For the past month our design team at Breathe has been giving our website a much-needed face-lift. And, it looks fabulous!

When I first started at Breathe in November, we talked about the idea/possibility of making some changes digitally — launching a new website where we’d separate the blog roll from print content. The first week of January, in cahoots with the whole New Year ideal of “starting anew,” we all met up and rediscussed the website’s direction. It didn’t take much deliberation: the art team had been vying for a new site for awhile, and I, a total newbie with the magazine, was down for whatever it took to take Breathe to the next level. So, we excitingly took on this new adventure.

Here’s what our awesome, creative design team came up with. Makes me so happy to work with people who get excited about what we do — our content, the website, the magazine and social media. All these platforms are interconnected to make Breathe Breathe. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Below is a screenshot of Breathe’s new home page. Check out the simple top navigation and side categories. Also, check our social media box (Twitter, Facebook, RSS and Pinterest) with icons that mirrored our website’s style. We also have a page-turning digital issue so you can flip page by page through each print publication. This allowed us to separate our blog and print content, which makes things less confusing for the reader.

And as you scroll down, notice the date boxes, e-newsletter sign-up and how the clean, simple design of the website lets the content shine through.

And keep scrolling down. Check out the bottom nav. The former website had almost twice as many bottom nav options, which cluttered the bottom of the page.

I love our categories box. We tried to keep the categories to a minimum and I’m excited that instead of calling the box “categories” we went with “we love,” because we love the subject matter that makes up Breathe.

I rewrote our About Us page and made part of it quirky and poetic.

Our The Magazine section features all the print publications in digital form. So exciting to have all the print magazines at your fingertips! 

One of my favorite pages is our Contributors page. It shows the happy faces of Breathe’s blogging community. We are still missing some faces, which we’ll update soon.

And for a blast into the past, here is the old Breathe.

And the old blog roll.

What do you all think? Let me know!

First issue as editor

This week Breathe Magazine’s January/February issue will hit newsstands. This is my first issue as editor of Breathe and stepping away from the magazine post-production, I feel really good about the diversity of content and voices, as well as the strength of the photography and design. The theme of our January/February issue is inspiration, and not only is the content inspiring, but the writers’ voices and perspectives as well.

Sarah Sekula wrote a story about adventure spas around the world — from South America to our backyard here in the Blue Ridge. She gave a great first-person synopsis of her adrenaline-packed adventures in Chile, trekking up volcanos, running down sand dunes and checking out  the El Tatio geysers.

I did a Q&A with Jennifer Pharr Davis, the Appalachian Trail endurance record-holder, and she dished about her recent AT hike, how to mentally and physically prepare for long-distance hikes, as well as goals for her hiking company.

Another great feature story was by Caroline Shannon-Karasik on gluten-free noodles. She created three unique dishes and talked about gluten-free pasta made from sea kelp, brown rice and quinoa.

I wrote our cover story about the Derby Dames, a roller derby team based out of Charlottesville, Va. I had so much fun researching this story, watching the Dames bout, and interviewing the ladies. My former coworker, dear friend and talented photographer Parker Michels-Boyce did the derby photo shoot. He got some awesome images of the ladies bouting as well as an amazing cover shot of B-one Bomber, the Dames’ star jammer.

Another great feature was by running coach Christine Hinton on how to kick-start a new running program and keep with it throughout the year.

Our department stories include a beauty story on how to get glossy hair by Aleigh Acerni, a Annie Hall-inspired fashion story by Marley Gibson, a boudoir story by Sarah Nowicki, a home gym story by Lisa Maloney, and DIY home story by Carrie Williams.

Be sure to pick up a copy and let me know what you think! Click to find a copy near you.

P.S. And I got to write my first letter from the editor.