Introducing the New Unbrave Girl: Now with 100% More Sparkle

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas*, y’all.

Now I know that we said that we wouldn’t be getting each other presents this year. (We said that, right? Or at least I know I said that.)

But I got you something anyway!


(Okay, if you’re reading this blog post on an RSS reader thingie or in an email, you’re going to have to click on the link for my blog and get yourself over here so you can collect your gift.)


It’s a brand new, shiny blog design!

I’m sure it’s exactly what you wanted.

Well, it’s exactly what I wanted. So same diff, right?

You see, I’ve been wanting to get my blog redesigned for some time now. Don’t get me wrong. My old blog design was okay. I liked it enough. It was clean and uncluttered which was good. But I never really thought it showed off my true personality. (And, yes, by “true personality” I’m talking about unicorns.)

Besides, I think we can all agree that you deserve something more than just an okay blog.

You deserve the best.

Or, at least, I think we can all agree that I deserve the best. So same diff, right?

Seeing as I can hardly upload photos to my blog posts without making my computer explode, I knew I would need to call in the professionals. And, well, you can’t get much more professional then the fabulous design duo of Bridgid and Brian (who were also behind the super awesome redesign of my pal Jodi’s site, Legal Nomads).

Seriously, guys, these two were amazing. They took my vague, unhelpful input, which went something like this: “Sparkles! I like sparkles!”

And they made me this.


I know.

I’m pretty sure they used some kind of witchcraft.

The new site is full of all kinds of fun new stuff, like the pretty box thingies in the sidebar of the homepage and a photo album slide show thingie. (As you can see from my use of the very technical term  “thingie”, my knowledge of computery stuff has really grown a lot during this whole website redesign process.)

My site is still clean and uncluttery. But now it’s packed full of personality. Kind of like me. (Admittedly, I also happen to be packed full of pie at the moment.)

And you’ll notice I have a new tagline: “Encouraging scaredy cats since 2009.” This is kind of what I’d like to think I’ve been doing on here – encouraging all of you out there to do the stuff that you’re scared of doing.

But, seriously, who am I kidding?

You see, I’m the biggest, fattest scaredy cat out here.

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer, but I’ve been too scared. Scared of rejection.  Scared that nobody would ever read what I had written. Scared of ending up broke and destitute and eating canned beans underneath a bridge somewhere.

A lot of that has changed in the past few years since I started this blog.

I’m still scared of rejection.

And, admittedly, my retirement plan at the moment involves living in a cardboard box.

But, thanks to all of you out there, I’m not nearly so scared anymore.

If anyone’s been doing the encouraging, it’s been you — with all your supportive comments on my posts and on the Facebook and in the tweets and in the emails that you send to me.

You’ve given me so much.

So I’m giving you this. Consider my blog redesign a little thank you gift in return for all the encouragement and support you’ve given me over the past couple years.

I certainly do hope you like it.

Because there’s really no return policy on sparkles.

*Please feel free to substitute the word “Christmas” with your holiday or festival of choice. I do not mean for this post to be exclusive in any way. This gift is meant for everyone. Because everyone totally loves sparkles. Or, at least, I totally love sparkles. So same diff, right?



I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On December 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm Michael Hodson said:

    well done and lookin’ good!
    Michael Hodson recently posted..Good People, Bad People, Dead People

  2. On December 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm Patricia GW said:

    Love it! Your new site design looks fabulous, Sally.
    Patricia GW recently posted..Reading Recap – Bill Bryson, Stephen King

  3. On December 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm Bridgid Gallagher said:

    Thanks for the mention, Sally! How appropriate is it that you launched your new design on CHRISTMAS? Can we deliver sparkle, or what? 😉

  4. On December 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm Jaime said:

    I love it… like a lot!!!

    Only thing missing is REAL sparkles…lol!!!
    Jaime recently posted..Photo Round Up – Week 43

  5. On December 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm Katie said:

    Love it!! Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays from Poland! 🙂
    Katie recently posted..A Night of Hockey in Riga

    • On December 28, 2011 at 2:37 am Sally said:

      Omigosh, I’m so jealous that you’re in Poland right now. I have a Polish friend who has told me all about the Christmas traditions in Poland and I really want to go there for Christmas. I hope you got to hear some talking animals! 🙂

  6. On December 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm Laurence said:

    Oo, I’m signed up to that retirement plan too. Shiny design 🙂
    Laurence recently posted..My favourite bits of Paris

  7. On December 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said:

    LOVE IT! Happy Holidays!!! XOXO
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 5 (Part 3)

  8. On December 26, 2011 at 1:26 am Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker said:

    New design looks great, congrats! Things have come along since you started on a .mac site iirc 🙂
    Dustin Main – Skinny Backpacker recently posted..12600 Monks, One Street – Chiang Mai

  9. On December 26, 2011 at 1:34 am GotPassport Family said:

    New site looks good, Sally! Happy Christmas and New Year.
    GotPassport Family recently posted..Disconnect to Connect in 2012

  10. On December 26, 2011 at 2:16 am Lisa | LLWorldTour said:

    Love it. Clean, simple, w/ a smattering of sparkle. I have been putting off my redesign for about 1-2 years now. I have some designers, but like what B&B did for you. I imagine you recommend them?
    Great job!
    Lisa | LLWorldTour recently posted..Happy Festivus!

    • On December 26, 2011 at 10:42 am Sally said:

      Definitely would recommend them! They were amazing. I don’t know anything about design so it was really hard for me to verbalize what I wanted but it was like they could read my mind. Seriously. Plus, they were super helpful and patient.

  11. On December 26, 2011 at 2:35 am Dave - travel_version said:

    Congrats on the new design!

    I wore my flip-flops to make sure my socks wouldn’t be blown away but sparkles & unicorns are pretty impressive indeed!
    Dave – travel_version recently posted..A Career in Travel

  12. On December 26, 2011 at 2:56 am Camels & Chocolate said:

    So cute! Love how clean and easily navigable it is.

    • On December 28, 2011 at 2:35 am Sally said:

      That was my biggest requirement with the design — that it had to be clean. I get really distracted by stuff so I can’t read sites that have lots of widgets and do-dads and little videos of dancing Twilight characters in the corner. Plus, when there are too many columns, I get confused as to where I should go. I figure I’m not the only one who gets distracted and confused easily, so I wanted a site where the readers could really focus on the text… and not on the dancing widgets in the corner.

  13. On December 26, 2011 at 4:38 am TravelMaus said:

    Love the new design, Sally! Happy New Year 2012!! Will look forward to reading lots of new ‘thingies’ on here in the year to come!

  14. On December 26, 2011 at 7:32 am Michi said:

    Hey, hey! I’m really loving the new look!!

  15. On December 26, 2011 at 8:34 am Conrad said:

    Bold and Brave, my favorite alliteration. Really can you read my mind too? Great job. Ta 2012! 🙂

  16. On December 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm Stephanie - The Travel Chica said:

    Looks great! And I like the tagline.

    Maybe I’ll finally get around to re-designing mine in 2012 🙂
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Foto of the Week from … Peninsula Valdes – Lines and Contrast

    • On December 27, 2011 at 1:17 am Sally said:

      Good luck! I’ve been wanting to redesign this site since I moved it over to WordPress back in 2010. But I’m glad I waited as I really knew what I wanted by then… even if I wasn’t very good at verbalizing it to the designers. (But, luckily, they totally understood “Sparkles! I want sparkles!”)

  17. On December 27, 2011 at 1:14 am jan said:

    Yours posts are the best present – they make me LAUGH – thanks for the sparkles!
    jan recently posted..CHRISTMAS IS FOR REMINISCING

  18. On December 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm Joseph said:

    Fabulous look…it’s so ‘you’…not that the old look wasn’t ‘you’ but this is a ‘I love unicorns and there’s nothing you can do about it’ ‘you’…looking forward to reading the new installments 🙂

    Happy New Year!
    Joseph recently posted..The Italian adventure – part 3

    • On December 28, 2011 at 2:26 am Sally said:

      Yes, this theme definitely has a great personality… and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all, like when people are like, “Oh, I don’t understand why you’re single, but you have such a great personality.” You know, like that.

  19. On December 27, 2011 at 11:47 pm Ayngelina said:

    I love it, keeps the clean lines I loved about your blog with just the right amount of sparkle.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Reviewing 2011 from A to Z

  20. On December 28, 2011 at 1:02 am 50+ and on the Run said:

    Love the sparkles (and I’m not even a unicorn kinda girl)! Seriously, it’s great. And you’ve inspired more unbravery–tomorrow the girl with frostbitten feet heads to Antarctica.
    I know.
    Happy 2012!

    • On December 28, 2011 at 2:25 am Sally said:

      NOT A UNICORN KINDA GIRL? What does that even mean? I don’t understand.
      And good luck in Antartica! I’m so jealous! That’s one place I definitely want to get to! Looking forward to reading your blog posts about it.

  21. On December 28, 2011 at 2:13 am Kevin said:

    Whoa, this is like SO 2012! (I mean hip, new and cool, not end of the world Maya apocalypse-like). Interested in where you end up after January! Should we start a betting pool?
    Kevin recently posted..The Mad Traveler’s A to Z of Travel

  22. On December 28, 2011 at 3:06 am Kevin said:

    I guess that’s a no on the coding question. Nuts. “Michael Quinn and the Bourbon Kings”
    Kevin recently posted..The Mad Traveler’s A to Z of Travel

  23. On December 28, 2011 at 3:54 am Kezia Gusmawan said:

    Merry Christmas Sally!! I love your new blog design, no clutter and simply elegant. Great job!
    Kezia Gusmawan recently posted..My Bucket List

  24. On December 28, 2011 at 7:27 am Novieta Tourisia said:

    White, black and red! HOT new design, Sally! Been reading your blog posts lately and indeed it’s like a gift to see the new design. Keep encouraging! Hail Unicorns and Sagittarians! (both look similar for me) 😀

  25. On December 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm choi kum fook said:

    Beside a writer,photographer,traveler, performer etc, you also a great talent designer!The new blog looks more fabulous,fresh and clear,especially the tag columns, more easy way to get information! Well Done! Miss Sally!

    • On December 29, 2011 at 4:24 am Sally said:

      Mr Choi,
      I didn’t design the new blog — I hired professionals for that. If I had tried to design it, I would have definitely broken it! I’m glad you like the new look!

  26. On January 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm Bessie said:

    I came to your site, and I right away said to Kyle that it looks amazing & I love it! We have total website envy.

    I’m so glad you’re so sparkly & your site is too. Much love!
    Bessie recently posted..How to get tea like a local in Myanmar

    • On January 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm Sally said:

      Bessie! So great to hear from you. Yes, I am so in love with my new site, I fawn over it every 20 minutes. I’m like a new parent — except I really had nothing to do with its creation. Which makes it even better. All the glory, no sweat & pain.

  27. On January 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm Lois said:

    Love the new look! Congrats! It’s so shiny shimmery splendid!

  28. On January 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm Amy said:

    Just getting caught up on my blog reading – and I scurried over here from google reader to check out the design. Looks great! I love the clean look and I have total font geek appreciation for your fonts. Before I got to this post I already noticed you had more pictures – they really up the sparkle factor.

    • On January 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm Sally said:

      Oh, but they take so LONG to load. That’s why I was so lazy about adding them before. But I’m trying to be more patient for the New Year’s. 🙂

  29. On February 21, 2012 at 5:51 am Ceri said:

    I love this new blog design. 😀 Love it. Really do. It’s fab!
    Ceri recently posted..Return to Blogging (with a Vlog)


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