This time last year I was exploring my bodies fitness, where I needed to improve and how to change my perception of the body I was born in. Looking back on the year I'm really proud of where I am and looking forward to getting where I'd still like to go.

To follow the whole story you can check out my fitness diaries from 2016, that should get you up to speed.


So if you'd read up you'll realise that today we're not going to be talking about Body Image from the more usual point of view - we're going to be looking at it from the point of disability - particularly invisible disability.

I have a joint condition called Femoroacetabular Impingement and Laberal tearing in my hip joints. 

In short, my hip bones are not smooth but sharp like lots of tiny teeth, and slowly cutting holes into my cartilage and bones. On a day to day basis this means I'm always in pain (and on strong pain medication to manage my symptoms as best I can) and on my best days I make every to effort carry on with my day and avoid anyone noticing my struggle, and on my worst days my pain prevents me from walking, sitting or standing and freezes up my mobility so my movement becomes very limited.

It's only recently being understood and diagnosed, and is turning out to actually be a pretty common condition but depending on your lifestyle you might go through life and never know, or you might find out early on like me and feel the symptoms from a young age.

When I think of my body, I automatically think of my condition. When I get on the tube I think about how much pain I'm in to stand up but how I don't yet feel confident to ask to sit down for fear of judgement. When I'm limping I worry that someone can see me, when I take off my clothes I worry about my scars, and when I look at my once athletic body I think of all my muscle loss and loss of mobility.

I have been in a battle with my body image for sometime now, but over the last year I've been taking things into my own hands.

One of my biggest realisations what recognising that my diagnosis has not limited my life.

I already had this condition so putting a name to it doesn't change that. In fact, it empowers me. Now I know my demon I can tackle him straight on.

I've had mixed advice over the years - "Don't exercise it will only hurt", "as soon as your out of the operating theatre, get to physio, get to the gym, only you can hold you back. "If you exercise your condition might get worse". "If you don't exercise your condition will still get worse".

So with all the facts (and lack of facts) I had, last year I decided to make some changes. It's pretty clear I'm never going to lose my condition, and in time it is certainly going to get worse. 

But would I rather live a permanently limited life, or in the young years I have left would I like to take back ownership of my body and learn to love it again?

Something that has really helped me through that is Yoga. Yoga is an incredibly unique activity in that it can calm your mind and work your body simultaneously. When I started yoga over a year ago I couldn't even cross my legs. Nowadays, I'm a bit wonky but screw it I'm in lotus right now! Yoga has enabled me to take back some of the movement I had lost in my legs and the calm has helped me to tolerate my pain.

Taking time out of my day to pay attention to my body, to my aches and pains, how I 'feel' physically and emotionally, and letting my thoughts calm has also really put me back in touch with my body, and enabled me to be more accepting of my limitations and proud of the body I'm in.

When I now limp down the road I don't worry so much that people are looking at me as a weirdo. I think - hey look at me! I'm unique! I might stand out but this is me, it's who I am, and I own that.

Finding my inner-self again has been such an empowering journey, one I'm very much still on but I'm getting there and Yoga is really helping me find my way.

In a few weeks time I'm really excited to go and share my experience with other Yoga doers around London. On 8 September I'm going to be attending a Yoga Body Image and Discussion night at Triyoga Camden, with guest teacher Dr. Melody Moore, plus we're also going to be a film screening of a documentary all about self-love and inner beauty.

I'm so excited to meet Melody, who combines two of my many passions Yoga and Psychotherapy (did you know I used to be a Psychology Teaching Fellow?) and talk with her and the rest of the group about our struggles and pursuits.

If you want to come along too you still can! It would be amazing to take a group of health, fitness, wellbeing and mental health blogger along. If you'd like to join me the night is £20 - but you can also use my code Thea20 for 20% off.

Here's the Film trailer to get you excited!

But if you can't make it, I'd love to take your questions along for Melony. Is there anything you'd like to ask her? Do you have any questions on Yoga and/or building positive body image? Leave them in the comments below and I'll take them to Melony next month and share them in an follow up article with you all!

Melong is also hosting a number of other work shops with Triyoga and if you're interest you can use the discount code for those too! Triyoga is an amazing Yoga centre with spots all over London offering Yoga, Pilates and treatments. I love them and if you want to check them out you can find out more about them on the Triyoga Website.

Two weeks ago I switched things up by moving jobs to a brand new role in a brand new industry.

If someone had asked me if I'd be doing this job 5 years ago I wouldn't have even imagined it was close to my path, but low and behold here I am - a Marketing Executive for a Design Firm.


What experience to I have you might ask? Well none - and a lot. I've no formal qualifications in Marketing or Project Management. But what I do have is nearly for years as a blogger, Marketing myself and my website through online platforms and analysing my progress, and now over a year of Private Social Media Management for bloggers, Artists and Small Businesses Across the UK.

So I might not have come via the most direct or formal of route, but I still fell confident I hold enough experience and no how to have settled right into my job and I'm loving it. Plus - no one's tried to fire me yet so that's always a good sign!

On the other hand, working for a Design Firm is definitely a little out of my comfort zone. I have always dreamed of taking my career into the creative arts, and when the opportunity came along I had to grab it!


Spending my days in such an imaginative and creative environment is a real joy, and watching the designers around me work - plotting, styling, cutting and folding paper, card and other shiney things - Did I mention it's a packaging firm? Well haha yep, maybe it doesn't sound so glamorous, but for someone who's been only slightly stationary obsessed most of her life - ITS AMAZING!!

Still its got me a little jealous - I want to play with paper! So week one of the job over I decided to get creative myself.

On the weekend I signed up to Obby* a website for all things creative in London. With courses from paper craft and calligraphy, to cookery, pottery (£25) and even beauty (£25) and perfume making (£29). There are classes to suit everyone of any level of experience (or lack there of - See me, Exhibit A!)


I decided to go for Paper crafting - see if I can catch up with the competition! So I went on Paper Wild's One day Introduction to Paper Marbling. It's a 6 hour course and I was honestly thinking - really? Six hours? What are we doing that takes 6 hours?! But I tell you, 6 hours is not enough!

It was such a great day. There were 9 of us in the class in total, and luckily for me everyone there was a beginner - so pressure off!
From the moment we got there is was time to get stuck in! From learning how to make the paper bath, to preparing the paper, choosing your paints and making our first "stone casting" I was hooked!


Over the course of the day we got to experiment with colours and learn a whole array of styles, techniques and tools and to top it all off anything we made got dried, ironed, and shipped out in the post for new creative projects! I thought that was a such a lovely bonus and I couldn't wait to open my parcel when it arrived!

The day wizzed by in a flash, after 6 whole hours I can still tell you - I'm pretty rubbish haha! But it was just so much fun I'm really looking forward to carrying on. I want to master this! Paper Wild also do a book binding course (using your marbled paper!) so I really want to get good enough to attend that and see my personally designed paper adorn my new sketch book!



If you're looking to test out your creative talents, or just do something a little different on the weekend, definitely check them out. There's so many courses to choose from you're bound to find one you like and in your price range too!



For my next challenge I want to take on making my own Concrete Succulent Planter, they just look incredible, I'm dying to make one! If you want to take the class with me hurry up and sign up. We need a minimum of 4 people to attend so let's get going!

If you want to try out any of the classes on Obby you can also get £10 off with the discount code THEASTHINKINGS10. With Adult classes as little as £18, and Kids from just £10 how can you say no?!

I can't wait for my next class.

Do you take any classes just for fun? Any suggestions, or courses you want to attend? As always share your ideas in the comment box below!

2017 has been a year of focussing on me. What are my goals? How is my Health? How's my Well-being?

Well over the months I've been exploring all sorts of ways to rejuvenate and get back on track. I'm working on my career goals and aspirations, I've changed parts of my lifestyle, I've decluttered, and I've added injections of 'new' into my daily routine to give me that little bit of oomf and bring joy into my life.

I can get into a habit of overdoing it a bit and taking on too much so it's been nice to take a step back and prioritise relaxation and clearing my mind, so I can really focus on what's important right now.

I've also picked up a few new products to go with my new habits and with the help of Indigo Herbs* I'm going to crack on and share them with you.

If you read on to the end I've also got a sneaky well-being giveaway for you!



A big part of improving and maintaining well-being is through improving your routine

I've now got into the habit of always starting my day with a hot drink to wake me up, and ending my day by turning off all technology and settling down to read my book with an unwinding herbal tea.

(My book at the moment is SHIFT by Hugh Howey - part of the Wool Trilogy and soooo good!)

These two have now become staples in my tea collection. the Rise & Shine Tea and Sleep Deep Tea from Indigo Herbs

Both have beautiful delicate flavours with a subtle bouquet, and do wonders for waking me up and sending me off just at the right time.



With Meadowsweet Leaf, Calendula Flowers, Peppermint leaf, and Rosemary leaf just to name a few of the carefully selected herbs, Rise & Shine has been blended to gently clarify, stimulate and refresh the mind.

The Sleep Deep Tea also comes as a blend of Chamomile Flowers, Passion Flowers, Valerian Root, and St. Johns wort to give you just a snippet of the perfectly balanced herbs designed to relax the mind and body and ease you you into a deep slumber.

Next up on my list is to eat well and stimulate my mind ready for the day ahead.

I've not got into the great habit of either whipping through a quick sudoku with my cup of tea, or setting myself a short song writing exercise to get the cogs turning and start my day with a creative mind.

I've really enjoyed adding in this Brain Power Aromatherapy ointment into my routine. Aromatherapy isn't for everyone but I can honestly say the unique blend of aromas not only smells great but the scent gets my brain working and really clears my foggy mind. I like to carry this round now and anytime I need a little pick me up instead of making a coffee, I take two minutes outside wit they and it really seems to do the trick!



and lastly

Do Something new - explore & experience

How many times have you wanted to blow of steam and relax, and somehow you've ended up drunk as a skunk waddling home? Well hopefully you're luckier than me, but I'm come to learn that it's totally not worth it for me. My body will hate me, so sure I have a drink once in a while but hangovers are a total no no. To be honest even when I only drink a little I totally can feel the difference in my body - it takes me a few days to feel 100% again and back on track. So this year I've been finding new ways to let off steam and all that time saved from hangovers means I'm suddenly looking for things to do! New challenges and experiences are definitely something I really recommend if you're looking to boost your mood and well-being.

So when Indigo Herbs suggested this I thought - Genius! It's healthy, it's fun (it's delicious!) and its definitely a challenge - Make your own Chocolate!




I was so excited when this arrived in the post, a Pure, Raw & Organic make your own chocolate kit. Everything you're going to need to make your own chocolates completely from scratch is in there, and even a few extra treats to make them fun. I love a new challenge to take my mind of things, and I think this kit would make THE perfect gift for your health and well-being conscious friends. Or let's just be honest - it would be the perfect gift for yourself!

It was super fun and surprisingly easier than I though. Sort of chuffed with myself!

What I love is that all the ingredients sourced for Indigo Herbs as 100% pure, vegan friendly and much of it is organic. Indigo Herbs moto is to inspire people to achieve their personal best physically and mentally, by encouraging them to take ownership of their daily nutrition and healthy lifestyle. The perfect message to give to your health conscious friends and family looking for that little life and well-being pick me up.

With that in mind I couldn't just let you go empty handed! So I'm giving away the whole gift guide to one luck winner. You can share it, gift it to someone you know who'll love it, or just...keep it all for yourself, you deserve it!

Just following the instructions in the box below and leave a comment letting me know which of my top health and well-being pics you would gift to someone and why.

Fingers crossed for you!

I'll be announcing the winner on Twitter on 10 September so watch out for that and Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway






*This is not a sponsored post. All products have been kindly provided by Indigo Herbs for the Giveaway but all opinions are my own.
Living in London means there is always something new to try, and I'm loving it!

Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited* to dine at one of London's most underground and unique Restaurants. Set out of the way and hidden among the side streets, TWID is like no restaurant I've been to before and I loved it.


Sitting up in a private balcony overlooking the stage, TWID with immerse in the world of Opera. Set as if a theatre, the restaurant offers an experience like no other. With unique dishes, and an intimate setting it was a night to remember.

As we were escorted to our balcony, our evening started with specialist cocktails from the bar followed by a delicious selection of sharing dishes each with it's own unique blend of flavours and stunning presentation. 






When the music then began a classically elegant singer took to the stage and treated us to a selection of pieces from some of the worlds most famous Operas. I've never seen live Opera and didn't know what to expect, but the private dining and intimate setting made it such a special experience I've fallen in love with the Opera.



The food was beautiful as well. With a selection of dishes to accommodate all diets, there is even a delicious selection of Raw and Vegan sharing dishes prepared in house and from scratch from the talented kitchen chefs.

I loved that the restaurant offer sharing dishes exclusively, it sets TWID apart from your traditional restaurant and makes your dining experience something to be shared and enjoyed together with someone close and special to you.



We couldn't help but also taste test the dessert menu, with coffee in hand, we choose one traditional dessert and one from the Master Patissier Raw Organic and Dairy-free menu. Both equally delicious it was the perfect end to our opera experience.

I couldn't recommend TWID more! A new and special addition to London Dining, they are set to bring in the crowds I'm so happy I got to test it out before they're all booked up! So if you're looking for something different and just a little bit special head over to TWID live Opera and Cocktail Bar at London Battersea.

*This is not a sponsored post. I was invited to review the restaurant and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

OK July trumps May and June combined - Does my busy life sound like a running themed to you? Well I'm hoping this are finally settling down for the Summer. I have so much I'm dying to share with you, but first a look back and July. We've seen some inspiring guest blogs to finish of the #ConfidentMeA&E series in style and we've been joined once again by some amazing bloggers for the July theasthinkings advertising team. Joining us in the sidebar last month we had: 

Lylia Rose - With us for another month, Lylia Rose is one to follow if you're looking for blogging inspiration. A self-made success, Vicky, writer and Lylia Rose is one of many bloggers paving the way by sharing her experience, exprtise and tips on making your dream blog your own personal success story. With burst of life, personal insights, and family life there's a bit of everything for the reader looking to take their blog to the next level, and follow there life and blogging aspirations.

Beauty Addict - One of the kindest people I know in the bloggersphere, I've been friends with Sarah a good long time now and I'm forever inspired by her positive outlook, ability to put her blog first (and look after herself) and write about topics she's truly passionate about. If the title doesn't tell you, Sarah is a lover of all things beauty, from candles and aroma therapy, to skin care, beauty products and even somee snippets of style, the Beauty Addict is the go to place for reviews, advice and tips on the best beauty products and trends. 

Run Your Mind Free - As well as reading her blog every month without fail, I cannot help but tune into Eugenia's - author and creator of #runyourmindfree - social media feeds. Whether on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I am always inspired by Eugenia's positive outlook, strength and confidence she has found through throwing herself into the world of fitness, health and the running world. Eugenia always reminds me that whatever comes at me in life, I can always ground myself by following my passions and believing in myself. She's a real honesty teacher and motivational speaker in the making.

In August we have some really exciting posts in the making so be sure to check back to find out, and see what the month brings. Of course, also head over to these amazing bloggers channels, blogs and social media and show them some love - you won't regret it!

If you want to be there in September then get in touch! You can find out all about my Advertiser options by visiting my Blogger Services page or by contact me directly on theasthinkings@gmail.com, or on twitter @theasthinkings
Aspirations are the fuel that keep us going through life, goals we set to inspire our minds and challenge what we think is possible.

But sometimes ambitions can feel more like a fantasy than a reality, so how can we keep ourselves grounded while still striving to achieve our goals?

Stay Active

Among my many passions, is music. I love to play, listen and perform. But if your ambitions are anything like mine, you should know, you don't have to be performing everyday weekend to be making progress towards your goals, and maybe more importantly you might not be ready for that.

Save jumping the gun and crushing your dreams before they have the chance to grow, have your mind always on the bigger picture. Keeping active doesn't have to mean taking big leaps, aspirations have to start at home, with you. Explore what it is that makes you so interested. Find out what it is that fuels your goals and learn more about it. The more you know, the more you have to play with, and the more likely you are to succeed.


When I first felt I really want to make a go of my musical passions, the first thing I did was to look at who and what inspires me and start keeping a journal of thoughts and ideas I can always refer back to when it all seems too big for me to achieve.

I started by going online

Checking out websites like GetToTheFront* was a great place to start. With current news, reviews and blog articles it was a perfect hub to keep myself up-to-date with the music and bands that influence my style and interests, and the more I read I was able to better understand what it is I love about music, and gain insights into the thoughts and drives of other musicians.

You'll also find most of your favourite resources online have social media accounts too. Go find them! When you're sitting on the tube or scrolling through your feed you might as well be filling the time with useful tips and suggestions for resources and inspiration. I follow all of my favourite resources on music, trends and the industry on social media. By follow GetToTheFront on Twitter and Facebook it's always popping up in my feed as a reminder to keep myself on track and engaged in what I love.

I also invested in books, classes and going to watch live music

Books was also a great starting point for me. From biographies, to techniques and even back to basics books for learning technique, chords, and methods for writing music, Books has been something I come to rely on in all I do. I'm not always learning something new or even something I'll apply, but the more information I have I find my confidence in myself and my ability increases. I don't feel so in the dark.

Taking action also has to start at home and it doesn't have to take hours of dedication. You don't have to read a whole book, or take 100 lessons before you get started. You can start small. Check out the latest news in your field for 5 minutes on the bus, or like I do, take 10 minutes out of your morning to make notes or practice something you find tricky about your passions.

Every morning, I set aside 10 minutes, while I'm eating my breakfast to write lyrics

They don't have to relate or even contribute to the same song. I let my mind run free and whatever comes into my thoughts, I write into a lyrics notebook. Sometimes I give myself a random theme to get the ball rolling. Just choose a noun - literally anything - "RAIN", "BICYCLE" "SWAN", and attempt to write sentences with that word, or in relation to it.

You're probably not going to start using them to write the next big hit, but the process will get you into the habit of thinking creatively, and the more you do it, the more your confidence will grow.

Billy Joel once said:

"If you're not doing what you love you're wasting your time."

That couldn't be more true, but remember to keep everything in perspective. To be doing something you love doesn't mean standing on stages in front of thousands, raking in the big bucks. It starts small, and works from there. If you're spending even 10 minutes a day doing what you loving, you're on your way and before you know it 10 minutes will become, an hour, and maybe one day that will become a performance every weekend - when you're ready for it.

Stay active. Stay Inspired

What are your thoughts and tips on fuelling your aspirations? Let me know in the comments and if you'd like to see more posts like this tell me!

*This post was kindly sponsored by GetToTheFront - A website with all the latest news, tickets, and reviews on music and the music industry. All views and thoughts are my own.

Summer is my favourite time to experiment in the kitchen. With the warmer weather and happy faces the excuse to dine outdoors with my family and friends won't escape me!

Organising a dinner party doesn't need to be fancy though. There's something I love about rustic living, it has a way of bringing people all together and back to their roots. So a patch of grass, a blanket and a few pillows can make for the best of dinner parties and for mine I'm taking these delicious Romanesco Cauliflower Tarts.

I take no credit for the recipe, as it comes from the foodie specialists as The Soil Association*, but they make a truly delicious centre piece I can't wait to share with my family and friends.

If you fancy hosting your own picnic party this summer check out the recipe below and get cooking!


For these sumptuous Romanesco Cauliflower Tarts you are going to need:

Ingredients

1 batch shortcrust pastry, chilled, (see recipe below)

1 organic romanesco cauliflower, cut into little florets (remove the stalk, but save it to roast another time)

3 organic eggs

150g organic Pecorino, Gruyere or other similarly potent hard cheese, finely grated

30g organic parmesan, finely grated, plus more to finish

30ml double organic cream

150ml organic whole milk

pinch red chilli flakes

salt & freshly ground black pepper


Special equipment

12-hole muffin tin


For the pastry 

225g organic plain flour 
120g unsalted organic butter 

ice cold water 

butter, for greasing

plain flour, for dusting


Recipe

To make the pastry, sift 225g plain flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, add 120g chilled unsalted butter, cubed, and lightly rub them into the flour until you have a breadcrumb consistency, or whizz the flour and salt briefly with the butter and lard in a food processor then transfer to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water. Mix it in and gather the dough together with one hand to form a ball. If it’s too dry, add another tablespoon cold water a drop at a time until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease the muffin tin. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 2–3 mm thick and cut out rounds slightly bigger than the holes in the muffin tin. Line each hole with the pastry so that it’s level with the top of each hole.

Chill the pastry for 15 minutes, then use a fork to prick the base of each case. Line with pieces of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. (Scrunch up the baking parchment before you line each case and it will be more pliable and fit more snugly into the holes.) Bake ‘blind’ for 10–12 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the beans and parchment, and bake for a further 3 minutes to avoid a soggy bottom. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and leave to cool while you make the filling.

Blanch the romanesco florets in salted boiling water for barely 1 minute – just until it turns bright green – and drain.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the cheeses, cream, milk and chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Divide the filling between the cooled pastry cases, leaving about 1 cm of space to add the romanesco and allow for the custard to expand.

Arrange the romanesco in the filling, keeping half of it above the filling for presentation (you want to see those gorgeous florets!) and grate over a little bit more Parmesan. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the custard is set and the pastry is golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

And voila your beautiful individual tarts are ready for the road. Served with a simply tomatoe salad, spinach leaves and a healthy greek yoghurt (and maybe a cheeky bottle of prosecco) and you are all set for a rustic dinner party in the park.

I love this recipe and I really hope you do too. If you have an suggestions for recipes you'd like to see next on theasthinkings, or you have a favourite picnic show piece let me know in the comments below and share your ideas for this summer!

*This post has not been sponsored. All credit for the recipe goes to The Soil Association. The UK's leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use and this recipe has been created by Rosie Birkett the Soil Association's BOOMBasador for this years Soil Association BOOM Awards 2017 -the UK’s only dedicated organic awards, celebrating all the businesses, producers and brands working so hard to produce food as it should be.


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.



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