Happy Monday, everyone, did you have a nice weekend?
I spent the past few days at the Deere Valley Resort in Park City, Utah for a food blogger conference! I’d never been to Utah before and to say it’s beautiful is an understatement. I took a bajillion photos of this view from the balcony of the house we stayed in, which I had to scale at one point to get us in after forgetting a key to the front door. You know how much I love me a good mountain view and climb!
Over the course of a few days the ladies and I talked all things food blogging, had a chocolate and wine pairing with Lindt USA’s Master Chocolatier,
participated in a running lesson from the young founder of Altra Running that 100% inspired me to get back in the game, (tips I picked up: keep shoulders back and lead with your hips, relax your feet, fists should never pump in front of your hips – think chicken wing form, and take shorter strides,)
did a little bit of shopping, and ate, ate, ATE. I don’t think I got hungry once the entire time I was out there!
Working as a blogger is a unique occupation in that most of us are without co-workers, so getting together with peers always leave me feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world. (Thank you Liz for the great Insta-memory!)
Something else giving me tingly feelings? The brand new Iowa Girl Eats website is launching TOMORROW, Tuesday 10/27! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this redesign has been two years in the making and I’m unbelievably excited (giddy, in fact!) to finally share the new IGE branding, website design and slick new site features. My biggest challenges with the current site was that content was being lost to the archives and recipes were incredibly hard for you guys to search for. Challenge no more.
Since the new site is much different than the current one, I wanted to introduce a few fun features before it launches, starting with the homepage. First and foremost, the homepage highlights my new logo and branding, which underwent a complete overhaul. I think the colors and fruit/vegetable stamps are fresh, fun and inviting, and hope you agree!
The new homepage also has several options for viewing recipes and blog posts. If you want to see the latest blog post, click on the large left-hand image with the green overlay at the top, or click on the “Blog” link within the main navigation. Below that is an area to sign up for my weekly newsletter and/or new post email notification, and below that is a little bit about me, in case you’re new to Iowa Girl Eats.
There’s an area underneath that where you can scroll between the four most recent posts, popular posts on the site, and popular pinterest posts. Scroll by clicking the grey arrows at the end of each color block.
Below that is a couple highlighted posts, categories to easily find content like Family posts, Friday Favorites, Workouts (I decided to keep ’em!) and Recipe Roundups. Also in this area you’ll find icons for recipe categories like gluten-free, 30 minute meals, vegetarian, etc, that you can click on to quickly find all the recipes that fit within the category. Super easy!
The feature I’m most excited about is the Recipe Finder widget that’s going to help you, wait for it, find recipes. In a red hot jif, in fact! The recipe finder feature is at the top of the homepage and in the sidebar of blog posts. To use it, click within a “key ingredients”, “courses” or “special diets” field then start typing and, when you see your keyword pop up, click it.
Hit “Find My Recipe” when you’re done then the recipes matching the criteria you’ve searched for will appear. You can use one or all search fields, and type in as many search criteria as you want. The more criteria you search by, the more refined the results, making it very easy to find a dish you want to cook!
The brand new Recipe Index is the heart of the site, which you can access by clicking “Recipe Index” in the main navigation. Here you can enter even more search criteria to find recipes such as ingredients you have in the house, what type of course you’re looking for (breakfast, appetizer, etc.) special dietary restrictions, recipe difficulty, and more. You can also find popular posts, Pinterest favorites, and a few more categories to find recipe inspiration.
The post pages will look a bit different, too. As you probably know, I like to write a little bit about life here on IGE, at least every Monday with a recap of fun weekend activities, but if you’re looking to skip right down to the recipe, click “Jump To Recipe” at the top of the post, and you’ll be taken directly to the recipe – pretty cool, right? Next to it is a “Print Recipe” button to print the recipe out on one page.
The top of the post also includes icons that tell you what kind of recipe it is – gluten-free, 30-minute, low carb, etc. – which are clickable to find other recipes in that category. As always, the Recipe Finder widget will be next door in the sidebar if you want to skip over the post and find a different recipe.
The change I think we’re all ready for though? A brand new, easy to use mobile website! The majority of you visit Iowa Girl Eats on a mobile device, so I wanted this experience to be as fun and painless as possible. I think you’ll love the smooth and easy-to-navigate site a lot.
Of course none of this would be possible without my incredible designer and developer, both of whom I’d recommend in a heartbeat. A redesign/development process can be a long and stressful one and, while this was a ton of work, these ladies made it fun and exciting.
My website and new branding designer was Megan Gray. I told Megan no less than 500 times that she just “gets it”, and really thinks outside the box. She was/is a joy to work with!
My developer is Kristin Falkner. Kristin is a work horse (not literally, of course!) a fantastic communicator and above all, a crazy talented developer. Everyday felt like Christmas when I’d get an update on how development was going.
All that said, please consider giving either of these ladies your business if you are looking for a beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind blog or website, no matter the niche or topic!
So, that’s my brief introduction to the brand new, beautiful Iowa Girl Eats dot com! I hope you have fun clicking around and exploring the new digs. As I mentioned, the new site will be going up on Tuesday, and it could take a few hours for it to start showing up on your computer or device. New sites come with new, unforeseen challenges, so if you see any glitches or bugs, I would be so grateful if you’d take a moment to let me know by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your patience as we get the new site up and rolling tomorrow, but more importantly, thank you for reading. I have the best readers on the interwebs and want IGE to be a fun and inspirational website for YOU to visit and cook from every day.
That said, I’ll catch you on the flip side – have a wonderful start to your week!