Posts Tagged ‘blog redesign’

Updates and Changes

I know I’ve neglected this blog a bit. For a long time I wrote weekly if not more, but lately it’s beginning to look like more of a monthly project. I’d like to change that, and I’d also like to get back to writing about a more diverse set of topics.

When I started this blog in November 2007, it was about travels, living in new countries and lots of exciting first-time experiences. Now that I’ve been back in the U.S. for more than a year and a half, plugging away at my freelance work and doing the usual things with my usual friends week in and week out, I haven’t been as inspired to share as much, but that’s not to say there isn’t much to share.

If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know that I’ve been cooking a lot lately, and I must say that only a small fraction of what I make even makes it on here, mostly because I don’t always take photos. Just recently I’ve made spanakopita, multiple pizzas, multiple types of bagels, rye bread, multiple types of veggie burgers and much more.

I’ve also been doing some interesting things, like going to plays, watching new movies and spending an interesting day on jury duty. And I’ve still been going to Tuttle LA every other week.

Most recently, I’ve decided to make a very conscious effort to start exercising more and live a healthier life. It’s been difficult for me to stick to any regular exercise plan since I’ve been freelancing, and though I’ve gone through some different health kicks for short periods, I’m ready to truly start trying out more options to find what will really work for me in the long term. So far, I’ve been to yoga, step aerobics and other 24 Hour Fitness classes, Evan and I have been playing ultimate frisbee in a pick-up game in Will Rogers Park, and I’ve been running in the park near our place a bit.

And after taking a quarter off from taking classes (everything I wanted to take was full), I’m looking to sign up for another one or two starting in June so I can continue to improve my design skills and can encourage myself to do new things.

I have a lot of other plans, so watch this blog because I’ll be posting more in the very near future.

France To Go Has a Brand-New Look

I’d been meaning to redesign my blog for quite a while, but kept putting it off. Finally, though, work has slowed down a bit, I’m not taking any classes this quarter, and I’ve had some time to focus on creating something new. After playing around with a lot of different ideas I finally went with one that plays off of a class assignment I did a while back for a Photoshop class — a Parke Harrison-style image that I used to illustrate an article called “Have Work, Will Travel.”

Unfortunately, the photo isn’t of me, it’s my friend Guiselle, but I took the photo, edited the images, and then translated all that into this blog design. I also decided to simplify pretty much everything — I made all the posts fully visible from the home page, I consolidated many categories, and I cleared the clutter from my sidebar to focus on the most important information. Since a lot of the pages are longer than they used to be, I’ve put in a handy little “up” button on the left so you can get back to the top of the page easily. I’ve also added a lightbox, so if you click to enlarge an image, it will open in an overlay on the page.

I’ve also updated my site’s mobile theme to include image thumbnails for the posts, an iPhone icon, and a look more in line with this new design.

So let me know what you think — I’d love your feedback.

Here’s a look at the past looks of France to go…

The Very First France to Go Design

The Very First France to Go Design

France to go previous design

The Second France to Go design

"Have Work, Will Travel" ParkeHarrison-Style Illustration

My inspiration for the new design

Next up: Redesigning

Hello New France To Go!

I’ve been meaning to work on my blog’s design for a long time and just kept putting it off. But when Evan purchased a theme for his new knowledge base site from Woo Themes, they were (and still are) having a buy one get one free deal, so I found one I liked, called Thick, and started playing around.

It’s quite different from the barely modified WordPress default theme I had for nearly a year and a half, and I’m excited about the new possibilities for showcasing more content, more photos and more updates from my social sites.

The old France to Go

The old France to Go

I am sad to see my old header go — I did love that canoe photo Evan took of me in Big Bear. You can still find it on my About Me page.

Next up will be a redesign of my portfolio site, which is much needed since I’m doing so much more work than just magazine/website writing.

Let me know what you think of the changes and if there’s anything you feel is missing. I’m not qute sure about the background yet, but I did have a lot of fun going through all those photos from my travels over the past couple of years. Look closely — there are 64 different travel shots in there.

Here’s a non-faded, larger view of the background, including me sticking my head in an alligator’s mouth, tulips in Hyde Park, listening to sounds at Haus der Musik, Communist-era statues in Budapest, the London Eye, horseback riding in Spain, the Rose Bowl (in an Orange Bowl sweatshirt), Maui’s bamboo forest, the floating gate at Miyajima, the Osaka Sky Buildling, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Temple of the Dawn in Bangkok, and me stalking an albino peacock.

Photo Collage

Let me know what you think of the new look — and what your favorite photo is in the collage.