Ok, here is my two cents.
The design is more fresh and eye catchy, I love the way where you have "forced" us to read the BIG header which encloses the tagline "your one stop ladies branded shop" together with the emails. But I couldnt help to say that there are too much informative on the first page and I may get lost in some ways. I suggest that since My Dressing Barn is an online shop, it could be better if the products lead the sidebar rather than the Contest information and the adverts.
What I can recalled, last time the side bar consists both the brand name and also the categories which was lacking in this new design. Some of your potential customer may want to find the product based on the brand name and some may want to find based on the categories where the brand name is sometimes is not that important. In my point of view, the old concept is more easy friendly.
However, I love the side bar which shows what is the best selling for each category and in a way it could be the easiest way in promoting the products. Another thing that I like is that you are thinking on how to reduce the loading time of the blog contest by just showing the first few sentences of each of the stories. It was easier as the reader doesnt have to scroll down to look for everything.
I would suggest if you could add some testimonials and some feedback from the customers as these may increased the confident of the potential for the sincerity of the My Dressing Barn. and it would even be better if you get the feedback from the return customers. :)
I think thats all I can think about it as for now and this is my honest opinion for you :) Those who love to take part to this contest, you may visit http://mydressingbarn.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-dressing-barn-tell-us-what-you-think.html
Thanks and regards
Prize - Lip Gloss Victoria's Secret