Wow how busy June has been. Not only have I partnered up with LionsHome but we've also seen some amazing guests posts from bloggers all over the UK for #ConfidentMeA&E. Blog life and real life have been equally busy, I've also been offered a new job (more on that soon), I'm working towards and acting performance in July, and I've been in an out of hosptial seeing specialists about my hips. So it's about time we had a Life update on here but before we do I just have to share with you the talented bloggers that have joined the theasthinkings Advertisers in June.

Lylia Rose - Lylia Rose is the unexpected lifestyle blog written by Victoria Lully, a self-made full time blogger, mother of two and lover of healthy living. On Lylia Rose you'll find a whole  host of topics from Life and Family toTravel, Budget shopping and Blogging. Lylia Rose is a blog I've followed and loved for years so I'm delighted to have Vicky on the advertiser team here at theasthinkings!

Run Your Mind Free - Has really been pushing herself this year. If you follow Eugenia on Instagram you'll know just how far she's come, and the rewards life is bringing her. Her focus is fitness, running, and mental health, so if you'd like a boost of positivity in your day check her out. I watched her recently run the British 10k in London and I couldn't be more proud to be friends with such an inspiring person and blogger.


Beauty Addict - If you've been following theasthinkings for a little while now you should know Sarah well from her wonderful contribution to the #ConfidentMeAandE guest series. Sarah has had one hell of a month, sharing with us her personal struggles and achievements, and still finding time to blog her latest and favourite beauty products and reviews, her blog is growing all the time. A blogger that doesn't get the attention she deserves, Sarah is absolutely one to check out.



Gorgeous and Geeky - A new blog by the wonderful  Natalie Benton, Gorgeous and Geeky is everything is says on the tin! A passionate lover of beauty, Natalie shares her experiences with new products, and beauty treats amongst a wealth of personal posts on life, it's challenges and fighting for better mental health, her blog is growing bigger by the day and deserves every view.


Faded Spring - It's been yet another amazing month for Ana. With new content out almost every day (sometimes twice a day!) Ana has an amazing eye for detail, and talent for all things fashion. With her own unique sense of style and an honest outlook Ana really stands out from the crowd. I've been loving her talks on love, life and all things dating and can't wait to see what next month holds in store for her.

It's been yet another inspiring month and so much has already happened in July I can't wait to share it with you. So join me in showing all these amazing bloggers some love, and look out for even more blogging Gems in July's Advertising round up!

If you want to be there in August be sure to get in touch! Place are filling up so make sure to get in quick! Find out more by visiting my Blogger Services page or contact me directly on theasthinkings@gmail.com, or on twitter @theasthinkings
We've come to the end of the #ConfidentMeA&E series and I can't believe it's gone so quickly! I've really enjoyed reading and sharing the experiences and stories of all my fellow wonderful bloggers, and to everyone who took part a huge thank you!

But before we go, we have an article from the lovely Julia from The Part-Time Mermaid, sharing her struggles with Anxiety and how she's learned to overcome her battles. So to say goodbye I hand you over to Julia...




Whenever people ask me if there's anything I really hate about blogging-I tell them it's the 'Anxiety debate'. I've noticed many readers and also fellow bloggers claim that some bloggers or vloggers tell their viewers and readers about their battle with anxiety, although they don't even suffer from it and use this mental illness for views and gaining attention and sympathy.
As a blogger and someone who used to suffer from social anxiety severely it really REALLY annoys me and also makes me sad that someone would think that. I have noticed that a lot of bloggers and vloggers suffer from anxiety and I think it's because we all use the same coping mechanism and some of us have a pretty similar background mental health wise. 
Blogging has helped me so much therefore I wanted to share what kept me going and how I eventually managed to deal with it!



1. Fake it 'til you make it


That's probably my favourite quote and also had a huge impact on my mental health. When I moved to London to study at University, the fact that I had a whole new life ahead of me was amazing. I could be someone entirely different, meet new people and explore new places... A mindset like this coming from someone who couldn't stroll across the High School campus without feeling like everyone was judging me and laughing at me is what made me realise that I might be able to just give a f**k about other people's opinions one day. So I managed to get on a plane all by myself, travel to a country I've only ever been for four days many years ago and move my blue suitcase in a shared dorm room. Looking back now I honestly don't know how I managed to do that but it was a huge achievement for me and still is-it kept me going. I met my roommate the next day who turned out to be the loveliest babe. Feeling so accepted in a very foreign place made my confidence grow and grow every single day. I pretended to be a happy, confident girl although sometimes I felt like on the verge of a panic attack and other times I wanted to hide in the corner of the library instead of sitting on an exposed sofa near the staircase. But in those months of pretending I didn't notice I was becoming the person I was claiming to be. My achievements became bigger and bigger and my confidence is still constantly growing.


2. Blogging


I feel like blogging was not only a creative outlet and stress relief from University work, I also felt so loved and accepted and thankful for my tiny audience. I might sometimes be disappointed that my views are not as high as some other blogger's but looking back it was perfect to get to know the blogging world and not as intimidating. 
Another thing I value about the whole blogging thing is the lovely community. So many girls and guys on twitter offer their help to fellow bloggers everyday and it makes me believe that the world is not such a hateful place after all.


3. My therapist


I consulted a therapist after my boyfriend had to go overseas due to business reasons for several months and I felt so alone in this big city. Whenever I felt lonely in the first year of Uni, I'd go into our dorm room and have a girl's pamper night and feel all happy again. But having moved into an apartment with my boyfriend who then had to travel for so long took a huge toll on me. Moreover our relationship was relatively new at that time and overall I felt incredibly overwhelmed and insecure. Having a weekly chat with a professional really helped to boost my confidence and I want everyone to know who's not in a good place mentally that there's nothing to be ashamed of and it helped me and many other so much! 

How are you dealing with Anxiety and what's your opinion on the whole 'Anxiety debate' ? 



Thanks so much for reading and to everyone who's shared the message of building confidence and self-development. Especially a huge thank you to all the bloggers who've taken part. I've loved hosting this series and couldn't ask for a better bunch of bloggers to join me for the journey.

You can find all of the articles from the series below, and if you'd like to see more #ConfidentMeA&E or you'd like to take part get in touch on theasthinkings@gmail.com.



More from the #ConfidentMeA&E series:
You can ask anyone who knows me - I'm a fresh food gal.

I've never owned a freezer and if I've ever lived with someone who did, my frozen food has come to the grand total of peas - because they are my life blood - and yorkshire puddings - because, do I really need to explain?

Also can we just say

A yorkshire pud, piled high with peas and drowning in gravy...oh buddy!
Anyway I'm going off track, back to the present.



So yes, I've just never been one for frozen food. I love to cook. I love the whole thing, deciding what to cook, collecting up my ingredients, trying something new, and seeing a healthy meal served up compliments of moi... It's just such a satisfying process, and it's something I've always loved to share with you as well. I don't claim to be a talented chef by any means but I have some meals I go to time and time again, my soups and casseroles to name just two. In fact I put together a post of my favourite easy cooks a while back - time for another one you think?

Even so, I won't lie there are times I just don't have the energy to cook a big meal, and 9 days out of 10 my lunch comes in sandwich form bough from the nearest Supermarket I can find. So when I was invited to test out Everdine* - a clean eating subscription box - I have mixed feelings.


On one level healthy convenience, and on the other my worst enemy - the frozen meal. To make my final decision I checked out the website and the menu on offer. I have to admit it looked pretty yummy. The meals were all exciting, with a wide range of options, some meat, some fish, some vegan, all clean eating and ethically sourced I decided to give it the chance and ordered my first 8 meal box to arrive in a couple of days.

When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised, it was packed well with recyclable materials and ice packs to keep it cool and insulated until my meals made it into the freezer, and the meals looked as health and delicious as they had on the website.




In my first box, I decided to go for a real mix of options and after some tough decision making chose the below:

Falafel Shwarma
Speckled Lentil Chilli with Parisienn Potatoes
BBQ pulled pork with boston beans
Cherry & Hoisin Duck with Wilted Greens
Cajun Blackened Salmon
King Prawn Miso Ramen
Slow Cooked Beef and Beetroot Bourguignon
Sea Bream Thai Curry


Each of them comes a full meal ready made. One thing I especially liked was that it's not just a main, the meal comes with all it's needed accompaniments making a beautifully balanced healthy meal. Each one comes with easy heating instructions for the microwave or oven and it's as simple as that.

At first I was unsure of frozen food but I can honesty say Everdine has totally changed me view on the freezer. No longer do I get cooking dread when I'm tired after a long day, because I know I've got something delicious waiting for me, not just a cheap and fatty macaroni cheese (we've all been there!) and I'm finally eating a real hot meal for lunch everyday!



So will I be ordering another box?

Absolutely



The menu at Everdine is changing and expanding all the time, so there's always something new to try and with boxes of 8 or 12 (which works out cheaper per meal) I can stock up easily and then put my subscription on pause until I need a new one. With an option for a Vegetarian box as well there's a box for almost everyone!

I won't lie - my only reservation was that the cost of a box is a little pricey, at £55.20 for 8 meals that works out at £6.90 so it's not for times when your trying to save money, but for the convenience of a beautiful, clean eating and ethically sourced meal right out of the freezer, I think it's worth the cost for an occasion box for those lazy days and last minute lunches.

Plus with my discount code I can hopefully help you out as well. If you'd like to test Everdine out for yourself you can us my discount code for £30 off your first box - for an 8 meal box that works out at just £3.15 a meal - less that my usual soggy sandwich meal deal! A real bargain to stock up that freezer!



I'm really glad I gave it a shot and will definitely be ordering my next box soon. I'm beginning to get the subscription box bug, and have already tried a few food subscription services so if you'd like to see some more food reviews let me know in the comments below. Let me know your recommendations as well I'd love to try them out!

*I was gifted a subscription box, but was not sponsored for this post. All views and opinions are my own.
In the Confident Me Clinic this week we get an honest insight into passion, confidence, and self discovery. Llinos from The Lilac Linnet shares her changing relationship with art, and how through following her passions despite her experiences she learnt to value who she is...


When I was at school, I'd look enviously at my classmates' art projects, wishing that I could produce something of such beauty myself. The art teachers' barely bothered to look over my shoulder during class to see how I was getting on, and I doubt they spent more than moments marking my homework. Once, and only once, I managed to draw something which I thought deserved 10/10, but my teacher disagreed. Needless to say, I didn't take Art at GCSE.

As an adult I've enjoyed visiting art galleries, but somewhere along the way and combined with my school art experiences, it made me believe that art is only art if it's Van Gogh or Lowry. How wrong was I!

A few years ago, I found myself tempted by the Hobbycraft sale to pick up some brushes, paints and canvases. When I got home, it didn't take long for the 'You're not good enough' dialogue to start up in my head. However, by now my idea of art was changing. I'd discovered artists like Willowing and Jennibellie who create incredible images with paint that looked nothing like anything I'd seen at the National Portrait Gallery, but which made me so, so happy to look at. So I began to paint.

However, as is my nature, I put down my paints and turned to other creative pursuits, such as crochet and blogging. A couple of months ago, I found my painting materials at the bottom of a cupboard, and a few of the things I'd painted. Whimsy, colourful abstracts mainly, that I didn't think the world should see.

But I felt that brush in my hand again, and I decided to pull out my sketch book. For some reason, I wanted to paint a pink tree. I don't know why, the image just jumped into my head. I absolutely LOVED drawing it, painting it and then using a black marker to draw the details of the bark on the tree.

Since then, I've been constantly thinking up new things to paint! I've painted King Tut's mask, also Snow White and Cinderella and I'll probably do all of the Disney princesses. I've painted a squirrel and a bear, because why not. What I'm trying to get at though, is what painting has brought to me, on the inside. That might sound strange, but when I paint, I feel happy, I feel alive. It's a part of myself I didn't know was there. I do it for myself, and no one else and it makes me feel so free. I may not be planning an exhibition yet, but my old teachers can eat humble pie!

Thanks for reading and sharing my experience. In the comments below share with us your stories of self-discovery. Do you have a passion you follow no matter what people say? Do you have a dream that drives you forward? Have you learnt any lessons that taught you who you are? Let us know in the comments and check out more articles from #ConfidenceMeAandE:


More from the #ConfidentMeA&E series

How time has flown! We're reaching the end of #ConfidenceMeAandE but before we go we have a few more articles to share, and this week's comes from the lovely Kelly Bee. A Mascot for healthy living and self-growth, Kelly bee shares stories on motivation, martial arts, mental health and a whole wealth of articles healthy lifestyles and positive thinking.

This week Kelly joins a wonderful community of supportive and forward thinking bloggers sharing her thoughts on the best exercise to keep not just a health body but more importantly a healthy mind....



I have struggled with my mental health my whole life, from massive social anxiety to depression, I’ve experienced a world of emotions. I’ve taken a number of steps to help overcome my struggles but one of the biggest factors has been fitness.


Exercise helps me in more ways than just the feel good hormones it releases. It’s changed my relationship with my body, transformed negative self-talk into words of encouragement and given me a focus. 

So I wanted to come over here and share some of my favourite types of exercise to stay healthy not just physically but mentally.


Running



They don’t call it a runners high for nothing, running boosts your mood and clears your mind. The rhythm of your feet on the pavement and keeping your eyes focused ahead has a mindful feel to it. 

Concentrating on your breathing and making yourself put one foot in front of the other even after you feel like you can’t go any further, helps build resilience. For me its a reminder in bad times that if I just keep pushing I will get back to where I want to be. 

Its something I can do by myself when I’m struggling with social interaction or just want to be alone.

I love setting goals for myself to run that bit further or that bit faster, the sense of achievement I feel after a run, the appreciation I have for my body and mind. It’s priceless.



Boxing



There is nothing that helps relieve stress like hitting the pads, taking out frustrations or the stress of the day on something feels good, we can't deny that. Blasting up a good sweat and pushing your limits physically gets the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing. 

Not only that but taking up boxing has improved my self confidence massively, finding I can do drills that I didn’t think myself capable of and the changes in my body physically have contributed to better self-esteem and a stronger sense of self. 


I’ve transformed the negative self talk by learning to give myself encouragement in the same way my training partner does during a burn out. “Come on, you can do it, nearly there.” 


Incorporating self defence into that also gives me less anxiety in my day to life by helping me feel confident and capable. 


Yoga



I’m not going to lie when I do yoga it looks nothing like the Instagram worthy poses you see online, I can’t even reach my toes but then I am just a beginner. What I get from Yoga is a sense of peace, breathing and centring my focus when my mind is chaotic. 


Anxiety can sometimes feel like everything is going very fast, your mind races and your pulse quickens. The breathing alone taken from Yoga can help to manage this.

I try to incorporate yoga practice into my morning routine to help prepare for the day ahead using videos on Youtube. 

When I feel like I need to take a moment during the day I will think about my breathing and remember the morning practice. 

It’s also a great way to wind down at the end of a day and clear a busy mind for sleep. 

I hope you’ve found it helpful to read about how exercise can help with anxiety and reduce stress. I’d love to hear what exercise you do for a healthy mind and body in the comments below.


More from the #ConfidentMeA&E series

Work V Blogging: it's all about balance
Caking it: A foodies guide to unapologetic confidence
5 steps I use to improve my self-esteem
Loving the life less lived - Self-help book giveaway! (Ends 05/06)
To the run...
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