What Is A Blog? How Can You Start One Today?

What is a Blog?

If you asked this question around 2005, not many people knew what blog was and what that word meant. Now many people are writing on blog today and blogging has became a huge phenomenon. There are many free ways to start a blog such as from blogger and wordpress sites. There are hosted sites you can get from website hosting companies.

While my blog is surely not about how to start blogging or making money, I do often get asked by new readers who may want to start a blog, either to express themselves, show off their recipes, poems and what not. I am certainly not blog expert, but I know a few things since blogging since mid 2009, it has been over 3.5 years so I have picked up things that I want to share.

One caution is, blogging is never get rich quick thing for most of us, I am blogging for a few years and making money takes time and true passion. If one want to make money, then keyword and seo is important. I recommend expert such as Pat Flynn at smart Passive Income blog and Darren at Problogger to find out more on how to blog for making money as they are far better and expert in the blogging to make money field.

I started out on free blogger site first. However, I personally prefer to have my own site hosted on web hosting account, as it give me more control over design and content of my blog sites. I use BlueHost for hosting and I am quite happy with them. However there are many web hosting choices to choose from.

If you are starting out check out how to get blog set up  and website tools needed to get you started off on right Path.

Various Types of Blogs and Sites

As long there is a internet alive, blogging will be too and it has future. It may change with time as internet changes.

Type of Blogs:

Personal Blogs: This is where people write about themselves as a journal, to keep in touch with long distance friends and families, to create a online journal to keep a goal such as losing weight or saving money etc.,

Information Blog: These type of blogs are great for sharing and learning about some particular topic such as gardening, cooking or fitness.

Some people do it for fun, some do it for making money. I like to do it for mostly fun, however it would be nice to make money to recover cost involving hosting, domain and time spent a little for most people.

Details about Type of Sites:

Static Websites: These type of website do not change, they are usually few pages long and have information about one subject and people can learn, click and go. Example includes many bank sites, picture images site, how to articles.

Blog: Blog is where content is often updated and posted. Some on daily basis or some on weekly basis. People can blog how often they like about one subject to multi subjects they like. Fresh content makes it easier for search engine to find and rank your site. That is one of the reason many site including corporates site now has a blog section.

Forum: Some site has a blog and forums and some sites are only forums on specific topic. Even many money and parenting sites has several forums which are quite popular among people. It could be addicting. Forums are best for asking questions and learning from it.

Knowledge/Wiki: Some sites are open for others to share their reviews or point such as IMDB or wikipedia, where people may learn and post knowledge they have.

Podcast Blog: These type of sites have audio based postings, such as interviews you can listen to, music you can listen to and so on. It seems to be popular with many people who can listen to podcast while driving or doing other things.

Video Site: You tube, Vimeo are popular example of these sites that are big. One can start his or her video blog by recording a topic or places to put on the blogs and share the knowledge on subject they are expert on.

I think it is best to use all or some combination of above types of site to get more exposure! What is your view on blog sites?

Food As Art and Nourishment

I love art and I love vegetables as a lifelong vegetarian, but combining both together has never crossed my mind until recently when I saw master pieces of art created beautifully by using food, mostly vegetables. When you will see it yourself, you will agree, it is amazing, and if not it is surely creative. I wrote not too long ago about finding artist within you or finding your own creative side no matter how much you think you do not have creative soul inside you. I really think, there is a creative person hidden inside each of us. Hopefully this will inspire you to be more creative in your way or eat healthy and stop eating at fast food places at least.

These art work is created by 60 year old artist, Alon Zaid. Original art work is shown below so you can compare it with food art! Amazing truly. Hope you like it.

Here is from daily mail news archives;

“At dinner tables across the country, mothers constantly tell their children: ‘Don’t play with your food!’ But for artist Alon Zaid, the habit has produced the most spud-tacular results.

The 60-year-old has recreated some of the world’s most well-known masterpieces using fruit and veg from his local greengrocer.

He sliced and diced vegetables including potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and aubergine and arranged them to look like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.

He also crafted edible versions of The Son of Man by Rene Magritte, The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli and Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso. Each piece took five hours to create, in the project for food processor brand Magimix.

Alon said: ‘We picked these pieces of art because they stand out from the rest. They have survived against the odds to become an icon. We turned them into an outline sketch, bought fruit and vegetables that were in season and fitted the texture of these foods to the artwork itself.’

Alon Zaid's Mona Lisa
Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa gets put through the food processor


Grate art: Alon Zaid's vegetable take on Botticelli's Venus
Grate art: Alon Zaid uses carrots, lettuce, potatoes and courgettes to recreate Botticelli's Birth of Venus

Grate art: Alon Zaid uses carrots, lettuce, potatoes and courgettes to recreate Botticelli’s Birth of Venus

Alon Zaid's interpretation of Magritte's The Son of Man
Rene Magritte's Son of Man

I would have never thought it this way! Magritte’s Son of Man gets a fruit and veg make over, still gentle man.


Alon Zaid's take on Picasso's Dora Maar
Muse in food: Picasso's muse Dora Maar is given mushrooms for a nose and radishes for eyes in Alon Zaid's unique interpretation of the portrait

Picasso’s muse Dora Maar is given mushrooms for a nose and radishes for eyes, who knew?

 How did you like this art work?

Life Reflections and Life Lessons

Many of us, look back to reflect on life. I tend to do that a lot, as I am always seeing where I am going and where I have been. Life has not been easy for many of us, new curve balls keeps coming and we have to make small adjustment along the life to keep going. Life sometimes gives us lot of lemons and does not seem fair but if we truly look at it small miracles are happening all around us, we just need to be aware of them and appreciate them.
It is often easier to see bad parts compared to good ones, as we tend to think them as either fluke or we constantly want to improve and better ourselves or our life to the best that might be never ending process. I want to say before you stop and see what is missing in the life, do make an effort to see what is working, what is going well for you. Looking in to positives of life can surely bring new perspective in life that simply is powerful and refreshing.

Life Lessons by Dalai Lama

I  like reading Dalai Lama and other inspirational writers, here are some quotes by Dalai Lama and Life reflections and life lessons: Some of them are quotes from Instructions of Life by Dalai Lama, the instructions are inspirational indeed so I am sharing here.

  • “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”- Dalai Lama
  • “Human beings by nature want happiness and do not want suffering. With that feeling everyone tries to achieve happiness and tries to get rid of suffering, and everyone has the basic right to do this. In this way, all here are the same, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, Easterner or Westerner, believer or non-believer, and within believers whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so on. Basically, from the viewpoint of real human value we are all the same.” — the Dalai Lama
  • “Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.” – Dalai Lama
  • Follow the three Rs:
    ~ Respect for self
    ~ Respect for others
    ~ Responsibility for all your actions.” : Dalai Lama
  • “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” — the Dalai Lama
  • “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” – Dalai Lama
  • “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.”- Dalai Lama
  • “Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” — the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama : Instructions for Life Video

My Life Lessons Learned

As I reflect on good, bad and ugly of our lives, I am trying to see ray of hope in everything and not be focusing on only negatives that makes me lose sleep over some of the silly thing. I hope you do the same, it is not about making money killing or being popular. Just being content with what I have today is something I wish I can see and cherish it.

Here are some of the life lessons I am learned and learning more now;

  1. Money is not the main thing: Let me first say this, having enough money to buy basic necessity such as food, clothes, regular bills, shelter and medicine is VERY important. Beyond it, it is all extra. Money and things money can buy will make us happy temporarily but it is not sustainable.
  2. Stop comparing: This has been a huge for me, I tend to measure my success and happiness (wrongly) by comparing myself to others. For example, I sometimes feel jealous of people who can write quality articles fast, or someone who has more motivation, or someone who has beautiful skin. By comparing, only person I am making unhappy is me. I have come to realize that I am not going to be queen bee all the time. Sometimes there are people who are better and that is okay with me.
  3. Taking care of my health: When I was teen, I did not take good care of my eating and sleeping habits. I slept late, woke up late. I even ate cold pizza for breakfast and drank too much soda as I thought it was cool. I put on too much make up and wore really high heel sandals that made my feet aches even now. As I am growing mature (I think) further I am realizing how silly I was and who was I trying to impress then? I wished I had taken better care of my health but I have already started a few years ago and improving every day.
  4. Hug people you love today: Do not wait. I had waited and gotten busy with my life and one day I lost my grandmother and soon my grandfather too and I really never got a chance to tell them what they meant to me and how much I loved them. Do not wait, give a hug and tell someone you love them today.
  5. Treat others the way you want to be treated: One of my college professor said that once as he was talking to students and it has stayed in my mind and my goal since that day. I like to think I am treating others like how I want to be treated and that makes me more humble and compassionate even when I am not in agreement with the person.
  6. Do not chase success: While success can mean different to different people, often time success is associated with how much money someone is making or has made. I was one of these person who chased success and it was not easy. Now I try to teach kindergarten and cook in my kitchen, watch movies to have simple joy in my life. While, I am not saying I am successful or happy always but the pressure and stress is lot less right now.

Other Good Read:

Life Lesson I wished I had Learned Earlier

Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living

Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter

What are your life lessons that you reflect upon?

A Short Story about Beautiful Girl

A Short Story About a Girl Who Didn’t Know She Was Beautiful

Writing Short Stories and Poems

I have many taste along with cooking, watching movies, reading and also writing. I have been writing stories and poems for past few years but have not shared much. I have written a few poems along with post but I have not shared my fiction writing here so far. My mother and my Nana (Grandfather) both are published author, compared to them, I suck big time so I waited until I got perfection. With time I realize, only practice makes perfect and not time, so here it is for public eyes first time.  This is something I written about 4 years ago or so, and this is edited new version here for your eyes!

This is a fictional story about a girl, who is beautiful inside out but does not feel she is. I myself have gone through many self doubts about beauty before as many other girls and women may have gone through it one time or another. We all have self doubts and feel we can improve and look and feel better inside and out. Sometimes, we need to learn to see it from other’s point of view, then we may realize how beautiful, handsome or smart we truly are. I really believe all girls are beautiful and all guys are handsome, it is confidence in ourselves that makes us look the best, and not any make up or clothes can.

This is image of Frieda Pinto, Indian actress who I think is truly beauty

Beauty in Her Eyes : By Zengirl

Nira was sitting alone in cafe, sipping on her hot Cappuccino and looking out from her laptop to see people sitting around her.

Day was warm and sun has just come out from the cloud glaring Nira’s dark skin. She took out her light sweater and placed it on chair next to her. She tried to read and engage in romance novel she was reading but her mind was not in to the novel today. She generally liked to read a lot but not today!

Her eye went to nearby table where three girls about her age were having coffee, and loads of fun with laughing every minute like there was no care in the world. Nira looked at these women and thought how beautiful they were. One lady had red shawl draping her red curly hair around the shoulder! And next to her, there was a blond in dark yellow shirt, with high pony tail, she looked like fashion model to her. Third woman had dark hair and fair skin and had a beautiful smile that she has seen on any woman.

Nira sighed and wished she was as beautiful and did not have her dark skin to worry about it, then surely she would have a boyfriend! No wonder she was alone, she thought to her self. More she thought about it, sadder she became. Nira tried to shake her thoughts in to her novel and realized her cappuccino was done, and she needed more caffeine to keep her energy about.

As she got up and walked by those girl’s table to go near cashier to order more needed caffeine boost. As Nira walked passed that table with 3 girls, they looked at her walking by. One girl said to other, “Did you see how beautiful she is?”

Second girl chimed, “oh I love her dark skin, I am trying to get tanned at salon but I hardly get it right tone”.

Third girl said: “I bet she is model or actress..I loved her dress”. They all sighed and said “I wish I was beautiful like her.”

Five minutes later when those girls left the cafe, they walked by Nira and gave her smile in admiration. Nira thought how kind of these girls are to take pity on her and make feel better by smiling at her.

She never knew how beautiful she was truly. Not that day at least!

Celebration: A Poem About Life

Img Source: Celebration

I have written poems before on this blog before along with posts (here is one Englightenment), here is another poem about celebrating the life we have. I like to write poems, short stories and fictional novels at home on my spare time. I have not published any of them and at this moment I do not have any plans to, other than putting on a blog here.

We should celebrate life everyday, life it self is a miracle and wonders, new learning, pain, suffering, frustrations, joy, love all mixed in to one. Why wait for a special day to celebrate it, when we can do it today. Here is my small attempt at life celebration. Hope you like it. Celebrate your life today with friends and family.

Celebration : A Poem about Life By Zengirl

Let us come together and celebrate the love and joy that is given

Life and Living with laughter and pain that may feel like hell and heaven.

Do you see and feel the miracle of life on earth today?

I did not until now, I always thought I would make time for it some day.

Someday never came as it is not one of the seven day

If you want to do something someday, I would say start today.

Make happy memories that can last long time for years to come.

Laugh, slow down and smell the roses, and do not be a gloom.

Live and learn, cry and laugh are part of our daily living.

If you just let go of a your worries, sometimes it can be misgiving.

Choose happiness over worrying, that one can never be

To happy to laugh out loud in face of problem, you’ll see.

Yes, it can be done, we can celebrate life in tiny bits

Our dark clouds of worries and tension will go away and life will be fit.

Other Celebrations Things:

I was just curious to see and find a few items and places that has celebration name or theme inside. Here are some noteworthy mentions;

Celebration Song by Kool and Gang: There is a nice catchy oldies song. “Celebration” is a song released in 1980 by Kool & the Gang from their album Celebrate!. The song dominated the radio for nearly the entire year, and is still heard today at weddings and parties and sporting event.

You can download MP3 here : Celebration Song by Kool and Gang

Celebration song by Maddona:In 1990s Maddona has album released called celebration, which also had a song called celebration in it. It recieved mixed response from critics and some fans. Song nevertheless has dance beat to it. You can listen to it free on internet or you can hear on original album Celebration.

Celebration: The Town:  I did not know there was a town called Celebration or had a history, until someone told me about this book. It has interesting history with Disney, Florida, Frantz and Cathy Collins and their two children moved in to participate in and report on this new venture. Their account, which The Richmond Style Weekly called a “fascinating and evenhanded” report from the trenches, follows the ups and downs of the two years the family lived this experiment firsthand; the new afterword details their surprisingly difficult transition back to a “normal life” in Westport, Connecticut. Their experience tells us as much about ourselves and our hopes and dreams as it does about the daily reality of building a community from the ground up.


10 Creative and Frugal hacks

I get inspired by many blogs/articles and people around me, which keeps me learning new things and makes my life easier, frugal and better.

Betsy Bargain at Talk Thrifty to me is author of the one of the blog that inspires me, she wrote a recent article about Tweak your routine to sneak in savings . It has many wonderful ideas and suggestions, please check it out this and other articles there, if you have not done so already.

It made me think of some ideas/hacks I use at everyday. Here are some of the creative hacks I use in my house, instead of buying new items, use what I have at home;

1. Instead of buying new plastic or other types storage boxes, use unused luggage bags to store winter or summer clothes or extra stuff. Use shoe box to fill up smaller items such as crafts, glue, pens etc. One can glue or wrap used wrapping paper to make it unify and make it easy on eye

2. After using canned food, wash and unwrap can and wash it with soap, use it to store small pens, crayons, pencil holder. Use larger can to hold serving utensils. Larger used cans can be used for small pots outside or inside plants. It can also be used as a flower holder, straws holder.

3. Reusing gift wrapping paper is popular with most frugal people already. Another great idea is to use extra colorful cloth with raffia tied as a wrapping gift. Sunday comic page also make a good wrapping paper for kid’s gifts. Gift basket and gift bags can be made with simple things from home. Used brown bags from groceries can be used as a gift wrap, one can stencil some nice stencil design made out of cut apples or cut potatoes and stamp with colorful pattern.

4. Reuse leftover food in soup or veggie burger, it hides and holds better. Use tired and over-ripe fruits and vegetable in to chutneys or soup instead of throwing it out. Blacked out mushy banana makes a wonderful bread or muffins.

5. Use old plastic bags cut to tie up plants that need support. Make craft out of used plastic bag such as parachute or kite for kids. Cut up 4 plastic bags and join them with tape on edges to make a large plastic catch all for kid’s messy games.

6. Use old yogurt container for storing leftover or freezing items. It can be used to make also home made yogurt. I use small individual yogurt size container for juice Popsicles, it is also perfect for seed starter too in spring time.

7. Use old and unusable CD to make craft mobile, CD curtain on strings, frame or toss game for younger kids.

8. Use cheap/free baskets and plastic tote bags to store kid’s toys, arts/craft supply.

9. Use old T-shirts, towels as a Rag, cleaning clothes. Use newer, small pieces of clothes to make small and simple quilt napkins. Join various pieces of small carpet pieces to make a larger size rug, using duct tape to seal joints on bottom.

10. Reuse old calendars for art pieces in your house, laundry or garage. One can decoupage Calendar or old magazine pictures on glass coffee table or room door to personalized and unique art in your home.

What other creative ways you use reuse items you have at hand, instead of buying it? Please share your ideas.