Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Touring The Remodeled Blog

Have a look at the new design!

After years of publishing with the same free template and .blogspot.com address, I finally upgraded. This wasn't a project I could face alone.

Darcy of Graphically Designing pushed me to create a more intuitive navigation, with clearer categories and an easier-to-remember address (likemerchantships.org). Your old links here should still work, too.

The best part of an established blog is the chance to introduce you to new and noteworthy posts around the internet. Click on Food For Thought, and you'll see a page full of updated, interesting links.

Finally, you'll notice ads on the sidebar. I've kept Like Merchant Ships ad-free for years longer than most blogs. I couldn't reconcile ads in a place that encourages you NOT to buy, and I've turned down lucrative opportunities rather than lose editorial control. But my family budget can't maintain a website that has outgrown its free options and my time.

So here's my compromise:

The content at Like Merchant Ships will remain the same, free of all paid posts and PR product reviews. The only product placement you'll see will be naturally occurring, for items I've bought on my own dime.

The ads you see on the sidebar will be reserved for goods and services I personally use. I will not sell space to a company that doesn't add significant value for my family (and yours). As I feature a new merchant, I'll take a moment to disclose why it meets that criteria.

As always, I encourage you to find a library book over Amazon and a choose yard sale toy over another trip to Target.

I hope you find the changes for the better. It's a project to which I've given a lot of thought, and if you have any suggestions, do let me know!

104 comments:

Joanna said...

It looks awesome, Meredith! And it's so exciting that you have a domain name, now! Congrats on the new design & launch!

One of these days, I'll get around to getting a proper design & domain name, too :-P

blessdtwice said...

It looks great! And as a "blog stalker"- I have no problem with ads, in fact if I reaaalllly like a blog I will frequently click through to support the blogs I like. As long as the ads are in good taste, and not overwhelming (no pop-ups please) then I have no problem and say bring em on...

The new home is wonderful. Kudos to you!

Layla said...

It looks fantastic! I agree with blessdtwice about the ads -- yours are unobtrusive, and I'm happy to click through if it will help you maintain this wonderful resource.

Roxie700 said...

I think it looks really good. As far as the ads on the sides are concerned I believe most people understand them and why they are there.
You do a fine job with your blog. I always come away from reading your blog feeling up-beat about living on a budget. Sometimes it is not easy to keep that budget in place when I see all the beautiful things in the stores and on TV telling me I "NEED" or that..but seeing your beautiful home, your happy children, and the joy that shows through your writing about your life I am inspired. Thank you Meredith. Blessings Roxie

Amy said...

This looks gorgeous!! Well done!

Shannon@Idylwild said...

It really does look great. Still very peaceful and lovely, but energizing, too:) I'm so glad to hear that the content will remain unchanged because I love the content! As for the ads, anyone who visits here often knows that we can trust you to be discerning - I actually appreciate seeing products thats others enjoy.

Songbirdtiff said...

The site looks great. You offer such great advice and provide a wonderful service. There is nothing wrong with covering your costs, both for hosting your site and for your time. There's no need to be a martyr for your cause. Like those in the work place, you deserve a bit of pay for your efforts. Thank you for all you do!

Karen said...

Oh, I'm sad to see the old format go, especially the large artwork at the top. Call me a change-resister, I am. It takes a while to adapt to new things. I'm sad about the ads too, but, I understand not wanting to eat your blog operation costs.

LMS is my favorite of all blogs, it's really a treasure.

Michele said...

Good luck in your new venture, Meredith!

Ann said...

Lovely!! Of course. I especially like the FAQs and the "food for thought," as I frequently am looking for an older post or a few more ideas without much time to surf the net. Your blog is my favorite--bar none--because of the tone you set: hospitable, welcoming, encouraging, yet reserved and respectful of your family's privacy.

nottheplan said...

Congratulations on your new domain - and I love the new design as well!

nicola said...

WOW. it looks fantastic and makes me feel a little self-conscious about my blogspot blog!
can't wait to tour around!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

Heather W. said...

Congrats on a beautiful blog!

Elizabeth Sue said...

The blog is lovely and inspiring! Just like you! I have been a Merchant Ships fan for a while now. Best of luck dear with the new look.

Sandy Toes said...

Very simple and sweet...love it!
sandy toe

Kim said...

It looks really nice, Meredith! You've really come up in the world! I remember you "way back when". Your friend did a great job making over your site!

Brenda said...

Likemerchantships.org? What is your organization? Personally, I preferred your blog back a few years ago when I first found it. I guess everthing goes commercial after awhile, though. I suppose I have the option of not visiting if I don't like the changes, don't I?

As to the FAQ, you covet someone's camera? Did you never read "Thou shall not covet"?

Sticky (not too) said...

I love it! Very beautiful...

Sue said...

LOVELY!

Laura said...

As far as I'm concerned, I'm glad you introduced ads. It bothers me when really small blogs have ads splashed all over the place, but you've built up something really great here with your hard work, and I'm happy you're able to reap some financial benefits, if only to support the new site. The new layout is great, and I'm glad you kept that little picture of the fruit bowl. Still feels like "home"! ;-)

Kacie said...

I like it! I have no problem with bloggers who use advertising to supplement their income -- in fact I encourage it! Why should you have to pay to blog? I think it should be the other way around, ya know?

Renee said...

I'm another one who is resistant to change, but I love it! I just have to get used to it and it has nothing to do with the site. It's my personality. Just as I am thrilled that my IRL friend has new paint in her kitchen, I am thrilled for you, my imaginary friend, and your web-home re-model! (But thanks for not doing paid posts!)

I was confused about the .org address. I'm asking to educate myself, not to attack. Is it not limited or organizations? Or do you have something else in the works?

TexasRed said...

Love the new look -- especially the header/ sidebar font.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

.org is just a domain--you do not have to be an organization to register this domain. It does have more of a non-commercial feel than some domains, but it ultimately came down to what was available without changing my blog's name altogether.

I would have far preferred to own likemerchantships.com, but someone else had already purchased it a couple of years ago.

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

love the new look. i finally got my own domain on blogger and it made me very happy.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Brenda, I'm sorry you are not happy with the changes. Thank you for continuing to read despite your difference in opinion.

I know I shouldn't covet, but I do. Jealousy is a real problem in the blog world, and I would be a hypocrite if I pretended like I haven't ever envied someone else's concept, professional resources or even the uninterrupted time they have for writing.

kykathy said...

Best wishes on your new venture, I hope it proves to be profitable for you. However, personally I prefer the former design, I like the more traditional look with the Bible verse quote. I don't like the edgy design as well. I am sure I will continue to visit, tho, as I am always looking for a tip that may work for my family.

Tubo Family said...

It looks great and agree that it is more intuitive. I love that the address will be easier to tell to friends when chatting (not on-line where I can give a link). Really like the addition of the tumbler page, a great way to get a glimpse of what is inspiring & interesting to you, in a way that is hopefully easier for you to update. I do miss the larger scale artwork though as I remember the story about how it has come with you to many different homes.

For those who were wondering about the .org here is a wikianswer on that question. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_can_use_org
My personal opinion is .org makes sense, this isn't a for-profit enterprise. Maybe it's not a non-profit per se but it is definitely not-for-profit and I don't begrudge the ads as long as they aren't popping up over what I am trying to read.

L said...

Beautiful!

Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann said...

I love your blog.....and I love that you have some ads put out now...I think u DESERVE to make some money for this inspirational work that you're doing.....all the best!
-Ann
p.s. The new design is cute

rowena___. said...

the redesign is beautiful, and i think it speaks to your blog mission very nicely. thanks to your generous guidance, i have benefitted tremendously in the stewardship of my family's home and resources and for that i am very grateful. if it takes a few ads to keep your blog running, i'm totally fine with it! and i think most of your other readers will be too. {{{HUGS}}}

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

This looks great! Congrats on getting your own domain. I'm sure you will have lots of success:-)

Workin' MAMA! said...

Look girl - You know I'll be rollin' with you - old to new - I'm on the LMS train -
(toot! toot!)

You have made my life so much richer - so much brighter - from your testimonials to your humility in spirit - YOU ROCK EITHER WAY!
I have saved more money, because of you - I was inpsired to give my first coupon session to a group of women at the MARRIOTT, because of what you've taught on 'cheerful frugality' - are you kidding me?

I say, 'do your thing' Meredith -
For those nay-sayers, they only wish to live by such glorious homemaking principles as you -

Be encouraged - Love the new look -
God has BIGGER and BRIGHTER in store for Meredith -
My blog of choice, Like Merchant Ships - is growing and I'm proud!
GO GIRL!

Latrice
'Working Mama in the NW!'

livelaughlove95 said...

The design is amazing!!!! It suits you and this blog. I know you will stay true to yourself and your voice.

Malia

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I love the redesign Meredith! Very clean and easy to navigate and also just lovely.

I think your new policy is great and is well within your "style" of blogging. Good luck!

The Nester said...

Meredith,

I would read your blog if it were printed on toilet paper. I would read it if it were printed one word at a time on billboards I passed as I was driving. It's that good.

You spend time encouraging us and sharing such compelling content, tips, tricks, and useful information--I trust your opinion and you have earned the right to be heard with so many readers.

I for one would love to be introduced to any advertisers you deem worthy! I look to blogs now for so many things from recipes and coupon shopping to handmade goods.

What a privilege to be able to stay home, do what you love, encourage women and maybe even make a few dollars while doing it.

Who could disagree with that?

{Karla} said...

it looks fabulous Meredith!

And because I know you I can easily say to Brenda that her judgmental attitude towards you is way way off.

You are a true gem on the internet and I'm proud of all that you have been able to do to encourage others to simplify.

Betsy said...

I love the new design as well. Your blog is the first one I ever read, and I still love to come back to it time and time again. I have my friends and family reading as well--you've helped me put my style into words/pictures, and for that I'm thankful!

Bonita said...

Love the bright, simple design. It's easy on the eyes and easy to navigate.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

This is wonderful!!

Steph

debra said...

Wow! It looks great! I agree w/ blessedtwice & the others about the ads. I appreciate that you only advertise things you believe in - there's nothing wrong with that. :)

Continued best wishes. You are an inspiration.

thehomespunheart said...

Meredith,

I love your new look! I've had many of the same thoughts regarding ads and am nearing the end of my free options as well. Looks great!

Monica

Busy Mom said...

It looks great!!

LSU Melanie said...

Meredith!!!

I agree..i too, would read ur blog if it was written on toilet paper:) I visit everyday and your words make me smile...I am constantly learning by your example to see the goodness in simple, everyday, life experiences...I have found myself going to garage sales searching for the perfect smocked dresses for my daughter, i cannot bring myself to go to regular stores and drop that kind of money anymore. I too have found the joy in the thrill of the hunt by reading about your fabulous thrift store finds. I refer back to your archives for gift ideas and ways to save. Shame shame on people for saying such negative things. congratulations to you, and I am excited about the future of this blog!!!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I want to apologize to the friends who have been reading LMS so long and feel saddened by this change. I realize that my previous policy toward ads has given the impression that I don't think bloggers are *worth* being paid, or are wrong for accepting payment for their work.

Anyone who writes a blog puts in time and effort. In the past, as a way to conserve my internet time, I made a conscious choice not to accept ads--not only to prevent an ethical conflict, but to keep this blog in its proper place in my priorities.

You can read my 2007 ad and review policy here.

I am so thankful that people keep finding and returning to this blog, but that also creates more work for me, more pressure, and the sheer volume of content to organize and store on a server. I have to cover my costs here, or I can no longer continue to blog.

Again, I am sorry if what I have written previously about ads now disappoints you, but as I wrote in 2007, this policy is subject to change as my family's needs change.

Emily said...

It's beautiful, Meredith! Ads or no ads, whatever...I come here to read your inspiring posts.

Emily@remodelingthislife

Michelle said...

I like your new design...simple and straight forward...like you! You are a woman of integrity...

laurel said...

Congratulations, Meredith!! I also like the clean lines of the new blog (but I loved the old too). I like that the colors on your blog are similar to the colors in your home...it really makes the blog feel like we are visiting you!

Laryssa Herbert said...

Looks great!

the cottage child said...

I only found your blog a few weeks ago, and I'm already so hooked. It's puzzling that so many would begrudge an industrious woman a means of income that enhances her family's life while harming no one (um, like merchants ships?).

All good ideas meet resistance - usually more than bad ideas, ironically. Good for you, your old look was beautiful, the new look is beautiful, and there is no doubt that your heart is for God.

I'm excited to read more, so glad I found you.

Velveteen Mind Megan said...

I love this comment from the cottage child:

"All good ideas meet resistance - usually more than bad ideas, ironically."

Absolutely. I love the new look and understand all of the changes. Can I just say that what I don't understand is how you can have such thick skin (I'm admiring) in the face of criticism from your regular readers? I am totally jealous, because I usually fold under people telling me that they are disappointed, blah blah blah.

Then again, it's obvious that the people that truly know you are rolling with and learning to embrace the changes. And that is what should count.

I'm taking notes. As always over here. Always impressed by you.

Amy @ Finer Things said...

I think it's simply beautiful, Meredith, as is your writing. A small suggestion for those who prefer to avoid blog ads... subscribe by email! Same great content, no ads. ;-)

Amy said...

It is simply lovely, Meredith. I, for one, am so proud of you and to see you making your personal stamp on the internet. Your blog will always continue to be a treasure to me and no ad is going to conflict with my true adoration for you and what you do!

It is both expensive and time-consuming running a blog and I am glad to see that you will be offsetting those costs with companies you believe in.

Way to go!!

Tara @ Deal Seeking Mom said...

Gorgeous and simple, Meredith – just what I would expect from you. Congrats!!!

emily said...

You did it! I think you ( and Darcy ) did a fantastic job and I appreciate your explanation for the ads. I think what you say about that makes perfect sense and I will always check out ads that you endorse b/c I trust you. See how that works?! It looks great and the simple, new tagline is great :)

Jane said...

I am glad to see you have ads. I would have *paid* for the content and encouragement you have given me in the last few years. I still hope that one day you will write a book of some sort compiling the best of LMS. In the meantime, I think you policy is great and look forward to checking out some of the merchants that make the cut. Congrats!

Mercedes said...

Looks beautiful and honestly I think it's a perfect reflection of who you are and this blog encompasses.

Mercedes

Joy of Frugal Living said...

It looks great Meredith! Congrats on getting it done - I'm sure it was a lot of work, even with help.
:)

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I like the new look and options. The Food for Thought link is fantastic!

I think you've hit upon a very good compromise. I always liked your no-ad policy, but I also completely understand that as a big blogger, you have the right to be compensated a bit for all your work. I like that you've decided to only advertise those things your own family has used. That keeps things authentic, and it totally makes sense to me. I think it's about time you received a little money for all you do here!

As always, I appreciate your blog and YOU.

Michelle Smiles said...

lOOKS FABULOUS! I love it.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Meredith,

I have just taken a tour around the new blog and want to tell you how great it looks!

You are an inspiration to so many -- yet, as times evolve change is hard for some people. You are doing what is best for your family...that is industrious -- a true Proverbs 31 woman.

The money you can earn via your blog to stay out of debt is a blessing from God. He is so good like that to meet our needs!

And any products you can recommend is greatly appreciated! Like a neighbor over a picket fence, we need women we can trust to share with us.

The fact that you share your wisdom and encouragement every day is a free gift to us, so thank you for sharing from your heart.

many many more blessings to you,
melissa

Edi said...

Love the new look - it looks "cleaner" and brighter :)

Tammy said...

I think it looks great!

God Bless

Big Woods Bakery said...

Your wonderful site has been on my Reader forever, but the new site is so beautiful I might have to click through more often! We understand (and, if I may speak for "us" your readers!) the ads and can appreciate a high tech word-of-mouth recommendation. Congrats, Meredith!

Aimee said...

great fresh look. And I appreciate the way you are going about the ad thing. I "advertise" stuff to my friends all the time. It's nice to know what people you respect find worth buying.

mary bailey said...

Your "new" blog looks great, Meredith! I do miss the reference to Prov. 31 in the header, though. That's what attracted me to your blog in the first place.

mary bailey said...

I just now skimmed thru the comments. Just wanted to let you know I like the way you have decided to do your ads. Your blog is an honest, industrious, and cheerful way to earn income for your family, very much like the Prov. 31 woman. I am a big believer in doing what is best for you and your family so Good For You! And you've done a good job explaining your reasoning to others who have differed.

Kimba said...

I am so happy for you, Meredith. Your new design looks fantastic.

You are such a peach. Actually, you're a peach cobbler. In my opinion, that is better than a peach.

I could never begrudge someone the opportunity to receive some form of compensation for the time, effort and expense that goes into running a well-read blog. It's one way that God is providing for your family and that's a blessing.

I'm thrilled for you.
Kimba

Torey said...

Love the new look. Do you still have the link for your bloglines somewhere? I always loved to use your list as a jumping off point to finding other great blogs.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Meredith, I love the new look! Good for you. I need to do the same thing & get off Blogger.

Susan said...

Boy, it must be a little bit stressful for you today, Meredith, throwing open the doors to your remodeled blog and waiting for the comments, good and bad, to come rolling in!
I was a little bit sad to see the changes, too, like some of your other commenters, but I am not really sure why! Everything you do always ends up looking professional and lovely, and I am sure that I will adjust to "my" favorite blog undergoing these changes! But one thing I hope NEVER changes is the honest simplicity of your blog's content. When I first came across your blog I fell in love with it because you were writing as a woman living within a very modest income, and then sharing with us all your successes and failures. I always liked the fact that your blog was simple in its design and layout, because it SEEMED like a blog done by a stay-at-home mom, and not too professional or too "slick". I hope it will always continue to be more like a conversation and hospitality between one mom to another, rather than just a "business production" like so many blogs are today. There are two things I miss in looking around at the new blog. One is the Bible verse/reference to God that you had in your header. I always felt like your references to God, and His goodness in providing for your family's needs, set the tone for the ENTIRE blog, and right away told me that this was a place with a kindred spirit. I am very sad to see that go. Very sad.
One other thing that I miss is the "Blogs I Love to Read" section that you had before. I loved clicking through to new blogs I had never been to before, and did so whenever I had a few extra minutes. But I guess the "Tumblr" section is the replacement for that.
Maybe the one thing overall that I would say is that, probably, not every single one of your readers is as computer savvy as you have become, and we get a little bit lost in all the techno links at the bottom of the posts, the "Twitter" stuff and the "tumblr" stuff (That's something that I had never heard of until today!) I just hope that even in the midst of upgrading and changing things that you'll never lose the core things that made so many of us fall in love with LMS in the first place.
But having said all that, best wishes with the continued success of your wonderful blog, Merdith!!
Susan

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Susan, I'm sorry you feel that way.

I think you will like the Food For Thought section much more than my old Bloglines link.

I *really* enjoy highlighting great blogs, but I always felt like I was sharing link after link and diluting the original content, so very often I would read a good post and not have a place to link to it directly.

With Tumblr, I will be able to highlight even more great posts--and even better, add a line or two of commentary that tells you why I like it.

It will be like getting the best of my blog roll, ready to go whenever you have a moment to browse.

I am VERY excited about sharing my favorite blogs--and the best of their posts--with you.

nicky0594 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Meredith@MerchantShips said...

What happened to Blogs I Love To Read?

People were getting their feelings hurt based on adding/dropping to that, which was, ultimately, my personal blog list. I could not continue to grow that list as it was already unwieldy at over 500 blogs, a good part of which only post occasionally now.

I decided it would be better to highlight current posts of interests under the Food for Thought tab at the top.

Lylah said...

It's lovely and full of that tender, gentle grace that is you.

PS...thanks for adding my flower post to your tumbler. I'm humbled by you adding me.

Blessings...Lylah

Gabrielle Krake said...

It's really beautiful. I love white sites best of all, I guess that's why ours is. haha!

Angie said...

I think it looks fabulous, Meredith! Darcy just gave me a makeover too -- isn't it fun to work with her? (Although, I bet that you found, like I did, that it was more work to be in on the re-designing than you expected. But, it was a fun work.)

I think that it is a more than fine that you have ads now. Just as you wouldn't expect a cashier at Target to show up without pay or the school teacher to come only out of the goodness of her heart, I think it's okay for bloggers to make a bit of money. Sure, I'm also not crazy about blogs with ads all over the place, but that's not what your blog is doing, so I don't see an issue at all. Good for you for getting a little something for all the work you put in!

Great new look, and great job. You are an inspiration and always bring a smile to my face.

Sarah said...

Dear Meredith
I simply love your blog. You have such clarity on how to live well on less...From you I have learned that being frugal and thrifty DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BORING AND SIMPLE, but that one can be frugal and still have pretty things and yummy food presented beautifully. Thanks for teaching me that! Thanks for explaining the absence of the verse on the header...All the best with the new phase of your blog!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

As to dropping the lengthy description in the header, including the Proverbs 31 reference:

this came after much, much thought and prayer.

After observing a few online conversations about Christian blogs (and often, comments from Christian bloggers themselves) I realized that people were seeing the Prov 31 reference, then the subject of my blog, and IMMEDIATELY concluding that I am equating frugality with godliness.

You cannot imagine how this burdened me, to worry that this place would turn someone away based on what I write.

If you "get" it already, the reference was immediately apparent to you. However, I decided to streamline the header in hopes that I could give a more complete explanation in both the About page and the FAQ.

I would rather give people a chance to ask me about God's provision than to have them misinterpret a silly blog title as the Christian ideal or some kind of prosperity gospel.

Aimee said...

Just spent some time following some links on "food for thought". I absolutely love it. What a treat to get to have all those finds in one place. Thanks so much!

Alli Worthington {@alliworthington} said...

Gorgeous!!!!!!

You have such a beautiful site that is worthy to hold all your beautiful photos, memories and thoughts!


Love!

Jill said...

Sad that you took away the scripture reference on your homepage. That was what caught my eye and got me started following your blog. Actually, I think I was doing a search for that verse and stumbled on to your blog.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Hi Meredith, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. For some reason, I've always visited you by way of a link somewhere else, but today I finally added you to my blogroll. I'm so excited to visit more regularly!

Kendra said...

Your new site is beautiful. I kind of like the ads. I know what things you buy/support without having to search your blog.

An Adventurer in the World said...

God reminds us that faithfulness in little things leads to greater opportunities.

You absolutely SHOULD be making ad revenue, because the Laborer is worthy of her hire! And you serve us all so very well.

This new design is so clean, intuitive and spot-on without losing a speck of your gracious tone. GREAT work Darcy and Meredith! A pleasure to navigate.

You might want to start reading up on book deals; if they haven't begun heading your way yet, the day is coming ; )

deb meyers

Tsh said...

Hi Meredith. You know you're one of my favorite people in the blogosphere, and anyone who's met you in real life for five minutes would know that you're just as genuine and humble in real life as you are on this blog. You needed to have ads on this blog LONG ago. So good for you!

Don't let negative comments get you down. Bloggers should be compensated for their hard work! The information you've provided for years has been free, and it will still be free.

I love what others have said. Earning income from your blog is upholding the epitome of your blog's name - Like Merchant Ships. You're bringing your food from afar!

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

I like the new template it looks fresh. I saw your comment at Down to Earth so I had a feeling that there would be changes. I like your new look!

Manuela

P.S. Would you be able to change the Choose an Identity thing so you can comment without a google account? I'd rather put my blog url.

Daiquiri said...

Love it!!

MaryAnn said...

Meredith, the new layout is beautiful. I have no issue with the Bible verse being removed - I think you exemplify the saying "Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary."

As for the ads, I actually appreciate knowing which products and companies you believe offer good value. You are someone whose opinions I trust (kind of the like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Appproval!).

Congratulations on the exciting changes and on placing the needs of your family first on your priority list. I look forward to following you for years to come!

Peace be with you -
MaryAnn

Kathy said...

Meredith,

I love the redesign! I think its a clean and friendly and lovely - not too slick/commercial looking, like some of the blogs that seem to have become more about revenue and less about sharing.

I do miss the scripture reference in your header, but I fully understand your reasons for removing it - better to have your "fish drawn in the sand" and let people discover your core of faith in His own time, than to have someone misunderstand!

And as for the ads - they are a non-issue for me as long as there are no pop ups ;)

All the best! Kathy

Stephanie said...

Lovely Meredith!

Workin' MAMA! said...

"be encouraged" -

You've done the right thing.


Latrice

Rhonda Jean said...

Hi Meredith, the blog looks fabulous and continues to be a source of valuable information. I wish you well with your new look and the advertising. I too have recently taken that step.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Ah our dear Meredith - you are always a breath of fresh air in this blog world, and as usual, people are coming out of the word word sharing how much you have impacted their life. I feel so privileged that I had the change to meet you in real life and know that who you are here is exemplified in real life as well.
Tenderness, wisdom and humility exude - never doubt that. :)

kykathy said...

It is probably my computer, but when I click on Food For Thought or Twitter, the font is so tiny that I can't make out a single word! Is this me? If it is do you have any suggestions how to make it big enough to read? I'm not too computer saavy but I'd like to be able to read it if there is anything I can do! Thanks!

Kyleen said...

As a frequent visitor with no blog of my own, I like to see ads that are personally endorsed. I think you have a lovely blog and very much enjoy dropping in.
-Kyleen

Cara said...

I love the new look, and I'm glad to see you make some financial profit off of all you do for us. Thank you! I think I found your blog when I was pregnant with my first, or maybe even before than, and I've always enjoyed it.

Cara

Ms. Booty Homemaker said...

Whoa!! Lovely. I have a twinge of fire under the booty syndrome.... '
XXX
(oh, yes, I still owe you strawberry bed in the old kiddie pool photos!)

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Meredith,

Standing ovation...

The site redesign, the lay-out, the parameters for ads... all a class act.

Like you.

I appreciate your thoughtful prayer regarding the verse tagline... His Spirit leads...

Every blessing, Meredith...
All's grace,
Ann

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Kykathy, I don't have a way to email you directly (go to your Blogger profile and check yes on the option to enable your email address.)

I cannot change the font on either site.

What you can do on ANY website to make the font more readable is to click on VIEW at the top of your Internet Explorer page.

From the pull-down menu, select TEXT SIZE.

You will then be able to choose large, small, medium, etc. -- whatever suits your eyes or the site you are viewing at the time.

Hope this helps!

Jennifer said...

I love the new look VERY easty to read! Nice!

thehorizontalyoyo said...

I really enjoy the new design. It's clean, fresh, and really easy to find what I'm looking for as a blog reader:)

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

(Meredith, Darcy's finishing up a remodel in my quiet corner, and I just wanted to whisper my thanks to you again... the work you did here, the voice with which you conveyed your decisions to your readers... you've pioneered ahead of me and made some of this thinking easier...
Just wanted to express my gratitude....

All's grace,
Ann)