January 24, 2012

Extreme Makeover: The ABC Blog Edition

Here you go!  This is the wonderful surprise that I referred to at the end of yesterday's post!  Well, what exactly is "this" you might ask?!

Just take a look around...the ABC blog has undergone an extreme makeover!  

The blog has been nipped, tucked, lifted, and stuffed until it emerged from its ugly duckling design into the sophisticated and fun blog that I knew it could be!  Although, to be fair, I can hardly claim any of the ABC blog's new-found beauty.  All of those kudos go to the designer: Amberly Shelton.

First, you might like to know that Amberly (or Bibi as I grew up calling her) is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  She and I are almost exactly four years apart in age, but you never would have known it when we were kids.  We were best friends, constant companions, and bubble-bath buddies (hehehe...for anyone that knows what that means, I need not explain further).  As we have grown up, graduated from college, gotten married, and in Amberly's case had a child, our friendship has evolved.  Although we don't see each other every day, week, or month, we have the kind of relationship where none of that matters.  I can not speak to Amberly for months; and then one day, one of us will pick up the phone and it is like no time has passed at all.  For that, I know that both Amberly and I are incredibly thankful.  We both have our own families and other best friends now, but we will also always have a special place in our hearts for one another.  After all, nothing can ever replace your first "best friend."

Amberly and her husband, Hal, at Bo and I's wedding.

Nowadays, among numerous other side-jobs and projects, Amberly has a print design and couture paperie business.  Her design services include, but are not limited to:

  • logos;
  • corporate/personal identities;
  • invitations;
  • stationary;
  • labels/gift tags;
  • marketing/sales collateral;
  • brochures/flyers;
  • advertisements;
  • signs/banners/billboards; and
  • photography.

Amberly and her daughter, Lydia Rose (i.e. Rosie).

Needless to say, Amberly was the creative force behind the ABC blog redesign.  She took my very scattered and scant ideas and brought them to vivid life!  There were times where I felt like she didn't event need me as a partner in the conversation because she was able to interrupt what I envisioned without me saying a word.  Yes, she is that. good.  For instance:

  • the new background - totally her idea;
  • the font change - absolutely her genius; and
  • the blog header (which, in my opinion, is the crowning glory of the whole redesign) - 100% her creative masterpiece!
    • Note - you might recognize some of the pictures inside the header circles.  Amberly took those from my old banner and made them look brand new!  See...

In case you were wondering, the four circles signify importance components of the ABC blog.

  1. Circle #1 represents Bo and I's journey in the United States Navy;
  2. Circle #2 represents our love of healthy eating/cooking (usually vegan, since I became a vegan in Spring 2010);
  3. Circle #3 represents (1) the space that we are leaving in our lives for things to come (i.e. a dog, children, etc.), and (2) quiet space (i.e. time for reflection, meditation, and prayer); and
  4. Circle #4 represents my journey as a yoga practitioner and teacher.

So there you have it, an extreme makeover performed by an extremely precious friend.  I hope you love the new design as much as I do!

So much joy in one picture! :)

Next up - a cranberry sauce recipe that you can eat year 'round and eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Antioxidants here we come!

Question of the Day:

What do you think of the ABC blog's new look?

Ally and Bo


  1. Ally, you are sweet to give me such a precious "shout out" on your blog! I'm so glad that you like the new look! Whenever this look gets a little tiresome, I'll be ready for the next makeover! Enjoy!

  2. You are more than welcome, Amberly! You deserve every word of it :) Love you!

  3. KUDOS to Both of you!!! Such Talent! How time flies..... Still seems like you should both be those two insatiable little girls in that overflowing tub of bubbles!!

  4. Time DOES fly...and I am realizing it more and more as I get older. I can't believe that Bo and I have already been married for almost a year. 2011/2012 have been world-wind adventures for me! :)