Christmas

These words ring so truly  for me with less than two weeks to Christmas and I have only recently got around to posting a selection of the photographs from the “Simply be-Winter” launch night. I have been busy living probably not as simply as I could as the mild panic of Christmas is looming fast.

The cards are gathering on the mantelpiece and the lists are growing. Time moves faster when we are busy and even though there is almost two weeks left it feels like tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Time to cut back on all non essential tasks in order to appreciate the people, the atmosphere and the beauty in it all.

Its only two degrees here today and you can almost smell the snow.  The children are hoping and praying for just one snow day, I am hoping and praying that I have the food in and the presents bought before we become snow bound. I live on a hill and once the ice arrives long walks with shopping are the stuff of dreams. If I am snowbound I will be reflecting on a  remarkable year so completely unexpected and enjoying the peace of a unavoidable holiday.

Our last big snow four years ago my children learned chess and hiked to the shops and built snowman and missed two full weeks of school. We will always remember it with love. Snow or not this year is special too and even if I have to make my own snow I am determined to capture the wonderful spirit of the season.  Take care, don’t panic and use loads of readymade supplies. This time is all about the people. xx

 

Posted by: Sheila | December 12, 2014

Simply be-Winter Launch night

Despite the raging weather the launch night for “Simply be-Winter” was a great success. I appreciate everyone who braved the terrible rain and came down to Bridge Street Books Bookshop on the night. if you are not living locally you can pick up the books in any bookshop or online at Amazon or any online booksellers. Here is a selection of photographs from the night.

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Posted by: Sheila | November 19, 2014

2 days to go……………

Bridge Street Books

 

They say if you can’t find the book you need you have to write it. I looked at that statement pinned to my wall for years before I acted upon it. I always wanted to write but I  could never find my voice. The pages of notes sat by my bed as the time rolled by and eventually I feared I would be still stepping over them long passed middle age. To write any book and release it into the earth it is tough to let it go. If you want to know me than read my books. Though that in turn means you will know much more about me than I do you!

In two days time I will release my last book in the simply be collection. It is always the way that just as you begin to enjoy something it is over. The nights spent scribbling on pieces of paper are a distant memory. The lasting recollections that I have now are the people who have encouraged and supported me all along. My books are not everyone’s cup of tea like anything, everyone’s taste is different. However I have felt the universal love around me as I have followed my dream. Friday is not the end it is only the beginning but for me it is the perfect way to finish the  year. I will be nervous and excited as I put my work out there but I know we are all the same. We all want to make a difference and follow our hearts. I am so lucky to get to follow mine wherever it takes me.

Here is an except from the winter book out on Friday. If you around Wicklow Town at 7pm pop in and say hello, everyone is welcome.

 

November 7th

The silly season

With Halloween over, now all eyes are turning to Christmas. The shops are covered in Christmas presents, decorations and music and in the newspaper they are giving away Christmas songs. In one way this is a little disconcerting and quite materialistic. Yet in another the Christmas season, however early it begins, does make us feel good. I watched a Christmas movie today and though we still have seven weeks to go I came away with hope in my heart and a smile on my face. So this year to get myself in the right frame of mind and so that on Christmas Eve I am not just running around stressed, I am compiling a Christmas plan. Not as ominous as it sounds in fact I think it will be cheesy but quite enjoyable.

I plan to watch some Christmas feel good films It’s a wonderful life, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street and so on. I am going to play Christmas music in the car- Poor passengers! I am intending to bake a pudding, a cake or both before the end of this month thus taking the pressure off. I am aiming to put together a present list and a to-do list for the big day.

And finally, I may only by the end of this month have achieved one of those items but at least I will know what to do, what must be done, what may be done and what I will never get around to doing. You see then I will have time in December to enjoy the build-up, the parties, the atmosphere rather than being knee deep in flour and wrapping paper barely coming up for air! I reckon if you cannot beat them, join them!

Simply be-Winter will be on sale everywhere from Friday and makes a great Christmas present.

 

 

 

Posted by: Sheila | October 25, 2014

A time to read………………

September with its late blooms and falling leaves was marked by Simply be Autumn hitting our shelves and here is the trailer which includes some excerpts of the new book. It is available everywhere and if you purchase it from the Book Depository link you get free delivery which is always nice.

Simply Be Autumn Reading from Scope Media on Vimeo.

The weeks are flying by and I cannot believe in a few days it will be Halloween.  Here in Ireland in the autumn it was strangely mild so  when someone posted a photograph of a Christmas tree in a country hotel I was shocked to realise it is two months to the big day. With that in mind it won’t be long until “Simply be-Winter” is out on the bookshelves, launching towards the end of November in the award winning Bridge Street Books, bookshop, more details soon.

Autumn has been a strange season for me and quite unexpected. I was off the road for some weeks and so thrown into simplicity whether I liked it or not.  Being an active person always on the go it was a true lesson in life having to slow down somewhat as I nursed some injuries from a car accident. ( I am happy to say I am well on the mend now though the car wasn’t that lucky.)

Anyway  I asked the other half to go down to go down to the library and get me out a new book to read to distract me from a broken dishwasher and the written off  car and whatever else. I had heard” Elizabeth is missing”  written by first time author Emma Healey   was a wonderful read. It is all about Maud who is struggling as she descents into dementia and it is part mystery, part thriller and very engaging. Off he went and  on arrival at the library asked for some book about the queen and came home with  The Queen and I by Sue Townsend which turned out to be a great humorous read.

While I waited for the library to locate my original book I embarked on Behind Every Cloud written by  the author Samantha O Flanagan that she had so kindly posted to me. It is a non fiction book written by a girl who is an award winning blogger and diagnosed with Bi Polar. Everyone of us experiences tough times in life and Samantha’s book is a rare insight into how she manages her illness around her busy existence. It is a wonderfully positive story and so interesting. The sort of book you would read in a day or two as it is hard to put down. I highly recommend it. Incidentally I finally did get to read Emma Healey’s book and it did not disappoint.

Finally I just have to mention Woman’s Way Ireland’s top woman’s weekly magazine who have a  competition this week to win copies of “Simply be-Autumn”. So if you are feeling lucky why not enter and if you are not its a great read anyway.

Enjoy the long weekend and make sure to change your clock tonight,

Sheila x

Posted by: Sheila | September 6, 2014

Autumn

Autumn

 

 

If you have any trees near you their leaves are now starting to cover the paths. At home, the wind is blowing around the roads and whistling up to the sky. It is time to pull out that jacket or coat again. It is time to reduce the spread of bottled tan, to turn on the heating. It is time to cut back the garden, one final time for this year. Time to realise that the longer, lingering summer days are drawing to a close and though it feels like an Indian summer, the days are getting shorter, timetables are being written up and it is back to the grindstone for most of us.

Autumn brings with it great colour, burnt oranges, reds, browns and beige’s. I wish I could paint a beautiful picture of it on canvas instead I must be content with soaking it up every morning as I fulfil my daily routines.

Some of us use this time to skip off to warmer climates and hibernate. But for most of us autumn is a reflection of summer and a preparation for winter. It is a time to snuggle up under duvets, time to wrap up well and take long walks up hills and through forests.

It can be chilly but not freezing. A warm jacket, hat and solid footwear remains enough to brave the elements, feel the wind in our hair and across our face. Look out over a beautiful view or even just watch the sun set.

Every season brings its own gift and autumn is no exception. Longer evenings, time to look over holiday photos taken, plan holidays for the future. Chat for hours with friends and family in dimly lit settings with oodles of atmosphere.

This month shows the shift from sandals and tee shirts to sweaters and trousers. Embrace change. Snuggle up in your warm clothes. Feel the comfort of autumn and look forward to a few months of snugly nurture time, which is well deserved.

This is an extract from “Simply be-Autumn” out now worldwide. Listen here to Sheila in conversation with Declan Meehan of East Coast FM. Sheila will be reading from her new book this Sunday 7th September in Michaella’s café, All are welcome.

Posted by: Sheila | August 12, 2014

Measuring up

 

Sunflowers and Pumpkins

 

Recently having finished editing  “Simply be-Autumn” (though hopefully we have lots of summer left) as I danced around my kitchen to Billy Bragg I was transported back to a time when the summer seemed longer and the days unfolded like a mystery waiting to be experienced. Music, favourite books other than traditions  all serve to mark the chapters in our lives. Sometimes it can be hard to start or finish a chapter if it is too good or too bad yet conclude we must as there is invariably more ahead. As I release Simply be-Autumn into the earth I step back in time to leg warmers, black nail varnish, lace and all sorts of eighties essentials. The clothes come and go but words and music have no fear of time. When my finger hits the play button it could be my record player, ipod or youtube, I could be fourteen or forty it makes no difference. Some musicians are worthy to stand the test of time, Billy Bragg is one of them. I will get to do this dance one last time for Simply be-Winter and dare to dream that one day I may receive even a dot of his recognition.

Simply be-Summer and Simply be-Spring are  out now on sale in all good bookshops or click on the names to buy online

 

Posted by: Sheila | June 3, 2014

Five steps to a simpler life

 

1. Include at least fifteen minutes of free time into your day

The other week on the school run we spotted a beautiful horse still donning his night blanket running for freedom on the footpath as we drove by. A blonde in a jeep was in hot pursuit and the horse was wining. We all willed the horse on he looked so happy and liberated. He was running as if his life depended on it. I think we have all had times when we felt like running free.

It must have been the week for it because on Sunday morning we met a chicken and yes you have guessed it unbelievably she was crossing the road all alone and looking very happy. She too had had enough and was breaking out at least for a little while.

Fifteen minutes without radio television, computer, smartphone or land-line is a breath of fresh air, even if you don’t leave your desk and run for your life.

 3. Give what you want to get

When we sit at home and are sad that we have no friends we get no friends.  When we get out and meet people and are friendly then people are drawn to us. The same goes for everything else, we get what we give.   Just be careful that you want it because you will get it!

4. Learn to say no

To have a simple life we must stop being there just for everyone else and be here for us too. Learning to say no is hard and takes time however it is worth it. If we do what we love and love what we do life is simpler and happier all round. Saying yes to everything spreads us all too thin.   Saying yes to yourself means you will make time to get stuff done that you love and have been putting off for ages.

5. Choose what matters and ignore the rest

A huge amount of life is spent filling out forms and signing our names. Another chunk is immersed in bills and banks. Let’s try and keep these to a minimum and concentrate on who we are and what we want. Abandoning paper bills is a good start to this so that we can actually start again to look forward to the post as we did years ago.

Abandoning paper bills will also free up space in the home. When we choose what matters at home and dump the rest, space is freed up and life becomes simpler. Even if it means objects are just simpler to find. So remove unnecessary paperwork, old bills and catalogues that crept in via your letter box.

For more ideas get my new non-fiction  book Simply be-Summer  available at all good bookshops or just click on the title for immediate delivery. There is a new thought for every day.

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