A New Look: Inspired by Old Favorites

villa ephrussi de rothschild

As you may have noticed, things are looking a little different around here. I should have known that when Hannah asked me to think of the inspiration for my new site design, I would eventually settle on France. The French Riviera, of course. If it’s at all possible for someone to become a stereotype of herself, I think I’ve finally done that.

There are non-French aspects here too, though. One thing that I love almost as much as France is architecture, and I think Hannah did a lovely job of capturing all of the qualities of the architecture that I’ve loved around the world.

The windows you see in the header and between each post are all French Riviera, mostly from the art museums I explored for an entire summer a few years ago —

matisse museum

But the bright, vibrant colors are more reminiscent of the houses I loved when walking along the one sandy road on Little Corn Island, or when riding the bus through rural Guatemala, or wandering the streets of various little towns in Mexico:

little corn island

At first I thought I wanted this bold, patterned design with all of these different colors and things going on. I love designs that are made up of all these disparate little elements and colors that don’t seem to match at first glance, yet when you look at them, they’re ornate and beautiful. One of the most intricate and beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen is the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem:

dome of the rock

But as it was coming together, I realized that what I really like is the look of something simple and elegant overall, with a few quirky details here and there, something like the buildings in the south of Portugal —

faro portugal

And so we have it. A simple, clean design with a few bright colors here and there and a couple adorable windows to remind me of my favorite place in the world.

A few new elements in my sidebar:

A fancy “Featured By” section! This makes me look important and therefore I require that you admire it.

“Jackie’s Sister Travels.” Clicking on that icon will take you to my little sister’s blog, where you can read about her adventures with the Peace Corps in Guinea, Africa.

Instagram and Pinterest thumbnails. Because we all know how great I am at photography.

“Reading.”  I have really good taste in literature so you should probably pay close attention to this.

“Where I’ve Been.” A really cool map that shows how much of the western hemisphere I’ve explored and how much of the eastern hemisphere I’ve neglected. Click on the icon for a bigger map with all of the countries listed.

This is exciting, guys. Even with all of the pink. I have to admit, the pink is something that I’ve had to get used to. As some of you know, the apartment I’ve been renting for the past few months has a bright pink toilet and pedestal sink, and so I’ve recently adopted the new motto “Just go with the crazy pink toilet.” I’ve found it applies to a surprising number of situations in life — or maybe just my life? Is that worrisome that I find pink toilets to be so relevant?

I’m not sure. But we’re just going with the crazy pink toilet until further notice. And we’re doing it in style!