A little Background.. Part One

Before I come back to the ‘List’ I wanted to just give some of you reading a little idea of who I am. Not the my name is.. I mean more the kind of person I am. A few years back I had a business that I’d nurtured and built up from my ‘end room’ a business that had started as many of the things in my life do with a little idea. I had thought of starting after school classes for children teaching them arts and crafts. Now mind you I wasn’t in anyway qualified but I had something better than any qualification, I had passion and I had self belief. So in the year I turned 30 I reinvented myself and became an after school arts&crafts teacher. 

Photo of me at the children’s Art exhibition at Glor in Ennis.
Many of you reading will perhaps wonder if I’m actually mad, I am a little but not in the way you think. You see in the build up to my idea I had sat nursing my newborn son and whilst flicking through the channels one morning I had found a two hour program showing/selling arty crafty bits. I watched and learned. Sometimes what I’d see would inspire me to pop the kids in the car go to my local art shop and seek out the ‘Cards, Stamps, Paints’ etc etc that I had just seen. No waiting around for something to come from a shopping channel for me. Now sometimes Shane would have what I seeked, sometimes he’d say “I haven’t seen one of those in years” and on a very odd occasion he’d tell me he’d never even heard of this magic craft I needed so urgently in my life. It had begun. Now as I said that same year I turned 30 and for my birthday I wanted to try Watercolour painting (a certain show on RTÉ Simply Painting with Frank Clark had me a little obsessed) so out of my birthday money I bought all the supplies I need. When I played with the paints I often included my two girls and we had great fun trying out the paints. This as it turns out would be the launch pad for my business. I spent a few months as well as a small fortune on these new obsessions. In early September I thought a little about children’s after school classes but didn’t think I could as I hadn’t gone to college. A chance chat with a friend soon changed my mind. She asked if I’d be returning to work (I had been a nail technician when we were a rare breed right up to the time my little man had been born) I told her no, Jack had, had bad eczema at birth and his dad blamed the nail business! I said for the first time out loud that I had half thought about children’s after school Craft classes but…. I had trailed off thinking about not having any qualifications. She said missing the lack of ending to my sentence, “well if you do start book my two in, I’ve seen what you’ve done with your own two and my lads would love it.” In that moment she gave me the confidance to go for it. I went home and put a plan into place. I also went home and booked myself into Pottery classes down in Ballymorris Pottery as I felt it was the one thing I lacked to open the business. The classes were starting the following week. So to cut a long story a little short, I had a fair stock of supplies built up, I made flyers, I put them up everywhere, people brought their children to me and the business was born. Salt Dough sheep was week one and I proudly saw one hanging in a house not so long ago (15 years later) I went from about 30/40 children coming to me in 2002 to my peak at home in 2005/2006 of 72 children. Now this may not seem huge to ye but I was working from home, I’d had another little man so I now had 4 children and I worked 3.30-5pm and 5.30-7pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays. It was the perfect Job for a full time mammy. Looking back I think what made it successful was the fact I was self taught. I spent hours finding new fun projects, I brought in things from UKand even the US when I couldn’t get what I wanted here. I was enthusiastic and made it fun! I bought a kiln and had everything needed to run a good craft teaching business. Also the fact I had to find a new project to do every week fed into and satisfied my personality which tends to need constant ‘New Ideas’. It was win-win. All was going fine until it got too big for home. An upset neighbour meant I moved the business to my second home at the time – the local GAA club. Around this time it really took off. I was a wanted woman. I travelled to houses doing birthday parties, I did workshops, local women’s groups had Pottery painting evenings with me and I became very very busy. Now skipping a small bit here after a Nasty comment, huge weight loss, a pituitary tumour diagnosis and a phone call I ended up with a 3,000sq ft art shop. Over two floors there was a party area, a pottery painting studio and a full art supply shop. In some ways a dream come true(though in my actual dream I built the workshop/studio out on a half acre site and not in an industrial estate) in some ways way way more than I had ever wanted. There I was at 36 years old in early 2008 a fantastic unique business opened, what could go wrong..

To be continued..

So it begins…

“The Wish List of my Life”
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!”

Audrey Hepburn

One of the guys I watch online is called Nas who posts daily one minute videos. They are normally from places all over the world and tell a story in one minute. http://nasdaily.com/ He wears the same t-shirt every day with 32% on it and he explained this was how much of his life he had lived(this t-shirt % changes every few months as he ages!!)
Now if you think turning 45 was the thing that struck a cord with me you’d be wrong. I was fine(ish) with ageing. The percentage thing though totally threw my brain into turmoil and got me thinking in a whole different way. I googled life expectancy of Irish females 82.7 years and then I did the maths. Now for good measure and because I’m highly optimistic I rounded the figure to 85 years which gave my %. 


53% of my life has been lived. Over half of it and here am I stuck in a rut. At this time I was also reading and listening to Pat Divily and he talks about imagining your ideal day. Picture how you’d like to live really, how does that look? What does your day involve? So I got thinking about all the things I’d like to do, places I’d like to visit and generally looked at my life etc etc.. So combining all I was reading and watching it gave me a more complete prospective. I will come back to all this at a later stage but for now I just wanted to explain how my ‘bucket/wish’ list has come about. 

You see it’s not just about the exotic places I’d like to visit or the experiences I look forward to having, no my list is more. It’s a wish list for my life. It’s health, wealth, family, daily life and all the things I want to make happen. This list is my vision of my better life. 
So where to start on this vision. Well I spoke about ticking off the blog which I will keep on the list as a reminder to keep going. I am also writing a little everyday though 3 days in a row on that one doesn’t quite deserve a tick! 

For today though I am going to give the general list because as you will see these things actually need more than a list. You need a destination and a road map as well. Without knowing the things you want in life (the list) followed by how that’ll look in your head (destination) with some ideas to achieve these things (map) then the list remains just wishful thinking. So whilst today I write a list over the next number of months I will be implementing actions that’ll make the list real life. So in no particular order:
❤️Set up a Blog ✔️

❤️Blog for 12 months

❤️Write every day

❤️Visit Venice for a long weekend 

❤️Finish my Book(s)

❤️Walk on the beach one day a week

❤️See my daughters who both live in Dublin once a month

❤️Spend time with my sons individually each week even for just 10mins.

❤️Get together with wider family once a year not just at funerals

❤️Go see the Giants Causeway

❤️Get to Old Trafford for Man united game

❤️Get strong and healthy

❤️Lose 7 (ish) stone

❤️Break up with Sugar – we are very co-dependant

❤️Walk or swim every day 

❤️Wear a size 14 again

❤️Walk the New York marathon 

❤️ Climb the stairway to heaven in Fermanagh 

❤️Go to at least One concert a year ✔️✔️(for this year)

❤️Go to a music festival 

❤️Do one 10k a month for charity

❤️Do a tough mudder style challenge

❤️Paint all the rooms inside of my house one by one 

❤️Walk the Camino 

❤️Organise to Bring a group to Grand Canyon for charity 

❤️Organise and take part in a big fundraiser 

❤️Get to have a makeover on the today show if I get to New York

❤️Be in the audience at Jimmy Fallon show(my New York wish list is strong!!)

❤️Visit Australia before I’m 50

❤️Become a yoga teacher

❤️Get financially strong 

❤️Visit Toronto and Niagara Falls 

❤️Bring my children to Sea world (no judgements please) 

❤️Set up a business or be in employment that can give me enough of an income so money isn’t a worry and I can spend more time doing the things I Love, with those I love and that’ll pay for some of the above! 

Ok so that’s the list started, I can’t say it’s complete because life is so fluid, that nothing is set in stone. Now my list is also a bit random in places and at the moment it’s not in groups, that’s my next plan. I’m going to work on getting it into personal, family, surroundings, travel, charity and random madness!! 

So what next? Well Tony Robbins reckons life is all about the decisions, well firstly decisions followed by instant massive action. He also says you firstly need to know the Outcome you want and how that looks. For example if I say I want to be thinner, stronger and fitter that’s fine but it’s not enough! Because I can lose a little weight, walk more and I’ll get those things(in a small way) but that’s all too vague. It needs to be more defined. I need to say what I really picture in my head. I want to wear a size 14, lose 7 stone, be strong, be healthy, I also want to walk a marathon and I’d like to do those things in the next year or 18 months max. So you see that gives me a clearer picture. I now know the outcomes I want. So I can get a better idea of how to start to get there. 

Guess it’s time to take that massive action. Well that’s what the universe thinks. It’s gas because  once you put things on paper and start to look sometimes things fall into place. First thing that I am delighted(and scared) to say I found out is that I can walk the New York Marathon this year in about 16 /17 weeks in aid of the charity Croí. It’s a little mental given I’m overweight/unfit but it also ticks quite a few boxes and it gives me a good start to lots of my plan. 

Now this is a Huge challenge so to be able to do it, I’ll need to start walking and exercising daily plus eating the right foods(all with immediate effect). I’ll also need to start fundraising. Some people might be scared of all this. But no.. No I’m a bit mad and while it may turn out not be possible to get fit enough or raise enough money I do know that without trying it definitely will and these things will remain just were they are right now. Wishful thinking on a List!! So I’m off to figure out a training plan that’ll get me from 0-26.2 miles in 16 weeks. 

Siobhan ❤️


Living a better life

‘Bucket List’

‘a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.
“making this trip is the first thing on my bucket list”


Isn’t it funny when you realise that 45 has crept up on you out of nowhere. Just like that friend who likes to surprise you by creeping up behind your back, before frightening the bejesus out of you grabbing your waist and letting out a yell. Yes, it’s sort of amusing at the time when you get over the shock but you wish they’d never give you that fright again. Well I feel a bit like that at having turned 45, Amused that I’m now the age I once considered old, shocked at where my life is at and seriously hoping that 55/60/65 doesn’t creep up in the same way. (Horrified is a word that doesn’t even do justice to the terror in my head at the thought!)

So anyway the last few weeks life has changed a lot in some ways (too much to write here but I will post in detail about it) and at the same time I’m stuck in an eternal rut healthwise. I realised if I don’t do something then the rut will be a life choice and not something I can free myself from.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m a great one for trying new things, I’ve done things that some people would consider mad. I’ve challenged myself at times and I’ve taken some risks. That said I know that my life is no where near where I’d imagined it would be at 45 and It’s disappointing to say the least. I just really want to start living a better life. To start to do this I’ve been reading motivational books, listening to motivational speakers on you tube and Facebook while preparing myself to make changes. Some things I’ve watched/heard have gone in and out of my brain quite quickly, some I’ve watched over and over, Some words have stayed with me, inspiring me as well haunting my mind and urging me to get up and do something. So I’ve decided to do something, to share with you all my plan, my goals, my bucket list and all outcomes. I’m also going to share with you my favourite motivational speakers and the words that have stayed with me.

So where do I start? Well I suppose the most satisfying thing about any list is ticking something off it before you even start the list (though maybe putting it on the list is cheating you decide?!?) so the start of my list is….

To Start a Blog! – Giant tick for that one seeing as you are reading this. I guess though what’s more important is to keep it going, not become a one post wonder and chat to you all often. So next on my list is to post at least 4 days a week, not such an easy tick on that just yet, this isn’t my first blog rodeo!!

The bucket list will also be accompanied by a goal list and the direction I’d like my life to go. Loads to write about and even more to do!

The full Bucket list (for now) will be the next blog post so watch out for it over the next few days. Maybe you have your own list that you’d like to share with me. If you have no list then where’s the one place you’ve always wanted to visit (home or away) or the one thing you’ve always wanted to do. I might be inspired to add them to my own list!

Siobhan ❤️