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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.

Blog Designs

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.

Blog Designs

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.

Blog Designs

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

Blog Designs

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

Blog Designs

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

Blog Designs

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

Blog Designs

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

Blog Designs

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

Blog Designs

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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73 Responses
  1. Lucy

    You make creating and adding new backgrounds, pictures and text sound so easy to do. NOT!!! I have a blog with the most basic stuff on it (boring;-D) It’s one of the free ones you mentioned you used when you started to blog. Needless to say, I’ve given up on it for several years because I’ve had to care for my mother and other family responsibilities.. Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog and hope you continue on for many more years to come. Happiness to you and Kevin.

  2. Stefanie

    I just came across your site when I was looking up suggestions on places to stay in Helen Ga
    – (was not impressed with the Hampton Inn even though I was expecting the basic clean, comfortable room with a nice breakfast, let’s just say it was not clean and comfortable) – but I digress. You have such a cute blog and on the day I find it I get to read the whole back story :)

    I also turned my wedding site into a blog, mostly photo so family I refuse to add on facebook can keep up with what we are up to, but since I do websites for a living the most I can do after work is a tumblr. Slowly I want to convert to wordpress because it truly is the best tool for the job. Anywho you have a new follower from North Atlanta who will be checking in from time to time, mainly to get inspiration and look at the food porn since I’m on a diet I might not be trying some of these any time soon! The food sure does look good though.

    – Bye Stefanie

  3. Gina

    I’ve been visiting this site for years – thanks for the back story. It was a fun read. Congratulations on your teenager!

  4. Jenna

    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’!

  5. Amy

    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!

  6. Jessica

    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

  7. Lynne

    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!

  8. Tiffany

    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’!

  9. Diane Eck

    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)

  10. Stephanie McDonald

    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!

  11. Cathy E

    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!

  12. Southern Gal

    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.

  13. Stephanie

    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! :-)

  14. Lori

    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.

  15. Tracy Smith

    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!

  16. Jennifer

    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!

  17. Bernice

    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.

  18. Nicole B

    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!

  19. Kristin Murdock

    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!

  20. Vanessa

    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!!!

  21. Kristin S

    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.

  22. PatriciaD

    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!!

  23. Jennifer

    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?

  24. Sweepstaker

    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. :)

  25. LCSmithSAVED

    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 :~)

  26. Pauline

    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!

  27. D

    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:-)

  28. creole wisdom

    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 :)

  29. Sandra

    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!!

  30. Grace

    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!!!!!!!

  31. Peggy

    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!

  32. HeatherB

    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! :)

  33. teresa

    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)

  34. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic

    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

  35. Jen

    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?

  36. AnaBel

    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!

  37. Kristen

    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 :)

    1. Christy

      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. :)

  38. Kathy - Panini Happy

    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!

  39. Misti

    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!

  40. Shannon

    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!

  41. Tami

    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!

  42. Tara Lee Conklin

    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.

  43. Heather @ Sweet Sins 2 Share

    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???) ;)

  44. Laura Olds

    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! :)

  45. Chrissy Farnan

    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

  46. Tara Lee Conklin

    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

  47. The Mrs. (Success Along the Weigh)

    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!

  48. YEISHA

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

  49. Tara Lee Conklin

    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

  50. Shruthi

    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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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes for busy weeknight dinners, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. Meet our Boston Terriers. Take a tour of our house. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.

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