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…

A Childfree Life, Musings of sorts

Answering The Call – Hay House Writer’s Workshop

August 1, 2017

This post might get a little whooo whooo so be warned. About six months ago I randomly bought a ticket to the Hay House Writer’s Workshop. For those of you who are thinking about publishing a book (not just with Hay House), I highly recommend it. I’ve been getting whispers for the last six months or so about a book. I found myself on the Hay House Website randomly and then they had a workshop in Sydney in August so I bought a ticket. Then I forgot about it. I’ve been so busy with Hotels With Cats that I Ignored the book thing. I didn’t know what it would be about, or why I was going to write it, and it was scary. So better not to think about it. But I sensed a book or more was coming. About two weeks before the workshop, I received my first ever email from a reader. And it went something like this.

“just wanted to let you know what a nice surprise it was to read you blog! 🙂

I was looking up articles about being childfree to read ….I came upon an article you wrote and I thought it was brilliant — and described me to a tee! It led me to your blog and it was so refreshing to read about someone else who was more “on the fence” than definitely yes to kids, or definitely no to kids”….

Continue Reading…

Daily Life

Barefoot Budgeting

July 25, 2017

I’m a terrible budgeter (although I do manage to save for the things I make a priority). I’m not so good week to week. I thought it was time to get sensible about money. After hearing some recommendations online, I’ve recently devoured “The Barefoot Investor” by Scott Pape and I am super keen to start. If you’re not all over your money and it freaks you out, then I highly recommend you read it. This post isn’t sponsored by the way, just a public service announcement. Pape knows about money. He’s an independent financial advisor and knows first hand what it is like to lose everything. He watched his farm and everything he owned burn down in the Victorian bushfires. But was able to turn to his wife at the time and say “I got this”, and he had.  This is the essence of the Barefoot Investor Budget. Pape wants you to be prepared for all possible events, but wants you to have fun too. He asks that you schedule dates to see how you are tracking, and five consecutive ones to get things going. Here are the principles of a Barefoot Budget and how you should allocate your money. Let’s do it.

via GIPHY

Expenses = 60% of your income

No more than 60% of your income should be allocated to living expenses (food, accommodation bills). If you’re pushing further than this quota then its going to be hard to do anything. Pape recommends to see a financial advisor if you’re in this situation.

Splurge = 10% of your income

This is fun money. For things like pedicures, drinks at the pub or meals out. I’m pretty good at allocating this. (Too good in fact.)  Continue Reading…

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.

via GIPHY

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