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?

How To Stay Fit During Holiday Season

How to Stay fit during any Holidays

Holiday season usually means several parties to celebrate, Thanksgiving feast, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New year among other celebrations! One of the great thing about holidays are get together, eating yummy food and being with family and friends: loved ones. However, I dread January as I tend to gain a bit weight somehow From Diwali, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas and New year eve party and party food. Are you like me? If you are then know what I am talking about. If you do not gain weight, then write quickly and tell us your secret!

There are so many parties during last few months of the year:

  • Office Christmas Party
  • Family gathering
  • Friends parties (Some of us have more than one different gatherings)
  • New year Celebrations

When we had Thanksgiving gathering, where we had so much food, and 5 types of pies, plus more desserts dishes. We shared and ate leftover for days! It sure was fun, but not for my body. I have already plan to make sure my end of year gatherings are fun and healthy both.

That means we will be eating, drinking and be merry! So no wonder when it comes January 1st, we all have new year resolution to lose weight and be fit.

Download my free ebook : Meaningful Holidays (No need for email)

10 tips to staying fit during Holidays

Prevention is always better than a cure, if we are just bit careful on what we eat, we might be able to avoid weight gain that happens to most of good people. I admit it, it is hard for me as I love to cook, I am always cooking and sharing meals or eating out in those gourmet restaurant does not help.

However my biggest problem are my mom who think, that only way can show our love towards each other by finishing their food! And if you say” Mom, I am careful and eating healthy and I can not eat your fried dumpling”, oh the guilt trip she gives, oh my. No one can resist it, not me either, specially when my mom’s cooking is so yummy to me!.

Do you have mom or relative like that? Than you’ll know what I am talking about.

Here are my top ten ways, I am trying to keep my health, fitness and little sanity intact during this holidays. Hope this will help you celebrate meaningful holidays that are healthier.

  1. Eat a healthy snack before going to party. When I host a party, I try to keep some healthier but when I go to my relatives and friend’s party there may or may not be healthy or vegetarian choices so I usually eat a little before going to party and it helps me when I am not famished to choose better food.
  2. Eat more vegetables: Being vegetarian it is easier for me to choose vegetables and fruits but even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, you can choose various vegetable choices with your meat and potatoes to balance out the nutrition and fat.
  3. Skip gravy, cheesy and high fat choices: These gravys, cheese dips and friend snacks are high in fat and if we eat too much, it sure will add to our waist and other places on our bodies. If you can not resist and skip it like me, make sure you take little for taste only. Everything in moderation will be much better thing to do.
  4. Drink more water: Sometimes we are thirsty, no other liquid quenches our thirst like cold glass of water, so drink it through out the day. 8-10 glasses is generally recommended for most people. Added benefit of drinking water is also, that it will keep us hydrated and it is calorie free.
  5. Reduce Alcohol: For some people there can not be celebration without alcohol and that is fine. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation and always munch some food with your wine or beer so to make sure you do not have hangover next morning.
  6. Please your relative other ways: If you have relatives like mine who insist that if you loved them, you will finish their cheesy and fried dish, you have to be careful to stay healthy and not get fat. You can take little to show you love them and ask them that you loved the food so much you will get take out for home so you can eat it next day as well. They may just be happy enough to pack it for you, and not force you finish it right there. It may just work for you as well.
  7. Less dessert: Not many can skip dessert and I am included in there. Our gathering have lot of sweet dishes such as pies, chocolates pudding, and more. Have little pieces of dessert instead of skipping it all together so you will not have deprived feeling of not having a sweet.
  8. Exercise: Winter time is bad for going out and with many parties with food can be tough on staying healthy. So make an extra effort to exercise, dance and just do lot of walking when you can to keep fit during winter time.
  9. Bring your healthy food to share: If you host a party, make sure you have plenty of healthy choices for you and others who might want to eat healthier along with traditional food choices. If you are going to friend’s party, offer to bring a potluck meal to share which is healthier so if there is nothing you can be sure to eat at least your own food you brought. This has helped me a lot, as a vegetarian I will always have a choice to vegetarian choices and host does not have to go out of her way to make a special meal for me.
  10. Do not worry and enjoy it: Holidays comes once a year so take precautions but if you can not, just enjoy it and do not worry about it much. It is not fun to be party popper who does not join in fun, so do not make it obvious and go with flow.

We all deserve break once in awhile, so have little fun and eat food your aunt made specially for you. Wear that ugly christmas sweater that your mom bought you. Have a laugh and silly fun once in a while!

Life’s Little Wisdom For Daily Living

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Life is sometimes what we make it out to be, what we think it is. Here is life’s little wisdom to share with friends and inspire each of us to smile, hug and do something nice for us and each other.

I thought this was lovely, a bit long and drawn out but true
May you find peace and happiness in your hearts always

Sometimes in life, you find a special friend;
Someone who changes your life
just by being part of it.
Someone who makes you laugh
until you can’t stop;
Someone who makes you believe
that there really is good in the world.
Someone who convinces you
that there really is an unlocked door
just waiting for you to open it.

Always try to help a friend in need

Believe in yourself

Be brave…but it’s ok to be afraid sometimes

Study hard

Give lots of hugs and kisses to your kids

Laugh often

Don’t be overly concerned with your weight, it’s just a number

Always try to see the glass half full

Meet new people, even if they look different to you

Remain calm, even when it seems hopeless

Take lots of naps..whenever you can!

Be weird whenever you have the chance

Love your friends, no matter who they are

Don’t waste food


Take an occasional risk

Try to have a little fun each day.
….it’s important

Work together as a team

Share a joke with friends

Fall in love with someone.

…and say “I love you” often

Express yourself creatively

Be conscious of your appearance

Always be up for surprises

Love someone with all of your heart

Share with friends

Watch your step

It will get better

There is always someone who loves you more than you know

Exercise to keep fit

Live up to your name

Seize the Moment

Hold on to good friends; they are few and far between

Indulge in the things you truly lov

Cherish every Sunday

At the end of the day… PRAY

……. and close your eyes

And smile at least once a day!

Life Lessons: A Free ebook from 108 Bloggers

I am happy to share another free ebook to Heart and Mind readers today. Last year I contributed to Abubakar Jamil’s Life Lessons Series where many bloggers participated, sharing life lessons they have learned so far. I had so many lessons learned (and still learning), I shared 2 part series of life lessons. Click below to see my both articles on life lessons I wished I had known earlier.

Life Lesson I wished I had Learned Earlier Part 1

Life Lessons I wished I had Learned Earlier Part 2

Abubakar and Farnoosh both good friends and bloggers have turned this life lessons series in to a ebook using short lessons quotes from each articles. It is jamm packed with solid life lessons that surely has inspired me and I am sure all of you as well. You can download it free and you do not have to give email or subscribe at all. However, I hope you check out this and other blogs and subscribe because you like what they have to say.

This ebook has contribution from 108 bloggers, that is simply amazing to have many bloggers contributed. Hope you enjoy as much as people who wrote the life lessons. I am very happy to be part of such a joint contribution from my blogger peers that I enjoy reading and some I got to know through this series.

Click here to download: Life Lessons: From 108 Bloggers.

Do not forget I also have another free ebook  Meaningful Celebration for instant download, if you have not already seen it. Meaningful Celebration ebook is my first offering on my blog (and not the last), where I am sharing ways to celebrate Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Holidays from heart and not from wallet; bringing the bit sanity and peace within celebration throughout the year!

Enjoy and share with others.



10 Life lessons that I wished I had learned earlier : Part 2


When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
– Hugh White (1773 – 1840)

I sometimes wish to invent a time machine and go back and tell my younger self to watch out, do things differently. I am science fiction fan and geek at heart so having such a ideas are common to me but I know they are not practical or possible right now.

This is second part of post that shares many mistakes I made in past and how I would do it differently now. Check out the10 life lessons that I wished I had learned earlier : Part 1 here.

Sometimes I think these mistakes and lessons learned have made me more wiser (sic!) and more mature. If I had not made these mistakes I would not have grown, as I would not have learned any lessons if things were easier to achieve. Making mistakes are part of being human and learning from our mistakes makes us a better human, teaches us compassion, joy, pain and finally triumph when we come over our hurdles in life.

Here are a few more lessons I wished I had learned from it earlier. Read on and if you like it, please share with others so others can learn from my mistakes.

6. There are no short cuts to success.

Success can mean different things to different people. Whatever your success goals are, there are no short cuts. There are lot of luck and lot of hard work involved. Keep doing you work without getting discouraged is the best way to go for many people.

Many times we see or hear about someone who succeed and think that they are overnight success but that may not be the truth. They may have worked behind the scenes for months, or even years to get where they are, what they achieved.

Many times I wanted things faster, quicker but success or satisfaction came through doing a complete process of doing a task, regardless of what outcome would have been. Do not look for instant gratification, even though it is not easy to wait for it. Really, some short cuts may seem like you are winning at first but in the end, hard work, persistence and little luck always wins out. If you think otherwise, please share your wisdom with us.

7. You can not please everyone.

It is hard for me to see anyone upset, knowingly. I might have unknowingly made someone upset but that is never my intention and I have been a people pleaser most of the time. Many of good people are like that as they do not want to see anyone hurt, sad or upset.

I have come to realize slowly that you can not please EVERYONE. If you try it, you may still not please everyone and you will resent the situation, people or yourself eventually.

I have tried to please many people in my life, unsuccessfully for long time. While I still want to do right thing and make them happy, now I do not do it, if that makes me unhappy or it is against one of mycore values. Some people may not like it but long term effect will be lot more positive. Just make sure you trust your gut feelings and core values.

8. Keep your life areas in balance.

If you are hungry, sleep deprived or in deep debt, you can not think life improvement or personal development. One need to have many life area to be in balanced in order to be live the best life he or she can live. My life was not in balanced until I made sure that following aspects of my life were taken care of; Keep yourlife area balanced to live best life you can.

  1. Family: Without family to love, care and share with, life will not be complete.
  2. Knowledge: Work/Career/Learning: Humans like to constantly learn new skills and gain knowledge.
  3. Spiritual or Religious: You do not have be religious, spiritual prayers, meditation can do wonder.
  4. Financial: You can not focus on other aspect if you are deep and debt and worrying about it.
  5. Health: Health is true wealth, without it balance will not be complete.
  6. Social: We humans are social creatures, we like to live among society and other people.

9. Tell your family and friends how much you love them today.

We are often so busy in our daily grind of life, we do not realize how important your family and close friends can be. Tell them you love them, share a hug every day, without any reasons. It does not need to be valentine day, father’s day, mother’s day or any holidays, hug and share love, just because you care! A simple thing to make time for.

I know this as it has hit me well in heart where it hurts, deeply even now. I did not get a chance to tell my grandmother and grandfather, how much I cared for them and loved them before they passed away.

When I was a child, my mom used to drop me off at my grandparent’s house everyday before going for her work in morning. They doted on me and I had loads of fun together with them. My grandfather, noted author of his time, made up special stories for me and he never got tired of telling same stories again and again as I asked for it. My grandmother, showed off my littlest talent to everyone and kept best of snacks and munchies saved up for me and waited for my visits. They made me feel so special beyond words can describe.

My grandmother was mostly healthy and passed away unexpectedly at home one evening. I never got a chance to return the favor and show them they meant a lot to me and how much I cared for them. Even after many years, talking about her brings back tears and my guilt of not being with her, doing things for her, making her feel special as she had done for me.

Do not wait, till your loved one are sick or in hospital, do it now. No one can stop death but we can share happy moments together and create a memories that will last longer time.

10. I am not done learning lessons.

Once upon a time I thought I knew everything. More I learned as I realized that I hardly knew anything. Now I know that I do not know much. I have barely just begin to scratch the surface.

I know enough to realize that my lessons and learning is far from done. I know I will make more mistakes and learn more lessons in life journey. Knowing that makes me either silly or humble, I am not sure. But I know one thing my learning is still ongoing and that is a good thing because mind is like a parachute, it works only when it is open and I want to be open minded and realist in my life.

Make mistakes, learn from it and live a better and happier life. Be content and positive.

What are you some of the life lessons that you wished you knew it sooner? Please share, we all have great wisdom and life stories to share.


Image source: reallifespirituality.com


10 Life lessons that I wished I had learned earlier : Part 1

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
-George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1910)

No one is born with all knowledge, we all learn various things through out of life journey. Our first learning is through our parents, then teachers, our friends, our neighbors, co-workers, relatives, or some of even learn through other people’s success or failures from history.

Best way we learn thing is by doing; by practicing until we get it right. We learn from our own past behaviors and experience. Some times we make mistakes and keep correcting our ways until we get it right. Mistakes are not bad things, as long as we learn from it. It is human thing to make mistakes and I am very human, because I have made many mistakes and making some right now too. Only thing is I may not know it.

However, here are few lessons I wished I had learned it sooner. If I had, my life would have been more balanced sooner. I would be living much more zen life that much earlier. I know I still have a long ways to go and learn more lessons in the life. Life is a journey through living and learning.

1. Only person you can change is yourself.

I had tried in past to change behavior of my friends, or family members based on what I thought was proper ways to do things. However, in end it did not work. We are all ready to change when we want change ourselves. Need and desire for change has to come from within. Without it, no matter how good and convincing thought is, people will not change until they want to change themselves.

2. Try to be yourself. Do not compare yourself with others

When I was child, my aunt always compared me with her kids. I loved reading as a child so much that I rather be with my favorite book than to go and mingle with guests. It did not set well with my aunt that she labeled me lonely child. It had a huge effect on my childhood as my cousins were social with guests and no so much bookworm like me.

In the end it did not matter, I was and am very social person now. I still love my books but know how to balance both sides well enough. I do not want to compare Zenguy with other husbands nor I want to compare my kids with others as we all have our good and not so good sides and that is okay. It is okay to be unique.

3. Perfectionism is enemy of happiness

This is something I occasionally struggle with but I have loosen up quite a bit. I love cooking and it had to be perfect. My house was neatest and cleanest of everyone I knew. However I paid price for it, I was never content or happy with the result unless it was the best.

Having kids and being with Zenguy, I have learned it is okay to eat Mac and Cheese sometimes and it is okay if my laundry is not folded right away. We can not be perfect in everything we do. I strive to do my best at every task, however it may not be perfect and that is absolutely fine with me. You do not need to be productive always, it is okay to screw productivity once in a while .

I am not talking about doing a sloppy job, I am talking about giving the BEST you can, which may or may not be perfect. If you were like me in the past, stop looking for perfection in everything and give your best and you will have more time to be happier.

4. Health is wealth

When I was younger, I took my health for granted. I ate cold pizza for breakfast, slept late, woke up late, ate too much ice creams and chips at late night while studying. When past few years ago, I started to feel dizzy, and after blood tests I was told that I am anemic and I have low blood sugar. That meant I have to eat often and eat iron and b12 fortified food more to keep up with my life and 2 busy kids. I am now lot serious about my health as I realize that without me feeling better, no amount of friends, family or money will make my life better. Health is true wealth .

Little P has some health issues with his lungs so I want to make sure he grows up healthier. All we can do is take precautions and keep healthy eating habits, rest is destiny. Prevention is always better than cure.

5. Give more and you will be happy

When I was younger I wished everything best for myself. I wanted to hoard on best food, best clothes, best seat and so on for either for me or for someone I cared for. Over the years, I came to a realization that it did not make me happy even when I had best things, even when I was making six figure income, even when I was traveling in the world. I was temporarily happy when I got the best things and sad and resentful when I lost out on best thing. It was very childish behavior even when I was a teenager.

One day, I realize (through small steps) that giving away the best thing to someone else was making me gave more relief and I felt more freedom from maintaining stuff.

It may sound cliche like but it is true, at least for me. One time, I gave away some of my best professional and formal clothes, DVDs, books and other items to friends and family members and I felt so much relief after everything was gone. I made it a practice to give away stuff I was no longer interested in, even when I had spend so much money on it and it has been a win-win situation for me and others around me.

It gets rid of clutter (no matter how nice of expensive it might have been) but someone gets to use it, while it could be sitting in my closet gathering dust. I still have things and stuff but I make a practice to give away items that I no longer use it or have an interest in it. If it is emotional thing, I take a picture of it and keep it, it is lot easier to keep picture or piece of memory than stuff we no longer want to use it.

I still have more life lessons to share but article is getting to be over 2300 words so I am splitting in to a two parts. Check out part 2 10 life lessons that I wished I had learned earlier here.

What are you some of the life lessons that you wished you knew it sooner? Please share, we all have great wisdom and life stories to share.


Image Source: tickledbylife.com
This life lessons post is written as a part of series created by my new friend and personal development blogger Abubakar Jamil , who shares very unique and enlightening perspective on self improvement. If you like, you too can join this series by writing lessons that you wished you had learned earlier and email Abubakar about it.