Daily Life

Why Do Shit Things Happen To Good People?

July 23, 2017

I’m going to start this post by saying that I was not best friends with Justine. I did not know her very well. While I grieve, I grieve for the loss for her family, partner and close friends. Justine was part of my Cantoo community. My lifesaving, amazing bunch of Cantoo friends who I love this week more than ever. Cantoo trains people for marathons, half marathons, triathlon and swims. Participants sign up to raise money for cancer research and in turn receive training. I’ve made a bunch of lifelong friends through this group, which can be hard to do in adulthood and it keeps me on the straight and narrow at least for three months per year.

Everyone that does Cantoo is kind of special. Dickheads don’t want to raise money for cancer.

Justine had done a few programs before me, but once you are a Cantooer you always are. Former participants often stay involved to cheer or energy champion other programs. Justine would often turn up to cheer our long runs while we were training for our marathon in the dead of winter. Always smiling like an idiot, on freezing cold days in her UGG boots. She was more excited than us runners. She had lost her mum to cancer years ago, and turned this experience into one of helping and healing others. Some would have gone the other way. She drove us to our race day, more excited than us, who were quietly shitting ourselves in the back. Whether you met her for a second, or several times, she would hug you and bubble over like you were best friends. And it wasn’t fake. This was the type of joyful and caring person that she was. This was further emphasised by the huge turn out at the vigil. She had touched many people throughout her life here and in the US. Continue Reading…

Daily Life

How To Return Phone Calls In 2017

July 17, 2017

Back in the day, receiving a phone call on the landline caused a sense of wonderment and achievement. We would run to the phone, in the fear that we might miss out on finding out who it was and if we did not answer then the caller identity would remain a mystery forever.  I fear that the old phone call, to find out how someone is doing is going way off trend.

via GIPH

We are all busy people these days. I get it. Oh do I get it. On Sunday morning I found myself with some quiet time and I went for a walk. I used this time to call a few people I had not spoken to for a while. Not one person answered the phone. Nor did they call me back by the same means. As it may seem, there are many ways to return a phone call in 2017. The options are confusing. (This post excludes snapchat and twitter because they confuse me.) I shall explain a few ways that you can return a phone call below.

via GIPHY

Text Message

The text message is a fast popular way to return a phone call and requires minimal effort. In fact, over 23 billion text messages are sent each day. It can provide a delay tactic to having the conversation right then (for example “I’m out at lunch, how about I call you in a bit?”) or you can try and have the whole conversation without having a phone call at all (“If this is about Sophie’s baby shower, then I think we should get the blue one. I’ve put $30 in your account“). Either way you can delay the conversation, or the need to have it at all. Risk: Repetitive strain injury.

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Facebook Message

Similar strategy here to the text messaging above but requires slightly more effort. You will need to log onto Facebook, log into your account, find said friend and send a message. Example: “Hey, missed your call, we are away for the weekend. Speak to you in a bit.”  Now this option could go two ways. If you are silent, then it may go in your favour. Your friend may assume that you were indeed busy and got online in his/her busy day to quickly to send this lovely message (lucky friend you are!). But if you are indeed posting trip updates, photos and are Facebooking everywhere all weekend, then you might be caught out for just not being bothered, and get a rude message in return of your own. Risk: Being caught out by not being busy enough. 

via GIPHY Continue Reading…

Musings of sorts

The Seasons of Creativity

July 10, 2017

I went through a phase a few months ago where I had literally zero creative ideas in my head. Nothing. I thought my writing days were over. I went through a (short) phase when I even thought I would delete this blog. Then I thought what’s the point in that? At the very least, it can remain on the internet for someone one to find something useful, whether it be a childfree resource, some travel tips, or a cat story to make someone laugh. And at the very, very least, I joked with The Ginger Hunk that he will be able to read it to me like the notebook, when we are old and grey and I have lost all my marbles.

Primarily, I decided to keep it going and write this blog when I feel like it for me, because it makes me feel full, happy and inspired. I feel a bit naked without it. Then if other people get something from it, and learn a little then that is great too. (Actually, that’s more than great.) After a season of non creativity, I’m enjoying (or getting stressed by) a season with too many ideas and too little time.

I’m pitching stories, developing a new business and keeping this blog going. I’m tired fitting it in with the day job, but I’m happy.

I digress from the point of this post. This thought about seasons of creativity came into my head when my Mum announced to me the other day that she was “over” knitting. She told me she is going to focus on cross stitch and swiftly throw out all her wool because knitting takes her too long. We had a chat and talked about seasons of interests. Sometimes you might want to knit. And sometimes you might want to cross stitch. Sometimes I might blog, other times write articles, pursue new projects, or sit on my arse and do nothing (because there is a season of non-creativity and nesting too, lets face it). Last week I even had a very random thought about learning how to crochet. Crochet isn’t my thing at all and I have never been into it. But as nanny could do it, and mum could do it, the buck stops with me unless my niece picks it up. And I do fantasize about sitting in front of the television and MAKING something useful that someone could use. (Better than scrolling on the phone.)

So the seasons of my creative life so far have taken me from poetry, to short stories, to ceramics, to drawing, blogging, picture book drafting, profile writing, to travel writing and perhaps next to the knitting needle. Maybe one day, I’ll even write a book.

It’s all about following your curious and enjoying the seasons.

Where will the next season take you?

Much Love,  Ashleigh XXX

Linking with Kylie for #IBOT

Bali, Travel & Wanderlust

The Best Places To Eat In Amed

July 10, 2017

Amed, situated on the north east coast of Bali is a quiet little fishing village three hours of Denpasar. In my month here I found some treasures, and must eats here for your next trip (for half the price of southern Bali.) Here are some of the best places to eat in Amed. Hit me up if I have missed any!

Warung Enak 

Warung Enak is a favourite with travellers coming to Amed and it’s easy to see why. Situated on the main street, they serve a great selection of salad, pizza, fish of the day and home made ice cream. They have recently extended their seating area but it still gets super busy, especially in diving season so get there early. Be prepared for things to take a while if you are in a large group. Notable mentions: Tuna and corn pizza and the tofu and egg salad. Jl. Raya Pengosekan Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

Warung Osin 

This is a small, unassuming and very clean warung close to the centre of Amed opposite the ATM and Barung dive centre. It is easy to walk straight past but if you do you will miss some of the best Indonesian food in Amed. Here you can get great nasi campur (a little taste of everything), satay chicken and fish, as well as fish of the day. The above meal of satay tuna will set you back about $6 AUD. Continue Reading…

Daily Life

Am I lucky, or do I choose?

July 7, 2017

I’ve been flat-out with a sore throat the last few days, and The Ginger Hunk has a cough. I feel that we are reinfecting each other without it leaving the house. Anyway I need to get my brain and my creative juices going because I have not been thinking much for the past few days and I’ve chosen a word tonight to write about to linkup with #fridayreflections finally, and the word is LUCKY. This is what Lucky means.

  1. having or marked by good luckfortunate: “That was my lucky day”
  2. happening fortunately lucky accident.
  3. bringing or foretelling good luckor supposed to do so: a lucky penny.

Now lucky is a word that’s bandied around a lot. In my opinion it it is often used to replace other words. (Like hard work, choice and sacrifice.) Here’ some lucky references that I always get:

  • “You’re lucky you get to travel so much”
  • “You’re lucky you’re in a good relationship”
  • “You’re lucky you live near the beach”
  • “You’re lucky you work four days a week”

I’ve even bandied it around myself and I even did it this week over on Instagram. Because I actually feel guilty that I am going overseas for the second time this year. Guilty for an overseas trip. Yes that’s right. Because there is that feeling that others are not so “lucky”.

On reflection, lucky isn’t a word that I would use to describe those other things on that list of mine, including the second overseas trip this year.  They come from the choices that I’ve made. I get to travel because I SAVE money for travel. I prioritise travel over other things in life. Fancy dinners out, home renovations, living in a bigger place and having children don’t have a spot over travel in my heart. Who is to say that that won’t change? It might one day. But for now, travel makes my heart sing in a way that those other things don’t. I’ve work in Government for eight years and got to the point where I’m pretty skilled in my line of work. I’ve accumulated long service leave and work for bosses that are willing to give me flexibility as they can see it makes me a better worker.

So yes. I do get to travel. But I choose travel in my life over other things. This does not make me lucky.

The same goes with the four days a week thing. I do not work four days a week because I am rich and have a hidden influx of money. I’m not lucky. I looked at my finances. I looked at our life. I looked at the value of my time over money, helping The Ginger Hunk recover and being around to help him grow his photography business. Having a day to not think about mental health is also good for my mental health.  This is a financial cut, but a personal gain. So it isn’t luck. It’s a give and take.

What is luck?

I’m lucky if I won the lottery.

I’m lucky if a ladybird lands on me.

I’m lucky to be  in good health and be born in Australia.

But the rest of it?

I choose.

Love Ashleigh XXX

Do you believe in luck?

Love to hear your comments.

Continue Reading…

Health & Wellbeing

The Magic of Not Giving A F#*k

July 1, 2017

Swear. Word. Alert.

I was watching this talk the other day on Tedx.  The talk is by Sarah Knight about The Magic of Not Giving A Fuck. (I now need to read the book.) Knight defines your fucks as “time, energy and money”. We only have so much to give, and so she says to make a “fuck budget”. Anything she says that is not a “hell yeah” we should not be putting our mind, time or energy into as eventually, depletion of this time will leave us ending up feeling anxious and desperate.

I did this exercise and my fuck budget after looking at my money, time and energy is limited. I go to work. I travel an hour each way. I have two blogs to keep going and one to really get going, (and I really give a fuck about that!) I give a fuck about spending time with my husband and my family. I give a fuck about fitting in my walks and my barre classes so I don’t lose my shit. That doesn’t leave much time throughout the week to give my fucks anywhere else. In fact, I probably only have one precious fuck left to see a friend or do something outside of the sphere. (And this is when I am not doing Cantoo!)  Continue Reading…