Category Archives: words of wisdom

Women Before 10am // Ashley

June 23, 2015

In this series we are speaking to inspiring modern women and having them share their morning rituals and secrets with us. Take a peek into the mornings of Ashley, who is a mother of 2 kids (and many animals), living on her 50 acre farm in rural Ontario, Canada.women_before_10_jaluneunnamed (3)Tell us about yourself.


I live in the same rural community I was raised in, which is Bruce County, Ontario. I’ve travelled lots but found no place I’d rather be, except for the six months of winter we get. I operate a small farm, own a tattoo shop, and homeschool my two children who are 7 & 8 years old. I occasionally blog at Twwly and my Instagram is under the same name.


I did not grow up on a farm, but it’s rural here in Bruce County. I did 4H and entertained notions of becoming a vet. I wound up going down the arts path instead and getting bitten by the travel bug. It distracted me for some time, but I’m glad for it. I don’t even like driving 20 minutes to town now.


I moved home to a hamlet of about 12 people and 12,000 chickens from Philadelphia. I had never really seen an industrial chicken barn before, and after living beside one, I knew I could never eat bought chicken again. Whenever it’s cooked, all I can smell is the smell of that barn. The tang of feces and the sweet raw edge of decomposition. I brought my son home from the hospital a year to the day after our first date, so we got skippy and started with chickens and it just went from there. We raise enough to feed ourselves and sell enough to just cover that expense.


What time do you wake up in the morning?


I get up around 7:30am. I often sleep in my clothes, so I just need to throw jeans or coveralls on and I’m good to go. I make myself a Buzz pre­workout drink and head right out to do farm chores while my kids fetch their breakfast. When they’re done eating, they’ll come out and finish chores with me. I get my kids set up for homeschool while I make coffee and eat some kippered herring from a tin. Then I work out while they work, 10 minutes of cardio and 30­40 minutes of weights.


What’s your coffee / coffee drink of choice?


I drink Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from my french press, with two heaping spoons of sugar and a glug of jersey milk*.

*We had Ashley explain to us what jersey milk was; jersey being a specific breed of dairy cow. Here’s what she said: ­ Store milk traditionally is from holstein (cows), they’re known for volume. The saying goes, “why does a dairy farmer keep a holstein?” and the answer is “in case the well runs dry.” The holstein milk is watery, jersey milk is creamy. It’s not mine though, my little bottle calf is Dexter, and a male, for meat. But it’s from a nearby jersey creamery, sold in glass bottles to boot. ;)

unnamed (1)

What’s been a favorite or coveted place of yours to enjoy a cup of coffee?


I enjoy my coffee best in any reclined position. Ideally on my couch, with my shepherd at my feet.


What’s the last thing that inspired you?


I just got PeachTeats for rearing my bottle calf. The flow control and valve system are really inventive, and I spent the better part of the morning marveling at what they’ve developed. I hope they become standard use. Someone recommended it to me on Instagram, and I’m so glad I hunted it down. It’s brilliant.


What’s a favorite morning beauty, food, or get moving tip you may have?


I have a lot to do as soon as I wake up. I need to be alert in the barn to stay safe, and I have found that EHP Labs pre-workout is a fantastic boost.


How do you relax/take time for yourself daily?


Sitting for a coffee is my down time. I don’t do a lot of sitting.


What does your ideal day of rest look like?


My ideal day is when my friend Meghan sleeps over and helps with chores in the morning. I enjoy our irreverent banter while we work. Then an afternoon outside, with ATVs, firearms and a eventually BBQ and big ol’ bonfire with my husband home.


The Summer Solstice

June 22, 2015

summer_solsticeYesterday was the summer solstice (aka the first day of summer which from all the summer themed posts lately, you can tell we are excited), which is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer solstice occurs when the Earth’s semi axis is most tilted towards the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and therefore maximum daylight and the longest day occurs (on the same day, the Southern Hemisphere has the shortest day/daylight) It marks the official start of summer because historically the days get hotter after the solstice.

We have started to celebrate the longer days and warmer weather in our own way here at Jalune, but celebrating the summer solstice, also known as Midsummer, is not new. Historically, many cultures celebrate* this astronomical event, going back thousands of years! Here are some of those traditions:
Druids – it is believed that the Celtic high priests, known as Druids, held rituals and celebrations during the solstice. Many people link Stonehenge to this celebration and time (though it has not been proven) as the stones are arranged and highlight the sun’s movements around earth. Today, people still gather at Stonehenge – there were over 23,000 people there yesterday to watch the sun!
Ancient Greeks – the summer solstice was the first day of the year in Ancient Greece, so festivals were held around this time. They celebrated agriculture and the god of agriculture Cronus with the Kronia festival.

Vikings – Because of the longest amount of daylight, the VIkings used this time to sort out trade issues and dispute, making it a highly important day of the year. Vikings would also seek the healing powers of springs and bonfires on the solstice.
Native Americans – Many Native American tribes have sacred rituals and sun dances to honor the solstice. The sun dances were performed by young warriors who not only danced, but fasted, drummed, sweat, and smoked – and this ritual lasted for days, with hopes receiving visions from the Great Spirit.



Image / via /


Food for Thought

April 22, 2015

712b54eb9a6e0d525d2f4e49939cdd4dFood. It can be a topic for hot debate these days, with terms like organic, non-GMO, paleo, vegan. etc., all thrown around in hopes of figuring out what is the perfect diet (not to mention the huge industry that results). Those two words “perfect” and “diet” should never go together. I know that for me, eating is all about trial and error of what makes me feel good and energized – and also letting the act be enjoyable as well (enter chocolate and sweet potato fries and too much wine with friends). I came across this New York Times article that really spoke to this and in a very simple way outlined a healthy approach to diet. Here are the rules pared down (read the full version here). It was such a refreshing take on what has become overwhelming subject. Would you add anything to this list?

1. Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods.

2. Eat lightly processed foods less often.

3. Eat heavily processed foods even less often.

4. Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared according to Rule 1.

5. Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation. When you do eat out, try to eat at restaurants that follow the same rules.

6. Drink mostly water, but some alcohol, coffee and other beverages are fine.

7. Treat all beverages with calories in them as you would alcohol.

Image / via /


Winter Reading List

February 4, 2015

Not sure if it is snowing where you are, but it will not stop here. Though I cannot complain as we are not getting the *feet* of snow like the east coast. But one of the best things about snow days is taking some extra downtime and curling up with a good book. I have noticed lately when I am asked what are some of my favorite books, a lot of them are memoirs – and are all by women. I love reading about these women’s different perspectives on life and absorbing their little gems of life advice. Here is a compilation of those some of those books that have stuck with me.women_reading_list

1. As we mentioned in the Daring Greatly post about Julia Child, this book follows her journey to France and experience learning to cook with the French masters – and how much she learned about herself along the way.


2. This memoir by Goldie Hawn talks about her childhood on through to her rise to fame as a female comedienne, but also she also shares the more personal side of her journey as a woman finding spirituality, love, and family.women_reading_list_2

3. Julie Klausner is a comedy writer – and it comes through in her accounts of her dating life and her hilarious stories of trying to find “love”. If you have ever been on a date, chances are there is a story in this book you can relate to!


4. Tina Fey (who needs no intro), writes this great memoir about her childhood, family life, and road to becoming a writer/actress all in her dry-humored style that you can practically hear her talking (or you can, and just listen to her audiobook.


5. Just Kids is Patti Smith’s raw look at her life and the life of artists in NYC in the late 60s and 70s and her great romance with Robert Mapplethorpe. The creativity and passion for art and life is inspiring.


6. Similar to Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling writes about her childhood, her dreams, and doubts along the way in short stories that make you want to be friends with her even more than before.


more than words

June 9, 2014

I stumbled across this infographic of 11 Untranslatable Words from Other Cultures, which have no direct translation into English. Words can be used so much that they are often forgotten that they are merely the symbols of ideas. As someone who speaks only English – high school French excluded :), the explanation of these words and the feeling they evoke for me really made me wonder not only about the vastness of language, but the ideas that exist in the world that I may never never know.

My favorite from this list is Waldeinsamkeit, a German word that means the feeling of being alone in the woods – it’s definition is purely subjective – the woods could be a be magical place or a place of worry if alone there. Which is your favorite? 


reframing your thoughts

June 4, 2014

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut where all the daily annoyances along with my own frustrations seem to just keep piling up. These are the times when other people’s driving skills, neverending laundry, and the general lack of time in the day to get everything done really get to me. It’s at these times I just need to step back, take a deep breath, and see the bigger picture: I am healthy, loved, have the essentials of home, food, and shelter, and the bonus of nature around me.

Reframing my thoughts helps me take on a refreshed attitude. To do so, I often go back to the basic ‘Four Agreements’ that Don Miguel Ruiz wrote about in his book of the same title. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom he breaks down a simple guide that helps open oneself up to peace, happiness, and love. (The Toltec were Mesoamerican peoples who preceded the Aztecs and were known as “women and men of knowledge”)

The Four Agreements:

four_agreements_11 – Be Impeccable With Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

All the agreements seem simple but are harder to practice than you think. This first one I try to remind myself of often; I strive to speak both externally and within my inner monologue only positively about myself. This is something I work hard on, daily, to quiet my inner critic.

four_agreements_22 – Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

This agreement sounds bleak, but helps to adjust the way you perceive other people’s actions or reactions. In practicing to do so, their actions cause less of an emotional response from me.

four_agreements_33 – Don’t Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

This agreement is the one I try to say out loud to myself instead of laying on my horn. It’s so basic, you don’t know what the person who cut you off in the parking is going through in life. Even if they are in the wrong, in the words of Elsa, let it go.

four_agreements_44 – Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

This one you control through your actions. Be your best self at this moment. Reminding myself that my best will change from moment to moment also helps ease unnecessary stress and worry caused by unrealistic goals of perfection.

Quotes from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz