Friday, February 4, 2011



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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

50 Creative Ways to Make Your Blog Popular

Blogging Tips
Here is a list of some very creative ways which can help you make your blog popular. If not popular, at least it will give you some ideas of what to post on your blog if you are running out of topics to write about.
  1. Start a controversy. Just remember not to cross the line.
  2. Start a contest. Make sure to end it too.
  3. Give away free goodies. People love them.
  4. Write about other bloggers to interest their visitors to read your blog. Keep it positive.
  5. Dress up your blog often (By dress-up I mean tweaking the design)
  6. Interview other bloggers and post the interview.
  7. Write about your personal life sometimes.
  8. Ask questions to your visitors.
  9. Share some secrets.
  10. Celebrate your birthday with your visitors. Think of innovative ways for doing this.
  11. Celebrate your blog’s birthday too.
  12. Write something funny or disgusting. (Don’t make it a habit)
  13. Make a bumper sticker with your blog’s name and stick it on your car. (Just make sure you drive often)
  14. Write an e-book and distribute it to your visitors for free.
  15. Introduce a commission based affiliate program.
  16. Tell your visitors about your latest fad or obsession.
  17. Post interesting pictures of your pets.
  18. Congratulate the top commentators occasionally.
  19. Encourage sharing of opinions.
  20. Donate for a cause or become a volunteer for a non-profit organization. Ask your visitors to join you.
  21. Put your blog’s ad in the local newspaper or the yellow pages.
  22. Hold blog competitions.
  23. Create polls.
  24. Hold an auction and let people bid for something useful (For example, advertising space on your blog).
  25. Write about your blog achievements.
  26. Share your hopes and aspirations about your blog.
  27. Start an award distribution system.
  28. Make contact with your local visitors and hold a get-together or a bloggers’ meet.
  29. Start a blog comic strip.
  30. Dig up some old article that you wrote on your blog which became famous and start a discussion.
  31. Try and get a photograph clicked with a real celebrity and post it on your blog. (Hold on Tiger..don’t rush to that Photoshop button!)
  32. Post videos that will help your visitors learn something new. Also submit them to video sharing websites like
  33. Write about your hobbies and interests. (For example, if you like cooking, post a new recipe)
  34. Post about one of the weirdest thing that you ever did.
  35. Get featured in a print magazine.
  36. Buy a paid review from any famous blogger(s).
  37. Brand your blog with a catch phrase along with a logo.
  38. Distribute T-shirts or merchandise with your blog name on it.
  39. Join Yahoo! Answers and put a link on your website to your answers.
  40. Keep a track of websites that pick up your articles or press releases. Offer them exclusive news or content.
  41. Do surveys and publish the results to your visitors.
  42. Build tools that your visitors might find use for.
  43. Start a newsletter.
  44. Podcasting is another good way to make your blog popular.
  45. Publicize your blog to your friends and relatives and let them do some work for you.
  46. Be active in Social Bookmarking websites.
  47. Share Link Love and you will get it back.
  48. People like to read about Web 2.0. Write about it.
  49. Write about something that’s already famous.
  50. Last but not the least, be yourself.



A New Year

I haven't been blogging for quite some time. been quite busy lately. exams, moving houses, work, etc etc.

lots of stuff have happened during the past few months. "interesting" and unforgettable.

work is quite OK. my probation will be over pretty soon, in just about a week's time. fast huh? i would have been working for half a year then. by now, i'm used to the life of waking up at 6am everyday, depart to work around 6.40 and reach the office aroudn 7. ever since i moved to this new place, even though i depart at the same time, i would reach the office about 10 minutes past 7 due to the heavy traffic in toll and traffic light areas. luckily there are still parkings. if not, i would need to pay an extra rm6 everyday, and that sucks!

i remembered i had a very unlucky year last year. to list down, first, i had my leg fractured; then due to the stress, i had pimples all over my face during my sister's wedding; i lost my purse on the 4th week of my first work; i crashed into a car sometime in november. how "lucky" was that? i hope this year won't be so bad. at least it started quite well? i moved into my new house on the 1st day of the year. so that should be a new start.

my december exam went quite well for me. but until the results are out, i wouldn't know what i had done. well, i always got disappointed when i have my hopes up. so this time, i will let it be. in fact, as soon as i returned to work, everything about exam was auto-deleted. my mind had nothing about exam until last week, i dreamed that i failed very badly. great...

my birthday was okay, except for that fact that i had to WAIT overnight in GENTING, outsing the casino, doing absulutely NOTHING, waiting for one stupid guy to fulfil his selfish desire. we got conned actually. a reminder and an advise-a gambler's words are not to be trusted. EVER!

christmas was not bad too initially. my best friend came back from australia and stayed with me. i met a few new friends through her. we went shopping and singing. first day of shopping was quite dull. not knowing why, my shopping mood wasn't there. but second day i went back with my pocket almost empty. bought a pair of lady bug slippers, caterpillar slippers and a dress. however, almost half of the money was spent on a very unhappy singing k session. again, it was ruined by the same person. impression on that very person is damaged completely, until a stage that i don't want to see him. i have never met someone so thick faced. one question, will a true friend cheat his own friend? no full details here as it is quite private. however, there's only one thing i would like to say-if you want to be my friend, make yourself worth befriended. cheat on me once, i won't feel sad over losing a friend as there are many others who are worth being my friends.

at least something more exited happened last weekend. i had my very first company annual dinner. even though not as thrilling, it was quite an experience. we had it in Pullman HOtel in Putrajaya. i participated in the dragon boat competition. even though my team lost, it was a good experience. in normal days, where to find 19 person to make up one team? however, now i suffered extreme ache in my muscles. good chance to become fit? haha! anyways, the hotel was superb. i had a jackuzzi in my room. however...there was no curtain to cover it. i was to go in, either i wear my swimming suit, or naked and i was staying with my manager. so...forget it. also for the toilet, it was transparent, except for the shower. we guessed that the rooms are made for couples, like honeymoon? it would be nice for the couples, to skinny dip in the jackuzzi. XD

skipping the other parts, i went home exhausted, spent. i slept the whole afternoon, skipping lunch, until dinner time only i woke up, and still feelign sleepy. my brother and his gf came home and went out again and i didn't even realise. after had my dinner, i slept again. i really didn't feel like waking up this morning. but no choice, i had to work....but i guess i'm more fortunate than my colleagues, who had to fly to phillipine today...

time to sleep. that summarised a bit on recent happenings. will come back again soon. ^^


The Journey Is At Times More Important Than The Outcome….

febravery 01, 2011

Last night’s class opened up a can of “whoop a**” on me.  From the knife cuts (fluted mushrooms and tourne potatoes), the dishes we cooked for presentation (glazed beets, braised cabbage, duchesse potatoes) to kitchen clean-up (we stayed until 9:30pm cleaning) it was a stressful situation (in my opinion).  Over the last three months, I have had highs and lows in my affinity for culinary school and have  seriously doubted everything from my ability as a chef to my aptitude for remember information. My first day in this new course brought back all the feelings of inadequacy I felt the first time I stepped into the kitchen two months ago.
I have a tendency to psych myself out and to over-analyze situations — in essence, I scare the crap out of myself for no good reason.  This self-created anxiety is one of the issues I work with my counselor with because it tends to block progress in my case.  Modern psychology states that small amounts of stress are good for running at peak levels of productivity. I am unique that the thought of stress actually creates unhealthy amounts of stress.  I find it amusing that my classmates are always complimenting me on my calm demeanor in the kitchen.  It isn’t that I am calm at all — on the inside I am doing cartwheels but I know that if I don’t focus and try to control the internal chaos, it will have detrimental effects.  Once rolling, the stress compounds and that is when you find me a sweaty mess talking to myself in the corner or angrily yelling at my classmates over small things.  Neither is a good scenario, hence why I try hard to go in every day with a game plan and really not get too shaken up.
Because of this tendency, I often get lost in the moment.  For some that is a state they aspire to embrace but for myself it’s something I avoid. Many times in my life, I get caught up in the here and now, but never look at the path I am have or the journey as a whole.  As I get older, I am appreciating life as a whole rather than compartments. Yet, somehow this “whole perspective” is not translating to culinary school – this is a journey I need to remember because it has informed me about some much regarding myself. In life we can take many different roads, but those roads we take, well in particular, the road I have taken, I need to pay attention.  Yeah, sometimes we deviate or go off path – but that is the beauty of a well-lived life.
Last night, as I laid in bed exhausted, I thought of the poem by Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken”. I memorized it in elementary school for a contest and still remember it to this day, considering I can’t remember my Mom’s birthday, it’s no small feat.  Little did I know that some 20 plus years later, it would have such new meaning to me……
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Practice Makes Perfect……

My back aches.  My fingers  marred with knicks.  Burns cover my wrists and forearms.  And my shoulders have permanently connected with my ears.  I am nearing the end of my Skills One-Kitchen Basics class and it can officially be said that it has kicked my behind from here to China and back.  This is the first time in my life where I have felt defeated, elated and satisfied in the span of six hours.  Each day starts with lecture in a classroom for about 30 minutes, then we move into the kitchen where we are placed into groups to complete a set of assignments dealing with stocks.  From there, we complete our knife cut drills and proceed into our individual work that we present to the Chef for a grade.
I have been very upfront that by nature nervous when it comes to my kitchen skills.  From the very  beginning, I have doubted whether I could hang with the “big dogs” but I am happy to say that for the most part I have held my own.  While I may not be a “natural” in the kitchen, I have worked diligently on my knife cuts, slowly raising my scores and increasing my speed to where I am able to cut several cups of julienne, diced, brunoise and minced vegetables in under 40 minutes.  To understand where I came from, I started three weeks ago barely  able to cut a half cup of three vegetables in an hour.  I am far from proficient and am still in awe of certain members of my class who sail through these knife trays with time to spare.  Honestly, one person in particular who I will call “Milo” has amazing knife skills.  His cuts are precision and simply beautiful to look at – he is my inspiration and where I aspire to raise my level.  However, he is never 100% pleased with his scores and has on several occasions questioned the Chef on why he did not get a perfect “10″.  I respect that he believes in his work to the degree that he will argue its validity.  I, on the other hand, am normally just quite proud to finish all my cuts and to not have lost a finger.
If you read the blog often, you may have noticed that I have posted several inspirational quotes in the last few weeks.  I find that these quotes are almost mantras that I say in my head as I am doing my knife cuts and assignments.  The above quote from Aristotle is profound in its depth of meaning and simplicity.  I have seen the fruits of my hard work.  I  have challenged and pushed myself to do better.  When I have not pushed myself to the point where I thought I  could not go, I did not achieve superior results.  I now know that I am stronger than I was yesterday, yet I still have more to go.
I have tried hard not to compare myself with my classmates because their journey is different from my own.  The barometer I set to measure my success needs to be based on my own goals and mandates.  I won’t fool myself into thinking that my work is stellar, but I know my attitude towards my work exceeds my own expectations.  I have found a zen and contentment that I believe comes from putting it all out on the table every day and holding nothing back.  It’s exhausting and draining, but then I never assumed culinary school would be anything less.


A Famous Man Once Said….

One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein…….
A poster of this quote hung in my room all through junior and high school.  Whenever I faced a challenge or a question, I could not answer, I would look at this quote and think “nothing is impossible if you can think it”.  And with that, I would set my mind to finding some creative way to solve my issue.  While I was not always right, I always found a solution.
This week I entered the Teaching Kitchen at school and found myself faced with a set of challenges, both external and internal, as I began my foray into our Skills One course.  Skills One is part of a core set of cooking fundamental courses designed to drive home the basics of cooking methodology, form and technique.  This is a polite way of saying that we spend the hours a day doing knife drills that would make a grown man cry.  Brunoise, dice, mince, alumette, & concasse are all terms that I thought I knew before walking into class, but in the last three days I have come to know intimately.  I have the nicks, scratches, cuts and sore wrists to prove I have been on the front lines battling a mountain of vegetables.
I have been improving steadily but then I started at the bottom of the class, so I had no place to go but up!  However, as I completed my knife tray today, the above quote sprang into my head.  I don’t know why, but the quote lodged in my head for the remainder of class as I completed my onion soup and cleaned.  It stayed with me on my ride home and as I stood in the shower trying to get the knots out of my shoulder.  And then it hit me…….
I have done nothing to stoke my imagination in school.  It has been facts for the last 2 months straight.  I have done nothing to fuel the creative side of me that drove me to apply to culinary school.   It’s one of the major reasons why I have been so unhappy with my experiences so far at the CIA.  I am not stoking the creative flame….and it’s dying.  So I need to find some creative outlet in school if I am really going to be the best chef I can be.  I will never be a fantastic knife technician or probably the best cook for that matter, but I can set a table like no one’s business and dress a plate that would make Martha Stewart slap her momma (metaphorically speaking of course…).  I need to be creative and right now, the lack of it in my life is eating at me, sapping my energy and really putting a damper on my time here at school.
I came to school to learn but I also came to think, daydream and imagine.  It’s about time the CIA gives me the room to be me.  And if they can’t….well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  Until then, I have the week off from school.  I am going to recharge my mind, body and soul.  A little trip to SoCal and maybe a home project or two…’s gonna me ni