Backpackers Tokyo

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Welcome to the new TSLL blog and online destination.

One of the most important lessons I have learned along my life journey, most particularly in the past two years and as I have journeyed through the blogging world the past twelve years is the power of clear communication.

When the idea of revamping my blog’s design became a necessity for functionality behind-the-scenes, I began to look closely at what new readers see and would potentially understand and feel when they visited TSLL for the first time. What I realized was not only did the ‘engine’ need tuning, so to speak, but the aesthetics, graphics and clarity of communication regarding what exactly living simply luxuriously was all about also needed significant attention.

So I set out with two objectives for the new design:

  • Clearly and simply communicate the foundational mission of the blog: What is living simply luxurious living? What does it feel like to experience living simply luxuriously in your very own everydays? When the term true luxury is used in the context of TSLL, what does it actually mean? What is True Contentment and how is it different from Happiness?
  • Create a tranquil space for readers that not only attracts the eye and calms the mind, but invites readers to spend and engage with fellow TSLL readers: Make navigating the site user-friendly, enjoyable to stay a while if so desired, engage with TSLL community if inspired and be able to continue the conversation with ease.

With the objectives clear and Dash Creative at the helm to bring the new blog design to fruition, we began working together last May/June.

Inspired by the colors that bring calm, yet also signify growth and strong well-being, a color pairing I chose for my primary bathroom as well (see a peek in the image to the right, and look for a full tour in March or TOP Tier Members), I selected Eucalyptus green and a soft off-white.

The artwork of TSLL plays an integral role in communicating what living simply luxuriously is all about, and while I considered changing the illustration in the header (woman with flower basket and pup), I didn’t consider that idea for long deciding to keep Inslee Fariss’ illustration that was created in 2018. However, you will not find any other images of ‘humans’ on the blog. TSLL is moving away from projecting specific people and moving toward the everyday simple pleasures, the beauty of Mother Nature and all that encompasses reminding us to slow down and savor our lives in the present moment. Which brings me to the new illustrator of TSLL and forthcoming 3rd book – Sarah Löcker.

Sarah and I began working together to come up with the 14 illustrations that will appear in TSLL’s 3rd book in October (learn more about The Road to Le Papillon here), and as the illustrations began being completed, and my jaw dropped open agape each time with utter delight and awe, I quickly discerned a few of them must be incorporated into the new blog design.

As you peruse around the site from the Start Here: Introductions page, to the French and British Weeks, and many more, you will see Sarah’s work. Inslee’s art will continue to be a part of TSLL experience as she worked with TSLL for ten years, and her work is something I will forever be grateful for (header, palmier teacup on Subscribe page, original French Week and British Week illustration on respective pages).

~I will be sharing a detailed post about Sarah later this month along with more information about the book, how to purchase a signed copy and much more.

There are soooo many things I want to show you, so along with the bulleted list below, I have a detailed video (8 minutes in length) paired with narration taking you through the entire site. Have a look at it below. Note, I am viewing the site after logging in as a TOP Tier Member, so you will be able to see the site without ads.

What is new on the TSLL redesign:

  • The four most recent posts will always appear at the top of the homepage: the most recently posted will be first, followed by a horizontal row of the next three most recent.
  • All most recent posts in chronological order can be found by clicking just below THIS WEEK’s POSTS, “Read Previous Posts”.
  • An updated Start Here: Introductions page
  • Check out the lower-right side of the screen: Yep, you can quickly move back to the top of any page you are on by clicking “Back to Top”, the third button in the slider that moves with you.
    • You can also increase the font size AND change the color of the screen to tailor your reading experience.
  • British AND French Week have their own individual pages.
    • Click on each on respectively in the Menu Bar. A drop-down menu will appear.
    • Click British Week or French Week and be directed to a page with each year’s Annual event.
    • Click on the year you want and see all of the posts and giveaways shared during that year.
  • Travel Guides:
    • There is a heavy emphasis on travel information for Britain and France as these are TSLL’s favorite places to visit.
    • Each one, upon being clicked will display all locals TSLL has visited and the places I recommend and why.
  • TSLL’s New Book (Book #3)
    • Learn all about the contents and how to stay informed with signed copies become available, where to purchase, etc. here .
    • Be sure to check out the book trailer.
  • A New Podcast Illustration Square for listeners:
    • In your podcast feed wherever you listen to podcasts, the image has changed, but the content is the same.
  • More details and insights into what joining TSLL Community as a BASIC or TOP Tier Member is all about.
    • Detailed testimonials from current Members and why they enjoy being part of the community.
    • Images captured from our monthly A Cuppa Moments video conversation.
    • Visit the Subscribe page to view and read all about joining the international community of readers each living their unique simply luxurious life.
  • New Benefits for BASIC and TOP Tier Members:
    • You can save posts to your own personal TSLL Library (Favorite Posts).
      • First, login, and then, under the title of each blog post as you are reading it in full, you will see “Add to Favorites”. Click this and it will automatically be added to your library and appear in your Dashboard. You can keep them for as long as you want or remove them at anytime.
    • Comment Notifications:
      • Automatically be alerted via email when someone has responded to your comment. As well, when you go to your Dashboard, you will see the Comments tab. Here you will be able to see the comments waiting for you to respond to and which ones you have responded to.
  • NOTE: More detail is shared in the video above, so be sure to check it out.

And about TSLL’s 3rd Book . . . here’s the trailer. (learn more about the contents here)

I do hope you enjoy perusing around the new ‘home’ of TSLL. If you have any questions or simply want to toast with fellow TSLL readers, feel free to leave a comment below. I am beyond tickled to bring this to you all, and want to thank you for your patience. Thank you for stopping by and look for the regular weekly schedule to continue on Wednesday, followed by Friday’s This That and Saturday’s POnderings for TOP Tier Members on, yep, you guessed it Saturday. 🙂

Bonne journée!