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Daily Life

“If you run out of hope, put it on with your shoes”

March 5, 2018

It’s official. I have a new writer lady crush. Barbara Kingsolver. I love her without even reading any of her books. But now I will endeavour to devour them all. She said the quote above yesterday at All About Women, Sydney Opera House, in relation to the devastating situation of our environment.  The days environmental theme aligned with the changes I’ve made this year to go vegan and not walk past trash in the street, so I found myself nodding along to many comments. As always, it was an inspiring majestic mess of women gathering to share ideas, new books and to talk about every thing, from climate change to #metoo.

Anyhow, Barbara is most famous for  her bestsellerThe Poisonwood Bible, and has recently written a book called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’. A tale in which she uprooted her family to a farm, eating only what they could grow and kill themselves. She spoke of hope, of individual action, of activism through words and loving the environment. I could have listened to her for hours.

The second talk was called “Disappearing Islands” by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Ursula Rakova, two strong women, from the Marshall Island region advocating against climate change, and facing the loss of their island homes to the sea. Call me ignorant, but I did not in fact know that there were so many islands disappearing under the sea. Right on our doorstep in fact, affecting 6,000 of our neighbours.  In their culture, the loss of land and islands to climate change affects women disproportionately , as land is passed down through the women in their family, from mother to daughter.

It’s not only an environmental issue, but an economic one, too.

I was depressed. I was shocked. I felt helpless listening to their stories. But what I saw yesterday more than anything was women rising in hope. I don’t believe that government has the answer to these complex problems. We should not wait to be led to action. I believe that individual actions daily will reverse the damage that we have done to our world.

Gathering. Rising. Sharing.

Someone pulled me up for having a vegan rant, or picking up plastic on Instagram the other day, that I was going to make myself sad.

But what’s the alternative? To do nothing?

By not eating animals and picking up plastic I feel so empowered. Like I am part of something bigger.

It gives me hope.


PS. Watch the damn video

PPS. Linking with Kylie 

Daily Life, Health & Wellbeing


February 13, 2018

Well it’s been about ten years since I have had the joy of the knife on the belly and I don’t know if it’s age but this time it’s taking me a while to recover. I’ve had the pleasure of many things go wrong down there, an adhesion, appendicitis, a burst cyst to name a few. Last Thursday after a series of stomach pain, bad monthly cramps and a feeling like I had to pee all the time for about six weeks I had a laparoscopy to find out the cause.

(Oh what joy being a lady).

Anyhow, the surgery was a success in that my lovely surgeon found the cause, Endometriosis. Which is a delightful condition in which the lining that’s meant to stay inside your uterus grows outside and in other places, forming painful scar tissue. This can make for a very painful period (and at other times) indeed and in some cases even the organs can get stuck together. Gross. (The wonders of the female body). So part one was removal if it from my abdomen, part two (which I shall find out tomorrow) will be removal of it from my bowel. I am not sure when this will be but I am inclined to get it sorted sooner rather than later. Feeling very sorry for myself despite my attempt at starting this year super healthily! (Vegan and alcohol free still going strong by the way, despite feeling sorry for self.)

At any rate I should feel a whole lot better in a few months. I hesitated about oversharing this on the blog but I felt I should let you all know while I’ve been silent. Plus it’s just a part of life isn’t it these things? I certainly have a new found wonderment and admiration for women who have caesareans then go home and look after a newborn! No wonder your stomach muscles are never the same. Anyhow for now I am snoozing a lot and it’s hard to sit up for too long but today is the first day I have felt a decent bit better, to sit up and write this at least.

So back to bed with my trusty nurse cats for now. (They have not left my side, little angels.)

Fingers crossed for more chirpy updates soon!

Ashleigh XXX

Kylie for IBOT. 

Daily Life, Health & Wellbeing

With All Best Intentions

January 19, 2018

I started off 2018 with all the best intentions after a firstly stressful and then decadent 2017 which saw me lose 5, then gain 8kg over the course of a year. Returning from Europe in 2017 on the back of two overseas trips, gym closure, and stress eating/boozing saw me at my heaviest weight in October. I’ve put on and lost 5 kilo over the years here and there but the thing is at this point that I had reached is that I no longer felt healthy. The sight of myself in a swimsuit made me cry. I stood on the scales for the first time in a long time and realised that changes need to happen. No fad diets. No keto. No starving. Just changing my lifestyle back to what it was before the shit of the last few years which saw me reaching for food and wine as a relief.

I’m all for embracing and not beating up myself like I was in the past but here is the thing.

I was no longer healthy. 

Training was an effort. 

My knees hurt.

My ankles cracked.

I felt shaken and weak.

I could no longer fit into my “comfy” clothes.

It was time to make changes. In a forever kind of way. Over the last four months, I’ve stuck relatively to Michelle Bridges, albeit for a 3 week hiatus after Christmas and I’ve managed to drop 4.5 of the 14 or so kg I need to lose. Which I was pleased with, as Christmas is hard, and I gave myself some slack.  I’ve stuck to a swimming program and signed up for a half marathon, as well as the next round of Michelle Bridges. I’ve also gone vegan, and tooting my own horn (AND LOUD here!) but I have not had a drink in TWENTY DAYS, which is a miracle in itself.

I was starting to feel great. But, in the last two weeks, doomsday on the transformation has approached. Some issues with my inner lady workings have reared their ugly head again (sometimes it sucks being a woman), and I am booked in for some minor surgery on the 8th of February. This will set me back two weeks with my running, and I have to sit around with the feeling of a constant stitch in the meantime. Just for icing on the cake, I came down with the crustiest cold sore in the land this week.


So despite all the best intentions for 2018, I am on ‘hold’ for the next few weeks.

But, what I can do and I do have control over is my healthy eating, strengthening for my knee, and being bloody grateful in my mind that I can receive the best possible care here in Australia. There’s always a bright side to these things.

Are you on a health kick in 2018?

How is it going?

Better than mine?

Much love and happy weekend!


Daily Life

I’m baaaack!

December 31, 2017

A couple of months ago I couldn’t think about blogging. I was starting Hotels With Cats, thinking about putting a manuscript into Hay House, starting a new job and I felt a whole sense of overwhelm trying to maintain this blog. So I said goodbye to My Meow for a while, and it sat there, ignored, but over the past few months without it I’ve felt a little bit….naked!  So I’ve updated the site, added some new fonts, cleaned out a whole lot of spam and here I am!

My one day of the week to write is now mostly taken up with the running of Hotels With Cats (and some exciting stuff happening over there!), but you will see me on here in 2018 as well. I miss the accountability that this blog gives me, the time for self-reflection, the freedom to explore topics dear to my heart and take the opportunity to connect with people deeper online. This also keeps my friends around the world up to date with what is happening in our life down under.

2017 was a great big year. As you know I took long service leave, travelling to Bali to do my freedive master course then to Europe. This post could take all day, but from travelling on my own to Bali and changing schools and instructors last minute, making the 30m mark, meeting new friends, the whole amazing experience gave me a new sense of courage and self. Most of the rest of the first half of the year was Ginger Hunk recovering from his hip replacement last December. I underestimated the true time of recovery it would take to recover from chronic pain, and I only really got my husband back in September, emotionally that is. The whole thing was shit really, but it has made us stronger. Now we can get through anything!

We were lucky to have a month in Europe in September, spending flights that had been cancelled 587 times before, visiting Greece, Rome, The Dolomites, and France, catching up with family and dear friends on the way and adding a few extra kilos under our belts.

Now we are back, ready to take on 2018, achieve some work and personal goals, (more on that later!)

But tonight it is time to party and farewell 2017, so I wish you all well for tonight, and 2018.

Much Love,

Ashleigh XXXX

Daily Life

Goodbye My Meow – For Now

October 1, 2017

Howdy, abandoned blog. It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. As you may or may not have realised, I have been blogging less and less over the recent months. This has been a natural progression for me. Trips in the past would have been laden with travel deals, frequent blogging and all sorts of things. But this time, I’ve felt that I wanted to be out there, and not in here, and there is nothing worse or more fake than a writer who sounds fake. I just can’t write like that.

Over the past four years, blogging has taken me on a wild personal journey and I am so grateful for that.

I’ve worked through my decision to be childfree, mental health, discovered travel writing, freediving and all sorts.

I’ve connected with some beautiful people online and in person.

I’ve found my voice, authenticity and confidence through this blog.

I’ve written over 300 posts which have been read by 70,000 readers.

I hope I’ve made a difference, inspired you to think a little more deeply, travel somewhere new, or just made you laugh at my stupid cats.

For now, my energy and time is called to grow Hotels With Cats, my new business for cat people and work on a book proposal.

So I’ll be back, writing and around in some form or time, but I don’t know how or when, but at this stage I’ll be taking a break from three to six months.

In the meantime, enjoy the archives.


Travel Tips 


You can follow what I’m doing next on my Facebook Page – Ashleigh B Mills Writer, Hotels With Cats, or my Instagram.

Much Love, Ashleigh

Daily Life, Travel & Wanderlust

The Not So Amazing Part Of Travelling

September 2, 2017

This morning I was swimming in the bright blue seas of Spartia, not a care in the world and tonight I am here with half our bags (they are still in Kefalonia, we think), stranded in Athens airport for FOUR freaking hours, due to a storm in Rome. Anyway, it has given me a good opportunity to get on the blog, and do some Hotels With Cats scheduling. We launched the site by the waybwith our first ten hotel cats if you’re inclined to check it out!  Note to self, I will not plan to launch another website whilst in another country on sporadic wifi. 

Kefalonia is another post all together, I am so glad I choose it as my greek island destination. Ginger Hunk and I like to go off the path a little, if something is full of western bars and farang (foreigner) then we freaking hate it. So Kefalonia was chilled, nice and quiet, cheap and full of amazing and beautiful beaches….like the above. It felt like another honeymoon with the new hip, like a fresh start for the rest of forever. Anyway the not so good part of travelling is situations like this, but you know what? It could be worse. Thanks to our capsule packing we actually have all our clothes on us (win!), it is the parachutes that need to take more time to arrive. Continue Reading…