Why do I always plan big changes around the holidays?
Moving. Having a baby. Launching a new website.
It’s not like I don’t already have enough to do. There’s decorating for the holidays. Buying and making gifts for friends and family. And of course, spending lots of quality time with my kids.
I suppose I should give myself some credit. It’s not like I actually plan these big events around the holidays on purpose. My husband is the one who decided to move to our new house on Black Friday four years ago. My Christmas baby came when he was good and ready. And my new website… well, it’s been over a year in the making, and all the work just so happens to be coming to an end during the holidays.
Speaking of “all the work.”
I need a break to do all this work which means I’m stepping away from the blog for the entire month of December. Today, I’m sharing a bit about this blogging break as well as giving you a sneak peek at my upcoming new website.
Growing Up Herbal Over The Years
Did you know there’s a website out there that keeps photos of other websites over the years? It’s true.
Recently, a business group I’m a part of started sharing photos showing how their websites had changed over the years. It was a lot of fun (and kind of embarrassing) to see the progression a blog goes through. I mean, when you start out blogging, most times, you have no clue what you’re doing. You learn as you go. Your voice and your brand slowly come about. You develop your point of view, and you find your niche.
This has definitely been the case with Growing Up Herbal. I mean, my business started as an Etsy shop that sold handmade herbal skin care products for children. It has changed so much over the years, but my focus has always been on my family and herbs… and how they fit together.
So, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and bring some of the past Growing Up Herbal website designs up for you today… just so you can see where this blog has been (and where it’s going!).
As you can see from the screenshot above, this is how my blog looked when I first moved all my posts over from a Blogger blog to a Wordpress blog. This was back in June 2012, and as you can see, it’s so old that many of the images aren’t showing up.
This next blog design is a bit messed up too seeing how old it is. Again, many of the graphics (like the header and sidebar) are missing, but this is where I switched over to the colors I’ve always used for Growing Up Herbal… shades of green, purple, and yellow. The Growing Up Herbal branding is just starting to form.
This is how my blog looked for the most of 2013 and even into the beginning of 2014. I finally settled on a tagline (teaching parents how to take charge of their children’s health… naturally), and I joined a blogging network of other “green” bloggers.
Joining this blogging network is where I first started making the switch from hobby blogging for my Etsy shop to business blogging about natural living. I met a lot of great bloggers in this blogging network, and many of us are still friends to this day.
The above two designs are basically the same. This was the first time I had worked with a designer and had real branding work done. These colors and fonts were mostly for my Etsy shop, but I used them on the blog too. This was the first time I started my newsletter – Letters To Natural Mamas, and really started trying to form a community of natural-minded mamas behind Growing Up Herbal.
Towards the end of 2014, I wanted to get away from the previous design. It was too soft, and it reminded me too much of my Etsy shop (which I had closed down at that point). I decided I wanted something a bit different from what a lot of other natural living bloggers had so I found the above premade blog theme to try. I liked it, but it was not a good fit for the Growing Up Herbal brand so I didn’t stick with it for long.
This is the blog design I finally settled on, and it’s the design I’ve had the longest. In fact, as you can see from the images below, this is the same design I still have. The only thing that’s changed has been the header design and the tagline. At this point, I decided to veer away from being so specific about children and simply talk more about natural living.
It was at the end of 2015 that I decided I was ready for a real web redesign. I had saved up enough money to hire a web designer/developer to totally redo the Growing Up Herbal brand and website. I wanted something that felt more like me and didn’t look similar to other blogs out there.
At the beginning of 2016, as you can see, I still have the same look to the blog, but I’ve changed the tagline back to a focus on children. If you can’t tell… I have a hard time making my mind up and sticking with things. LOL!
And here is the current look for Growing Up Herbal. This is a mix between my old design and some of the new branding that my designer created for me. I wanted to try to slowly incorporate new pieces of the new Growing Up Herbal brand to give you a sneak peek at what was to come. As you can see, I’ve switched the tagline, yet again, away from a focus on children and back to natural living as a whole.
Okay. So now you’ve seen Growing Up Herbal from the beginning. Should I be embarrassed? Maybe just a little?
No matter how Growing Up Herbal has changed over the years, the underlying message has always stayed the same. It’s always been a bout a mom with a desire to live naturally and to raise her children with that mindset as well. That mom… that’s you and me. We are natural mamas, and Growing Up Herbal is where we grow and learn together.
The New Growing Up Herbal Website Launches January 2nd, 2017!
I’m planning on revealing the new Growing Up Herbal website the first week in January, complete with some fun contests and giveaways for you. Growing Up Herbal would not be what it is without you, and I want to say “thank you” for sticking by me and supporting me (with your comments, emails, and purchases) over the last 4 years by having some fun with you and giving away some great prizes!
To get ready for the big switch, I’ll be stepping away from the blog during the whole month of December as I work with my designer behind-the-scenes to get everything all ready for the new site and to spend some quality time with my family over the holidays. I’ll be back at the end of the month with one final Things I Love post for December 2016, and then after that, I’ll be blogging on the new site.
So are you ready for a sneak peek of the new site?
Here’s a glimpse of the top of my new About page.
And this is just a taste of what’s to come. The homepage looks TOTALLY different! Ahhh!
Okay, mama. Till the end of the month…