The Unthinkable

“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

One Saturday afternoon, over a month ago, I tweeted that I was considering changing my blog’s theme. There were things that I wanted to try and I was hoping to get a new look and feel…something fresher, cleaner, and more modern, so I asked for some opinions and feedback.

My generous and talented friend, Ashley, quickly responded to my tweet.

She advised me and gave me some things to think about.

Then, she did the unthinkable.

She offered to help me.

I have since wondered how many times she regretted answering my tweet.

She was so incredibly patient with me as I tried to boil down exactly what it was that I wanted.

She listened to me rattle on about font choices, plug in options, SEO questions, and which shade of brown I should use, the toasty brown or the grayish brown?

Sigh. Poor Ashley.

When Craig reached out to her today to thank her for her patience (read: insanity), she replied that she loves to “pay it forward.”

That she did. And then some.

Thank you, Ashley. You are an amazing friend and I will never forget your generosity. I only hope that I can help you similarly one day soon.

Ashley blogs over at Just Another Mom of 2. Please leave a comment for her here telling her how amazing (read: crazy) she is and then pay her a visit on her blog and say hello. You can also find her on Twitter, where I do hope that she learned a lesson about offering help. ;)


  1. Miri

    It's beautiful– very calm and clean. Are you using Headway?

    Ashley, you are definitely crazy (oops, I mean amazing), just like Nichole!

  2. @2bKate

    Love the new layout!!

  3. niseag03

    Beautiful new layout!!

  4. Jen Has A Pen

    Ooh, I love the new digs! :-) I'm in the midst of a redesign too. It's like committing to a tattoo or something. I keep deciding, changing my mind, over-analyzing, blah, blah, blah. :-)

  5. @elissapr

    I love this new look! Clean and easy to read and navigate! Nice job…

  6. Klz

    I can't see the new layout on my phone but I CAN say that Ashley is beyond awesome. Super lady. You too so it goes well together.

  7. It's beautiful!

  8. Cate

    Oh, I LOVE it! It looks so much cleaner and more modern. Ashley did an awesome job!

  9. Site looks fantastic.

  10. Sherri

    Wow girl, you've been busy! My brain hurts just to think about all of this changing-up-the-blog stuff! It looks wonderful, but I also adored the other one….congrats on your update!

  11. It looks so beautiful. I want (read: need) to make desing changes on my blog. But fear and lack of knowledge (and the stress that will come with it) keeps me frozen in my status quo!

  12. tracy

    So beautiful – I love it. And Ashley is so lovely. xo

  13. Tina

    Looks awesome…Ashley is the best!

  14. Love this. Coming here is always like a breath of fresh air (I know. A little cliche, but true). Your new look is peaceful, clean, soothing.

    Sigh. I'm all relaxed now.

    Yep. Love this.

  15. It. Looks. Stunning!

    And Ashley is amazing. She set up the Your Child Talking site, and has me set up to get the business website re-vamped.

    She IS wonderful and generous.

    And she does SUCH good work!

  16. Stacey

    Very nice! I love the new layout!

  17. Alexandra174

    It does look great: polished and sophisticated.

    Ashley is a doll.

  18. CDG

    The new design is great. Fresh and serene and chic!

  19. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    Yay! It looks clean and polished.

    Much like your house, come to think of it.

  20. lovely! What a sweet friend you've found!

  21. @kmulkey007

    Love the new layout! I want to change my blog too. But I want a name change and I can't figure out what I should call it.

  22. Cate

    It's beautiful! And these amazing women who help us figure out what it is we want for a design are a true gift.

  23. Jackie

    Ashley is simply amazing! She offers help and then keeps on helping like it's no big deal!

  24. SquashedMom

    Ack! Out all day & can't see design on my phone. Can't wait to get home & see for myself. For now I'll just have to take everyone else's word that it is lovely. Congratulations!

  25. I LOVE the new look! I'm always a huge fan of good, clean design.

  26. Nichole

    It *is* Headway! Great eye. How did you know?

  27. Nichole

    That's exactly what it was like! Great analogy.
    I've been struggling with explaining it and you just hit the nail on the head! :)

  28. Nichole

    It really is so stressful.
    My advice would be to find someone like Ashley to help you through it.
    She was so calm and knowledgeable through it all.
    Thank you for your kind words!

  29. Nichole

    Choosing a name is so tough!
    Are you trying to broaden your site?

  30. Nichole

    Thank you, Kate!

  31. Nichole

    Thank you for that…that's exactly what I was going for. :)

  32. Mad Woman

    Ashley has been my bloggygodmother (I have a coffemug that says so!) and you're right: she's amazingly patient and a dream to work with. I ADORE HER!
    And yes, she has inspired me to pay it forward. An absolute angel…much like you, my friend.

  33. Nichole

    Thank you so much!

  34. Nichole

    Thank you! I'm seriously in love with it. :)

  35. Nichole

    Thank you, Cate! She is unbelievable.
    I'm thrilled with the way that it turned out.

  36. Nichole

    Thank you, Leighann. :)

  37. Nichole

    Thanks, Tracy!
    She is truly wonderful.

  38. Nichole

    Yay! I'm so happy to hear that, as that's exactly what I was hoping to accomplish. :)

  39. Nichole

    Thank you, my friend!

    What I'd like to know is *how* Ashley does it all!?
    I suspect that she has a few extra hours in her day.
    Or she's magic.
    Or both.

  40. Nichole

    Thank you, Stacey! :)

  41. Nichole

    We are all so blessed to know her, aren't we?
    Thank you, Empress. :)

  42. Nichole

    Thank you, my beautiful friend!

  43. Nichole

    Thank you!

    Good think you can't drop by right now. Sigh.

  44. Nichole

    Thank you, Grace! :)
    She is amazing.

  45. Nichole

    Thanks, Cate!
    It was tough, because I felt like a kid in the candy store…so many options!
    Ashley was a godsend.

  46. Nichole

    She really is.
    Your new site is lovely too.
    Cheers to fresh spaces! :)

  47. Nichole

    Thank you, Varda!
    Be sure you look at it when you get home…you'll be amazed by her work. :)

  48. Nichole

    You might want to hide from me…I know that you're on Headway too.
    I predict that I might drive you crazy with questions! ;)

    Thank you for your kind words. You're such a lovely friend.

  49. Leigh Ann

    It looks great! I’m in limbo right now in preparations for making the move from blogger to WP. I’ll put headway on my list of themes. It’s very clean, simple, fresh, and very easy to look at, all of which are so important. Congrats!

    Oh, and in my indecision about whether or not I should move, what should I do, how should I handle it….I have gotten nothing but great advice from twitter. Such a lovely community.

  50. @sogeshirts

    The new layout looks great. Great job Ashley and great blog layout Nichole.

  51. Tonya

    Love the new look, layout and colors. Simple, clean and very well done.

    Ashley did you right. :)

  52. Sue

    Looks like just what you were after. Kudos!

  53. jessb27

    Love the new look, Ashley did great! Now to find her and see if she has enough patience left to help me and my indecisive self.

  54. anothermomof2

    Nichole, you are way too sweet- a post was not necessary, nor did I regret helping you. I'm glad you're happy with it, a blog should reflect its owner :) Happy writing my talented friend!

  55. Rachel

    LOVE the new look and Ashley is awesomesauce!!

  56. It looks absolutely wonderful, and that was so kind of Ashley to help!

  57. Lovely new look! Well done Ashley!!

  58. This looks great! Love it!

  59. Sara

    Thank you for the reminder to pay it forward in my own life. Congrats on the new layout! Looks great!

  60. jfarelyn

    I love the redesign, and it inspires me to keep my blog clean and uncluttered and simple. So that the photos and words I do share have the impact I want them to. I love what the two of you came up with!

  61. TheJackB

    It never ceases to amaze me to see how many people are willing to lend others a hand. It is really refreshing and rewarding.

  62. I'm still on blogger but curious about WordPress. I love the fact that you are able to reply to a specific comment.
    Your blog is beautiful showcase for your gorgeous writing. :)

  63. Galit Breen

    *Sigh* bloggers helping other bloggers- twitter *does* make the world go round, doesn't it?! Congrats Nichole and well done Ash!

  64. I really, really love it. It's so clean looking. What a fabulous job by both you AND Ashley!!

  65. Mandyland

    Love what you've done to the place! It looks like Real Simple met Pottery Barn. Perfect!

  66. Laural Out Loud

    This is exactly how I want my blog to look, only I didn't know it before I saw it, lol. Don't worry, I won't steal your look, but needless to say I think it looks fantastic.

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