Jaws Meets Jane Austen: Welcome to the New Angie Away

If you’ve been on this journey with me since I started blogging about my adventures as Big Apple Angie in 2006, you will appreciate more than anyone just how far I’ve come since that rough and tumble little Blogspot I used to have. A few redesigns, and quite a few years later, I think I’ve finally found my home! This is the ultimate upgrade and it feels like the journey from my Hell’s Kitchen apartment into a beautiful brand new house. (Art imitates life!) If you’re new to my corner of the Internet, welcome to shiny, sparkly, redesigned AngieAway.com!

During a surface interval on a dive trip to Bonaire with Kristin and Alex last summer, they raved about their experiences with Hannah and Lee from Further Bound. Kristin was in the process of redesigning her award-winning site with them, and as I peeked at some of the previews of her new pages, I knew I wanted in. Angie Away has become more than just a blog where I tell my tall tales. It’s evolved into a platform that encompasses my whole life – work, fun and everything in between, and I needed my site to reflect that.

So in the midst of completely changing my entire life by getting married and buying a new house, I also did an HGTV-level redesign flip of Angie Away. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do the flipping by myself. I enlisted the Extreme Makeover Home Design team of the blog world, Further Bound, to make it happen.

Now… the Further Bound team is a hot commodity, and you don’t just start a project with them on demand. I booked into their calendar last summer for a February start date. In the months between – the months while I was wedding planning, traveling, dealing with post-wedding drama, coordinating events, conferences and influencer programs, writing a zillion articles and buying a house, mind you – I worked closely with Hannah to come up with the aesthetic you’ll now see carried out on the pages of Angie Away.

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Welcome to the New Angie Away

Welcome to the New Angie Away

But first I had to figure out what I wanted… and since I wear so many different hats, I didn’t know where to start. Now that I’m doing so many things, from DIY and crafts to PR and social media consulting to being a wife – and still traveling the world as always – I wanted the site to reflect that. I needed easy navigation and a pleasing visitor experience – that was a priority.

I wanted readers to find the answers they seek quickly and in one place and I wanted my content to be easy to find, not buried away. And I wanted it all to be uncluttered and clean, feminine without being too girly, youthful but also grown up, global and also down-to-earth.

As I grow as a person, I want Angie Away to come with me in a way Big Apple Angie never could. (Unless she stayed in NYC forever. And enjoyed talking about herself in the 3rd person.)

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I also knew that I wanted to encapsulate more than just my travels, and that’s where the “roots & wings” comes in. Isn’t it funny that the travel writer – the wings – married a tree surgeon – the roots – and now that is my lifestyle? You’ll see hints of “roots and wings” all over the site, but there’s a particularly helpful explanation over on my new ABOUT page. Not exactly a linear request, but Further Bound was up for the challenge!

Hannah really helped me dig in to find the crux of all my wants, needs and interests to translate it into something visually appealing, fun and navigable. I appreciated how quickly she was able to peg my personality and writing style and turn that into a brand look and feel that just works. Over the course of several months, a couple of Skype conversations with Hannah and a few mood boards on Pinterest, she created a look and feel that really fits the Angie Away vibe.

We affectionately dubbed it “Jaws meets Jane Austen.”

Welcome to the New Angie Away

Before

Welcome to the New Angie Away

After

So what’s new around here? Almost everything! I rewrote all the landing pages and content so even if you’ve been here since August 2006 when Big Apple Angie started blogging, or December 31, 2010 when I left for my RTW adventure and Angie Away took flight, you’ll find lots of new nuggets to entertain you. Jane Austen quotes are sprinkled throughout along with Southern cordiality and a hint of sparkle.

It’s hard to choose a favorite part of this new design, but the logo is up at the top of the list. I wanted to show, not tell, as they say over and over in journalism school. I needed something that evoked the movement and energy of travel without shouting it – so no airplanes or trains or suitcases for me. In the end, we came up with the round shape, reminiscent of a globe; a vintage-inspired font to add a bit of historicity; a tagline that encompasses my international sensibilities and my girl next door nature; and the cherry on top – shark fins as the letter A!

Welcome to the New Angie Away

Welcome to the New Angie Away

Welcome to the New Angie Away

Welcome to the New Angie Away

Welcome to the New Angie Away

EXPLORE AWAY

From the new homepage, you can now navigate quickly to:

  • The BLOG, with access to the latest and greatest stories
  • TRAVEL, a landing page for HOME (U.S.) and AWAY (International) destinations
  • LIFESTYLE, the gateway to DIY, Faith, Reviews, Wellness, etc.
  • MEDIA SAVVY, where I put my PR and social media expertise to work with content about press trips, blogging and influencer campaigns
  • PRESS, a selection of TV segments, published articles and interviews
  • TIPS, the door to Packing, Budgeting, Adventure, Volunteering, Movie Locations, Road Trips and so much more
  • SHOP, which houses the many ebooks and guides I’ve been longing to write

I also have a gorgeous new media kit available from my WORK WITH ME page; the ANGIE LIVE page where all my social accounts are updated in real time; all your FAQs answered in one easy spot; and a RESOURCES page where I’ve compiled all the goodies, from luggage to technology – that I use to keep this global life going. It was so much work, but I’m so, so pleased with how it all turned out!

So here we are in the newly designed, pretty, effervescent online world of Angie Away. It’s my hope that you’ll find it familiar enough to immediately make yourself at home, but also shiny and new enough to entice you to explore on your own.

There’s a huge backlog of work ahead to reformat my archive of 700+ posts to fit the new design, so please bear with me while I tackle that over the coming weeks. Earlier versions of Angie Away were created prior to the invention of responsive design, so I need to devote some TLC on older posts to bring them into this shiny new world.

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Welcome to the New Angie Away

Welcome to the New Angie Away

And I have new photos, too! These come courtesy of my super-talented little sis and her BFF/roommate Cheyenne, who braved the February cold to shoot the main images you see throughout the site. I’ve long-known I’d be lost without my sis, but so too would the new Angie Away.

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SUBSCRIBE AWAY

In addition to prettying up the pages and infusing some much-need jazz into the content, I’m making it super easy to get Angie Away updates in your inbox. (Every other blogger in the world already has this set up, but evidently I was standing behind the door when they explained how to do it, so Further Bound did it for me.)

I’ve been alluding to an epic giveaway for months now, so here are the details. If you’ve been following the blog lately, you’ve likely seen quite a few posts about my experience on the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer. Based on your reactions, you are all ready to pack a bag and board the train yourself. So I’m making it happen for one lucky reader and a guest!

Sign up to receive Angie Away in your inbox between today and May 31, 2016, and you’ll be entered to win a trip for two on the Rocky Mountaineer train – yes, the one National Geographic calls one of the World’s Greatest Trips – in glorious GoldLeaf Service. The winner will be able to select either Journey through the Clouds or First Passage to the West. Thank you, Rocky Mountaineer, for making this great giveaway possible!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS

A 2-day rail offering of winner’s choosing – on either Journey through the Clouds or First Passage to the West, pending availability.

  • 2 day Rail in GoldLeaf Service for two
  • Overnight accommodations in Kamloops
  • Winner is responsible for airfare, hotel accommodations pre/post rail portion, excursions and transfers.
  • USA residents only. Valid for 2016 season.
  • Approximate value of the trip is: USD $4,460.00

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your feedback on the new look. Now that it’s finally done, I’ll be napping on the back porch for the rest of the day if you need me…

COME AWAY WITH ME!
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  • May 08, 2016

    Yay, it’s finally here! Working with you on the new iteration of Angie Away has been such an incredible journey. You’ve been wonderful to work with, and we’re so grateful to you for trusting us with the role of matching your brand to your personality – it’s great to finally see your website sparkle just as much as you do. We hope you will be very happy in your new online home! Cheers to you 🙂

  • May 08, 2016

    Yay yay yay yay yay! I’ve been waiting for this for so long. And it was well worth the wait, too. Well done to all of you!!!
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..California Road Trip: Lazy Days on the PCHMy Profile

  • May 08, 2016

    Looks great! My site is well overdue for an update. Maybe this year!
    Caroline Eubanks recently posted..Caroline in the City Guide to MiamiMy Profile

  • May 08, 2016

    Your site looked good before but now it looks incredible! Hannah did an amazing job putting together your vision 🙂

    By the way, you and your sister are super cute in that beach photo 🙂

  • May 08, 2016

    Really, really beautiful! The colour scheme is perfect – soft, welcoming, and sort of magical. I love it!
    Lauren Bishop recently posted..A Land of Temples: Northern ThailandMy Profile

  • May 09, 2016
    Ashley

    The site looks absolutely amazing! The page is beautiful and your pictures are as well! So very happy for you 😊

  • May 09, 2016
    Morgee

    So proud of you, Ang! LOVE this new site, it’s just perfection!

  • May 10, 2016

    The redesign is stunning! Love.

  • May 10, 2016

    Great new look. Did you do the gold coloring on the site? I am trying to get that color for a class project. Thanks.
    Charles Kitchton recently posted..Tualatin Crawfish Cook OffMy Profile

  • May 11, 2016

    Loved your photos and updates from the Fathom cruise to Cuba. Love looking at your redesigning website. Best to you. Travel Happy!
    Charles McCool recently posted..5 Minutes With Darley NewmanMy Profile

  • May 11, 2016

    What a beautiful new blog Angie! Congrats xx

  • May 12, 2016

    Beautiful! Congrats!!

  • May 14, 2016
    Patty D

    What a phenomenal job you’ve been doing I love your new site ❣. All the Best!!!!

  • May 16, 2016

    Wow! This is a gorgeous site! It really looks amazing. Congrats on the change! I love it!

  • May 24, 2016

    Just signed up to receive Angie Away in my inbox! Really enjoyed the webinar you gave today for FPRA.

  • July 10, 2016

    I realized I never left my congrats on this gorgeous new redesign that I still get excited about every time I open one of your new posts! It really is the perfect home for Angie Away <3 And this coming from a girl who has been a loyal reader since the days when you had that photo collage header 🙂
    Alex recently posted..Hotel Crush: Bangkok Tree HouseMy Profile

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