What I've Been Up to the Last Two Weeks!

WOAH!! How is it almost Thanksgiving??

Today's post is just a bunch of randomness, but you might find some things I am going to share with you quite interesting!! haha

First of all.... I had the HUGE honor of working with Deanna Jump to give her blog a new look! It is not the first time I have worked on custom work for her, but I was waiting for the day that I would get to re-design her blog! Seriously... she has got to be the sweetest woman I know AND the easiest to work with. She has such a caring heart and she wants those around her to succeed... I just love that about her! However, I never expected to be so nervous once I had the design concept ready to show her!!

Why don't I just start from the beginning..

Deanna has a close relationship and loyalty to Mel Lloyd {Graphics from the Pond} and before she completed the order form a while back for a new custom blog design, she asked if she could use some custom graphics from Mel in the design.

Even though I LOVE some of the work I have seen form other artists, I prefer not use graphics from other artists in my designs. The reason I don't like using other graphics with my designs is because I am forced to have to change my own creative style to try and "match" it with someone else's. For some this is an easy task, but for me... I like working with a clean slate and endless possibilities.... haha this case.... I thought..."I could be designing Deanna Jump's blog!!" PLUS ALSO (in my best Junie B. voice), I couldn't say no to an incredibly talented gal with a southern accent!! So, I said, SURE!!

I am sure most of you are familiar with Mel's graphics...if  not, then you're missing out... they are super cute! Most of you might look at her graphics and think, "I could EASILY" draw that myself." But what most of you might not realize is that, sometimes, the most simplest form of art  is often the most difficult to draw! Mel is incredibly talented!

Before working on this project, I knew of her, but had never actually chatted with her..and let me just say that  I am in love with her sweet, easy-going personality. When I first contacted her about using the graphics she custom made for Deanna, she had the cutest response....

"You can do whatever you need to do to the graphics... It's Deanna... she basically owns the copyright to them... haha."

It wasn't until I got started on the design process that I began to get really nervous. I always place an incredible amount of pressure on myself, but the more I thought about how many people follow Deanna's blog, the more pressure I placed on myself to create something amazing... I literally created about 3 different designs and as soon as I thought I was ready to send over a preview, I would question that design, scrap it out and start over. Nothing I was coming up with was working quite right with Mel's character graphic. I played around with different options for hours.

One night...after scrapping another design concept, I finally just sat down and decided to read through Deanna's Facebook posts, blog posts and watch her interviews again. I completely cleared my mind of the amount of people that would see her design and just focused on who she is as a person to try to come up with a design that would best reflect that. I wanted the design to be a reflection of her and I just could not do that without completely illustrating every element within the design. From the background to the title letters, every element in the design is hand-drawn. I wanted the design to be clean, but also friendly, inviting and unique.

When I had the test site ready for her to look at, I can't even describe how nervous I was to send her that link. My palms were sweaty, my heart was a racing and I had that weird roller-coaster feeling in the pit of my stomach. All of her previous responses had always been, "I trust you" and "Sure, whatever you think. I know it will be great".  I really didn't want to disappoint her.

As we were about to sit down to eat dinner I heard a little ping notification from my phone, which at the time, was about 10 feet away from me on the couch. I walked up close, but did not dare pick it up. I glanced down and ...sure enough... Deanna's floating head in a round bubble was on the face of my screen. I contemplated whether or not to wait and read the message after dinner, but couldn't muster up enough self-control to wait. I pushed on the floating bubble of her head (haha) and read...


I can't even tell you how exciting that was for me to read!! I felt like I had just won a gold medal and bounced around the house... "SHE SAID SHE LOVES IT!!"

Yes, I am a Geek... and YES, I get that nervous every time I send over a new design concept. I always put a great deal of time and effort into every design and, more than anything,  I want to "get it right" -  and for every client to be in love with their completed design.

Deanna is so wonderful to work with and I am beyond thankful for this experience! Here is a little fun before and after screenshot for you to enjoy.

Well, I hadn't planned on writing so much about Deanna's blog design, so I will just give you snippets of the rest of some things that happen...

Yep, this happened.... on Facebook
I caught a glimpse of Ginger Zee's coat and felt compelled to announce my obsession... little did I know, she would RESPOND!!! To think, Ginger from Good Morning America, just happened to see my post.. I wish I had written something more profound.. hahaha!! Either way.... It was definitely the highlight of my day!

I became a Team Beachbody Fitness Coach... yes, you did read that correctly... haha
In the midst of getting healthy, I decided to take a leap of faith and become a coach! I started a 30 day self challenge to really get my eating in check. I hope to start a challenge group soon, but I need to get organized before I start in on another project. Even though I have been on track for three months, I still have been struggling to change the way I eat... I have lost 6 pounds, but I am on track to losing 30! I have been drinking a Shakeology shake once a day and doing PiYo religiously now. I don't really want to go into much detail about my experience quite yet, but I am in LOVE with the PiYo workouts and completely obsessed with Chalene Johnson!

Keep me encouraged people.. I need it! I hope that by coaching, I will keep myself in check...

Here is a link you can check out if you have been in search for a fitness program. I will be posting about it very soon!

When I first signed up, I purchased the challenge pack with PiYo and Chocolate Shakeology... The chocolate is really yummy... not sure about the other flavors yet.. I was too afraid to try them out.. haha. Here are a couple of links you can check out.

 I ALSO finished an amazing website design project with two of the BEST NERDY gals I know!! This project took a great deal of time and many weeks to complete, but the website turned out beautifully and the girls were AMAZING to work with!! You must check out Getting Nerdy with Mel & Gerdy's newly designed website! They have a ton of amazing science resources. They will be adding resources and products to the site, so make sure to check them out!

Last, but certainly not least, I spent a great deal of time updating the design pages on my own website { }!  I am also booking custom blog design orders for January 2015!! I have three spots available and if you place your order now, you will have another business expense to write off for tax time! ha! Click the image below to check out the Blogger package details and reserve a spot by completing the custom blog design order form!! You can check the Queue page to see what spots are open.

I know I mostly rambled through this post, so I planned a fun surprise post with a gift for all of you tomorrow!! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


  1. What exciting things you are doing! I am SO happy for you! :) I love Deanna's design- and GOOD FOR YOU with your workouts and healthy eating. What an inspiration. I need to eat better- so much better! And exercise, too... oh my. Just to feel more healthy! Thanks for sharing all of your exciting news! Oh my gosh- the facebook post would have THRILLED me, too! :)

    1. AWE... thank you Carolyn!! The last couple of years I have really struggled with my weight. After starting PiYo and Shakeology, I am feeling so much better.. now I am determined to get back into my pre.... graphic designer from home clothe size..haha..

      Deanna is truly amazing... and I love her new blog design.. it makes me smile..haha

      OMG!! I was a total geek about the Ginger Zee response on my FB post.. I tried to play it cool by just saying, thank you, in response to her comment, but I think I ended up appearing un-excited.. bwahaha.. so then I tried to compensate and I just failed completely... haha... I was totally excited.. and now when I watch her in the morning I get to brag to my kids.. bwahaha...

      Thank you for stopping by.. I am hoping to start a challenge group soon and would love to have some members that I know to help keep me motivated to lose this dang weight!! The Shakeology was a must investment for me, but it is not a requirement. I could definitely recommend the PiYo workouts! I feel so much stronger and even after a couple of months doing them, I continue to feel challenged by them as I get stronger. I'm getting fit for TpT Vegas 2015!! haha.. actually, I am getting fit because I am sick of seeing my weaknesses every time I pass a mirror.. I am happier when I am healthy...

  2. Oh My Goodness the blog design you did for Deanna is SOOO adorable!!! I LOVE the signature. Terrific job Michelle ♥


  3. I just want you to know.....Deanna Jump is my personal HERO and YOU are also my personal HERO! You are famous yourself! And talented!! And funny! Once I can afford you I will ask for my very own clean crisp awesome design! LOVED IT. And of course, now my own newbie blog looks ridiculously cluttery and old-fashioned, but let's not compare.....
    Nancy B. Pierce @

    1. You are SOOO Sweet! Deanna is my HERO as well!! I love the relationships I have made with so many beautiful, hard-working, incredibly talented, and caring women!! I never lack inspiration and motivation for sure! Well... sometimes I lack motivation... haha

      I am working on several pre-made Blogger templates and I will be offering for sale from my website for much lower price. I realize that not everyone can afford a personalized custom blog design, so I am hoping these pre-made designs will be the perfect solution.

      Thank you for stopping by and I will definitely go check out your blog right now (-;


  4. This was so much fun to read :)
    I ♥ your description of what you went through when designing Deanna's blog, haha. After some discouraging days, I've also went through and listened to her interviews! It's so nice to read that she's as wonderful as she appears online.
    I visited her blog recently and LOVED it. I immediately scrolled through and saw it was your design. Well Done!
    Good luck with Beach Body. I need to do something to get my mojo back!


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