I am a huge fan of Leo and his blog Zen Habits.  So he did a post recently about just starting something.  I have been trying to find ways to write this blog and doing all sorts of things but the one thing that I have not been doing is writing on it.

So because Leo says I should write more –  i will just write stuff.   I don’t promise anything profound but I do promise to try and just write my observations of the world and my little corner of it.  I will try and do it more often.

This weekend has been one of the lovliest in Sydney ever – very hot but as it is still spring not really beach weather as the water is still freezing!!  Of course I did not get to enjoy this weekend because I am a mother and a daughter so I had to spend the weekend running around after my kids, my friends and my parents.  Today, being Monday I now have some time to myself but of course now the weather is not so nice for being outside.

But I have time to be quiet and sit and I can leave the housework till later and no-one will care.  So that is a good thing.

Be Happy………



Today my husband, whom I shall now refer to as the Skipper, and I went for a bike ride around pyrmont and glebe.  It is a great ride about 12 kms of easy flat riding with some great views including of course the harbour and lots of boats – which kept the skipper happy!!

If you are interested I mapped it on map my run here is the link :


Most of this would be a great ride with kids, although the bit riding through the carpark of the fish markets is a bit scary – may be better to take kids around the markets – would not make it too much longer but equally as flat and easy.

OK so I had to do two blogs today to make up for my stupidity with the whole better blogging in 31 days thing.  Yesterday’s and the day before’s blog will now come to you today.

Today’s exercise is to write a list. Referring back to my elevator pitch I need to write a list about something that I am blogging about.  Not sure how to do that since I don’t really blog about anything, cause I only just started and I just do it to copy everyone else.

I decided that my list will be about the steps needed to start a business.  Now I should warn you that I started my business about 18 months ago and I did not follow these steps.  However I have learned that if I had followed these steps my business would be a lot further along by now.

Start a Business From Home – or what I learned the hard way

1) Have a great idea/product you need to know what your business is about.  This is not as easy as it seems.  You might think you want to sell homemade yoghurt – but what what kind and how much and how will people buy it.  Or you might be a consultant – what kind of area do you want to work in -what will you and won’t you do?

2) Create space in your life to focus on it I am a big believer in the fact that most people can do anything they put their minds to.  So how are you going to start a business if you are like me and have two kids, a husband, a cat, a house that needs selling, 10kgs to lose and another job to go to.  Well you need to decide what you will give up and what you will prioritise in your life to make the business happen.  If you can’t find real space and time in your life for the business then you need to question whether you really want to do it.  You need to show YOUR SELF that you are committed before you even start.

3) Write a plan this is my biggest down fall – I have a plan in my head but it is not on paper -once you know what you want to do, you need to show YOURSELF and anyone you are asking to invest in your business how you will do it.  You need to show that you have thought about things like pricing, marketing, time, competition and business set up.  Also think about what your life will look like once this business is up and running – is it a full time job, part time do you want to be able to employ people?  Look into the future and write it down.

4) Set up a structure – give the business a name and do all the stupid paper work that the government makes you do before you start.  Again a rookie error that I have made is to not put in place proper filing and accounting systems.  These make your life easier and show that you are taking this business seriously and that it is not just a hobby or a pipe dream.

5) Start marketing ok you have been thinking about it long enough – now get out there and do something, tell people, blog about it or advertise.  The worst that can happen is that you have to manage too much business.

6) Start to build up stock are you going to make to order or have stock on hand – if you are a service make sure you NOW have the hours free to do the work – once you advertise you will need to be able to sell whatever it is you are selling.

7) Are you having fun yet you need to remember to enojoy the ride – you chose this path – love it – even the paperwork because you are now one step closer to doing what you had planned to do.

remember mayhem is a lifestyle choice


OK so I found this thing where you work through a process which is 31 days to a better blog.  Since my blog is very lame and kind of nothing I thought I would give it a go and see what I could do.

I started it about three days ago and only today did I work out that you actually had to put the stuff you do in the exercises on your actual blog.

I have been writing them down on bits of paper – where does it say put it on a blog – I guess that was kind of implied in the name.

ANYWAY the first exercise was an “elevator pitch” for your blog.  What is your blog about?  Well how the hell should I know????  This took some serious thinking – I just made a blog cause everyone else had one and I am nothing if not a follower.

I came up with what I think is a “very witty” -read sad and pathetic elevator pitch that I would probably never use in an elevator because I cannot remember the last time I went in one.  I live in a city but have no reason to go into tall buildings – all the shops are on the ground floor.

So here it is my elevator pitch:

Vanessa Makes a Plan:- The manic musings of a modern mum.  Sit back and be astounded as she sends herself mental trying to start a business, lose weight,  sell a house and still make the school run.

see how I very cleverly put in everything to do with my life so that I can write about everything.  Yeah basically my elevator pitch tells you nothing.

Maybe I will be better with the next exercise.

“mayhem is a lifestyle choice”


So what is this Global Financial Crisis – at first when I heard the GFC I thought it was the Global Fashion Crisis, then I realised that was just me and my fashion sense.
Maybe it is a Global Fitness Crisis, no what I really think is that it is a Global Focus Crisis.

Think about it – one minute the “whole” world is focussed on making more money, having the biggest, latest and best stuff, the next minute we are all focused on the doom and gloom.

Maybe if we focused on the good stuff in life – making it simple again – maybe less work means more time to live and focus (there’s that word again) on what is important.

I know that life is getting scary with job security not what it used to be but if you have managed to hang onto your job then maybe a downturn in “busyness” leaves us time to have a focus crisis instead of a financial crisis.

Focus on the important things in life – focus on your health, do what is good for you not what “they” tell you to do.  Do what makes your body feel good, long term not short term.  Focus on your relationships – maybe less time at work means that you can spend more time with loved ones, walk your kids to school, stay for reading groups.  Do free stuff with your friends,  meet in the park and kick a ball you don’t need to spend money in a fancy restaurant or $20 cocktails to spend time with friends.

Finally what this all means is that maybe now that we have stopped chasing the mighty dollar and the next greatest electronic toy we can take the time to focus on what is really important – you.

All the money in the world is useless unless you have your health and someone to share it with.

Why not join with me in rejecting the Global Financial Crisis and starting our own Global Focus Collective.

How do you write Blog posts – not how do you write the words that go on the screen but what method do you use?  I’ve taken to carrying around a notebook – maybe I should also be sitting in coffee shops wearing a beret and looking serious…   I seem to be getting inspired everywhere I go.

Obviously being only my third post this is largely a rhetorical question – but until I can be bothered carrying my laptop around all day every day I guess I will keep on carrying my notebook and taking notes at inappropriate moments.

I guess I should start by explaining why I chose the name Tomato Jelly. I shall say this only once….

I have three businesses in the real world T.J. Creations – makers of glam patient gowns for infirm people, T.J. Solutions – business and accounting solutions and TeeJay Bags retailer of reusable lunchbags for school canteens.
All three are named for my children T & J – which reminds me why I work.

One day my daughter J said i should just call it all Tomato Jelly and be done with it – and the name stuck.

Nothing more, nothing less – wisdom of an eight year old