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Hmmm. A quick blog post just turned into an all night redesign session on my website.

I decided Ahhh-Design needed a bit of a refresh – surprise! Then I started wondering about all the hundreds of *refreshes* Ahhh Design has had over the years, little changes here and there. Below are some screenshots of the major changes. I bought the domain ahhh-design.com in 2005 to build a design portfolio to go along with my resume. My husband, then just a friend, helped me with the portfolio functionality and I hacked and hacked away at the CSS until it looked how I wanted it.


2007, August:

It stayed a portfolio until 2008 and blogging was really starting to take off for crafters. I’d had a Livejournal account for a few years but thought it was time to take the plunge! My DIY planner templates were also getting more popular and I wanted a place to organize them. First, I tried using the blog engine Chyrp. I ended up on WordPress though because of the large and very supportive community – great for someone just learning.

This was my 3rd WordPress theme customization, my first was in 2007. I also started working part-time for a web design firm in Jan of 2008 and was getting more and more comfortable with html/css and slicing up artwork.

2008, May:

I’ve always tried to not take this site too seriously, so it’ll stay a fun creative outlet. I make changes live so you might even stumble upon it looking like a total mess. As you can tell by these next screenshots, haha.

2009, March:

2009, April:

At this point I ditched Mimbo, the theme I’d learned on, for a new one. I wish I could remember the name… it’s heavily customized and doesn’t look much like the original. I was feeling much more comfortable with WordPress at this point and had created my first free theme for download!

2009, May:


In March of 2011 I custom built a new theme just for Ahhh Design – so proud! I’d also quit my job and started freelancing full-time, I think every job I’ve done through Little Bird has been WordPress. I LOVE WordPress, if you haven’t noticed. :)

2011, March:

2011, October:

And that leads us to today, the first refresh of 2012! May there be many, many more. Thanks for reading, xoxo.

2012, February:

Pinterest has a ‘Pin It’ button available for websites in the ‘Goodies‘ section now. It’s much like the Twitter and Facebook buttons you see EVERYwhere. I added a bit so you can use it in your WordPress theme.

With the following code this button can go on your index, single or archive pages – anywhere the WordPress loop appears. It will automatically pull the first image from the post to be pinned and link to the post’s permalink. The title of the post along with the website url will appear in the description field but can be edited before it’s posted.

Place this code in your template where you want the ‘Pin It’ button to appear – it should be inside The Loop.

<a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=<?php the_permalink() ?>&media=<?php echo pinterest_image() ?>&description=<?php the_title(); ?> on <?php bloginfo('url'); ?>" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">Pin It</a>

Place this script in your footer.php file, just before the closing tag.

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script>

Put the following code in your functions.php file.

function pinterest_image() {
  global $post, $posts;
  $first_img = '';
  $output = preg_match_all('/<img.+src=[\'"]([^\'"]+)[\'"].*>/i', $post->post_content, $matches);
  $first_img = $matches [1] [0];
  if(empty($first_img)){ //Defines a default image
    $first_img = "/images/default.jpg";
  return $first_img;

You can change /images/default.jpg to whatever you’d like. This image will be pinned if there’s not an image in the post.

Be really careful in your functions.php file, it’s a little touchier than what you might be used to. The first thing I ever broke in one was putting a space after the closing ?> – it’ll break your whole site! Always back up your files before you start changing things.

Easy as that, happy pinning!

P.S. Before you ask a question about your WordPress theme please do a quick google or codex search – If you still can’t figure it out ask away and I’ll try my best to help when I can!



Due to Pinterest’s huge popularity now, there are tons of plugins available that will do this for you. I just did a quick search and this one looks good. WP Beginner also shows a different method that doesn’t involve the function file.

Somebody needs to get busy! EEK! On your marks, get set… 3 days, 16 hours, 28 minutes, 32 seconds until the launch of birdthemes.com Follow @birdthemes on twitter for updates!

Cozy, quirky and weathered WordPress themes for small businesses, individuals and the soon-to-be married!

Sneak Peak:

Website Stencil Kit

JAWS wireframe

I got the above stencil from Sam for christmas, awesome! Researching wireframing techniques now, trying to get in web designing mode for a top secret project coming up in the next couple of months. The JAWS wireframe (left) is the most inspiring so far, by a four year old!

Made a few little changes to Paper, my WordPress theme –

Updates include cleaner code, better looking comments, new graphics and formatting on the date, tags and category, moved sidebar to footer for better SEO and a darker shade of gray in the background.

Paper.7- a wp theme

View the demo and download here


I’ve been working on littlebirdllc.com since last fall. Designed 10 different versions, coded about 6, started in Drupal and ended with WordPress. Do all designers have such a hard time designing their own business sites? It’s just never right, never cool enough, never finished. I decided on Saturday that this had gone on TOO long. Imagine my surprise when I actually came up with a design I liked right after deciding I just wanted to get something up? Design is funny like that. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s something. Thanks for reading!

Little Bird blog 590 Little Bird LLC 590

I spent about a million hours working on our wedsite, I’ve realized in the last couple of weeks that I might like making blogs more than I am like writing in them.

Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins

Take care of little humans,
stare at tiny computer,
scribble on paper,
Maker of DIY Planners and 🎨 artist; front-end web developer and designer well-versed in CSS & WordPress. Make music with RBK & as Love Morris. Check out littlebird.ahhh.co if you're interested in hiring me for WordPress dev. Subscribe to a newsletter I never send out. Connect on Instagram & Twitter.

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