Thanks for your speedy response @WPyogi. I really like the default static page in the 'discover' theme - but I don't know how to point to it as per the instructions from @Ynotweb
(pasted from above URL)
A) Create your home page under Write>Pages
B) Create a seperate (blank) Page(again, Write>Pages) called "Blog" or "Recent Posts" or whatever you want the link text to be in your navigation. You can type nothing or anything you want in the body (I usually type "this is a placeholder".) as this text is never displayed -- it is replaced with the blog entries instead.
C) Go to Options > Reading.
D) Select "Front Page Displays a Static Page"
E) Define Front Page as whatever page title you gave your home page in step A.
STEP E IS WHAT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO WITH THE DEFAULT PAGE
F) Define Posts Page as whatever page title you gave your blog "page" in step B. No need to create a special template- whenever someone navigates to this "page" they get the X most recent posts as defined on the bottom half of Options>Reading.