Go to Layout and select Two-column (simple)
Add gadgets for a "dashboard look" by going to "Insert." You can insert gadgets, photos or documents.
Here, I have inserted a Picaca Web slideshow of some random photos using "Picasa 3" (also free from Google).
I inserted two horizontal lines below. One here...
You can insert an Announcement/Blog Page.
First you need to use the Announcement template from the "Create page" button. Then insert the "Recent posts" Gadget.