There are things in life that we share. As a lifestyle blogger I’ve tried to share a lot of myself in a hopes to at a bare minimum give an insight into other another person's life but with the hope that by sharing my life story, it will provide solidarity to those who might be going through similar life experiences, big or small, exciting or scary, and be comforted that we are not alone in this.


Right now I’m sitting on a train having not written a blog post in weeks. There’s been a lot I’ve wanted to talk about, but there’s also been a millions reason why I felt I couldn’t. Because I didn’t want to feel embarrassed, because I felt shame that other people will be going through so much worse, through fear of back lash that I can’t take it back, but probably most likely, and most importantly, because if I wrote it down and shared it with the world it made it real, and I just wanted to hide and pretend that everything is OK.

I feel like a hypocrite. I try to encourage others to believe in themselves and say with confidence;

“It’s OK that I’m not OK”

But here I am having been holding up appearances for a very long time, because the truth is I’m really not OK. I’ve not been OK for a long time and it’s really hard to face the reasons why.

In my bag hiding from any looking eyes is a book I just bought to try and help myself through this time in my life, and hopefully find the courage to be strong. That book is called “Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men” by Lundy Bancroft. I’ve leave a link below for anyone also in need of support and guidance right now.


I’m on my way back to my hometown for a few days of respite and hopefully the fresh air and peace away from London will give me some comfort and strength. It’s hard to describe how that last year of my life has been, and it’s something I've felt too humiliated to talk about. I am lucky to have some very wonderful friends and family who I know will always (and do) support me and want to protect me, but the shame I’m experiencing has isolated me so much, I feel very very alone at the moment.

I may take this post down at some point, and I really hope that in the near future I can write more on this topic with a positive outcome having found my inner confidence again. I want to be able to share a story of overcoming struggle so that my experience can help others in similar situations know that they can too save themselves.

For now I am doing my best to know that it’s OK not to be OK. I am a kind and loving person, who doesn’t deserve to be treated any other way, and I have a right to be happy. If you don’t hear from me soon don’t worry. I’m doing my best. I’ll be back when I feel ready and thank you to anyone who has a kind thought for me. It’s greatly appreciated.


If I do post anything, and it seems too outwardly positive I hope that you won’t think me false. I’m just doing everything I can to carry on a normal life and blogging is therapeutic, so if I need to exude positivity in my posts to get me through this I’m going to do that. It won’t be a lie, it’ll just be me, doing my best, to be OK.

Autumn has arrived. I've bought a new wooly coat, I've drank copious hot chocolate and I've kicked through all the leaves. It's official.


As always Summer came and went and I pretty much missed it but I'm so excited for Autumn. Other than being the most beautiful season of them all, it's also the time we snuggle up and get cosy with blankets and books and people we love. It's just my absolute favourite season. Luckily I didn't miss everything this summer including reading the inpsiring content from my go-to-gals. These girls as forever inspiring me to try new things, go on adventures and work on myself. Whenever I'm feeling a bit down I go straight to my Advertiser spot and block out an evening to dive in and get motivated again. So here's a look at my Summer Advertisers.

Run Your Mind Free - Is a blogger with guaranteed quality content. She might not post as often but when she does I am the first one there to catch up on her lateness journey to mental health and physical fitness. Following her journey as a runner and mental health advocate, Eugenia shares her latest running challenges, races from around the UK, and tips and advice on her favourite new products, running gear and accessories. When she's not blogging though she's always busy on social media, sharing her motivational running trials and tips on Instagram (creator of #runyourmindfree), and the struggles of balancing life with a full-time Physics PhD! She's a real inspiration and not one to miss.

Lylia Rose - Is also a great inspiration. A full-time blogger and Mum. Victoria from Lylia Rose shows just how its done to live the dream. With non-stop new content, there is always something new on Lylia Rose, from Blogging advice and how-to's, to life, crafts, food and Parental tribulations she's a busy bee and the perfect blog to follow if you have ambitions of going full-time one day.

Beauty Addict - If honest lifestyle blogging is your thing, Sarah author of the Beauty Addict is your gal. This year hasn't been smooth sailing for Sarah but she's an incredibly strong woman, and despite it all is still blogging and sharing her experiences with us. Between beauty, self-care and fitness and true old fashioned personal blogging Sarah offers something for everyone. Her reviews are forever introducing me to new and exciting products from beauty, to home stylings, and he journey with SlimmingWorld is an inspiration. The wonderful thing about Sarah's writing style is that you always feel that she wrote that post just for you, something so few can really do.

Do go and check out all this months Advertisers and leave a lovely comment to brighten someones day. If you'd like to join the family and advertise with TheasThinkings in November make sure you get in touch! You can find all of my Advertiser options by visiting my Blogger Services page or by contact me directly on theasthinkings@gmail.com, or on twitter @theasthinkings

See you again next month for another look at some of the amazing bloggers in the blogosphere.
Dating apps...the dreaded online profile, worse... the swipe!

How do I sound interesting? Do I need a quirky "Look how funny, but still intellectual" tag line? Do I need me to fill out 100 difference questions to create my profile? Swipe left, Swipe right, swipe up, swipe... oh no that's Instagram, where was I...

OK let's get real I HATE the dating game.

I do. The pressure to write that lengthy profile and guess who's playing games and who's not - it's like being in the school playground all over again, and some apps... don't get me started!

I can tell you I've tried my fare share of dating apps and websites - OK wait, that makes me sound awful haha! Lets start again, I've tested out 'some' dating apps - only a little better. Lets just move on shall we?

What I've always hated about about dating apps is the random matches I seemed to get and just all the time I waste trawling through the gaff to find just that one decent match. I mean really, how do they even figure that out? "Loves to watch wrestling, hates books, doesn't believe in healthy eating, works in finance" Really?? Well first off, that's a random combination of interest but most importantly, why did that even come up in my suggestions? I love your individualism, you go Glen coco, but nope. I just don't think you're the one for me.

In the end, the whole process becomes just really uncomfortable and I give up pretty quick.

When I first moved to London though I confess I did succumb to probably the most well known app on the market - Tinder - MY GOD, what was i thinking? If I thought dating apps I'd tried in the past were bad, Tinder takes the prize for terrible.

I would just match with the worst sorts of people, and all the rumours and bad rep it gets, I can tell you from experience are well deserved. Of every dating app I've tried Tinder takes the ticket for worst app on the market.

I've got a whole bunch of horror and hilarious stories I'd love to tell so let me know in the comments if you'd like to hear them but I don't want to give Tinder to much talk today because what I really want to talk about is finally finding an app I can learn to love and find the perfect pear*.

I swear I never thought it would happen, every app these days is just a copy of the last with a different colour scheme,  but really I finally found one worth our attention:

Pear


Did you ever think a match-making algorithm could win a Nobel-Prize? I know right? Me neither - but seriously one did, and it promises to revolutionise the dating scene.

Developed by mathematicians Gale and Shapely to solve the "stable marriage problem" the algorithm creates mathematically perfect pears, from a ranking comparison system.

I mean it's like Science meets Cilla Black, what's no to love?

I decided to find out a bit more about this Pear matching service and see if it would work for me and give it that Blind date test run.

Unlike what we're now used to, Pear has abandoned the painful swipe system and opted for a comparison matching service that finally connect you with people just like you, and the more you compare the more it learns about what you like and what you don't so your matches will get better and better with time.

Finally no more questionnaires, no endless random matches, less swiping and just more fun dating.


I've had the new app for just three days and I'm already really enjoying it. It was so super easy to set up, it took me literally less than a minute to pop up some half decent photos and a cute little bio, and get to comparisons, and I really do think the more I compare the more profiles are coming up that feel are a great match for me.

I haven't reached out to anyone yet but I'm looking forward to testing the app out in full over the next few days and would love if you tested it with me so we can share stories - and gossip!

The app's totally free so I'll leave a link for Android and Apple below. Let me know in the comments if you try it out and what you think of your matches! Happy dating guys, let's hope we all find out Perfect pair and finally rid ourselves of all that dreaded swiping!



What have been your best and worst dating app stories? Let me know in the comments!!

Thea x
The app uses an algorithm developed by mathematicians G
ale and Shapely to solve
the
stable marriage problem
, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 201
2

*This is not a sponsored post. Links in the article are affiliate links but I have been compensated in no way for producing this post. All comments are based on my honest opinion and experience using Pear.
Work/Life balance is something we all strive to achieve but come on hands up, how many of us are really doing it?

I know I don't always have it right, and it really impacts on my quality of life, not just in my personal endeavours but in how much I enjoy my job too and want to get out of bed in the morning.


Quick interlude - don't run away this isn't a sulky post I swear just hold on in there OK? OK. So...

Recently I had a real doozy of a slump. I'm talking a - are things ever going to get better should I just quit it all and give up on everything slump - like a said a real doozy - but also like i said not sulking promise. (I might have been sulking a little bit but it was a doozy OK?! No sulking anymore...anyway back to the story. Last sidetrack I swear).

For a good while I didn't think I was going to get out of it, everything was taking a hit. I wasn't eating right, no sleep ever seemed like enough sleep, I was beginning to be late for work all the time, and really hating my job, and when I came home I'd lost all motivation and energy to do anything I love - it was all going down hill.

Ending the cycle just had to happen, I want to feel good about life again so I tried and tested a few things, some more deliberate than others and finally came up with 5 things that have really worked for me.

Why'd it take so long (and it took a looooong time)? Well truth is there's plenty of advice out there - give it a quick google. You'll probably find a good 20+ articles all spewing out the same old tips and tricks, but they just weren't working for me and some were making things worse. I just couldn't figure it out! Was this now the way of things? If it was I tell you I was going to have to quit something - and the thing I was looking at quitting was the one I need to fund all the others so I was kind of at a critical point.

There had to be a reason, there had to be another way to get out of my funk. 

Well there was, and the core reason for why everything else wasn't helping me was one very important part of who I am - I'm an introvert!

If I do a quick search now here are the top tips that just keep coming up:

  • Go socialise, surround yourself with people
  • Treat yourself, go get some retail therapy
  • Do something you love
  • Think positive, remind yourself of everything good in your life
  • Surround yourself with goals

OK before we go anywhere lets just be honest here and say - these things all sound great right? Of course they do, they are full of positivity so you can see why they're always recommended, and at some point all of them can add to boosting your spirits but as an introvert I see all of these things as being way down the line because they all avoid one very important fact - THE SLUMP!

If you're an introvert like me, or maybe your just in a slump chances are you feel exhausted and Socialising saps so much of what little energy you have left it only makes things work.
Treats probably don't feel enjoyable, neither do the things you love, positive thoughts feel fake and achieving goals probably just feels like it's too much too handle.

So my advice? STOP.

No really. Just stop for a second. It can seem like life won't let you but trust me, anything you don't do today is still guna be there tomorrow, and if it's not, it wasn't that important anyway.

So if you're an Introvert too, or maybe you're just looking for some fresh ideas here's my:

Top 5 ways to get out of your work life slump - the Introvert Guide

  1. Find a quiet place free of clutter. Sometimes it can all seem like there's too much noise in your head and your environment isn't helping. Find a place to hide away and let yourself escape the noise of the world for a spell. It won't stop the problems being there, but taking some time to step back from it all can change your perspective and free up some space in your mind to manage them more easily.
  2. Take a day to yourself. Don't force yourself to Socialise. Having time on your own will re-charge your batteries making socialising more of a pleasure than a chore. It's not that you don't care for or love your friends and family, but you also need to be taking care of yourself so you can show them the happiness you feel to be around them.
  3. Don't set any tasks for today. Do something that soothes you. Take a bath, read a book, listen to your favourite soothing album or your favourite TV series or Film that doesn't demand anything of you. While you let your conscious mind rest, your unconscious mind will be working through a lot of your problems in the background and you'll come out the other side feeling calmer, less troubles and more able to focus and tackle whatever's ahead of you. I actually find that spending a few hours doing this gives me a little boost to clean up the house, getting some washing done and tidy away any mess. You don't have to be 100% task free but Cleaning can be a great way to let your mind work in the background and you'll find a clutter free environment can also really help towards a clutter free mind.
  4. Keep a pen and paper handy. If you feel the urge to do something, or you can't stop fidgeting, keep a notebook handy to jot down your thoughts. Write down how your feeling. It can just be a note, as if your writing in a diary or maybe a friend, but you'll find it soothing and getting thoughts down on paper can be another great way to get them off your mind. Before the day comes to an end also take a moment to think about how tomorrow would look if you were on the way back to normality again. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, this doesn't need to be a perfect scenario. Just a single optimistic outlook for tomorrow. Mine was "Tomorrow I'm going to be awake and dress on time, and looking forward to the days conference". Telling myself, and believing that I would be happy was huge in helping me start the day with a more positive outlook in the morning.
  5. Finally, Set an alarm for tomorrow. To make the most of your recuperation time, you want to get a good nights sleep and start the day well rested. Unplug, write down your final note for the next day, set an alarm for a good time, and continue as you mean to go on. A good night sleep will be ket in getting you back on track so stick to it.
It's not always possible to take a whole day to yourself but even a short amount of time can be valuable, so if you have commitments you can't let go of, that's totally fine but don't worry it doesn't make your 'you' time impossible. Just agree to a time and stick to it. Before bed or first thing are always best (both if you can). 

The key is to let you get some calm time on your own to wind down and not put pressure on yourself to be meeting any expectations but to relax. If you have people that rely on you, or maybe you just can't get away, baths are a great way to find your alone time. Take a book, and go for a really long soak, and maybe try to get a few repeats in during the week. Every moment you get to yourself with no judgements will make the world of difference.

If you have any suggestions for finding your work life balance leave your comments in the box below and share your tips and ideas with us all. I'd love to read them!
Thanks for stopping by!



Hey guys who's been on holiday this year? I know I've not because it's been forever since my last travel diaries. So before the year is out I wanted to share my one trip I did manage to fit in I haven't gone far but you don't have to, to enjoy a peaceful and memorable short break in the British countryside, I've been to the beautiful Epping Forest.

On the weekend the weather decided to give us one last bout of sunny weather and with no other plans my and my partner jumped on the next train tent over should and sleeping bags in hand and headed off to the tiniest of camp sites set in the heart of the Epping Forest. There's something about camping I truly love. Whether it's getting back to nature, throwing away all technology for 48 hours or simply getting time to be with my thoughts Camping is one of my favourite secret escapes and something I love to remember and long to do again.


We were lucky enough to be the only campers on the pitch, and to top it off we were given a fire pit! I can't tell you how proud I was that despite the brief showers and almost an hour of persistence my tiny little fire finally lit and burned all night! I'm a true cavewoman!!!


Between cooking on my tiny stove (OK I'm not a total cavewoman!), going on adventures...ahem well lets be honest getting lost in the woods, little trips down to the local pub and songs around the campfire it has to be the best little trip I've had in a long time and was well worth an inclusion in the Travel Diaries.

I know some people keep photo albums (my boyfriend loves to keep one for all our trips), some frame them, and some even vlog the journey, but for me, these travel diaries have been my favourite way of creating memories from my travels. I have always loved to read and take inspiration from travel blogs and hope that mine can do the same.

That's why I joined Destination2's 'Creating and Catching Memories with Travel' Campaign* to remind me of my travel diary love and get me back to sharing my trips with you.


Travel diaries are a great way to document and remember the best of your trips and adventures, whether just for you, or to share with family, friends and the wider blogosphere if you've ever shared your travel blogs let me know. Leave you links and links to those you love in the comment box, and let me know - do you like to go camping? What are you favourite place to camp and camping activities?

If you'd like to see more travel diaries let me know and I'll get to planning my next Winter Sun Adventure.


*This is not a sponsored post however I have kindly been compensated with a voucher for joining this campaign.
*credits
Many many weeks ago I was **invited to a press night for a new bar in London and quickly after life carried on and despite my many visits back my brain has only now found the space to get it down on paper - well online - to tell you all about my new evening retreat and just why I've fallen in love with it.

My new secret stop off after a long day sits in the heart of London streets and is the cafe and bar otherwise known as Boki. Situated at Seven Dials and full of culture, flavour and style, I might not have found the time to write to you all, but I have certainly found the time to visit time and time again.

*credits


Unlike any other bar I've enjoyed in London
Boki offers something no other does (that I've found!). Styling a fusion of Industrial build, Soft metal materials, and full of greenery, Boki is unique in that is has no standing licence. But don't let that fool you, not allowing people to stand and otherwise squash into this cosy space, having no standing licence means the venue has a limited seated capacity creating an intimate and family feel environment where all are welcome and none want to leave.


I particularly love the Spanish style horseshoe bar where you can enjoy fresh foods from the kitchen and witness the making of beautifully crafted Coffee inspired cocktails.

*credits

With wines, spirits and coffee beans all individually sourced from produced around the glove, the delicious food menu is also inspired by Coffee infusion and created to show off Boki's unique twist on classical European dishes with their own take on rustic urban presentation.

Whether you're looking for a bite to eat, a cocktail to excite the taste buds or a private and intimate social space to enjoy a coffee with friends or loved ones, Boki is definitely one to try out for yourself. Experience the richness and warmth of Boki's urban jungle, at Sevendials.



*All photo credits go to Emory Ruegg.
**I was kindly invited to a taste night following Boki's opening, but I have not been sponsored or compensated for this post.
All days start with the getting up. But how are you doing it? 

If you are anything like me you probably keep snoozing the alarm, start your day in a bad mood or a mega rush and the rest of the day is normally a right off.

I can tell you that without fail for most of my life, it hasn't mattered what time I wake up because whether I get up at 6:30, ro 8:00 I will still turn up for work 4 minutes past 9am....every...friggin...time!

Why? Because I've been doing it all wrong. It's not about having enough time - although that helps of course - it's really about starting the day with the right attitude and best mindset to make the day a happy and productive one.

So I've switched things up and now instead of arriving 4 minutes late I'm 4 minutes early - OK it's not amazing but I'm taking every minute I can!



My new routine is still pretty new but it's been such a game changer for me I wanted to share it with you too, because I'm pretty sure I can put it all down to Yoga.

I've been doing yoga on and off for a few years now so it's nothing new, but lately I've been making it the very first thing I do in the morning to start my day fresh and I'm pretty sure it's why I'm finally getting to work on time.

By practising yoga first thing in the morning it means that I'm not checking my phone once before I hit the tube, and my mind is clear and in the right place to focus on what I really want to get out of the day.

I know, I know, but it's so just easy to role over and have a quick skim through twitter or Instagram before you totally wake up right? But it's just such a bad way to start the day. 

What you really want to be doing when you wake up is setting yourself up with a positive mindset. Spend sometime thinking about and reminding yourself of your goals. Whether those are goals for today, this week, this month or long-term goals, have them in your sphere of thought from the moment you wake and plan how your going to go about your tasks today, and finally... stretch

A friend of mine one said something that has is stuck with me for life. He said he'd noticed that like every other animal on the planet, when his dog wakes up before he does anything he stretches out his whole body. So how come we don't do the same thing? It just makes sense doesn't it?

By stimulating your brain with your goals, taking time to breathe deeply and stretching out your muscles you are setting yourself up with a limber body and mind to take on anything the day throws at you. At least that is my theory!

It's also a great excuse to treat yourself to a little retail therapy (who doesn't want that?!) and pick up some new Yoga gear. I already have everything I need to get going but I decided to take the new routine as a way to treat myself and start positive from the off. So I went a'hunting online for new brands to try and got caught up looking at Lapasa Yoga Fit on Amazon of all places! I know and hands up Prime next day delivery?! Woop Woop! The whole range was a bargain price and had great ratings so I gave it a shot and I am happy I took the risk. Considering the price I think they're really good value, super comfy, great for hiding sweat (nice) and really flexible material - just perfect for my new routine, and so many colours!!! My Rainbow obsession is going crazy! 

So with all that said I've teamed up* to Give away ANY PRODUCT OF YOUR CHOICE from the Lapasa Range! All you have to do is finish this post and follow the rafflecopter instructions at the bottom of the page and leave a comment saying what your favourite piece and colour is from the Lapasa range.

For inspiration these are the 3/4 pants I got and love!




If Giveaways aren't your thing, or you just can't wait I've also got a discount code for you to get 10% off all purchases with code THEAYOGA

The 3/4 is by far my favourite but some of my other Yoga options I love include these guys:





Anyway, enough of that, getting back to it, if you'd like to mix up your routine to start your day right, here's my new Yoga morning routine:

Get up the firs time the alarm goes and NO SNOOZE BUTTON!

Grab a pint of water and set up my mat ready for some exercise.

Get changed and open the curtains. Sunshine is a great way to boost your mood in the morning but if it's a miserable day crack a window, the fresh air will do you some real good.

Before getting into your Yoga routine, sit down and take a moment to envision your goals, and what you want to achieve from the day. 

Begin your Yoga routine and take at least 5 minutes (10 is plenty to start your day right) to go through a set routine with 3 or 4 repetitions. If you're not sure what to do just head over to Youtube. I find this routine a great one to start off the day and it's perfect for beginners, and people with physical movement conditions like me.

After your Yoga routine, you should be feeling relaxed, calm and with an open mind, take one last minute to take a comfortable seating position and just one last time think about your long term life ambitions and have them clearly in your mind, before you slowly get up, curling through your spine with a final last breathe out and carry on with the rest of your morning routine, and if you can make sure you eat it's so important to get your digestive system working to get you moving into the day.

When you first start any new routine, I'll be honest it's not going to feel great. You might feel more tired than normal, a little irritable or moody, but if you stick with it you will really reap the benefits.  I'd say the first 10 days is the toughest, but once you get passed that point it gets a bit easier, and by day 30 you'll be on a role. It's all about taking time out of your day to do something that not only motivates you to get up in the morning, like a personal treat everyday, but it will clarify your thoughts and intentions and make your body loose and limber, started your day fresh faced and relaxed.

If you start a Yoga routine, let me know I'd love to hear your experiences and routine suggestions. If you do something else to motivate yourself to get up and start a good day, share your ideas in the comments as well. New suggestions are always welcome.

OK enough from me, go start your day right, and enter that giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

*This post has not been sponsored. The Lapasa items will be kindly donated from Lapasa to the Giveaway Winner.
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