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Mommy Blog Designs

Mommy Blog Designs: July 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Check out the Butterfly Dreams Design Theme!

Yeay!  HUGE conrats to Angel from!  She's the winner of my first Free Friday Blog Design Giveaway!

Her site is now updated ... and is looking sooooo cute!!  I love the butterflies that we used in this design.

Check out and let me know what you think of the new design.  And tell Angel I said HEY when you're over there! She's my new BFF!!  Hugs Angel!!

Do you like the design used?  You can have it too for only $39!  Check out my $39 unlimited Pre-mades ... and be sure to pop back over for this coming week's Free Friday Blog Design Giveaway!  It's going to be another awesome design!


And The WINNER is ...

HUGE congrats to Angel Johnson from for being the winner of the first FREE Friday Blog Design Giveaway!

Have a look at her site now ... ... and check back in a few days to see the transformation as I add the ButterFly Dreams design to her site.

Be sure to check back each Friday for a new awesome design ... and another FREE Friday Blog Design Giveaway!!

ps ... Like the ButterFly Dreams design?  You can purchase it as a pre-made template and I'll install it on your site too!  Click here for all the details -->> $39 Unlimited Pre-mades

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

FREE Friday Blog Design Giveaway!

UPDATE:  THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!  Thanks to all who participated!  I'll be in touch with the winner over the weekend!  Check back next Friday for another great design ... and another FREE Friday Blog Design Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be doing my very first Giveaway on Mommy Blog Designs! Yeay!!  I’m calling it Free Friday Blog Design Giveaway, and I’m planning on doing one each week.

The details of the Giveaway:

Up for grabs is 1 FREE Blog Design package including:
  • A beautiful custom background 
  • A personalized header with a stunning stock image 
  • A blog button 
  • Co-ordinating Favicon 
I’ll even install it for ya on your blog!  This can be used on Blogger OR WordPress!  Yeay!

Yup ... I'm giving this away FREE to one lucky winner!

This is the design for the Giveaway this week, July 29th:

How to enter:

1.  Do one or more of the things from the following list.
Each item gives you 1 entry into the giveaway. They are:
  • Follow Mommy Blog Designs on Google Friend Connect  
  • Like Mommy Blog Designs on Facebook -
  • Follow @Mommy_Ro on Twitter
  • Tweet about the giveaway using hashtag #FREEFridayBlogDesign
  • Post a comment on Facebook

2.  Then ... Leave me a comment below with the following:
  • Your website address that you want re-designed
  • Email address where I can contact you should you win
  • Which entries you did from the list above.
An example comment is:  "I'm entering the FREE Friday Blog Design Giveaway!  I would like to have re-designed.  My email address is  For entries into the giveaway, I followed on GFC, Twitter, and Facebook."

This giveaway is open NOW ... and will be open until midnight EST on Friday, July 29 ... then I’ll randomly choose the winner and contact the lucky one over the weekend.

    So ... what are you waiting for?  My first giveaway is now OPEN!  Go enter ... please share it ... and good luck!!!

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    Monday, July 25, 2011

    So much excitement!! WordPress is coming ... AND a GIVEAWAY!! YIPPEE!!!

    I am thrilled to be making this post!  It's mid-day on Monday ... and I must admit ... I'm becoming a WordPress Master!

    Wow ... there's sure a lot to WordPress!  Blogger seems so simple in comparison!  Which, I must say ... is sometimes a good thing ... for those who want simplicity.  I now understand that yes ... there is a place for both WordPress and Blogger ... depending on what you want from your blog.

    So ... Give me just another couple of days and then I'll be fully set up to design some totally awesome WP blogs!  Who wants to be first?  I'm taking orders to start on Wednesday of this week for WP sites.  If you're interested, leave a comment or connect with me on any of the many mommy sites we stalk each other!

    (I also do blogger, so you're still welcome to request blogger ... I'm just really excited to start WP!!)

    I'm in the process of designing a test site that I'll post here once I'm ready to share.  It's not quite there yet ... but just about!

    Oh ... and one more thing ... that I AM TOTALLY excited about!!!  I was going to keep this a secret until later in the week ... but I just can't!!  I'm too super excited!!!

    Mommy Blog Designs is going to be offering a weekly giveaway!!  Every Thursday night, I'm going to post a design that I am going to be GIVING away ... for FREE!

    If you like the design of the week, you're welcome to enter the giveaway!  I'll leave it open for just 24 hours.  Friday nights, at midnight EST ... I will randomly select a winner ... and contact the lucky one!

    More details to follow (yup ... there will be some fine print ... and I'll get that out to ya before the giveaway) ... but I was just so excited that I had to share!!

    So be sure to spread the word!  The first MBD FREE FRIDAY is happening this week!

    Phew ... can you tell by the number of !!!!  that I'm excited right now??!!!

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    Friday, July 22, 2011

    I'm going to take on WordPress ... and WIN!

    Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful week!  My week was wonderfully quiet with all 3 kiddies being at summer camp.  Which was great so that I could focus all my attention on my blog design business.

    Thanks to all who have contacted me so far!  I'm so excited to be offering this service, and I look forward to making many wonderful, pretty blogs for ya!

    So here I am ... it's late on Friday night.  The kids are now sleeping and I'm here at the computer.  VoiceBoks ... fortunately or unfortunately ... is down ... I guess for temporary maintenance.  Lexie ... I'm sure ... is doing something wonderful for the site!  But here I am at the computer and I'm set for a long night.

    Actually ... I'm all set to spend my weekend sitting right here.

    I've made it my mission this weekend to TAKE ON WORDPRESS.  And Yes ... I'm going to WIN!!  I've been contacted by many wonderful mommies wanting me to help with their WP sites, so I decided that it's time I figured this out.

    I have gotten totally comfy in Blogger.  I've figured out how to crack the Blogger code and get it to do what I want.

    But WordPress ... I haven't yet tackled that beast.  But I'm about to!  I promise ... by the end of the weekend ... I am going to be a WordPress Master.

    So if you don't hear from me over the weekend, no worries.  I'm here.  But I want to stay focused.

    Are you looking for a site re-design on WordPress?  If so ... I'll be ready to start taking orders by mid-next week.  (I've already got someone lined up for Monday ... but I should be good by Wednesday to start).

    So here I go!  WordPress ... here I come!

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    The ButterBottom Blog is complete!

    Richard came to me about a week ago and asked me to re-design his blog. He wanted something to match his current online store ( which sells adorable yoga pants and onuses. But he wanted the blog to be slightly different, and to showcase more of him and his daily family life, not just the ButterBottom products.

    He also wanted to make sure he had all his social networking in place to fully take advantage of social marketing.

    I was excited to take on this project for 2 reasons:
    • Richard is a really cool guy! 
    • The ButterBottom cow is soooo cute! 

    We went back and forth with a few different ideas, and in the end, we both agree that the new ButterBottomBlog is perfect for what he was looking for!

    Check out the all new ButterButtom Blog!

    Thanks so much Richard for being so cool to work with! I’ve had a blast going back and forth with you over the past couple of days and getting to know you. You’re an awesome Mr. Mom and a super Daddy ‘Mommy Blogger’!

    Good luck with ButterBottom! And I’m so looking forward to getting my pink ButterBottom Yoga Pants! Yeay!

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    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Current Project - ButterBottom!

    I'm going to start posting regularly on here to keep you updated with my current projects.

    Right now I'm working with Richard, a really cool stay at home dad (I've been calling him Mr. Mom!) helping him re-design his blog.

    He already has a website ... ... where he sells the most adorable onesies and yoga pants.  They have the cutest cow logo! I'm in love with them!!

    Richard has hired me to design a blog that matches with his store site, but that still has a life of it's own.

    You're welcome to watch the transformation!  Here's his blog now -  Stay tuned over the next few days as we turn this standard blogger template into something totally awesome!!

    Happy Blogging!!

    Pricing is posted

    Ok ... I think I've sorted out how I'm going to be pricing for my services.  I've actually decided to offer design and site organization.  I've created 4 different packages to choose from, with pricing to fit differenet budgets.

    Click to learn more about the different Mommy Blog Design Packages that I offer.

    Looking forward to the possibility of working with you!

    ps ...  I welcome your comments on my pricing!  Please let me know if you understand the different packages offered ... and wether or not you feel my prices are fair.  I would really appreciate getting some feedback.  Feel free to comment below ...

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    Monday, July 18, 2011

    What do you think of the new look?

    What do you think of the new look of Mommy Blog Designs?  I really wanted something clean, cheery, colorful, and original.

    Did I accomplish it?

    I gotta tell ya ... blog designing is sooooo fun!  I can't wait to chat with you about re-designing your blog!!

    Tons of love!!!

    Site Re-Design & Re-Structure:
    Changing Diapers And Taking Names

    Thanks so much Brittany from Changing Diapers and Taking Names for being my First Customer!  Yeay!  I had so much fun working with you and your blog ... and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

    I helped Brittany with:

    • Re-design of blog, including co-ordinating background, header, navigation bar, side bar headers, blog button and post signature
    • Re-structuring of blog navigation system using posts, labels, and pages
    • Co-ordinated Twitter page
    Check out the final product at Changing Diapers and Taking Names!

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    Site Re-Design:

    So this is the site that started it all!  I began designing sites with my own site -  I had so much fun desigining it ... and I guess I did a good job, because I started being asked about my designer!

    Now here we are ... I'm posting this site here on my new Mommy Blog Designs blog!

    Feel free to check out my site and see the design that I did at!


    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Crackin' the Blogger Code ... Turning Images Into Links

    I had so much fun writitng yesterday's HOW TO Blogger tutorial ... and I'm ready to have even more fun today!

    Today we’re going to be talking about turning any image into a link. This can be handy in a few places ...
    1. You can use these images as your buttons in your menu bar (this is the follow up to the tutorial from yesterday on Setting up your menu bar using labels in Blogger)
    2. You will now be able to make your own buttons and banners 
    3. You will also now be able to place graphics and buttons where ever you would like on your site. (I have found this to be very handy! I now use graphics for links everywhere!) 
    Here’s how to do it ...

    STEP ONE: Create the image or graphic

    This is actually not a design tutorial, so I am not going to teach you how to create images and graphics. Perhaps ... if there’s enough interest ... maybe that could be a future HOW TO series. But for now, let’s just talk about the coding, and HOW TO with Blogger.

    Just a quick summary on how I do it ... I use an incredible site - They have millions of stock images for pretty much anything! I LOVE hanging out in Shutterstock!

    I’ll go and grab an image from Shutterstock to start, then I’ll pop it into Photoshop and play around with it. That’s where I’ll add any text, extra layers, play around with the color scheme, and make any other changes I want to it.

    You’re welcome to create your images any way you like. It can even be as simple as just creating a nice looking text box in Word, or Pages (Yup ... I use Pages! I’m a MAC girl all the way!!)

    IMPORTANT ... once you have your image created, save it as a JPEG file.

    STEP TWO: Upload your graphic

    Now we need to take the graphic that you just created from your computer, and store it somewhere in internet land!

    I use ImageShack to do this. Some people use PhotoBucket, or a few other file hosting services. My preference is ImageShack.

    So go ahead and upload the image into your file hosting site. They will then give you a direct link to your image. Copy the URL that they give you.

    Your link will look something like this:

    How are we doing so far? Have you turned your image into a URL? If so ... let’s keep going ...

    STEP THREE: Add some code to turn your URL into a Link!

    OK ... if you were following along with me yesterday, you’ll remember our super fun HREF tag. We’re going to be using that tag again ... but we’re going to add just a little extra to it. This will ensure that our image URL turns into our image!

    Here’s the code for you to use:

    <a href="" ><img src="" /></a>

    Copy that snippet of code exactly ... but be sure to change the 2 pieces ... Where you want to link to ... and Your Image URL.

    And that’s it! So here’s an example of a completed image HREF tag:

    <a href="" ><img src="" /></a>

    {For those of you vB chickitas who are following along ... that’s actually a special surprise for ya! Add that EXACT piece of code to the sidebar on your blog and see what happens!}

    And that’s it! Pretty simple! That’s how to turn any image into a link using HTML.

    So ... coming back to yesterday’s tutorial and our menu bars ... All you will need to do is replace the plain text HREF tags that you put in yesterday with these nice graphic HREF tags ... and you’re good to go!

    But wait! There’s more!!

    BONUS: Now let’s take any image and turn it into a blog button. 
     Here’s the code for that ...
    <a href=""><img src=""width="150px" height="150px" /></a>
    <p>Copy the code below:</p>
    <form><textarea rows="5" cols="22" readonly="readonly">
    <a href="">
    <img src="" /></a></textarea></form>

    Again .. just copy and paste that entire snippet of code ... and replace it with your own info.

    And yes ... you are supposed to enter the 2 URLs twice . Why? The first one is for your actual image to show ... and the second one is the text that your visitors can copy ... so they can easily grab your button!

    Yup ... again ... really simple. Just copy and paste the codes I’m giving you, and replace with your own URLs.

    And then to get your new button into Blogger ...
    • Log in to your Blogger dashboard and click on DESIGN. This should take you into PAGE ELEMENTS. 
    • Click on ADD GADGET. This will open a new window.
    • Scroll through the list and find HTML/JavaScript. Click on that one
    • A big text box will open. Copy and paste the entire button code you just created (With the 2 URLS twice)
    • Hit SAVE
    • Now you can drag and drop the HTML box here you want it to be on the page.  You can play around with the placement if you want.
    • Hit publish ... and take a look at what you created! Yeay! 
    Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future HOW TO Blogger tutorials!

    Tomorrow we’re going to be removing that nasty looking Blogger menu bar at the top of every Blogger Blog! Your blog will look much cleaner and more professional looking with that Blogger bar removed. Come on back tomorrow ... and I’ll show you simply ... step by step ... how to remove the Blogger menu bar.

    Tons of HUGS!!
    Ro :)

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    Need a Blog?

    I'm super excited to now be offering Blog Design for Mommy Bloggers ... and Daddy Bloggers too (one of my current customers is a daddy blogger)!

    I myself am a proud Mommy Blogger.  I created my own blog, the Mommy MindSpa and I have such an amazing time posting each day with the Daily Mom-ME Moment.

    My readers started asking me about my blog.   They wanted to know who designed it.  Well ... I designed it myself!  And I had a blast doing it!

    A few friends asked me to design blogs for them.  They were thrilled with the result!  And I'm having so much fun playing around with my more creative side.

    So ... Mommy Blog Designs was born!

    Do you need to update your blog?  Need a fresh design?  Need help re-organizing and re-structuring it?  Or are you just getting started and need some assistance setting it up?  I'd be happy to help!

    I design pretty, cheery blogs ... with lots of smilies, hugs, and love!

    For now, feel free to comment below if you are interested in my service.  This here is a brand new blog and I'll be adding a contact form, and some pricing info soon.

    Tons of love,
    Ro :)

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Crackin’ the Blogger Code! Working with Labels and your Menu Bar: A ‘HOW TO’ for blogger!

    I gotta tell ya ...I’m not one to just to stick with what is given to me. No. If there’s a better way to do something, I’m all about it. If there’s a way to make my blog better organized, and get even more info in front of the eyes of my readers, I’m all about it.

    I believe how your blog is organized is hugely important. I love organization. I love using labels. Take a look, for example, at my other blog, Have a look at the menu bar right below the header. You’ll notice that not only do some of my pages come up, but I also have different posts with certain labels opening up. Plus ... I even link to outside URLS right from my menu bar too.

    This opens up a world of possibilities for your blog!

    Yes ... Blogger has a pages widget that helps you make your menu bar, but with it you can only show the pages of your blog. It does not allow you to pull different labels or categories, nor does it allow you, right from your menu bar, to link to outside sites.

    So here’s how I get around that ...

    We’re going to be covering a few things in this tutorial. They are:
    1. Setting up labels in your Blogger posts 
    2. Figuring out how to show all the posts with that particular label 
    3. The HREF tag (a simple piece of HTML code for linking) 
    4. The table tag (a piece of code to create an organized menu) 
    Now I don’t want to scare you off if you’re new to blogging or HTML. I was once completely new to all of this too. But I read OODLES of these kids of tutorials. I am completely self-taught here. So stick with me. I’m going to make this as simple as possible for any mom to do.

    Heck ... if we can change a diaper ... with one hand tied behind our back ... and our eyes closed ... then we can code some simple HTML!

    So let’s start with something fairly easy:
    STEP ONE:  Setting up your labels.

    I love organizing my blogs with labels, and then pulling these labels from the menu bar. It makes organizing my info super easy! I really recommend using this trick. Here’s how to do it ...

    When you’re writing your posts ... in your post editor ... you’ll see a spot right below the text window that says LABELS. If you have never used this before, you will not have anything in here. You can basically create any label you want to use ... just enter it in the box.

    The great thing is that once you’ve entered the label once into your blog, it will always be there. When you write your next post, just click on the SHOW ALL button, and you’ll see your previously used labels.

    If you want your posts to show when pulling certain labels, you MUST use the exact label here in this box ... and you MUST do this for every post that you want to show.

    And you can use these labels for different things.  You can have as many labels as you want!

    So ... that was easy! That was step one.

    Step 2 is also really easy! And this took me forever to figure out. Then once I did, I could not believe how incredible simple it was!! Let’s now get the URL for the labels we are going to want to include in our menu bar.
    STEP TWO:  How to get a page to 'pull' labels

    In order to do this, we have to have done step one. Please make sure that you’ve made at least one post, with at least one label. Then publish that post.

    Now what you need to do is view the post with the label that you want to pull. We don’t want to view it in the editor anymore. Now I’m talking about viewing it live on your blog.

    Scroll to the bottom of your post, and you’ll notice in the post footer, you should see the label that you entered in step one. CLICK on the label. It should be a link.

    That will then pull all the posts with the label that you just created. COPY the URL in the address bar exactly as you see it. It should look something like this:

    Paste that entire line into your text editor. We’ll need that in the next step.

    And that’s step 2! How are we doing so far? Still pretty easy?

    Let’s move on to step 3. Now we need to start playing a bit with HTML. But stick with me. I’m here with ya!

    STEP THREE: Setting our menu bar links with the HREF tag

    So what is the HREF tag?

    The HREF tag is what allows you to set up your links. I suggest getting all your links and HREFs set... in a plain text editor ... and then we’ll move on to the final step ... setting them in your table.

    Here’s what you do ...

    Copy and paste the following code into your text editor:

    <a href="">What Text You Want To Show</a>

    Then replace ‘’ with the full URL of where you want the link to go. This should be the link that we just created in step 2.

    After that, replace ‘What Text You Want To Show’ with ... well ... you guessed it ... replace it with the text that you want to be showed.

    The great thing about using HREF is that the URL (which is really long and confusing... will not actually be visible to the reader. It is masked by the text ... and you can put whatever you want in the text. So go ahead and set that now.

    Take a few minutes and do this now for all your links. Create all of your menu bar links now ... and put them into your text editor.

    Oh ... I should also mention that you can use links to anything you want here using this same HREF tag. You can have some things in your menu bar linking to outside websites if you want ... or to different pages within your site. It’s still the same HREF tag. Just enter the URL that you want it to go to, with the text you want to show. You can link to anything you want with this method.

    Have you got all your links and HREFs set? Be sure to get those all done before we move to the next step.

    Just to clarify... each link is a separate HREF. So you will repeat the HREF tag a few times, depending on how many links you are setting. 

    I also should mention that yes ... these are just plain text links.  I will be covering how to turn these text links into image links in a future tutorial.

    OK.. ready? Let’s move on to step 4.

    If you’re still with me ... you are doing AMAZING!! I’m so proud of you!!

    Step 4 might get a little trickier, but just read over the instructions again and again until you get it. I’ll do my best to break it down so it’s clear.

    STEP FOUR - Putting all our links into a nice neat table!

    Tables and colums are extremely useful when coding websites. Since I’ve learned this tag, I use it all over the place! It keeps things perfectly lined up ... and super neat!

    Let’s see how simple I can make this ...

    <table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="4" width="800">

    <tr><td align="left" valign="top" width="200">


    </td><td align="left" valign="top" width="200">


    </td><td align="left" valign="top" width="200">


    </td><td align="left" valign="top" width="200">



    Now I could actually walk you through all the components that make up that tag, but I think I may leave that for another tutorial. I’ve already given you a lot of stuff to think about. If you have any questions, please leave in the comments and I will answer them, but I think I’m just going to give you the tag to use.

    I will tell you this ... Right now, that code is for 4 links. If you need more, simply insert another 
    </td><td align="left" valign="top" width="200"> 
    and then your next link. IMPORTANT ... do this in the middle. You’ll notice the last closing tags are different than the ones in the middle. So if you are going to add extra rows, do it in the middle and not at the bottom. The bottom line, as in the snippet of code I gave you, needs to remain the bottom row.

    Also ... you can adjust the widths so that this table fits on your site. You’ll notice the top line has the width for the full table. It’s now set at 800 pixels. You can make that bigger or smaller, to fit your blog.

    But make sure that you then go in and adjust the widths of all the individual cells so that the math all works out. This can sometimes take some playing around with. I normally experiment with it a few times before I’m happy with it.

    You'll be able to play around with the different widths once you post your menu bar.  And that's what we'll  be doing in step 5!

    STEP FIVE - Putting all this mumbo jumbo onto your blog
    Now that we're created a whole bunch of mumbo jumbo, what do we do with it?  How do we turn that into our menu bar?  This step is super simple ...

    • Log in to your Blogger dashboard and click on DESIGN.  This should take you into PAGE ELEMENTS.  
    • Click on ADD GADGET.  This will open a new window.
    • Scroll through the list and find HTML/JavaScript.  Click on that one
    • A big text box will open.  Copy and paste the entire mumbo jumbo that you created in step 4 ... and enter it exactly into that box.
    • Hit SAVE
    • Now you can drag and drop the HTML box here you want it to be on the page.  Normally, menu bars are either above or below the header.  You can play around with the placement if you want.
    • Hit publish ... and take a look at what you created!  Yeay!

    Phew ... how did we do? Are you still with me? Did I lose you anywhere ... or did everything work out for you? PLEASE... if you have any issues with this, post a comment below and I will get with you right away to help you figure it out.

    NOTE - this tutorial is for a very simple, basic, text menu bar. I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll explain how to turn those simple text links into graphic image links. (I just didn’t want to overwhelm you too much! I’ll save the next step for tomorrow!) But once you’ve got these steps done and working, switching your text links to graphic links is a piece of cake.

    Please comment below and let me know what you think of this tutorial. This is my first one, so I’m new at writing these! I hope that my instructions were clear, and that you were able to follow along. I really appreciate your feedback!

    And if you have any suggestions of things you’d like to learn with regards to your Blogger blog, please post ‘em! I’ll do my best to answer every question that comes in!

    Thanks for reading!
    Ro :)

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    Friday, July 1, 2011

    $39 Pre-Made - 03 - Lovely Lilac

    I love this design!  It's soft and super pretty ... and it can be yours for just $39!  This design works great on Blogger OR Wordpress!  Here's what it looks like:


    $39 Pre-Made - 02 - Round N Round

    Here's another cheery and fun design!  This is the Round N Round design and I'd be happy to get this all set up on your blog for ya for only $39!


    $39 Pre-Made - 01 - Butterfly Dreams

    Check out this adorable and cheery design ... Butterfly Dreams!  This can be yours ... fully installed ... for only $39!