13 Nov Delusions of Sweet Passion

So I have a looming book deadline that both terrifies AND delights me. Writing is on fire. (In between being sick with the flu and getting ready to move to our new house.) Which is why it makes no sense that today – I spent FOUR HOURS planning, researching, outlining, brainstorming and branding…

My smoothie, ice-cream baking soapmaking business. A roadside café/store called:

The Sweet Stop.


Sweet Chills.


Sweet Passion.

I had it all written out. A place where I would sell all-natural fruit n vegie smoothies,  icy cold and delicious using fresh market produce. And homemade cookies and slices. And fruit ice pops and yoghurts, all made from Samoan fruit. I created a Pinterest board with recipes and décor ideas for the interior and for the packaging and for the arrangement of the napkin holders on the counter. Nothing was left to chance. I drew diagrams for how I would arrange the stools, the glasses, the blenders and the freezers. We could even make it out of a shipping container for extra awesomeness and affordability! Like this –


It would be at the front of my house, on the main road so people could pop in and grab a cold smoothie on their way to work or school. Every night I would bake trays of cookies and cakes. (Okay, more honestly – I would get the Daughters to bake cookies every night.) Every weekend we would buy baskets of papaya and pineapple, bunches of misiluki banana and divine soursop sasalapa, tangy limes and mango.  Then I would chop it all up and freeze it for smoothies. (Okay, more honestly – I would get the Sons to chop it all up while I supervised the very important freezing.)

Every day, I would open my little store and whip up divine icey treats that were healthy AND yummy. And people would OOOH and AAAAAH over my fabulous baking, my Martha Stewart-like skills, the utter cleverness of my presentation and artful packaging, the absolute BRILLIANCE of my beautiful little store.

This could be ME! See how happy she looks? That’s because she’s unleashing her creativity, savouring the aura of a fulfilled creative spirit. I could SO be like that.


I clearly envisioned the money that would ROLL IN. People would drive for miles and miles to enjoy a smoothie from the Sweet Stop. I would have a Facebook page for the cookie of the Day and frozen yoghurt of the week and people would SALIVATE over the pictures. The amazing celebrity chef Robert Oliver would be in paroxysms of DELIGHT over my ice-cream whipped up using frozen bananas, rich koko Samoa, and sprinkled with roasted coconut. Of course he would feature Sweet Passion on his TV show and talk about it on My Kitchen Rules. Of course!

People would snack on my vanilla-bean biscuits and divine banana puddings in little plastic pottles and ask, “How DO you do it Lani?! How do you write books and have five children AND have such a WONDERFUL café?” And look so gorgeous! (Because of course I would be incredibly fit and healthy while making such healthily delicious food. I’d probably go for long runs every morning up to the plantation where I would harvest baskets of ripe produce, then run back to the house with baskets strapped to my back. Strength conditioning.)

When asked such questions, I would wave my hand nonchalantly and say (as I whipped up another dreamy smoothie with carrots, kale, mandarins and lime), “Oh, its nothing. When you’re passionate about something, then it’s not work. You’re doing what you LOVE and so every moment of every day is a joy!” And if they persisted in asking how it all gets done, I would show them my laptop at the counter, where I would tap out amazing stories every time there was a lull in smoothie-making. Y’know, as one does. Blend bananas – write a love scene – take cookies out of the oven – proofread a chapter…easy! Effortless!

Plus I would make coconut oil soap again, facial scrubs from honey and white sand, fragranced massage oils – all made by me, from natural ingredients sourced by me, created by ME. They would be so amazing probably even Bodyshop or Lush would beg for my recipes. Maybe, I would have my own TV show!! Where I am witty and perfectly put-together, where I dispense parenting advice and share recipes, do cooking and smoothie demo’s. And interview celebrity guests. Like Jason Momoa!!! And Hugh Jackman!!!  (I’m sure they would be devoted soap and smoothie connoisseurs. Naturally.)

I ask you – Does that not look like a man who can appreciate handmade coconut oatmeal citrus soap? 


Where were the children in this fantasy you might ask? Oh don’t worry, that was the BESTEST part of the business plan. Sweet Passion would provide the children with employment. After-school jobs. Weekend work. No more whinging during the holidays about ‘We’re soooo bored. What are we gonna do?” They would learn how to be responsible members of society. They would learn how to budget, save, give correct change to customers. They would understand the meaning of HARD WORK. They would bake and chop and clean and blend and freeze and sweep. And it would all be for their benefit. Then of course, when they grew older and had earned their places in the business, I might let them have shares in the empire. Open Sweet Passion franchises all over the Pacific. Heck, why stop there – all over the planet!

But wait, there’s more!

Not only would this be a teaching learning opportunity for my children, it would bring us closer as a family. Think about it. We would sing songs together as we chopped fruit late into the night. We would swap customer stories as we stirred bowls of cookie batter. We would work side-by-side, building greater family unity and team spirit as we dreamed up new recipes and new ways to clean a blender. I felt quite tearful as I thought about it. O the happiness… We would be like the Swiss Family Robinson. Or Little House on the Prairie, making the most out of every little thing we had. Then at the close of each business day, the Hot Man would get out his guitar and lead us all in a sing-along. (Never mind that the man doesn’t know how to play a single note. He’s a fast learner.)

It was a most invigorating afternoon.

By the time the Hot Man came home, I was exhilarated and ready with papers and plans to present to him. “Look! Isnt this fabulous. I made a budget. And a business plan. All we need is a commercial  ice cream machine – its only $3500 NZD on Trademe. And all you have to do is build a nice little storefront thing by the road and we are good to go! Big Son comes home next week from university. You get our stand built by then and he can start work the day after he gets here. We could be raking in the big bucks by Christmas. What do you think?!”

The Hot Man was tired and paint-spattered and had burn marks on his arms from welding. He looked at my handful of papers and asked, “Did you finish writing your book today?”

Ummm, no. What the heck does that have to do with anything? #DreamKiller

“I’m sure it’s a great idea Lani. But I don’t see how you’re going to write books and run a business like that. And we don’t have three thousand for an ice-cream machine. And I cant build you a nice ‘little’ store by the road because I’m pretty busy BUILDING OUR HOUSE and WORKING A FULL-TIME JOB AS THE OWNER OF A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY as well.” A deep sigh. “Could you please just finish your book and get it out there? Then maybe we can think about building cafes and selling smoothies…”

Then the poor man shuffled off in search of dinner. There was none. Seeing as how I’d been very busy writing up my business plan for my smoothie café empire. World domination via my amazingness.

Which is when it hit me.

I’d just blown an entire half a working writing day – writing NO words on my book. Making NO progress on my actual author career.

Because I’d been dreaming up a smoothie cookie soap store  where I ruled the world like a banana ice cream Martha Stewart. A store which if I were TRULY honest with myself, I would probably hate… after a few weeks of smiling at customers (when all I really want to do, is sit in my cave by my damn self and write my book), listening to my kids complain about baking yet another batch of cookies (when all I really want to do is tell them to play Xbox so I can watch Good Wife in peace), and chopping mountains of papaya on a Saturday night (when all I really want to do is go out dancing with the Hot Man.)

Procrastination at it’s very finest.

And most sweetly delusional.

Please tell me you’ve had similar intoxicating procrastination experiences in your life!

P.S If any of you steal my idea and start a smoothie cookie soap store called Sweet Passion, I might hunt you down and kill you. #JustSaying.

  • Winnie David

    Keep writing … love reading your blog … this has made my morning …

    November 13, 2014 at 11:48 pm
  • Lani:

    I feel like you are a soul sister to me. I daydream all the time and I write stories that unlike you, ever get published much less see the light of day. I decided to go back to school after my so called “hot man” thought it would be ok to be someone else’s “hot man”. Needless to say, I am back in college, and working and still daydreaming about my interior decorating/book author lifestyle that I want to have someday when I stop procrastinating and daydreaming and actually put my plans into action. I love the Sweet Passion kiosk stand idea though. But I think you’re right, in a few weeks, you will start to dread it like I would and wonder what in tarnation were you thinking when you decided to open shop like you did not have a zillion other things that were calling your attention. I love your funny stories so keep em coming!

    Aloha, from Hawaii …

    November 14, 2014 at 3:27 am

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