Refreshed for 2014

So you may have found G&G to be a bit sketch lately. Maybe you’ve come by looking for something, ANYTHING new, and instead found a “Maintenance Mode” screen. For hours. Or days. (Because a couple times I forgot to turn it off after working with this new theme on the backend. Oops.) Sorry, sweethearts!

But as you can see, all the downtime was because I was working on a refreshed design for 2014. It’s not radically different, because radical change requires radical cash. But after a good two years of banging my head against the wall with the coding requirements of the Thesis platform, I just couldn’t take it anymore. After several failed attempts with other themes and platforms, I have finally jumped to Genesis, and am using thesuper-customizeable Dynamik child theme. So far, so good!

makeup brushes
via Pinterest

I’ve been working on this new look a little at a time, behind the scenes. It’s still not perfect (oh, thumbnails, you have been the bane of my existence in every platform and theme! GRRRRR!), but it is shaping up. I decided that rather than continue serving you all maintenance mode messages, I’d just publish already, and tweak as I go.

So here you go…a fresher, newer look for G&G. The dust hasn’t settled, and not everything is as it should be, but it’s a start. Yay for that!


  1. V!!!
    You’re amazing! I’m totally in awe of your blog knowledge and how generous you are sharing with us all. The site looks great and I need to go back and study your reasons why you switched. Not that I will understand, but I’m trying!
    Looking forward to new posts.

    1. Thank you so much! Really, I’m a trial-by-fire kind of girl. I have forced myself to learn a lot of the backend stuff, because even when you hire someone to design your blog, you’re going to need to update it at some point…and it’s expensive to always as someone else to do it.

      As for the reasons why I finally left Thesis 1.85 after about five years, read my responses to other comments on this post.

  2. Hey your blog looks GREAT!

    When I changed mine I went with the Thesis 1.8.5., too. I think that was the last time Thesis was like, easy to use – sort of. Shortly after they changed it again and it was all so confusing. I got a dude on e-lance to help me out. He did a job exactly to spec as to what I asked but now the cracks are showing. Blogs (especially fashion/lifestyle blogs) are funny things. After a while it feels like wearing the same dress over and over and now I’m itching to change it. And, my own limited knowledge being what it – I’ll have to start over, learn code or hire him back… (Yup, that’s how they get cha…)

    I came across a funny piece of wisdom when I was in SFO. It was about the California Gold Rush. It reminded me about the post you did on pro-blogging. It was something along the lines of “Many people came to dig for gold, a few found it. But it was the people who sold the picks and pans to the hopeful that made money.” Since then I’ve been racking my brain to think about what picks and pans I have to sell. Because there is nothing wrong with selling the shovel. In fact it’s the smart guy who does it. Like the Darren Rowses and Jeff Bullas of the world. 31 million potential clients…

    Have you ever thought of offering your services as a like, blog consultant, Vahni? You could help people with everything from composition, branding, art-direction, creating a good “About Me” section, etc. You would be fabulous! In fact, I’d line up to be your first customer!

    Cheers Doll!! Di x

    1. Have to say that’s a fantastic idea… I’m going to wait for the self promos of those services to start popping up on my timeline. Currently it’s all about blog design at the moment. I loved your gold rush analogy.

    2. Hey Di, thanks! And I agree with Arash…your gold rush analogy is spot-on. And…I never moved past Thesis 1.85, which is a sad testament to the framework’s heavily-touted version 2.0. I know of one VERY well-respected WP developer, and he told me that even he left Thesis for Genesis, and never adopted 2.0 either.

      RE: Your blog consultant idea. It’s a good one! I’ve never thought about it. And in reality, I don’t have time. I appreciate the vote of confidence, though!

      Hope you are well! xo

  3. Hey, welcome back! I’ve been checking in each week to see if there was something new, so… yeah I’m glad to see you back. Thanks for the update. Blog design is a tricky thing. The last time I had mine changed I paid someone to do it but almost immediately after it was done I was tinkering with it. I love the Thesis lay out but agree it’s much, MUCH more tedious to code for it. Especially coming from a Studiopress theme and having my consulting website built on the genesis framework as well.

    After a few months I really wanted to move away from Thesis but because I’d parted with cash ( not a huge amount) I felt that it was worth it to keep it for a bit. I still like the look and feel of my design, I just wish it was a little bit easier to change things and I could do it quickly.

    I also totally feel you on the thumbnails. I used to have upload mine separately, then with Thesis it started cropping them from my main image and doing them itself. Up until a few weeks ago when it just randomly stopped. The support on Thesis isn’t as great as Studiopress. If I have a problem with one of their themes I just post a question on their forums and one of the design moderators comes in looks at your site and gives you an answer, or you can search for it. Which is invaluable really, especially when you want to spend more time blogging and less time tinkering with your site. So I’m back to uploading my own thumbnails, probably until I change the design again ha ha!

    1. ARGH, have been manually uploading thumbs on Thesis 1.85 for YEARS…such a huge pain. That framework was OK, but never worked 100% the way they promised. Now I have to go undo all the custom thumb uploads to get them to show in the new look. Think I’m going to hire a Genesis guru to do that.

      I’m actually really happy with Genesis + Dynamik. It has some really interesting behind-the-scenes features that make adding that custom code really easy. Seriously have test-driven so many themes, unbeknownst to all of you. This is the only one that made it out of the gate!

  4. Also there are a lot of bloggers offering custom blog designs relatively cheap ($35) and some more expensive. But I’ve yet to find anyone that offers full support AFTER you’ve got your design. Which is a HUGE gap that’s waiting to be filled. As someone who just wants to get on with writing and doing other stuff. I don’t really want to have to Google how to change certain stuff. So having the option to just email the person that did your design and get a response on how to resolve your issue or make the change to your site would be great. Sorry… I’m going off on one, but I’ve noticed a growing trend amongst bloggers offering design solutions.

    1. Arash! Thank you so much for your lovely comments on twitter. I am so damn lazy on the twitter front! Went to log in and forgot the password. Eh! Cruising over to check out your blog right now! :))) Cheers! Di

    2. Hey Arash, yeah, I’ve been a victim of the $35 deals. I’ve actually purchased about four themes in the last couple of years, and eventually gave up on all of them for the lack of support and pain of trying to tweak them.

  5. Hey Vahni! We missed you girl!

    Ugh, I was doing a blog design for a family member and I’ve banged my head against the wall a few times!

    The site looks great!

  6. I moved my Blogger blog to last year and and am using a simple theme that was similar to my old blog. While I like the look of a lot of blogs I find some of them get too clogged or forget simple things. My eyes can only take in so much at one time which is why mine remains simple.

    There is one thing and I have noticed here, and with other blogs, is there a “previous post” button to go to the previous post so I can read them in order? I looked but couldn’t find anything that took me to the previous post and that’s what I like about blogs, I can go back through the posts in order.

        1. Hey, good call! I didn’t notice that functionality was missing from this template. I had it on my previous design and love that feature too. It’s added now!

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