My New Blog Design!!

Squeallllll, do you see it?  The new design?

In spring of 2009, I got my very first real professional blog design done and it was an exciting day indeed. I was very happy with the outcome and that’s what you’ve seen on my blog all these years.  Four and 1/2 years is eons in blogland! That pretty banner with the pics that I took myself, showing things that I love, including a starfish for my love of the beach and other things that represent my style, I loved it for a long time.

Greens and grays were the colors I chose and I loved the vibe of these colors together, creating a look and brand for Southern Hospitality. The look was me through and through and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. But, after having the same design for a few years, there was need for improvement and better flow. I wanted to be able to load larger pics. I was limited to the size of pics that I could upload on my blog to 500 px wide. I love big beautiful pics and wanted to go bigger than that, but I was limited to the size of my content box and my theme and design.


I also felt the need, as have many of my fellow bloggers to go a little more streamlined, clean and classic in the look of my blog. I didn’t want a lot of background “noise” or lots of things going on.  My sidebar is busy enough and I wanted my content and my design to be cheerful and welcoming.  I put off a redesign for a long, long time.   I just didn’t want to spend a boatload of money on a new design since I had heard horror stories about that part from blog friends.  My blog wasn’t broken, so I didn’t feel an urgent need to fix it.   I didn’t know who to work with or who to trust with my blog.

Along came a brand new designer right here in Atlanta, Sarah Fogle, with Sweet Theory Designs. I met her through our Atlanta blogger meet-ups and she’s a young and talented designer with a blog of her own, the Ugly Duckling House. She works fulltime, is going to school for her MBA and also launched this new web design service. Oh, not to mention, she’s renovating her own house!  Busy much, Sarah!

Well, Sarah is a whizz at all of this and walked me through the process of redesigning Southern Hospitality and creating a brand new fresh look for my blog and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I just love the freshness, the simplicity, and the classic logo we came up with.

I had these fern bookplates that I bought antiquing and that is what we ended up using for my logo, the beautiful fern you see at the top of my blog. So, I kept the feel and colors of my blog, just freshened it up a bit. Sarah did a fantastic job of taking my “I’m not sure what I want” ideas and running with them, like adding a touch of beadboard, which is near and dear to my heart.  I couldn’t recommend anyone more highly, so if you’re looking for a blog redesign, then Sarah’s your girl.  And, she is SO reasonable!

She updated my theme to the Genesis child’s theme and not only is my design fresher looking, it’s also hopefully easier to navigate. We’ve got drop-down menus and everything should be really easy to find now. I’ll be checking things out to make sure all the buttons are working properly, so if you see something off, let me know.  Also, you’ll notice a row of pics across the top. Those will be rotating and are thumbnails of recent posts, so you can easily see if you want to click on something.  The olde posts are also just below the main post, as always too.

I absolutely love it and I hope you do too! Thanks again to all of my readers out there who so faithfully support me and my blog by coming by every single day. I appreciate y’all SO much!!

- Rhoda


  1. Maybe it’s my computer but the pictures to the left of each day’s posting is squished completely flat lengthwise and totally un-viewable. It does look clean and fresh though overall. Maybe a little more green in it? I love green. You can never have too much green. Well maybe you can, and I wouldn’t be a good judge of that then because I’m too biased towards the color! 🙂

  2. I love your new look!

  3. I love your blog and how your warm personality and creativity comes through in your writing and the photos you post. The new masthead seems somewhat generic to me, kind of like clip art. I really like the one you had before, it was unique to you because it was photos you took of your belongings, ant it showed your style. I just wanted to weigh in. Hope you can make some of the type darker and easier to read.

  4. All I need to see is your smiling beautiful face up there and it looks perfect and like home to me! Congrats on your lovely new design! I am so happy for you and where you are on your journey in life. You are and always will be in my heart.

    Love you,

  5. Karen Davis says

    Sorry, but I’m not a fan, it looks very faded, I loved the original look, it “show cased” you, that’s all I need to say, but I am your fan, and find your life an inspiration, you should write a biography some day. Sincerely, Karen

  6. Hi Rhoda; now you know in Richmond we don’t like much change – how many Richmonders does it take to change a light bulb, ten – one to do it and nine to talk about how good the old one was —-however, I turned fifty last week and have made the choice to embrace change and go with the flow! It makes life much easier – you know the mechanics of what makes it work better, so well done! We’ll get used to it and pretty soon this new one will be the old one 🙂

  7. Congratulations on your new blog design. It is streamlined and nice. So many of my favorite bloggers are changing their blog designs and I guess I will get used to it. But I loved the one you had previously. But if you are happy, I am happy.

  8. Well I am loving the change! Anytime you can get larger photos on a blog, I say go for it! That is what sold me on the template I purchased. (And I am always a fan of a left sidebar over one on the right.) So this looks great to me. And for some reason, leaving a comment on your previous design took my little computer forever to go through, and this one is much much faster…don’t know if that is due to your new blog design or something on this end. Which ever, it is definitely better. I think you and your tech girl did great!

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