Lessons Learned from One Year of Blogging Part 1: Inspiration

Where does my inspiration come from?

We all need to be inspired sometimes.

Especially when it comes to getting things accomplished.

Over the past year, I’ve learned that I occasionally need a little inspiration when creating things for this site.

These are some of the places that I most frequently find it.


Yo! I'm Pat, a self-taught cook, who travels for music, food, and adventure. Here I share my knowledge of Japanese cooking, indoor gardening, and points travel.

If it's your first time here - learn more about me.

I go Live on Youtube each Weds - Live Cooking Season 2 @ 6PM PST! join me in my kitchen!



First a bit of background.

Growing up I used to listen to the radio and watch MTV.

I recorded my favorite songs with tapes. Back when tapes were the thing.

Power 106 (mostly rap/some R&B) was my station when I was a in elementary school.

Then eventually KROQ (rock/alternative) as gangsta rap gradually started to fade away.

In high school, I started to listen to KEARTH (oldies) since they played it all the time at my first job working at Haagen Dazs.ย By the way, did you know Haagen Dazs is an American ice cream company?

I also picked up the guitar and that led me explore lots of rock and blues music.

Stevie Ray Vaughan is still a favorite.

I listened to a lot of rock/metal, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, most of the big rock names at the time.

I didn’t listen to electronic at all until one of my friends made me a CD.

I still have it.

And it sounds very 1999-2000-ey. Curious? Download a copy of it.

One of the first electronic songs I ever liked was Darude-Sandstorm. That’s track #1 if you downloaded the CD above.


This CD opened my ears up to electronic and the first ever electronic event I went to was Tiesto in Downtown San Diego when I was in college.

This was way way before his transition to making EDM.

Back then, he was famous for trance.

If you listen to his older stuff, that’s what trance sounds like.

Electronic was still pretty unpopular at the time, at least compared to how it is now.

In college, I also got into the jam band O.A.R (…of a revolution) and was part of their street team in San Diego.

I got lots of free tickets for working as a promoter for them.

I went to a lot of their shows.ย That was fun!

During college, I also started to listen to other types of music and discovered acid jazz/lounge music while I was studying abroad in Japan.

Cafe Lounge – Rose Hip Tea embodies that whole summer for me.

As a result, this led me to gain more interest in electronic, world music, and jazz.

By the time I was in grad school, I haven’t really changed my music interests all that much.

What I listen to today is mostly electronic (house, deep house and some trance), rock, and just starting to get into more jazz.


Don’t know what all these music genres sound like?

You are in luck!

everynoise.com put together the most comprehensive map of genres/sub-genres to guide you through the expansive world of music!!

If you follow that link, click the text to hear an audio sample, and click the >> next to the text to find artists that produce music in that genre.

It’s a pretty cool tool and you could probably spend days going through each style of music ๐Ÿ™‚

There is another site that has a similar layout, more focused on electronic music though, at techno.org

Soundcloud.com is where I follow most of my favorite producers.

If you like my taste, you can follow me there.

I’m also a regular listener of Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 show, and have been listening since the early 2000s!


I’ve been a long time fan of LACMA’s free music program.

And so have been going to a few of there events this summer. (Friday Saturday and Sunday each week they have jazz, latin and classical music.)

Here are some clips of the concerts we went to this summer:



Also, if you like world music, Afrisa International may appeal to you. I saw them at Grand Performances in Downtown LA.

I always have some music on when I’m writing my posts.

And when not writing, I’m always on the lookout for live music events.

There’s nothing that can compare to seeing music live!!



Here are some of the most inspirational videos I’ve seen this year.

I actually found the first two with Facebook and the last one while researching what camera to buy.

Doesn’t this make you want to visit Canyonlands!?:




The last two videos got me to buy a drone and also to gain interest in timelapse photography.

I will share some of those videos with you in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚



dribbble.com is my absolute favorite online.

There’s a lot of talent there. The vibe is fun and colors are bright.

I’m not really a fan of museums, but will go if there is an exhibition worth seeing.

Impressionism and Art Nouveau are my favorite styles.

Street art is cool too, but don’t seek it out much unless traveling.

Seeing other illustrations and works of art helps me to come up with different logo designs for my site.



While traveling I’m always looking for things I can’t eat at home.

Whether it’s fine dining or street food, I’m always up to try something new and different.

Sometimes I find something special and it makes me want to try and recreate it at home.

An example is poppy seed ice cream. Which we saw at a handful of shops in Europe this year.

I’ve never seen poppy ice cream in the US. So it’s now on my list to try and make.

I am a subscriber to Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Cook’s Illustrated magazines.

I usually make a few things from these magazines each month and for the most part have found them to be reliable and tasty.

They’ve also helped me learn how to be a better food photographer too, since they’re the pros!


Japanese foodย 

Most of my Japanese cuisine is inspired by these websites. I like the first two most since I’ve had the most success with them. The last one is sort of a mixed bag since the recipes are user generated. But if you find one with over 1,000 or 2,000 comments with pictures๏ผˆใคใใ‚Œใฝ๏ผ‰it may be worth trying out!


After I studied abroad in Japan, that is when my interest in travel really started to grow.

I got to see what it was like to live in another country and how much there was to explore.

It was like being a kid again when everything seems so novel and new.

I continue to seek these experiences and find ideas for travel mostly through the internet.

I believe there’s always something to be gained by traveling somewhere.

Things more often than not, turn out to be different than you expect or the way they are described by others.

So my opinion is that it’s always best to go and see for yourself, otherwise, you’ll never know for sure what a place is really like.


I do also follow a bunch of travel blogs.

These help to keep me up to date on travel deals and occasionally introduce me to destinations I hadn’t thought about visiting before.

If you’re curious how it’s possible to follow a bunch of blogs without going to each individual website, watch my tutorial on setting up an RSS reader/feed.


So in a nutshell:

Music, videos, eating out, art, food publications, and travel are my main sources of inspiration for this site.

Without these things, I think it would be a lot more difficult in coming up with ideas on what to write about, where to go, what to eat, and what to create.

Hopefully, some of my posts inspire you too!

How about you? Where do you get your inspiration? If you have anything you’d like to share, let us know by leaving a comment!ย 



Yo! I'm Pat, a self-taught cook, who travels for music, food, and adventure. Here I share my knowledge of Japanese cooking, indoor gardening, and points travel.

If it's your first time here - learn more about me.

I go Live on Youtube each Weds - Live Cooking Season 2 @ 6PM PST! join me in my kitchen!


8 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from One Year of Blogging Part 1: Inspiration

  • September 25, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Thank you for sharing your inspirations.
    Music is also one of mine, except I listen to mostly classical and film music.
    Walks are also another way I get inspired, whether it is on a city street, or a quiet rainforest path, or a sunny, sandy beach.
    And Food of course, just like you. One of the joys of travel is exploring different cuisines. Even at home in Singapore, there are always hidden gems to uncover.

  • September 9, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Great to learn about what inspires you, Pat! Sometimes for me it’s snippets of conversation or a day out in nature. Hope all is great your way!

    • September 12, 2017 at 9:31 am

      thanks for the note Christy! i totally agree!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 4, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Hey there Pat. We’ve missed you. Glad you are back and sharing with us. One year is awesome. We too just reached our 1 year point.

    • September 4, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      thank you and congratulations! just getting settled from being on the road for a few weeks, i’m sure you can relate! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 4, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Congrats Pat on your one yr blog anniversary. I too am approaching my first year in 10 days. I enjoy your blog and am glad we’re peers.I like your taste in my music too!
    What inspires me is Italian food for which I’ve grown up eating and traveling likewise to Europe. I find most of my inspiration on Pinterest from other great bloggers.

    • September 4, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      thank you for the note! one year goes by quickly doesn’t it? agree, pinterest and other bloggers have been inspiring to me too!


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