Humphries Nation {Redesign}

Have you ever looked at a mess for so long that it just became part of your life? You are not happy with it, but it has just kind of settled there? That is how I have felt about my family blog, Humphries Nation, for around a year now.

I even spoke at EVO this year with my blog not being what I wanted it to be. Ugh.

There are some changes being made with Jula Studio and I just felt changing the look of my personal blog needed to be one of those changes. Kind of like when you cannot work until your room is clean.

So here is the lowdown on Humphries Nation:



Platform:: Blogger to Self Hosted WordPress

Humphries Nation was originally on Blogger and lived there for a year or so. In December of 2009, it was moved to self-hosted WordPress. The previous design was done on Thesis. It had different backgrounds, but has had a white background for a couple of years. I like the clean look.


Theme:: Thesis

I really liked Thesis when I started doing web design and loved the user friendliness of it. I wanted to have a low maintenance site so I could really use it to learn for other projects.



Platform: Self-hosted WordPress

Theme:: Luscious by StudioPress {on Genesis Framework}

I knew when I changed my design I would go with StudioPress and leave Thesis. The problem? I could not decide which one to use. I have worked with several themes but ultimately decided on Luscious. I have not worked with the theme before and wanted to have another StudioPress theme under my belt.


Color Inspiration:: Pinterest Pin

I have a board on Pinterest for some website inspiration for colors. This one has been popping out at me for months. I loved the color combo of the blues and grays.


Holiday Sale at Jula

Happy Fall every one!

Well Texas is finally getting cooler and I have even had to break out the jacket every now and then! Life has been throwing me all kinds of curveballs lately but I am making adjustments and so thankful for each of you who have been clients of mine.

I was wondering what I could do for a little holiday promotion for Jula this year and decided to jump in and do a big one! So from now until the end of the year (December 31, 2011) you can have a Self Hosted WordPress (.org) Blog or a website for a whopping %50 off!

It is a pretty big promotion for me as I am not setting a limit to the amount of projects to schedule. I am looking forward to meeting new clients so tell your friends who need an overhaul of their WordPress {.org} site or are needing a new site done to come by Jula!

Be back soon!

Here are few of the wonderful clients I have had the honor to work with {You may recognize them!}

{Parenting Pink}

{The Toy Insider}

{Time Out Mom}

iOS 5 Update

iOS 5

 photo from


iOS 5

The big thing over the past few days is the iPhone iOS 5 “update.” Awesome right? The new features are great. Well, along with that awesomeness have been some upset users as they have seen their apps disappear, music gone, contacts went poof, and worse, their photos were wiped from their computer. I know people that had these happen when they did the update and these are going to be few and far between, but when it happens to you it is a heartbreaking situation.


Always Backup

As new updates come out, they are great and really expand the use of our devices. It is amazing and I love it. But remember one little thing when you do any updates to your extended items.


Always do a backup of your computer before doing a major update like the iPhone had this past week. Take the time to do it even though you are so excited to have the latest and greatest. It is a good habit to get into every week or so anyway. Start the backup before work, then when you come home it does not take any time from your day and your computer is safe.


Jan Hales Designs


My cousin Jan Hales is an interior designer. She is a really talented young lady and we are so proud of her and what she has accomplished. She recently did a great room in a Louisiana home and the before to after view is amazing. I appreciate a good eye for detail and the ability to bring patterns and colors together. Jan does both and she puts her heart and soul into her projects.


Steve Jobs…

Thank you Steve Jobs for inspiring.

This designer decided to take that leap to start her own business, because of visionaries like you.

Jula’s Mutual of Omaha Aha Moment

A while ago I received an email from Mutual of Omaha to participate in the 2011 Aha Moment Tour. After I said yes, I watched other videos and then thought they were crazy for asking me!

I have not started a world changing organization or started a school for underprivileged children. I told myself all I have done is start a business. Then I thought about it…

It was taking the leap from “I could do that” to “I AM going to do that!” and I could fall flat on my face but I am jumping! I have the skills and the guts to do it and heck ya I am going for it.

I am so glad I jumped. Jula has brought so many opportunities to my life that would not have come my way without it. The people I have met and the designs I have created have made me a better person and designer. I love this job and love what I do.

What is YOUR Aha Moment?

WordPress Themes

There are a lot of questions out there about WordPress themes, what they are and why it is important to choose a certain one. Then…there are some clients that do not even know what a “theme” is and could care less. They just want a site up and running.

There are several free themes for and visually they are okay, I guess. Okay. I loathe them and refuse to work with them. They are a designers nightmare and are so restrictive.

I use Thesis and StudioPress (Genesis Framework) and here are the reasons why.



Over a year ago when I first started doing web and blog design, I worked primarily with the Thesis theme. Loved it.  Thesis is very user friendly and as a new designer trying to figure out WordPress and learning all about the wonderful world of coding, it was a great starting theme for me.

It is a perfect fit for the businesses who just need a no nonsense site up and running. If they need to just change the background because they have a new logo, just click a color and save. Many of the bloggers I work with use it as well because it allows them to get into their site without feeling like they are going to mess it up. They can make simple edits to the visual of their site and it is all laid out simply on the screen for the user.

One of the main negatives for the basic user is the need to access FTP files. A real bummer if you want to add, let’s say, your own header. But a minor tackle and you are on your way.

Thesis. Good theme. Used it often for people.








StudioPress (Genesis Framework)

StudioPress came into my design life early but it was just changing things to a live site. Then as I took the plunge into learning more about coding and taking my abilities to the next level, I looked at StudioPress more. Each theme is crisp and so professional looking. It takes your site to the next level visually and “under the hood.”

It is now my recommendation and go to theme for clients. I will lead a client towards these themes over Thesis any day of the week. The fact that the online “A-Listers” like Chris Brogan and Darren Rowse use StudioPress should also give you a second look.

Whether you are a church, photographer, business, or a mommy blogger, Studiopress has a theme that is custom for you. I not only really like the variety of themes that they offer, but I appreciate the fact that they are not limited and created by one person. Having so many contributors for the theme designs, every site looks unique. Jula Studio was designed with the Enterprise Theme.

But why listen to me? Go check them out for yourself!

So there it is. My two cents. Have more questions? Feel free to email me and I will answer any you have.

Welcome to the Re-launch for Jula!

Thank you!

Thank you for making this past year such an amazing experience for me. Just a little over a year ago, Jula started becoming a reality. I had dreamed of being able to be more in control of  my passion for design, and thanks to the support of my husband Amos, I took the plunge to start this little business.

I had high expectations for myself as a designer, as I always do in everything! But dang, was I a little nervous. The day I launched Jula I had my first client and all the form said was “Well, it’s about time! I’ve been waiting for you to do this. I need some things done…”

That client sent a referral the next week and that was it. I was hooked.

Even though I no longer take hours to send out an email (can anybody relate to revision after revision) out of fear of saying the wrong thing, I do still get that little nerve of “I hope they like this design as much as I do”. I also never imagined I would be able to meet the amazing people this little business has brought into my life. I have had the honor to work with businesses, entrepreneurs, moms, Military, non-profits, physicians, and so many others.

I look forward to another great year bringing out the best for your website or print work.


Talk soon!

Mariah Humphries