Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A new look & a throwback story!

First things first: welcome to the new b+b! Isn't it pretty, you guys? Don't you just want to hop inside this color scheme and cuddle up & take a nap in that cute chalkboard font and skip along those stitched lines and and and...

I'm a little obsessed. Could you tell?

For the last year or so, my blog has taken a bit of a more decisive turn in a different direction, and whereas Undergrad Fab (throwback!) and the early days of b + b were all about me being all swf-dressing-myself, I feel more confident in the way this blog has become about every aspect of my life, doing what I do, exactly where I am. And well, that flowery purple just wasn't doin' it for me anymore.

Enter Amanda.
Amanda in pink, Beth in green. Do I not have the prettiest friends?! I know.
Can I tell you all a little story? Amanda and I met freshman year of high school, bonded by our nerdy love of Spanish class and musical theater. We became insta-friends and for four years, she remained high on my list of all-time favorite people. After we graduated from high school, we moved seven hours away from each other, and adult life went on as adult life is known to do, and we just drifted apart. After college, both of us eventually found ourselves in the same city again, and through a few random, completely coincidental turns of fate, our paths crossed again. Isn't that funny, how that works? Thank goodness for that bar-league sand volleyball team, for that boy I dated who just happened to know her boyfriend, for our sweet mutual friend Beth (more on her in a second!), for that gust of wind in just the right direction at just the right time that brought us back into each others' lives.

#tbt: babies! Or junior prom (2006). same/same. 
last year, freezin' our tushes off at a baseball game.
Over the last two years or so, I have been endlessly grateful for this girl - these girls - and their presence in my life. They wear so many hats in my life - running buddies, wine-bottle-finishers, relationship counselors, cheerleaders, you name it. I highly recommend that everyone finds an Amanda + Beth of their own (you can't have mine, of course)-- what I would do without them, I don't know.

This story has a point! And I'm just about to get there. At one of our more recent girls dinners, I was complaining to Amanda & Beth that I was desperately in need of a blog redesign, but didn't know where to begin. Amanda, a graphic & web designer by trade, immediately hopped in with her expertise, and of course, it didn't take me more than three seconds to put two and two together and hire her to give a new identity to my little corner of the internet. 

From the first moment we started, she gave me countless, countless options of logos, fonts & color schemes to choose from. Anything I could possibly want but didn't know how to put into words, she created it. That gorgeous logo up there? Was born because I told her I kinda liked that whole chalkboard-y hand-lettering thing... ish. Those beautiful, vibrant, cheerful colors? Came out of me pointing at every shade of the rainbow on various pinterest color boards and telling her I wanted something cheerful, vibrant, clean & simple but still punchy & quirky. Um...I think. Halp. 

In just a few weeks, she created something completely from scratch, more perfect than I ever could have imagined, exactly what I wanted but had no clue how to bring to life. She let me tweak and nitpick until the cows came home until she had redesigned more than just my 'brand' (ugh, that word though), but she had given this cherished space of mine the face I had always hoped for. And Beth - our test audience - was there at every turn, yes'ing and no'ing and ooh'ing and ahh'ing right along with me, helping me see the bigger picture and giving invaluable advice about what this design would look like from a reader's perspective. These girls, I tell ya. 

So the biggest thank you to Amanda for her incredible work, her persistence & patience and this beautiful design that will carry b + b through the exciting things ahead in the years to come. If you're interested in working with her, I cannot recommend her enough - check out her professional portfolio here to learn more about what she can do with some vague directions, an abundance of vision, and just a little bit of time.

I'd also like to thank throwback Mary circa 2003 who (unknowingly and) wisely chose to sit next to the friendly blonde in freshman Spanish class, thus ensuring that someday, we'd all find ourselves here-- so lucky am I to have such incredible (and talented!) friends.

Thank you again to the moon and back, Amanda-- and I'd love to hear what YOU all think of the new look here at b + b! 


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