2017 has been a time of change for theasthinkings. The blog has seen a new lease of life, changing topics, guest blogs!! - it's been an exciting time and things are just about to get interesting.

I'm forever on the pursuit of new homeware, home stylings and lifestyle changes to improve my quality of life and express myself through my surroundings. It's something I love to also share with you and encourage you to do the same.

So when Lionshome approached me to join their blogging community I was delighted to be a part of the family. Lionshome promote all things home and living, so I'm excited to partner up with their Blog network and bring some more home styling into this little space on the internet.




If you'd like to see more about home stylings, easy ways to bring a burst of the seasons into your home, DIYs and other decor and lifestyle related topics let me know in the comments! I'd love to bring you more!

I'm really looking forward to seeing where this takes the blog, and what the rest of 2017 brings.

I hope you're having a great day and leave those comments! Let me know what you'd like to see as Theasthinkings grows.
Since I moved to London a lot of things have changed, and I'm definitely living a faster paced life.


Between work, hobbies, classes and family and friends, I'm constantly on the move doing something, seeing something or trying something new.



London is such an incredible city, and I'm forever yearning to see more, do more, experience more. But with extra life experiences comes a much greater need to manage my time, and right now efficiency and simplicity is everything!



Efficiency and Simplicity is everything!



If I'm paying for anything I want to be in and out, no waiting around no fussing over my purse, I'm looking for quick and easy tools so I can be done with the fiddly bits and just relaxed and enjoying my adventures.


When I first moved here just over a year ago things were completely different I was suspicious of everyone and very protective of my security. Well... I still am really that's why I'm so excited to now have a mynecard.



I tap in and out on the tube every day of every week, and I'm always whipping in and out of shops and supermarkets so going contactless has been amazing for me. But I still have those worries about my data, and we've all heard the stories about how easily people can access your personal and financial details when you use contactless. So when Mynecards* offered me the opportunity to test out there protection card I just couldn't turn it down.



Simplicity and Security? Yesss!






Mynecard is the simplest little piece of technology, designed in partnership with the National Gallery, they look beautiful and discreet so no one would know, but it simply slips into my card holder or wallet right on top of my card and boom - security. the card stops anyone from being able to tap into my personal details, and my payments are totally safe.



I've been testing it out this week on the tube and I'm just loving the freedom. It's a big game changer for me. No more worry about keeping my details safe, and still easy quick payments. Plus I get to carry round a little piece of art with me to glance at on the tube.



Security in this day and age is so important, with data being used and abused left right and centre, anything that can give you protection without any complications has got to be worth checking out.



I'm so chuffed with mine I've popped one in a gift card for my Dad this father's day. His a tech wizz and will be only too happy to get teched up with the latest gadgets and security.



If you're looking for something a bit different for your Dad, and your totally clueless, maybe give it a go! It's a piece of art and a practical purcahse.... he might love it!



So I'm off out to take full advantage of mine. It's a sunny day, I'm thinking ice cream, hyde park, maybe a coffee, oh... maybe coffee ice cream! Combo - yes!



Hope you have a great day and keep your payments safe guys!





*This item was gifted to me for the purposes of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

We're already half way through the #ConfidenceMeAandE series, and I don't know where the times gone. Mind you if your anything like me the last few weeks have gone by in a haze of life, work and blogging, so it's time to step back and get my life back in order.

This week's article comes from Ester Lindsey. Ester works with people all over the UK on clearing their blocks, finding clarity and building life with purpose. This week she was kind enough to share with us her techniques to increase productivity and personal success. To learn more from Ester feel free to head over to her website but for now I'll keep it short and sweet - Let me introduce you to Ester...



Let me ask you a question that a lot of people find kind of personal - How often do you deep clean and de-clutter your place?

I know we are busy with our day to day job, family or children and this is usually the last thing we want to do or have the energy to do.

But our physical space are filled with a lot of minor distractions, such a pile of unread books, scuff marks on the wall, a lot of unused clothes in the drawer, a stack of plates and cups in the kitchen cupboard that’s hardly ever been used. Does it sound familiar?

For most people, these things are annoying, but easily ignored because they seem insignificant. We rarely recognise that these things are threats to our productivity, energy, concentration and peace of mind.

For those of us, who committed to achieving something greater in our lives, a cluttered physical environment creates negative results.


Three main negative consequences clutter can cause:


1. Makes you feel drained.


If there are things to do everywhere you look, your mind constantly keeps thinking “I need to fix that.” Eventually, you will feel drained, anxious, irritable, and overwhelmed. We have to put blinders on and overlook the distractions to cope with it.

2. Problems start to spiral out of control.

We often overlook irritations for a short-term gain so we can continue with our daily routine. But the danger with this is that some problems will get worse with time and lack of attention. For example the chip in the windscreen that could have been fixed in 30 minutes grows to a crack that requires replacement of the entire windscreen.

3. You miss important ideas.

When you pay close attention to something important to you, it’s also impossible to selectively numb out your awareness and ignore only the minor distractions in your physical space. This is very dangerous for success-minded people because our most powerful insights often are in gut feelings and creative thoughts. So numbing out to the cluttered physical environments makes us numbed to these ideas, as well.


Physical Space Impacts Mental State

Small irritations and distractions also have a dramatic impact on our mental state. People who feel overwhelmed by the physical clutter usually go into a state of ‘giving up’.

When you have a sense that you can’t control the little things around you, then it can make you feel that there’s no way you can have bigger things in life that you want. For example when you can’t find a stapler quickly when you need it, it sends a signal that “how can I find a better car, a bigger house, or a loving relationship”?

The good news is that the same concept works in reverse. When you do recognise that you can control little things, such as the squeak every time you open your front door, you recognise that you can control the bigger things in life, too. Taking action to manage irritations, distractions and clutter builds up your confidence to achieve success.


How to Deal with Clutter

There are three ways you can do to change your environment:

1. add something to it,
2. take something out of it,
3. or modify it.

Go through your rooms and figure out what is irritating and distracting you, then think about how it is going to be fixed. Also think about who can help you to clear the clutter.

One reason that the physical items increase in amount is that we feel like we have to do all of the work ourselves. One of the key strategies for getting more done is to delegate some work that you don’t want to do, can’t do or don’t like doing and find someone who can help you.

Also have a look at your rooms and find things that you can get rid of completely and replace it with something that increases the energy of your space.

For example, you might find that removing the television from your bedroom makes your room more relaxing and peaceful. On the other hand, you might find that adding a desk to your office gives you an inviting place for creative work.

I like adding plants to my rooms because it makes me feel calm and connected to nature. I also like using natural stones and crystals to create more peace in the room and also increase my focus.


Finding “Good” and “Bad” Clutter

Not all clutter is bad. When you are in the middle of creation – such as writing an article, developing a presentation, or creating a product – you might pull out resources like books, clippings, articles and notepads. For many people, clutter is part of the creative process.

What you need to do in order to identify bad or good clutter is that you need to pay close attention to your feelings. If you feel inspired, the clutter is serving you and helping you to create. If you feel drained, anxious or stressed, the clutter needs to be cleared away.

It’s important to recognise that us, as human beings, we can control our environments and our living space.

So where are you going to start to de-clutter?

For more from the #ConfidenceMeAandE series you can catch up below or find or the articles using the twitter handle too!

Confident Me A&E

If you like what you see then don't forget to share with the hashtag#ConfidentMeAandE, share with us your top tips for decluttering your space and feeing your mind.
In the Confident Me A&E clinic we've seen top tips to boost self-esteem, ways to change your outlook to improve confidence, self-help books on mental health and personal growth and strategies you can start today to keep your goals on track and your work life balance always equal.

This week Eugenia the founder of #runyourmindfree, offers a beautiful, in-depth and personal insight into life experiences that brought her real challenges and impacted on her mental health. But she also gives us the incredible gift of honesty, strength, and hope through her journey into self-discovery and recovery. We both hope you can draw strength from her story, and comfort from her shared experience. I also want to ask everyone reading to hold absolute respect and kindness in your hearts. I encourage you to show support in the comments, and sensitivity for Eugenia and each other.

Thank you so much for sharing Eugenia...

I don't remember a specific event, or a specific time that made me stop having any faith in my own abilities, but at some stage it became default. This is not a pitty party, I'm just introducing you to me, in a way I haven't ever expressed out loud before. Some people know this about me, that I have no self belief, and some people I think don't have any idea and are surprised, considering I have a 1st Class Honours and am studying for a PhD. How can you not believe in your self if you've achieved and previously received 100% in an exam? In all honesty, I don't know.



It started around my GCSE years, maybe when I was 13 or 14. I don't know whether at this point school becomes exponentially more stressful, or whether you just have to really start working hard at this stage, but whatever it was, it hit me like a brick wall. My grades from the age of 13 to 19 made a steady decline along with my confidence. My GCSE grades weren't awful but they weren't great either, and definitely were not what I was capable of. Luckily they were good enough to take my choice of A levels. 

My first set of As levels went quite well, apart from the fact I stopped handing in any work. I think people thought this was laziness and so no one ever really asked if I needed help. The trouble is that I stopped thinking I could do the work, so I couldn't face trying. I would look at the sheets and just blank out and have no idea what to do. Stress and depression is very debilitating sometimes, it freezes you in a sense of helplessness from which it's hard to crawl away, and I'm afraid it dragged me down to it's very depths. 

Everything started looking up when I started applying for University, I had an interview for my first choice, Medicine at Aberdeen University, and I got offered a place even with a reduced grade requirement. I remember feeling so elated when I opened the letter and my mum was so so proud of me. But the elation didn't last long. Shortly after I received It my grades started falling. I kept telling my friends that I couldn't do it and that I didn't understand but everyone, I think, just thought I was being my normal worrisome self and that it would all be fine. 

It wasn't. 

I failed many As level exams in the summer term and ended up having to take retake after retake, sometimes doubling the exam load I already couldn't cope with. 

I came out with grades that were no where near the A level requirement for Aberdeen. I told my mum before hand that I was worried I was going to fail to prepare her, but with her undying belief in me, she still thought I would make it. I will never forget the disappointment on her face when I told her the results. She loved me and never held anything against me, but that raw disappointment is impossible to conceal. It broke my heart. 

I went through clearing in the end after rejecting a course I got offered and took an entirely different path. I switched to Physics, my highest graded A level. 

You'd think that heart breaking look of disappointment would have been enough. My mum believed in me, and maybe she was right, maybe I just needed to get on with it. But it wasn't enough. I failed 4 exams in my first year of uni and had to resit the four failed exams in the summer or face resitting the entire year or dropping out of uni. I couldn't face dropping out. I couldn't quit with nothing to show but debt. So I spent my entire summer working, and actually working hard this time, through the blank panic stage and kept going, with eventually things starting to sink in. I went into those exams and I still felt as though I had done badly, but was astounded to come out with ~70% in all of the resits. It's almost funny, that I remember actually being shocked, thinking, 'really? I can get these kinds of grades?!'. 

That didn't give me my confidence back so to say but it allowed me to realise that if I worked hard enough, I could actually do OK. I worked very hard throughout the remainder of my degree steadily increasing my average year by year (along with my stress levels). Despite this, and getting over 80% in many exams, I still came out of those exams feeling as though I had failed, to the point I would leave as soon as possible or go to the bathroom before people saw me break down in tears. It was bizarre, people would get agitated with me because I would be extremely stressed, crying, claim to have failed and then get grades higher than them. I just couldn't understand how I felt as though I didn't know what I was doing and coming out with 1sts. My mum passed away in my final year, which was the first year my average grade dropped. I still got a good first average grade for the term but the grade was significantly lower than it had been. On reflection, of course my grade was going to drop, I couldn't concentrate, I was very depressed and I wasn't giving myself any breaks, but at the time I took it personally, and saw it as me declining. 

I finished my degree with a 1st and an award from my masters project, but even then, I couldn't help but think. Did they just give me an award because they felt sorry for me because my mum passed away in my final year? 

I started a PhD straight after my integrated masters and from day one I felt hopeless. I'm still here now, in the final stage writing up my work, still feeling hopeless. I've never felt a sense of achievement from my PhD studies, and in reality I'm concerned that I'm not even proud of what I've done. I want to finish, because this was what me and my mum talked about, me doing a PhD, and I've invested so much time that I want to finish but whether I will actually feel proud? The jury is still out. 

Anyway the above is a long waffle of my past & my issues with self belief. It seems from my degree grades that I never had an issue with abilities, but I've never felt like I can rely on myself. I get very flustered sometimes, and people actually are surprised sometimes when they learn I'm not actually stupid, I'm just anxious. Although some people in previous years have implied I'm at least 'a bit slow', which is never very helpful.



So where does running come in to this? 

Well I think it's one of the reasons I fell in love with it. Running. 

From that first run I felt like I had achieved something substantial. Maybe that sounds strange. All I did was put one foot in front of the other and run for half an hour. But I did it, and from day one that was the first sense of achievement I had had in over a year - since I graduated from my degree. 

I run now to pick myself up, and remind myself that I am capable of something. That I alone can step out of that door and I can run. No one can take away those miles, those footsteps and those heartbeats. I did it by myself and for myself. The speed doesn't matter either because a 10 minute mile is the same distance as a 6 minute mile, and no one can debate that, because it's a fact. You can call me slow, you can call me sweaty, you can tell me my face is red, you can tell me I look like a slug (thanks martin), but you can't take those miles, footsteps and heartbeats away from me. Those are mine alone, and mine to keep. 


Running saved me, it saved my mental health, and hopefully it saved my PhD (only time will tell). In the end though me and my mental health are more important than anything else anyway. I don't think really understood that before I ran. 

Through running I'm beginning to believe in myself again and realise that I am capable, as are you. It's helping me look in the mirror and be proud of myself. Proud that my body can take me on that run. Proud that my mind is capable of enduring those hard, hot and long runs. Proud that I can step out of that door (even in shorts these days!). Proud that my lungs don't fail me and most importantly, proud that I am me and you can't change that. 

I love you running, and I think you love me too.

For more from the #ConfidenceMeAandE series you can catch up below or find or the articles using the twitter handle too!

Confident Me A&E

If you like what you see then don't forget to share with the hashtag#ConfidentMeAandE, share with us your experiences in the comments that have helped you through challenges in life, or helped you to better understand yourself and your ambitions.

Where does the time fly. One day you're looking out for the first buds of Spring and the next you're already half way through the year and trying to figure out how Summer arrived. Not that I'm complaining!

May was an especially busy month for me, between running events, growing my Blogger Services & Social Media Management, sickness, and picking up a new acting course it's been a full on month, but luckily I had the Blogs of these amazing girls to get me through it.

Run Your Mind Free - Eugenia's blog and social media feed is a constant supply of inspiration for me. A fitness blog focussed on Eugenia's leap into the world of running. This month alone Eugenia has run three 10Ks and doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon! Here drive, ability to push herself and her honesty about mental struggles and how running helps her through those challenges is a true inspiration and I'm so please to have worked with her on the Try20 challenge this month as well.

Beauty Addict - Sarah and I have been good friends for quite a while now, and this month she was even kind enough to take part in my current guest series #ConfidentMeAandE. Sarah's kindness is infectious and you can tell straight away in her blogging style too. I take so many of my lifestyle tips, and new beauty tries from her reviews, tips on life and open sharing of her experiences. One to watch in 2017, if you want to set some life or blog goals, or bring some new home and pamper products into your life to boost your mood and get you in the right mindset to take on a challenge head over and check her out.

Faded Spring - Ana has just been knocking them out of the park this month! With topics from Style and fashion, to dating, life, blogging tips and her favourite product reviews she's really pushing herself and making some amazing content. Ana's unique combination of personal insights and an individual flare for fashion makes her blog really stand out from the crowd. One to boost your spirits and really give you the drive to make the most of life, Ana is a free spirit and without of fail will get your feeling good too.

Gorgeous and Geeky - Gorgeous and Geeky is a super new blog by the lovely Natalie Benton. Coming on in leaps and bounds, her blogs only been live for one month and it's already doing so well! Having already shared so much in such a short period of time, Natalie opens up about mental health, building confidence in yourself, and her love for beauty. Go check her out and watch her grow.

So while I might have been bunged up in bed for most of this month, these girls have really filled me with the oomph I needed to throw off the cover and go get it. It's always a good reminder to have friends out there you know are going through similar things and offering you the confidence and encouragement to work through it, make plans and try something new. I couldn't want for better advertisers this month.

If you'd like to be an advertiser next month find out more on my Blogger Services page or contact me directly on theasthinkings@gmail.com, or on twitter @theasthinkings
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