your talent is awe-worthy and evident in your blog every day! I look forward to watching how your site continues to grow, and hope we get to meet in person some day!

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49
Sara March 18, 2011 at 11:10 am

Love the new look so much–fresh and crisp :) I was wondering, do you offer design help/work?

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50
Erica March 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I’m so glad I Stumbled on to your site. Love the fonts and crafts! Thanks so much.

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51
Nicole B March 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

i very much liked the “a look back” post. it was fun to see how things have changed. you’re great. and i quite like the yogurt and strawberries snack. MMM. heaven!

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52
Alisha March 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Love all of the changes! And I totally had the Go Against the Flow shirt – tee hee!

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53
Bernice March 19, 2011 at 8:27 am

Really enjoyed going through all your blog design changes! And it made me realize how long I’ve been following you for! It just keeps getting better.

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54
Jennifer March 21, 2011 at 9:39 am

I love the new design. It’s clean and fresh! And I loved all the seasonal ones too. The scrapbook feel does it for me!

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55
Tracy Smith March 21, 2011 at 11:45 am

Amanda,
Your site has always rocked! I’ve loved your fonts for years. And your blog layouts are always the best. I think your creative comment sections have always been my favorites! Makes me mad I’m so ‘committed’ to blogger. Word Press has awesome flexibility. Thank you for your continued inspiration!

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56
Kayla March 21, 2011 at 8:56 pm

wow, I have been a follower since your very first k&a page. :)

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57
Lori March 22, 2011 at 2:19 am

I love this post, this blog and you, my dear friend! I remember the original kevinandamanda design…it takes me back! Congratulations on all of your success.

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58
Stephanie March 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Amanda thanks so much for posting this! I love looking at your blog, it has helped me set goals to try and learn something so foreign to me…CSS and all that jazz! Have a great week! :-)

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59
Southern Gal March 18, 2012 at 5:42 am

You’ve come a long way. I loved the scrapbooky pages. I remember the first time I tried one of your fonts. If it weren’t for my son being home I would not have succeeded. Not that your directions were hard – I was just completely in the dark. I won a blog design a while back and haven’t messed with it in a while, but I may have to try again soon. Thanks for all the great tutorials.

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60
Cathy E March 18, 2012 at 7:16 am

Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary! Looking at your food pictures sometimes satisfies my sweet tooth, other times it just makes it worse, but I never regret reading any of your posts!

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61
Bev Weidner March 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

Look at THIS! Happy 10-year! xoxoxo.

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62
Stephanie McDonald March 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I love that you have a picture of your blog to keep its running history?! Did you just take a screen shot of your computer or how did you do this? As always love your blog!

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63
Diane Eck March 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I love the trip down memory lane!! I remember when I first found your page….it is when I googled scrapbook rooms and your awesome room came up!! I was hooked and have been a major fan ever since! BTW, do you still do any scrapbooking in that awesome room that your dad helped you build?? :o)

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64
Tiffany March 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Ahhhh, memory lane! I remember I first came across your blog upon searching for srapbook room ideas! Then a couple years later I came across it again and you’d grown so much. I started checking back often to see what kind of design you’d have. Now it’s in my favs and I check a couple times a week! Thanks for giving me something to look forward too! Keep bloggin’!

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65
Lynne October 30, 2012 at 8:39 am

I have been a fan ever since I found your site – so fun to see how you’ve changed things. I look forward to checking each day to see what’s new. Congrats on your success – love ya!

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66
Jessica November 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Amanda,

your blog is amazing. You are amazing. The love you and Kevin have, is amazing. Your pictures are amazing. Are you getting the gist? It’s all pretty amazing. ;) I also wanted to tell you I have been following your blog since 2007. It’s one of my favorites. Scratch that. It IS my favorite. You showed me so many new things, I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I stumbled on this site when I was only looking for fonts! Regardless the reason, I couldn’t be more happy I found you. I feel comfortable in saying I will be reading your blog for as long as I can :) xoxo

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67
Amy July 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Hey Amanda! I love your blog and have now spent the past 2 hours (when I was supposed to be cleaning my bedroom – yikes!) going through your posts in reverse. I am a fontaholic and wondered if you remember the font of the “&” and “Amanda” from when you turned your site into a blog. Btw – we always vaca in Perdido Key! Love it!

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Amanda July 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Hi Amy! I think they are Lucida Handwriting and BlackJack :) Hope this helps! :)

69
Jenna August 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hi Amanda. I am in the middle of a GIANT web redesign since I had a baby and forgot to renew my domain name :(. I decided to rename my blog and with that will need to redesign my entire blog since I made a custom background and header before with your free template! Anyway, I am wondering if it would be “easier” to start fresh on wordpress (although take over my old posts from blogger). I don’t love being tied to the blogger template, although I do not have as many hours as I had before to devote to my design. I would love your insight. Also, is wordpress truly free or to have a customized blog do you have to pay? I love that blogger is truly free and I can tinker with it from any computer.

PS I work full time, married, and have a 5.5 month old so definitely don’t have TONS of time. BTW I can’t thank you enough for your continued free blogs, scrapbook pages, etc. I will be featuring you when I get my enw and improved site up and runnin’!

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