Archive for June, 2014

Early Theme Adopters: Pictorico

Launched last month, Pictorico is a free theme that combines a dynamic portfolio-style home page with a simple, single-column layout for posts and pages. It’s great for pro photographers, casual photobloggers, and anyone who wants a sleek space for personal blogging.

Let’s take a look at a few sites using Pictorico:

A Feast for the Eyes

British blogger Issy shares recipes at A Feast for the Eyes, a name that perfectly captures the focus of the site: food and photography. Pictorico‘s front-page grid displays her mix of dishes beautifully — her images are crisp and bold, while her plate setups are stylish and carefully considered.

Issy sets featured images on individual posts, adding color and sophistication to the header area. She also takes advantage of the theme’s clean, single-column layout, letting her images shine on the page:

Ubuntu

The traveler and outdoor enthusiast at Ubuntu sets a wide custom header image, which changes the homepage look of Pictorico. The panorama of snowy, jagged peaks is the first thing you see, and captures the blogger’s wandering, adventurous spirit. Pictorico‘s custom header area accommodates images of at least 1180 pixels wide, so the visual effect is dramatic.

Shine Studios

New Zealand-based photographer Blair Quax of Shine Studios uses Pictorico to publish his wedding photography, much of which captures the beauty of Waiheke Island. The front-page portfolio design of Pictorico allows Blair to showcase distinct wedding day collections at a glance. Single post layouts are elegant and uncluttered, so the focus is entirely on the couples celebrating their special days.

Blair activates the theme’s post slider as well, which adds another layer to the front page:

More Pictorico examples

Visit the Pictorico page for details, other examples, and to preview or activate the theme.

Filed under: Community, Design, Themes, WordPress.com
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Veterans’ Blogs Offer a Glimpse into Life on the Front Lines

Last week was the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the start of the Allied landing in Normandy, France, that contributed to the end of World War II.

While some marked it with (deserved) pomp and circumstance, we observed it by reading the latest from some of our favorite veterans’ blogs on WordPress.com:

Carrying the Gun

Then-infantryman Don Gomez served two tours in Iraq with the US Army in the early 2000s. After a stint in graduate school and a dissertation on the experiences of Iraqi soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War, he re-upped and heads to Afghanistan later this summer as a Second Lieutenant.

carrying the gun

His blog, Carrying the Gun, is a mix of  thoughtful essays on everything from modern soldiering to women in combat to the transition from soldier to civilian. Sprinkled throughout are photos and letters from his Iraq deployments — a fascinating portrait of the life on the front lines.

O-Dark-Thirty

O-Dark-Thirty is a literary journal for veterans, current military personnel, and their families. Created by the Veterans Writing Project, it helps those who have served tell their stories — and makes sure those stories are accessible to the rest of us.

o-dark-thirty

The magazine is home to The Report, which publishes unedited fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and The Review, an edited quarterly journal presenting the best literary writing on the veterans’ experience. Browse the latest entries for a poetic take on the forgotten veteran, a fictionalized encounter between German and Russian troops, and a writer’s memoir of a day spent driving his wounded brother to yet another hospital.

O-Dark-Thirty accepts submissions year round — find their guidelines here — and the Veterans Writing Project holds workshops around the US.

Paving the Road Back

For many soldiers, especially those who have served in combat roles, returning to “regular” life brings a new set of challenges. In Paving the Road Back, psychiatrist and Warrior Wellness Unit director Rod “Doc” Deaton gives those who serve our veterans a deeper understanding of the stresses of this transition.

paving the road

Readers seeking information on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will find analyses of the ethics of PTSD diagnoses and the relationship between PTSD and other psychiatric disorders, along with the stories of real veterans (fictionalized, to protect their privacy). “Doc” also provides the transcripts of his podcast, “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” and a variety of additional links and resources.

For more reading, check out:

  • Firefight, blog of Rick Kurelo, who served with Canadian forces in Bosnia and Afghanistan and recently published a book on his experiences.
  • Fever Dreams, the official site of Brian Castner, Iraq veteran and author of the bestselling book The Long Walk.
  • Voices from Warwhich provides writing workshops for veterans interested in telling their stories.
  • Jason Lemieux, a former Marine and current human rights advocate.
  • True Boots, the blog of Army vet and frequent NPR guest Kristen Rouse.
  • From the Green Notebook, where current Army officer Joe Byerly discusses military life and leadership best practices.
  • Grand Blog Tarkin, a collaborative blog at the intersection of contemporary warfare and science fiction covering “the full range of war and warfare across the multiverse.”

Filed under: Community, Reading
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Early Theme Adopters: Gridiculous Pro

No matter whether you use WordPress.com to host your blog or your business website, premium theme Gridiculous Pro is a cool, sophisticated, and versatile theme that showcases your creativity.

Firefight

firefight

Rick Kurelo, CD, is a firefighter and Canadian Forces veteran of campaigns in Bosnia and Afghanistan. His site, Firefight — in addition to promoting his book of the same name — collects stories and photos of his time battling fires in Canada and chaos and conflict in theatres of war. The large compelling photo of Rick in full military battle gear, the commanding type, and muted color scheme emphasize the gravity of Rick’s work in the military and in the fire hall.

Delft Big Band

thebigband

Jazz lovers will swoon at the smooth clean lines and eye-catching masthead of Delft Big Band, a site for a South African jazz program offering music instruction to disadvantaged high school youth. This stripped-down iteration of Gridiculous Pro highlights the band’s upcoming performances and a photo gallery. You can even watch a recording of a live performance.

Aunty Muriel’s Blog

auntymuriel

Aunty Muriel is the alter ego and online persona of English literature professor and oboist Gaenor Burchett-Vass. Her site, Aunty Muriel’s Blog, collects her writings on the works of Scottish novelist Muriel Spark as well as her comic book, movie, and book reviews. Gaenor takes great advantage of Gridiculous Pro‘s homepage widget feature to help readers navigate to her Spark writings and reviews.

Interested in other looks for Gridiculous Pro? Check out:

  • clutter — a furniture store in Savannah, Georgia.
  • 2RETHINK — a Danish furniture company.

Filed under: Themes
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DAYDREAMING: NOVA SCOTIA

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CINEMAGRAPHS

{all cinemagraphs from cinemagraphcollection.com}

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Check out my ‘Fashion Talk’ feature on All Things Fashion DC!!

All Things Fashion DC featureI am soooo excited to share my interview with Barbara Collins of All Things Fashion DC.  Usually I’m the one doing the interviews, so it was quite refreshing for the tables to be turned for once.  Every time I reread the article, I feel my mother smiling down on me.  Thank you, All Things Fashion DC! xoxo

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Joanie Totes featured on the Answering TTP Foundation blog!

Joanie Totes featureWorking with the Answering TTP Foundation has truly been my therapy over the past few months.  I have channeled my grief and anxiety over losing my mother into something beautiful and meaningful in honor of my mother ~ Joanie Totes.  Learn more about the inspiration and story behind Joanie Totes over at the Answering TTP Foundation blog {here}.

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Fab Finds for Father’s Day at Saks + Get Cash Back with Ebates

Father's Day Gifts at SaksI’m bringing you one more post on fab finds for Father’s Day!  Since you still have the weekend to shop, I am sharing several designer wallets and tech accessories from Saks.  Ebates is offering 8.0% cash back on purchases + free shipping with code FREESHIP.  I will include more details on Ebates toward the end of this post.  You already know that Saks offers fabulous accessories at a higher-than-average price, however, some men require only the best of the best.

  1. Marc by Marc Jacobs Printed Mesh 13″ Laptop Case, Price: $88.00
  2. Prada Saffiano Camouflage Billfold Wallet in smoke, Price: $355.00
  3. Gucci Perforated Leather Web Chain Wallet, Price: $750.00
  4. Burberry Studded Bifold Wallet, Price: $475.00
  5. Y-3 Bifold Wallet, Price: $130.00
  6. Marc by Marc Jacobs Houndstooth Mesh Tablet Case, Price: $78.00

Here’s how Ebates works in a nutshell:

  • Sign up {here} – it’s FREE (no hidden fees and no strings attached).
  • Look up your favorite stores on Ebates (there are over 1,700!).
  • Start shopping! Ebates will list the percentage of cash back you will receive from your purchase based on the store.
  • You will receive a “big fat check” every three months.
  • Receive a “tell-a-friend” bonus (more cash back!) for sharing Ebates with your friends!

Note: This is not a paid advertisement.  I am a loyal Ebates customer.

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Fab Finds for Father’s Day at Nordstrom + Get Cash Back with Ebates

Father's Day Gifts at NordstromI’m back with more gift ideas for Father’s Day!  There’s nothing more attractive than a well accessorized man, wouldn’t you agree?  Nordstrom has a fantastic selection of mens’ bags so choosing my personal favorites was hard only because there were so many to pick from!  Here are my top fab finds:

  1. MARC BY MARC JACOBS Leather & Canvas Briefcase, Price: $348.00
  2. Herschel Supply Co. Pacific ‘Novel’ Duffel Bag, Price: $80.00
  3. Herschel Supply Co. ‘Novel Malibu’ Duffel Bag, Price: $80.00
  4. Jack Spade ‘Tech Oxford’ Slim Laptop Briefcase, Price: $398.00
  5. Ben Minkoff ‘Bondi’ Leather Backpack, Price: $255.00
  6. Ben Minkoff ‘Wythe’ Weekend Size Saffiano Leather Duffel Bag, Price: $450.00
  7. Herschel Supply Co. Woodland Camo ‘Ravine’ Gym Bag, Price: $65.00

Sign up with Ebates (and click on the Nordstrom link) to earn 6.0% cash back on your purchase!

Here’s how Ebates works in a nutshell:

  1. Sign up {here} – it’s FREE (no hidden fees and no strings attached).
  2. Look up your favorite stores on Ebates (there are over 1,700!).
  3. Start shopping! Ebates will list the percentage of cash back you will receive from your purchase based on the store.
  4. You will receive a “big fat check” every three months.
  5. Receive a “tell-a-friend” bonus (more cash back!) for sharing Ebates with your friends!

Note:  This is not a paid advertisement. I am a loyal Ebates customer.

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Fab Finds for Father’s Day at Nordstrom + Get Cash Back on Purchase with Ebates

Father's Day Gift Ideas at Macy'sFather's Day Gifts at NordstromI’m back with more gift ideas for Father’s Day!  There’s nothing more attractive than a well accessorized man, wouldn’t you agree?  Nordstrom has a fantastic selection of mens’ bags so choosing my personal favorites was hard only because there were so many to pick from!  Here are my top fab finds:

  1. MARC BY MARC JACOBS Leather & Canvas Briefcase, Price: $348.00
  2. Herschel Supply Co. Pacific ‘Novel’ Duffel Bag, Price: $80.00
  3. Herschel Supply Co. ‘Novel Malibu’ Duffel Bag, Price: $80.00
  4. Jack Spade ‘Tech Oxford’ Slim Laptop Briefcase, Price: $398.00
  5. Ben Minkoff ‘Bondi’ Leather Backpack, Price: $255.00
  6. Ben Minkoff ‘Wythe’ Weekend Size Saffiano Leather Duffel Bag, Price: $450.00
  7. Herschel Supply Co. Woodland Camo ‘Ravine’ Gym Bag, Price: $65.00

Sign up with Ebates (and click on the Nordstrom link) to earn 6.0% cash back on your purchase!

Here’s how Ebates works in a nutshell:

  1. Sign up {here} – it’s FREE (no hidden fees and no strings attached).
  2. Look up your favorite stores on Ebates (there are over 1,700!).
  3. Start shopping! Ebates will list the percentage of cash back you will receive from your purchase based on the store.
  4. You will receive a “big fat check” every three months.
  5. Receive a “tell-a-friend” bonus (more cash back!) for sharing Ebates with your friends!

Note:  This is not a paid advertisement. I am a loyal Ebates customer.

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