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Things Sure Look Different Around Here!


Life is like a basket of apricots…you never know what you are going to get.

For the past year, I felt as though I kept being handed the same rotten box of apricots when I signed up with a designer to have my blog redesigned and kept being shuffled from promises to promises and nothing to show for them. Oh yes, a larger hole in my pocket book, that’s about it.

But then, thanks to the magic of Twitter and my good friend Garrett showing a fresh new and attractive template, I found Ellie. And I felt like the sun was finally shining again. Professional, smart, witty and hard working, Ellie operates Rainy Day Templates like a Master chef his/her kitchen. She started working on my design shortly after our initial contact and working together via email we had this site redesigned and re-outfitted in three days. Three days! And look how purty she made it look!

All kudos go to her because beside choosing a design and adjusting a few things here and there. I just sat on the other end of her screen going "can we do that instead?" "can you move this up?" "can you expand this?" And trust me, I hate to ask. Love the color scheme she picked instead of the original one. Her instincts are right on. A pro. I had tweaked my previous template beyond recognition, but could never get exactly where I wanted on my own. I wish I could personally deliver some of the gluten free apricot financiers I made over the weekend (recipes and pictures soon!) to thank her.

Humor me for a second to point out really cool features:
The welcome bar on the right hand side will be used to highlight everything and anything pertaining to food and blogging that I may come across. Recipes, bloggers, articles, events, etc…
And look at those pretty social buttons! From Google to Twitter…Woot!! Oh! and that search bar…believe it or not *I* find it useful when I write a post and try to reference another!!
One very cool detail she added was the bakers' twine detail around the header and at the bottom of every post. I know, it’s a girl thing, but it’s nice an subtle. Love it!

It’s always a bit nerve wracking to change layouts but I hope you like the space and find it as cozy as I do. Thanks for indulging me in this shout out to her design and work. After one year of rotten apricots, it feels special.

Ellie received some bad news over the weekend and I wish to send her a special hug. This girl is a gem, both personally and professionally.

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Chelito August 17, 2009 um 7:32 am

Wow! This looks fantastic! You both did an incredible job.

Egle August 17, 2009 um 7:45 am

Sure, things look different here. Now your blog looks so welcoming not only because of too delicious posts 🙂
Great design and great job!

Really really nice 😉
Thumbs upĄ

Botacook August 17, 2009 um 9:47 am

C'est joli ici, sympa la rénovation 😉
J'ai hâte de voir la recette des financiers. Et toute ma sympathie à Ellie…

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar August 17, 2009 um 10:01 am

I am so pleased that you finally got your redesign, Helen! I am counting myself as one of the very lucky few who actually got a design out of DDS.

Anyway, the design looks wonderful! It really compliments your style.

Dominique August 17, 2009 um 10:56 am

Bravo! j'aime beaucoup ce nouveau design… et le plaisir de te lire est toujours là: sur ce blog on se sent chez soi et on a très envie de passer prendre le thé et de passer un agréable moment!

morgana August 17, 2009 um 11:08 am

CONGRATULATIONS for this new look of your blog!!!!!!!!!

I've been trying to change mine for weeks or even months and sometimes I feel my dream will never come true. Your post has give me hope, maybe one day I'll get the perfect apricot too. 😉

I tried with some american designers but language can be a serious handicap when your english is as bad as mine, so this time I'm working with a great spanish designer and things are turning out much better.

Once again, thank you for sharing so much with us.

Poorni Pillai August 17, 2009 um 11:26 am

Wow. I was taken aback…..but yes, I like it. It's very bright and serene. Looks real classy. Congrats! 🙂

Anonymous August 17, 2009 um 11:46 am

hye Helen,
just stumble upon your blog while flickrhopping!
and oh my this is spectacular!
i love all of your food photo and you inspired me to actually bake and photograph it!
*it is too shameful to be put online*
just wanted to drop and say hi since you have a new entry,

and this theme is like perfection to this blog, the header looks so sweet,*cause it is choc!*
congrats on finding your suitable theme!

lastly, thanks for inspiring me, haha, that sound so cheesy,
have a nice day!

Anonymous August 17, 2009 um 12:08 pm

I think your new blog looks absolutely beautiful! i love the new layout, color scheme and everything else. wonderful!

Andrea [bella eats] August 17, 2009 um 12:27 pm

I love the new look, Helen! Its really lovely. I'll definitely keep Ellie in mind when I start thinking about my own re-design.

Dolce August 17, 2009 um 1:47 pm

Felicitations on your new design, Mrs Tartelette 🙂 It's always a pleasure to look at your blog. That gets me drooling around the office for the day but this is definitely worth it. Keep it up 🙂

Rita August 17, 2009 um 2:11 pm

It looks lovely, so clean and functional. Congrats! You deserve it.

strawberriesinparis August 17, 2009 um 2:34 pm

yay!! Beautiful Helen!!

Edda August 17, 2009 um 3:22 pm

Really beautiful, elegant, congratulations!
Tu nous acceuilles toujours avant autant de chaleur et de beauté, merci.

Rachael Hutchings August 17, 2009 um 3:34 pm

LOVE it! And love the baker's twine–such a fun idea!

Barbara August 17, 2009 um 3:48 pm

Beautiful remodel! Congrats and have fun with it. I know I will!

Baked Alaska August 17, 2009 um 4:06 pm

Helen-I love the new site. The colors and layout are so soothing, and will make all of your food photos just pop. Great job.

K Allrich August 17, 2009 um 5:32 pm

Beautiful new look, Helen! I love the soft inviting colors.

Ellie August 17, 2009 um 6:07 pm

Oh, Helen. What a lovely testimonial, thank you. Thanks in kind for being so available, enthusiastic, and full of great ideas. You were a breeze to work with…stop back by *my* kitchen anytime. 😉

Faye August 17, 2009 um 6:18 pm

Congratulations it looks fantastic!

NicoleD August 17, 2009 um 6:28 pm

Everything looks great and 3 days?! She sounds great! Congrats 🙂

Patricia Scarpin August 17, 2009 um 6:57 pm

Gorgeous, darling!
Pretty and delicate, like you and all your yummy creations!

Lucy Vaserfirer August 17, 2009 um 7:42 pm

Congrats on your new design-it looks fantastic!

Cannelle Et Vanille August 17, 2009 um 8:29 pm

I love the new layout and look Helen!

Unknown August 17, 2009 um 8:50 pm

Wow it looks so good! I love it. And not to be rain on anyone else's parade, but I hate too many ads on blogs. Your is short, sweet and matches the layout completely! Awesome.

Unknown August 17, 2009 um 10:08 pm

Ellie does do amazing work! So glad it worked out. Love the new look!

Alexandra August 17, 2009 um 11:13 pm

I like it! It's very ethereal…

Susan @ SGCC August 17, 2009 um 11:30 pm

Congratulations on the new design, Helen. It is lovely! I love how fresh and clean it looks! I'm so glad you found someone who came through for you. That other designer should be ashamed!

Margot August 17, 2009 um 11:49 pm

Congratulations on your new design-it looks fantastic!!!

Sallie August 18, 2009 um 12:06 am

Amazing! I am sooo jealous!!! This is a great design. As always, your recipes and pictures are the best and the new design only enhances your great work.

Unknown August 18, 2009 um 12:26 am

I didn"t think it could get any better! Thank you so much for all the inspiration and the fantastic recipes!

Gaye August 18, 2009 um 1:39 am

Hi There
Been lurking for quite a while now and truly love the new look. Your
blog inspires me. Thank you

tracieMoo August 18, 2009 um 2:17 am

wow! I love the new look in here.. Great job!

diva August 18, 2009 um 2:37 am

the blog looks so gorgeous now!! not tht it didn't before but this is so snazzy 🙂 love it. x

FrenchGardenHouse August 18, 2009 um 2:41 am

Your blog looks divine! I love your welcome bar, and everything else, too. Congratulations…it looks simply smashing!

El August 18, 2009 um 2:51 am

The new site is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the information and for the lovely photo.

janice August 18, 2009 um 4:45 am

Your new site looks great. Thank you for all you do and for sharing with all of us.

Nirmala August 18, 2009 um 5:37 am

This is wonderful Helen. Your photo on the side bar makes me feel as if you are talking straight fromm the screen and the photos in the post without any borders looks like a room filled with a cozy warm carpet. Its wonderful 🙂

Mélanie August 18, 2009 um 8:08 am

Bravo pour ce nouveau site/design, j'aime beaucoup. Ellie a réussi à capter l'essence de ton blog et à le retransmettre avec ces couleurs, c'est doux, sobre et chaleureux à la fois!

Par contre, l'adresse des flux RSS a du être modifiée, car ces 2 derniers posts ne sont pas apparus dans mon google reader. Je crois qu'il y a un moyen de transferer les flux, ou alors il faudrait mettre un message sur l'ancienne adresse, pour prévenir tes lecteurs du changement…

Helene August 18, 2009 um 1:03 pm

Melanie: I am on partial RSS feed to minimize content theft but you should still be able to see about 250 characters of each post in your reader. That's weird.

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul August 18, 2009 um 1:20 pm

Congratulations Helen! Everything looks really beautiful! Deciding on a template is the hardest thing.

shaz August 18, 2009 um 2:13 pm

Fantastic! Love the clean new look 🙂

Cindy August 18, 2009 um 2:42 pm

the new design looks wonderful, helen! i love seeing your pretty face and the attention to detail. strong design doesn't appear to be designed at all. it just flows.

Mélanie August 18, 2009 um 2:48 pm

It must have been a delay in the RSS, because it's back now. Except it's full, and not partial feed… Did you change anything?

♥peachkins♥ August 18, 2009 um 2:51 pm

I love the new lay-out!

Sara August 18, 2009 um 2:54 pm

I love the new look – it's very clean-looking and inviting.

Char August 18, 2009 um 2:58 pm

great job with the renovations of your sweet little "home" – I love the clean, fresh look and the soothing color scheme. she did a fantastic job.

Nutmeg Nanny August 18, 2009 um 3:12 pm

Congratulations on your new page:) I read about that last company you used and they sound horrible. I'm glad you got what you finally wanted:)

Phoo-D August 18, 2009 um 3:17 pm

Congratulations! I love the color scheme and simple lines. It is clean and beautiful. Great job!

Simones Kitchen August 18, 2009 um 3:29 pm

Love the new look Helen. it looks very fresh and inviting. Congratulations!

Jen Yu August 18, 2009 um 4:15 pm

Good for you and SHAME on that awful woman who stole your money. Thanks for warning everyone about her unethical business practices. The new look is beautiful. Ellie did a great job – so did you! xxoo

Rachel August 18, 2009 um 5:20 pm

It looks gorgeous! So fresh and perfect for you.

Q. August 18, 2009 um 5:43 pm

So lovely and chic. Well done:)

Kathy Campbell August 18, 2009 um 5:51 pm

This looks amazing! So gorgeous! And that's horrible that you had a bad experience. 🙁 No fun!

Lucy August 18, 2009 um 5:59 pm

I love your new look – its classic, elegant and oh-so pretty. Its going to make each visit even more pleasurable 🙂

fresh365 August 18, 2009 um 6:20 pm

It looks fabulous! I love the color scheme. Congrats to you both on a job well done!

Erika August 18, 2009 um 7:03 pm

I like your new blog. And the "no more chocolate" bowl is adorable. Great job!

Julia @ Mélanger August 18, 2009 um 9:45 pm

Lovely! I don't dare fiddle with too much on my end. Though I really can't – quite a strick template. Your site is lovely though. Seems like you have lots more room now!

Vanille August 18, 2009 um 9:52 pm

Hé, jolie carrosserie ! Quant au moteur on sait déjà qu'est-ce qu'il a dans le ventre !

Holly August 19, 2009 um 12:02 am

The redesign is spectacular, and such a good match for your photography. I love it!

Shirley @ Kokken69 August 19, 2009 um 12:21 am

Hi Helen, I have just started blogging and am totally blown away by your blog. Love your new look, it is serene,stylish and absolutely fabulous. I love to linger over your photo spreads- they are just so delectable!

Shining Windows August 19, 2009 um 12:36 am

thanks for sharing Ellie with us!

Anonymous August 19, 2009 um 2:22 am

Woa!! Super le nouveau blog! Felicitation ma petite Helene. Believe it or not but i also got screwed by Delicious Design in the past (old blog) and i never realized there was other people in the same situation, until now. Unbelievable.

En tout cas je suis vraiment content que tu ai trouve ton bonheur. C'est genial! 🙂

Cheri August 19, 2009 um 8:52 am

I absolutely LOVE the new layout Helen! It is so fresh and sweet.. just like your baking! All the best!

TracyLH August 19, 2009 um 1:56 pm

Your blog is just lovely! I always like coming here as it has such a wonderful, peaceful ambience. Thankyou for the heads-up on the first company. I was getting ready to purchase one of their pre-made templates for my daughter's little baking blog and to have them design one for me at some point. I appreciate the notification and I am sorry you had such a horrid experience. It certainly looks wonderful now!

bridget {bake at 350} August 19, 2009 um 2:16 pm

Oh, gorgeous! I love it! I've been thinking mine needs a makeover, too.

pia August 19, 2009 um 7:53 pm

Oh my, your redesign is stunning!! Well done! I love it Helen. Enjoy your new space! xx

Lori August 19, 2009 um 8:19 pm

This new look is just beautiful. So appealing.

Mallory Elise August 19, 2009 um 9:33 pm

beautiful! it looks great! i love how blogs evolve…they are like living things 😛

Back to the Chopping Board August 19, 2009 um 9:44 pm

Love the new look. Well done to you and Ellie!!

Tuty August 20, 2009 um 2:55 am

Very well done design…

Amy J August 22, 2009 um 2:14 pm

Looks great!

Caitlin August 22, 2009 um 11:45 pm

The new site looks great — as soon as the page loaded I was scrolling down to find out more about it. Your site has always been lovely, but this new template is a really great backdrop for your beautiful photographs and lovely recipes.

kellypea August 23, 2009 um 4:00 am

It certainly is "purty" and fits you like a glove. Third time's a charm, right?

white on rice couple August 24, 2009 um 5:02 am

This looks so beautiful Helen!!! Wow, it's so perfect, gorgeous and amazing, just like you!
We're thrilled that you have a new place to showcase your fabulous work. Congrats!!!

pastry studio September 2, 2009 um 2:44 pm

I've been so busy and have not had a chance to catch up with all the truly wonderful things you've been doing lately. I LOVE your new design and layout. It's clean and elegant and beautiful, just as the one before it! So fantastic when to meet an artist that understands what you are looking for. The picture of you is really lovely. Cheers!

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