Archives for the month of: January, 2011

. . . than never. That’s been the theme behind the entire website launch. I think it’s only appropriate that I waited a bit to blog about it too.

After a few missed deadlines, I had just accepted the fact that the website would come to fruition on it’s own time.  What’s that saying again? Good things come to those who wait? Well. That’s definitely the case. The previous website was a little rough. It had been transferred from server to server and with each move little bits and pieces kept getting lost. Because Hagen’s didn’t have the knowledge before I came into their lives, they just left it as is. As soon as I started here I cleaned up the previous website as much as I could but based upon the numbers of calls from frustrated customers that I was receiving, I knew that it really just needed an overhaul.

While Hagen’s is simply a division of Mitchell Manufacturing – we still have personal one-on-one customer service that rises above anything our competitors have to offer. I started conveying that last fall when the 208 page catalog received a complete overhaul by implementing a natural color palette, friendly yet bold fonts, consistent item tables, and simple how-to guides.

With this foundation firmly set, designing the new website came together relatively easy. I knew that I wanted it super simple with two forms of navigation along the top and side. I also wanted the links to be one-dimensional. Meaning – when they click the link that says “How-to Videos” that’s exactly what they get. There isn’t any need to dig on our website.

While the main design was relatively simple – the shopping cart aspect was a completely different beast. Initially it sounded like it would be relatively simple – however my boss and I knew that it was definitely going to be easier said than done. When you have up to 20k in sku numbers that aren’t all in one solid database, that’s never a programmers dream. But the folks at Gage E-Services took the challenge head-on and definitely outdid themselves. I know that there were a lot more hours put into the shopping cart then they had anticipated – but my goodness! It was well worth it in my opinion. It is relatively easy to navigate – with consistency around every corner. Exactly what we wanted!

Head over and check it out!

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It appears I have been neglecting the blog lately – but it’s all for good reason! This is soon going to be all bright and shiny. It was supposed to launch on January 1st – but because it is so incredibly awesome it has been delayed a bit. Until then – I leave you with this teaser:

* * * Please beware. Picture and reading overload may happen * * *

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December 24th – Christmas Eve
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I don’t know why but this Holiday Season was ultra-special for me this year. It started on Christmas Eve by going ice skating. Please note: I am not the most coordinated person in the world – but I still had a blast! The parentals, mini-family (Grant, Andrea and Carson), Jeremy, Dusty and Tony all took part in the festivities. We went to McKennan Park where they have an outdoor rink. For $1 we were able to rent skates and skate our hearts out. Only $1 people!! Amazing!

After that we headed to Grandma Brown’s, visited her dancing bear and sang a quick “Happy Birthday.” Then we headed back to the mini-family’s home – but not without a few stops to get a few more treats and snacks – since my mother and I didn’t think we had enough food to fuel ourselves after that intense workout (we skated a maximum of maybe 45 minutes. Totally felt the burn though! haha.)

Please note: When we arrived at the mini-family’s house earlier that afternoon we had 2 HUGE containers of soup, 1 tin FULL of puppy chow, 1 ENORMOUS cookie tray (filled with Cake Balls, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies, Snickers cookies and Peanut Butter cookies), a GIGANTIC bowl of fruit and a MASSIVE relish tray. I’m quite certain there was more – I just can’t remember it all.

Before we left for ice skating 75% of the cookie tray was gone, a good portion of soup eaten and massive amounts of Puppy Chow had been consumed. After exerting ourselves as much as we did ice skating, the mother asked the father to stop at Lewis – where the mother and I then proceeded to buy a package of lunch meat, a massive container of pre-made sugar cookies, (Yes, we bought sugar cookies despite the Baking Day festivities that took place just a few weeks prior – in addition to the fact that both my mother and I have had intense sugar cravings basically the entire month of December) about 10 pounds (literally) of bulk chocolates, a 6 pack of Shiner Cheer Beer and another 6 pack of sampler beers. Well – we still didn’t feel that the one package of lunch meat would be sufficient – so when we saw Sunshine Foods was open mother once again asked the father to make a quick detour. Luckily all we walked out of there with was a huge meat and cheese tray. Of course there were leftovers (ahem, not many, ahem) but man-oh-man we definitely would have starved if we wouldn’t have stopped. ;)

After food consumption – there was gift opening. There were lots of amazing gifts – and hopefully I’ll post a few pictures of the gifts I made for my family very soon – particularly the 2011 Calendar I made for the parentals as well as the mini-family. I was so blessed to receive a new point-and-shoot digital camera (from the parentals) and an amazing perfect purple coat (from the boy!) I wanted both of these things, desperately, but if you know me – I’m cheap – and would never buy these things for myself. Couldn’t have asked for better gifts.

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December 25th – Christmas Day
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This year we hosted the Johnson Family Christmas (as you probably remember from this post) at the farm. I’m going to be quite honest – I was rather run-down and ragged for this get-together (turns out this day was a warning sign that I would be sick in the near future) but I did attempt to start the day out strong.

The morning started with an Egg Bake and some Caramel Rolls that J-Dawg and I put together the night before. All I can say is, “Holy Yum!” A lazy morning followed that – and then the Johnson’s showed up. There aren’t any pictures to document the events of the day – but they included: Eating tons of delicious food, a (few) viewing of “A Christmas Story”, nap time, a white elephant exchange, lots of giggles and laughs and (of course) more consumption of delicious food.

After the family left – the father started up the 4-wheeler for some sledding excitement! Despite a few wipe-outs and frozen fingers, we all survived unharmed and had a blast.

After some recuperation, more napping and some consumption of leftovers – we finished off the evening with a good ol’ fashioned game of Sequence. If you know our family – we are not a game family. At all. But we proceeded to play Sequence and eventually that turned into a beer taste testing session as well. Remember the sampler beers we bought at Lewis the night before? We had taste-testing cups and we all got a little portion to drink. It was really fun! J-dawg and I proceeded to dominate the game (Okay – I think we actually only won by one match – but a win is still a win. haha.) then around midnight we decided to call it a day.

Like I said before – this year just had extra-special, good vibes streamed throughout the Holiday weekend.  :)

I have no idea what is in store for 2011 – and that couldn’t make me happier. : )