Monday, October 17, 2011

Check out my layout!

Sometimes bloggers casually throw a brand new, gorgeous layout onto their blog and everyone comments with their oohs & ahhs. Then the blogger is like, "Oh, this little thing?" Yeah, I'm not that sort of blogger.

You guys. LOOK AT MY NEW LAYOUT(!!). At the end of September, I sent the hilarious, cute & ridiculously artistic Suzy an e-mail with a couple basics + a really crappy drawing of a grilled cheese sandwich.

After a few exchanges, Suzy transformed my drawing into the best blog design ever. This is seriously the graphic I sent her:

You might be wondering what the significance of the iron and the grilled cheese is. One of my favorite movies of all time is Benny & Joon, starring Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Aidan Quinn. The movie is about Benny (Aidan Quinn) and his mentally ill sister Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), and the dynamic that is created when Sam (Johnny Depp) begins living with the siblings as the result of a wager in a poker game. (Despite Benny protesting, "You can't bet a human being!")

Suddenly, though, Joon and Sam are falling for each other. The scene where I squeal the most is when Sam makes grilled cheese sandwiches for Joon with an iron. (You can see part of the clip here.)

Benny & Joon is so quirky, passionate, and charming and I thought a tribute to one of my favorite movies would make a nice blog design.

I gave Suzy a deadline and some small guidelines, but I basically told her to run with it. I told her to have fun playing with the colors. And I ended the e-mail with "Hope to hear from you soon!" You know, because I was like, "Maybe she will run the other direction when she opens this e-mail with a numbered list of all the things I want."

Suzy watched Benny & Joon - as research! - and created & finished this beautiful layout several days before the deadline. Then, she thanked me, offered to throw in an About Me page, and installed the layout while I was sleeping! I mean, seriously.

It was a blast working with Suzy and it could not have gone smoother. She is absolutely brilliant and super sweet, and if you don't already read her blog, I suggest you click away from my pretty new layout and check her out. She said she had a lot of fun designing the layout, so if you have been considering a new layout (and feel as lost as I did here), Suzy is your girl.

Thank you so much, Suzy! I really appreciate everything you have done for me and like I said, it was phenomenal to work with you.

A couple more things, you guys. You can now grab my button and adorn your blog with it, if you would like. And if you want to read the back story on the name of my blog, click here.

A post about my step-sister's wedding will be up later today. Definitely come back!


  1. aw merritt. :D i'm so happy you're happy with it. i blushed through this entire post.

  2. I really love Suzy's drawings but I also really love that the grilled cheese + the iron was your own idea. It is so adorable.

  3. yay! I love Suzy- she's awesome. She did a great job on your layout!!

    Benny & Joon is one of my favorite movies of all time! I tell everyone that they need to watch it. =]

  4. @Suzy, I may or may not look at my blog from my phone during class just to see how cute the layout is in a miniature version.

    @Celeste, Pretty name! Thanks for the love. Suzy is brilliant!

    @Jamie, She did a fantastic job. If you need a layout, you know who to call. (Hint: the answer is not Ghostbusters.) Benny & Joon makes my heart swell. Greatest movie ever. Glad there are some Benny & Joon lovers in the house.

  5. Benny and June is such a heart-warming film. Especially when they're making the sandwiches. True love is a grilled cheese sandwich.