more »" />

Pardon My Dust

by Meghann on December 17, 2009

…as I attempt to turn my blog upside down. :/

If you are on google reader I suggest clicking over and having a gander at my new theme and header.

What do you think?

I haven’t been particularly thrilled with my blog theme or header for a couple of months now. I know I need to just invest some money and work with a professional on customizing at theme because lord knows I have no clue!

Don’t worry I’m still working on it! I’m not 100% thrilled yet, but its a start. :)

I have also been toying with the idea of changing my blog name. Anyone have any suggestions out there?!?!

Major thanks to Ashley from Daily Goods for designing the new banner and for helping me with another side project for the blog! You are the best!!

So obviously I have been working hard on real work this morning. ;)

I snacked on a dried fruit medley  that Oh! Nuts sent.

IMG_2867

The dried fruit was actually very moist and tasty, but not filling at all.

Less then an hour later my tummy was grumbling for more food. Instead of caving in and enjoying an 11:00am lunch I grabbed my emergency pack of almonds from my purse.

IMG_2868

They did the trick! Love the power of nuts. :)

My fridge is pretty bare at the moment, but I made do with a simple lunch of what I had.

IMG_2871

I was lacking marinara sauce for my flat out pizza, but the substitution of bbq sauce worked out just fine!

IMG_2876

Toppings included spinach, tofu, artichoke hearts, and a slice of swiss cheese.

IMG_2877

On the side I had a serving of pretzel nuggets left over from my last night’s baking extravaganza.

IMG_2881

Speaking of last night… I couldn’t resist sampling one of my White Chocolate Jumbles that had been firming up in the fridge last  night.

IMG_2882

I’ll admit I was a little skeptical of the odd combination of white chocolate, animal crackers, pretzels and peppermint, but Boy, Oh Boy! this sucker was good!! Nom Nom Nom!! I will proudly hand/ship these out to co-workers and friends! :)

Did you know its National Free Shipping day?!?!

Check out some of your favorite online shopping sites and see what they have to offer! For most places today is the last day the can guarantee shipping before Christmas!

I just ordered a couple of things yesterday and am crossing my fingers and toes they’ll stay true to their word and they will get here before the big day!

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

1 megan December 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I like the new look – it’s more streamlined :)

changing your blog name would be complicated wouldn’t it? I don’t envy you that!

Reply

2 jael December 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I agree with you about the theme and the name It’s time to get something more suitable for your current life, don’t you think??

I think you still need to get some work on the theme, but it is better than the old one.

The name and theme should represent the vibrant persona that you are!!!

Reply

3 Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life December 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm

I like the new look!

Reply

4 Chelsea December 17, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I wanted to change my blog name too but it’s hard :(

Reply

5 meyergirl December 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I like the new header!! Very feminine.

Reply

6 Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness December 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Hi Meghann, love your blog! I don’t think you should change your blog name (at least not yet – maybe next year sometime?) but I don’t think the header is very “you” right now.
When I think of how your header should look… I think modern, clean and just a smidge sporty (a la shoes). You could work with the current design by changing the background color (lighten just a bit) and increasing the font size by like 10 or more points. I’d also brighten the font color.
Anyway just some advice from my perspective! :-D

Reply

7 amanda @ fake ginger December 17, 2009 at 3:31 pm

The new look is lovely. It looks very “clean” if that makes sense. I changed my blog name (& URL) almost a year ago and I’m just now back to the amount of traffic I had before that. It’s a tough thing to do but I know it’s worth it in the end. I love my new name so much more.

Reply

8 Naomi(onefitfoodie) December 17, 2009 at 3:33 pm

LOVe the new look, very chic and profesh :)

national free shipping day?! so cooL! thanks for the heads up, girl!!

Reply

9 Melissa S. December 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm

i’ve totally been wanting to change the look of my blog too; i just don’t know where to start. and it’s on blogger…so boo.

Reply

10 Danielle December 17, 2009 at 3:36 pm

This looks fantastic! I love the little sneakers illustration and the blue color.

Reply

11 Sarah R December 17, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Loving the new look! I think it flows much better now, on top of being super cute with that header!

Reply

12 inmytummy December 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Taking from your new header, what about calling your blog something like Meghann in the Real World? Same idea as you have now, but not so much of an emphasis on the graduate part.

Reply

13 Meghann December 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I like that idea!!

Reply

14 Lily @ Lily's Health Pad December 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Meghann, I love your blog! But I think i liked the old layout better… Although this look is more clean, I think it looks less professional.

Reply

15 Meghann December 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I feel the same way too. I just thought the other one was over used on other blogs and I feel like I grew out of it. This one is temporary until I find a home to a theme I like :)

Reply

16 sarah (ghost world) December 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm

i think it’s pretty, but with your outgoing personality and zest for life, i think something a little MORE (flashier, more colorful, more athletic . . .) is needed!

i’m currently working on the whole name change/redesign . . . after 5 years with a totally whacked-out, lame, nonrepresentative name . . . i think it’s time :)

Reply

17 Meghann December 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Are you working with anyone to help you with the changes?

Reply

18 Evan Thomas December 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Nice new look! But I like the name of your blog. I wouldn’t change it. But if you did, maybe Graduated To Running?

Reply

19 Jessie December 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I love the new header and the new pic you put up!

Reply

20 Beth S. December 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Maybe remove the blog title text underneath the header, and then making the header a bit bigger? I agree about possibly removing the graduate part from your blog name.

Reply

21 Matt December 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I like the new header :)

The new theme is good too. It just seems a lot more organized.

Reply

22 Amber from Girl with the Red Hair December 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Thesis is a GREAT wordpress theme and totally customizable. It costs money, but not too much, and it’s way easier to customize then free wordpress themes!

I love the new header but agree it could be a bit bigger.

Reply

23 anne December 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

I like the new look. Much easier on the eyes!

Reply

24 Lauren December 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Great new look – quite sophisticated. I understand the desire to have a new name, but think there’s nothing wrong with the one you have for another year or so…but then we have to leave our college days behind. Sigh.

Reply

25 Kiki (Run Kiki Run) December 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Hey nice layout
but where are the archives??
sorry if it’s very obvious, i couldnt see them tho :( x

Reply

26 Meghann December 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm

They’re on the bottom! I’m still working on it :)

Reply

27 Mary December 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm

I’m a lurker…I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it. I especailly like some of your recipes and have incorporated them into my life.
Love the new header and picture…very you:)

Reply

28 Lindsay December 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Pretty! I like your blog makeover so far. The new header is tres sophisticated!

Reply

29 Whit December 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Love the header!

Reply

30 Lizzy December 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm

i like the new look but i agree with some of the other readers that these colors just don’t seem like you! you are so lively and vibrant, and i think you should express that here! :)

http://saladdiva.wordpress.com

Reply

31 mygirlybits December 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm

i think it needs to be wider (3 column?). and i’m not craaaazy about the header. it’s cute, but it doesn’t seem like “you” to me. i want COLOR! :)

Reply

32 Megan December 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I really like the running shoes! I think they’re super cute!

Reply

33 Jessica December 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Where are all your great recipes????

Reply

34 Nicci@NiftyEats December 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

It’s fresh and so you… love the new layout!

Reply

35 pigdaysofsummer December 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm

hey meggy this is my new blog

angela

Reply

36 mary ann December 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm

love it! Super classy.

Reply

37 Lizz December 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm

It makes it tougher to comment (being at the top and all- mind you I clicked over from Reader funny so it might be different anyway). I like it but it’s tough to see when one post ends and the next begins and on my widescreen there is about 4 inches of white space on each side of your header that isn’t usually there- maybe I did something weird?

Good luck with it! I do agree that the streamlining is nice! Oh, and I like the name of the blog. You could always subtitle differently if you’re in need of a change. :-) You’re amazing as always.

Reply

38 princessrisa December 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I love the name of your blog! If you do change it I hope you keep the same theme.

Reply

39 Christy December 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm

I like where you are going with your changes, but I think your header should “pop” a little more. As it is now, it sort of gets lost on the page. Keep up the great work!

Reply

40 Victoria December 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm

I really like the new banner. Looks simple and sleek.

Reply

41 greenbean December 17, 2009 at 5:05 pm

i dunno. i kinda like the new layout, but it’s doing something funky with the comments. at least on my computer. and i liked how the comment link used to be at the end of each post. as for the header, its not quite you yet. you’re so bubbly and bright and i don’t feel that from the header yet. maybe rather than a dark figure at the top, put an actual picture of you racing in the header.

Reply

42 caitsplate December 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Ooooh I REALLY like this banner!

And holy moly – those peppermint white chocolate things you made look so good.

Also – your 100 calorie almond packs ALWAYS make me jealous. i think i have to pick some up :)

Reply

43 Cate December 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Hi – I would definitely change the name. I work in branding/marketing and always thought you were really limiting yourself with the “college graduate” angle. It’s fine for your first year of school but you move out of that phase pretty quickly. And as you know, being a college grad isn’t that unique these days – you need to figure out what it is that makes you special and different from other bloggers, and brand your blog (and yourself) with that!

Hope that is helpful, not critical. :) CC

Reply

44 Meghann December 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Not critical at all! I appreciate the feedback! if you have any branding ideas I would love to hear them :)

Reply

45 Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 17, 2009 at 5:48 pm

oooh wow! What an awesome banner :) Looks great! I had to double-check that I was at the right blog for a second there :)

Reply

46 Stephanie December 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I really like your idea to update the site. Your blog is much more professional now with your new camera and all the things you are involved in, and the design should reflect that.

I agree with some of the above commenters– the layout you have new isn’t quite right. More color, smaller margins, etc.

This could be a really awful idea, but I’m going to throw it out there– you coud keep the url “graduatemeghann.com” and change the idea to “graduating” from the different phases in life. Graduation symbolizes accomplishment and moving on to the next thing, and we are constantly doing that– graduating to new races, faster times, new jobs, new relationships… You could just take out the “inner workings/college” part. I warned you it would be cheesey!!!!!!

Reply

47 Meghann December 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I like that idea! Do you think I should just call the blog Graduate Meghann and have the tag line be about graduating to the next phase of life or maybe the blog title should be something along the line of ‘Graduating to the Next Phase of Life’ ?

Love your feedback!

Reply

48 Stephanie December 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I’m glad you didn’t just laugh in my face (er, comment)!

Hmn. My first thought would be just “graduate meghann”. It gives your blog more room to grow with you. Who knows where you could be in even a few years. Something broad enough that gives you room to interpret and evolve, but narrow enough for a theme. That way you could keep the “graduate meghann” throughout it all, but change the tag line as appropriate (/as needed).

Reply

49 Kath December 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm

LOVE the new theme!!! Simple and modern. I agree – a new name is overdue ;)

Reply

50 Runningwriter December 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Nooo, don’t change the name. I just type GR into my browser and up you pop, I can’t learn two new letters :P
I liked the old layout but look forward to seeing how this one develops.
It’s interesting with people’s take on branding, I hadn’t really thought about you as a ‘brand’, just someone whose life I follow daily (that’s not weird right).

Reply

51 lauren December 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I like the tagline! Although clean, I think the theme is kind of plain. You do not seem plain at all!
For the header maybe you and your designer could come up with something involving a globe with a person running along the top of it, something colorful!
I hate to be critical, but I am also not a fan of having the comments at the top, I like to read comments after I read your post.

Reply

52 hopefulrunner December 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Hey Meghann,

I like the name of your blog, and in my opinion you should keep it…..it’s just so “you”. :) I’m not completely feeling the new layout though, it seems to be missing something. Not sure what it is.
Dayna

Reply

53 Rosey Rebecca December 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Love the new look! Thanks for letting use know about the free shipping thing!! I would never have known!

Reply

54 skinnyrunner December 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

i like the blue and the pic of you on the left is really cute!

Reply

55 allisonleigh December 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Hey Meghann!
I agree with the above comments, and have to say I don’t really like this theme for you personally. It sort of screams “newbie blog” to me and you are not at all!
Have you talked to Zesty about helping you out with a new theme and header??

Reply

56 Molly December 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Hey Meghann,

Despite the comments above, I think you’re on the right track, and bravo for trying to shake things up a bit! That’s always scary.

One unrelated comment: I’ve noticed that you and the other food bloggers I read almost always say something along the lines of, “I couldn’t resist” a particular treat or dessert rather than just stating that you ate it. You probably don’t even notice that you’re doing it. I love your blog, and I feel like that sort of language goes against the healthy, balanced attitude that you embrace. If a small cookie is part of a healthy balanced diet, then why not say “I had a cookie” the same way you’d say “I had a sandwich”?

Just food for thought…I’d be interested to hear your reaction.

Reply

57 Meghann December 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Honest;y I say “I couldn’t resist..” because I think its a good segway. I’ll try to be careful with using that term from now on. :)

Reply

58 Kristie Lynn December 18, 2009 at 12:19 am

I notice this too – glad you brought it up :)

Reply

59 Molly December 17, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Awesome :) and I hope that didn’t sound too critical. I think you’re a wonderful role model.

Reply

60 Mama Pea December 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I definitely prefer this theme, and I know you are less of a recent graduate, and thus you are wanting the name change, but when I clicked on a link to your blog over a year ago, the name was what first got my attention.

Is there a related name you could try? Do you want it to focus on running? Food? Travel? Work? Family? All of the above?

How about The Inner Workings of a Green Bikini?

Sorry I COULDN’T RESIST. Somebody stop me.

Reply

61 Danica December 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I LIKE the new look – it’s fun and creative and different. Great job at making a delicious lunch with not having much on hand :)

Reply

62 Kara December 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I love the new look!

Changing the name would probably be difficult, but what about Meghann’s Miles or Miles with Meghann or Meghann Miles and Munchies…

Reply

63 jenna December 17, 2009 at 7:42 pm

love the new layout girl

Reply

64 masteringpublichealth December 17, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Hmm, not sure about the title; depends what you want to emphasize. How great that your blog has endured longer than you perhaps planned when coming up with the title! :) Also, good point to Molly.

Reply

65 Deb December 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Love the new pic of you on the page. Keep working on shaking up the blog page until you get something you like. We will all find you even if you change your name. BTW I would like a puppy tab, please. (Caitlin has one you know!) Abbie and Maddie are so much a part of who you are. It would be nice to see pics of both of them. Just a thought.

Reply

66 Tracey December 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Here’s a title idea – Meghann My Own Way
When you say it, it sounds like “making my own way” which is just what you’re doing – making your own way in the world and becoming your own person! Whether through food, fitness or fashion, you’re making your own way and loving every minute of it!
It also implies that you’re being yourself and creating “Meghann” in your own way.
Hope you like it!

Reply

67 M December 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm

The one thing i do not absolutely love about your blog is the name. It just sounds a little bit…well, not like you. It sounds self-righteous, and you’re so not! I love the Meghann My Own Way idea.

Reply

68 christie @ honoring health December 17, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I think white background blogs are much more professional looking, especially when you want to show off great photography. But I think wider so that there is much less white space would be good as well. And randomly, I just thought of the name Meghann’s Mark but maybe I am just a lush like that ;)

Have fun with the re-work of your blog and feel free to email me if you need any help. You don’t have to lose your “brand” or your traffic to have a successful move.

Reply

69 Erin December 17, 2009 at 9:59 pm

California Pizza Kitchen makes a BBQ pizza that I love but is probably terrible for me — this is a great alternative.

Reply

70 Wendy December 17, 2009 at 10:55 pm

I’m in agreement with several of your other readers…too much white space, needs more color. I think a name change is a great idea…you have sorta “outgrown” the current one.

One other thing about this layout, and maybe it’s just me…but I like the link to add a comment at the bottom of the post vs. the top.

Reply

71 postcollegecook December 18, 2009 at 12:02 am

I share a similar issue with my blog name, “Post-College Kitchen.” How long after you graduate are you post-college? :)

I will say, however, that your blog name is definitely what made me click the link the first time. It stands out as more interesting and unique than the dozens of blogs with “run,” “food,” “healthy,” “eat,” etc. in the names. But I see your point that you probably need something more grown up and that accurately describes your content. Good luck!

Reply

72 Laura Georgina December 18, 2009 at 12:16 am

I like it better than the old one and totally agree that it’s brave to try something new! It looks good, but maybe a bit more color in the background? It would look good with more color contrasts (maybe more contrast to the etchings?) I hope you have fun playing around with it!

Reply

73 amanda December 18, 2009 at 1:06 am

your new site could be called “raw brussel sproats are delish!” haha jk. I like the new header!!!!!!

Reply

74 Chloe December 18, 2009 at 8:13 am

Hi Meghann,

I haven’t commented before but LOVE you and your blog so wanted to offer something constructive.

I actually think the changes are a step backward not a step forward – the 3 column theme is much preferable and a lot of studies back that up. I understand that your last theme was a generic wordpress theme and you want something original but I honestly don’t think this change is the right one. The look of the blog now does not entice me – if I came across this site for the first time today I would not stay and I would not bookmark it – which is a travesty as your content is wonderful. Your old theme DID entice me – it hooked me in right away.

If you look at Caitlin and Tina’s 3 column themes – obviously you don’t want to copy them but for the reader that is what you should be aiming for. Why not ask 13infinite (their blog designer) for a quote. I think it would be worth a small investment as it could take your blog to the next level. You certainly have the content and readership to make it happen.

Best wishes, Chloe

Reply

75 Meghann December 18, 2009 at 8:16 am

Don’t worry Chloe this theme is temporary. :) I’ve already contacted the designer at 13 infinite and plan to go back to a 3 column format :)

Reply

76 Tami December 18, 2009 at 9:44 am

i didn’t get above 9 yesterday in New Hampshire, it’s 6 right now.

Reply

77 rebecca lustig December 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

gahh, free shipping daY? count me in! hehe

Reply

78 Emily December 18, 2009 at 10:18 am

Oh! I LOVE Ice! I’m actually sporting an ICE shirt as I type. We went to the one in Dallas and their theme was How thr Grinch Stole Christmas! Very good!! And the slides were by far the best!

Reply

79 Juli D. December 18, 2009 at 10:21 am

My personal favorite running motto is a U2 song – “Running to Stand Still” There’s some kind of beauty in the simplicity of the phrase and the idea of moving to find calm. I’m not sure if that’s already taken but it could be a good blog name!

Reply

80 Sarah December 18, 2009 at 11:29 am

While you’re asking for feedback about cleaning up the blog, I’d suggest that you check your spelling and grammar a bit more. I know that seems picky, but it’s one thing I definitely notice on your blog compared to some of the other food bloggers out there. Since you are making some changes, I assume you are wanting to be seen as more professional and this would go a long way towards meeting that goal. Good luck!

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: