Custom Blog Design Sale!

custom blog design by smitten blog designsToday is the day I celebrate being done with taxes- woo-hoo! So today we decided to help celebrate with a Spring Tax Day and Month of April Blogger Design Sale! That’s a long title for our promotion, but it deserves it because it’s kind of a big deal. ;) Any custom blog design for Blogger that is purchased during the rest of April will be 10% OFF, which is a pretty great savings!

This might just be the reason you were waiting for to get that perfect new look for your Blogger blog! And you can view a lot of our custom blog designs in our portfolio to get a feel for what we do. Email us at smittenblogdesigns@gmail.com or go to our custom blog design page and make your deposit to get on the schedule! Happy taxes-being-done day!

-Kate

FREE PRINTABLE EASTER EGG FILLERS

So I was born in the 80′s and we didn’t “do” plastic Easter eggs waaaay back then (at least not in my neighborhood). We had the real deal. Of course if you didn’t find all of them on Easter morning, you’d smell them out a month later! But at some point as I got older, plastic eggs became the thing, and because there was candy (and not yolk) inside, I was fine with it!

Free Printable Easter Egg Filler by Smitten Blog Designs

Now that I have a couple of little ones who are old enough to enjoy Easter morning egg hunts, I realize how much candy can pile up from those plastic eggs! Especially when their Halloween buckets have acquired candy from all holidays in between and will last them the rest of the year. I was trying to come up with something my kids would like enough to overlook the lack of candy…ha ha, we’ll see if it works! I came up with these “Bunny Jokes in an Egg” and I’m posting them as free printable Easter egg fillers for our readers!

Free Printable Easter Egg Fillers by Smitten Blog DesignsEaster Egg Fillers (96)

They’re super cheesy but you know little kids will get a kick out of them. Just print/cut/tuck in a plastic egg and you’re done. You could even cut each joke in half and hide them in separate eggs to make it a little more exciting, especially if you’re kids are a little older.

I’ll leave you with this inspiration I used for the ombre pattern on the background of the joke slips- these beautiful eggs from Sugar & Charm (and I’m dying to try them, no pun intended)! You can see our past Easter printables on our printables page as well. Happy hiding!

Ombre Easter Eggs

-Kate

We Do {Business} Branding!

I was watching a TV show the other day where an investor was deciding if he wanted to put money into a business that was going under. When he was asked why he decided to invest despite the uphill battle to revive the business, he said, “Because I like the business branding. It has superior branding.” Right answer!

Business Branding CardBusiness Branding Card FrontNow, I’m not suggesting that your site will get more clients, readers, or investors if you have superior branding, but… WAIT, that’s exactly what I’m saying! :) Branding is crucial to your online success! And that happens to be one of our specialties…

fashion fuse- Business BrandingSmitten doesn’t JUST do blog designs, even though that is a crucial part of our services.

We create entire brands.

Want a logo to make your blog instantly recognizable? Want to put that logo on a business card? Want your Facebook timeline and blog to match? (Your answers should be yes, yes, and yes!) And we do all that. Here is a sample branding board we created for Made Beautiful Events:

Made Beautiful Business Branding BoardOur branding packages are our best-selling items and one of our favorite projects to work on. So go ahead and peruse some of our latest branding work to see all the possibilities for your blog!

Business Card Frontcubbies and nooks

logo brandingbranding logo- smitten blog designs-Rebecca

Customized Design: define your style!

customized design logos by smitten blog designs

Customized design work is definitely the thing these days and whaddayaknow, it happens to be our specialty! But really, when was the last time you saw a blog or a website with no design whatsoever? It really doesn’t happen much these days (and when it does, how long do you stick around that site?).

Most people want to put a new, fresh design out there on the web, a design that reflects their personality and makes their presence known. You want someone to land on your site and bam! they get get sucked in immediately by the design (and then they stay and find out you have awesome content to match!). So what could possibly be better than improving the first impression on our clients’ sites? Below is a branding board we put together to define the “Wee His & Hers” website.

customized design branding board by smitten blog designs

Soooo…

Why You Should Have a Customized Design for Your Online Space:

Be a Pro. A professional designer is just that—a professional. Sure, you could make a blog yourself (probably?). But good designers know that it takes a few years of real designing to figure out what looks exceptional and what will draw your audience.

Stand Out. Don’t find yourself in the awkward position of being a template-repeater. Yeah, I just went there. It’s the worst when you find that someone uses the same template as yourself when you’re trying to be one-of-a-kind. If you do decide to go the premade route, make sure you do something to set it apart. Stylize your sidebar with a photo of yourself or change up the font!

Create a Brand. One of the first things that advertisers do to increase sales of a product is to create an effective, recognizable brand. Custom work helps to actualize your brand and reinforce it to your readers/customers. You want them to know who you are and remember you! The photo at the top shows several logos we’ve done to help brand businesses!

Personally, when I switched my first blog to a customized design, it made my online identity more one-of-a-kind and my readers noticed it too. I became a more defined and frequent blogger, which is what your visitors want, it’s what keeps them coming back and gets you a nice little flow of traffic! In short, it was the best thing for my little corner of the internet, and it could be for you too. <3

-Rebecca

A Little Lovin’ from Smitten: Valentine Treats and a Free Printable!

Who am I kidding? I love Valentine’s Day because of the treats. You know what I’m talking about: sugar cookies with fluffy white and pink frosting, red velvet cupcakes with adorable cupcake toppers, and sticky lollies with “I love you” etched onto them. It’s a great, simple way to celebrate love and spread some cheer. Sooooo, here is a little inspiration (and some free printables) as you decorate your sweet treats for February 14th!

First, some cupcake toppers! We made this free printable just for you, from Smitten.

free valentine's printables by smitten blog designsSweet Valentine cupcake toppers (963)

I love the modern design of these printables, if I do say so myself. And they are EASY! Just print, cut, and add toothpicks!

Next, some Valentine-decorated treats to get you going.

free printables, smitten blog designs, Valentine's DayAdorable love bird cookies for your loved one!

Free printables, Valentine's Day, Smitten Blog DesignsA whole lotta chocolate with these chocolate malt cupcakes. Sign me up!

free printable, Smitten Blog Designs, Valentine's Day treatsCan’t beat the traditional heart-shaped cutouts in my opinion. I’ll be making these for the big day!

Join in the treat-making love: Swirl your frosting! Pipe your icing! Scatter your sprinkles! Have a ball and enjoy your treat.

Love,

Smitten

IMAGES VIA: The Chocolate Café, Annie’s Eats, Your Cup of Cake

Why You Should Be Blogging for Your Business!

We work with all kinds of bloggers–fashion bloggers, food bloggers, mommy bloggers and a lot of small businesses. This post is especially good for our small business bloggers to know, but still helpful for anyone wanting to run a successful blog!reasons to blogEvery good business should have an incredible custom website AND a personalized blog. “Don’t they basically do the same thing? Isn’t just the website enough?” Well, we’re so glad you asked! An attractive website is just the first step to making your presence known online. But blogging for your business with a well-designed can do a few things that the main page just can’t.

Here’s what:blog post reasons to blogOne of our wonderful clients, Dina C. from Buttercream Bakehouse, wrote about her custom blog, “[It is] the first thing customers or my readers mention to me…It’s actually bringing me business.” So many of our clients have similar success stories. We love making our clients happy, and it is so gratifying to get consistent positive feedback—even from our clients’ clients!

So go get blogging for your business! And you can email us to get in contact with one of our amazing designers for help starting this! The wait is never too long and the results aren’t too bad either. ;-)

*(Chiang & Hsieh, 2011)

-Rebecca & Kate

Blog Design Tip: Rule of Thirds

So I know what you’re probably thinking… “I already follow the rule of thirds!” And yes, we all love the rule of thirds in design. (And if you’re not quite sure what it is, Wikipedia’s got your back: Rule of Thirds.) It makes our blog design so much more appealing. It gives a picture/graphic more dimension. And we all love a pretty blog design that just catches our eye right away. But…did you know that many designers believe it is misnamed?

What people think it should actually be called, is a “Suggestion” of Thirds.

That’s right. It really is more of a guideline. As photographer/author Bryan Peterson says (despite his love for dividing a frame into thirds), “Some things do look better when they are smack dab in the middle.” How’s that for your blog design tips?! So here are some “smack dab in the middle” designs:

blog design tips by smitten blog designsThe custom blog (above) and the premade blog (below) from our designers have centered elements at the top, which we think looks just smashing! It adds some symmetry to the regular rule-of-thirds design. We love the rule and we love breaking the rule—so we figure, why not do both?

blog design tips by smitten blog designsThe Hay Day template is also available for purchase in our premade shop along with many more of our original premade templates. If you’re on Blogger go check them out, if you’re on WordPress stay tuned…we’re in the process of creating some premade WordPress themes too! And come back for more blog design tips to help you make your blog as successful as possible- that’s what we do!

So go ahead, you rule-breaker you! Break a rule or two. And let us know how it turns out.

-Rebecca

Winter Blues, Winter Boots! Fashion Blog Design…

Here at Smitten Blog Designs we design a lot of fashion sites on both Blogger and WordPress for a lot of different fashion bloggers. So it’s appropriate that I share some of our fashion blog designs as well as some of my own fashion insights! Is it too late in the season to talk about boots? It’s not, right? Because there are a few gorgeous boots I just really want to discuss before winter is gone!

Last season, I was gifted this beautiful Sperry boot from J Crew.
fashion blogs-boots-smitten blog designs

I love this boot more than my own two feet. Every morning I look out the window hoping to see at least one tiny snowflake to justify wearing this boot! Sooooo… Seeing as I may or may not have an addiction to boot-wearing, I was quite interested to see what other boots J Crew was carrying for this season. And I found this little beauty:

fashion blogs-boots-smitten blog designsI give you the Macalister Wedge Boot! I think I’m in love. This modern wedge is so versatile! Okay, so it’s not the best for SNOW snow, but how cute would it be for a chic girl’s night out? Or in. Or anywhere!

Here’s another not-so-snow boot that caught my eye:

fashion designs-boots-smittenblogdesignsThis is Forever 21’s Perforated Combat Boot. It’s especially great for our readers who don’t exactly get a ton of cold weather in the winter. It’s airy, neutral, and looks dang comfortable as far as stylish boots go.

And to top it all off, here is the wild card of the bunch: The Ring Toss Boot from Anthropologie.

fashion blog design-boots-smitten blog designsYeah, that’s a lotta shimmer for a western boot… but what can I say? I just love it. It’s like cowgirl-meets-
New-Years-Eve.

And here are some of the recent fashion blog designs our team has created for our fashion blogger clients!

Viva Luxury was designed with a very clean aesthetic and a bold title. The photos are the most important part of a fashion blog so we always want them to stand out most of all- hence the black and white in the design.viva luxury

In our design for The Fashion Fuse, we threw some gold in there with the black and white. Gold is still a pretty neutral color so it adds to the fashion blog design without taking away from the photos. The sidebar on this one is my favorite because it acts as a creative and unique nav bar!

fashion fuseHope you’ve enjoyed my little list of favorites! Let us know what kind of boot & blog lovin’ you’re enjoying before the winter months fade!

-Rebecca

Free Facebook Cover #3- Dots

Today is the last day of our 3 Free Facebook Covers collection! If you are just getting here, you can see our past two free Facebook covers we posted here and here. All the covers in the collection are inspired by our website’s fresh, new look that has been evolving over the past couple of months.

Free Facebook Cover by Smitten Blog Designs-dots

Free Smitten Facebook Cover-Dots (155)

One design tip that we’ve used on our own site, is to use neutrals with one or two pops of color in the color scheme. We love, love, love the site Design Seeds for finding color combos that work together. You just might spend more time there than you planned on, so grab a snack before you click the link! Here’s one of our favorites from their site right now:

color scheme, smitten blog designs, design seedsNeutrals, with the pop of teal and pink. So pretty and light, would be perfect for a wedding blog design! We’ve actually done several of those and posted them in our portfolio- they are so fun to work on because they tend to be whimsical and pretty.

Another color site we love for color palettes when designing is Colour Lovers. This site lets you create your own color schemes and post them for others to see and rate. You can get some great ideas from what other people have created too. It’s a good place to try out color palettes you’ve been thinking of for anything from weddings, to clothes, to blog or website designs.

Well we’ve loved putting these free Facebook covers up and helping you freshen up your FB page for the new year! To find all of them, plus other free printables, you can go to our free printables page. Let us know what colors you’d like to see in a free printable or Facebook cover and we’ll do what we can!

-Kate

Free Facebook Cover #2-Passion

Today is the second day of our free Facebook covers and we have a beautifully designed cover for you to take and try on your Facebook page! It was custom designed with a subtle gray pattern in the background and a bold font. Definitely on trend with the new year’s designs and styles, so you’ll want to get in on this!

facebook cover passion

Free Smitten Facebook Cover-Passion (164)

 If you all like these free Facebook covers we’ll keep them coming, because, well, we like our readers! Remember to like and share so others can get the cover and so we’ll know to make more! If you are looking for something more custom, you can order a custom designed Facebook cover from us too, or any kind of custom work for your personal or business needs! We’ve updated our services page to make it simpler and added a little more to our packages so go and check it out! Our designers are all awesome to work with and you can meet them all here.

We love the quote used on the Facebook cover and it’s a good mantra for the new year. “Do it with passion, or not at all.” Do you come up with a phrase or a word to live by each year? It’d be fun to hear them all if so! And if you don’t, just go ahead and take this Facebook cover so you can see it everyday and THIS can be your phrase to live by this year! We also have a board on Pinterest with our favorite quotes, you can find it here. We’ll see you tomorrow with the 3rd free cover in the collection!

-Kate