about We are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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new year, new site

Happy New Year!  I love all the possibilities the new year brings when the clock ticks over from 11:59 to 12:00.  New travels, new opportunities, and this year, we are starting the year off with a brand-new, shiny, site redesign.  Woot!

I am so madly in love with the new site, I can hardly contain myself.  It's more fun, pops more, and highlights our photography in a way that the old site never did.  In addition to all of the old features, we now have:

  • A new Photography section , so we will be putting out a weekly photo plus occasional tutorials or suggestions on photography as we experiment with improving our creative work
  • All of the main blog categories ( Travel, Recipes , Off the Road , and Photography ) lead to the most recent four posts in that category in blog format plus links to older posts in those categories
  • Featured Posts on the front page links to three of our currently favorite posts
  • Categories in the Off the Road section, including direct links to posts about Chewy and Abby, musings, and other topics
  • Graphical topical indexes on the left-hand side of the screen with both country indexes and categorical indexes.
  • When you click on any picture on our site, you will now get a giant 1024 high resolution photograph pop up
  • Prettiness everywhere --- we've replaced the old ugly lines and fonts, with a beautiful banner, and fun and readable fonts
  • And, we have started incorporating ads into the site.  We worried, at first, that the ads would be intrusive but have been very impressed with the quality of advertisers for our site and how closely they have stayed to travel and food.

We've been wanting to redesign the site for several months now and we spent several long days thinking about how it would look.  Then, we hired Lauren from Designer Blogs , an exceptionally talented and patient designer who worked with us to create the graphics, embellishments, and fonts across the site.  I have been e-mailing with her continuously over the last week and a half to get the graphics exactly as we want them and she has put up with all of our craziness and nitpickiness . . . even when I e-mailed her three separate suggestions in less than five minutes.  It is very rare to find a designer who can envision what we want (even when we didn't quite know what we wanted).  When we make any changes to this site, we know who we will be hiring.

At the end of the day, though, Patrick made this redesign happen, putting in tens of hours into shifting things around, fixing all of the style sheets, and making the site exactly what we both envisioned.  He is amazing.  And, no, ladies, you can't have him . . . . I like having my own personal web developer!

We hope y'all like the new site and take the time to poke around.  And, I hope that the start of your new year is as bright and shiny as ours has been.