Welcome to 2011!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's celebration!

As you may have noticed, I've made some awesome changes around the blogstead.  That's my new word for the blog... it's like a homestead, but with a blog instead.  You get the point... anyhoo...

I've been debating.  To Wordpress or not to Wordpress.  To have my own domain or not to have my own domain.  The Thesis theme seems to be the way to go if you are opting in with Wordpress.org.  And I suppose for $87, it's a pretty good deal, but it's a lot of money for someone like myself who doesn't really know too much about that kind of stuff.

One of the biggest issues I've run into is finding that perfect domain name.  Nearly all that I've considered are taken.  Or were previously taken and no longer in use so therefore I'm not allowed to use it either.   So I've decided to just stay were I am.  I really do love it here.  Not to mention that it's FREE here!  If I DO decide to go with my own domain I can do it right through Blogger and they will automatically redirect everyone... for $10 whole dollars a year.  Seriously.

Here's what I did.  I decided to go with the basic "Simple" layout through Blogger's new Template Designer.

Next I chose a layout.  The good thing about the designer is that you have tons of choices when it comes to what type of layout you want.

3-column, single footer
Column and blog widths...

Total width: 1000px, left sidebar 230px, right sidebar 210px.
Backgrounds colors...

Outer: transparent, Main: #ffffff, Header: transparent.
Link colors...

Link color: #63ab62, Visited: #63ab62, Hover: #00a392
Now that's all the simple stuff.  Easy peasy chicken greasy that was.  However, if you use Blogger you've probably noticed that when using the Pages widget you have no choice but to have your pages aligned on the left side of the page.  Until now!  Did you notice that my pages were centered?  You can do that too by just entering in a simple snippet of code into the "Add CSS" option of the template designer.

Copy the following code:

.PageList {text-align:center !important;}
.PageList li {display:inline !important; float:none; !important;}

Then just paste into the "Add CSS". Viola! Pages=centered!

Have you ever wanted to have a different background on your pages?  Take a look at any of my other pages.  See how they have different background colors?  Awesome, right?

I did have to do a little tweaking of the "wrappers" under the HTML tab to ensure that the sidebars and body were white, but again a nice little snippet of code that was easy to add gave my pages different backgrounds. I found it over at Kevin & Amanda.com!

Above the < /head> tag, add the following code:

<b:if cond='data:blog.url == &quot;http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/p/PAGE.html&quot;'>


body {

background-image: url(http://DIRECT_LINK_TO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE.com/IMAGE.JPG);background-position: center; background-repeat:repeat; background-attachment: fixed;




Obviously you will need to add this code for every page whose background you wish to change. Also you'll need to change "http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/p/PAGE.html" to your page URL. And "http://DIRECT_LINK_TO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE.com/IMAGE.jpg" to the link to the background of your image.

I chose to just use color instead of an image. I just deleted "-image: url(http:the url.jpg)" and added in the hex color code such as #000000. Don't forget to add the semi-colon after the number like this #000000; .  Now I have a nice, clean, simple blog layout!  Yay me!

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