A round up…of sorts!

We have just three posts left to share with you before 2012…THREE! For today’s post we thought we’d share some bits and pieces with you as 2011 draws to a close, a bit of a mish-mash of a post-perfect for a lazy ‘it’s almost Christmas so therefore I don’t have to do any work’ Thursday!

Firstly, we need to say a HUGE thank-you to each and every one of you who has let us tell your story on these pages. Anna said it last week and I’ll say it again now-you are what makes AOW the amazing place it is and without you and your submissions we wouldn’t be able to do it. We’ve had some incredible posts on out peachy pages and we want to share our favourites from 2011 with you…

Clare

Emma’s post from back in March, ‘Why the little things don’t matter’ is my favourite post from 2011. It just epitomises for me what AOW is all about – exploring and putting into perspective what’s really important about a wedding, and a reminder of what is all just cultural noise. And it’s beautifully written, of course.

Aisling

When we first ‘met’ Ginny on the blog in August of this year, we all fell in love with her. After part one of the most eagerly awaited trilogy since the Twilight Saga (I know, I know…there were four books. Whatever.) we were all desperate to know what happened in Parts Two and Three and when we did, we were not disappointed. A modern fairytale, even if the heroine of the rom-com doesn’t agree…(that’s you, Ginny!) It made us laugh, it made us cry, there was a happy ending and a lot of happy viewers readers. If that’s not a rom-com, I haven’t seen Love Actually and The Holiday 78,000 times. Each. This year.

Anna

The story of Great Aunty Barbara is my stand-out post of 2011. For how it was received (your comments touched Aunty B so much readers, thank you) and because it showed that how those women lived gave us our choices today. For how it reunited so many readers with their grandmothers and because it prompted the sharing of so many wonderful tales about the strong women in your families.

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So, what’s next for AOW? You answered our questions, we shared your answers with you all. We may have hinted at plans for the future. I think it’s safe to confirm that we will be launching the ‘new-look’ AOW in the New Year-but then you’d probably guessed that, hadn’t you? The real question is, would you like to have a sneak-peek of the new look that we’re going for?
Would you?
You would? Oh, ok then. Consider it your Christmas present.
The process of deciding what we wanted for the new site was an odd one. It was simple, really, but that didn’t stop us making it difficult! Thanks to the genius of Pinterest we were able to send our designers a ‘moodboard’ of sorts, to help with developing the character of the site. It’s easy to pick how you want a website to look-layout, left or right for widgets, Twitter icons, drop-down menu’s….that’s all scientific. You know if you prefer a magazine-style layout, full page displays, jumps…easy. But knowing how you want your website to feel is a whole other matter. I know, that sounds unbelievably uppity. I don’t think any of us three thought we’d ever be discussing the ‘feel’ of a blog. At one point, there was a ‘the blog as a living room’ analogy running. It was epic.
Off I went, hours of spare time in  one hand and a Pinterest login in the other. I gathered images and quotes, I focussed on our current colour scheme of peach and grey and I drew inspiration from that chic-est of weddings, that of our very own Mama C. Peach, grey, clean lines, a hint of vintage, lace….until, ‘NO LACE. NOT EVER. AT ALL.’ decrees an e-mail from Anna one day. Ok, no lace. Well, not much. This process helped us hone our compromising skills, that’s for sure.

We looked for accent colours to enhance the elegance of the blog, purple and turquoise were suggested. ‘I HATE PURPLE AND TURQUOISE!’ yelled Clare. (Fine, so she didn’t yell. But you get the picture.) We did a little more research compromised some more*, happened across this site and in particular, this image-and realised that our accent colour had been Navy all along. Duh.  

L.O.V.E, Books, Dahlias, Never Perfect, Navy Chiffon, Peach palette, Paper bauble (unknown source), Navy striped dress, Place setting (unknown source)

The ‘Pinspiration’ board above is a version of the one we actually sent to our website designers. We wanted to show the colours we were keen to incorporate, the homely feel that we want to main page to exude and the modern-meets-vintage styling that incorporates all of our personal tastes. We’ve seen some early mock-ups of the site based on these images and golly, they’re more wonderful than we could ever have hoped for.

This next couple of boards are just for fun. They’re a collection of images that will give you an insight into the more whimsical/playful/silly/ridiculous sides of our characters, pictures that we’d be likely to e-mail each other with capital-lettered-emails and plenty of exclamation marks and snaps of things are important to the three of us as friends. Because we are more than just bloggers, we three. Unless Anna and Clare sneak-peek it (which, in fairness, Anna rarely does…but Clare-it takes a sneak-peeker to know a sneak-peeker and I am onto you) they will be viewing it at the same time as you and I hope it makes them smile.

So there you have it. What’s a festive Thursday without a little over-sharing? What were your favourite posts of 2011? What do you think of the look we’re aiming for with the new site? Where IS Wally?**

*Honestly, if any of you find yourselves in a hostage situation and need a crack-team of negotiators…we’re your girls.
** We bought this for our nephew for Christmas. I WANT IT.
Categories: Behind the Scenes at AOW
17 interesting thoughts on this

17 Comments

  1. Posted December 22, 2011 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Eeeepy eep eep eep.

    Can NOT wait.

    All you girls have made me cry with your posts on occassion, so I don't think I could pickk a favourite.

    As for guest posts – I will need to go away and have a think about that! Although Pennys letter to her 15 year old self probably takes the comedy award of the year!

    Xxx

  2. amy f
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I am so excited about the new look site! Those mood boards are simply ace. Especially the quote about dementors.

    Can't pick a favourite post, might have to spend the day rereading them all…

  3. amy f
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I am so excited about the new look site! Those mood boards are simply ace. Especially the quote about dementors.

    Can't pick a favourite post, might have to spend the day rereading them all…

  4. Posted December 22, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    There are SO MANY amazing posts, but for me post of the year was Penny's Any Other Man. Because it stopped me worrying about having a panic attack down the aisle (a total possibility for me!)

    I adore the mood boards. I want to stand on a beach with a chiffon scarf and let it blow around me. Just because.

    K x

  5. Posted December 22, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Aw, thanks Clare – am ridiculously flattered.

    There have been so many great posts this year, which have really made me think, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys have up your sleeves for next year.

    Love the mood boards and cannot wait to see what the new site is going to look like. Very exciting!

    xx

  6. Posted December 22, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The mood boards are perfect! Thanks for an amazing year of posts, everyone. Laughs, tears and excellent insights… so much love for AOW.

  7. Posted December 22, 2011 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I love those final quotes… I have spent my fishy life berating myself for not being able to climb trees (why do we women DO that??) Very excited about the new look, and thankyou alittlewife and Katielase for making me happy on this manky day at work. I too am going to have to re read and think about my faves… My goldfish memory wants to pick Tom's cake and Anita's post yesterday for laughter and tears respectively. I know there are more though. I always love the Books That Made Me posts, I think that's my favourite series….

    Px

  8. Posted December 22, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Ah, love a good moodboard and these are particularly spectacular!
    Cant pick a favourite, but love the friend that made me series.
    Have a great Christmas everyone!

  9. Posted December 22, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Loving the mood boards ladies, I cannot wait to see what your clever web genies come up with.

    As for a favourite post… are you CRAZY? That's like asking me to pick a favourite child. Although I have to say, In Her Own Words felt pretty special – it was amazing to be part of something bigger and so important.

    BRING ON 2012!

  10. Posted December 22, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Any Other Photo every Friday at 7am. Starts a Friday off perfectly. Loved International Women's Day posts in March too. Looking forward to seeing your new look.

  11. Zan
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Yey for AOW! Very excited about the new look.

    I only discovered you all this year, but I'm so pleased I did. As with many people, it's hard to pick a favourite, but one of the things I love most is that you're not afraid to tackle the more controversial and thoughtful topics. You get the balance just right and it makes me want to log on and read everyday as I never know what to expect :-)

    Here's to a fab 2012! (last day at work before hols, am a tiny weeny bit giddy…!)

  12. L
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I'm with JHD I love Any Other Photo. But the sad posts, the hard posts, the real life posts…they're all brill!

  13. Posted December 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I discovered the AOW this year, which has led me to discover other blogs, and it has been a revelation.

    My favourite post was written by Emma about her grandmother (from Triumph to Tragedy), I just loved that her grandmother didn't wallow in self pity (like I would have done), but went out and carved her own successful path with her children.

    Zan, I can't post comments on your site, and couldn't find an email address, but just in case you come back to AOW – I adore Oversized Cliches. You write brilliantly, and I bought a light up alarm, thanks to one of your posts. I love my light up bird singing alarm. I also particularly enjoyed the infact enquiries, on your blog, and reading about your life with the cowboy, and your jewish wedding (in a non stalkerish way). I loved the post where you descibed meeting the cowboy, falling in love, and marrying at City Hall.

    Sorry, AOW girls, for Zan love in, on your blog. I love you too, and think your blog is fabulous.

    xx

  14. Esme
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Very excited about next year for AOW girls!

    My favourite posts were Tom's first (although I'm biased) and Bella's 'a little bit hitched'. And so many others!!

    xx

  15. Posted December 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Amazing inspiration boards, Agent A! It's good we have you for the arty side, otherwise all our inspiration boards would be in bullet-point lists.

    LOVE that "you're the strangest person I ever met" quote. Do something arty with it for me? Hmmmm? And "well behaved women rarely make history" is on my desk at work, to remind me what I am when I'm getting too corporate.

    IF I WRITE IN CAPS, MY WORDS HAVE MORE MEANING.

    Merry Christmas, readers, A and C. Love you x

  16. Posted December 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Trying to work out a way to have that "strangest person I ever met" quote in my wedding somewhere, because it is both lovely and true.

    Penny, thank YOU for the wisdom! Genuinely changed how I feel about walking down the aisle (i.e., removed about 86% of the nausea when I imagine it!)

    K x

  17. Posted December 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Katie, thanks for the love but the above Zan wasn't me!! For the record, this is me, the zan with the cowboy.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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