A Blog Makeover And Pictures Of A Cow


I know this post is a day early but with my new work schedule I had today off, so I thought I'd get an early start with my blog design project because it takes time to install and adjust a new template. So, just pretend that today is Friday, okay?

As you guys and gals know, I usually do a blog makeover once a year; normally around this time of the year. However, last year I did it a bit early (in March).

Throughout these past 6 ½ years, I’ve tried many different designs. I started with a minimalistic look, and then went to something more animated and colorful. I’ve had traditional blog layouts with full posts displayed, and I’ve also had layouts with partial posts displayed. In addition, I’ve had several blog designs with sliders below the header that featured my categories.

I can’t even remember the amount of makeover’s I’ve done on this blog because I’ve lost count.

Well, as you can tell, I’m back to a minimalistic look. I wanted to get away from a lot of color and have a design that was primarily black and white with just a blush of color.

Also, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, in the past year I’ve been sharing more and more posts with photographs in them, so I wanted a design that had a wider main section to post BIG photographs. With this new design, I was able to dig my hands into the coding and adjust the widths to my liking.

Outside of paying someone to design a blog from scratch, you have to give up certain things for other things. And with this new design, I had to give up my footer. So, what I did was create a separate page (above my header) with my blog roll on it because I wanted to free up my sidebar.

What mainly attracted me to this new design was that it was exactly the mood I was looking for, a design that was clean, open and airy. Like taking a big breath of fresh air!

So, I hope y’all enjoy this new design and will find it easy to read and navigate. If you have any technical issues please don’t hesitant to let me know because the most important thing about a blog design is ease.

I leave you with three photographs I took waaaaaaaaay back last fall. I just so happened to be walking down Chestnut Street and spotted this cow standing there on the corner looking straight at me. So, I took out my camera and snapped away. And what I found udderly unsettling was that no one else on the street even noticed him. I began to think that maybe it was just a figment of my imagination or that my subconscious was trying to tell me....EAT MOR CHIKIN.



Wishing you a MOO-MOO of a weekend everyone!
X

49 comments

  1. I'm just testing comments to see if they work with this new template.

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  2. I love the new look! It is very soothing!
    How can people walk by a giant cow standing on his hind legs?!

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  3. I absolutely adore the new look and AHHHHHHHHH....just perfect for this time of year! I do not like having to pay a designer for my blog, but I have worked with her several times before and she always knows what I like. She also gives me quite the break on the price! So many people are telling me that I should purchase my own domain and move to Wordpress, but I just don't know. I know nothing about it and have gotten rather used to Blogger after more than seven years of using it! Besides, I really don't want to have to pay for something each month that I have been getting for free. Now...about that cow! I have never eaten at a Chik-fil-A so when we were traveling down south I decided I MUST try it! It was GOOD! I enjoyed it!! I especially love the cow!! Have a fabulous weekend Ron! xo

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  4. It IS Friday... for me at least. I got worried for a minute that I'd lost a day.


    Yes I like the new look, although it took me by surprise. The only thing that threw me was when I went to write my comment, I clicked on 'comments' and the whole blog loaded again. I thought I'd done something wrong until I scrolled down and found the comment box was open and ready for my input. I wish I could vary my blog but I am totally reliant on Blogger so I can only make slight changes.


    About that cow... of course, you might know I thought you were talking about a real one. Doh! I'm sure I would have noticed it if I'd been there but those passers by just ... well... passed by! How strange is that?


    Okay, now I'm going to sign off and test Disqus. If that lets me down I shall cry... honest to God, I shall cry .....


    Whatever you do, enjoy your weekend. Best wishes from Joe and a hug from me x

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  5. That is hilarious that people were ignoring the cow, but I would do the same thing! I am embarrassed for grown adults who have to put on a costume like that for money....bahahaha! Recently, I was at a red light in front of a mr. chicken and a huge rooster was walking up and down the sidewalk next to my car.....I stared straight ahead!

    Have a wonderful weekend and have fun with your blog designs!

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  6. Rob LenihanJune 20, 2014

    Hey, Ron, I love the new look! i think it's great that you regularly redesign your blog and I'm thinking maybe i should do the same thing.


    I think the cow photos are udderly hysterical! You must have had bovine inspiration! Well, I think i milked that joke. Have yourself a great weekend, buddy, and try to stay ahead of the herd.

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  7. Ron, I love your new design, it's so clean and fresh! I REALLY love the watercolor header. And yes, everything seems easy to read. I like that you change things up on your blog every year because it keeps things fresh.

    The Chick-fil-A cow is hysterical! And I love that the people in the photos are not even noticing him. I have Chick-fil-A close to where I work, so I will often grab lunch. I love their wraps and waffle fries!



    Have a wonderful weekend, Ron x

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  8. Hey there Jean!

    Thank you :) Great, I'm glad to hear you think it's soothing because that's what I was going for. I wanted a design that was airy and open.

    "How can people walk by a giant cow standing on his hind legs?!"



    HAHAHAHA! I know, can you believe that? People in a city often become immune to things around them. But not me, I'm always looking and noticing stuff. Like COWS!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super weekend!

    X

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  9. Your fresh new design reminds me I should take a peek and update mine...wouldn't hurt if I updated my gravatar pic as well! Gee, I'm so lazy!
    Fess up...did the cow make you "eat mor chickin"? Hope you have a moovalous weekend.

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  10. Gooooood morning Jeanne!

    Thank you :) It's so funny because when I saw your last template design on your blog a few weeks ago, I smiled because that's the look I was also planning for my own blog - open, clean and airy.

    " I do not like having to pay a designer for my blog, but I have worked with her several times before and she always knows what I like. She also gives me quite the break on the price!"

    All the design changes I've seen on your blog over the years have been AWESOME! So, it's worth paying for them because it's obvious she knows what she's doing and knows what you like!

    "Besides, I really don't want to have to pay for something each month that I have been getting for free."

    I AGREE! I had a blog on Wordpress and enjoyed the experience very much, especially their commenting system. I think Blogger and Wordpress both have pros and cons. But I like that on Blogger we can do whatever we want with our blogs and not have to pay for any of it. The only thing I pay for on Blogger is my own domain name. I use GoDaddy and pay only $10.00 per year.

    "Now...about that cow! I have never eaten at a Chik-fil-A so when we were traveling down south I decided I MUST try it! It was GOOD! I enjoyed it!!"



    I LOVE Chick-Fil-A! I like their plain chicken sandwiches, wraps, and fries!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have super weekend!


    X to you and the girlz!

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  11. Gooooooood morning Valerie!

    "It IS Friday... for me at least. I got worried for a minute that I'd lost a day."

    HA! Yes, that's right, it IS Friday where you are! I actually published this post about 9 PM (our time) yesterday because I had finished with the design, so I published my regularly scheduled Friday post early. And it felt so weird to do that because I'm such a stickler for keeping on a schedule.

    " The only thing that threw me was when I went to write my comment, I clicked on 'comments' and the whole blog loaded again. I thought I'd done something wrong until I scrolled down and found the comment box was open and ready for my input."

    Yes, I noticed the same thing, the template didn't immediately open to the comment box, I had to scroll down to it. And I can't figure out why it does that!?!

    "About that cow... of course, you might know I thought you were talking about a real one."



    HAHAHAHAHA! Yes, that's what I was hoping everyone would think until they actually saw the costumed cow for Chick-fil-A, which is a fast food chain restaurant here in the States. Their food is FAAAAAABULOUS!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a lovely weekend!


    X to you and Joe!


    (((((( You and Joe )))))))

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  12. "That is hilarious that people were ignoring the cow, but I would do the same thing! I am embarrassed for grown adults who have to put on a costume like that for money....bahahaha!"


    Bwhahahhahaaha! Yes, I think that's WHY everyone was ignoring the cow too! But you know me, I had to whip out my camera and take pictures. And it's funny because as you can see in that first photo, he noticed me looking at him!


    Much thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous weekend!


    X

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  13. Hey there Suzi!

    I LOVE your latest new design because it's very open, clean and airy. For me, I like to change my design about once a year because it seems to keep me fresh.

    "Fess up...did the cow make you "eat mor chickin"?"

    Yes, it did. In fact, I suddenly got the urge for a chicken sandwich with pickles, coleslaw, and waffle fries!

    " Hope you have a moovalous weekend."



    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Suzi, I LOVED that!


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a moovalous weekend too!


    X

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  14. Thank you, Babs :)


    Yes, I was in the mood for something clean, open and airy. I found this design online (for FREE). And as soon as I saw it, I thought, "Yup...that's the one I want to use!"


    I LOVE your current blog design. And I think it's amazing that you designed it yourself!!!


    Have a lovely weekend, my friend, and thank you for stopping by!


    X to you and Mo!

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  15. Great new design, Ron! The header is so cool looking! I think this my favorite one you've ever had. I'm a minimalist myself, so that's probably why. This design focuses more on the content than the design. Question: do you pay for these designs or do you get them for free?


    Love the cow photos, dude!

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  16. Hiya Matt!

    Thank you :) Yup, the header was one of the things that really attracted me to this design. I love the watercolor effect. That came with this design, but as a separate graphic which gave me the option to use or not. I added the text (blog name) myself. Throughout this year, I will most likely be changing header every couple of months to keep it fresh.

    "This design focuses more on the content than the design."



    I totally agree with you! The design is subliminal.


    No, I have never paid for a design. I've gotten ALL the designs for this blog for free. And even if the designs were not exactly what I wanted, I know enough about coding that I can sometimes customize the design (widths, fonts, colors, etc.). The only thing with this one I couldn't change was the footer.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!

    X

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  17. Hey there Valerie, I just figured out a way around that issue until I can figure out HOW to correct it. If you just click on the post title first, it will open the post with the comments already below it instead of reading the post and then clicking on the comment link. Hope that helps to correct having to make two steps.

    X

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  18. Oooops, scratch that, it doesn't work. Sorry about that.

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  19. OMG...sorry about another comment, Valerie, but it does work.

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  20. Mark PetruskaJune 20, 2014

    I'm like you, forever tinkering with the blog. I believe I've had 5 designs in 5 years, so we're pretty much on the same track. Also like you, I've gravitated between minimalistic and busy designs. I'd love to stick with one perfect theme, but I have yet to find such a thing. Of course, now that I shelled out bucks for a premium theme, I feel the need to stick with it longer this time.


    Then again, there is this one cool design I like....


    Anyway. Yours looks great, Ron. This really works for what you post, and really benefits your photos. Love the new look! BTW, I'm reading this on Friday, so no worries about pretending for me here.

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  21. Udderly unsettling! hehe


    HEY STRANGER.... I'M BAAAACKK!


    Well, a cow stands a better chance of surviving restaurant week in Texas than I do of getting caught up here.... but I will try. So far, things are looking GOOD, as always.


    Have a super nice weekend, catch up with you soon... my old friend. Missed you A LOT! xo

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  22. Love the new blog design my friend. Very nice and makes the pictures really stand out. Its funny you posted these cow photos because my bf was just saying how he found a Chik Fil A in New England. We both thought it was only in the south. Who knew? Lol! Have an Udderly Fabulous weekend!

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  23. Gorgeous new design, Ron! When it first loaded, I thought WOW! It's totally different than your last two, which is when I started to read your blog. I liked the other designs as well, but it's good to change and try new things. It's so clean and fresh. A great design to showcase your photographs too!


    The cow pictures are priceless! "udderly unsettling" Lol!


    Congrats on your new blog design!

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  24. OMG Mary...it's SO GREAT TO SEE YOU!!! I thought you had totally stopped blogging because you hadn't post since October of last year. I even stopped by a couple of time to see if you had posted. Glad to see you back, I missed you!!

    "Well, a cow stands a better chance of surviving restaurant week in Texas than I do of getting caught up here.... but I will try."



    Bwhahahahha! That's okay, my friend, I know you've probably been busy with life, so no worries.


    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're enjoying this summer!


    Have a super-duper weekend!
    XO

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  25. Hiya Shae!

    Thank you, my friend :) I had been looking for a new design for the longest time but couldn't find the right one. Then, Wednesday night I spotted this one and fell in love with it.

    "funny you posted these cow photos because my bf was just saying how he found a Chik Fil A in New England. We both thought it was only in the south. Who knew?"



    I think Chik-fil-A DID start out in the south, so you're right about that. But now I see them everywhere. And I love their food!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a udderly fabulous weekend too!

    X

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  26. "I'm like you, forever tinkering with the blog."

    I know, Mark, I think you and I have changed our designs more than any bloggers I know. In the first year of having this blog, I think I changed the design FOUR times!

    "I'd love to stick with one perfect theme, but I have yet to find such a thing. Of course, now that I shelled out bucks for a premium theme, I feel the need to stick with it longer this time."

    I LOVE your new theme because it perfectly feels like you!

    For me, I get bored looking at the same design on my blog for more than a year. So, I like the change it because it seems to keep me fresh.

    "BTW, I'm reading this on Friday, so no worries about pretending for me here."



    HA! I posted this about 9 PM (east coast time), because that's about the time I finished customizing it. But it felt so weird NOT posting today.


    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your supportive words, buddy. Have a faaaaaabulous weekend!


    X to you and Tara!

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  27. Hey ho Robert!


    Thank you :) Yes, it IS totally different than my last two designs, you're right! The last two designs I had were much more animated and colorful. Waaaaaaaay back, about four years ago, I had a design that was very minimal, black, white and red. Lately though, I've been feeling the desire to go back to minimal. I found this design online and fell in love with it.


    Isn't the cow PRICELESS? I couldn't contain myself from taking these photos.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, bud! Have a moooovalous weekend!


    X

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  28. It's interesting to me that so many (maybe most) bloggers continually change the design and layout of their pages, but I've never quite understood why.
    After all, surely the point of having an eye-catching design to your blog is to create some sort of "brand identity" that is instantly recognisable to readers.
    Then again, maybe it's just me.
    I just happened to find a theme which replicates the look of a leather-bound desk diary (DIARY Of An Internet Nobody, geddit?) and I don't think I can imagine my blog looking any different now.
    I did start off with a very stylised, red-on-black text, dark themed look, but since I found my current theme, it has never occurred to me to change.

    Having said that, you are clearly an artist, the three designs of yours that I recall have all been very slick and professional looking and this new one suits your bright and breezy style perfectly.

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  29. Ooohhhhh.....look at that precious little cow! How could people not notice her?! I guess that's how wrapped up in ourselves we get, huh?
    I landed here this morning and thought something was wrong and the page wasn't loading right. LOL Yes, I know......more coffee, Mel! ;-)
    You know me--I had the same template forEVER and it as the basic, starter, black and whilte, the end! Worked for me. It'd still be working for me if I hadn't messed about looking at the cute templates that were out there. LOL It's okay, change is good they tell me.
    I'm glad you've landed with one and tweaked it to give more space for the photos you take. They oughta take center stage when you post them. You have photos that have busy STUFF and I wanna be able to snoop for the details. LOL
    And thank you for a bit of Judy this morning--himself groaned when I played it a couple times (okay...it might been like 4 or 5--LOL)

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  30. Hey there Dale!

    "It's interesting to me that so many (maybe most) bloggers continually change the design and layout of their pages, but I've never quite understood why. After all, surely the point of having an eye-catching design to your blog is to create some sort of "brand identity" that is instantly recognisable to readers."

    For me, changing the design of my blog each year is like putting on a different set of clothes, I find it creatively refreshing. Also, being someone who enjoys learning about web design, changing my theme teaches me so many things.

    I read several professional blogs with a very strong "brand identity" and even they will change their design once a year. I don't feel that a design really identifies a blog brand, I think it's more about about the 'personality' of a blogger and what they share. And it's funny that you mentioned "branding" because they say that every blogger should have a brand yet, I've never been able to identify with any kind of brand because I share so many different topics.

    "I did start off with a very stylised, red-on-black text, dark themed look, but since I found my current theme, it has never occurred to me to change."



    I think it's AWESOME that you have a theme you really like and don't feel the need to change. And personally, I really like your theme! That's the great about blogging, we can all express ourselves differently.


    Much thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, buddy. Have a super Saturday!


    x

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  31. I LIKE it, Ron! "Just a blush of color" describes it well -- just enough to make things interesting, but not so much that it detracts from what you're trying to say. Well done!

    I've changed my theme, too -- about a bazillion times. I guess it's part of our artistic, creative personalities that we get bored with same-old, same-old. Lately, I've not been unhappy with the way mine looks, but that doesn't mean I won't wake up tomorrow and do a complete makeover!

    Love the Eat Mor Chikin -- wonder why nobody seemed to notice?? (Perhaps because it doesn't have a plate of FREE food to hand out?!)

    Have an udderly wonderful weekend!

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  32. Hiya Mel!

    *smiling*

    I knew you would LOVE the cow! MOOOOOOOOOOO!

    "I landed here this morning and thought something was wrong and the page wasn't loading right. LOL Yes, I know......more coffee, Mel! ;-)"

    HAHAHAHAHA! OMG....you crack me up! And it just so happens that I'm sitting here this very moment; drinking coffee myself :)

    "You know me--I had the same template forEVER and it as the basic, starter, black and whilte, the end! Worked for me. It'd still be working for me if I hadn't messed about looking at the cute templates that were out there. LOL It's okay, change is good they tell me."



    I love that you accidentally changed your template this year because it suits you! And you're right, change is good :)


    This template is actually designed using the basic layout in Blogger (Minima) which is what you previous had. However, the designer changed it by adjusting the widths and adding different stuff. It came with a MUCH wider main section (700px), but I made it a tad smaller (650px) so that I could have a wider sidebar.


    So glad to hear you enjoyed Judy! Don't ya just love that song?


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a super Saturday!


    X

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  33. Helloooooooo there Debbie!

    Thank you :) Glad you like it. I've been looking and looking for a new theme over the past several months, but could never find the right one until I found this one.

    "I've changed my theme, too -- about a bazillion times. I guess it's part of our artistic, creative personalities that we get bored with same-old, same-old."

    Exactly! And I think changing things up a bit each year keeps you fresh and give the creative juices a lift.

    I REALLY like your current theme. A lot.

    "Love the Eat Mor Chikin -- wonder why nobody seemed to notice?? (Perhaps because it doesn't have a plate of FREE food to hand out?!)"



    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, think your right about that! Also, people who live in a city will often become immune to what's going on around them because there is so much stimuli going on.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an udderly beautiful weekend too!


    X

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  34. BenzekneesJune 21, 2014

    That's quite the way to advertise chicken! I can't believe nobody stopped or even seemed to notice this guy! Have a great weekend Ron!

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  35. "That's quite the way to advertise chicken!"


    HA! I know, can you believe it, Benze? He most certainly caught MY eye. Moooooo!


    A few years ago, IHOP advertised outside their restaurant by dressing someone up as a PANCAKE!


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're weekend has been relaxing so far, after your long week.


    ((((((((((( You )))))))))))
    X

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  36. i like your design. i change mine on a whim, not sure how good that is, but it's what i'm feeling at the moment. can't ever go wrong with a minimalist look.


    love the pics too. eat more chikin. hahaha.


    this weather is not bothering you is it. i'm loving it so far.

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  37. Hey there Val! And thank you, glad you like :)

    " i change mine on a whim, not sure how good that is, but it's what i'm feeling at the moment. can't ever go wrong with a minimalist look."

    OMG...I LOVE how you change the design on your blog. And I've enjoyed each and everyone of them! You're right...you can't go wrong with minimalist look!

    I can't wait to see what you recently changed yours to!

    No, the weather is not bothering me at all. Earlier this week (Monday and Tuesday) were extremely humid, so I did cringe a bit. However, the rest of week has been gorgeous. In fact, I sat outside today in the park.

    Thanks for stopping by, girl. Have a grrrrreat rest of your weekend!

    X

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  38. petra michelleJune 22, 2014

    Congratulations on your new web design, Ron! Functional and easy to get around! Mine, is the same template I've had since 2008, when I started blogging. It really does need a complete overhaul!
    And the "eat more chicken" cow is hilarious, Ron! I suppose it wouldn't say, "eat more beef."
    Thank you for your support during my father's hospitalization. It was brief. Just like that he went into the hospital, and just like that he's home with the hospital staff's excellent care.
    p.s. Looking good as the fifth Beatle, btw, Ron. ;))

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  39. Yes, there are a lot of web designers who offer their designs for free. You just have search for them online, which is what I do when I want to new one.

    " you know how to customize the designs yourself because my girl friend is a web designer and went to school to learn all that."

    OMG...I wish I knew MORE about web design because I could never create a complete website from scratch. All I know how to do is customize one that's already been created. I know the 'basics' of coding.

    Thanks for stopping back, buddy. Hope your weekend was super!

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  40. Looks good. I like a clean design myself. I think people on city streets just develop a blasé "seen it all" attitude. Why pay attention to a guy in a cow suit advertising fast food?

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  41. Yup...it's back to clean and minimal for me. Waaaaaay back before you and I met through blogging, I had a simple and clean black and white with red accents design that I really liked.

    " I think people on city streets just develop a blasé "seen it all" attitude. Why pay attention to a guy in a cow suit advertising fast food?"

    HAHAHA! You're absolutely right about that, girl!

    Much thanks for stopping by. Hope all is going well with your new house!

    X

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  42. Ha ha ha I LOVE the cow pictures... because two of my three kids were and ARE horrified of the Chik filet cow!!! HA HA HA HA HA that cracks me up! My kids would not have been in the shot because they would have ran like hell!

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  43. Isn't the cow HILARIOUSLY cute, Katherine? I just couldn't resist getting a picture of it. And I love that nobody else was even looking at him/her.

    " two of my three kids were and ARE horrified of the Chik filet cow!!! HA HA HA HA HA that cracks me up! My kids would not have been in the shot because they would have ran like hell!"



    OMG...how FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Much thanks for stopping by, girl. Have a mooooooovabulous week!


    X

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  44. HA! I love the Chick-fil-a cows. Amazing campaign. I play around with blog designs from time to time. But since I'm contemplating moving back to wordpress.com I'll have less flexibility. Guess it's kinda like moving the furniture around. Sometimes you just need a fresh look!

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  45. " Guess it's kinda like moving the furniture around. Sometimes you just need a fresh look!"

    Yes! That's exactly how I see it too, Lisa, like moving the furniture around! It feels FRESH! I like to do that about once a year.

    " I play around with blog designs from time to time. But since I'm contemplating moving back to wordpress.com I'll have less flexibility."


    That's the one thing about Wordpress I didn't care for when I had a blog there. You don't have a much flexibility with your design unless you self-host.


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend!
    X

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  46. nite byrdJune 25, 2014

    That saying always made me laugh! Seeing the "cow" on the street is hysterical.

    Love the new look, bro!

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  47. "That saying always made me laugh!"

    Meeeee too! Especially the way it's spelled...EAT MOR CHIKIN. HA!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, Sis! And thank you, glad you like the new look.

    Have a great rest of your week!

    X ya!

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  48. He looks like he wants to beat somebody up if they walk by eating a burger. LOL.

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  49. Bwhahahahahhahahaha! Angelia, that was HILARIOUS!


    And you're right....he does!!!!!


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend!
    X

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