Health & Wellbeing

My Word For 2018 – “Intention”

January 3, 2018

So as I sit here on the 3rd day of January 2018, I’ve been thinking about what lies a head in the year 2018 and how to get there. 2017 was a year of many things, awesome things, great travel, my freediving course, a new job. But it was also a year of not achieving many things I had hoped for health wise. I lost the weight I wanted to lose early in 2017 then I put that on and some more, I failed to get into a healthy training routine, I drank too much on occasions and felt the guilt and remorse afterwards, but yet, did this again (and again). I’m finding myself clearing out clothes from the latest shop-a-thon and wondering why I keep buying these things on the spur of the moment that don’t align with my values. 

I have not been too hard on myself while watching this pattern, as I have had bigger fish to fry for most of this year. But 2018 is the year of no excuses, and that is why my word is for the year ahead is “intention”. Goals are achieved not through hopes but through deliberate, intentional actions, maybe even small ones to start at that add up into bigger firecrackers of achievements. Instead of letting it all wash over me, when it comes to food, or alcohol, or shopping is to ask myself what is my intention from this choice for me and my body, how will I feel later on? Does what choice I make in this moment fit with my overall intention or purpose? Too often I get caught up in a whirlwind in the moment without thinking about the aftermath.

It’s going to be a learning process I think. In light of this I’ve decided to make the first six months of 2018 alcohol free. I’ve done three months before but I think a longer stint is needed to change my relationship with alcohol and live with intention. The next area I want to focus on is the reduction of animal products from my diet and an overall health boost. I’m veggie and I have pretty much stopped eating fish, but the next part is moving forward to get rid of eggs and dairy. If it is for ethical and environmental reasons then hanging on to eating dairy has no purpose for me, again nor is it in alignment with my values. I know too much now that I can’t turn a blind eye and enjoy it anymore.

In making more intentions each day, there’s some goals I want to reach and many things I will gain from these choices, which seem like giving things up but what I will gain is much more and this I know. I’ll have more time to spend with loved ones, more money, a clear head to work on my Hotels With Cats goals and achieve good health and wellbeing.

What are your goals or your word for 2018?

Do share!

Much Love,

Ashleigh XXX


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…

Daily Life, Travel Tips

Packing A Capsule Travel Wardrobe For One Month in Europe

August 22, 2017

Over the years I’ve become pretty minimalist at everything, including packing. Although I packed pretty light for Bali I took the whole kit and kaboodle of toiletries (including my own pillow). Having said that over six weeks there were still things that I didn’t want to wear, and of course I bought some dresses and lived in them! Packing for Europe is different. We are getting on trains, planes and automobiles and I didn’t want to be carrying a heap of things around with me, getting annoyed life and whining at The Ginger Hunk. We had to pack for summer in Cephalonia and Rome (20 – 30 degrees) and cooler weather in the Dolomites (22 during the day but down to 10 degrees at night). I wanted to pack smart and light but I didn’t want to look like a backpacker because I shall be meeting people and doing Hotels With Cats things. Hence the need for the travel wardrobe overhaul.

I took inspiration at Nikki from Styling You from her capsule wardrobe post about travelling in Europe and did a couple of things in advance. I overhauled my wardrobe and threw out a lot of things that didn’t go with anything, didn’t fit anymore, and bought quality items in a colour scheme from designers that I love, that I knew would LAST and most importantly that I felt GREAT in. *I’m no fashionista by the way. Just your simple, sporty, size 12 woman wanting to be comfortable and look good whilst travelling. As you can see I like stripes, black and grey and I stuck to this in my purchasing plan. Here’s a few things I bought prior to designing my travel wardrobe (no sponsorship here just a public service announcement!). I also bought a few scarves from second hand shops, and some walking shoes from Joya (which are awesome). 

Boden Clothing Double Layer Front Vest $34 (Image Credit Boden Clothing)

J Crew Vintage Andiamo T-Shirt $49, (Image Credit JCrew)

Bamboo Body Cashmere Wool Travel Wrap $109 from The Iconic. (Image from @ The Iconic)

Anyhow after the purchase of said items I tried to look at my whole wardrobe as a mix and match feast. No fashion blogger am I said I  ever. HOWEVER, I have realised such useful things while packing my travel wardrobe and purchasing clothing in general in recent times that I shall share with you all.  Continue Reading…

Cat Lady, Daily Life

Project Update – Hotels With Cats

August 14, 2017

I’ve been busy burrowing away at my new project and not much time for this blog. I am sorry but I am pleased to report that I am still alive and happy! It’s one of those times in life when everything is going well in writing land and my head is full of creative ideas after a really long slump. My mental health job that I am doing is going great guns (4 days a week), lovely supportive team and I have both trust and creative licence (a nice feeling in a Government job) and I am burning the candle at both ends working on Hotels With Cats, jotting down ideas for my book, and working on a big interesting report. And headed overseas in 11 days. But all good things. Right?

Sometimes you have nothing, and sometimes everything happens all at once. So I have to go with the flow and enjoy it.

So, apparently, Hotels With Cats is turning into a bigger deal than I imagined. And there are so many POSH Hotels With Cats.  And so many Hotels With Cats. I’m planning a world trip to basically pet cats in five-star resorts in the next few years. These cats are onto something. I have a clear plan now for my next life. I was aiming to be a cat with a crazy old cat lady but these cats have allowed me to reach for higher goals. Five-star all the way it is.

From left to clockwise around the right in the feature image, we have Cap Maison resort, St Lucia, where a prawn munching cat called Davidson lives, we have Dolphinfish (who might be my favourite look at his feet) from Seawall Apartments Adelaide, Oreo from The Armstrong Hotel in Fort Collins  and Skabenga from The Oyster Box in South Africa. Credit to all the hotels for sending me these images with permission to share. And their cat stories!  Continue Reading…