Blog Makeover: making it in the mountains has a WHOLE NEW LOOK!

Welcome to the all new making it in the mountains!

How to Redesign your Blog @ making it in the mountains

With the purchase of my own URL, I couldn’t help but start fresh with a whole new look!  It’s really SO important to me that making it in the mountains is a reflection of me.


Since I’m still a total newbie when it comes to all things blog, I started this overhaul by first researching the best ways to find a new look.  WordPress offers its users a ton of free theme templates that allow one to simply plug their information in to create their own blog, which is what I had been using since launching making it in the mountains.  For bloggers like me that are unfamiliar with coding, using a ready made template is really the only design option out there aside from hiring a professional web designer.  There are so many designers that really do amazing work – though someday I hope to work with one and I totally agree that the cost (we’re talking $500+) is worth it, I just couldn’t justify that expense this early in the game.  A ready made theme template is definitely a more affordable option; however, you are limited to whatever customization options that particular designer has chosen to include. Because I couldn’t find anything that really spoke to me within the WordPress choices, it seemed to me that my best option would be to purchase my own theme template from an outside source.


I came across a ton of articles describing various places that one could buy a theme, but this one by The Theme Foundry was the most helpful for me.  After checking out all of the theme marketplaces that were suggested, my favorite was The Creative Market (think Etsy for blog themes), simply because I felt that many of the styles matched what I had been picturing.

There was one designer in particular who’s style I was most drawn to, so I headed over to her website to look through all of her theme options.  Here were some of my favorites:

Her style was so similar to my own and I really did LOVE them all, but what really blew my mind was her attention to detail and her customization options.    Plus, every single one was a responsive template, which means that they all have the ability to adjust to mobile devices.  You can even tour each design!  She also has a ton of clip art and fonts for sale and even a few freebies.

For more information check out Angie Makes.

I finally settled on “the anna grace” template and, once purchased, it was instantly emailed to me in a zip folder attachment. Not only did it come complete with some super easy to follow instructions, but also a link to SO many useful videos that walked me through every single feature and the seemingly endless customization options.  Though it’s all still very new, I can’t say enough good things about my experience with my Angie Makes theme!  It really has been SUCH fun playing around with things and making everything look exactly as I had hoped!!!

I really couldn’t be more excited to finally unveil the new look of making it in the mountains after weeks of working on it!!!   I especially hope that I’ve made my brother Matt (computer programmer extraordinaire) proud!

Would LOVE to hear what you think of the new look!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.*

Happy Notes copy    

78 thoughts on “Blog Makeover: making it in the mountains has a WHOLE NEW LOOK!

  1. I LOVE your new look! It’s so cute and user friendly!

    I’m so amazed at your ability to manage it all…teaching AND being a wife and mother! I teach, too, and May seems to already be so busy!

    1. Thank you Amber!!! I’m only a teacher-on-call at the moment, but even then it’s definitely not easy to find the time to do everything! Enjoy your last couple of months before a well deserved break!

  2. Love the new look… like how its layed out and the colors are gorgeous! I especially like that you want to impress your brother, this should definately do it!!

  3. The site looks great! Congratulations on your .com! My brother started a blog yesterday, I told him it was a lot of fun and he reads mine on the regular. Happy Sunday!

  4. Your blog looks wonderful. BTW- I tried to follow you on Twitter, but when I click on the twitter icons it goes to my own twitter. Wanted to invite you to link up to Merry Mondays linky party.

    1. Thank you SO much Erlene! I suppose there are bound to be some hiccups with the switch, thanks for the head’s up about my Twitter link! I think I’ve got it all fixed up now 🙂

  5. I’ve been checking out Etsy for pre-made blog templates too, but I’ve been nervous to manage it on my own.Thanks for sharing these tips, maybe I can try to manage a new design 🙂

    1. I found a few that I liked on Etsy too and the prices were pretty good for most, but I did notice that not many were listed as “responsive”, so that’s definitely something to watch for. Also, make sure that they are kept current to avoid any issues on your end. Good luck Stephanie!!!

  6. Beautiful website!! Really love the feel! I too am a VERY new blogger and am probably going to need to consider looking for something that matches my personality better – as soon as I figure out what that is! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Your blog is very bright and pretty! I am a new reader but a long time blogger and up to now I have done all my own blog design–and it shows–lol! Someday I I’d like to try a professional blog re-make–but I never knew the prices were so expensive to do so. It looks like you found a good alternative!

    1. I think it’s really hard for the average blogger to get any sort of professional look without hiring someone in one way or another. I can’t speak for all blog themes available for purchase, but so far Angie Makes has been a dream for someone like me with no real coding knowledge! Good luck in your search Pat!

    1. Oh thanks! I grew up near the Rockies in Alberta!!! I live in the Kootenays now and it’s unbelievably wonderful here, but there is nothing like the Rocky Mountains!

  8. Looks amazing! I love seeing what blogs can do with WordPress. My blog needs a little love, will definitely come back here to look at those themes again! Thanks for sharing! #pintorials

  9. I found you over at Dwellings- The Heart of Your Home, where you had shared at Amaze Me Monday. Your new look is amazing and I’m going to save the info, because I know at some point, I will also want to change my look too. Thanks for sharing- I had no idea something like this was even out there!

    1. I’m SO glad that I could show you some options that you hadn’t known about! As a beginner, I didn’t really know much either, but Angie’s template made it so, so easy! And for every little question that came up or any extra customization, I was able to find a video tutorial on her site to help me figure it out. Thanks so much for popping over Judy! Have a fabulous week!

  10. I LOVE the new look! I am a HUGE fan of The Creative Market and buy graphics and fonts from there all the time.I use genesis for my theme, but if I ever switch I will definitely look into these.

    I noticed your server was down a few times when I tried to visit last week so I’m guessing that’s why – totally worth it! Thanks for sharing your creativity with The Makers!


  11. I found your blog through a link up, and the first thing I noted was how lovely your site looked. It’s simple but with such pretty details, I especially love the lace!

  12. Thanks for sharing this. I have considered redesigning my blog and looked at some of the etsy sellers, since I have an etsy shop, but have been too scared to attempt it. I just started my blog about a year ago and it took me about 6 months to get it the way I want and figure out the user features – widgets, etc.

    1. It’s SO tough to do when you don’t have any coding knowledge! Getting a theme package was definitely the right way to go for me and having a ton of extra video tutorials on how everything worked from Angie Makes was even better! Thanks for popping by Kimberlee!

    1. Thank you SO much! There were so many gorgeous options, it really was hard to choose, but I’m absolutely thrilled with the new look! Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Oh I don’t think I should’ve headed over to The Creative…now I want to redo my blog…lol. Thanks for sharing this info on Merry Monday.

  14. I totally agree with you that purchasing your own domain name is great feeling, but I just couldn’t bring myself to invest in a site design for a couple hundred dollars! Are any of these options more affordable and/or free? I will definitely be following up on your suggestions, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Most of what I was looking at was around $50-$70. There were many options, particularly on Etsy, as low as $20, but not all were responsive options and I wasn’t sure how inclusive or user friendly they were. I think there are a ton of choices out there for a low cost or even free, but you may not get the same features. For me, the $70 cost with Angie Makes was worth the extra customization options and the super helpful video tutorials that came with it! Good luck with your search!!!

  15. Love the look, very pretty and so feminine. Love it!
    Thanks for sharing on Let’s Get Real Blog Hop!

  16. Even though I’m on blogger still at the moment, I’m hoping the day will come when I make the switch to WP. I’m pinning this in case that does happen! Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Wind-Down party! =)

    Nicole from A Living Sacrifice

    1. I’m still so new at this and don’t know much, but I’m sure that switch won’t be an easy one – wishing you luck Nicole!!! Thanks for popping by and have a lovely weekend!

  17. Looks great! My blog template was also done by Angie Makes! I found her on Creative Market as well. I agree, it was so hard to choose a template because they are all so beautiful. I went with the Emma Daisy and love it. The video tutorials that she sends you after purchasing are so helpful! I also had some questions for her while putting it all together and she was so quick and helpful with her responses. If you are in the market of updating your blog, I would definitely recommend Angie Makes!

    1. It’s so great to hear that other bloggers had such a fantastic experience with her as well! It really is a fabulous way for the average blogger to be able to customize their look so easily!!! PS. Your blog looks FABULOUS!!!

  18. I love the new look and love the font. I’m in the process of getting a new design myself. So many to pick from!! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    1. Thank you so much! It’s really SO much fun to watch your blog transform into everything you’d hoped! Thanks for popping by Marti! Have a fabulous day!!!

    1. So exciting!!! Congratulations on a very successful and super fun first linky! Looking forward to following along with many more!!! Thanks Erlene!

  19. I found you through Merry Monday on Erlene’s site. Just wanted to say that your website design is adorable! I love the soft feel. I’m going to have to check out some of these templates you linked to.

  20. This is exactly what I needed. I have been wanting to redesign my blog for some time now. Thanks for sharing your experience. I will check out the info you mentioned. How long did it take to redesign your site? When you are redesigning your site will your site have a blank site or underconstruction page until it’s finished? Is this using or Sorry for all the questions. I’m new to this. Your post was very helpful. Bookmarked 🙂

    1. No worries at all, I’m happy to help as much as I can! All of Angie Makes Templates (and any other out there on the market) are for and will not work on This template is just a wordpress theme – it works just like the theme you are running now except that all of the work to make it pretty is done for you – so, you can install it within minutes. You could honestly play around with all of the features for hours, but everything should be working for you right at the beginning just as it was before you switched, though it’s always a good idea before any big change (even an update) to back up your blog just in case. Because different themes have different features, you may have to tweak you sidebar or top menus to make sure that everything is just the way you want it, but there shouldn’t be any major changes to anything. Angie has a tutorial for everything you could possibly want to do – I watched every single one to make sure that I was getting the most out of my theme. Every question you could possibly have is answered through her tutorials, which she sends with every purchase or her question boards and if it’s not, I’m sure she’d be happy to help through email! Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

I can't wait to hear your thoughts?