Site Design, #NoBuy August, & FloydFest

Happy August everyone!

I’d hoped to get this post up yesterday, actually on August 1, but a storm took out our power until an hour or so ago. Let’s pretend it’s still the first day of August, then, shall we?

First things first, to go with the start of the month I have a few site design changes that I’m really excited about! A couple of months ago, I reached out to Roanoke designer, Josh Gibson, of Giant Step Design. It seems like he’s the go-to guy for fantastic graphic design in the New River Valley these days and I loved the posters he’d created (seriously, go check out his Facebook page to see what he’s been up to lately), so I asked if he’d be up for a small blog project I had in mind. Nothing big, just a new banner and some buttons for links. I rather like the layout I have right now but wanted to jazz it up some. He happily took on the project and never let on that he was frustrated with my picky aesthetics. Really, it was a pleasure to work with him–lines of communication were always open and he seemed right on-target with what I was thinking. It’s not always easy to communicate whatever’s floating around in my head to another person, but he went with the flow and cooked up some great buttons and a banner.

The biggest change besides the banner at the top of the page is the “Favorite Blogs” section of the site. Before I’d used a typical blogroll listing out all the blogs I read. But over time, that list evolved. And by evolved, I mean grew. It morphed into a beast of a project to add new awesome blogs and subtract defunct ones, so I didn’t manage the blogroll for over a year (probably more like two years if I’m honest with myself…) That needed to change. So after creating a Google Bundle for the SSFC group this summer, I realized that the easiest way to manage who I was keeping up with and who I wanted to share with you all would be through a Bundle. If you click on one of the buttons–Vegan, Omni, Gluten-Free, Other–you’ll be taken to another tab where a Reader feed is displayed. As each of the blogs I follow is updated, it will appear at the top of the list. Now you can scroll through the blogs and see sample posts in real-time. And I don’t have to do anything different than my routine for adding or subtracting blogs from my Google Reader feed. Win-win.

The second bit for August is #NoBuy August. I’ll be tweeting here & there as I go through the month, but the gist is that I’ve been overspending. Waaaay overspending. I need to really focus on what I’m purchasing and to what end this month. While I do have a job that more than supports me, I’ve been a little too free with what I’ve splurged on and that needs to stop. Time to really work through pantry items, focus on the garden harvest, and say “no” a few more times. Nothing drastic, just a reality check.

And, finally, FloydFest 2012. Serious good fun. Below is a little photo essay of what I managed to snap pictures of. To be honest, I was having too much fun eating and drinking and dancing with my friends to take many pictures, but these will give you a feel of the food part of the festival at least!

Main Stage

Veggie Woodfire Pizza from Dogtown Pizza

All alcohol was served in these cool Klean Kanteen pints that each person had to buy and tote around (great idea!!)

Gregory Alan Isakov–been wanting to see him for years

Punch Brothers

Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito of Champions ft. scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, cheese, and salsa

Vegan Scrambled Tofu Wrap

BBQ Tempeh Wrap w/ Kale Salad

Matisyahu–sad to have not seen him when he was Hassidic…but was still an **incredible** show. Danced my butt off.

Fire-breathing Dragon Sculpture

And that’s a wrap! (Speaking of wraps, I hope I don’t have to eat a flour tortilla anytime soon–too many wraps at FloydFest…) Not sure if we’ll go back next year, but I thought it was incredibly fun, even if I didn’t get to stay out at the bonfire as late as I’d hoped to. Gotta love friends and food and music and plenty of adult beverages.  And, speaking of which, I’m eying The Festy this year.  I’d won passes from a fellow VA blogger two years ago for the first Festy, but couldn’t go (gave them to a friend instead).  This year’s line up looks really fun.  Any of you guys thinking about it?

Let me know if you have any suggestions for the site–I’d love to hear them!–and if you’re in the market for a great graphic designer, be sure to talk with Josh!

10 Responses to “Site Design, #NoBuy August, & FloydFest”
  1. Jaclyn says:

    I’m pretty sure Matisyahu came to Emory while we were both there!

  2. trisha says:

    Hey, I’m a new follower of your blog. I like the new layout! Also, I second the NoBuyAugust rule, and I wish I could follow it if I weren’t traveling. Wraps and kale salad all the way.

  3. No-buy August is a great idea… Incredibly challenging, but an admirable quest. I couldn’t even go a week without buying anything, what with constant prop shopping for photography assignments, but I’m dying to hear how your month goes! I wish I could participate- I’m sure my wallet does, too.

  4. Renae says:

    Love the simplicity of the site re-design! I’m jealous you are able to even consider a no-buy August – I wish I had a garden like yours! Maybe I’ll try a no-buy week, although it would have to start after the farmers market one week and end before it the next!

  5. blueridgebluecollargirl says:

    Nice re-design, Jes…very clean. Floyd Fest looks like great fun. I like the Punch Brothers—I’ll bet they’re fun to see live. Good for you on the No-buy August!

    I love the photo of the sparks flying upward—lovely!

  6. adriennefriend says:

    Love the site redesign, adore the feed reader buttons. How offended would you be if I did that sort of thing at Crack the Plates? They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… ;-)

    I really do need to take a page from you on the feed reader. The only way I get to your blog (and the handful of others I enjoy) is by typing your name into the url bar and hitting enter. I have failed with feed readers in the past because I signed up to bulk lists (*cough*theVeganMofo*cough*) and while I found some good stuff, there was a lotta junk in there, too. I trust your vegan judgement and will be reviewing your list.

    I also 100% support no-buy august. I’ve been doing something similar only because cash was tight after vacation. I always support mindfulness around money!

    • Jes says:

      Oh gosh, girl, steal away! For serious, it’s the best! I no longer feel guilty about not updating my blogroll with Google doing all the work. Every time I add a new feed to my Reader, it adds it to the Bundle. So awesome! If you need any help with transitioning, let me know.

      As for the money, agh, it’s so hard but I’ve got to pull through. Good luck with your no-buying!!!

  7. Barbara says:

    I love your new site design, Jes. Clean and neat, and your photos look great! That fest looks like my kind of fun – such good-looking food, too. The pizza looks yummy. And I know what you mean about a “no-buy” month; with the garden in full swing, I am trying to stay out of the supermarket. Enjoy the rest of summer!

  8. I like the new site design (obviously I am behind on my blog reading!). It’s simple and clean – my favorite. And the bundles are a brilliant idea!

    Your #NoBuyAugust inspired my pre-wedding Restaurant Diet! I can’t avoid buying things completely right now, but I definitely need to curb my spending, so this is my compromise. Good luck with the rest of August – you’re half way there!

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