Tuesday, August 17, 2010

look at me! look at me! it's the NEW me! :)

Notice anything different about me today? :)

Whoohoooo! Another Lunch has had a makeover! Bye-bye pieced together hodge-podge blog, helllloooo cutie-patootie-pie blog!

This blog redesign has been in progress for quite some time! It all started when I asked a beautiful friend of mine, Mariah DeMarco (who just so happens to be a famous illustrator) if she'd be willing to make me an avatar. She not only replied with an enthusiastic "I'd be happy to!", but upped the ante by saying, "and would you like a new header, too?". Would I ever! Little did I know that an avatar and header would blossom into a whole new look from head (cutest header ever!) to toe (check out the darling footer)!

And let me be clear here, when I call Mariah a "friend", that's not bloggy talk for "someone I've exchanged cordial emails with and occasionally tweet to", oh no. When I say "friend" I mean we went to high school together, rode the same bus, borrowed each other's clothes, crushed on the same boys (she always got 'em, I'm not kidding about her being beautiful!). When I say friend I'm talking about someone I truly care for, respect, and admire. Mariah has always been an artist, and to see how she's followed her dreams and achieved success in doing so fills me with so much joy!

All the sweet artwork you see here, every single pixel, is from the hand and imagination of Mariah. Incredible isn't it? To be able to create such beauty from thin air? It blows me away. :)

At some point during this process, as Mariah continued to churn out image after image of adorable bento lunchy illustration for me, the realization hit me that I wasn't going to be able to handle the task of implementing the art into my blog by myself. Now, I can hack HTML code with some directions by my side, but I knew I was not going to be able to do Mariah's art any justice. I needed someone who could do more than muddle their way through HTML. I needed someone that could take Mariah's work and put it in place to allow it to shine!

I don't know how I got so lucky to find Shalon. But boy, did I get lucky! You might have seen her name over there in the left column listed as a blog author for awhile. She's been working behind the scenes to get this new look in place! Shalon of Pretty Lovely Design is everything I was looking for in a blog designer. I poured over her portfolio, I visited the sites she designed, and was immediately drawn to her crisp and clean blog style. I knew she'd be the perfect candidate to put Mariah's illustrations into a great blog layout. Shalon took a huge heap of image files and turned them into this. This pretty, lovely, little blog.

Shalon has been wonderful to work with. WONDERFUL! She has been friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and patient... and her skills speak for themselves. I highly recommend contacting her if you have any bloggy projects you'd like designed!

Thank you, Shalon! It has been my pleasure to work with you!

Mariah, and her charming artwork, can be found on her blog, "Paper & Pomegranates", Facebook, and Flickr. If you are interested in hiring this sweet-spirited sensational artist you can contact her via her website or find her at Aeolidia.

Mariah, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
Not only thanks for this blog you've made delightful nor for the support and enthusiasm you've given me since its' inception, but more so, thank you for just being you. You have inspired me over the years more than you will ever know. It is my privilege to know you. Big hugs, dear friend of mine. I completely and utterly adore you. XOXOXO
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Snowflowers Mum said... [Reply to comment]

super cute...blog makeovers are so refreshing!

Katie Kolich said... [Reply to comment]

It looks great!!! Good job everyone!!!

The Planet Pink said... [Reply to comment]

Melissa! It turned out AH-MAZING!!!

Wendy said... [Reply to comment]

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!! I'm so excited for you!

The Princess said... [Reply to comment]

I love your new blog look, it is so kawaii.

Bar 7 Ranch said... [Reply to comment]

SOOOOO CUTE!! Congrats! I love it!

Jennifer Turner said... [Reply to comment]

Melissa! This is brilliant! I LOVE the new look. I LOVE what Mariah created! I LOVE the blog design! Congratulations. I'm super excited for you and what you're doing.

To The Moon and Back said... [Reply to comment]

LOOOving the new look! Congrats!

Christina said... [Reply to comment]

It is incredibly adorable!!! Great job, everyone! I absolutely love it.

Astrid said... [Reply to comment]

It's gorgeous! Congrats!

Susan B. said... [Reply to comment]

Love the new look! Very soft and fun. Especially love the footer. So cute!! :) You're a lucky girl!

April said... [Reply to comment]

I was making my way back over this morning, just to say how much I love the new look. The heading is adorable.

Mariah said... [Reply to comment]

Sweet dear friend, I'm blushing from head to toe and if I'm honest little tears are sneaking out of the corners of my eyes... It's been such fun getting to interact with you so much over the last months! Oh dear friend, I love you. I miss you terribly and really do hope we will get to meet up on our big trip east next year! I just want to hug you for a good 3 minutes or so right now ^_^ I love you. You are such a talented writer & leader. You always have been and that's something I've always admired about you (one of the many things!) .. and let me be clear here.. your much more beautiful inside and out than I.. and I'd kill for your hair! ;D Oh sweet friend, thank you for everything, your truly a beauty and It's an honor & blessing to have been friends with you all these years, thank you for it all & I look forward to a lifetime of friendship with you! ♥

RLR said... [Reply to comment]

Love the new makeover - and I picked up your blog badge (the circle) to post on my blog!

Kelly Polizzi said... [Reply to comment]

wow, your friend did an awesome job. Does she want to do mine next? *bats eyelashes* lol Seriously, I love it Melissa (yes, I'm awake today lol).

Tracey said... [Reply to comment]

It's so cute, I love it!!

Laura Alison said... [Reply to comment]

love the new layout!

Jayne said... [Reply to comment]

This is perfect. And gorgeous. And lovely. And pretty. And cute. I'm proud of you Melissa :) Congrats on your new design and finding this special niche in the blogosphere that you totally rock at!

Kristie Clower said... [Reply to comment]

love it! your friend is very talented.

lisa9999 said... [Reply to comment]

So pretty.

Cameron said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my gosh so adorable!!! I love it!!!

Angeleyes said... [Reply to comment]

Ooooooooooooo so Kawaii!!! I want a new Bento look too! :P

Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said... [Reply to comment]

Love the colors and especially the footer! :)

Giggly Girls said... [Reply to comment]

It looks awesome!!

Raji P. said... [Reply to comment]

Lovely, almost did not recognize you!! I love the new look! is it just me or is the font smaller, though?

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Hey Raji! I was just thinking about you - I heard your name somewhere and was thinking I hadn't seen you around lately! Good to see you. :)

Yes, the font is small. Do you think it is too small? I am undecided.

arkonite_babe said... [Reply to comment]

Awesome new look for the blog, I love it!

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